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Ultimate Microsoft Office Mastery: 90+ Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials for You

Use Microsoft Office every day? Check out our tips, tricks, and tutorials that’ll turn you into an efficiency machine with both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Office is powerful; there’s a reason why nearly every serious business in the world relies on it for office productivity. Yes, Microsoft Office can be daunting to learn, what with all of its crazy menus and features—but it doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

If you use either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel on a regular basis and want to become a more fluent user, we have all kinds of tips, tricks, and tutorials that’ll help you effortlessly learn the ins and outs of each program. You’ll be a master in no time!

Getting Started With Microsoft Office

If you’re a new user, or if you don’t even have Microsoft Office yet, you may want to check out our articles on how to acquire a copy of Microsoft Office for free—without breaking the law. Did you know you can even use Microsoft Office on Linux computers?

Once Microsoft Office is installed, you may also want to make a few tweaks and install a few add-ins that’ll ease your overall experience:

Mastering Microsoft Word

microsoft-word-auto-update

Beginner Tips for Microsoft Word

The first step to getting comfortable with Microsoft Word is making sure it’s set up properly. With a few tweaks to the settings, and some familiarity with basic features, you’ll feel much more at home when using the software:

And then once you’re comfortable with Microsoft Word, that’s when you’ll want to check out our various tutorials on how to do things with it, which will give you a quick boost to productivity:

Advanced Tips for Microsoft Word

After acquainting yourself with the basics of Microsoft Word, that’s when you’ll be ready to try full-fledged projects that are more than just simple essays and typed reports. Here are some of the cooler things you can do with Microsoft Word:

Useful Templates for Microsoft Word

Don’t have time to make new documents from scratch? You aren’t alone. That’s why you should check out our roundups of the best Microsoft Word templates for all kinds of needs and use-cases:

Mastering Microsoft Excel

For many, Excel is the much tougher software compared to Word. Numbers and formulas will do that to you. That’s why before you dive into our Excel tips and tricks, we recommend starting with these introductory articles:

Beginner Tips for Microsoft Excel

The first and most important skill to learn in Microsoft Excel is understanding worksheets and tabs. Check out our beginner articles that teach you how to set up, edit, recover, and compare Excel worksheets with ease:

And then learn the other essential skills that’ll give you a leg up when it comes to creating and modifying Excel spreadsheets. There’s a lot of cool stuff you can do, and most of it’s quite easy once you know how to do them:

Advanced Tips for Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerhouse application, and with a bit of know-how, you can effortlessly pull off some crazy cool tasks. Here are some of the more advanced techniques you can use to manage your Excel worksheets:

And there are plenty of more advanced tricks you can use to automate much of the process when dealing with complex Excel spreadsheets, and these automations will save a ton of time over the long run:

Useful Templates for Microsoft Excel

Who has the time to build new Excel spreadsheets from scratch? Whether for personal or business use, you should consider downloading one of the many free templates available on the web and customizing it to your specific needs:

Read the full article: Ultimate Microsoft Office Mastery: 90+ Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials for You

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How to Hide or Unhide Columns and Rows in Excel

If you’re dealing with a data-heavy spreadsheet, sometimes it’s helpful to hide or unhide rows and columns to better see the information you need to analyze. Fortunately, Excel makes it easy to do this.

How to Hide Columns and Rows in Excel

Start by selecting the column(s) or row(s) you want to hide. You can do this a few different ways.

  • Select multiple adjacent columns or rows: Click the first column or row, hold the Shift key, and click the last column or row.
  • Select multiple non-adjacent columns or rows: Click the first column or row, hold the Control key (Command on Mac), and click the remaining columns or rows.
  • Use the name box: Type a cell label in the name box to the left of the formula field. For example, if you want to hide the second row, for type B2. (For more, check out our guide to the Excel name box.)

Once you make your selection(s), follow one of these two methods to hide the columns or rows.

  • Right-click the selected column or row you want to hide and choose Hide. (This method will not work if you’ve typed in the column or row identifier.)
  • Click the Home tab and in the Cells group, click Format > Hide and Unhide and pick either Hide Rows or Hide Columns.

Excel Hide Columns or Rows

The column or row will be hidden and you’ll see a thin double line indicating where the hidden column or row resides.

Excel Hidden Columns

How to Unhide Columns or Rows in Excel

There are a few ways to select and unhide columns or rows:

  • Right-click the thin double line indicating a hidden row or column and select Unhide.
  • Select the two surrounding columns or rows. On the Home tab in the Cells group, click Format > Hide and Unhide and choose either Unhide Rows or Unhide Columns.
  • To unhide all columns or all rows in your spreadsheet, select all using the keyboard shortcut Control + A (Command + A on Mac), right-click, and pick Unhide.

Excel Unhide Columns Rows

Keep in mind that while you can hide or unhide either multiple columns or multiple rows at the same time, you can’t hide or unhide both columns and rows simultaneously.

Remember, columns and rows are not the only items you can hide and unhide in Excel. And for more ways to work with your data, take a look at how to freeze and lock data in Excel.

Read the full article: How to Hide or Unhide Columns and Rows in Excel

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How to Turn Off Read Receipts in Outlook

In Microsoft Outlook, you can send read receipts to find out if someone has received and opened your email. You can also get read receipts from other people. It’s similar to messaging apps like WhatsApp, which uses different style checkmarks to denote the read state of your message.

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Enter your Email

You can not only disable read receipts that you send in Outlook, but also those that you receive. It’s two separate options. We’re going to show you how to turn off all read receipts in Outlook.

How to Turn Off Requesting Read Receipts in Outlook

If you don’t want to request or receive read receipts when you send out emails, do the following.

Go to File > Options > Mail and scroll down to the Tracking section.

Beneath For all messages sent, request, you will find two statements:

  1. Delivery receipt confirming the message was delivered to the recipient’s email server
  2. Read receipt confirming the recipient viewed the message

Request read receipts in Outlook

The first option describes when the recipient’s email service (such as Gmail or Yahoo) has received the email, not necessarily that your recipient has seen it in their inbox.

The second option describes when the recipient has opened the message. Your recipient could have seen the email arrive in their inbox, but it doesn’t trigger a read receipt request until they open the email—and even then it will depend on their settings whether a response is sent.

Uncheck both of these and it will disable delivery and read receipts for messages that you send.

If you enable receipts, bear in mind that not all email servers and applications support them, so your request may be unanswered regardless.

When done, click OK.

How to Turn Off Receiving Read Receipts in Outlook

To prevent people from ever knowing you’ve opened their emails, you can automatically dismiss read receipts.

Go to File > Options > Mail and scroll down to the Tracking section.

Receive read receipts in Outlook

Beneath For any message received that includes a read receipt request, select Never send a read receipt.

Alternatively, if you want to decide on an individual email basis, select Ask each time whether to send a read request.

To save your changes, click OK.

Get More From Outlook

Read receipts are just one of the many Outlook features you might not have been aware of. Outlook is a powerful program that can make it a breeze to bash through your inbox.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up lots of hidden Outlook features to improve your workflow.

Read the full article: How to Turn Off Read Receipts in Outlook

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Excel Quick Tips: How to Flip Cells & Switch Rows or Columns

Microsoft Excel is a powerful program that can help you analyze and visualize data. To get the best results your data needs to be in the proper format.

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Occasionally you will run into data that is placed in a table, and you may not be able to work with the arrangement of rows and columns. Perhaps you have a column or row that you need to reverse entirely.

Flipping cells in a row or column can be a lot of work to do manually. Instead of re-entering all your data you can use these strategies to flip columns, turn columns into rows, and flip rows.

How to Flip Cells in Excel Columns

At first glance, there is no good way to flip columns upside down. Data sorting can sort by values or alphabetically but that doesn’t invert a column in Excel.

So what can you do? Copy the data and paste one by one? There’s a much better way to get this done.

Reversing the order of cells in a Microsoft Excel column is easy, and can be done in just a few steps with this nifty trick:

  1. Add a column to the left of the table you’d like to flip.
  2. Fill that column with numbers, starting with 1 and using the fill handle to create a series of numbers that ends at the bottom of your table.
  3. Select the columns and click Data > Sort. Select the column that you just added and filled with numbers. Select Largest to Smallest, and click OK.

Flipping Excel Table Columns

The columns are now inverted!

This is a useful trick to add to your toolbox when you’re managing columns in Excel.

Inverting Excel Table Using Data Sort

If you like working with Excel shortcuts you can perform this trick with one click. This shortcut can perform a quick sort by the leftmost column; Either by smallest-to-largest or largest-to-smallest.

The real key to all this is the index column.

Quick Sort Excel to Invert Columns

Once you’ve got the data reversed you can delete the index column and you’re ready to go. This trick was done on an Excel table but it works on any number of columns you want to invert.

If you use Visual Basic (macros) with Excel, you can use this code to accomplish the same thing. Just select the column you want to flip and run this macro:

Sub FlipColumns()
 Dim vTop As Variant
 Dim vEnd As Variant
 Dim iStart As Integer
 Dim iEnd As Integer
 Application.ScreenUpdating = False
 iStart = 1
 iEnd = Selection.Columns.Count
 Do While iStart < iEnd
 vTop = Selection.Columns(iStart)
 vEnd = Selection.Columns(iEnd)
 Selection.Columns(iEnd) = vTop
 Selection.Columns(iStart) = vEnd
 iStart = iStart + 1
 iEnd = iEnd - 1
 Loop
 Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

VBA Macros are very useful but if you’re not comfortable with them you can get results instantly using the data sorting trick.

If VBA does pique your interest you can learn more about it with a beginner’s tutorial on writing VBA macros.

How to Switch Columns and Rows

Reversing a column has some use for data analysis but there are more ways you can manipulate data.

Another change you may want to make is switching the columns and the rows. That is, turn the column data into a row or row data into a column.

Just like inverting tables, copying and pasting information one by one is not the way to do it. Microsoft Excel has a very useful function to get this done.

  1. Select the columns you’d like to transpose and hit Ctrl+C or Edit > Copy.
  2. Click to an open cell and click Edit > Paste Special…
  3. Select Transpose

Transpose Excel Data Table to Switch Rows and Columns

Your column has now been turned into a row, with the topmost value placed on the left of the row. You might have a long row so make sure you’ve got some room.

Transposed Excel Column Into Row Using Paste Special

It works in the reverse order as well—you can transpose a row into a column. You can even transpose a block of data, which will turn the entire selection by 90 degrees.

How to Flip a Row in Excel

Now that you know the trick to flipping columns and you’ve seen the way to turn a column into a row; What about flipping a row in Excel?

To flip the cells in an Excel row you will use both of the tricks you learned together.

Because Microsoft Excel doesn’t support sorting rows, you’ll need to first turn the row into a column by using transpose. Once the row has been turned into a column, you can use the first trick to invert the column.

After you’ve reversed the column, transpose it back into a row and you will have inverted the entire row. It’s a rather roundabout way to get it done, but it works!

To do this in a far simpler manner, you can use Visual Basic again. Just run the same macro as before, but replace all of the instances of the word column with the word row.

Sub FlipRows()
 Dim vTop As Variant
 Dim vEnd As Variant
 Dim iStart As Integer
 Dim iEnd As Integer
 Application.ScreenUpdating = False
 iStart = 1
 iEnd = Selection.Rows.Count
 Do While iStart < iEnd
 vTop = Selection.Rows(iStart)
 vEnd = Selection.Rows(iEnd)
 Selection.Rows(iEnd) = vTop
 Selection.Rows(iStart) = vEnd
 iStart = iStart + 1
 iEnd = iEnd - 1
 Loop
 Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Why Flip Rows and Columns?

Excel is widely used in data analysis. Data analysis and data visualization are becoming a critical part of decision making in many different ways.

It’s not just in computer science, data analysis is used in:

  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Sports
  • Medicine
  • Real Estate
  • Machine Learning

Often times information used to analyze data will not be organized the way you might like. In order to get the best results, you should know how to set up data for processing.

Database tools like SQL are great for working with data, but they won’t organize your data for you. Excel can do this and give you results in Excel or Common Separated Value (CSV) files.

Knowing these tricks to flip columns and rows get you one step closer to getting the most out of your data.

Flip Data in Excel Easily

If you need to flip the data in a Microsoft Excel column or row, using one of the strategies above can save you a whole lot of time. And if you need to do it on a regular basis, using the Visual Basic macros will save you even more time. You’re ready to start getting your data to work for you!

Of course, there’s plenty more you can do with Excel. Check out these crazy Excel formulas that do amazing things or review our essential Excel formulas and functions cheat sheet.

Read the full article: Excel Quick Tips: How to Flip Cells & Switch Rows or Columns

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How to Make a Brochure or Pamphlet With Word Templates

If you need to create a brochure or pamphlet for your business or organization, you can save a lot of money by making it yourself in Microsoft Word.

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We’ll show you how to customize the built-in Word templates, create your own brochure from scratch, and give you a few places to visit online for free brochure templates for Word too.

Brochure Versus Pamphlet

Many times you’ll hear the words brochure and pamphlet used interchangeably; however, there is a difference between the two.

A brochure is a page with a bifold or trifold layout that companies use to sell a product or service. Most brochures contain more images than text.

A pamphlet is more like a booklet with several pages to offer information about a product or service. Most pamphlets contain more text than images.

Modern Litho sums up the difference between a brochure and a pamphlet this way:

The most important difference is the subject matter. Pamphlets are used for non-commercial promotion, while brochures are used to advertise products and services.

With this in mind, the steps and templates we’ll discuss here will show you how to create a brochure in Microsoft Word using its above explanation.

How to Make a Brochure With a Built-In Word Template

One great way to make a brochure in Word is by using one of the built-in templates. You may see one or two when you browse the templates. But if you perform a search in the template section using “Brochure,” you’ll receive many more options from businesses to education to non-profit organizations.

Search Brochure Templates Word

  1. Select File > New from the menu.
  2. Pop “Brochure” into the template search box.
  3. Choose the one you want and click Create.

For our example, we’re going to use the Business Brochure. But you can follow the same actions for most of the templates.

If you click on the various areas within this brochure, you’ll see that the text and images are objects. Some templates will simply have text as it appears in a regular Word document. Either way, you’ll just select that text and replace it with your own.

Customize Your Text

After inserting your own text, you can customize the appearance of the text layout. Click the object border containing the text and then click the small Layout Options button that appears. You can then review the text wrapping options and pick a new one if you like.

Word Brochure Template Layout Options

If you want to change the font style, size, or formatting, you can do that just as you would a regular Word document. Select the text, click the Home tab, and use the options in the Font section of the ribbon.

Insert Your Own Images

You can easily replace an image in the template with your own. Use your logo, product photo, or an abstract design.

Right-click the image, select Change Picture, and insert your own. You can choose from a file, online sources, or icons.

Word Brochure Template Change Picture

If you’re unable to select an image in one of the brochure templates, then you cannot replace it.

Remove Other Objects

Some templates include objects other than images, such as shapes. To remove an object that you don’t want in your brochure, select and hit Delete.

Check Out the Tips

Many of the built-in Word brochure templates will contain helpful instructions, like this other Business Brochure. So for various adjustments to paragraph styles, spacing, breaks, and more, peruse the template you decide to use for useful tips.

Word Brochure Template Tips

How to Make a Custom Brochure

If you prefer to create your own brochure from scratch, this is always an option. And while there are plenty of customization options, here’s how to easily get started.

From the screenshots above or the built-in Word templates, you can see a few things that you’ll want to mimic with your own brochure, beginning with the page layout.

Set Up Your Brochure Layout

  1. Open a new document in Word and then click the Layout Each of the following settings are in the Page Setup section of the ribbon.
  2. Click Orientation and pick Landscape. This puts the page in a wide rather than slim layout.
  3. Click Margins and select Narrow. This makes the margins smaller so you can cover more of the page.
  4. Next, click Columns and choose two for a bifold or three for a trifold brochure.
  5. Optionally, you can click the Size button if you plan to print the brochure on a specific size of paper.

Insert Your Objects

  1. Click the Insert tab to start adding your text boxes and images. If you want two pages for the front and back of your brochure, start by clicking Pages > Blank Page to add another.
  2. In the Illustrations section of the ribbon, you can pick from Pictures, Online Pictures, Shapes, and other types of imagery. Move your cursor to where you want the image and then pick an option from the ribbon.
  3. In the Text section of the ribbon, click the Text Box Here, you’ll see different shapes, sizes, and spots for the text boxes. Those labeled as a Sidebar are ideal for creating a brochure. And once you pick one, the Shape Format menu will automatically appear for you to customize the shape, style, text, arrangement, and more. If you prefer, you can also click Draw Text Box for the exact shape and size you want it.

Word Brochure Text Boxes

Now that you have the basics for how to create a brochure in Word, you should be on your way to a fabulous product!

Additional Brochure Templates for Word

Maybe you’re not fond of the built-in Word templates and don’t want to spend time creating your own brochure from scratch. If so, take a look at these free brochure templates for Word you can grab online.

1. Business Brochure Template

Business Brochure Template Word TemplateLab

If you’d like a bifold brochure, TemplateLab offers some terrific options like this Business Brochure.

You get front and back pages, use objects for the text and images, and can swap out your own photos easily.

2. Mail Brochure Template

Mail Brochure Template Word TemplateLab

If you want a brochure that you can fold and then drop in the mail, take a look at this company brochure from TemplateLab.

This one also has front and back page, but with handy spots for your company address and your recipients’ address on the centerfold.

Along with the two above, be sure to browse through the main brochure template page on TemplateLab as well because you’ll see many excellent options.

3. Technology Brochure Template

Technology Brochure Template Word Stock Layouts

Another great spot for brochure templates for Word is Stock Layouts. This Technology Brochure is a nice, bifold template with an attractive and professional appearance.

Like the Business Brochure template above, this one also uses objects for the text and photos and lets you remove or replace the images in a snap.

4. Trifold Business Brochure Template

Trifold Business Brochure Template Word Stock Layouts

If you prefer the trifold layout for your brochure, here’s another good one from Stock Layouts.

This one also has a technology theme and easy-to-use text and image boxes.

Stock Layouts offers several additional free brochure templates for Word, so be sure to check out the other options. And note that some templates on the site are only available for purchase.

5. Colorful Brochure Template

Colorful Brochure Template Word PFL

If you want a brochure that’s neutral as far as the industry, but provides a neat design, take a look at this one from PrintingForLess.com.

As the website explains, just change the watermarked images for those of your own and pop your own words into the text boxes.

6. Pet Theme Brochure Template

Pet Theme Brochure Template Word PFL

If you’re in the pet business, whether a veterinarian, pet store, or dog walker, PrintingForLess.com offers a couple of pet-themed brochures.

Even though you’ll want to switch the watermarked images to your own, you can still get a nifty design and cool ideas for your pet business.

PrintingForLess.com has a handful of free Word brochure templates you can browse for additional ideas.

Make Your Information Brochure Easily

Whether you use a built-in template, create your own brochure, or opt for a third-party template, you definitely have options for making a brochure in Word.

Looking for more types of templates for Microsoft Word? Take a look at how to make flyers in Word with some awesome templates or check out this collection of business letter templates for Word that can save you time.

Read the full article: How to Make a Brochure or Pamphlet With Word Templates

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Microsoft Launches a New Office App for Android and iOS

Microsoft has released a new, unified Office app for Android and iOS. Office brings together the core Microsoft Office apps of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into one unified mobile app. And it’s now available for everyone to use on both Android and iOS.

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Microsoft Finally Takes Mobile Seriously

Microsoft is synonymous with PCs. This is because Windows (developed by the genius of Bill Gates) is by far the most popular desktop operating system. And Microsoft’s failure to compete with Android and iOS in the mobile sector only solidified that connection.

However, in recent years, Microsoft has made an effort to become more mobile-friendly. The company now happily releases apps for Android and iOS, including mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And now it has combined all three into one unified app.

Microsoft Office Now Lives on Your Smartphone

In November 2019, Microsoft launched the Office mobile app in a public preview. The iOS app quickly hit the maximum 10,000 users, but the Android app remained up in public preview. Now, however, Microsoft Office for Android and iOS is available to everyone.

In a post on the Office Apps Blog, published at the time the public preview was launched, Microsoft billed Office as “a new vision for how people get work done on a phone” and “a new app that’s ambitious enough to simply be called Office.” Brave words indeed.

Office for mobile has been built with mobile users in mind at all times. So it’s optimized for use on mobile devices, with Microsoft “combining the existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps into a single app.” Which can do more than you may think.

Anyone who has already used any of these Office apps will recognize them immediately. It’s just that Microsoft has squeezed them into a single app. This means you get to enjoy an integrated experience, while also gaining some mobile-centric features.

Combining its existing apps into one “brings all of your Office documents together in one place, reduces the need to switch between multiple apps, and significantly reduces the amount of space used on your phone compared to multiple installed apps.”

How to Use Microsoft Office on Your Smartphone

Microsoft has now launched Office for mobile out of public preview. Which means the app is now available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, respectively. It’s free to download and use, with in-app purchases available for Office 365.

In a new post on the Microsoft 365 Blog, Microsoft describes the new Office app as “a powerful tool that is intuitive and familiar yet still uniquely different.” The company also claims to have “made several enhancements since the public preview”.

Download: Microsoft Office for Android | iOS (Free, with in-app purchases available)

The Best Free Microsoft Office Alternatives

The new Office app is looking good, and is only likely to get better. Unfortunately, while it works well on smartphones, the app only offers limited support for tablets. However, Microsoft has committed to optimizing Office for iPads and Android tablets.

As good as Office is, because it’s Microsoft, and Microsoft is regarded as the enemy in some quarters, many people still prefer to use an alternative to Microsoft Office. So, with that in mind, here are the best free Microsoft Office alternatives.

Read the full article: Microsoft Launches a New Office App for Android and iOS