All posts by Gayle

Delete Personal Content from Public Computers

Remove Personal Email Accounts and OneDrive Files from Public Computers

When it comes to computer security, ignorance is not bliss. Have you used a computer outside of your normal environment and not realized that you have to delete personal content from public computers?

Picture this scenario…

You made a trip to the library or took a class at the local college and logged in with one provided by them. That was well and good but you wanted to take advantage of all the great features of Windows 10 and online apps which are not available or are limited unless you used a Microsoft login. You discovered to your delight you could add a Microsoft approved email account in Account Settings, and take advantage of accessing web email and calendar events, along with sharing and messaging features. You added the account and happily made short work of all your projects using the Calendar and Mail app tiles and sharing amazing finds on the web.

Eventually, you look at the time and realize you must jet out of there. Closing all open applications, you log off, or even better, shut down the computer, and scurry off to dinner feeling quite proud of your accomplishments. You have a pleasant day or two and return to the institution and sit down at the same computer and again use their login. You click the Start button and see the live tiles rolling…Screech! Wait a minute, that looks like my emails and appointments…what the heck!

Shock at personal files still on public computer`

End of scenario…

That was my reaction the first time I saw it! After a lot of heart-pounding and testing, was able to delete the online email and shared event content but then discovered (the next day) that all my synced OneDrive files were still available to anyone who logged into that public computer! This is separate issue from the connection for online apps but, thankfully, there is a way to remove those files so they are drop-kicked from the file directory.

Delete Personal Content from Public Computers

Since the email and calendar entries can be accessed without displaying and syching  the OneDrive files and vice versa, we’ll cover them separately.

Remove Personal Email and Calendar Entries

Here are the steps to abolish those messages, calendar entries and shared web content:

  • Click Start and then click on the Settings icon.

Settings gear on Start Screen

  • Click on the Accounts icon:
  • Look for Email, calendar and contacts.
  • Then, scroll down until you see Accounts used by other apps

Email, calendar and contacts dialog box

  • Under Accounts used by other apps section, click on your Microsoft email address.

Accounts used by other apps dialog box

  • After clicking on your email address, you should see these two buttons displayed:
  • Click Remove. The account will instantly remove.
  • If you get another message displaying “Remove account from this device?” click yes/confirm. *
  • Look under “Add an Account.” If your email address remains, click on your email address.

Email account displayed under Add a Microsoft account

  • Click the Manage button
  • Choose Delete Account

Account Settings dialog box

  • If you get the “Remove account from this device?” click yes/confirm. *
  • Do a Restart and login with the same login you used originally.
  • Click on the Mail App in Start Menu and ensure that it doesn’t display the emails or email address in the Mail window.
  • Click on the Calendar App in Start Menu and ensure your personal appointments are deleted.

* Don’t let this scare you. Your content is only being removed from that particular computer. It still exists in all your own devices.

Remove OneDrive Files from Public Computer

I want to delete all the synched files from OneDrive in File Explorer but ensure they remain in the cloud-based storage. Microsoft OneDrive allows you to selectively sync files and folders at the device level so you can store files in OneDrive online without keeping them on each of your personal devices.

Steps to remove the shared files and folders from the computer:

  • On the right side of the taskbar, right-click the cloud-shaped OneDrive
    icon.
  • Click Settings. (if you have a full taskbar, you may have to select the arrow for Show hidden icons to see the OneDrive icon).

OneDrive Settings menu

  • Click the Account tab.

OneDrive Account tab

  • Select Choose folders button to display the customizable list.

Remove OneDrive files from public computer

  • Clear the check boxes for any folders you don’t need offline. *
  • Click OK.
  • Click on File Explorer and ensure that OneDrive has no entries.

* Those folders won’t show up in File Explorer anymore, but they’ll still be online at OneDrive.com.

Note: Please keep in mind that screens might be slightly different depending on the version or update you have of Windows and/or Office.

Has this worked for you? Let me know in the Comments below!

PowerPoint Designer Works with Pictures and Charts

PowerPoint Design Ideas in Designer works with pictures and charts and is built into PowerPoint 365. Have the Design Ideas suggestions give you options for arranging text, photos, or other graphics along with any included text automatically for stunning slides!

Note: Requires Office 365 subscription. (For PowerPoint Online, PowerPoint Designer is available to subscribers when they are using files stored in SharePoint Online.)

PowerPoint Designer works with pictures and charts

PowerPoint Design Ideas for Pictures or Charts

PowerPoint Designer automatically suggests options for you when you’re online and you add a picture or chart to your PowerPoint presentation.

  • Click the slide to which you want to add a picture, chart or any type of graphic
  • Click Insert tab and choose Pictures, Chart or another graphic
  • The first time you use Designer, a message will appear asking your permission to get design ideas for you. If you want to use Designer, select Turn on.

Turn on Intelligent Services for Design Ideas

Once you’ve turned on intelligent services, PowerPoint will automatically show you design ideas when you upload photographic content.

Add Photo to Cover Slide

Designer will work on any slide layout. For instance, add a photo of your own or from the web to your Title slide.

Designer opens a task pane for you with suggestions. Click a thumbnail to apply that design idea to your slide:

Title Slide Designer Design Ideas

Previous two graphics from Microsoft.

Tip:   You can open Designer any time by going to Design tab, Design Ideas in Designer group.

Combine Text and Graphics with PowerPoint Design Ideas

If you just have steps in bullets or numbering and want to insert or rearrange an existing graphic, Designer comes to the rescue here too.

Inserting a Picture:

  • Click anywhere on the desired slide
  • Click Insert tab and make your choice of graphic type from the Illustrations group
  • Insert the graphic
  • Designer will display the visual options on right
  • Scroll down and click the thumbnails to preview

Insert graphic directly over slide text

  • Choose one and make that eye-appealing (and mouth-watering) slide!

Design Ideas to combine text and graphics

Big disclaimer here…Don’t try this recipe at home or anywhere else – for design demo purposes only. I’m guessing – not edible!

A Real Tip: You can add more than one photo to a slide and the Designer will automatically adjust the options to reflect the new addition(s).

Add Design to Existing Graphic Slide

You’ve inserted a picture with no text on a new Title and Content Layout slide, and want to see what Designer would do with it:

  • Click on the picture
  • If Design Ideas does not display, click Design tab and choose from end of Ribbon*
  • Design ideas displayed will depend on your slide layout. (Experiment with different slide layouts by right clicking over the slide thumbnail in the Navigator at left, and Designer will auto-adjust to new layout)
  • You can choose a design that adds text or one that is just the best arrangement for your picture

Design Ideas for existing slide pictures

*If you are using the Designer regularly, add it to the QAT: Right click over its icon on the Ribbon and choose Add to Quick Access toolbar. It will now be available with one click whenever needed.

Note: When inserting pictures from online or any source not your own, always ensure that it is copyright-free. To use, you may have to seek permission and/or give credit to the owner of the content. However, there are many sources that are in the public domain and/or are license-free and safe to use, such as Creative Commons License Zero (CC0); emphasis on the 0.

Install Add-ins to PowerPoint and Word for Free Images

Speaking of free and safe images to use, there are plenty available on a couple of Add-ins. Again, it may depend on what version of Office you are using, but here’s how to install from the Microsoft Store:

  • Inside PowerPoint or Word, click the Office Add-ins icon under Home tab (far right on Ribbon)
  • In the Search, type Pickit to display it for download
  • Download and follow the instructions on the pop-up
  • Do the same steps again but in Search, type Pexels

You now have access to free images from both apps in both programs. How cool is that! One odd thing to note…Pickit gets installed at the end of the Home tab, and Pexels gets installed under the Insert tab in both programs. A head-scratcher but they’re free so we don’t criticize! To use either, just click on their icon which will display a task pane to the right; type in a category or specific item you are looking for and let the images flow. You may find some videos as well!

Auto Arrange Chart and Text on a Slide

Designer is versatile and can make a spiffy chart slide (from Excel) in no time too…

  • I created a new Title and Content slide
  • Typed the Title text and the line of text in the Content area
  • Clicked Insert tab, Chart (column). You could also click on the Chart icon in the slide
  • After you choose your chart, an Excel worksheet window auto displays with guide content for you to replace
  • As you fill in your data, the chart is being created on your slide. It may look a mess (like this one) but no need to faint as fixable with a click!

Use Insert Chart to add to PowerPoint slide

  • When completed, close the Excel window to return to your PowerPoint
  • Click on chart, if needed, and click on your Designer shortcut on the QAT (you added it right?) as it may not automatically display.
  • Choose your favorite look from the options
  • Add a title to chart and done! You could also size the chart and the size and/or move them manually, if desired

Designer's Design Ideas for chart layout

Designer is so amazing. No longer do you spend precious time wrangling with the slide layout to create dazzling presentations, and new features get added monthly to Office so be sure to check them out on a regular basis. It makes us look so smart!

Want to use Designer to convert a bulleted or numbered list to an amazing graphic? Here you go:  http://gaylelarson.com/powerpoint-designer-converts-lists-to-graphics/

Hope you had fun with this. What new things have you discovered in Office 365? Let me know in the Comments below!

Convert Slide Lists to Graphics with PowerPoint Designer

Built into Office 365, is the ability to convert slide lists to graphics with PowerPoint Designer. Make that bulleted or numbered list in into an eye-catching graphic.

Note: Requires Office 365 subscription. (For PowerPoint Online, PowerPoint Designer is available to subscribers when they are using files stored in SharePoint Online.)

Design Ideas with PowerPoint Designer

Jazz Up Bulleted Lists with PowerPoint Designer

Here is my original, boring bulleted slide:

Convert bulleted list to graphic

I want to jazz up my boring bullets and have Designer automatically give me the task pane to choose an image. It will analyze my list and display its best suggestions at the right. This can be any kind of list, whether actual steps or relevant points.

If my bulleted list is obviously steps or a process, Designer will display automatically, but if not, I can manually display design suggestions even if not a process list:

  • Select the bulleted list

Manually display Design Ideas

  • Click Design tab, choose Design Ideas from Designer group

Design Ideas icon on Ribbon

  • Scroll through and click on the suggested Design Ideas in the task pane to insert into slide, such as:

Graphic for bullet steps

Jazz up a Numbered List

I’ll get some different results if it is a numbered rather than bulleted list:

  • Select the list
  • Click the Numbering icon in the Paragraph group, Home tab
  • The Designer will display with different suggestions…

Use Designer with a numbered list

  • No more boring slide – totally rearranged with one mouse click!

PowerPoint Design Ideas for Lists

Play around with these for interesting results. This is fast and easy but the suggestions may be limited and I may want more graphic selections. There’s an app for that, so to speak! Although a little more manual, I can achieve similar results with SmartArt like below…

Convert Bulleted List into Graphic with SmartArt

For more selections:

  • Select the bulleted list
  • Right click over selection, choose Convert to SmartArt from list
  • Roll over available options to see Live Preview. If you want additional selections, click More SmartArt Graphics… at the bottom

Convert PowerPoint list to SmartArt

Preview SmartArt designs for bulleted list

  • (Note you don’t get Live Preview here as the object change shows at right). After inserting your choice, any time you click on that part of the slide, the special tabs and groups for SmartArt will display on the Ribbon so you can edit the design as much as you want.

TIP: Which type of list should I use – bullets or numbering? Use a numbered list if you want order of priority or specific steps. Use the bulleted list for items that don’t need to be in order of process.

Think this is an awesome feature? Well it is, but it gets even better when you add photos, charts or other graphics, and let Designer make those slides sing! You can see them and use them too, with this blog:

Also, a couple of other blog posts that may interest you as they involve SmartArt and graphics with PowerPoint but don’t require Designer:  http://gaylelarson.com/convert-slide-bullets-to-smartart-graphics/; and http://gaylelarson.com/powerpoint-quickstarter-for-research/

Let me know in the Comments below how you are using Designer or other graphic tools to liven up that presentation!

Windows 10 Includes Zip and Unzip (Compress) Function

You no longer need to download or install a third party zipping utility as Windows 10 includes Zip and Unzip, just one of the many features that were not included in previous versions of the operating system.

If you received an email attachment that has been compressed or want to download a program or gallery of pictures from the internet, they will most likely be zipped. Usually no problem getting them to your computer but what to do then?

Windows 10 includes Zip and Unzip

You may have questions depending on the location of the file or program, such as:

  • How do I tell if it is a zipped (compressed) file?
  • Where do I find the file I downloaded?
  • How do I unzip the file I got from  a website or as an email attachment?

Legitimate questions, and if you are not familiar with zipping utilities, the steps can be a mite confusing. Let’s look at some ways to handle receiving or downloading zipped files…

Unzip a Folder or File Downloaded from the Internet

First, you can always spot a compressed file as the folder will have a zipper on the front of it.         Windows Zipped Folder

As for location, if you have downloaded a compressed file or folder from the Web, it will automatically be in your Downloads folder – Fortunately, very easy to access in Windows 10. The download could be a program or one large file or a folder containing many pictures or documents, so will refer to all as “file” in the steps below for unzipping them.

For some reason, Microsoft changed the names of some of the Windows folders (to keep us on our toes) so will include what they were called in previous Windows in case that has caused some angst:

  • Click on File Explorer icon on the Taskbar (automatically added as a default icon when the operating system was installed). Previous versions were called Windows Explorer.
  • Scroll up to the Quick Access area and click on the Downloads folder (also auto added on install). Quick Access was formerly called Favorites
  • If you did this immediately after the download, it will be highlighted in the list. Looking later, you can sort by any column by clicking its heading, once for Ascending and again for Descending; (will toggle back and forth with each click).
  • Click once on desired file and note the Ribbon will change to reflect it is a compressed file. (If Ribbon does not display, right click on word “Extract” at top, and click Minimize the Ribbon to remove the checkmark and display it).

Windows 10 includes Zip and Unzip

  • On the Ribbon, click the word Extract which will display an Extract All icon: *

Extract All icon in File Explorer

TIP: You can also right click over the zipped file and choose Extract All. Double-clicking the file will also bring you to this screen.

  • This displays a dialog box so you can choose where you want to save the file once unzipped:

Extract zipped folders dialog box

  • The folder noted will be the Downloads folder so you want to click the Browse… button
  • Select the destination folder to extract to but if a main location like Desktop, you need to select an existing folder there or create a new folder or subfolder:

  • Click the Select Folder button at bottom. The dialog box displays confirming your selection.
  • Click Extract button:

  • That folder will open and your file | folder will be listed. Double click to open and use to your heart’s content!

Looks like a lot of steps but really is not. You will “zip” right through them!

Unzip an Email Attachment

The process is going to be the same once you get to the unzipping part but how you get there will depend on how your email program handles attachments. Here’s how the most popular ones behave:

  • Outlook.com or Hotmail.com Click the zipped file icon at the top of the email to immediately download or click Download or Save to OneDrive link to start the process. OneDrive, formerly SkyDrive, is Microsoft’s cloud storage and you get 15GB free. If you chose Download, the folder will display at bottom of screen. Click to Open or Show in Folder. Open will bring you directly to screen with Extract All on Ribbon and you can choose where to save it. Show in Folder takes you to the Download folder.
  • Outlook on Desktop (Office): Zipped icon gives you choices to Preview, Open or several Save options. If you open or double click the file, you get this warning, and if you click Open again, you will arrive at that same Extract All screen.

Opening Mail Attachment dialog box in Outlook

  • GmailPlaces the attachment at the bottom of the email with choice to Download or Save to Drive (Google Drive). If you select the Drive option, you can click Organize (or the Learn More… prompt that displays at the top of the Inbox). You also get 15GB free storage here.

GMail download link

Tip: If you are unzipping photos or videos or documents you want access to from anywhere with internet access, then saving to cloud storage is the way to go, especially since it is free! Besides OneDrive and Google Drive, another popular option is Dropbox, so you can spread the files around if you get close to capacity in any one.

Where Do I Find the Original Zipped Files?

Your downloaded files stay in the Downloads folder unless you delete them, so you can extract them as many times as you want. Very handy if previously extracted files get lost, corrupted or altered.

As Windows 10 includes Zip and Unzip utility, it saves having to download any separate programs – one less thing to do or deal with is always a good thing, I say!

We’ll discuss ways to zip your own content to share with others in another post.

If you want to see other nifty features that are built into Windows 10 such as Virtual Desktops that allow you create multiple desktops, visit this blog:  http://gaylelarson.com/create-virtual-desktops-in-windows-10/

Do you save most of your unzipped files to your computer drives, the internet or both? Let me know in the Comments below.

Use Pick Up Style in PowerPoint to Repeat Object Formatting

What is the Pick Up Style?

The Pick Up Style feature allows you to copy formatting of an object including its text to another object, similar to a color picker.

You can use the keyboard shortcuts or add the Pick Up Style and Apply Style icons to the Quick Access toolbar. We’ll look at both.

The shortcuts are the Copy/Paste ones with the SHIFT key added so that only the style and formatting are copied:

  • Pick Up Style: CTRL+SHIFT+C
  • Apply Style: CTRL+SHIFT+V

If you are not a keyboard shortcut fan, just add the icons to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) as follows…

Add Pick Up Style to Quick Access Toolbar

The QAT as it is fondly known, is a super tool included in all Office applications for quick access to your most used commands. There are several ways to access its Customize screen to add and remove commands.  We’ll add the Pick Up Style and the Apply Style icons:

  • Right click on the Ribbon or the QAT and choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar, (or click the dropdown arrow at the end of the QAT, and choose More Commands)
  • In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, change the Popular Commands option to All Commands. (You could also choose Commands Not in The Ribbon in this instance, but always choosing the former will save you time and aggravation down the road)

PowerPoint Quick Access toolbar dialog box

  • Scroll down in left pane and click Pick Up Style
  • Click Add to display It at the bottom of the QAT. (If you want it to display in a specific location on the QAT, click the command above that location in the right pane before choosing Add)

PowerPoint Options Pick Up Style command

  • Click Apply Style in left pane (ensure Pick Up Style is selected in right pane)
  • Click Add
  • You can use the arrow boxes to move the commands up or down in the list, if needed
  • Click OK to return to your presentation

     

    You now have these two icons on the QAT. Note that the Pick Up Style has the Up arrow and the Apply Style has the down arrow:

PowerPoint Pick Up Style and Apply Style icons

Apply Style to Object(s)

We’ll use Shapes here for an easy example of how efficient these tools are:

  • Click Insert tab, and in the Illustrations group, click dropdown arrow on Shapes
  • Draw any shape on the slide (see example below)
  • Format the shape and type and format text
  • Draw another shape and add text to it

PowerPoint Shapes inserted before Pick Up Style

  • Select Shape 1 and click Pick Up Style icon on QAT (or press CTRL+SHIFT+C)
  • Select Shape 2 and click Apply Style icon (or press CTRL+SHIFT+V)

PowerPoint Shapes formatted with Apply Styles

Your shapes are now matched in color and text formatting!

NOTE: You can also use the Format Painter to copy and paste formatting but the actions have to be in succession (like using F4 to repeat last action), whereas the Pick Up Style is remembered even if Apply Style is used later, so you can continue to apply to multiple objects while working in the presentation.

TIP: If the QAT gets too cluttered, remove any command with a right click over desired icon; choose Remove from QAT

I hope this tool makes creating presentations faster and more enjoyable for you. Want more automatic formatting features in PowerPoint? Have a look at this blog:  http://gaylelarson.com/convert-slide-bullets-to-smartart-graphics/

Let me know the features you use to speed up your presentation masterpieces in the Comments below!

Using Range Names in Formulas

Have Excel Automatically Create Range Names

A quick way to create range names is to base them on heading cell text (worksheet labels). In the example shown below, the cells representing quarterly sales for all regions will be named based on the labels in columns B through E.

NOTE:  If the labels contains spaces, those are replaced with an underscore. Other invalid characters, such as & and # will be removed, or replaced by an underscore character.

Excel worksheet with column and row labels

Name Cells or Ranges Based on Worksheet Labels:

  • Select the cells that you want to name, including the labels. These can be above, below, left or right of the cells to be named. Here, we are having Excel name the four quarter labels all at once by selecting B4:E8

Selected cells with column labels for naming ranges

  • Click the Formulas tab on the Ribbon, then Create from Selection in the Defined
    Names group.

Create names from selection

  • Excel will automatically place a check mark for the location of the labels; assumes you want to use the first cell as the name (in this case Top Row of the selection).
  • Click OK to add the range names to the Name box and the Name Manager.

Name box with range names

  • Click the dropdown arrow on the Name box to see your new range names. Just click one to highlight the included cells (Quarter1 would highlight B5:B8 as B4 is the label and not included in the range).

    NOTE
    : If there are spaces in the labels, they are replaced with an underscore. Quarter 1 would become Quarter_1.

Auto apply range names for the row headers by selecting the text in Column A through the numbers in Row 8 – A5:E8 (don’t include totals):

Cells selected with row labels

Repeat Steps 2, 3 and 4. Note that the check box is now Left row. Click OK.

Display range names from the Name Box:

Name box with alpha range names list

Notice that Excel alphabetizes the list no matter what the order of creation.

Before we put those names into action, we probably will want to know totals for all the eastern regions and all the western ranges at some point, so we’ll create range names for them. Also, we’ll abbreviate the individual regional names so they are much easier to use in our formulas:

Regional Annual Quarterly Sales sheet

Since we are naming the range, we only select the numerical cells:

  • Select B5:E6 (all quarterly sales for the two eastern regions)
  • Click in the Name box and type East
  • Press ENTER

Do the same for both the western regions:

  • Select B7:E8
  • Click in Name box and type West
  • Press ENTER

East and West names are added to the Name box list and the Name Manager.

Now, add a section below your existing data to capture total and average sales for the two regions:

Spreadsheet with Total and Average Sales area

We could call it done and begin using the created names in formulas but the regional names are too long, so for efficiency, let’s change them to just two letters.

Change a Named Range

After you create a named range, you might need to adjust the referred to cell references or, in our case, abbreviate the name to make it easier to use in a formula. Here’s the steps:

  • Click the Formulas tab, and in the Defined Names group, Click Name Manager icon
  • Click on the name that you want to change In the list (in this case Northeast)

Name Manager dialog box

  • Click the Edit… button or double click the name to display Edit dialog box
  • The name field shows the name highlighted
  • Type NE in the box to replace it
  • Click OK

Edit Name dialog box

  1. You can now choose the other three long regional names and replace with NW, SE and SW using Steps 3 through 6
  2. When completed, click the Close button in the Name Manager

Now we’re ready to rock and roll using them in our formulas!

Use Excel Names in Formulas

The real fun begins! We saw in earlier posts how to use range names for navigation or selection – very handy but here’s the real power. We want to find the totals for eastern and western regions for the four quarters. Because we made separate range names for the east and west regions, we can create formulas for the northern or southern regions and/or east and west like this:

  • In B13, type: =sum(ne,se) ENTER   (Range names are not case sensitive so can be typed lower case and Excel will convert)

Formula for Total Sales East Coast

Note: Another advantage of range names is that they are added to the auto display list along with function formula names and you don’t have to remember any cell references!

Next, we’ll simplify even more using the east/west names:

  • In B14, type: =sum(east) ENTER

Presto! There’s the total for the Northeast and Southeast regions.

For the average section, formulas are the same, changing the function:

  • In B17, type: =average(east) ENTER (or you could type: =average(ne,se) ENTER
  • In B18, rinse and repeat with (west) for final results!

Total and Average Sales results cells

TIP: If you need to change the cell references for a range name, open the Name Manager; select the name, and edit the contents of the Refers To box, or highlight the new range on the worksheet with the mouse, and Excel will edit for you. Click the check mark to save the change and close the Name Manager. No need to retype anything.

Your names can be created from references on one worksheet and the formulas used on another because their scope is available across the workbook. I’m pretty smitten with named ranges myself. What do you think? Do you see lots of uses for using this feature? Let me know in the Comments. Thanks!

For more information on Range Names, see:  http://gaylelarson.com/quick-navigation-excel-worksheet/ and http://gaylelarson.com/excel-name-box-for-navigation/

 

Use Excel Name Box for Navigation and Selection

In a previous post we covered navigating in Excel using the Name Box by typing a cell reference or a name for a cell or range of cells in the box or using the Go To dialog box (see link below).

compass for navigating your worksheet

When you name cells, they are called Range Names and become much more powerful, or at least more convenient, compared to using cell references.

Name Box for Navigation

The box reflects the current, active cell but does so much more. Although it looks separate, it is really part of the Formula Bar, so if you hide the Formula Bar, it disappears also.

The Excel Name Box

A quick recap on accessing the Name Box. There is no keyboard shortcut for landing there but you can press F5 function key to display the Go To… Dialog box and type in a cell reference in the Reference box; press ENTER or click OK, to go directly to that cell.

The Go To Dialog Box

Name Box for Selection of  Cell Ranges

Selecting huge ranges of data can be frustrating but if you know the cell references for the desired selection, the Name Box is the way to go. Just type in the range (or as close to it as you remember), i.e., a150:r8765, press ENTER, and that entire range is highlighted.

Tip: If you forgot column(s) or row(s) or included too many, just use SHFT and arrow keys to add or remove them. (Beats re-selecting two or three times).

Create Range Names in Name Box

The real power of the Name Box is to use it to create a name or ID for an often-used cell or range of cells, such as Commission or Regions, etc. You can create names that refer to cells, formulas, or a specific value.

The names can then be used for quick navigation or in a formula instead of cell references. You can create as many named ranges as desired and they are accessible from any worksheet in that workbook.

Steps to create range names:

  • Select the cell(s) that you want to name
  • Click in the Name box
  • Type a name for the cells (descriptive but short). There are some rules for range names:
    • Must start with a letter or an underscore
    • No spaces (can use an underscore to represent a space) *
    • Name may contain letters and numbers and periods but nothing that could be mistaken as a cell reference (examples: C, 2, R7C4)
    • Not case sensitive
    • Is ABSOLUTE cell referencing by default
    • Press ENTER after naming you range

 * Examples of naming a range could be: TotalSales or Total_Sales

Range Name example

Note: If there is a formula in that cell, it displays in the Formula Bar and the applied name in the Name Box.

I can now be anywhere in my workbook and return to that range with a click on the dropdown arrow in the Name box:

Name box with cell name

Now I don’t need to know the cell reference or even where it is located and can use that name in a formula, either for part of the formula or with other range names. For instance, if I had a commission rate in F8 and had named that cell, my formula would be: =TotalSales*Commission from any cell in my workbook. How sweet is that!

Name Box Limitations

There are several ways to create named ranges but the Name Box is the quickest. Be aware though that you can only create range names here, you cannot edit or delete them. That must be done from the Formulas tab on the Ribbon. You can also have Excel create range names for you using existing row and column labels to name them (covered later).

See original post for ways to navigate your worksheet:   http://gaylelarson.com/quick-navigation-excel-worksheet/

See the blog on Using Range Names in Formulas for more ways to use this great feature!  http://gaylelarson.com/use-range-names-in-formulas/

Are you liking this handy Name Box? Let me know in the Comments below!

Use PowerPoint QuickStarter to Research a Topic

PowerPoint QuickStarter template builds an outline based on your requested subject and the slides you select to help you get started researching that subject.

Note: QuickStarter is only available in Office 365 (subscription) PowerPoint.

Bike racers represent PowerPoint Quickstarter

Create QuickStarter Template

To create an outline with QuickStarter template:

  • In PowerPoint 2016, select File > New. Then select the QuickStarter template:

QuickStarter Template

  • If you haven’t already turned on Office Intelligent Services, a dialog box displays asking you to do so. (Intelligent Services needs to be turned on to use QuickStarter).

Intelligent Services dialog box

  • Specify a subject to search on, or choose from a popular subject shown at the bottom of the dialog box.

QuickStarter Search options

I typed “Create a Marketing Report” in the Search box and then clicked on Social media marketing tile:

QuickStarter suggested categories

QuickStarter then gathers information and presents you with a list of subjects related to your search topic.

Note: If you see inappropriate content, move your mouse pointer over it, click the more (…) command in the upper right corner of the icon, and select Report inappropriate topic.



I like all the content for my Social Media topic, so left all slides selected.

Create Your Presentation with QuickStarter

Steps to complete the presentation from the template:

  1. All the subjects may be selected by default but you can just select the boxes for topics you want to include in the outline that QuickStarter will assemble for you.
  2. Click Next to confirm the list of subjects you’ve selected to include in the outline. (Each topic you selected becomes a slide in the outline.)
  3. Choose a design for the slides in the presentation, and then click Create. (Don’t worry about the lack of selection here, you can change the look later).


  1. PowerPoint 2016 puts together your outline presentation and opens it for you.
  2. Look over the outline and start doing your research. Use the key facts (on slide 1) and related topics (slide 2) for ideas as you research and write about your topic. (Also, there may be additional information, such as a Summary, in the Notes below the slide).


Note: There may or may not be pictures on your slides, depending on the subject you chose. You can add, remove or change any of these.

The QuickStarter outline includes:

  • Two slides of information gathered from online sources:
    • The first slide lists key facts on the slide and in the Notes pane below the slide.
    • The second slide lists related topics for you to research. (These two slides are just for you, so they are hidden from view when you present your slide show to others.)
  • A title slide.
  • A table of contents, based on selections you made.
  • A slide for each subject, sometimes with additional suggested points in the Notes below the slide.
  • A concluding slide, “Works Cited,” where you list the sources of information you used for research.

Any Images included in the outline are public domain or licensed under Creative Commons.

Research Information Online with Smart Lookup

The first slide in the presentation is, “Here’s your outline.” It includes a summary about the topic, and usually includes dates and other kinds of useful information. Any paragraph on the slide that displays an ellipsis (…) is repeated in full in the slide Notes below.

The Outline is a great guide but you’ll want to fill in the holes in your subject details. The second slide in the presentation is “Related topics.” which lists terms you can use for research. Smart Lookup returns definitions and search results from Wikipedia and related websites.

Use the Smart Lookup feature to expand on related topics from Slide 2:

  • In Slide 2, right click a word or phrase you want to research.
  • Click on Smart Lookup to display search results in a task pane to right of your slide.


  • Insert any desired information.

Other slides in the presentation are suggested topics (based on the subjects you chose originally). Some slides may include “Consider talking about” points in the Notes pane on that slide.

Designer Feature for Design Ideas

To add variety to the look and feel of your presentation, open Design Ideas by going to Design tab, Designer group and click Design Ideas.


Click on a slide to display different design layouts for the text and images on that slide.

You can also use all the normal design features available in all presentations.

Celebrate your masterpiece!

No excuse anymore for not having a stunning presentation with captivating data. If you use PowerPoint at all, this feature alone is worth switching or upgrading to Office 365.

What do you think about this new feature? Let me know in the Comments below.


Insert a Watermark on Selected Pages in Word

A Watermark is inserted on all pages by default but sometimes you want it only on selected pages or only on one page. The steps below will accomplish both these tasks. For steps to display a text or image watermark on all pages, see the link to a previous blog for watermarks below.

Example of transparent Word Watermark

Add a Watermark Only to Selected Pages

By default, Word documents are all in the same section (Section 1), regardless of the number of pages you create. This applies the same page layout, margins etc., across the board. If you want different headers or footers, margins or layout for one or more of the pages, the trick is to create section break(s)

Add a watermark only to particular pages by creating a section break. You can then apply a watermark only to that section. Sections are linked by default so you need to unlink them, before inserting the watermark or sections will automatically copy each other.

Place the cursor on the page (after the section break) where you want the watermark to appear:*

  • On the Design tab, in the Page Background group, choose Watermark

Insert Watermark from Word Ribbon

  • Select a watermark from the displayed gallery or create a custom watermark (covered in previous blog, link below).

Add a Section Break

There are several choices when creating a section break but they are all located in the same drop down list:

  • Click the Layout tab, and in the Page Setup group, choose Breaks.
  • Choose the type of section break you want:

Word Section Break Options from Micosoft

If you are not familiar with the details of section breaks, they can vary with the different versions of Word. See this Microsoft web page for excellent steps for each:  Microsoft support for section breaks in Word

Add a watermark to a single page

You can add an image or a text watermark such as Confidential to a single page in a document:

  • Place your cursor on the page that needs the watermark.
  • On the Design tab, in the Page Background group, choose Watermark.
  • Right-click on any watermark in the watermark gallery and choose, Insert at current document position.

The selected watermark is inserted only on a single page.

Remove a Watermark

  • Click on the Watermark icon (Design tab | Page Background group).
  • Click Remove Background.

It is done!

NOTE:  If you are in the Watermark dialog box, you can remove the watermark by clicking in No Watermark at the top.

For the basics of inserting custom watermarks, see this previous post:  http://gaylelarson.com/insert-watermark-in-word/

Insert a Watermark in Word

What is a Watermark?

A Watermark is text or a picture placed behind the content in your document as a faded background. You can add a text watermark, such as Draft or Confidential or Do Not Copy to your document (these are already included in the Watermark Gallery), or you can create your own custom watermark, such as “Property of…”, etc., or insert a picture or company logo for your document.

Not only is this a great way to protect your intellectual property, it is also a good way to “brand” the document with your company logo or any desired text or graphic.

Example of Watermark (Washout) in Word Document

Add a Text Watermark from the Gallery

In the beginning, the steps are the same whether adding text or graphic:

  • On the Design tab, in the Page Background group, choose Watermark

Ribbon Page Background group for Word Watermark

  • The dialog box will display with built-in text options:

Built-in Word Watermark Text Gallery

  • Choose one of the built-in watermarks in the displayed gallery or add one of your own by clicking Custom Watermark… (see below for steps).

Word automatically applies the watermark to every page (except a designated cover page).

Add a Custom Text Watermark

  1. Click the Design tab, Page Background group, Watermark.
  2. Choose Custom Watermark.
  3. Select Text watermark and the options will change to allow you to type your custom text, choose the font, size and color, and if you want it displayed diagonally or horizontally. (Tip: Leave the size on Auto as Word will adjust to appropriate size for page).
  4. Semi-transparent should be auto selected but if not, check it.

Custom Text Watermark dialog box

Add a Picture Watermark

  • Click the Design tab, Page Background group, Watermark.
  • Choose Custom Watermark.
  • Select Picture watermark, and then choose Select Picture.

Picture Watermark dialog box

  • Select the picture that you want, and then choose Insert. (Note the options to search for an image online or use an existing image from your storage sources).

Insert Picture Options for Word Watermarks

  • The Washout box should be checked automatically but, if not, click it to lighten the picture so that it doesn’t interfere with your document content.
  • You are back in the dialog box where you can choose Apply to see what it looks like on the page and make changes, if needed. Note the Scale box that is set to Auto. If you want to increase or decrease the size of your graphic, choose from the 0% to 500% options in the drop down list.
  • When satisfied, click OK and Print Preview your document to see it WYSIWYG (Geek speak for: What you see is what you get).

NOTE: You can turn any picture, clip art, or a photo into a watermark that you can use to brand a document.

Remove a Watermark

This one is simple pie:

  • Click on the Watermark icon (Design | Page Background).
  • Click Remove Background.

Done…Don’t we wish all of life were this easy!

NOTE:  If you are in the Watermark dialog box, you can remove the watermark by clicking in No Watermark at the top.

Want to add a watermark to selected pages only or to a single page? This is a little more complex and we’ll cover that  here: http://gaylelarson.com/insert-a-watermark-in-word-part-2/

What watermarks have or will you use? Let me know in the Comments below. Thanks for reading!