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
  • 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 trueWindows and Office guru.
He publishes several e-zines on these topics for over 510,000weekly subscribers.

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Table of Contents


Part I: Knocking Office Into Shape.

Technique 1: Making Windows Safe for Office.

Technique 2: Launching Office Quickly.

Technique 3: Organizing My Documents for Speed.

Technique 4: Drilling Down with the My Places Bar.

Technique 5: Backing Up Quickly and Effectively.

Technique 6: Keeping Office Up-to-Date.

Technique 7: Disabling Automatic Hyperlinks.

Technique 8: Digging with Research —Quickly.

Technique 9: Copying and Pasting in a Nonce.

Technique 10: Keying Combinations Quickly.

Technique 11: Drawing Quickly.

Technique 12: Shrinking Graphics.

Technique 13: Modifying Toolbars.

Technique 14: Getting Help.

Part II: Saving Time with Word.

Technique 15: Getting Word Settings Right.

Technique 16: Changing Your Normal Template.

Technique 17: Laying Out a Page — Quickly.

Technique 18: Making Professional Labels.

Technique 19: Editing Like a Pro.

Technique 20: Finding and Replacing in the Wild.

Technique 21: Rapid-Fire Styles.

Technique 22: Fast Links inside Documents.

Technique 23: Setting Up Your Own Letterhead.

Technique 24: Positioning Pictures Just Right.

Technique 25: Typing Fractions Fast.

Part III: Streamlining Outlook.

Technique 26: Getting Outlook Settings Right.

Technique 27: Searching with Folders.

Technique 28: Organizing with Flags.

Technique 29: Taming AutoComplete in Outlook.

Technique 30: Dealing with Spam.

Technique 31: Preventing Infection.

Technique 32: Working with E-mail Attachments.

Technique 33: Securing Your Mail.

Part IV: Exploiting Excel.

Technique 34: Getting Excel Settings Right.

Technique 35: Building Self-Verifying Spreadsheets.

Technique 36: Freezing Columns and Rows.

Technique 37: Ripping through Lists.

Technique 38: Running Subtotals.

Technique 39: Creating Custom AutoFill Series.

Technique 40: Grabbing the Best with Pivot Tables.

Technique 41: Creating Pivot Charts That Work Right.

Technique 42: Setting Scenarios and Seeking Goals.

Technique 43: Using the Lookup Wizard.

Part V: Pushing PowerPoint.

Technique 44: Getting PowerPoint Settings Right.

Technique 45: Choosing the Right PowerPoint File Type.

Technique 46: Changing Your Blank Presentation.

Technique 47: Recording a Sound Track.

Technique 48: Making a Presentation Run Itself.

Technique 49: Answering Predictable Questions.

Technique 50: Building toward a Goal.

Technique 51: Tripping the Light Fantastic with Multimedia.

Technique 52: Taking a Presentation on the Road.

Part VI: Assimilating Access.

Technique 53: Getting Access Settings Right.

Technique 54: Adding a Cover Sheet to an Access Report.

Technique 55: Including Totals in an Access Report.

Technique 56: Printing Labels in Access.

Technique 57: Reducing Repetitive Formatting Tasks.

Technique 58: Recycling Forms for Browsing and Data Entry.

Technique 59: Creating Your Own AutoFormat.

Part VII: Combining the Applications.

Technique 60: Inserting a Spreadsheet in a Document.

Technique 61: Managing an Electronic Newsletter.

Technique 62: Turning a Word Document Into a Presentation.

Technique 63: Animating a Chart in PowerPoint.

Technique 64: Rotating Text in a Word Document.

Part VIII: The Scary (Or Fun!) Stuff.

Technique 65: Taking Over Word’s Show/Hide.

Technique 66: Inserting Unformatted Text in Word.

Technique 67: Inserting Unformatted Text in Excel.

Technique 68: Printing a Bunch of Spreadsheets — Fast.

Technique 69: Protecting Your Privacy.

Technique 70: Printing Personalized Greetings in Batches.

Technique 71: Creating Versatile Watermarks.

Technique 72: Building (And Stealing) E-mail Stationery.


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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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