Microsoft Word – changing line spacing in styles

One of my clients is writing a book and I have been teaching her about the value of using heading styles to enable her to keep consistency of look, to be able to switch whole sections around easily and for creating an automatic table of contents.

She e-mailed be yesterday to ask if it is possible to change line spacing within Styles. The answer is Yes. Here’s how to do it.

On the Home tab, in the Styles group, right-click on the style that you want to adapt and click Modify . The Modify Style dialog box will be displayed.

Modify Style dialog box

Towards the bottom left there is a Format button, then select Paragraph. The Paragraph dialog box will be displayed.

Word Paragraph dialog box

Here you can either adapt the Line spacing for that particular style or the Spacing before or after that particular style. Click OK. If you want all present occurrences of that style within the document to reflect your change, click Automatically update. If you want to use this style in all new documents select New documents based on this template. Click OK.

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Microsoft Word – printing several documents at once

You should be able so print several Word documents at once as long as they are all in the same folder. First close the documents if they are open in Word.

Then use File Explorer to locate the folder containing the Word documents you want to print.

Select the documents by holding down the Ctrl key whilst clicking on the individual documents you want to print. Right-click on one of the selected documents and click Print. The documents should then open in Word, print and close again.

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Microsoft Word – printing paragraph marks

A client wanted to be able to print the paragraph markings in a Word document.

Unfortunately, this isn’t feasible from within Word itself, the only way to do this is by taking a Screen clipping or a screen shot using the Snipping tool which will be quite tedious if you have many pages.

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Microsoft Word – Outline numbering for paragraphs

When we create, for example, meeting minutes in Microsoft Word, we may well want to use outline numbering so that we have 1, 1.1, 1.2, etc.

The Outline numbering icon is in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. There is a dropdown next to it, giving different options for your outline numbering.

Outline Numbering

Choose the appropriate style for your numbering – I tend to go for 1, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc.

When you start numbering you will get the number 1. To move in a level press the Tab key or the Indent Indent button button, to move back a level press Shift + Tab or the Outdent Outdent iconbutton.

If two paragraphs should have the same numbering, press Shift + Enter at the end of the first paragraph; the next paragraph will not be numbered.

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Microsoft Project – Tracking progress on tasks

Once you have set a baseline for your project, (or part of your project if it is very long), and the project starts you will want to track progress. This will help you check what is running to schedule (or even ahead of schedule) or what is running late.

A lot of people track progress by adding the % Complete column to the entry table, checking with the people doing a task at a project meeting and recording percent complete of the task. Two problems with this:

  1. It doesn’t record what dates the task actually started and finished – it assumes they were done on the date indicated on the current plan
  2. One week, you’ll be told the task is 90% complete, the next 95% complete, 99% complete etc.

If you really want to track progress in detail, it would be better to use the Tracking table.

Click the View tab on the ribbon, select the Tables command and click Tracking

Project tracking table

You can type information into the following columns:

Act. Start                    The actual date the task started

Act. Finish                  The actual date the task was completed

% Comp.                    If the task is started but not finished, the percentage of the                                         work completed

Phys. % Comp.          The amount of physical work complete

Act Dur.                      The actual number of time periods that have been spent so far

Rem. Dur.                   The number of time periods left, calculated from the planned or                            scheduled length less the actual duration

Act. Cost                    This value is calculated from the cost of the resources                                      allocated to the task, together with any fixed costs.  If the task                                 is marked 100% complete you can overtype this value with the                                  actual cost paid

Act. Work                   A measure of the work completed in hours calculated from                           the actual duration and units of each resource

You could also add in a Rem. Work column which would allow you to record how many work hours your team think is still needed on a particular task.

Using the Tracking table gives a far more detailed picture of project progress than just using the % Complete field. Using this more detailed information helps when you may need to reschedule subsequent tasks. You may be lucky and find that a task finished before its expected date of completion which may enable another task to proceed earlier than planned! If you are told that the remaining duration or hours of work are longer or shorter than anticipated, and you record them , MS Project can work out the % Complete on the particular task for you.

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Microsoft Project – Using the Successor field to find missing links

When you create a project plan not all tasks need to be linked directly to another task, but if you are going to track your project, then in theory all tasks should either be linked to the end of the phase in which they appear of to the end of the project. In a large project plan with many tasks it is often difficult to tell whether this has happened.

One way to check is to right-click on a column heading, click Insert Column and insert the Successors field. Then from the filter dropdown on the field heading, set to just show blanks – i.e. tasks which have no successors. You would expect the phases not to have successors, unless you are linking the end of one phase to the start of the next.

However look at the individual tasks which have no successors. If the completion of the project is not dependent on them fine, otherwise make a note of the tasks, clear the filter and then work out what task they are related to and create the appropriate link.

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PowerPoint – changing default font

In Microsoft Word, you can change the default font using the Font dialog box. In Microsoft PowerPoint however the font is governed by the Slide Master. The default font in the most recent versions of PowerPoint if you start from a blank presentation template is Calibri. This may not be the case if you use one of Microsoft’s design templates.

Whatever your starting point, to change the default font, go to the View tab, then in the Master Views group, click Slide Master. The very first slide thumbnail on the left hand pane governs the formatting for all sides in the presentation, though individual slide layouts can also be adapted by clicking on them on the left hand side. To change the default layout generally, make sure you are clicked on the top thumbnail.

SlideMaster image

Then on the Slide Master tab, in the Background group, click the Fonts dropdown and select your required font from there or click Customize Fonts from the bottom of the dropdown. Each of the options from the Fonts dropdown offers a Heading font and a Body font.

Alternatively, click on any of the titles or bullet levels to change that font using the Font group on the Home tab.

Your chosen fonts will now be used throughout this particular presentation.

To make the fonts chosen available for all new presentations you need to save as a template.

To do this, click File – Save As, then click Browse so that the Save as dialog box is displayed. From the Save as type dropdown, select PowerPoint template. Give a suitable name for your template, then click Save. Unless your organisation has things set up differently the template will be saved in your Custom Office Templates folder.

To use the template, when you come into PowerPoint, click New. If you have already used the template you will see it near the top of the screen and you can click on it then click Create to use it. If you haven’t used it before, click Personal and you should see it there. Again, click on it and click Create to start using it.

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Microsoft Word – changing bullet spacing in tables

Sometimes we want to include bullet points in Word table but want to adjust the spacing between cell edge and bullet or between bullet and text.

Select the bulleted lists within the table, then on the Home tab, in the Paragraph group click the dialog box launcher at the bottom right. The Paragraph dialog box will be displayed.

Word Paragraph dialog box

Select your required Indentation from the Left side of the cell and your required Hanging indent size then click OK.

If you require this for all bullets in tables in future documents, you should be able to do this with the use of styles. Create some bullets in a table, then from the Styles task pane, right-click List Paragraph and click Modify. Click Format at bottom left, then click Paragraph. Select your required Indentation from the Left side of the cell and your required Hanging indent size then click OK. Get rid of the tick by Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style. Click OK. Click New documents based on this template. Click OK.

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Microsoft Access – creating percentages of totals in a report

I have a report showing whether various jobs have been completed in various departments. I want to show percentage of totals in the report.

The original report looks like:

Access report

To created % of Totals go into Design view

In the Report Footer, create the relevant formulas as shown below:

% of Total

On viewing the report, you then have the relevant Percentages of Totals.% of Totals

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Microsoft Access – adding a chart into a report

When presenting numerical data, it is often useful to show a chart of the data as it is easier to interpret than looking at the numbers themselves.

First produce your report as required in the usual way. Here I have a report of top customers grouped by Country and I want to produce a chart of last year’s sales by Country

.Access Report

Now go to Design view.

On the Report Design Tools Design tab, in the Controls group, click the Insert Modern Chart dropdown and select your required chart type. In this case, I have selected Clustered Column and dropped it into the Report Header. At this stage you will probably want to make your report header rather bigger, so your chart can be seen. The Chart Settings pane will appear. If we had just wanted a chart to be the whole report, I could have created a blank report and started from this stage as I am now asked for the data source required for the chart. In this case I am choosing the query on which I have based the report. You are then asked to select the relevant fields for the Axis (Category), the Legend (Series) and the Values (Y axis). In this instance, I have selected Country as my axis and Last Year’s Sales as my values.

Now go to the Chart Settings Format tab. Here you can type in a Display Name and also change the colours to your own choice. You can also decide whether of not to Display Data Label.

Access Chart Settings

I now have a suitable chart.

Chart for Access Report

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