Office has so many features that there is no place to show all of them on screen. That is why, Microsoft has to use drop-downs and More… buttons. Unfortunately, most of us never even notice these buttons, leave alone clicking on them to find out what more is available. Due to this, thousands of brilliant features are never noticed. Here is the solution: Drop-down Gamification. This concept applies to More buttons and sub-menus as well. The objective is to make this self-discovery of feature gems as much fun as possible.
Continue reading Drop-down Gamification
MRU is a list of Most Recently Used files. We see that list in File – Open –Recent documents. As you know, this list shows the latest documents opened by you. Documents opened earlier move down in the list and eventually get removed when more files are opened. However, Office allows you to explicitly remove a particular item from the MRU list. Right click on any item and choose Remove from List.
The question is, why would you want to do that? Anyway the file will get flushed from the list soon. The answer is not so obvious. There are many practical scenarios where this is very useful. I am not going to explain each scenario. Just a list.
- You opened a local file and stored it on OneDrive. Now to files are seen in MRU. I want to remove the local file to avoid editing it accidentally.
- I am presenting to customer X. I also presented to the competitor Y just yesterday. I want to remove files related to customer Y.
- I opened XLS file, saved it as XLSX. This way Compatibility Mode is removed and I can use all the new features. Now, I do not want to accidentally open the XLS file and confuse myself.
- I am editing a complex file. I keep saving versions. When I save the latest version, I want to remove the entry of the older version from MRU to avoid confusion
If you can think of more usage scenarios, do post it as comments.
Here is a quick one. Like Triple Click of mouse, Triple Touch Select Paragraph with Windows and Office. Try it out if you have a touch laptop or device. Works across operating systems. Especially useful on mobile phones because precise selection is very difficult due to small screen size.
Triple Touch Select Paragraph (animated Gif)
Touch at the same place in quick succession. If the touch point moves, it will not work. In the above video, touch is visible.
Usually, you cannot SEE where you touched. If you want to activate that setting, go to Control Panel – Pen and Touch – Touch Tab. Choose the option Show visual feedback when touching the screen. Now it shows a light gray circle whenever touch is recognized by the device. This works only on Windows (not on other devices). Incidentally, “double touch” is a term I am using. The technical term is Double-Tap
If you are teaching people or demonstrating touch based software, you want to show the touch highlight more prominently. That is when you must activate the second option: Optimize visual feedback for projection to an external monitor.
Wait. There is more. The video above shows that if you perform triple touch at three different locations, it will be considered as three separate touches (or clicks). Now the question is, how much near these touches should be to be considered as a double touch or triple touch? Well – here is the answer: YOU can configure it.
Go to the settings button on the first dialog and you will see the option called Spatial Tolerance. How near or far multiple touch points should be to be detected as double or triple click. It is simple yet sophisticated. I like it!
Try it out. Let me know if it is useful. Share this with others.
Just noticed how the same shortcut Ctrl Alt 1 works across products. Even though this sounds like a cumbersome shortcut, it is very useful. Have a look:
Word & OneNote
Ctrl Alt – (see the number in the image)
If you know any other product where this shortcut works. please post it as a comment.
Here is another way to look at using Office. We want to do so many things. But time is always in short supply. There are thousands of methods of saving time – ranging from behavioral changes, getting up early to sophisticated methodologies. But all of them suffer from one problem… the solution itself requires more time! Now consider this. You can Create Time using Office – because you are already spending three to four hours on it on every working day.
The time you spend on Microsoft Office is considered as the part of the game, part of life, mandatory and non-negotiable. Why? Because you have work to do and it requires you to use Office. So you just use it. In the process, you spend half of your work-life using Office. We have never looked at those 4 hours as a source of extra time.
If you know how to use Microsoft Office efficiently, you will save lots of time. It is like CREATING time because it just did not exist for you earlier. It is a reward you get by being more efficient.
One you have extra time, you are smart enough to invest it in whatever you think is important: Work, Family, Sports, Health…
Once you know the approach towards working efficiently, you should invest part of the time CREATED into learning a little more. That way you will continue to create time throughout your life.
Empowering! is it not?
Read the Efficiency Knowledge Pack on more ideas and concepts related to
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.
- 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.
Here is the most efficient and painless method of making sure that Copy Paste always works the way you want it to. Copy, Right click at the destination, Choose the format you want. Use keyboard shortcuts as required. Watch this one minute video to learn this powerful concept.