Tag Archives: Office

How to work on Excel when it is busy

This is a common requirement. We have started some time consuming operation like adding a field to a large pivot table, or fetching data from a database, or refreshing some complex calculations. In such cases Excel seems to be unresponsive. Not only the current file is unusable, other files opened are also not editable. Things just freeze till the time and resource consuming activity finishes.

Of course, that is a total waste of time. You want to do something else on another Excel file during this time. The solution is to create another instance of Excel.

  • When you are about to start a time consuming operation, make sure no other Excel files are open. Start the operation on the file and leave it alone.
  • Now right click on the Excel icon in the Taskbar and choose Excel (whichever version) again. This way you open an independent copy of Excel. This copy is not busy at all.Open an independent copy of Excel when it is busy processing another copy
  • Now you open other Excel files here and continue working while the other copy is executing the time consuming job. That’s it.

This concept is not applicable just to Excel. The same logic applies to any application which can get busy and block you from working on other files.

Knowledge Pack: Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office 365

Here is a series of articles about this commonly performed comparison.
It offers an unconventional yet practical perspective.

  1. Google Docs vs. MS Office: Want vs. Need – the concept with few examples
  2. We are doing a feature comparison. So we should know the quantification as well.
    How many features does Microsoft Office have?
  3. Google Docs vs. MS Office: “I don’t need all these features”
    This post discusses the commonest response to feature explosion in Microsoft Office

more articles coming soon …

How many features does Microsoft Office have?

I often mention during my sessions and posts that we have 12000+ Office features. Some of you may be wondering as to where I got that number from. Here is the list. It covers only Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. It does not cover other Office 365 products. Source: Office Menu reference workbooks. I have actually counted the other features, like galleries and Options one-by-one, manually!
How many do you use? Post comments and let me know.

Microsoft Office features list

Related posts:
Google Docs vs. MS Office: Want vs. Need
I only use 5% features in Office. Why should I pay for the remaining 95%? Part 1 & Part 2
Office 365 Worst Practices – Part 2 – Phased Release: Underutilization by Design!

How to succeed in office politics using Office

Here is the recording of my session in Pune DevCon – a gathering of developers in Pune, India. Please pardon me for using Hindi language intermittently. I needed to use local language for maximum impact.

Thanks to Mahesh Mitkari, Mayur Tendulkar, Vikram Pendse and team for arranging a great event. Enjoy!

This is a live recording. Please pardon the background noise and poor video quality.

What did I learn today: Remove all hyperlinks

clear hyperlinks - remove all hyperlinksExcel provides a direct feature. Select multiple sheets and select the desired range. Home – Clear – Clear Hyperlinks.
The default blue color and underline is NOT removed. Therefore, you may feel that nothing has happened. You have to remove formatting separately. There is no way to select only those cells which contain hyperlinks. DO NOT choose clear formatting because it will remove formatting for ALL selected cells. There is no way to quickly select cells containing hyperlinks. Be careful.

Word has no such menu option but does have a shortcut. Select entire document and choose CTRL SHIFT F9. That removes all hyperlinks. It removes formatting as well. Simple and effective.
PowerPoint has no such menu option nor shortcut. Simple macro code is available here.
OneNote requires third-party add-in to do this. One such tool is OneNote Gem.
MS Project also has Clear Hyperlinks command like Excel.
In Visio, just clearing the formatting removes the hyperlink. However, there is no way to select all items having hyperlinks in one step. This has to be done manually.
MS Publisher has no built-in command.

IT as an Enabler (really!) – use Office Group Policy

This article is for IT professionals only. The language is technical. As a user it is not relevant to you.

IT presentations say “IT is an enabler”. But ask any user – they will tell you that the primary job of IT seems to be “disabling” things. From Start Menu, IE settings, USB Ports, Web sites, network settings, ability to install new software, everything seems to be deactivated by IT. It is frustrating. But everyone knows that it is required for security, compliance and privacy reasons.

As an IT professional, here is your chance of ENABLING things which users will really thank you for. This opportunity comes from a seemingly unlikely place – Microsoft Office. Read on to find out how you transform your users lives using Office Group Policy.

image

Photo credit: Stuck in Customs / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Continue reading IT as an Enabler (really!) – use Office Group Policy

Have you tried Office 2016?

Yes it is a free preview right now (18 Aug 2015). Just install the new Office 2016 Trial from here. Here is the list of new features. If you have the appropriate version of Office 365 you will receive the upgrade automatically when the product is released.

Test it using a separate PC or a virtual machine. DO NOT install it on your regular work machine because it is still in testing stage.

I will cover the features in more detail. But here is a very interesting feature which some of you may like. You can do forecasting very quickly using the Forecast Sheet feature of Excel 2016.

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Here is the raw data – a time series and the forecast generated from it.

image_thumb7 Office 2016

More coverage of new features coming soon…

(I had written another post about this trial, which I have deleted. That was because the side-by-side running of new version with older versions mentioned in that article requires lot of technical explanation, which is not worth the trouble at trial stage)

Quick and easy: Backspace and Delete

Recently I noticed that many people don’t know this. So here it is. Look at where your editing cursor is.

If you want to remove things on the LEFT side of the cursor, use BACKSPACE key.

If you want to remove something on the RIGHT side of the cursor, you press DELETE key.

Entire word on either side can be removed by pressing CTRL key along with Delete or Backspace keys.

backspace and delete

Although there is no existing shortcut or Word Command to delete the word under the cursor, a single line of code deletes the current word (without selecting it).

selection.range.words(1).delete

Thanks to my friend, Raj Chaudhuri, for figuring out this brilliant one-line macro Thumbs up