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Excel

Excel Gridlines – Hate them?

The light gray Excel gridlines are a normal part of Excel workbooks when opening a new blank workbook. For some, these gridlines are annoying. Unfortunately, there are no default settings for eliminating gridlines in new workbooks. However, there are a couple of different ways to alter gridlines once you have opened a new workbook or are editing an existing workbook. Using the “Gridlines” command: This is the quickest way to remove gridlines, without having to go into the settings area, to turn off the gridlines for the active worksheet only. Click the Gridlines radio box to remove the check mark, located on the View tab in the Show Setup a Personal Template:If you want a workbook to open with one or more gridline exempt worksheets, then a template needs to be built, ensuring worksheets do not have gridlines, and requires intentional updating to overwrite the template. Open a new blank workbook in Excel. Create the number of worksheets you want created within the workbook when using the template, by clicking the plus icon next to the worksheet tabs at the bottom. Remove the gridlines from each worksheet, using the step earlier in this post. Click the File tab, then Save As. Click Browse, so the Save As dialog box opens, then select Excel Template from the Save as Type:dropdown list. (By default, this will save your template in the Personal section, when creating a new workbook.) Give your new template a name, like Blank with No Gridlines and click Save. Close your new template, so there are no conflicts. Next time you open Excel, click New under the File tab, then select Personal and your new template will appear. For more ways to make Excel work for you, take a training course from AdvantEdge Training & Consulting!

Excel Gridlines – Hate them? Read Post »

SharePoint

Out-of-the-Box Workflows

Depending on the SharePoint licensing, a company can activate the out-of-the-box workflows, which can include two to five basic workflows. Those workflows can include two different approval workflows, signature and feedback collection workflows, and a three state workflow. In order to use some of these workflows, additional columns or changes to choices may need to be made, so that the workflows fit the needs of the company. Stock workflows need to be built for a specific list or library. Here is how to find and startup an out-of-the-box workflow: Once a list or library has been created, click the List or Library tab of the ribbon. For our example, we will use the Documents library.  Then click the dropdown menu for Workflow Settings, on the far right side of the ribbon in the Settings group, and select Add a Workflow. For this tip, we will use the Approval workflow, which is the first choice in the list. Give it a unique name, so it is easy to figure out which workflow is being started. If a task and history list are already created for the site, then the workflow will choose these to be used for the finished workflow; however, new task and history lists can be created by selecting the proper choices. Decide on the appropriate startup option. The three options include manually starting, starting when an item is created and starting when an item is changed or edited. Any combination of these can be marked as well. After making the start option choices, click Next. Once on the next page, assign approvers, and decide whether the tasks should be assigned one after the other or all at once (in parallel). The next few sections lay out details about the task message received, due dates, and durations. A carbon copy (cc) email address can be setup for the workflow. It is recommended that the person setting up the workflow uses their email address, at least in the beginning, for troubleshooting and ensuring emails are going out properly. There are a few more options for rejections and final approval. Then click the Save button at the bottom. Once the workflow process is complete, the person building the workflow will be redirected to the Workflow Settings Navigate back to the list or library with which the workflow was created, in order to start the workflow. All workflows created this way can only be started against a list item or library document. Once back in our document library and ready to start our new workflow, we must select a document, click the Files tab on the ribbon, and then the Workflows command in the Workflows. Once the workflow page appears, click the workflow button, and the workflow will run for you. AdvantEdge Training & Consulting offers SharePoint classes to help company power users get a better handle on what is available in SharePoint.

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Word

Word Overtype Mode

In early version of Word, you could press your insert key on your keyboard to either type over (replace) text or insert new text. The default was to insert text, but you could quickly toggle to the replace or type over function by pressing the Insert key on the keyboard. After Word Version 2003, in the more current versions of Word in Office 365, Word 2019 and Word 2016 the inset key on the keyboard does not always work as it used to. So, how do you toggle between insert and type over/replace without having to first select the text? That function is available in the newer versions of Word; it just isn’t set up by default.Follow these steps to turn it on: Click on the File tab, then select Options Click on the Advanced option from the list In the Editing Options section, check the box next to Use the Insert key to control overtype mode   Click OK to exit the options Now you can use the Insert key to toggle the overtype mode on and off For more tips and tricks, take a Word training course with AdvantEdge Training & Consulting.

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Time Management Tips

Try Chunking for a more productive work day

Pulled in too many directions?  Need more time to get everything done in a day?  Get more done in less time by using this invaluable time management technique called Chunking. For most of the US office workforce, we are bombarded each day, all day, with multiple tasks and items we have to juggle.  With the amount of communication tools out there such as email, IM, text, phones, and drop-in discussions, it is tough to get anything done!   Just look at e-mail: We spend hours every day reading, addressing, and organizing our e-mail.  Although e-mail has increased productivity by letting us communicate more often with more people, it has decreased productivity by breaking our work concentration when we are in the midst of a project. How often are you working on a project when you see your email notification pop-up, or hear that ding indicating a new email?  You see who it is from, and then read the email quickly to see if you need to address it, or if it can wait until later.  Even if it is a quick five-minute read, without any action needed, that five-minute email becomes a 15-minute time drain.  It pulls you out of your deep focus on a project, and you have to spend the mental time and energy to shift gears into reading and processing the email (five minutes).  Then, after you determine your action on the email, it takes you at least five to ten minutes to return to the same focus level you were at on your project.  If you only get ten emails throughout the course of the day that you handle this way, that’s 2.5 hours of wasted time! This same scenario is true of other interruptions we get throughout the day – phone calls, people dropping by to ask a “quick” question, etc. . . . This can make it impossible to manage your time! In the early 1960s there was a CEO of a major auto manufacturer in Detroit.  He would tell his secretary to take messages for all incoming phone calls and to let the caller know that he would be returning calls around 2PM each day.  This did a few things: 1) It allowed him to get a lot done during his day without interruption, because he set aside a block of time at 2PM to answer and return phone calls. 2) It trained others not to call him until 2PM in the afternoon if they wanted to get a hold of him.  He was using a technique that today is a key Time Management technique called chunking your time. Chunking is the process of setting blocks of time to address items.  Set aside a certain amount of time to work on a task or project, a certain amount of time for emails or conversations, etc., and do not let anything else interrupt you from that time.  This may seem counter intuitive in our technology-driven reactionary world.  We jump on our cell phones when we get a text, call, or email.   But by putting yourself in charge of your technology, rather than letting it control you, you will get more done and feel less stressed and fragmented.  Try these simple Chunking techniques to get some order in your life: Turn off all email alerts – That desktop alert that pops up and tells you there is a new email is one of the biggest time drainers. Turn it off, and then you decide when you want to check your email. Do not keep your email Inbox open and active on your screen all day. Schedule 30 minute blocks of times throughout the day when you are going to check and reply to emails.  When it is not one of those times, keep your email minimized. If you have an intense project to focus on, let all of your phone calls go to voicemail. Schedule a time in the day that you will listen to VMs, and follow up on calls. Put your cell phone on silent mode. Schedule times to look at your cell phone activity, and ignore it the rest of the day. Schedule times for calls or meetings for habitual interrupters. If there are people that pop in your office, or call you multiple times a day, schedule a daily or weekly meeting with them.  If they know there is a set time they will have your attention, they will be more likely to gather and hold all of their small items to bring to you at that time. These tips will allow you to spend the focused time on desired tasks and communications so that you can accomplish more in the same amount of time.  Test out the Chunking process by spending one day being reactionary to all incoming stimulus.  If the phone rings, grab it and address it.  If an email comes in, immediately answer it.  You will end your day feeling like you were extremely busy but that you didn’t get anything done.  The next day, try Chunking all of your time and activities.  Schedule times to work on email, times to return phone calls, and times to work on specific tasks or projects.  You will end the day feeling like you accomplished a lot, as well as addressed all needed communications. To learn more about this and other Time Management techniques, attend one of our Time Management classes.

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Professional Development

Professional Development Series

When it comes to employee development and training, many people first think of Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel, Access, Outlook, and others.  But what you may not realize is that AdvantEdge Training & Consulting also offers a Professional Development Series that focuses on leadership, management, and communications skills necessary for success. Our Professional Development series includes courses such as Management 101, Communications and Public Speaking, Effective Business Writing, Emails, and Meetings, and goes up to more advanced topics, such as Emotional Intelligence and Critical Thinking.  As with all of our courses, classes are taught live and in-person, and are always interactive, dynamic, and hands-on. Click here for more information on our Professional Development training classes.

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Project

Highlight the Date in Project

Is the color of the vertical line for today’s date in your project too hard to see? Change the color of that line in Project to something more visible by using the following steps: In Gantt Chart view, click the Gantt Chart Tools tab, and then the Gridlines command drop-down menu, located in the Format group Click the Gridlines… option and a dialog box will open. Select Current Date in the Line to Change section Click the drop-down menu for the Color options, and select the color best fit for your needs Click OK, and you are done Make your projects run smoother by getting training in Microsoft’s  Project from AdvantEdge Training & Consulting.

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Microsoft Office, Professional Development

Semi-private classes

Did you know AdvantEdge Training & Consulting provides “semi-private” classes?  Semi-private classes are really just public classes in our training centers, except you get to pick the date, time, and location. If you have a group of at least 5 people, and you’d like them to take a certain class, but don’t see it on the schedule, we can add it for you. It’s a great solution for times when you have folks who need a class, but don’t have enough for a full private session.Interested? Contact us for more information

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Word

Translations in Word

Have you ever needed to translate a document into another language or a document from another country into English? Follow these steps to have Word do it for you: Select text that you wish to have translated. We are going to use the following: I have many things to accomplish. Select the option to translate; you can choose the entire document or selections from your document. For this example, we will translate from English to French. To choose an option, select the Review tab, then click the Translate drop-down in the Language. Select your option; for this example, we will choose the Translate Selected Text A message box will appear that warns that the information to translate will be sent over the internet. Make sure that company policies allow this, if this is work related, before you translate anything. To escape out of the translation, click No; to proceed, click Yes. If you click Yes, a translation pane, titled Research, will appear at the right with information about the translation. Note the Microsoft Translator section shows the translation in French and has an Insert button, which will insert the text into the document when you are ready. You can have it overwrite the current text or have the text added to the document, as seen below. Learn more of what Word can do for you with a class from AdvantEdge Training & Consulting.

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Project Management

Four Questions that should be asked before Project Launch

1. What do we know and what do we need to know? This is Data Gathering. 2. What could go wrong and what could go right? This is Risk Management. 3. What has already gone right or wrong? This is Problem-Solving and Seizing Opportunities. 4. What decisions need to be made now? When these four questions are answered, in order, it is time to proceed with the project launch. More on this topic or for a list of upcoming classes, click here.

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Access

Access – Normalizing Tables

Not sure if you separated out the fields in the tables correctly? Normalizing your database is key to building an easy to use database. Using the “Analyze Table” command, Access will make recommendations. It then allows you to keep or alter the suggestions. The steps for using this functionality is as follows: Click the Database Tools tab and then the Analyze Table command, located in the Analyze group. The first two screens give descriptions about the analyzer, with Show Example buttons to help you understand the process. Click the Next buttons to pass these two screens. In the next screen, select the table you want analyzed and click the Next button. Leave the Yes, Let the wizard decide choice selected and click the Next button. The next screen will allow you to check out the suggestions and make any necessary changes. Drag and drop fields between the tables, if needed. Rename the tables, if necessary, by double clicking on the top area of each table you wish to rename. A dialog box to rename the table will appear. Type in the new name and click the OK button. Click the Next button to go to the next step. The last step will ask if you want to create a query, based on the tables being split up. Select Yes or No, and then click the Finish button. The tables and queries (if query creation was selected) will be created. For more topics or to view upcoming classes, click here.

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