Outlook: Block E-mail Addresses

Someone sending you messages that you don't feel like reading in your inbox? Microsoft Outlook lets you maintain a list of blocked addresses that will prevent those e-mails from getting through.

Right-click on a message from the sender you wish to block, and go to 'Junk', then choose 'Block Sender'. A message will come up to confirm that the sender has been added to your Blocked Senders List. Press the 'OK' button.

To unblock an address, right-click on any message in your inbox and go to 'Junk', then choose 'Junk E-mail Options'. In the window that appears, go to the 'Blocked Senders' tab. It's here that you can view the list of e-mail addresses you have blocked, and can select one and press the 'Remove' button (just to the right of the list). If you want, you can also add addresses to the list here by clicking the 'Add...' button.

Messages from blocked senders are automatically moved to your Junk E-Mail folder, so you're always free to retrieve them from there if you've made a mistake.
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Stacy's Top 9 Favourite Things About Microsoft Excel

Any hardcore Microsoft Excel fans out there will already have caught wind of this, but for the rest of you out there: did you know that Microsoft Excel has been around for 25 years now? Amazing!

In honour of this milestone, I decided it would be the perfect time to make a post about my top 9 favourite things about Microsoft Excel. Why 9? Why not 10? Well, 9 is my favourite number.

In no particular order:

#1: Excel lets me keep data in my spreadsheet up-to-date by pulling information from Web queries, Access databases, other workbooks, and a number of other external sources. I don't have to spend extra time manually updating numbers - Excel does it for me!

#2: Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts. These powerful data manipulation tools leave me wondering how awful it must have been to work with information before computers. In a matter of seconds, I can create a meaningful report or chart on thousands of rows of data.I can use Excel for my personal life outside of the office. It's great for planning my budget, keeping track of fitness goals, and even making portion changes to my favourite recipes. I'd choose Excel over a paper and calculator any day.

#3: Built-in error checking spots potential problems that I would have otherwise missed. It's nice to know that if I do something like accidentally omit a cell from a calculation that Excel will point it out to me and I can fix it right away.

#4: There's an impressive array of functions available to use for just about anything you could possibly want to do... and you're free to create your own using VBA if you need something more customized.

#5: Excel integrates so well with the rest of the Microsoft Office suite. For example, I love that I can copy part of a spreadsheet into a Word document and have it stay up-to-date if I go back and make changes to the spreadsheet.

#6: I can make annotations to a spreadsheet using a tablet PC or my graphics tablet. Sometimes you just want to be able to circle things or make written notes. Excel lets you do all of this without printing anything out!

#7: I can view and make changes to my spreadsheet at the same time as the rest of my team without having to manage multiple copies and then somehow merge them when I'm done. Using Excel through SharePoint makes it possible for everyone to be working on the same file at once.

#8: Conditional formatting makes it quick and easy to highlight items in a spreadsheet that meet certain criteria. One time I needed to spot a number of items in a massive file that were above a certain value. Using conditional formatting, I was able to very quickly spot these values. It would have taken me hours to go through it all without this tool!

#9: Lastly, there's such a large number of resources out there on the Internet to help you use Excel. Besides my site here, you can find help topics on just about anything you want to accomplish on the Internet. With such a wide community of users and great technical support out there, you can use Excel with confidence and know that you can always get the help you need if you look for it.

And there you have it, my friends! Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list of everything I love about Excel... but I certainly don't have the time to explain everything in detail. I'll save some of that for future posts.

Happy 25th, Microsoft Excel! From your #1 Canadian fan, Stacy DuBois.
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Access: Change the Page Orientation of a Report

Want to change the page orientation of your report in Access? You don't have to mess around with your printer settings to do it. You can actually set it up in the report design itself.

With the report open in Layout or Design mode, go to the 'Page Setup' tab on the ribbon. In the 'Page Layout' group, choose the orientation you'd like - portrait or landscape. Save your report, and you're all done.
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Access: Adding a Screentip to a Control

Screentips are those handy little text box messages that pop up when you hover your mouse over an item. It can identify controls, or even provide some additional information. As an example, I could have a screentip over my 'Quit' button which reads 'Save your work and exit the system'.

In Microsoft Access, you can set screentips for controls in objects such as forms and reports. Make sure you're in Design View, and right-click the control to which you'd like to make a screentip. Choose the very last option, 'Properties'. You don't need to do this step if the Property Sheet is already open.

The property you're going to want to use is on the 'Other' tab of the Property Sheet. It's called 'ControlTip Text'. Enter the text you'd like to appear when you hover your mouse over the control. Save the object (form or report), and you're set!
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Word: Track Changes Keyboard Shortcut

Here's a handy tip! There's a keyboard shortcut that allows you to quickly turn the Track Changes in Microsoft Word on and off. This is especially useful for when you'd like to make a change without tracking it. Instead of going through and accepting the items you don't want to track, you can just temporarily turn it off before making the change. Then, you can use the shortcut to turn it back on. Just hold down these buttons on your keyboard:

Ctrl + Shift + E
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Outlook: View a Map of a Contact’s Address

Heading out to a meeting or going to visit a friend whose address you have stored in Microsoft Outlook? You can quickly link to a map without having to type the address into a search engine. Simply go to your Contacts list, double-click to open a contact of your choice, then click the ‘Map It’ button right next to the Address field (it’s the one with the icon of a pin stuck in a map).

Your Web browser will automatically open and search for a map of the address using Bing. Keep in mind that you’ll have to have an active Internet connection for this feature to work.
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