Remove Formatting from a Word Document

Formatting Frenzy!

Yikes! Did you create or inherit a document that has more font formats and colors than a box of crayons and you want it gone? There’s an app for that, so to speak!

Remove Regular Font Formatting

Microsoft Word, awesome as it is, packs a gaggle of formatting behind the scenes. Often that is not an issue unless you run into a situation where it gets in the way of inserting, exporting or pasting into another document or program.

What you need to do depends on how much you want to get rid of. If you received a file that contains different font styles, sizes and colors, etc., and you want it instantly reset to the default, just press CTRL + SPACEBAR. Presto! You are all set to start from scratch.

Remove Styles Formatting

Word has built-in styles that make formatting a sophisticated document quick and easy. However, they contain a lot of underlying formatting and CTRL SPACEBAR will not remove Style formatting. Styles live on the Home tab | Styles group and have their own formatting.

To remove Applied Styles within Word:

  • Click the More button at the end of the Styles group (Home tab)

  • Click Clear Formatting command at the bottom of the Style icons

  • Styles are now removed from all selected text.

If your document has a lot of varied formatting including Styles, the best way to ensure it is all stripped is to use a text editor, and get it done all at once.

Use Notepad to Remove ALL Formatting from a Document

The above fixes work great for superficial formatting but If you need to strip all formatting, you need to send the text to a text editor such as Notepad. This is an accessory program built into the Windows operating system (along with some other handy mini-programs such as WordPad, Paint, Calculator, and the popular Snipping Tool). Notepad is available in all versions of Windows, as are most of the other tools.

Steps to strip all formatting:

  1. Select desired text or CTRL A to select entire document
  2. Cut or Copy the selection to the Clipboard
  3. Open the Notepad accessory (just click on Start button and type “notepad” to display it at top of Search. Click it to open the program)
  4. Paste your Clipboard contents into the Notepad window

All formatting for your text is instantly removed. Copy and paste it back into Word and/or you could also save it as a text file.

Your document is now clean and lean and ready to be beautified!

Tip: If you will use this method on a regular basis, pin Notepad to the taskbar. Right click on the Notepad icon and choose Pin to taskbar, and it will stay there until you “unpin” it.

Did you get to try it? Let me know!

Want more information on Word Styles? See my post on streamlining your document with the amazing Styles!

The Excel Camera Tool, Part 2

Create a Dashboard Using Camera Tool

We saw in Part 1 how to add the Camera tool to the Quick Access toolbar and how to use it for capturing linked pictures that automatically update when the source data is changed.

Another great use for the Camera tool is to create dashboards. The pasted objects can be sized proportionately and positioned anywhere on a worksheet. Here’s an example of sales figures and a chart:

Dashboard Example

This can contain as many objects as you choose. Note that the location of the original data is displayed in the Formula Bar.

Arranging as images on a worksheet in a dashboard-like mode is also a great fix for printing all your related information on one page. If you had selected all your original data separately, even from the same worksheet, the Add to Print command would have to be used which would automatically print each addition on a separate page. This way, you can add images, move, size and print at will.

The Camera tool captures everything as an image, including values, color formatting, shapes, even the gridlines. Because it is an image, the Picture Tools | Format tab is displayed on the ribbon so anything you can do to a picture, you can do here, including sizing and rotating. Use the right click menu to quickly perform commands such as Crop:

Moving Original Data

The Formula bar displays the path of the original data and the cell references are absolute by default. This is terrific because if the original data gets moved to another area, your pasted pictures reflect that, and continue to display any updates. Should be automatic but be sure that the workbook name (if different) and worksheet name display as well as cell references. If your workbook and worksheet are named, could look like this:

The Paste Special Option

The Paste Special Linked Picture option is available in Excel versions 2007 and above. If you prefer Paste Special, you can access it from the drop down arrow on the Paste icon in the Clipboard group or by right-clicking over desired destination cell and mousing over the Paste icons:

Paste Special Linked Picture

Tip: If you like keyboard shortcuts, press: ALT-H-V-I to paste a linked image.

Paste Special Linked Picture and Camera Tool Restrictions

Not too many downsides to using the Camera tool but here’s some cautions:

  • Some users say that it does not work with Tables; that the data must be converted to a range, but I have not experienced that with newer versions. The table copies, pastes and updates.
  • If using formulas such as IF function with Camera tool, you must use Named Ranges, rather than cell references to maintain the update connection.

Note: The Copy command in the Clipboard group on the Home tab, contains a Copy as Picture… option. This is handy but know that it pastes an image but not a link. Use when you just want a snapshot of your data.

Grab the post for Part 1 hereCamera Tool Part 1

See – don’t even have to be a photographer! Take some pictures and play with dashboards. What did you create?

Use the Excel Camera Tool to Combine Objects from Several Workbooks

Uses for the Camera Tool

There is a little known spiffy tool that has been available for a long time in Excel which allows you to take screenshots of data from multiple worksheets or workbooks and paste them in a separate workbook as objects with links to their original locations. This can include ranges, tables or charts. Even better, if the original object updates, so does the linked object on your “collector” worksheet.

Here’s a short video to give you a quick overview of what the Excel Camera tool can do for capturing data and objects from different areas:

Collect desired data on one worksheet

For instance, you want to know the sales or prices from workbooks saved in different locations. You have figures for sales reps and a corresponding chart in Workbook A, and expenses that you want to track in Workbook B. Someone else may be updating the data but because anything you copy and paste with the Camera tool is pasted as a linked picture, any changes made to original data will auto update your screenshots.

Print collected objects on one page

This is also a great way to collect different areas of the same or separate worksheets or workbooks for printing a variety of data on one page as you can resize and move the different objects anywhere on the worksheet.

Add Camera Tool to Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)

First things first…The Camera is not available on the Ribbon by default so needs to be added to the QAT with the Customize Quick Access toolbar command:

  • Click the drop down arrow at end of Quick Access Toolbar. Choose More Commands… (or right click on the Ribbon)
  • Choose All Commands from drop down arrow next to Choose Commands from:
  • Scroll down the alphabetical list and click Camera.
  • Click Add button to add to Quick Access toolbar.
  • Click OK button at bottom of dialog box to place the Camera icon at the end of the QAT.

How to Capture a Screenshot

Select a range, table or chart to activate the Camera tool. Note, if selecting a chart, select the cell above the top, left border of the chart and draw around it. When you release the mouse, the “marching ants” will be around the object as if you had used the Copy command:

  • Go to your destination; usually in another worksheet or workbook.
  • Click in the desired cell location and the linked picture will auto insert.
  • Move and size the object(s) as desired.

Similar Feature with Paste Special Linked Picture

The newer versions of Excel (2007+) have another feature which behaves the same as the Camera tool – the Paste Special Linked Picture. I still prefer the Camera tool as just clicking on the desired destination cell pastes the linked image, all ready for sizing and relocating but both work.

The Camera tool can also be used to create Dashboards. We’ll cover that and some of the other options in an upcoming blog.

Take a picture and let me know what you think!

Want more ways to use the Camera? See Part 2: Camera Tool Part 2

Convert Text to and from Tables in Microsoft Word

Convert Text to Table

If you have to create lists in Word and line up the text in separate columns, you have probably had a few frustrating moments! This is actually an easy fix if you have used the TAB key and only pressed it once between each piece of information. Where we usually run into trouble is when the space bar is used to create the needed space and/or the TAB key pressed more than once.

Let’s say I’m doing a simple list with names and department. I am hitting the TAB key once between each column which will look odd and not seem like the way to go but it is what works. ENTER is pressed at the end of each line. (Show/Hide is turned on to show the formatting marks for TAB and ENTER):

This looks like a dog’s breakfast but not for long. Make sure the text that is to be converted into the table contains only a single tab character between each column. (It could also be a comma for the separator).

Here’s how to have a neat, organized list in no time.

  1. Select the text you want converted into a table. (Avoid paragraph markers above and
    below the text).
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Table tool and then click Convert Text to Table. Word displays the Convert
    Text to Table dialog box.
  4. Make sure all the table settings in the dialog box are correct. (In this case, the Number of columns should be 3 and the Separate text at should be Tabs. (Word will automatically do this but always wise to check).
  5. Click OK to display a table.

Not only is this neat, you now have all the advantages of table formatting. When you click in the table, two new tabs will display at the end of the Ribbon under Table
Tools. The Design and Layout tabs give quick, professional looking formatting options. Most of them display a live preview when you mouse-over each selection. Can’t get much faster than that!

Remove Borders

Prefer to just have the text displayed as columns?  Remove the cell borders:

  1. Click in the table. Design and Layout tabs will display at the end of the Ribbon.
  2. From the Layout tab | Table group; click drop down arrow on Select and choose Select All (can also click the + symbol at upper left of table if it displays when you click in the table).
  3. Click the Design tab | Borders group and the drop down on the Borders icon. Choose No Border.

There you go, nice neat columns! (This is still a table, just without borders displayed).

Convert a Table to Text

No sooner do you get this accomplished when you find you have tables that need to be converted to text. You can convert the entire table or just specific rows:

  • Select the rows or table you want to convert to text.
  • On the Layout tab | Data group (at end of Ribbon), click Convert to Text.

  • The Convert to Text box displays. Under Separate text with, click the separator character you want to replace table cells (in this case, TAB) .

  • Click OK.

Here’s the results:

Note that the column spacing is based on your original table but can be adjusted by changing the tab stops. (These display on the ruler when the text is selected and can be just dragged to desired width).

This feature is a great trick also for a paste from Excel (and other programs), as the paste can sometimes produce strange results!

How would you use these features in your Word formatting?

Conditional Formatting for Clarity and Visual Impact in Excel

Light Up the Cells with Conditional Formatting!

Conditional Formatting is a great tool for instant, visual results based on values, text or formulas in one or more cells. This is accomplished by creating rules for each desired result. It can be as simple as formatting all cells based on their values (the default), which could be applying a color in cell(s) that are above or below a certain value, contain specific text or fall within certain dates as well answer more complex questions.

Conditional Formatting is located on the Home tab | Styles group:

You can also choose to have the results displayed as Data Bars, Color Scales or Icon Sets (arrows or star ratings) instead of one solid color.

More than one condition can be applied to the same range of cells. This example below is returning two different results with two different cell colors based on two different questions (AND requires both conditions to be true but OR allows for either condition to be true to apply the rule).

The formulas in the last two columns have returned Yes or No based on True or False results. Range Names have been created from the header row text to make for easy identification of the cell references in the formulas. Then Conditional Formatting rules have been applied to designate the color(s) based on that answer.



It is now very clear to see how many authors met none, one or both of the conditions.

Formatting Rules

There are four formatting rules applied here:

Rule Types

This is the Rule Type applied to the first rule for formatting only cells that contain “No” in the last two columns with Pink fill:

Each of the other three rules have their own Rule Description but all are based on Format only cells that contain (the second rule).

Note: You can include a formula directly in the condition by choosing the Rule Type: Use a formula to determine which cells to format and typing the formula in the Edit the Rule Description area.

Have you been using Conditional Formatting and, if so, which rule do you use the most? If not, I hope this post will encourage you to use this powerful feature. Thanks for reading!

Flash Fill in Excel 2013 and Above

Why You Need Flash Fill…

Flash Fill is a time-saving feature that reads patterns in adjacent columns and Lightening Flash
automatically fills the remaining cells in a column based on those patterns. It is useful when you need to join cells (Excel calls this Concatenate), or separate information in cells without wanting to write a cumbersome formula. You might already know the Text to Columns feature but this is faster and easier – Kind of like AutoFill on steroids!

Flash Fill should automatically be on by default but you can check here: File tab > Options> Advanced:

This amazing tool will make short work of many repetitive tasks, all without formulas (or the Text to Columns feature)! Just make sure you are working next to the column(s) you want to Flash Fill. Here’s just a few of the things it can do:

Splitting Input Data

You received a huge spreadsheet where someone has put first and last names in one column, and you need them separated for sorting and filtering. (This could be any data, i.e., department name and phone extension, or salesperson and monthly sales figure. Doesn’t matter as long as the data has a separator, such as a space). Flash Fill to the rescue…

Example: Full names are in Column A. Here’s the steps:

Insert:  two columns to right of Column A, and enter appropriate column header labels.

Type:  “Fred”, in appropriate cell ( B2 in example).

Press:  ENTER to go to cell below.

Type:  “Mary” (note that Excel has figured out what you are doing; displays the remainder of first names, and is awaiting your approval).

Press:  ENTER, and presto, all the rest of the first names are added!

Repeat the above steps in the cells for Last name (In example, C2)

List is now complete:

Just Want Last Names?

You can have flash fill complete only the last name, i.e., just insert one column, and instead of typing “Fred”, you would type “Frump”, ENTER, then “Lamb”, ENTER, and you would be done.

Combining Data

You can do the reverse of splitting data when you have or receive a workbook with data that is in two columns and you would like combined into one.

Example: Fred is in Column A and Frump in Column B:

  • Insert a blank column to right of Column B.
  • Type the first instance the way you would like it displayed, i.e., Fred Frump or Frump, Fred.
  • Press ENTER and start to type the second example. Excel should display the preview for the balance of the column. Just press ENTER to complete.

You Mean Flash Fill Does More?

Give Excel one or two examples of what you are trying to accomplish so Flash Fill can see a pattern. It will work with text, email addresses, dates, numbers and time:

If Flash Fill does not appear to work when entering the second example, you can activate it from the Ribbon: Data  tab > Flash Fill or keyboard with CTRL E. Just click in the second cell (ensure blank) and use the Ribbon command to fill down the column.

ALERT: Be aware that if you change source data, cells containing flash fill data will not update as there are no formulas involved.

There are many other ways to use Flash Fill. Now that you can save all that time entering data, what ways will you use it?

Repeat Actions in the Outlook Mail Folder with Quick Steps

Are you frustrated with performing the same actions over and over again in your Inbox? There’s an app for that, so to speak! Speed up organization and save time with Outlook’s amazing Quick Steps feature.

Default Quick Steps Built into Outlook

In your Inbox, access the Quick Steps group from the Home tab on the Ribbon. There are six default actions already built into Outlook 2010 and above:

Move To ?: If you have created a folder such as Save or Later, or frequently move emails to a specific folder, use this command. Outlook will move messages to the last folder you moved a message to (replaces the ? with the name of that folder).

Team Email:* Sends a message to everyone in a group or project that is pre-populated.

Reply & Delete: The name pretty much says it all: When you select this Quick Step, Outlook automatically opens a Message form for replying to the sender of the selected message and moves the selected message to the Deleted Items folder.

To Manager:* Forward a message automatically to person(s) you have set up. The original remains in your Inbox.

Done: This marks the selected message with the Mark Complete flag, marks the message as read, and moves the message to a designated folder.

Create New: This opens the Edit Quick Step Wizard, which allows you to create your own custom Quick Steps.

*If you are on Exchange Server, these will be automatically set up for you. If not, you can set up your own list(s).

There are additional templates and you can categorize, flag, mark as read, set up a meeting with specific people or click Custom to create your own Quick Step with the Edit Quick Step dialog box. You give your Quick Step an appropriate name to make available for repeated use:

How to Set up a Quick Step

Except for the Reply & Delete Quick Step, each of these Quick Steps requires you to make some decisions but you only have to do this once. Then, Outlook automatically repeats the actions whenever you select that Quick Step.

To use one of the six listed steps in the group, just click on desired step, such as Move to: ? to display the First Time Setup dialog box. Each of the Quick Steps is a bit different, but, here are the steps using the Move To:? Quick Step:

  • Click the Inbox icon in the Folder pane to display a list of incoming mail messages.
  • Select a message in the Inbox. (It can be any message. Don’t worry about it actually being moved. As long as this is the first time you’re using the Move To Quick Step, the message you select won’t be moved. Outlook just needs to know which type of Outlook Quick Step element you are creating).
  • Click the Home tab and click Move To: in the upper-left corner of the Quick Steps box. The First Time Setup dialog box opens. (If the dialog box already has a folder name in it, Outlook is just suggesting the last folder to which you moved a message).

  • Type in a name for the Quick Step in the First Time Setup dialog box.
  • Select a folder to where the Quick Step will move messages in the Move to Folder box by clicking the arrow at the end of the box. (If you don’t see the folder you want, choose the Other Folder selection, which opens the Select Folder window so you can see a detailed list of all available folders. You can also create a new folder using the Select Folder window).
  • Make sure the Move to Folder check box is selected.
  • Ensure the Mark as Read check box is also selected if you want each message marked as read when the Quick Step moves it.
  • To make changes to the Quick Step’s icon, add actions to it, or create a keyboard shortcut for the Quick Step, click the Options button to access those settings.
  • Click the Save button to close the First Time Setup dialog box.

Now, whenever you want to move message(s) to the specific folder, just select the message(s) and click the Quick Step you created. Message(s) will automatically move to the folder and be marked as read.

Manage Quick Steps

There are several additional options available for this feature, such as edit, delete, change the order displayed and duplicate Quick Steps:

In Mail, on the Home tab, in the Quick Steps group, click the More arrow at the side of the Quick Steps box, and then click Manage Quick Steps. You can also manipulate choices by opening the Quick Steps dialog box (the Launcher icon on the bottom right of the Quick Steps group)

Create a Custom Quick Step

Create your own Quick Step or perform multiple actions, by customizing – sort of a…If this, then do that, scenario.

You can customize Quick Steps one of several ways:

  • Click Create New in the Quick Steps group, or
  • Click the More arrow icon, pointing at New Quick Step and choosing Custom, or
  • Click the Launcher icon in the lower right corner of the group to open the Manage Quick Steps dialog box; click the drop down arrow on the New button and select Custom.

Any one of these methods will display the Edit Quick Step box where you can start creating the actions:

  • Type a name for the Quick Step.
  • Choose the first action from the drop down list, i.e., Copy to folder.
  • Click the Add Action button and choose the next action, i.e., Categorize, Create a Meeting, Forward Message, etc.
  • If you want further actions, click Add Action again and choose from the list. (All of the actions give options to add details and steps will display separately when applied for any desired editing of information, such as entering meeting times and recipient copies).
  • Create a shortcut key, if desired.
  • Create a tooltip that describes the actions, if desired. This will display when the mouse is pointed at the Quick Step.
  • Click the Finish button when completed, and that Quick Step name will appear in the Quick Step group.

Now you can just click on any message you want to apply those steps to and done. How cool is that!

NOTE: You can edit any existing Quick Step you have created by selecting the name and clicking the Edit button in the Manage Quick Steps dialog box.

Outlook is so powerful and can be confusing with all its features but you can take charge by doing one Quick Step at a time! Speaking of confusion, there is some around the difference between Quick Step, Quick Part and Rules. I’ll be covering the latter two down the road but this might help…

Quick Steps vs. Rules

Rules typically are always on and run automatically. An example would be, when a message is received from a specified person, it is moved automatically to the folder you designated. Outlook includes rule templates for common scenarios. You can use these rule templates, or design your own custom rules. Quick Steps are applied manually by choosing the appropriate Step(s) when desired.

Are you going to use Quick Steps now? Let me know in the Comments if you are have created your own or just gone with those that are built-in and how they have streamlined your Inbox.

Happy computing!

Windows Snipping Tool

Snipping Tool for Windows Screenshots

The Snipping Tool is free and allows you to capture full screens or just a portion of the screen in any Windows program…

Microsoft has several free, desktop mini-programs. Many have been available for the last several versions of Windows, such as Paint, Notepad and WordPad but a few are later additions, such as the Snipping Tool and Sticky Notes (in Windows 7 and above), and Windows Fax and Scan and Steps Recorder available in Windows 10. None are full-blown programs but they will help in a pinch if you don’t have MS Office or a photo program.

These all reside in the Accessories folder but a much faster way to find them is to click the Start button (or press the Windows key on the keyboard) and type whatever you are looking for. If it is a tool (like this one) that you know you’ll want to use all the time, just right click on its icon on the Taskbar (after opening), and choose Pin to Taskbar. (You could also choose to Pin to Start Menu by right clicking over the name when it appears at the top of the Search menu).

Access all the tools in Windows 7 by clicking Start and then All Programs. Scroll down to the folders and click Accessories. Click Snipping Tool.

In Windows 10, click Start and click on any of the letters displayed above the programs, click on the “W”, and then click Windows Accessories but on to what you came for…

How the Snipping Tool Works

The options and process in both Windows 7 and 10 are the same except that a Delay feature has been added to the tool in Windows 10 to allow time to get the right shot.

Windows 7

Windows 10

Another feature in Windows 10 is that you can use the keyboard shortcut WIN PRNTSCR to capture a snip and it will be saved automatically to your Pictures folder in a Screenshots subfolder. However, it will be a shot of the entire screen. This shortcut will work in Windows 7 to capture the screen but it will automatically be saved to the Windows Clipboard so needs to be pasted into another program to save.

Windows 7 and Above

The Snipping Tool dialog box normally activates when you click its Taskbar icon. If the screen doesn’t fade, click the New button to start the process.

Now, just click, hold and draw around the part of the screen or object that you want to capture. Can be text or a picture or whatever. This allows you to crop as you select and get just what you want. When you release the mouse, you have an image of what you selected. You have options on what you want to do with the picture. (The Delay button will not be on the Windows 7 version but everything else will be the same):

The Save icon allows you to save the snip as an image anywhere you choose. The Copy icon copies automatically to the Windows Clipboard so that you can paste into any program screen. The Mail icon assumes you have Microsoft Outlook (desktop) so you can email directly from here. The Pen allows you to make annotations in various colors on your snip and the highlighter highlights. The eraser lets you erase those imperfect notes or lines!

Change Snipping Defaults

The drop down arrow on the New button gives you options for the four different types of screenshots you can apply:

The default is a rectangular snip but you can draw free form in any shape or choose to capture a whole window or the entire screen. If you change the Snip type, it will become the default.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL PRTSC (Print Screen key) to perform the snip instead of clicking New.

The Menu Bar that appears after a snip offers commands as well, and clicking Tools > Options…gives you access to some default settings, such as changing the color of the pen:

Capture Windows Start Screen

One of the drawbacks on the surface is not being able to capture the Start Menu, drop down menus or the shortcut options displayed with the right mouse button. Not to worry…you can do it!

The Snipping Tool will not work normally on the start screen. When you click the Start button and then activate the Snipping Tool, the Start Menu disappears.

You can capture the entire start screen using the WIN PRTSCR buttons but this also captures the screen behind it such as the Desktop or the active program window. You could do this and this open the image in a photo editor and crop it, save it, etc., but that is a long way around.

Capture Parts of Start Screen with Snipping Tool in Windows 7

  • Open Snipping Tool
  • Press ESC key
  • Press the WIN key to switch to the Start Screen
  • Move the mouse cursor around the desired area to capture just that portion

Capture Context Menu in Windows 7

The steps for getting a screenshot of a drop down menu or a shortcut (right click) menu are the same as above for the Start Screen except:

Replace Step 3 with a right click over the desired object (Desktop, file or folder or menu)

Next right-click on the desktop, file or folder and then press CTRL+PRNTSCR. This will let you capture the right-click context menu.

Capture Start Screen or Context Menu in Windows 10

The Delay feature in the Windows 10 tool allows you to set the number of seconds before taking the screenshot.

  • Start the Snipping Tool
  • Set desired number of seconds for Delay
  • Click New
  • Immediately press WIN key for the Start Menu or right click over area to display shortcut menu (or click a drop down arrow). You need to have this displayed before the time runs out
  • When screen grays out, draw around desired area

If you have a problem with the above steps working, here is the longer way to do the same:

  • Start the Snipping Tool
  • Set desired number of seconds for Delay
  • Click New
  • Press ESC
  • Right click over desired area to display menu (twice if needed). Snipping Tool will disappear
  • Press CTRL PRNTSCR to activate the Snipping Tool
  • Draw around menu or desired area

Remember, to capture the entire window, just press WIN+PRNTSCR at any time
without using the Snipping Tool and it will be automatically saved to the Screenshots folder under Pictures.

NOTE: In all versions of Windows, you can still use the PRNTSCR key to get a screenshot of the entire screen, and ALT PRNTSCR to capture just a front screen, like a dialog box or message window, and then paste into another program for saving or printing. (These do not work for the Start Screen or context menus).

There is a “garage” project app from Microsoft called Snip, which is similar to the Snipping Tool but more robust in that it allows recording during capture and also maintains all of your “snips” in a library. It is a separate download and not automatically included in Windows. MS Office also has a screenshot feature that works only in the Office Suite. I will cover these both in a later post.

Here is the link to the newer Snip app:

Hope this has solved a problem for you. Let me know if you use the Snipping Tool or if it is new to you and how it has helped. Happy Computing!

Share your PowerPoint with Office Presentation Service

Launch an Online Meeting from PowerPoint

There are now many ways you can share your presentation over the Web. Participants can join you on any device from any location using the Office Presentation Service (free Microsoft service) or Skype for Business (formerly called Lync). If using Lync meeting they have access to the slide deck with IM and audio. You can also send a link to the slides.

Use Office Presentation Service

The only thing you need to share your masterpiece is a free Microsoft account, such as Hotmail,, MSN, Live, Xbox or OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). If you don’t have one yet, go to and create a free account. That way, you will also have several gigabytes of free cloud storage for your use!

In PowerPoint, close any open presentations that you don’t want to share, then:

  • Click File/Share/Present Online
  • Click the check box for Enable remote viewers to download the presentation

  • Click Present Online icon.

To send your meeting invitation to attendees, choose one of these methods:

  • Copy link and paste it somewhere others can access it
  • Send in email

Note: You can’t email your presentation directly from PowerPoint on a Windows RT PC. Instead, open your email program, create an email, and attach the presentation.

When you are ready to start your presentation, click Start Presentation.

To end your online presentation, press ESC to get out of Slide Show View, and then click End Online Presentation on the Present Online tab,

Click End Online Presentation button to confirm that you want to end the presentation and disconnect.

Use Skype for Business to Join or Share Presentations

You can schedule an online meeting ahead of time or start a meeting immediately within PowerPoint using Skype for Business. You need to have a microphone connected to your PC, so you can speak to your meeting attendees.

Note: This feature isn’t available in Office on a Windows RT PC.

Click the drop down arrow on Present Online on the Slide Show tab. If you don’t have Skype for Business installed, it will not appear in the Present Online dropdown list. (You will only see Office Presentation Service).

A list of active Skype for Business conversations and scheduled Skype for Business meetings (within 30 minutes) will appear or you can start a new meeting immediately.

In the list, pick a scheduled meeting or click Start a new Skype Meeting, and then click OK.

Begin a new meeting, by choosing Invite More People. Choose contacts from the contacts list or type each name in the box, and then click Select under Invite by Name or Phone Number.

Begin your presentation.

NOTE: Use the icons to manage audio devices and sound, video, and the content you want to share. Icon colors alert to status. If blue, means actively using, dark grey is available, and light grey means that function is not available.

More to come in other ways to share a PowerPoint presentation. Office 2016 had added new features. Stay tuned!

Reasons to Format Excel Spreadsheets with Cell Styles

Use Cell Styles to Format in Excel to save time and frustration and look smart doing it!

Here’s why you want to use Cell Styles to format Excel data:

  • Apply professional formatting to a worksheet in a flash.
  • Consistency across worksheets.
  • Built-in styles are labelled according to purpose for easy use.
  • Styles are customizable so you can edit existing styles or create your own to match your needs.
  • One click formatting.

Have you ever wondered how to format a spreadsheet in a hurry? Here’s a simple example of a worksheet with boring, unformatted data:

Name Region Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
Smith South 21223 17855 24855 21377 85310
Jones Southwest 23456 29550 24294 25335 102635
Wing North 19954 22600 19448 26450 88452
Baker South 17564 25439 32944 24000 99947
Folsom North 28543 28540 24400 28550 110033
Range Northwest 19534 30558 21844 19605 91541
McKnight West 20585 29667 27595 13605 91452
Crump South 24957 31322 15330 27550 99159
Rogers North 30332 27407 26440 24007 108186
Morris East 25395 27700 16500 27500 97095
Rollins South 35822 31854 24384 31005 123065
Jefferson Southwest 20949 23100 21774 27550 93373

But now you get a call to send it to a co-worker or the boss or it has to be ready for a presentation. Using individual formatting tools, it can take longer to format than it took to create it!

Format the Column headers and Data Content

Want to look smart really fast? Here’s the fix…First, I want to format the header row:

Select the header row in the worksheet

On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click Cell Styles icon:

If you have a larger screen and/or higher resolution, you may see several cell styles already displayed. See all styles by clicking the More arrow button at the bottom of the scroll bar for the group.

This box below will display with lots of options that are labelled for specific uses but you can use them for any purpose you choose. Roll your mouse over the sections and because they are live preview, you can see the results before you actually choose the option. I want Heading 1 for my header row, so I point and click to apply it.

I’ve selected Heading 1 under the Titles and Headings section:

Next select the body of the spreadsheet:

Click Cell Styles again, and choose whatever style you think would look best for your data. (If you are using Input Style, don’t include the Total column as you’ll probably want to use the Calculate Style for that to indicate formulas).

Total Row Style

If you have a total row, quickly make your totals stand out with the Total Style:

Data and Model Section

A way to alert users about which data they can edit is to use the Input and Calculation styles under the Data and Model section. It can’t stop them from overwriting formulas, etc., but it does signify the ranges that they should not edit. If you don’t like the default colors, you can change them. (See below)

Remove Styles

So, you’ve been playing and got carried away and now your data looks like a kindergarten project! Don’t worry if you goof and want to remove a style. Just select that range of cells; go back to the Cell Styles icon to the Style group and click on Normal to reset the cells to your default font style and size. (Located in the upper left of the first section, Good, Bad

Customize/Create Styles for Text

You can modify any style or leave the original styles and create a duplicate for your new style. I would recommend the latter. Here’s how to make changes in font, color, etc. for any style:

Example here is for Heading 1:

  • Click the Cell Styles icon (Home tab, Styles group).
  • Right click over the style you want to change.
  • Choose Duplicate (or Modify if you want to edit the original style) to display the Style box:

  • Change the name.
  • Click the Format… button and make desired changes. (Ensure Font tab is selected).
  • Click OK, OK.

Changes to Numerical Data Styles

If you want to change the Input or Calculation or any other numerical styles to add number formatting as well, the process is the same except you:

  • Right click over the style name.
  • Choose Duplicate.
  • Type in a new style name.
  • Click on the Number tab in the Format Cells dialog box.
  • Click on Currency in the Category pane.
  • Choose if you want the style to always display 2 decimal places or change to 0 if you want that for the style.
  • Make any other desired changes to Font, Alignment, etc., using the tabs at top.
  • Click OK, OK.

Apply Customized Styles

This can be a little confusing after modifying a style as it looks like nothing happened. The new style is not applied to your selected data. because you have created the style but not yet applied it.

When you customize or create new styles, Excel adds a Custom section to the top of the Cell Styles list. Just select desired data, click Cell Styles and click on your customized style. I added Currency formatting to the Input Style but left the background cell color; applied Currency formatting for the Calculate Style but changed to red color so it would be obvious not to enter data in those cells:

I selected the quarterly data to apply my customized Input Style, and then selected the Total column to apply my new Calculation Style. If there is also a Totals row, I would select them both first, and then go to Cell Styles and click my customized style:

Create your own styles and save a bundle of time while looking darn professional as well!

Let me know how it works for you…