There’s got to be a better way! Microsoft Office Time Savers

Help a Nerd Out! Our first community question of the year is a GREAT ONE!

“I have a challenge for your NerdHerd. I am looking for any ways that people save time when using Word or other Office applications. I use Find and Replace, Mail/Email Merge, Keyboard Shortcuts, and even Macros. I’m wondering if I’m missing any? I often take on more than I should, so over the years I’ve learned to use these tools to save me time in my efforts…Thanks!”

Tell us your favorite Office Tips and Tricks. We can make a magnificent list!

There's Got to Be a Better Way

Inge F: I love right click! For instance, you can create multiple signatures for email, set different signatures for different types of emails (responses, internal, external), and easily change the signature by using right click. I have some I use for colleagues I correspond with frequently, a more formal signature for those who don’t know me, and even have some for holidays just for fun. You can also use right click in other applications for a multitude of tasks.

Brandon R: I live and die by the follow-up flags in Outlook, especially with the integration with OneNote . . . sometimes I kid I’d forget to breath if I didn’t put it in my task to-do list.

Aimee T: A couple of shortcuts I’ve used, in addition to replace all and some common keyboard shortcuts, are Shift + F5 returns you to the last edit point & Shift +F3 changes the case of selected test.

Liz P: Concatenate formulas and Vlookups in Excel save me so much time.

Missy P: I LOVE the Snipping Tool! Pin it to your task bar and use it several times daily to copy portions of your screen FAST – to drop in an email, remember a title, carry-over totals from a table – the possibilities are endless!

Wendy F: My favorite is dragging an email to the calendar icon and setting a date to follow up on the email. That way i can delete the email from my inbox but it is saved in my calendar so when i follow up the email is right there on the day I need it.

Chris M: I like using the compare/combine feature in Word. It makes my job so much easier when comparing multiple versions of the same document or if I have to combine all changes made by staff to one document.

Kerri S: I often need to organize content from many sources into a single Word document. The Clear Formatting and Format Painter buttons are invaluable for dealing with obnoxious hidden formatting, especially when merging bullet lists. Oh, and speaking of buttons, my colleague has figured out how to make a separate little custom toolbox that floats on the side of the screen! He does lots of live-screen work in Word and finds it handy to have his most-used tools right at his fingertips.

Amy C: I love to use AutoCorrect. Instead of just using it to correct misspelled words, I also use it to automatically enter text strings that I use a lot. For example, my company’s name is quite long, so I made an entry where the acronym followed by two periods is instantly replaced by the full name. I always end that kind of entry with two periods to prevent Word from mistakenly expanding a text string when it appears within a sentence, or at the end of a sentence (that’s why TWO periods).

Sandy C: A few favorites for excel: the vlookup formula for pulling related data from a second spreadsheet; filtering for managing complex lists (so I can quickly see only certain categories); advanced filter for weeding out duplicate entries and paste special/paste using source formula – a godsend if you’re exporting from quickbooks.

 Fran R: F12 to quickly save a doc. To add an attachment to an email just drag and drop it from Explore (file guide) to the body of the message. You can custom the reminder on an email and when it comes up as a reminder, click on it to open the email. Ctrl E to center a paragraph Ctrl L for left Ctrl R for right and Ctrl J to justify.

Lorri S: To add to Inge’s post about signatures, I use this and some of my signatures also contain standard sentences along with the signature so I can choose it rather than having to retype a response every time that I use frequently.
Tons of tricks and tools to try! We love it. Thanks to all for your valuable input.

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