Tips & Tricks

Word tips

Note that unless the version is specified, the tips work on all versions.

Tip 1: How to convert lowercase letters to Capital letters

Want to put a whole set of words or a sentence in capital letters in an MS Word document without retyping it? Select your text and press Shift + F3. This shortcut allows you to switch modes: UPPERCASE, lowercase, Capitalize Each Word and tOGGLE cASE.

Tip 2: How to use the synonyms dictionary

To find synonyms for a word selected on your page press Shift + F7.

Tip 3: How to select a paragraph

Want to quickly select a paragraph in an MS Word document? Place your pointer anywhere in the paragraph and triple click.

Alternative: Place the mouse pointer in the left margin next to the paragraph you want to select, and double-click when the pointer turns into an arrowhead pointing to the right.

* Tip 4: How to selecting vertical text

To select text displayed as a vertical column instead of a horizontal row, hold down the Alt key while selecting text with the mouse.

Tip 5: How to quickly move around in a document

Want to quickly move from one paragraph to the next in an MS Word document? Use the Ctrl + Up Arrow keys or Ctrl + Down Arrow keys.

*Tip 6: How to move your cursor to its previous position in a document

If you are editing a very long document, and need to move back and forth between the beginning and end of the document, it is easy to forget where your cursor was before you moved to another part of the text.

Press Shift + F5 to return your cursor to its previous position.

Tip 7: How to add a watermark to your document

When you send a draft proposal to your personnel, you don’t want it to be mistaken for a final version. To prevent this from happening, insert a watermark indicating “Draft”, “Confidential”, “Sample” or any other expression of your choice.

Version 2003

  • Click on Format > Background > Insert Watermark.
    · Make your selections and select either Translucent or Faded from the options
    · Click OK

Version 2007-2010

  • Click on the Page Layout tab
    · In the Background group, click on Watermark
    · Select the watermark of your choice


Version 2013 and higher

  • Click the Design tab
    · In the Page Background group, click the Watermark button
    · Select the watermark of your choice


Tip 8: How to Copy & Paste more quickly in a document

Select the object to be copied (highlight the text or select the object with its handles). Next, click on the object while holding down the Ctrl key (a small + sign will appear next to the mouse pointer). Move this selection to the location you want to copy it to, and release the mouse button. This method is very effective because it allows you to quickly Copy & Paste text and duplicate repetitive elements in a drawing.

Tip 9: How to select the entire document using the mouse

To select your entire document with the mouse, triple click in the margin on the left-hand side of your document.

*Tip 10: How to quickly select a sentence

Instead of manually highlighting the words up to the period, hold down the Ctrl key and then use your mouse to click anywhere in the sentence.

Tip 11: How to move your cursor to the top of a document

To move your cursor to the top of the document press Ctrl + Home.

Tip 12: How to move your cursor to the end of a document

To move your cursor to the end of the document press Ctrl + End.

Tip 13: How to launch the spell checker

To launch the spelling and grammar checker, press F7.

Tip 14: Original documents

Version 2007 and higher

Word provides a wide range of special effects to make your texts more creative and effective. Select the object to which you want to apply effects. Then click the Format tab that contains the tools to edit the object. You can apply shape, shadow, reflection, bevel or 3-D rotation styles.

*Tip 15: Quick formatting with styles

You probably already know about Word styles. They are perfect for applying styles to your texts with just a few clicks. However, having to review a long document is very time consuming. This is not an option if the text is more than dozens of pages long and you don’t have much time to review it! Use style sets to completely transform your document in three seconds no matter how big or small it is.

Version 2007-2010: To review and apply the style set that’s right for you, click the Change Styles button and then click Style Set. Review the predefined style sets available to you by simply dragging your mouse cursor over them. Did you find the right one for you? Just click on it, and it’s applied!

Version 2013 and higher: click on the Design tab, and pass your cursor over the available styles. Did you find one that you like? Just click on it, and it’s applied!

Tip 16: Navigating through your document

Version 2010 and higher

Click the View tab and check the Navigation Pane check box. The Navigation Pane opens on the left side of the window. It replaces the Document Explorer. This is a real management tool that provides three different display options: Headings, Pages and Results. In the Headings view, only the titles are visible: you can move them, change their level, and add or delete headings. In short, you can change the structure of the text while you are in Headings. Pages provides a thumbnail view of each page of the document. Click a thumbnail to display that page in the work area. And finally, the Navigation Pane is a great search tool. Type a few letters. All the words containing these letters are highlighted in yellow and a preview of the results is displayed in the Navigation Pane. Simply click on a result to go to the page containing the text.

Tip 17: Reduce the file size of images

Version 2007 to 2010

The images you embed in a Word document can be very large. For example, if you want to email the file, you need to compress them. Word has all the tools you need. When you click on the image, a new Picture Tools, Format tab appears in the Ribbon. Click the Compress Pictures button: the dialogue box displays the current size of the document and its size once the pictures are compressed. You can compress one or all pictures in the document. Check the Compress all Pictures checkbox to make them all the same size when saving the file.

Tip 18: How to optimize Word to streamline your work

Version 2007 to 2010

Microsoft’s word processor features a wide range of layout options that are grouped in the Ribbon. When you create a document and have to meet formatting requirements (Font, Colour, Table, etc.), you must select various tabs and look for tools one at a time. In most cases, we often use the same tools, and it takes forever to find them. Luckily, the Quick Access Toolbar can solve these problems. Using this toolbar couldn’t be easier. Just right-click on the menu options you want to add, either in the Ribbon or in File Options. The Quick Access Toolbar then groups the icons for the options that you selected. The icons can be placed above or below the Ribbon: click the small down arrow to customize your Quick Access Toolbar.


*Tip 19: How to delete entire words

To delete an entire word, press Ctrl + Backspace. This deletes words instead of individual letters.

*Tip 20: How to remove formatting from selected text

Select the text from which you want to remove formatting, then press Ctrl + Spacebar This will return the text to the normal default Word format.

*Tip 21: How to quickly find the definition of a word

Version 2016 and higher

You’re reading a document and come across a word you are not familiar with? You can quickly find the definition by right-clicking the word and choosing Smart Lookup.

Excel tips

Note that unless the version is specified, the tips work on all versions.

Tip 1: How to enter the current date in a cell

To quickly enter the current date in a cell, press Ctrl+; (semi-colon)

Tip 2: How to enter the current time in a cell

To quickly insert the current time, press Ctrl+Shift+; (semi-colon).

Tip 3: How to make a graph in less than five seconds

To make a graph in less than 5 seconds, select your data range and press the F11 key.

Tip 4: How to ask Excel to read data

Want to compare the values in an Excel column with those in a paper report you are working on? Instead of looking back and forth from the paper version to your file, ask Excel to read your data!

Version 2003
Select the data range to read and click on Tools/Vocal Functions/Display the toolbar Spoken Text and click on the Speak Cells button.

Version 2010 and higher
Since the 2010 version, this tool is not part of the Ribbon, but it can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar. Click File, Options, Quick Access Toolbar Go to the “Choose commands from:” dropdown list, then click the down arrow and select the All Commands option. Look for Speak Cells in the list of tools and add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Tip 5: How to add a new worksheet in the current workbook

To add a new sheet in an Excel workbook, press: Shift+F11.

Tip 6: How to quickly select a column

To select the column you are in press Ctrl+Spacebar.

*Tip 7: How to quickly select a row

To select the row you are in press Shift+Spacebar.

Tip 8: How to select all cells that contain comments

To select all cells that contain comments press Ctrl+Shift+O.

Tip 9: How to select the entire worksheet

To select the entire worksheet, place the cursor on an empty cell and press Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar

Tip 10: How to remove duplicates from a selection of cells

Version 2003

To extract a list of values in a column while avoiding duplicates in Excel 2003, follow these steps:
· Click on the Data tab
· Filter
· Elaborate Filter
· In this menu, select the column where the duplicates are located
· Check the “Extract without duplicates” box

Version 2010 and higher

To extract data from a list of values in a column while avoiding duplicates in Excel 2010, follow these steps:
· Select the range of cells you want to extract without duplicates
· Click on the Data tab
· Click on the Remove Duplicates button

Tip 11: Unlimited filters

Version 2007 and higher

In Excel, the most commonly used sort order is ascending alphabetical. If you need to reverse this order, click the ZA↓ icon. Note that you can also sort by cell colour and font colour! Click the column arrow and choose Sort on cell colour or Filter by cell colour. Obviously, this only works if the cells are coloured. The choice of combinations is almost unlimited. Sorting can be done in the two dimensions of rows and columns, and in depth if you are working with several grids that are associated with each other and reproduce the same structures. These sorting operations require somewhat more complex commands.

Tip 12: More user friendly functions

Version 2010 and higher

The long text lists used in Excel 2007 have been replaced by tabs featuring the most popular functions used to create tables and graphics. In addition, when you right-click on a cell or a piece of text, editing options are displayed in a context menu, which, for example, allows the user to quickly apply a fill colour to a zone or change a font. Finally, if this is still too slow for you, double-clicking opens a dialogue box containing the most frequently used options. The lite version of Excel for online work has fewer features than the desktop version, but the main features are supported.

Tip 13: Simplified collaborative work

Version 2013 and higher

To share a document with colleagues, go to File, and then click Share. From there, you can closely manage the users you authorize to edit the document. Excel gives you the option to send them a link that will redirect them to your workbook stored in a virtual space. For example, you can work simultaneously on the same thematic workbook called marriage! The name of the active user is displayed in the status bar, and if he makes a change in a cell, a document update is proposed in the status bar. Simple and efficient.

Tip 14: Crossing data is easy!

Version 2010 and higher

Pivot tables are essential for analyzing a long list of data. Excel provides some improvements and additions that make them easier and quicker to process and view. Excel no longer uses segments to filter a pivot table. It now uses floating windows that contain the list of data in a field in the form of buttons. Just click on one of the data buttons to filter the pivot table. You can combine several filters on the same field or on different fields without the table becoming unreadable since the filter parameters remain visually under control in the segments.

Tip 15: More effective conditional formatting

Version 2010 and higher

You can create a conditional formatting rule to choose an icon set whose colour will reflect the value contained in the cells. For example, if you choose “flag” icons, you are allowed to use a maximum of three colours. Excel is both more flexible and more varied. First, the icon set is now selected visually, instead of from a text list. Then, you can define your own icon set. For example: a green flag for data greater than 1,000, a yellow arrow for values between 800 and 1,000, and a red circle for data less than 800. The formatting condition may depend on the content of a specific cell. For example: cell A2 is coloured red if its value is lower than that of cell V5. Another improved conditional formatting style: data bars, which by becoming proportional with Excel 2010 are reliable visual indicators.

Tip 16: How to access external data

Version 2010 and higher

The Data tab contains a group of essential tools, Get External Data, to import third-party files. You can import an Excel table, an Access table or even SQL Server (into a brand new table or add the imported data to an existing table). The imported data are checked and any problems are listed in an error table. The error table can be viewed later to correct any errors.

Tip 17: How to use Sparklines to view trends in real time

Version 2010 and higher

Traditionally, a linear trend line in a graph plots the progression of a data series. It provides the user with a visual representation of changes in the data, which can be used to make projections into the future. In Excel, you insert these trend lines directly into the spreadsheet. This provides you with a dynamic visual representation of the data. Any change in a value is automatically reflected in the line where the value is shown. You choose the trend line’s thickness, colour, type (line or column) and the characteristics of its vertical axis (minimum and maximum values, scale, etc.). On the Insert tab, select Sparklines and then click the Line, Column or Win/Loss button, depending on the type of Sparkline you want.

Tip 18: How to write on several lines in one cell

There is a simple, easy way to write text on several lines while staying in the same cell in Excel. Enter your text, then press ALT+ENTER to start a new line of text in the same cell. It’s an easy way to enter headers in a table.

*Tip 19: How to insert bullet points into Excel cells

Unlike Word, Excel does not provide a button for inserting bullet points into our text. Follow these steps to insert bullet points:

  • Select the cells into which you want to insert bullet points.
  • Right click on the selection and choose Format Cells.
  • Select the Custom option and copy/paste the following format into the General cell:
    General;● General;● General;● General
  • Click OK. Your cells will now contain bullet points.
*Tip 20: How to strikeout text in Excel

To quickly strikeout text in Excel, select the cells containing the text you want to strikeout, and press Ctrl+5

*Tip 21: How to make an instant data entry form

Version 2010 and higher

Do you need to complete a list in Excel? You can use an instant form to facilitate data entry. Place your cursor in the list to be completed and enter the following shortcut: Alt+D+O. Warning! For this to work properly, your header row must have a different format than the rest of the data. So, apply bold or colour to your header row before you open the data form.

*Tip 22: How to select all cells that contain formulas

Version 2010 and higher
How can you select cells with formulas to change their format, if they are not next to one another? Click Home, in the Editing group click Find & Select, click Go To Special, and then click Formulas.

*Tip 23:  How to quickly analyze data

Version 2013 and higher

When you select cells in Excel, a small Quick Analysis icon appears in the lower right corner of the selection. Click on it, and you will have access to various tools to quickly make sums, create a chart, apply a conditional format, or even create a pivot table.

PowerPoint tips

Note that unless the version is specified, the tips work on all versions.

Tip 1: How to launch a slide show

To launch your presentation press: F5. To start your presentation from the current slide press: Shift + F5.

Tip 2: How to add a new slide

One of the quickest ways to add a new slide to your presentation is to use the following shortcut: Ctrl+ M.

Tip 3: How to go to a specific slide during your presentation

In Slide Show mode, to go directly to a slide, type the number of the slide followed by Enter.

Tip 4: How to display a white or black screen during a presentation

To momentarily hide your presentation and bring the focus back to you during your slide show follow these steps. To display a black screen, press the B key; to display a white screen, press the W key. Press any key to return to the slide show.

Tip 5: How to add videos to your slide show!

Version 2010 and higher

PowerPoint versions 2010 and higher allow you to create presentations like a pro! For example, you can animate a document by inserting a video in the middle of your presentation. On the Ribbon’s Insert tab, click Video to select a video stored on your hard drive, or from an online sharing site.

Tip 6: How to organize your presentation into sections

Version 2010 and higher

With PowerPoint, you can organize your presentation into sections, all saved in a single file. Use sections to organize your slides into groups. You can then use the sections to create a table of contents, share a selection of slides with colleagues or simply make it easier to create your presentation. It will make your presentation easier to read! Just right-click between two slides in the navigation pane and choose the Add Section command.

Tip 7: Broadcast your presentation on the Internet

Version 2010 and higher

Present your slide shows in broadcast mode on the Internet. Click the Slide Show tab, then click Present Online. The presentation is transferred to a PowerPoint slide show distribution service, and you receive the URL to access the presentation. Send the URL to anyone who wants to see the presentation. Indicate the time and date of the broadcast. That’s all there is to it! You run the slideshow on your PC: you control everything from A to Z. Viewers see it in real time exactly as it appears on your PC, with the transitions and animations you’ve programmed. It works with Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox as well as on a Smartphone or iPhone.

*Tip 8: Choosing the right colour

Version 2016 and higher

Have you ever wanted to change the colour of a shape or text in PowerPoint, and want to use a specific colour from a logo or image? You will need to make sure that you have the image containing the desired colour in the slide you are working on. Select the shape or text to be edited. Then click on the font colour or fill colour icon and choose the eyedropper. Move the eyedropper onto the colour sample to be copied and click. The colour is applied

*Tip 9: How to open a document without clicking the File tab

Version 2013 and higher

To go directly to the open file window on your PC without clicking the File tab, press Ctrl + F12.

*Tip 10: How to convert a bullet list in SmartArt

Version 2010 and higher

To give your presentations a more modern and professional look, you can turn boring bulleted lists into dynamic and colourful SmartArt. Select the bulleted list, and in the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Convert to SmartArt.

*Tip 11: How to duplicate the active slide

To make a copy of the current slide, press Ctrl+Shift+D

*Tip 12: How to move a paragraph up or down

To move a selected paragraph up: Alt+Shift+á

To move a selected paragraph down: Alt+Shift+â

*Tip 13: Screen Recording

Version 2016 and higher

Want to show the steps of a procedure using video in your PowerPoint presentation? On the Insert tab, click Screen Recording, select the area to be recorded, and complete the steps in your procedure. If your microphone is activated, you can even record your voice at the same time. Once the procedure is saved, the video will automatically be inserted into the current slide.

*Tip 14: See the Presenter View with only one screen

Version 2013 and higher

Do you want to practice your presentation with Presenter View, but only have one screen? Launch your slide show, right-click and choose Toggle in Presenter View.

Outlook tips

Note that unless the version is specified, the tips work on all versions.

Tip 1: How to quickly move emails to a folder
  • Select the emails that you want to move
    · Press: Ctrl + Shift + V. A dialogue box will appear.
    · Select the folder to which you want to move the emails, or create a new folder.
    · Click OK.
Tip 2: How to quickly enter a date for an appointment

Did you know that you can enter a date in the form of text in the date field of a new Appointment? For example, if you want to schedule an appointment in 2 days: just type “2 days” and Outlook will automatically find the date for you.

Better yet! Enter “Day before Christmas” and it will give you 24/12/. It also works with New Years day, but not for Easter because Easter doesn’t always fall on the same date from year to year and Outlook cannot foresee it.

Tip 3: How to redirect incoming emails to specific folders with Quick Steps

Version 2010 and higher

Do you receive a lot of emails and file them manually in subfolders? Use Quick Steps to have Outlook do it for you!
· Select the email to be moved
· Go to the Home tab and in the Quick Steps group, choose where to create your quick move and Outlook will move all these emails for you whenever you want.
The new Quick Steps appear at the top of the gallery on the Home tab in the Quick Steps group. Although Quick Steps stay in the same place in the gallery, you can rearrange them in Manage Quick Steps.

Tip 4: How to create a new message

To quickly create an email message press Ctrl + Shift + M.

Tip 5: How to find all emails from a specific sender

Are you looking for an email and all you can remember is who sent it to you? In Outlook, you can filter your messages to see only emails from a specific sender. Select a message from this sender from any email folder.

Version 2003

Go to: Tools/Search/Messages from sender.

Version 2010 and higher

Simply click in the search box at the top of your email mailbox and type in your search text. Items containing the text you typed are displayed with the text highlighted. To refine the search, type more characters. To expand the search to include all records, at the end of the search results, click Search again.

Tip 6: How to disable full screen reading mode in emails

Version 2010

If you open a Word document from an email in Outlook, the file is automatically launched in full screen reading mode. It is very easy to cancel this default function in Word: click on File, then on Options, and deselect the Open e-mail attachments in Full Screen Reading View box.
Note: This version is disabled by default in later versions.

Tip 7: How to manage attachments

When you receive several attachments in an email, you can save them all at once.

Version 2010

Press CTRL+A to select the attachments, then press CTRL+C to copy them, and finally, select the folder where you want to save the attachments and press CTRL+V.

Version 2013 and higher

Right click on an attachment and select Save All Attachments. Select the folder where you want to save the attachments.

Tip 8: How to check for errors in your emails

Version 2010 and higher

In order to avoid sending emails that contain errors, Outlook provides a function that you can use to check them before you send them. Go to the File tab, select Options, then Mail and check the “Always check spelling before sending” box.

Tip 9: How to automatically clean up your conversations

Version 2010 and higher

Until now, emails were stacked in the Inbox and in your folders and were sorted by “From, Date, or Subject.” Outlook 2010 can now group them for you. A conversation is an email thread that includes all succeeding replies starting with the original email. Outlook goes even further: it automatically cleans up conversations by eliminating all superfluous text, especially when replies consistently repeat previous conversations. Everything redundant is discarded, which greatly reduces the number of stored emails and amount of the space they take. Click the View ribbon, there is a Show as Conversations box to sort your emails.

Tip 10: How to identify messages at a glance

Version 2007 and higher

Assign a colour and keyboard shortcut to messages from the people with whom you correspond most often. Select a message. On the Home ribbon, click the Categorize button, and then click the All Categories option. You have the option to create a new category, choose a colour and select a keyboard shortcut to open messages later.

*Tip 11: Automatically colour the messages of specific senders.

When you receive large numbers of messages, it may be helpful to highlight some of them with a colour code. For example, emails from a specific customer in blue, emails from your boss in red, etc. On the View ribbon, click View Settings, and then select Conditional Formatting. Use this option to change the appearance (colour, font, size, etc.) of messages based on a rule that you set (sender, subject, recipients, etc.).

*Tip 12: How to answer an email

Select the email you want to reply to and use the following shortcut: Ctrl+R. To Reply All, press Ctrl +Shift+R

*Tip 13: How to go to the first or last day of the current week

Click Alt + Home to go to the first day of the current week.

Click Alt + End to go to the last day of the current week.

*Tip 14: How to create a task in any Outlook screen

Press Ctrl + Shift + K to open the new task window

*Tip 15: How to quickly return to the Inbox

Press Ctrl+Shift+i to quickly return to the Inbox from anywhere in Outlook.