Archive: May 28, 2020

quick tip - microsoft 365

Learn more ways to do things

It seems like there are at least 5 ways of doing most things in the Microsoft Office programs. Since most Windows programs follow their lead, these should work in other applications as well. We all have preferences, some more conscious than others. If you learn alternative ways of doing things, you can find the way that is most efficient for you. Some options are:

1) Ribbons – using your mouse, click through the Ribbons. I’m sure you’ll stumble on several interesting features.

2) Right-click – this is one of my favorite things. Tricia’s Rule #2 is “When in doubt, right-click.” This will bring up a context-sensitive menu. That means it will show you the options you have based on where you right-click. I know you want to say “well, duh,” but resist and try it in new places.

3) Ctrl shortcut keys – hold the Ctrl key and press the letter to do that action. For example, Ctrl+S will save your file. Most of these keys work in all of the applications (even other Windows applications). Some icons will show a pop-up tip with what the Ctrl+key combination is for that feature. You can also search in Help and you’ll get a list of them. Remember what is most useful to you. Personally, I couldn’t function without Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.

4) Alt shortcut keys – if you press the Alt key, letters will appear next to the items in your Quick Access Toolbar and on Ribbon names. That is a shortcut key. It means you can press that key and it will do whatever it would have done had you clicked on it with your mouse. While I rarely use this, there have been times when my mouse stopped working and I needed to get to my menus. One time I even had my menus disappear but by clicking Alt+F, I was able to bring up the File menu.

5) F1-F12 keys. It’s been so long since I’ve used these, I don’t know how they work anymore! Feel free to explore. Actually…there is one I remember and use: F1 for Help! Search on shortcut keys and you’ll see more than you ever wanted to know. There is another one I do use when I remember it exists…F4. It will repeat your last action. Experiment with this on a non-critical file (it should work in any Office application). If you have an F Lock key, you may need that to switch to the function keys (and now you know what that key is for!).

Keyboard with Function Keys identified.
Map of North Carolina
American flag

It’s Armed Forces Day!

Let’s give thanks to all the active duty and reserves airmen (and women), soldiers, marines, sailors, guards (Coast Guard and National Guard), members of the Space Force, and all those who defend our country. Since next Monday is Memorial Day, we can offer a silent moment in thanks for their sacrifice.

While I’m not very often rah-rah with patriotism, I was an officer in the Air Force right after college. And, once you take that oath of office to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, with your life if necessary, it leaves an indelible mark on your soul. At least it did for me.

Now the fact that I was commissioned an officer and a gentleman by an Act of Congress still amuses me. Since an Act of Congress does not really a gentleman make.

Dell desktop computer

Use new technology to do new things

If you’re going to invest in a new computer/laptop/tablet, make your investment pay off. Find something that you can do with a new system before you buy it.

For the first time ever, I find my home computer has gotten rather long in the tooth. I think I’ve bought two for the office since I purchased it. Since the C: drive is about out of space, I either need to remove some programs (which feels like abandoning a pet) or buy a new system. So, what new can I do? I’ll need to work on this before I can justify that new computer.

And, yes, I still like a desktop. I’ve been using them for 35 years and have grown completely attached to my big monitor, bigger hard drive, full-size ergonomic keyboard, and lots of ports. I’ve been buying Dells most of that time (I bought 4 for the office just last year and am scheduled to buy 3 more within a year) so I hope they don’t mind me using their image. I have my iPad for a portable (I admit, my laptop has grown quite dusty) and that suits my needs.

Tricia as a kid in hat contest

It’s World Laughter Day!!!

How can we not laugh on World Laughter Day? I know many of us are so ready for life to get back to “normal” but, I have a feeling we are going to move forward to a whole new “normal.” For the millions of people who have been touched by this virus, life will certainly never be the same. For today, let’s find a small source of joy and share it with others (from 6 feet away).

On a totally different emotional plane, when I was in high school my sister gave me a laugh box. You could push a button and out would come maniacal laughter. I loved to leave it in someone’s locker and quickly move away. So, today is one I can embrace wholeheartedly.

Check out the awesome photo of a laughing snowy owl on Bing today.