It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tomorrow is Christmas... I'm so excited! I'm spending the holidays in Ottawa with my friends and family. Thank you for visiting my site, and happy new year to all of my readers. I'll see you again in 2011!

Demain, c'est Noël...j'ai tellement hâte! Je passe mes vacances à Ottawa avec mes amis et ma famille. Merci pour avoir visité mon site, et bonne année à tous mes lecteurs. On se reverra en 2011!
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Word: Stop Pasted Lists from Automatically Merging with Other Lists

Annoyed when you paste a list into a document and Microsoft Word automatically assumes that it should be part of another list that’s already there? Besides pressing the Undo button every time, you can actually turn off the setting that makes this happen.

Go to the ‘File’ tab on the ribbon, and choose ‘Options’. From the list on the left side of the Word Options window which appears, select ‘Advanced’. Now scroll down until you get to the ‘Cut, copy and paste’ section. Click on the ‘Settings…’ button next to the ‘Use smart cut and paste’ checkbox. Uncheck the last checkbox, ‘Merge pasted lists with surrounding lists’. Press ‘OK’ twice.

Another option is to clear the checkbox next to ‘Use smart cut and paste’, but this will also remove a bunch of other functionality relating to cutting and pasting that you might actually want to remain enabled.
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PowerPoint: Keep Track of Objects and Shapes Using the Selection Pane

It can be tough to work on slides that have a lot of different objects and shapes. Illustrations can get very detailed, which can look fantastic but can make editing very tricky. Ever tried to select one object but only managed to repeatedly select every other object around it?

Good news: there's a tool to help you! It's called the Selection Pane, and it's one of my favourite things in Microsoft PowerPoint. Open up the Selection Pane by going to the 'Home' tab on the ribbon. On the very right-hand side is a group called 'Editing'. Click the 'Select' button, and then click 'Selection Pane...'.

Now you will see a panel on the right-hand side of your screen, which (quite conveniently) lists out every object sitting on the slide you currently have selected. Click on the name of the object to select it on the slide. Want to select multiple objects at once? Hold down the 'Ctrl' button on your keyboard as you click each item.

Don't like the vague and meaningless names they've each been assigned? I don't either. I'd rather not have to try and remember if that line on the right is Straight Connector 4116 or Straight Connector 4118. Double-click on the name of an object in the Selection Pane to edit the name. Press 'Enter' on your keyboard when you're done.

Hide an object by clicking on the eye icon next to its name. The eye will disappear from the box, and the object will become invisible. Click that box again to make it visible once more. You can also use the 'Show All' or 'Hide All' buttons at the bottom of the Selection Pane.

Try using the Selection Pane to help in organizing which order the objects are stacked. I personally prefer using this instead of repeatedly clicking 'Bring Forward' or 'Send Backward'. You can find re-order buttons right at the bottom of the Selection Pane.

Alright, that's all for today. More PowerPoint tips to come in future posts, I promise!
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Excel: Arrow Keys Not Working as Expected

"Stacy, am I going crazy?! When I press the arrow keys on my keyboard, Excel is just scrolling around the window. It's no longer moving from cell to cell like it used to. HELP!"

It happens to me too, sometimes. You've just inadvertently hit the scroll lock key on your keyboard. Press that button on your keyboard to turn it off, and presto change-o! You will find your arrow keys working like normal again.


And hey, drop me an e-mail or leave a comment here if you can tell me about an instance in which you use the scroll lock key. I've never had any reason to use it, and I'm more than a little bit curious to know if anyone out there has a use for it!
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Excel: Password Protect a Workbook

If you're keeping track of sensitive items in a spreadsheet, such as financial data or personal information, it would be wise to protect it against unauthorized access. You can do this by encrypting your Microsoft Excel workbook with a password.

Go to the 'File' tab, and choose the 'Info' option. Click the first button, 'Protect Workbook', then choose 'Encrypt with Password'. You will be prompted to enter a password of your choosing. Keep in mind that it is case-sensitive, so make sure you know whether or not your Caps Lock is on. Press the 'OK' button, then reenter the password. Press the 'OK' button, and you're done.

The next time you open the workbook, you will be prompted to enter the password. Wrong password means no access! Perfect.
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