Video Tutorial: Show collaboration in PowerPoint with Gear SmartArt

Gear is a nice SmartArt available which illustrates collaboration or smooth working of multiple components. It accepts a maximum of three items only.

show collaboration with PowerPoint Gear Smartart

But showing it as a static diagram does not generate good impact.

Watch this video to see how we can improve it go illustrate the collaboration in a much better way. Watch this in high resolution and full screen for better understanding.

Gear SmartArt

How to create Ripple effect in PowerPoint

Office 2010 added some nice transitions in PowerPoint.  Here is how to use the Ripple effect in appropriate business context.

What is the context?

You are trying to describe how one key area will have a ripple effects on other areas…

That is when you use this method.

  1. Create a radial diagram showing the key area in the center and other areas affected by it as radiating objects
  2. Copy the slide
  3. In the first slide, remove everything except the key concept
  4. Use the Ripple transition on the second slidePowerpoint ripple transition
  5. That’s it

Download the sample presentation from here

Download, save and run it to see the impact.
It is impossible to show it in a static screen-shot!

PowerPoint ripple effect transition

International Phonetic Converter using VLOOKUP

The problem

Have you ever tried any of these?

  • Calling an airline to change the booking
  • Calling a helpdesk for some troubleshooting
  • Calling your bank for some transaction
  • (or similar situations…)

In each of these cases, you have to tell lot of information accurately… PNR number, mother’s maiden name, your name, your email id …

The operator never understands your spellings correctly… and then we go into phonetic innovation…

“e for eerie … sorry.. e for eon, f for (not the first word which comes to your mind wlemoticon-winkingsmile.png) … f for for… n for Nitin (your own name always comes to your mind first), s for psychiatry … “

it is hilarious Winking smile

But it can be frustrating as well as detrimental if wrong information goes to the other side. We desperately need a better way to communicate accurate spellings to the other party.

The solution – International Phonetic Converter

To avoid this, there is an accepted international phonetic convention – which all operators know. Ships, Airlines, Armed forces – everyone uses it so that there is no confusion and mishaps.

We can also use it… but you many not have it with you when you are calling the helpdesk.

So I created a small phonetic converter tool to solve this problem. It is a simple Excel file.

Click here to open it ( )

Just type your text and it will tell you the equivalent words.

International phonetic converter using Excel Vlookup

This will NOT work on some mobile phone browsers.
Mobile friendly version coming soon…

How does it work?

It is a simple VLOOKUP based worksheet.

You can download the Excel file from here

The link given above is showing the web editable version of this workbook using SharePoint.

Mobile friendly version coming soon…

This is one example where applied knowledge of Office can help you in many other aspects of life.  Try it out and let me know your feedback.  Thanks!

Is there a keyboard shortcut for word count?

The short answer is, yes, there is a keyboard shortcut, and I will give it to you at the end of this blog post.

But before we do that, let’s take a closer look at a few common usage scenarios where knowing the shortcut will help you save time and efforts in fine tuning the document.

The need?

We often write articles which have a word limit. Often abstracts have a very strict word limit.

While writing things you should be able to monitor the number of words already written.

This is very easy. Word status bar shows the word count as you type.

Word count

In case you cannot see the word count, right click on the Status Bar and choose Word count. It is a long list. Take few more seconds to see what else is useful and choose those options as well. Section number is also another very useful indicator.

Now the word count will be shown live.

Word count for a specific section of a document

Often we write the abstract followed by the actual article. So if you want to know the word count of only the abstract what do you do?

Just select the abstract (or any other area) and choose Review Tab – Word Count.

word count for selected text

Now it is shown in detail.  If you notice, there is an option to include or exclude things other than the main document.

Word count dialogue

Keyboard shortcut

Of course there is a keyboard shortcut available.
Just press Ctrl Shift G.  That’s it.  If you are fine tuning a document with a strict word limit, this will come in very handy.

Ctrl Shift G

This is a rare case where the tooltip of the button does not show the keyboard shortcut. I have notified Microsoft about it. I am quite confident it will be corrected in the next version.

How to find highlighted text in Word

What do you do when you need to read only the highlighted text in a document? Just scroll down and read the highlighted text. Yes – that works.

But you have to keep scrolling to find the next highlight. It may be one page away or 24 pages away… not very efficient!

Here is the right way.

Make sure you have a document which contains many areas highlighted.

Press SNAGHTML12a17eb9 to go to the beginning of the document.

Press SNAGHTML12a1dc69 to open the Find Replace dialog

Click on the Find tab click inside the Find What textbox and click on More button…

Find highlighted text in Word

Click on Formatting … button to open the drop down

Find only highlighted text in Word

Choose Highlights

Click Find next button. Now first highlight will be found.

Press SNAGHTML12a514ff to get rid of the dialog

Now we want to move to the next highlight

Press   SNAGHTML12a704e8  to move to next highlight

SNAGHTML12a7f8edto go to previous one.

By the way, this shortcut works for anything you have just FOUND using the Find dialog.

15 year old feature. Did you know it? Did you need it?

Not discovering what you need,
in spite of having it right in front of you is called INEFFICIENCY Angry smile