Power Excel and Word


Just About Anyone can slap together a Word document or fill an Excel grid with numbers, but power users understand how to tap into the full functionality of these applications. Best-selling author Dan Gookin skips what you already know and takes you directly to the best and most useful parts of Word and Excel-the commands, shortcuts, and combinations of functions that will give your creations that extra-added wow factor. The only book to focus exclusively on these two critical applications, Power Excel and Word ...
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Just About Anyone can slap together a Word document or fill an Excel grid with numbers, but power users understand how to tap into the full functionality of these applications. Best-selling author Dan Gookin skips what you already know and takes you directly to the best and most useful parts of Word and Excel-the commands, shortcuts, and combinations of functions that will give your creations that extra-added wow factor. The only book to focus exclusively on these two critical applications, Power Excel and Word teaches you how to harness their power and avoid their pitfalls in one compact volume. By following step-by-step tutorials, you'll discover how to work faster, easier, and smarter. Most Office books are boring and quickly go out of date. Dan Gookin takes a uniquely entertaining approach designed to increase your skills, whether you're using Office 2003, Office XP, or Office 2000. And many of these tricks are even effective in Office 97!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780782143799
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/7/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Gookin has been writing computer books for nearly 20 years now. His popular, informative, and entertaining tomes have sold millions of copies and have been translated into dozens of languages.

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Power Excel and Word

By Dan Gookin

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7821-4379-2

Chapter One

Life beyond the Basic Word

Pretty much anyone can use a computer and figure out how to use Word. The program has been so successful that it's essentially unchanged from its Word 97 version. The name of the game is to get your stuff down on paper and make it look good. The rules are easy. This chapter here elaborates on some of the more basic concepts you may not know, plus a few new rules and tricks designed to help you make your word processing chores all the easier:

* Helpful hints on properly saving your stuff
* Password protection advice
* Better ways to cut and paste and search and replace
* Resetting defaults without messing with NORMAL.DOT
* Making the spell checker behave
* Printing a document backward
* Setting margins for printing on three-hole-punch paper
* Printing two pages per sheet

Saving and Opening Documents Can Be Torture if You Don't Know a Few Things

Save now! Save early! Save often!

The three biggest issues whenever you save a document (in Word or in any application) are

* The document's name
* The document's location
* The document's type

The Save As dialog box (Figure 1.1) handles all these details for you, which is basic baby Windows stuff. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't screw them up. So heed these words of advice before getting into the intermediate-level knowledge nuggets:

First, the document name must be descriptive of the contents. You have up to 200 characters to use for the name, including numbers and letters and a smattering of symbols, but brief is best.

Second, be thoughtful of the file's final folder destination. Don't just shove everything into the My Documents folder. Organize. Use subfolders. In fact, the filename can be simpler if the folder it lives in is more descriptive. Consider this: The file is named 14.DOC. But it lives in the October folder. And that lives in the 2004 folder. And that lives in the Letters to the Editor folder. Consider:

Letters to the Editor/2004/October/14.doc

versus a single file in the My Documents folder:

Letter to the editor on October 14.doc

Finally, there is the document file type, which is found in the bottom part of the Save As dialog box. You can use that list to save or export your document into a variety of different word processor formats. Most often you'll be using the Word Document format (thus a .doc extension on the file), but be careful not to neglect the power that drop-down list gives you-and to avoid the confusion that can result should you choose the wrong option.

Why Save a Document in Another Format?

The primary reason for not using the Word Document file format is to share your stuff with some loser, uh, I mean someone who doesn't have Word as his or her word processor. For example, if they have WordPerfect, you can choose one of the WordPerfect file formats from the Save as Type dropdown list (Figure 1.1).

Another instance may be where you have to save a document in plain text format. For example, say you deleted something important in Windows and you have to replace it by creating a list and saving it to disk as an ASCII or text file. If so, choose "Plain Text (*.txt)" from the Save as Type drop-down list.

Note The best non-Word format to choose is the Rich Text Format (*.rtf). That format is the most common among all the major word processing applications for most computers. In fact, I would save a document as RTF instead of attempting to save in WordPerfect or even HTML format; it's just that much more common-and better.

Should I Ever Have to Save a Document as a Web Page?

My advice is never to use any web page or HTML format in the Save As dialog box, and by all means avoid the File > Save as Web Page command. These options are designed for those who use Word as their web page editor. The problem with that is that Word is not a very good web page editor. (I've even gotten Microsoft personnel to admit that-off the record.)

There may be some time when you need to "share" your precious Word document with others, and the suggested format may just be HTML. If so, then go ahead and use the File > Save as Web Page command to create the HTML document. I suppose if your hands are tied to doing that, then do that you must. But don't make it a habit if you can help it.

Why Does the Document Open All Weird?

Again, you can blame the Save as Type drop-down list for any weirdness that happens when you open a document, though in this case the weirdness takes place in the Open dialog box with the Files of Type drop-down list, as shown in Figure 1.2.

The Files of Type drop-down list not only tells Word which types of files to display in the Open dialog box, but it tells Word how to open the files as well.

For example, if you choose the option "Recover Text from Any File," then Word dutifully does that-even to its own files. So if that option is chosen and you open a Word document, you will see junk on the screen.

The solution is to pay attention to the file type choices in the Open dialog box. If the document looks like junk, then follow these steps:

1. Immediately close the weird document; do not save it to disk.
2. Choose File > Open to bring up the Open dialog box again.
3. Confirm that the proper type is chosen in the Open dialog box.
4. Open the file.

Note Be careful not to save the file if it's opened in a weird format. If you do so, then you cannot recover the original. Uh-oh! (As a suggestion, consider using Windows to make a copy of the original; then work on the copy only.)

Can I Password-Protect My Document?

Certainly! After summoning the Save As dialog box, use the Tools menu to modify the way the file is saved to disk. (Refer to Figure 1.1.)

1. In Word 2003/XP, choose Tools > Security Options; in Word 2000, choose Tools > General Options. The Save or Security dialog box appears, such as shown in Figure 1.3. It's very similar for all versions of Word, though the location of the open and modify password text boxes is different.
2. If you like, enter an open password. This password prevents the document from being opened unless the person knows the password.

3. If you like, enter a modify password. This password allows the file to be opened as a "readonly" document. If they know the password, however, then they can modify the document.

Note Passwords are case-sensitive. They consist of up to 15 letters and numbers. Do not forget them or you're screwed!

4. Click OK after entering one or both passwords. If you don't enter any passwords, then the document is not protected.
5. Confirm the password(s). Type them again to ensure that you remember them. Don't forget them!
6. Continue using the Save dialog box to save the file to disk.

The password-protected file doesn't look any different on disk, nor does it look any different when you're working on it in Word. But once you close the document, the password encryption takes over, and only by knowing the password can you get at the document's contents.

When you go to open a password-protected document, either in Word or by double-clicking the document's icon in Windows, you'll be presented with a Password dialog box or two. The first may be required for merely opening the document-that's the open password.

A second dialog box, such as the one shown in Figure 1.4, is the modify password dialog box. Note that there is a Read Only option in that dialog box in case you do not know the password; only by entering the password can you modify the document.

Note Actually, you can use the Save As command in any read-only Office document to save that document to disk using another filename. Then you can open that second document for editing. (Sneaky, but it works.)

Can I Remove the Passwords from a Password-Protected Document?

To remove the passwords, simply repeat the steps from the previous section, but leave both password input boxes blank. Click OK, and that resets the passwords back to nothing, and there are no more restrictions on opening or modifying the file.

But I Forgot the Document's Password!

You're screwed. Really. Don't be dumb: follow these handy password-remembering rules:

* If you feel you're going to forget your password, then write it down! But don't write it down on a sticky note and stick it on the monitor. Instead, put it in your day planner, perhaps on the bottom of the page with your birthday. But whatever you do, write that password down so you can at least find it later.
* Shorter, memorable passwords work best.
* Passwords mixing letters and numbers are also good, such as the number and street where you used to live or where a relative lives.
* There is also a school of thought that absurdity often makes a memorable password. For example, stick together two obnoxiously unrelated words like "baby-meat" or "armored-nun."

Finally, there is really no hope if you forget your password. Microsoft cannot help you, nor are there any secret tools or tricks available on the Internet. So remember that password!

I Can't Find My Document!

If you're missing a document, then you have a few tricks you can pull before you consider tossing the computer before an oncoming train.

First, check the File menu. Is your document down near the bottom, in the list of recently used files?

Second, check the Documents or My Recent Documents submenu from the Start button. Is the file listed there?

Third, you can use Window's Find or Search command to look for the document, but you can also use the Find or Search command in the Open dialog box to help you quickly find your document based on its contents. Follow these steps for your version of Word.

Finding a Wayward Word File in Word 2003/XP

1. Summon the Open dialog box.
2. From the Tools menu, choose Search. The File Search dialog box appears, and like its ancestors it's too vast and ugly to reproduce on these pages. But fortunately it's not as complex or weird as the Word 2000 variation.
3. Make sure that the Basic tab is showing, not the Advanced tab.
4. Type some words from your document into the Search text box. For example, that letter to the editor you wrote comparing the snow plow driver to Adolf Hitler. If you lost that document, then consider searching for the words "Hitler" and "snow plow" to find what you want.

Fortunately, all the other settings are made for this type of search (the most common), so ...
5. Click the Search button.
6. Eventually a list of matches appears, which you can sift through. Click the file you want to check out.
7. Click the OK button.
8. Back in the Open dialog box, click the Open button to open the file.

If the list appearing in the File Search dialog box is way too long, then you'll need to rethink your approach. Try using more specific words, or click the Advanced tab and heed these instructions:

1. From the Property drop-down list, choose Contents. Not "Comments" but "Contents."
2. Enter the words you're searching for in the Value text box. For example, "Hitler" and "snow plow."

Note If the words appear together in your document, then surround them with double quotes. "Snow plow" searches for the word "snow" followed by "plow." But if you type each word individually, then the document can contain either word in any order any number of words apart.

3. Click the Add button.
4. Now you can enter another bit-o-information to search for. From the Property drop-down list choose "Creation Date."
5. From the Condition drop-down list choose an option, such as "On" or "On or After" or "This Week."
6. If you chose a condition that requires a date, then enter the date in the Value text box.
7. Click the Add button.
8. Now you have two search criteria, which should be enough. Click the Search button.

And off Word goes to look for the document matching your specifications.

Locating Lost Documents in Word 2000

1. Summon the Open dialog box.
2. From the Tools menu, choose Find. The Find dialog box appears, but it's much too complex and obtuse to show here in a figure.
3. From the Property drop-down list, choose Contents. The Condition drop-down lists self-modifies to say "Includes Words."
4. Type some words from your document into the Value text box. For example, if you lost the document about how you cheated the Brundlemans at cards, then searching for the words "Brundleman" and "cards" would most likely yield successful results.
5. Click the Add to List button. Ah-ha! This is the step everyone forgets (and the reason they changed all this with Word XP). If you forget to click the Add to List button, you'll be reminded to do it later.
6. Optionally choose a location from the Look In drop-down list. It already shows you the My Documents folder, which is an ideal place to look. But if you feel the file is on a disk in another drive or a specific folder, then choose it from the list as well. To search the entire computer, select My Computer from the list.
7. Put a check mark by "Search Subfolders" so that the search expands down into the very depths of your disk drive's folder structure.
8. Click the Find Now button. Word scurries around the folders you told it to look in and finds all files matching your search criteria. They appear in a tree structure that unfolds in the Open dialog box.

Note If a multitude of files were found, then consider redoing the search with more specific information, or even repeating steps 3 through 5 and adding a range of dates to narrow the search.

9. Ctrl+click to select all the files found.
10. Click the Open button to open all the selected files. Now you can sift through each of them in Word until you find the one you want.

Yes, it's possible to open more than one file at a time in the Open dialog box. The Open button opens any and all selected files shown in the list.

How Do I Save a Document to Drive A?

You can save a document to any disk in your system, whether it's another hard drive or a removable disk such as a floppy, Zip, or writable CD or DVD. The secret is to choose that disk from the Save In drop-down list at the top of the Save As dialog box (see Figure 1.1).

Please don't try to save to Drive A-or any removable disk-as opposed to using the hard drive. The hard drive is designed to be your primary file storage location. Use it! Then, after the file is safely saved on the hard drive, consider using the Save As command to save a copy of the file to a removable disk. Or you can use Windows to simply copy the document to a removable disk.

Note Floppy disks are notoriously unreliable. They're fine for backups or for moving files between computers, but not for permanent storage.

Word Crashed! What Can I Recover?

Word is smart about document recovery. If there is anything to recover, then you'll see that file appear in a window the next time you start up Word. The window will have the original file's name followed by the text "(Recovered)."

In Word 2003/XP, point the mouse at the recovered file, and a menu button appears. Click that button to select a recovery option.

In Word 2000, use the Save As dialog box to save that recovered file back to disk and overwrite the original.

Yes! It's okay to overwrite an original file with a recovered version. I would say 99 percent of the time that's the option I've chosen. (The other 1 percent of the time the recovered file was no different from the original.)

Of course, to make Word recover files, you need to turn on the AutoRecovery feature:

1. Choose Tools > Options.
2. Click the Save tab.
3. Put a check mark by "Save AutoRecover Info Every" (if a check mark isn't there already).
4. Enter a time interval to save the AutoRecover information. Ten minutes is okay for most people.
5. Click OK.

Now your computer is semiprotected against bad things happening. Word will automatically save your documents (whether you do or not) every 10 minutes or so. Of course, nothing gets hurt by your pressing the Ctrl+S key combination every few minutes just to be safe.


Excerpted from Power Excel and Word by Dan Gookin 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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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Life beyond the basic Word 1
Ch. 2 Alas, there is no such thing as a "simple" document 25
Ch. 3 Making your documents and reports more fancy 49
Ch. 4 Oh the sacrilege of drawing in a word processor! 63
Ch. 5 Using styles and templates to save oodles of time 83
Ch. 6 Writing that great American novel or screenplay 101
Ch. 7 The tough stuff : from labels to tables 119
Ch. 8 Sharing your work with others 145
Ch. 9 Making your own custom Word 159
Ch. 10 Why the hell would anyone other than an accountant use Excel? 177
Ch. 11 It's super dooper grid time! 205
Ch. 12 Some excellent formatting tricks 233
Ch. 13 Oh no! : the horrible math chapter! 257
Ch. 14 Fun with charts and graphs 285
Ch. 15 Excel templates, samples, and Web mischief 303
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