Word: Toggle Between Lowercase, Uppercase, and Sentence Case

Here's a handy keyboard shortcut for Microsoft Word:

Shift + F3

Highlight some text and press Shift and F3, and you'll change the text from being lowercase, to sentence case, to uppercase (and back around again, if you feel like going in circles).

This is one of my favourite shortcuts. Sometimes I have a block of text all in caps that I want to switch quickly to sentence case... and I can do it in seconds with this nifty trick.
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Excel: Formula Returns ####

"Twenty times ten doesn't equal number sign! WTF?!"

You’ve entered a formula with the proper syntax and using valid cell references or values, but it’s just showing up as a pile of number signs. What’s going on?

What’s happened here is that the cell is too narrow. Excel will fill a cell up with number signs if it doesn’t have enough room to display the entire answer. Make the column a little bit wider, and you’ll be able to see the value.

If adjusting column width is out of the question for some reason, consider decreasing the font size, or merging cells together to give you the right amount of space.
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SharePoint: Use Windows Explorer to View a Document Library

A short while ago I was asked if there was an easy way to move or delete multiple files in a document library on SharePoint. You can manage a document library on SharePoint quite easily using the 'Open with Explorer' option.

First, navigate to the library. At the top on the ribbon, choose the 'Library' tab. You'll find it in the 'Library Tools' group. Now, go to the 'Connect & Export' group and click the 'Open with Explorer' button. Windows Explorer will open up, and you'll be able to work with the files in that library with the simplicity of the Explorer interface.

Handy, eh?
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OneNote: E-mail a Page

Looking for an easy way to send a page from your Microsoft OneNote notebook to someone? Why not e-mail it?

If you take a look on your 'Home' tab, there's an 'E-mail Page' button. If you click on this button, it'll take the current page that you have open in OneNote and copy it into the body of a new Outlook e-mail message. This can save you a lot of time!

Wanting to send multiple pages? It'll handle that, too. Hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard as you click other pages, then click the 'E-mail Page' button. Every selected page will appear in the new message.
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Word: Making Labels

This week someone asked me how to make and print out labels in Microsoft Word, so I thought I’d post a little tutorial on how to do it.

First, go to the ‘Mailings’ tab. On the very left-hand side, there’s a group called ‘Create’. Click the ‘Labels’ button.

The ‘Envelopes and Labels’ dialog box will come up. Here’s where you need to tell Word exactly which labels you’re using, in order to properly set up the page. Click the ‘Options’ button. Now, take a look at your sheet of labels. Somewhere on the sheet itself, or on the packaging, it should identify the brand name and an identifying product number. Select the brand name from the ‘Label vendors’ drop-down list, and then scroll through and select the appropriate product number from the list just below it. For example, I often use Avery #05161 labels. I choose ‘Avery US Letter’ as the label vendor, then scroll through the list and choose ‘5161 Easy Peel Address Labels’. The names might not match up exactly, but you can check the label dimensions in the ‘Label information’ area of the window to make sure that it’s the right label and page size if you’re not sure.

I’m not going to go through the “how-to” details of creating a custom label in this post, but advanced users can go ahead and click the ‘New Label’ button and create their own label if they’re unable to find what they need in the main list. There are hundreds of different label templates included within Microsoft Word, however, so I’m just going to assume that you will be able to find the one you need.

Once you’ve selected your label, click the ‘OK’ button. Now you’ll be back at the ‘Envelopes and Labels’ dialog box. If you want every label on the page to be the same, go ahead and enter the information you’d like to appear in the ‘Address’ text box (don’t get confused - it doesn’t have to be an address, it’s just labeled this way). Skip this step if you’d like to manually enter your labels.

Once you’re ready, click the ‘New Document’ button. A new document will be created and it will include a table with the same dimensions as your labels. Each cell in the table is one label. Go ahead and edit the document as much as you like, being careful not to adjust the table dimensions in any way. You can change the fonts, add or remove text, and even add in graphics.

When you’re satisfied with your labels, go ahead and print them! All printers are different, so I won’t be able to explain how this will work for everyone… but often, you need to adjust the settings to accommodate the labels. You generally are going to want to switch the paper source to come from a manual paper feed, and the paper type to ‘labels’. Make sure you’ve aligned the labels properly in your printer, or you might end up printing on the back of the page by mistake.

If you’re not sure if you’ve set it up properly and you don’t want to waste any sheets of labels, try printing a test set on a regular piece of paper and see if it comes out properly.

That’s all for today – it’s Remembrance Day here in Canada, so please remember to take a moment this morning to remember and thank our veterans for everything they’ve done for us. (Thank you, Grandpa!)
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Outlook: Save Space by Removing Attachments from Messages

If you're concerned about using up too much disk space to store your e-mail messages and other items in Microsoft Outlook, you can remove large attachments without deleting the entire message. This might come in handy if you know that you've saved the attachments to another location already, or if you know you won't need the attachment in the future.

With the message open (either in its own window or in the reading pane), right-click on the attachment that you would like to remove. Click on 'Remove Attachment'. A dialog box will appear, and you will need to confirm that you would like to remove that attachment. Click the 'Remove Attachment' button, and you will have successfully deleted it.
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Excel: Web Query URL Too Long

Today I was setting up a refreshable Web query in Excel, something I've done numerous times without any issues, and I came across an interesting problem. The URL that I wanted to use was too long. After entering it into the New Web Query window, I received this most unwelcome error message:

"The text string you entered is too long. Reduce the number of characters used or cancel the entry."

I thought to myself, "Well that's silly! I can't change the URL of my data source, it's not something I have any control over!"

I turned to my good friend, Google, and tried to figure out if there was a way to get around this problem. Unfortunately, most of what I was finding were confusing forum posts about attempted bits and pieces of VBA code or people insisting that it's just not possible. I'm pleased to say that, a few moments later, it occured to me that there is a very simple solution... and it doesn't involve any programming.

Ever heard of TinyURL? It's a handy online tool that lets you take any URL and create a much smaller one that automatically redirects you to the full one. It's free, and the link will never expire (according to TinyURL, anyway). In any case, I tried using it for my web query in Excel, and I'm pleased to say that it worked perfectly! It actually redirected and changed the URL to the super long one, but I never got that annoying error message.

So here's how you do it. Copy your super long URL to your clipboard (Ctrl + C). Go to www.tinyurl.com, and paste your URL (Ctrl + V) into the 'Enter a long URL to make tiny:' text box. Click the 'Make TinyURL!' button. Copy the TinyURL that it provides you on the next page (it'll start with http://www.tinyurl/ and be followed by some random characters). Now, go to Excel to the sheet where you'd like to set up the Web query. Get the New Web Query window open (go to the Data tab, and click the 'From Web' button in the 'Get External Data' group), and paste in the TinyURL you just created into the address text box. Click the 'Go' button, and hey! No error message! Hooray!
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