Shortcut: Delete an Entire Word

Here's a nifty shortcut that I came across completely by accident! There are two keyboard shortcuts that allow you to delete an entire word at once:

Ctrl + Delete: Deletes the word after your cursor.

Ctrl + Backspace: Deletes the word before your cursor.

This is so handy! Rather than pressing and holding the Backspace key or repeatedly pressing Delete to get rid of a word, you can just use these shortcuts! Amazing. I hope you find this as useful as I do!
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16th Canadian Skills Competition

I'm excited to announce the start of the 16th Canadian Skills Competition, hosted in Waterloo, Ontario. This is a particularly noteworthy year, as it marks the 60th anniversary of WorldSkills International. It is also a qualifying competition for WorldSkills London 2011.

What's all the hype about? More than 500 students from across Canada are travelling to this extraordinary event, to represent their provinces and territories in over 40 different skilled trade and technology contest areas. Contests include cooking, precision machining, architectural CADD, aircraft maintenance, robotics, graphic design, hairstyling, cabinetmaking and welding (just to name a few). Similar to the Olympics, these bright young people will be competing for two full days to show judges their skills and hopefully bring home a gold medal. First place winners in many of the categories, provided they meet the age requirements for WorldSkills, will be moving on to represent Canada at WorldSkills London 2011!

This event is extremely close to my heart, as I was fortunate enough to have been involved with the competitions for two consecutive years, in the IT/Software Applications category. In 2007 I earned a gold medal at the nationals, and in 2008 another gold medal which landed me a spot on Team Canada. Last September I competed at WorldSkills Calgary 2009 and took 9th place, bringing back a Medallion of Excellence for my above-average score and an absolute ton of amazing memories. If you've been following my blog, you can read more about that experience in these posts. I'm eternally grateful for all of the support I've recieved over the years from family, friends, Skills/Comp├ętences Canada and all of their sponsors. These competitions have given me a real confidence boost, along with the opportunity to really perfect my skills. I'm thrilled to be here this week at the Canadian Skills Competition to see the next group of youth showing their skills and starting their journey to represent Canada internationally next year in London.

If you happen to be in the area, I urge you to visit the competition - you'll find the various events at RIM Park and the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex and Swimplex. Opening ceremonies kicks off this evening, and competition will be underway tomorrow and Saturday (May 21 and 22, 2010). Sunday, May 23rd you'll find everyone on the edges of their seats as we present the medals to the lucky winners at the official closing ceremonies.

If you make it out to the competition, be sure to keep your eyes open for Team Canada 2009 members - there are a number of us who are here for this event. Best of luck to everyone involved!
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This week's problem and subsequent solution involve showing your PowerPoint presentation on another computer that either doesn't have PowerPoint, or maybe has an earlier version of the one you're using.

In the event that you need to show your PowerPoint presentation on another computer, you can pre-package everything you need to show it properly by following these steps:
  1. Click the Microsoft Office button.
  2. Go to 'Publish'.
  3. Click on 'Package for CD'.
In the dialog box that opens, enter a name for the disc where it says 'Name the CD:'. If you click the 'Add Files' button, you can choose any additional files you may wish to include on the CD (this is an optional step). Clicking the 'Options' button will provide you with a series of other options including automatic play settings, whether or not you'd like to include any linked files or fonts, and if you'd like to password-protect it.

When you've finished with all of the settings, insert a blank disc into your computer and click the 'Copy to CD' button.

When everything has finished copying over, you will end up with a CD that is all ready to go, with a program called 'PowerPoint Viewer' and your presentation files. Inserting the CD into another computer will give you the option to run the presentation using the PowerPoint Viewer program, which is designed to run your presentation. It won't give you any of the editing capabilities, but you'll be sure that it will appear on this foreign computer exactly how you had intended when you originally set it up on your own.

If you're wanting to use a form of media other than CD (such as a memory stick or a DVD), click 'Copy to Folder' instead of 'Copy to CD'. You can then select the drive and folder in which you'd like to store the files.

This post assumes a certain level of comfort in setting options, but if you're not sure which settings you should be selecting for your specific project, feel free to post a comment or send an e-mail to and I'll give you more of an overview on exactly what those options are for.
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Word: Print Preview Shortcut

This week, in the midst of editing a document for print, I found myself a bit irritated at constantly switching between my Print Layout view and Print Preview. Thankfully, the gods of keyboard shortcuts came to my rescue as I discovered this awesome keyboard shortcut:

Alt + Ctrl + I

Press it once, and you're in Print Preview. Press it again, and Print Preview closes. It's a wicked toggle shortcut and for the particular project I was working on, it was exactly what I needed. Hopefully if you've stumbled upon this post, you'll also find it useful!
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Word: Page Break / Section Break Shortcuts

I'm a huge fan of saving time by using keyboard shortcuts, instead of constantly switching in between using the keyboard and the mouse. This week I'd like to share with you a couple of shortcuts in Word that I use quite frequently.

To insert a page break, press:

Ctrl + Enter

To insert a section break, press:

Ctrl + Shift + Enter

The one thing I find with shortcuts is that initially it can be a pain to try and remember them, but with repeated usage you'll find it becomes second nature. It also saves a considerable amount of time. It's worth it in the end! Less time to do your project means more time to grab a box of Timbits* and a coffee, right?

*For those people unfortunate enough not to have access to Timbits - they're an assortment of delicious little doughnut treats that us Canadians buy en masse and devour. You can find them at any Tim Hortons location - which I am thrilled to say are now starting to spread across the Canadian border and are appearing in the USA!
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