All posts by Dr Nitin Paranjape

Remove cell spill-over from Excel data

If a cell has no data in it, the data from the cell on the left side spills over it. This can lead to confusion while reading and understanding the data. How to remove this cell spill-over?  Very simple. Just three steps:

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  1. Select the data range.
  2. Press Ctrl G or F5 to open the Go To dialog.
  3. Click the Special button.
  4. Choose the Blanks option.
  5. Now, all the empty cells in the highlighted area will be selected.
  6. Just type a spacebar. This will go automatically into the active cell.
  7. DO NOT press ENTER. DO NOT disturb the selection.
  8. Press CTRL ENTER.
  9. That’s it. Now all the spill-over items will be truncated.

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Creating complex presentations together

We need complex presentations quite often, e.g. Periodic reviews, new projects, planning, and so on. Such complex presentations usually need inputs from multiple persons. Each one sends a small piece of presentation to some central coordinator – not just once, but repeatedly. The central person struggles with copy pasting stuff, fights with formatting and layout conflicts and has a miserable life in general!

complex presentations - editing together

The solution is simple. Store the base presentation on OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams. Share it with all the contributors and let them edit it. Try it out now!

Editing complex presentations together: Benefits

  1. Multiple persons can work on the presentation simultaneously, without confusing each other.
  2. Enormous time saving
  3. There are no copies (CCs) to deal with. The presentation is always a single file.
  4. Past versions are stored automatically so that you can refer to an earlier edit.
  5. You can see if others are editing simultaneously. You can go and look at the slide they are working on.
  6. If required, you can clarify doubts or suggest changes to each other using chat (Skype FB )
  7. If there is a conflict, the owner can resolve it. Conflict occurs when two users change the same item in two different ways.

It is simple, useful and revolutionary. Practice this with your colleagues couple of times and then you will have the confidence and the motivation to use it in real life.

Light bulb

OneNote Embedding

Here is a list of sites supported for OneNote Embedding.

ClickView

DailyMotion

Docs.com

Flipgrid

Geogebra

Giphy

Microsoft Forms

nanoo.tv

Office 365 Video

Office Mix

Power BI

Quizlet

Repl.it

Scribd

Sketchfab

Slideshare

SoundCloud

Spotify

Sway

TED Talks

ThingLink

Trello

Vimeo

Vine

Wizer

YouTube

Here are two examples: YouTube and Power BI
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Just copy the Share link and paste it into OneNote. It understands what to do. DO NOT put the IFRAME code. That is for HTML pages.

All PowerPoint Icons

Here is a very useful collection. I am sure you have noticed the PowerPoint Icons – 450+ beautifully created SVG graphics. The problem is that you need to select and download icons on demand. Two problems. Firstly, it requires an internet connection and second problem is the need for inserting the same icon again and again.

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I solved both problems by manually downloading each and every icon available today (7 Nov 2017). You can download this presentation (5 mb) and get offline access to all icons. Remember, SVG format allows these to be scaled without any loss of resolution.  SVG support is available only with Office 2016 and upwards and of course Office Pro Plus.

Windows Pin Security: 4 digits strong enough?

All of us know that the recommended password length is increasing all the time. Currently a complex password is recommended to be 14 characters or more. Instead of a long and complex password, you can also login using Windows Pin Security. The Windows 10 Pin can be as short as 4 digits. Pin is considered to be BETTER than a password. However, the pin looks fairly weak. Is it not?

On the face of it, yes. PIN appears to be grossly inadequate as a protection mechanism. But it is not. Obviously, Microsoft must have thought about it! How is the Windows Pin Security strong enough? Here are the reasons:

Why Windows Pin Security is better than passwords?

  1. PIN works only on that device. Therefore, even if someone knows your PIN, they need physical access to your PC.
  2. PIN is not visible on the network (Wi-Fi or network cable). Password can be stolen just by monitoring your Wi-Fi. PIN is typed locally on the PC. No chance of it being visible on the network.
  3. Many laptops have a special hardware chip for encrypting stuff. Using this chip to manage the PIN makes it impossible for hackers to find the pin. (This chip is called TPM. Never mind what it means.
  4. If someone steals the laptop, they have to guess the pin. As you would expect, there is a lockout setting with TPM chips. If the laptop does not have TPM, you can still use BitLocker and apply a group policy setting to limit failed logins.
  5. It is easy to get your passwords using various methods. Let us not go into details of what these methods are. What you need to remember is never to click on a random link in email or browser and never reveal the password to anyone. (period).
    If PIN is stolen from you, using the same methods which work with passwords, you are still safe because of the 4 reasons listed above.

If you forget your own pin, you must login using another method and reset the pin. Also note that if you enable biometric login (face recognition or fingerprint), creating a PIN is mandatory. Why so? Because, for whatever reason if biometric does not work, you need an equally secure alternative to login (login / password is less secure).  That is why you also need to set up a PIN. These new methods of secure login are called Windows Hello.

In short, if you have a choice, always use PIN (and biometric) instead of username and password with Windows 10.

Windows Pin entry button

PowerPoint Editing Magic: zoom in + zoom out view

Small little feature, but extremely useful if you edit lot of complex PowerPoint slides. Make sure you are editing a single slide.  Adjust zoom to make sure that you can see the whole slide. The PowerPoint Editing Magic button is in the View tab – New Window. This creates two windows for the currently open presentation. Move between these windows using View tab – Switch windows. It will show you the same slide in both windows.

PowerPoint Editing Magic - New window option in View tab

In one of the windows, zoom in to the slide so that you can see it in more detail. Edit whatever you want to and then go to the other window. (Alt – Tab also works). Here you can see the same slide at regular size. This eliminates repetitive zoom in and out activity and helps you get the desired results faster.

PowerPoint Editing Magic - window showing zoomed-in , detailed graphic        PowerPoint Editing Magic - zoomed out full slide shown in the other window

The same concept of new window can also be used when you are editing a layout or slide master and want to see the results instantly.

Trainers: Make blinking cursor thicker

Quick but useful stuff for people like me who are teaching others how to use various type of software applications more efficiently. There are many techniques available. Here is another one – make the blinking cursor thicker.

How to make blinking cursor thicker in Windows 10

 image     image       SNAGHTML552eca1

I find the thickness value of 3 perfect while conducting demos or teaching.

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Now the cursor position is more easily noticed by the audience.

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Choose the mouse option above to see how the mouse cursor can also be made bigger.

Read my article series (9 posts) about how to deliver high-impact training and demos.