With the International Consumer Electronics Show 2014 currently winding down, there’s plenty to read about what the future holds for technology. (In short, according to the Washington Post, “it’s curved, smart and wearable.”) But sometimes we need to stop and think about this moment, the one in which many people are sitting at a desk, and perhaps trying to finish the work they put off over the holiday season.

In that spirit, our staff has put together a few of our tech library’s most popular tips of 2013. Use them, bookmark them, and maybe even free up a little time for yourself to read about the neat gadgets you may be using in the future. Happy New Year!

Tips are for the 2010 version of Microsoft Office, unless otherwise noted. For tips covering other versions, browse our library.

SPEEDING UP REPETITIVE TASKS (EXCEL) Sometimes, you may need to repeat an action in Excel, such as inserting or removing rows or columns, or formatting a cell. You can do this easily by performing the action once, highlighting the area you want to repeat the action on, and pressing the F4 key. For example, if you formatted the text in cell A1 as Courier, and now want to format the text in column D as Courier as well, you would highlight column D (by clicking the column heading) and press F4.

Also note that you can repeat your actions as often as you like, as long as you have not performed any other repeatable action in the meantime. You can also apply your repeats to multiple non-contiguous cells by holding down the CTRL key while you click on each cell or set of cells that you want to perform the repeated action on.

INSERTING AN IMAGE Images can clarify the meaning of text in a document or add zing to a presentation. These tips explain how to add pictures to a document: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Publisher or Microsoft Visio.

UNDOING ACTIONS Undo is one of those features some people cannot live without. It enables you to undo actions within an application and can be found in the toolbar menus and by using a quick and easy keyboard shortcut. Read more about this tip for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Publisher or Microsoft Visio.

SINGLE VS DOUBLE CLICKING A mouse click is an action we all use hundreds of times each day to perform a variety of tasks on our computers. Knowing exactly where and how many times to click can be a huge time saver. Read more about this tip for Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote or Microsoft Publisher.

Inserting a screen clipping in Outlook 2013.

Inserting a screen clipping in Outlook 2013.

INSERTING SCREENSHOTS INTO EMAIL (OUTLOOK) In the past, adding a screenshot to an Outlook email message was possible, but it required considerable effort — especially if you wanted to show just a small part of the screen. Outlook and most Office applications now make it effortless and simple.

  1. In an open message, click the Insert tab and choose Screenshot.
  2. Pick from the thumbnails of open applications or choose Screen Clipping.
  3. Select the application window you want to insert, or click and drag the area of the window you want to see (only if using Screen Clipping).
  4. Your message now contains the image.

NOTE: Make sure the window you want is visible or just behind the message when you click Screen Clipping. Also, if you are using an earlier version of Office, this is accomplished using Print Screen or ALT+PRINT SCREEN and cropping.


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