In the earlier post, we saw how to get up to 24 clipboards. But why would you need so many of them?
On the face of it, this sounds like an overkill. We are happily using ONE clipboard for years. So it is looks like a useless feature.
Key Learning: There is nothing like a useless feature
This is a very important thing to remember. Adding a feature is a very complex and costly process. Microsoft is not going to add a new feature if it was not serving any purpose.
Those of you who understand programming know that behind every feature there is a need, a problem or a use case. Unfortunately, when you use a product developed by someone else, the feature is visible first and the underlying need may not be apparent.
So what do we do? We do it in two steps.
First, we learn the functionality – what does it do? In this case we already know that. At this stage you know the technical feature. But that is NOT called knowledge. That is partial knowledge.
The next step is more important. You must find the underlying need or problem it is trying to address. Why do you care? Simple! Because it may be your need. If you do not discover the need, you may never use the feature in spite of understanding how it works technically.
Finding your needs behind every feature is called Applied Learning!
Of course, there may will be features which you do not need in your current context. But in any case, if you know when they are useful, you will be able to use them if the need arises in future.
Multiple Clipboards: Usage Scenarios
Word: Executive Summary
Executive Summary contains key sentences which summarize details from the document. We write Executive Summary AFTER the rest of the document is created. Here is how you can do it faster.
- Write the document
- Activate Office Clipboard
- Move through the document, select key sentences and copy
- Continue the process till end of the document (or 24 clipboards)
- Go to Executive Summary and choose Paste All
- Each copy will be a separate paragraph
- If you want to combine these paragraphs into one paragraph, follow this sub-task
- Select all the Executive Summary
- Press Ctrl H (Find – Replace)
- Type ^p^p in the Find textbox
- Type ^p in the Replace textbox
- Click Replace All
- We will discuss how this works in a separate article (Word Find and Replace is a treasure. Very powerful, but very rarely used appropriately)
- Now your Executive Summary is ready
Excel: Combine Tabular Data
Very often we get tabular data from multiple files or sheets (regions, locations, months,etc). How do you combine this into a single master data sheet?
Copy – Paste to Master, Copy – Paste to Master, Copy – Paste to Master and so on.
Now you know what to do
- Enable Clipboard
- Copy – Copy – Copy
- Go to destination
- Paste ALL
PowerPoint: Collect Pictures and arrange them using SmartArt (Picture Layout)
This is a very powerful method. Let us say you are browsing for various products and you want to capture many images and put them on one slide. Another scenario would be logos of your customers.
Here is how you do it.
- Start PowerPoint
- Activate Clipboard
- Go to browser and copy various images as required. Right click the image and choose Copy (CTRL C will not work here as it is a web page and the focus may be ambiguous)
- In PowerPoint add a new slide
- Choose Paste All
- Unfortunately that does not solve your problem
- All images will be overlapping one another
- But don’t worry. PowerPoint knows your problems.
- While all the pictures are selected, just choose Picture Tools – Picture Layout and choose a layout you want. (You can hover mouse over each to temporarily draw the picture layout and choose the best one. You can also do it later)
- Now, depending upon the overall area occupied by all selected pictures, PowerPoint will layout the pictures automatically
- Resize the area as desired
- Now it is a SmartArt object
- You can click on Design and change the layout if needed
- Finally, you will need to add captions for each picture
- DO NOT click in the textboxes to add them.. there is a small edit arrow (double or single arrow) on the left margin of the SmartArt bounding box
- Click that and add titles
Can you think of more usage scenarios?
If you find more scenarios, please post them here. I will also learn something new.
There is more to copy paste and the series is not ending any time soon. But I am sure you want some variation. So next article will be something different. We will continue the Copy Paste series later.