Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques for Dummies


Wouldn’t it be a waste to go on a spectacular, exotic vacation abroad and just hang out at the hotel pool? Wouldn’t it be a waste to buy a new iPod, download four favorite songs, and play them over and over?

Most people with Office 2003 are wasting a lot of software power and a lot of time. They do the same routine things in the same routine ways and haven’t begun to explore the capabilities of Office 2003. If you’re one of them, Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques For Dummies ...

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Wouldn’t it be a waste to go on a spectacular, exotic vacation abroad and just hang out at the hotel pool? Wouldn’t it be a waste to buy a new iPod, download four favorite songs, and play them over and over?

Most people with Office 2003 are wasting a lot of software power and a lot of time. They do the same routine things in the same routine ways and haven’t begun to explore the capabilities of Office 2003. If you’re one of them, Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques For Dummies gets you out of your rut and into action. It provides over 70 timesaving techniques for Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, and PowerPoint. (Most of the tips work with Office 2000 and Office XP, too.) You’ll customize Office to meet your needs and start working like a pro in no time with easy-to-use tricks, tips, and techniques for:

  • Streamlining your toolbars (Word alone has dozens to choose from)
  • Setting up Outlook, searching with folders, organizing with flags, and dealing with spam
  • Taking proper security measures, including using and updating an antivirus package and avoiding potentially dangerous file extensions
  • Editing and laying out impressive Word documents
  • Using keyboard shortcuts
  • Diving into more advanced Office skills such as writing macros, setting up templates, and using multimedia with PowerPoint
  • Using Excel to build self-verifying spreadsheets
  • Running totals and subtotals in Access
  • Combining applications to print holiday greetings and run an electronic newsletter

Written by Woody Leonhard, author of Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies and the bestseller Windows XP All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, this guides helps you eliminate extra steps and little annoyances and do things you probably didn’t know you could do, such as:

  • Building e-mail stationery
  • Calculating sales tax with the Lookup Wizard
  • Making professional labels
  • Encrypting messages
  • Recording narration for PowerPoint presentations

Complete with an index that lets you find what you want, fast. Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques For Dummies helps you get up to speed and down to work. After all, times a-wastin!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Get more done in Office 2003. Spend less time doing it. That’s what this book promises. That’s what it delivers.

Always make the same change in all your Word documents? Make your way the default way. Always searching for the same stuff in your Outlook mailbox folders? Keep those search results available (and updated) whenever you need them.

Want to build Excel spreadsheets that verify themselves? Create your own reusable AutoFormat settings for Access reports? Convert a Word outline into a PowerPoint presentation in seconds? Get less spam? Woody Leonhard covers it all. As publisher of Woody’s Office Watch, he knows more about Office than just about anyone. This book plucks 72 of his best tips, and they’re winners. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764567612
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/26/2004
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Woody Leonhard is a bestselling technology author and a true Windows and Office guru.
He publishes several e-zines on these topics for over 510,000 weekly subscribers.

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Table of Contents

Introduction          1
About This Book          1
Foolish Assumptions          2
What's in This Book          2
Conventions Used in This Book          4
Icons Used in This Book          4
Where to Go from Here          5

Part I          Knocking Office Into Shape          7

Technique 1
Making Windows Safe for Office          9
Updating Windows Manually          9
Showing Filename Extensions          11
Using an Antivirus Product          12
Firewalling          13

Technique 2
Launching Office Quickly          15
Empowering Quick Launch          15
Putting Office Apps on the Quick Launch Toolbar          16
Changing Quick Launch Names          18
Changing Start Menu Names          19

Technique 3
Organizing My Documents for Speed          21
Understanding Your Requirements          21
Translating Requirements to Reality          23

Technique 4
Drilling Down with the My Places Bar          25
Checking Out the Default My Places Bar          26
Adding Locations to the My Places Bar          26
Showing More Icons on the My Places Bar          27
Moving Icons on the My Places Bar          28
Removing Icons You Added          28
Hiding Built-In Icons          28

Technique 5
Backing Up Quickly and Effectively          33
Backing Up: Why Pay More?          33
Choosing a Third-Party Backup Program          34
Choosing Which Files to Back Up          34
Running ZipBackup          36
Scheduling ZipBackup          39

Technique 6
Keeping Office Up-to-Date          41
Patching Jargon: A Rose by Any Other Name          41
Finding (And Using) Office Update          43
Applying Patches Manually          44
Identifying Versions to Get Help          45
Updating Office 97          47
Updating Office 2000          48
Updating Office XP          48

Technique 7
Disabling Automatic Hyperlinks          49
Understanding IntelliNONsense          49
Turning Off Automatic Hyperlinks          50
Creating a Manual Hyperlink--Quickly          52

Technique 8
Digging with Research--Quickly          53
Fixing the Research Pane          53
Finding Synonyms          55
Looking in the Dictionary          55
Using the Encarta Encyclopedia          56
Searching for Business          57

Technique 9
Copying and Pasting in a Nonce          59
Working with the Office Clipboard versus the Windows Clipboard          59
Moving Stuff Onto and Off the Office Clipboard          61
Customizing the Clipboard          62
Replacing the Office Clipboard          63

Technique 10
Keying Combinations Quickly          64
Exploiting Vital Shortcuts          64
Using Word Shortcuts          66
Using Outlook Shortcuts          68
Using Excel Shortcuts          68
Using PowerPoint Shortcuts          69

Technique 11
Drawing Quickly          70
Drawing on the Drawing Layer(s)          70
Sketching Basic Shapes          73
Adding AutoShapes          76
Grouping, Aligning, and Distributing          78

Technique 12
Shrinking Graphics          79
Picking Your Compression Battles          79
Compressing an Image          81

Technique 13
Modifying Toolbars          83
Using Toolbars Effectively          83
Rearranging Toolbar Icons          85
Adding Recommended Icons          85
Making Any Command a Toolbar Icon          86

Technique 14
Getting Help          89
Making Help Visible          89
Popping the Question          91
Drilling Down Fast          92
Digging Deeper: The Knowledge Base          93
Finding Help from Other Users          95

Part II          Saving Time with Word          97

Technique 15
Getting Word Settings Right          99
Blistering the Bouncing Menus          99
Seeing Clearly          100
Zapping the Drawing Canvas          102
Taking Back Your Mouse          103
Correcting AutoCorrect          104
Making Final Timesaving Changes          105
Saving Your Settings          107

Technique 16
Changing Your Normal Template          108
Customizing Blank Documents          108
Creating New Templates          111
Making Privacy Settings Stick          112
Setting Formatting for Drawings          113

Technique 17
Laying Out a Page--Quickly          116
Seeing Word's Way          116
Laying Out Forms with Tabs          118
Aligning Text with Tables          120
Cramming Lists with Snaking Columns          122
Linking Text with Text Boxes          125

Technique 18
Making Professional Labels          127
Creating and Printing Simple Labels          128
Customizing a Template for Fancy Labels          129
Filling In and Printing Labels from a Template          133
Micro-Adjusting Pictures          134

Technique 19
Editing Like a Pro          136
Editing in a SharePoint World          136
Tracking Changes          137
Making Comments          140
Changing the Font of Tracked Changes and Comments          141
Reviewing and Finalizing a Document          142
Using Editing Tools the Timesaving Way          143

Technique 20
Finding and Replacing in the Wild          145
Streamlining Text Searches          145
Searching for More Than Plain Text          147
Matching Wildcards          149
Replacing with Care          152

Technique 21
Rapid-Fire Styles          155
Getting Styles          155
Applying Styles          156
Finding Styles          159
Remaking Word's Default Styles          161
Making New Styles          165
Refreshing Styles to Match a Template          166

Technique 22
Fast Links inside Documents          168
Creating a Linked Table of Contents Automatically          168
Linking Text to Headings in a Document          169
Creating Custom Links That Are Hard to Break          170

Technique 23
Setting Up Your Own Letterhead          172
Making Letterhead Decisions          172
Creating a New Letterhead Template          173
Laying Out the Letterhead          174
Altering Template Settings          175
Adding Text to Your Letterhead Template          178
Making Dates--With a Macro          180
Distributing the Letterhead Template          182

Technique 24
Positioning Pictures Just Right          183
Working with the Drawing Layer          183
Making a Picture Float          185
Working with Anchors          188
Moving Pictures Small Distances          188

Technique 25
Typing Fractions Fast          190
Creating Consistent-Looking Fractions          190
Building Your Own Fractions          191

Part III          Streamlining Outlook          195

Technique 26
Getting Outlook Settings Right          197
Strolling through the Panes          197
Controlling the Navigation Pane          198
Displaying Your Contacts and Calendar in Separate Windows          199
Moving More Mail Faster          200
Adjusting the E-Mail Editor Settings          203
Making Other Timesaving Changes          205

Technique 27
Searching with Folders          206
Using Search Folders          206
Creating Search Folders          208
Rationalizing Search Folders          210

Technique 28
Organizing with Flags          212
Marking Mail          212
Following Up on Flags          214
Choosing Flag Colors          215
Moving the Flag Column          215

Technique 29
Taming AutoComplete in Outlook          217
Understanding AutoComplete          217
Cleaning Up the Cache          219
Setting the Address Book Straight          219

Technique 30
Dealing with Spam          222
Employing an Ounce of Prevention          222
Deploying a Pound of Cure          226

Technique 31
Preventing Infection          229
Understanding the Classic Hooks          229
Phishing for Fun and Profit          231
Taking the Necessary Precautions          232

Technique 32
Working with E-mail Attachments          234
Understanding Draconian Blocks          234
Bypassing the Blocks          237

Technique 33
Securing Your Mail          239
Getting a Digital Certificate          239
Using a Digital Certificate          241
Encrypting Messages          242

Part IV          Exploiting Excel          245

Technique 34
Getting Excel Settings Right          247
Bagging the Bouncing Menus          247
Making Key Changes          248
Modifying Your Default Spreadsheet          252

Technique 35
Building Self-Verifying Spreadsheets          255
Highlighting Conditionally          255
Running Self-Verifying Cross-Totals          257

Technique 36
Freezing Columns and Rows          261
Freezing Column Headings          261
Splitting the Screen          262
Printing Repeating Column Headings          263
Hiding Rows and Columns          264
Bending an Elbow at A1          264

Technique 37
Ripping through Lists          266
Making a List, Checking It Twice          266
Entering Data Manually with a Form          268
Filling In Data with AutoComplete          268
AutoFiltering to Find Stuff Fast          269

Technique 38
Running Subtotals          271
AutoFiltering Totals          271
Showing Subtotals          274

Technique 39
Creating Custom AutoFill Series          276
Using Fill Lists          276
Making Your Own AutoFill Series          279

Technique 40
Grabbing the Best with Pivot Tables          281
Creating a Pivot Table          281
Manipulating a Pivot Table          283
Making a Pivot Table Boogie          285

Technique 41
Creating Pivot Charts That Work Right          289
Starting with a Good List          289
Building a Pivot Chart          290
Re-Creating a Pivot Chart          291
Changing the Chart Type          292
Gussying Up Pivot Charts          293

Technique 42
Setting Scenarios and Seeking Goals          294
Building a Loan Amortization Spreadsheet          295
Establishing Scenarios          296
Working Backward: Goal Seeking          298

Technique 43
Using the Lookup Wizard          300
Setting Up the Lookup Wizard          301
Primping a List for Lookup          301
Running a Comparative Lookup          302
Running an Exact Lookup          305

Part V          Pushing PowerPoint          307

Technique 44
Getting PowerPoint Settings Right          309
Working through the Changes          309
Blistering the Bouncing Menus          310
Setting the View          310
Showing More Files          311
Taking Back Control          311
Reversing a Privacy-Busting Setting          312
Installing All Your Templates          313

Technique 45
Choosing the Right PowerPoint File Type          314
Understanding PowerPoint File Types          314
Saving Files to Run Automatically          315
Adding a Custom Presentation Skeleton to the AutoContent Wizard          316

Technique 46
Changing Your Blank Presentation          319
Understanding Blank Presentations          319
Creating a Bare-Bones Blank Presentation          320
Using Slide Masters          322

Technique 47
Recording a Sound Track          324
Using Recorded Narrations          324
Creating a Narration          325
Playing a Narration          327
Editing a Narration          327

Technique 48
Making a Presentation Run Itself          329
Choosing Self-Running Transitions          329
Looping a Presentation Continuously          330
Getting the Slide Timings Just Right          331
Adding Navigation Action Buttons          333

Technique 49
Answering Predictable Questions          335
Planning for the Predictable          335
Creating the Supporting Slide          336
Running Several Supporting Slides          339

Technique 50
Building toward a Goal          341
Reducing the Goal Slide          342
Building Forward to the Goal Slide          344

Technique 51
Tripping the Light Fantastic with Multimedia          346
Choosing the Right Player          346
Inserting Multimedia with Native PowerPoint Tools          347
Inserting a Media Player Movie          348

Technique 52
Taking a Presentation on the Road          351

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First Chapter

Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques For Dummies

By Woody Leonhard

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-6761-6

Chapter One

Making Windows Safe for Office


Every Office user needs to take security seriously. The cretins who make programs that melt down the Internet, pummel sites with bandwidth-clogging pings, or simply diddle with your data, are constantly trolling for unwitting accomplices. Foil their plans by keeping your wits about you.

Security is more than just an ounce of prevention. On rare occasion, viruses can wipe out all your data, and worms can bring your e-mail connection to its knees. Far more insidious, though, are the time-sucking security problems that aren't quite so obvious: the malware that lurks and infects and destroys invisibly or intermittently.

Office rates as the number-one conduit for infections because it's on virtually every desktop. On most machines, Office amounts to a big, wide-open target. Windows might get infected, but frequently the vector of attack goes through an Office application.

No Office is an island: It's tied into Windows at the shoulders and ankles. To protect Office - and to protect yourself - you must start by protecting Windows, by applying updates, getting Windows to show you hidden information that can clobber you, and installing and using antivirus software and a good firewall.

Updating Windows Manually

Did you hear the story about Microsoft's Security Bulletin MS03-045? Microsoft released the initial bulletin along with a patch for Windows on October 15, 2003. Almost immediately, people started having problems with the patch. A little over a week later, Microsoft issued a patch for the patch. This new patch seemed to take care of most of the problems, but then someone discovered that the program that installed the patch was faulty. A month after the first patch came out, Microsoft issued a patch for the patch to the patch.

Got that?

To protect Office, you need to keep Windows updated. Indeed, some Windows patches - such as the notorious Slammer/SQL patch MS02-020 - are really Office patches disguised as Windows patches. To protect Office, you have to protect Windows. And to protect Windows, you have to protect Office.

Microsoft wants you to tell Windows to heal itself automatically. I think that's a big mistake - and cite Microsoft's track record as Exhibit A. It's a sorry state of affairs, but I believe that every Office user should

  •   Set Windows Update to automatically notify you when new updates are available.
  •   Tell Windows Update that you do not want to download - much less install - new patches automatically. If you need a patch, you can take a few extra minutes and give the go-ahead.
  •   Follow the major computer publications closely to see whether new patches are stable and effective before installing them.

Some industry observers would have you trust Microsoft and set Windows Update to run automatically. I say hogwash. In theory, a black-hat cretin could unleash an Office-based worm that will destroy your machine while a patch for that very worm was sitting on Microsoft's servers. In practice, Microsoft doesn't work fast enough to release immediate patches. Demonstrably, your risk from a bad patch is far greater than your risk from a ground-zero worm attack. It doesn't make sense to trust your patching to the folks in Redmond.

I follow Microsoft's patching follies extensively in both Woody's Office Watch and Woody's Windows Watch. They're free electronic newsletters that go out to more than half a million subscribers every week. Sign up at

That said, you do need to make sure that you install the patches - after they've been tried and tested by a few million guinea pigs.

To tell Windows Update that you want to do it yourself

1. Choose Start[right arrow]Control Panel[right arrow]Performance and Maintenance[right arrow]System[right arrow]Automatic Updates.

In Windows 2000, choose Start[right arrow]Settings[right arrow] Control Panel, and go from there.

Windows XP shows you the System Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 1-1.

2. Mark the Keep My Computer Up to Date check box.

This allows Microsoft's sniffer program to come in and look at your copy of Windows. The sniffer program sends an inventory of Windows pieces and patches back to the Microsoft Mother Ship, but as far as I (and several independent researchers) can tell, it doesn't appear as if Microsoft receives any information that can identify you individually.

3. Select the first radio button under Settings (Notify Me Before Downloading Any Updates and Notify Me Again Before Installing Them on My Computer).

That's exactly what you want to do. Microsoft might change the wording of this dialog box slightly. (As this book went to press, there were rumors that the next version of Windows Update would encompass both Windows and Office.) The intent, however, stays the same: You want to be in control of what Microsoft puts on your machine - and when.

4. Click OK.

I talk about Windows Update, its implications, and vulnerabilities in Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies. Well worth reading to get the entire Windows perspective.

Windows and Office are so inextricably interwoven that a security hole in one frequently shows up as a security hole in the other. It's important to keep both Windows and Office up to date, because Microsoft may have a vital patch for an Office component, and not even realize it, much less warn you about it!

Showing Filename Extensions

This is the most important Technique in the entire book.

If you're an old DOS fan (or even a young one), you've been working with filename extensions since the dawn of time. Microsoft shows them in all its documentation - Help files, Knowledge Base articles, and white papers. If you're not familiar with extensions (see the sidebar "Since When Did Filenames Have Extensions?" for a definition), it's probably because Windows hides filename extensions from you unless you specifically tell Windows otherwise. These hidden extensions are supposed to make Windows more user-friendly. Yeah. Right.

You probably know about EXE (executable) and BAT (batch) files. Windows simply runs them when they're opened. You might not know about VBS (VBScript) or COM files (command files; good old-fashioned PC programs), which run automatically, too. And I bet you didn't have any idea that SCR (screen saver) and CPL (Control Panel add-in) files get run automatically, too.

The bad guys know. Trust me.

The creators of Windows decided long ago that filename extensions should be hidden from mortals like you and me. I think that's hooey. Every Office user should be able to see her filename extensions. If you can't see the filename extensions either in Windows or in Office, you stand a chance of getting zinged - and spending lots of time fixing the damage.

Files attached to e-mail messages rate as the number-one Trojan infection vector, and being able to see filename extensions can make all the difference. For example, that innocent file called ILOVEYOU doesn't look so innocent when it appears as ILOVEYOU.VBS. You might be tricked into double-clicking a file that's called Funny Story.txt, but you'd almost certainly hesitate before double-clicking Funny Story.txt.exe.

If you've been looking around Office trying to figure out how to force Office to show you filename extensions in dialog boxes, you've been looking in the wrong place! Windows itself controls whether Office shows filename extensions.

To make Windows show you the entire filename

1. Choose Start[right arrow]My Computer.

2. Choose Tools[right arrow]Folder Options[right arrow]View.

Windows shows you the Folder Options dialog box, as shown in Figure 1-2.

3. Clear the Hide Extensions for Known File Types check box.

While you're here, seriously consider selecting the Show Hidden Files and Folders radio button and also clearing the Hide Protected Operating System Files (Recommended) check box. You can find a detailed discussion of the implications of both in Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies.

4. Click OK.

All the directions and screenshots in this book (indeed, nearly all of Microsoft's Help files, Knowledge Base articles, and more) assume that you've instructed Windows to show filename extensions.

Using an Antivirus Product

These days, an antivirus package is an absolute necessity - not only to protect your Office files and programs but to protect Windows itself. Antivirus software is cheap, reliable, easy to buy (you can get it online), frequently updated (sometimes with e-mailed notifications), and the Web sites that the major manufacturers support are stocked with worthwhile information. I know people who swear by - and swear at - all the major packages (see Table 1-1).

Every Office user must

  •   Buy, install, update, and religiously use one of the major antivirus products. Doesn't matter which one.
  •   Force Windows to show filename extensions.
  •   Be extremely leery of any files with the filename extensions listed in Table 1-2. If you download or receive a file with one of those extensions (perhaps contained in a Zip file), save it, update your antivirus package, and run a full scan on the file - before you open it

The final filename extension is the one that counts. If you double-click a file named Funny Story.txt.exe, Windows treats it as an .exe file and not a .txt file.

I cover many important details about antivirus software, its care, and feeding in Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies.


The Slammer worm demonstrated, loud and clear, that Office users need to protect any PC that's connected directly to the Internet. Slammer slipped in through a little-used port (Internet connection slot), infected a particular type of Access database, and then shot copies of itself out that same unprotected port.

A firewall blocks your ports. It ensures that the traffic coming into your PC from the Internet consists entirely of data that you requested. A good firewall will also monitor outbound traffic in order to catch any bad programs that have installed themselves on your machine and are trying to connect to other PCs on the Internet.

Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall works - and it's a whole lot better than nothing. But it's a big target: If you were writing Internet-killing worms, where would you direct your efforts? The upshot: Enable Internet Connection Firewall (which is in the process of being renamed Windows Firewall) by all means, but to guard against all intrusions, you want a third-party firewall as well.

Every Office user needs to ensure that a firewall - some firewall, any firewall - sits between his Office machine and the Internet.

If you have a PC that's connected directly to the Internet, you can enable Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall by following these steps:

1. Choose Start[right arrow]Control Panel[right arrow]Network and Internet Connections[right arrow]Network Connections.

Windows presents you with the Network Connections dialog box.

If you're using Windows 2000, you need to choose Start[right arrow]Settings to get into the Control Panel.

2. Right-click the connection to the Internet and then choose Properties[right arrow]Advanced.

You see the Properties dialog box.

3. Enable the Protect My Computer or Network by Limiting or Preventing Access to This Computer from the Internet check box.

4. Click OK.

I have detailed instructions for setting up a firewall - including, notably, the free version of ZoneAlarm - in Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies.

Version notes: Internet Connection Firewall is only available in Windows XP (unless you're running Windows 2003 Server - and if that's the case, you need all the help you can get).


Excerpted from Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques For Dummies by Woody Leonhard Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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