Tag Archives: Office

Useful Outlook Macros

Quite often I want to create a task immediately off the back of sending an e-mail – usually to remind me to follow up with the recipient after a period of time. I created a macro to do this rather than having to remember to go into tasks and do this manually – better to keep the flow rather than having to remember the steps.

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Add Reminders To Outlook Appointments

A Reminder
Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew Coulter Enright

If like me your Outlook calendar can get a bit hectic and others can add meetings to your calendar sometimes you end up simply “reacting” to your schedule and jumping from one appointment to the next on “autopilot”. It’s at times like these that Outlook’s ability to create a reminder can save your dignity.

However, sometimes the meeting organiser does not set a reminder. I have created an Outlook macro that will look for incoming meeting requests, without a reminder set and give you the option to set a reminder.

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Multiple Excel Text Boxes With Common Content

I have just had to place a textbox object onto 17 worksheets within the same excel workbook, each text box containing the same commentary text. Type it once and then copy the text box and paste, job done.
Of course as soon as I have finished it I spot my typo and realise I will have to do it all again.
Only NOW do I slow down and think (OK I Google it) of the proper way to do it.
When you create a text box, rather than typing the text into the text box as I have been doing for years, with the text box selected you can type into the formula bar. In my case I put in the formula “=Metadata!B2″. This means that the textbox will display whatever I type into cell B2 on my “Metadata” worksheet.
Now I edit the textboxes I have created to reference the formula and in the future if the text needs to change, I change it in Metadata!B2 and the new text appears in all of the textboxes that refer to it!
NOTE: The text displayed in a formula driven text box is limited to 256 characters.

Microsoft Office–VBA Editor Keeps Opening

For weeks now I have had the mild annoyance that the VBA code editor for various Excel spreadsheet’s appear to be opening at “random?. I finally tracked it down to me unlocking my PC. If I have excel running then lock my PC, when I unlock it, the VBA code editor appears.

I’m using Office 2003 SP3 on XP Pro SP3.

Turns out that there is a VERY easy fix – don’t maximise the VBA code editor.
If the editor is maximised, it appears on unlock, if it is not maximised it does not appear automatically on unlock.

Changing Excel Cell Values To Uppercase

A nice quick tip, I had lots of cell values in a mixture of cases that should have been uppercase.

Create a macro:

sub MakeUpper()

for each myCell in Selection

  myCell.Value = UCase(myCell.value)

next myCell

end sub

Add a menu item to your toolbar and then assign this macro to it.

Select the cells you want to upper case then press the button!

Update All Fields In MS Word

Sometimes you find a feature in a product that is just blatantly missing. One of those in Microsoft Word is the ability to update all the fields in the document with the latest value in a field.

I use both the built in fields e.g. Author, Version, Title and custom fields e.g. Project Code. I set the values once in the document properties and then insert the field codes in the document rather than the text. All is well. If you change the value of a field you can press F9 and all of the fields update to the latest value EXCEPT if you have used the fields in the document header or footer, these do not get updated for some reason. I would classify this as a bug, why would I not want all instances of the same field to be in sync throughout my document.

The solution is remarkably simple. Create the following macro:

Sub UpdateAll()
Dim oStory As Range
Dim oField As Field
For Each oStory In ActiveDocument.StoryRanges
For Each oField In oStory.Fields
oField.Update
Next oField
Next oStory
End Sub

This can be saved in your normal.dot file and will be available in all your word documents.

Favourite Shortcut Keys – Outlook

Apple Keyboard (with Avid shortcuts; Letterboxed)
Creative Commons License photo credit: laffy4k

If you look at the left hand menu you will see the items:

  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Tasks
  • etc

These can be quickly accessed by using the following shortcut keys:

  • (Ctrl+1) – Mail
  • (Ctrl+2) – Calendar
  • (Ctrl+3) – Contacts
  • (Ctrl+4) – Tasks

In addition, when you use Ctrl+1 to access mail, this takes you to the folder that you were last using, if you would rather jump straight into your In-Box – use (Ctrl+Shift+I).

Microsoft Word 2007 Keyboard Shortcuts

I use Microsoft Office 2008 on my work laptop. Whilst I am no touch typist; I wish I could take the productivity hit whilst I learn, I do prefer to use the keyboard for most functions, growling when I have to resort to using the mouse.

I was torn by the ribbon interface; for 80% of the things that i want to do i can find it very quickly, the remaining 20% often required a trip to help to find it. Another thing that I hated was that I “had” to use the mouse to access the ribbon features.

Then I pressed the “Alt” key !!!!!!!

This pops up an overlay on top of the ribbon interface that shows you which key to press to access each feature. Or should I say, EVERY feature. If you can see it on the ribbon, you can access it via a keystroke. I’m beginning to like this user interface.

The remaining bugbear is that I always use styles, nost commonly the heading styles and normal. In the previous version of Word I always assigned my own keystroke shortcuts to access them, but I was always over riding exisiing keystrokes and features.

In Word 2007 I have found that there are system assigned keystrokes:

Ctrl + Alt + 1 = Heading 1

Ctrl + Alt + 2 = Heading 2

etc

Strl + Shift + N = Normal

Productive typing here I come !

Microsoft Excel 2007 Annoyances

MS Office Logo

I have had office 2007 on my laptop for ages now. Like everyone I am still using the “old” file formats until the rest of the world catches up. On the whole I have been impressed by the ribbon interface.

I have just found my first major annoyance. Freeze Panes. You now have three options: Freeze Panes, Freeze Top Row and Freeze First Column. Freeze Panes works exactly the same as it did in previous versions, no problem there. I can just continue to use that option.

The problem is with Freeze Top Row; this option freezes the top row that is shown on the screen not the top row of the sheet. I know that’s what it does, it’s just that, it’s not what I expect it to do, and I can’t stop myself from clicking it !

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