All posts by Dr Nitin Paranjape

PPT: How to make a plane fly using Motion Path

Just finished a one-week tour of New Zealand. Covered 20 customers and 1100+ users. During the session for Air New Zealand, I promised them that I will write a blog about how to make a plane fly using two simple yet powerful PowerPoint features: Remove Background and Motion Path. Watch the video. I have also put detailed instructions below.

Continue reading PPT: How to make a plane fly using Motion Path

Word Templates and Building Blocks

Word provides two features for reusing the effort you have put in creating content. Word Templates are useful for creating an entire document from an existing one. Building blocks are useful for reusing parts of the document like common text, custom tables, headers, footers, textboxes, etc.

In this article we will see how to save a document as a template. It is very simple really – Choose File – Save As and select Word Template (.DOTX) option.

Continue reading Word Templates and Building Blocks

How to calculate YOY growth in Excel Pivot Table

Estimated reading time 3 min. Works with ALL versions of Excel.
The data is a list of sales transactions, two columns – amount and date.
We have 5000 transactions over many years. We want to know how the business grew year on year. Here are the steps…

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Continue reading How to calculate YOY growth in Excel Pivot Table

Legal: How to manage 6 min billing in Outlook Calendar

Here is something I learnt yesterday at Wellington. I was conducting a session on Outlook for a team of EA and PAs for Government of NZ. I showed them the Outlook calendar can be managed at different levels of detail starting from 1 hour down to 5 minutes. Just right click on the time display in the daily or weekly view to change the setting.

6 minutes time slot in Outlook calendar

You will notice that there is a 6 minute option available there. Like most of us, I had never understood why would anyone want a 6 minute time slot. But then one of the participants enlightened me! Legal professionals always manage billing in 6 minute increments so that they can have 10 convenient slots per hour. I learnt something new.

This happens all the time. The more you teach, more you will learn!

If you think that a particular feature is useless – think again. This incident teaches you that every feature is designed with a purpose in mind. Discovering that purpose is called learning.

Want to learn more about effective email and time management?  Check out my Outlook Knowledge Pack (50+ articles).


Helping NZ customers with O365 consumption

I am back at my favorite place – New Zealand. This week, I will conduct sessions for over 20 customers across Wellington and Auckland. New Zealand has always been the first mover for Office technologies. Majority of customers have great infrastructure and the latest tools. I am here to coach them how to increase O365 consumption.

Office 365 Consumption New Zealand customers

The focus of my sessions is, of course, to maximize the benefits and ROI from the Office 365 investments which the customers have already made. Procurement and deployment is an easy and one-time activity. However, educating large number of users in understanding and applying these new tools and features is a daunting task. I help in this context in two ways: Firstly, I conduct large format sessions, typically in an Auditorium to generate excitement and word-of-mouth awareness creation about the power of Office. Secondly, with specific customers, I work with their IT team, HR and Corporate Communication to create a strategy for internal marketing and sustained efficiency gains. Here are some of the customers I will be covering.

O365 consumption: Quick Demo

The image above was created in 40 seconds after inserting the logos in the slide. Find out how by reading this article:
Marketing: How to create “Our Customers” Slide in seconds

Excel: How to copy only Visible Cells

This is a frequent frustration. You copy some data which contains hidden rows and columns. You blindly assume only the visible cells will be pasted.  But when you paste it, even the hidden cells appear. This is non-intuitive and disturbing. Fortunately, there is an easy solution available.  Read on to find out how (Estimated reading time 3 min)


Continue reading Excel: How to copy only Visible Cells

How to create a regular Pivot Table from Power Pivot Data Model

Power Pivot Data Model adds database like features to Excel. Power Pivot allows you to handle millions of rows of data, from multiple data sources and lightening fast analysis. It also eliminates the need for using VLOOKUP function for decoding codes into descriptions.

Power Pivot does NOT provide Grouping, Calculated Columns and Calculated Fields features. These need to be managed using related tables and DAX formulas. This can be a limitation in some cases – especially when you are new to Power Pivot.

In some cases, you want best of both worlds. The database consolidation, relationships and performance of data model. But at the same time, you also want the features of Pivot Tables which you are used to for so many years.

The good news is that you can do it quite easily. Here is how (requires Excel 2010 & higher).

Create Pivot Table from Power Pivot Data Model

  1. Create the data model as required.
  2. Now go to the Excel workbook and choose Insert – Pivot Table.
  3. Please note that there is no data in the Excel sheet.
  4. Now, from the dialog, choose the checkbox Choose this workbook’s data model
  5. A regular pivot table is now created.
  6. All the expected features are now available.
  7. That’s It. Enjoy.

Create Pivot Table from Power Pivot Data Model

How to open Outlook

Yes. You read it right. Don’t just open Outlook. Do it smartly. Usually, we need three windows open: Tasks, Calendar and Inbox. By default, it will open the Inbox. No worries. Just right click on the Calendar and Tasks icons and choose Open in New Window.

Now onwards, we can chose the desired window easily. The best part is, even if you close and re-open Outlook, it will automatically open those three windows. Simple and Effective. Try it!

Open Outlook Inbox Calendar and Tasks Windows

If you have too many windows open with mails, appointments and tasks and you want to close all of them, choose View tab – Close All Items. All windows, except the core ones (in this case, Inbox, Calendar and Tasks) will close in one quick action.

Close All Items option in Outlook