Irritant: Excessive selection

I want to select a sentence. Sometimes, instead of the sentence, the entire paragraph is selected. Inside a table, contents of the entire cell are selected. It is inexplicable and frustrating. Here is what you do in such cases.

Here is the action replay. I want to select the second paragraph.
I am using Shift Right Arrow to select the text, one character at a time.

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Usually we get frustrated at this point. We give up the effort and start all over again … HOPING that it will work this time.

The solution is … Press SHIFT  and LEFT ARROW once. That’s all.

Even if you use Shift CTRL RightArrow to select word by word, this problem can occur. The solution is exactly the same. Shift LeftArrow.

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Lost in a long Word document: Use Shift F5

This was a shortcut I knew. But did not find a practical use for it. Till recently when I was conducting a session for the legal team of an insurance company. If you work on large and complex documents, I am sure you will find this useful.

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The Need

You are editing a complex and long document. While scrolling or navigating, something goes wrong and you suddenly land up in a completely different, far away place in the document. You did not know where you were, nor do you know where you are. You just want to go back to the original place where you were editing. Bookmarking is not an option because you could be editing anywhere, you cannot keep adding bookmarks all over the place.

The Solution

The solution is simpler than you think. Just press SHIFT F5. Word remembers last THREE editing positions. That solves the problem elegantly.

Also appreciate someone who thought of this need and provided a solution 20 years back!

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What did I learn today: Remove all hyperlinks

imageExcel provides a direct feature. Select multiple sheets and select the desired range. Home – Clear – Clear Hyperlinks.
The default blue color and underline is NOT removed. Therefore, you may feel that nothing has happened. You have to remove formatting separately. There is no way to select only those cells which contain hyperlinks. DO NOT choose clear formatting because it will remove formatting for ALL selected cells. There is no way to quickly select cells containing hyperlinks. Be careful.

Word has no such menu option but does have a shortcut. Select entire document and choose CTRL SHIFT F9. That removes all hyperlinks. It removes formatting as well. Simple and effective.
PowerPoint has no such menu option nor shortcut. Simple macro code is available here.
OneNote requires third-party add-in to do this. One such tool is OneNote Gem.
MS Project also has Clear Hyperlinks command like Excel.
In Visio, just clearing the formatting removes the hyperlink. However, there is no way to select all items having hyperlinks in one step. This has to be done manually.
MS Publisher has no built-in command.

Quick and easy: Backspace and Delete

Recently I noticed that many people don’t know this. So here it is. Look at where your editing cursor is.

If you want to remove things on the LEFT side of the cursor, use BACKSPACE key.

If you want to remove something on the RIGHT side of the cursor, you press DELETE key.

Entire word on either side can be removed by pressing CTRL key along with Delete or Backspace keys.

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Although there is no existing shortcut or Word Command to delete the word under the cursor, a single line of code deletes the current word (without selecting it).

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Thanks to my friend, Raj Chaudhuri, for figuring out this brilliant one-line macro Thumbs up

Have you noticed the NEW Charting Icons

Once a chart is drawn,  three buttons appear near its top right end. Have you noticed these? These offer very easy access to many powerful features which otherwise require you to use the ribbon.

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If these are grayed out, it means you have opened an older file. Save the file in new format and reopen it to get all these features.

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image  Add chart elements

This allows quick addition or removal of …

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Further options are also available through sub-menus…

image Change Chart Styles

This allows you to change the look and feel of the chart very quickly. Just hover the mouse cursor over available styles and choose the desired one. Multiple styles and different color combinations are available. DO NOT miss the Color tab.

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image Filter

This one is really convenient and powerful. This was not possible so easily using existing menus. It allows you to filter individual data elements easily. You must try it out – you will love it.

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If this is a Pivot Chart, filtering button is not available. (This is because, filtering buttons are available in the chart itself in case of Pivot Chart).

Understanding Live Preview in Office

Probably you have used it some times. But it is important to understand how to use it and when NOT to use it. Live Preview shows many options – visually. These options typically work on a selection. Moving the cursor over each option applies the current setting temporarily. No need to click. Move to the next option to preview that effect. If you don’t like any of those, just move the cursor away.

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This type of preview is available in many places. Notice it and use it to your advantage. If you are noticing it for the first time, and it has finite options, just try mousing over each of them so that you create a visual understanding of how it works. Next time you will be able to choose in a more knowledgeable manner.

When NOT to use these? If you have a low configuration, slow PC, these previews can slow things down. In such cases DEACTIVATE live previews. File – Options – General – Enable Live Preview.

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Live Preview can be deactivated for multiple users in an organization using Group Policy as well.

How to make a picture transparent – Macro

In an earlier article, I had shown a method of making a picture transparent using the Transparency animation. This method shows the transparency only while PRESENTING – not while EDITING. Here is a macro which will help you create a transparent copy of any picture which is transparent during editing as well.

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