The blessing and the curse of Copy and Paste

Copy and paste are probably the two most commonly used features of any software, popularized by the Apple Lisa and Macintosh in the early 80’s. It’s now so popular we do not think about it and sometimes even do not know that when you copy (or cut) a piece of information, it’s stored in a place called the clipboard. Actually nobody cares as long as it works. However, copying and pasting can get some nasty surprises because of existing themes… Let’s for instance imagine I want to copy a PowerPoint slide from the left presentation to the right one.

The Copy and Paste default behavior

The default result in PowerPoint (same can go with Word or Excel) will be the following.

You notice a change of colors and fonts because the copied slide as inherited the presentation template. In some instances, this may be what you are looking for. However, you may, in others, want to retain the existing theme, colors and fonts.

Keeping the source formatting

You will need to paste while keeping the source formatting:

The exact same slide will be copied into the second presentation

Now, have a look at the small slide on the right, in the Slide sorter bar. You notice a small clipboard with (Ctrl) and an arrow. If you click on this arrow, you will have the opportunity to select on the options available, which in our case are copying using the destination theme, using the source formatting or copying an image in the selected slide.

All Office apps allow this kind of manipulation of formatting while copying, cutting and pasting. Time to experiment!

Stop looking for features, ask Tell Me instead

How many times have you looked for a specific feature, going from menu to menu, desperately watching at the ribbon? Honestly, it happens to me all the time. Why? For a simple reason: although each menu item has been thoroughly tested, everybody’s logic is different and what may seem logic for somebody may not be for somebody else. Let’s take two, not so simple, examples. The first in Word. You want to add some footnotes to your text. If you go the Insert menu, no footnote. Well footnotes are actually references, and therefore are in the References menu. Not my logic. So instead of losing my time trying to find the right menu item, I directly go to the Tell Me text box.

Tell Me or the magical light bulb

Continue reading Stop looking for features, ask Tell Me instead

Monday Productivity Hack

Office Productity Hack

After almost a year sleeping, an interesting Blogging 101 University online course, and my decision to jump on the Blogging 101 extension named Finding our Features, I realized this sleepy blog can become more lively, with weekly post. This is how the Monday Productivity Hack came to life! What have Microsoft Office, Productivity and Monday in common?

The 3 ideas behind the Monday Productivity Hack

  1. Basically for anybody who need to work with a computer, there’s a chance you are running Office (if you are not, this may still apply but not 100%).
  2. Monday is for many the first day of the week (apologies in advance for my friends in the middle-east who start their week on Sunday).
  3. What a better day to learn a simple hack that can make you more productive with Office, shaving some time off in front of your computer by leveraging its power?

With these three ideas in mind, and the facts I am still spending a LOT of time working with Office, I used to product manage Office for 6 years before my current job, and wrote a couple of books on PowerPoint and Access (a long time ago), doing this Monday Productivity Hack feature was a kind of natural crossing of my skills and my interest in making you more productive.

Microsoft Office: Hidden Productivity Made Visible

Microsoft Office has become an incredible productivity tool over the years, ripping tons of benefits from the back-end servers or the Office 365 services. However, even if Microsoft has done a lot of efforts to make features more easy to use, some are still hidden and not easily used. Even myself struggle to find some of those features. For instance, it took me a good 15 minutes to find how to change a range that was named the other day. Naming ranges can help a lot in Excel when you want some functions to be more user-friendly, but changing a named range has proven to be not so easy, even in Excel 2016…

So stay tuned for the first Monday Productivity Hack, starting February first. I will be focusing a simple but so powerful feature of Office 2016! What a wonderful day to start being more productive!