Microsoft Outlook – adding contact lists to the Address Book

When you are trying to address an email and click the To button, the Select Names dialog box displays with a dropdown list in the Address Book area, usually showing the Global Address Book and various other contact folders. At a client site recently, they had various contact folders that were not showing up on the dropdown list.

To add to the list, right-click on the Contact folder, then click Properties, click Outlook Address Book, then put a tick by Show this folder as an email Address Book. Click OK.

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Microsoft Outlook – Classic Ribbon vs Simplified Ribbon

From Office 2007 onwards, there has been a ribbon structure at the top of the opened package with various tabs showing various commands.

On opening Microsoft Outlook on a computer belonging to a client recently, the ribbon showed some icons but not all of them.

Outlook 2016 and Outlook 365 have the options of showing a Simplified ribbon which just shows your most frequently used commands on one line.

To switch between the standard or Classic ribbon and the Simplified ribbon, right-click on the ribbon. Three options will appear – Customize the RibbonCollapse the Ribbon and Use Simplified Ribbon.

Classic Ribbon
Collapsed Ribbon

Simplified Ribbon


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Microsoft Outlook – adding contacts to AutoComplete

Generally when you are using Microsoft Outlook, recently used contacts come up under the AutoComplete list when you are using the To box to address a new email. At one client site recently this wasn’t happening for a few contacts – and ones they did use on a regular basis.

The solution involved going offline as you have to seem to send an email to the added contacts – click the Send/Receive tab, then in the Preferences group, click Work Offline. Now go to the relevant Contacts folder and select the required contacts by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking.

Then on the Home tab, in the Communicate group, click Email. The relevant email addresses will now show in the To box. Click Send.

Because you are offline, the message will now be in the Outbox. Go to that and delete the message. Then go back online, by going back to the Send/Receive tab and in the Preferences group, clicking Work Offline again.

Next time you try to send an email, the required contacts should be in the AutoComplete list.

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Microsoft PowerPoint – how can I stop my hyperlink changing colour when it is clicked

Not everyone is using PowerPoint for presentations; some use it to produce notices or reports. If you are creating something to put on a wall, you don’t want some hyperlinks to be differently coloured to others. The reason this happens is because you, or someone else, has clicked on the hyperlink at some point.

The colours for hyperlinks are linked to themes. Go to the Design tab, then open up the Variants gallery, click Colors – Customize Colors. The Create New Theme Colors dialog box will be displayed.

Hypelink colours

From the Followed Hyperlink dropdown, select the same colour as for Hyperlink. Click Save. The colours of your hyperlinks will then remain the same.

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Microsoft Outlook – printing contact list with notes

A client wanted to be able to print off contact details with Notes from Microsoft Outlook. This is easy enough for one contact – open up the contact details, then click File – Print. The contact details will be printed, together with any notes.

To print several contacts with notes, go to File – Print, select Memo Style. The notes will be printed alongside the contact details, with one contact per page.

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Problems with Outlook contacts showing wrong names

I was at a client site yesterday and although contact names and email addresses looked right in the Contacts list, on trying to send an email some of them were getting mixed up e.g. John Smith was showing as Jane Smith (another contact) but with John’s email address. I tried deleting the contacts and then re-entering but without much success.

On further investigation, it seems that the two contacts were linked and that this was causing the problem.

Linked Outlook Contacts

To check whether contacts are linked, start an email to one, then double-click on the email address. Click on the three dots …, then click Link Contacts. This will show whether there are any linked contacts. To remove the link, select the contact to be unlinked and click Unlink, then click OK.

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Searching File Contents Using File Explorer

I was at client site recently and was told that File Explorer wasn’t searching within files but only file names. I checked on my laptop and didn’t have the same problem. It turned out that their Search options were configured differently from mine.

If you have the same problem, go into File Explorer and type your search term in the Search  box at the top right under the Ribbon. Click the magnifying glass. The search will be started and a contextual Search tab will appear.

Search ribbon

From the Advanced options dropdown, select File contents (and System files if that isn’t ticked). From now on, your file contents will be searched.

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Microsoft Word – fitting document on one page for printing

Last week, I was asked how to get a Word document to just fit one page. It is not obvious!

What you need to do is go to File – Options – Quick Access Toolbar.

From the dropdown at the Choose commands from box, select All Commands.

Scroll down in the section below until you get to Shrink One Page. Click Add. Click OK.

The Shrink One Page Shrink One Page buttonbutton will then be added to your Quick Access Toolbar. Next time, you want a document to fit on one page, click on the button and it will do it for you.

Hope this helps.

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Microsoft Excel – the IFS function

Are you using Office 365? If so, instead of a nested IF, you can use the new IFS function.

Consider the example below:


We would generally use a nested IF to work out the exam score, the formula being:
=IF(B2>80,”A”,IF(B2>70,”B”,IF(B2>60,”C”,”FAIL”)))

Now, using Office 365, we can use an IFS function, where the syntax is
=IFS(logical test1, value if true, logical test2, value if true, logical test3, value if true, ……)
so in this case:
=IFS(B2>80,”A”,B2>70,”B”,B2>60,”C”,B2<=60, “FAIL”)

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in the London area.

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Microsoft Excel – working out school year from date of birth

School years run from September to August, so in general it depends on both the month that a child is born in as well as the year.

So if you have a list of dates of births and need to work out the school year that a child would be in for the next school year i.e. 2019 – 2020, what formula would you need?

School,Year formula

An IF statement will solve the issue. We need to see whether the month of someone’s date of birth is less than or equal to 8.

The formula to use is

=IF(MONTH(A2)<=8,2019-YEAR(A2)-4,2019-YEAR(A2)-3)

This works well for the school year beginning Sep 2019 but what if I wanted a formula that would work for any school year in the form of Sep 20xx to Aug 20xx+1.

If we put the school year in the form 20xx – 20xx+1 in the top cell of a column.

The formula would become

=IF(MONTH(A2<=8),LEFT($C$1,4)-YEAR(A2)-4,LEFT($C$1,4)-YEAR(A2)-3)

School Year formula

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