Monthly Archives: July 2012

Show/Hide formatting characters

In Word, there are formatting characters that you don’t normally see.  On the home screen, in the Paragraph section of the ribbon, you will see this symbol  ¶

If you click on it, you will see all the hidden characters:

Show formatting characters

Show formatting characters

Hide formatting characters

Hide formatting characters

This can be really useful – sometimes being able to see where there are extra spaces, carriage returns or tabs can explain why your table or your letter isn’t looking how you expect it to.


New Line and New Paragraph

In Word, when you hit the Enter key, you start a new paragraph.  The spacing for a new paragraph is usually a bit bigger than the space between lines.

If you hold down the Shift key while you hit the Enter key, you get a new line, but NOT a new paragraph.

For example, try typing in your address as if for a letter – type it once using just Enter, then type it again using Shift and Enter, and see the difference.


Using Shift + Enter

Using Shift + Enter

Address using the Enter key

Using the Enter key

Linked spreadsheets

In Excel 2010 the Edit Links command has moved – you need to go to the Data tab, and choose Edit Links in the Connections area of the tool bar.

When would you use this?  If you have set up spreadsheets that link to each other – in other words they pull in data from other spreadsheets – and for some reason one was re-named, or re-located, you use Edit Links to update the necessary information.

If you have donor files which supply data to a receiver file (so the receiver file is the one which contains  =[location]data ) then if you save the receiver file FIRST, the links should update automatically anyway.

Using TABs in Word

When you are writing a document in Word and you want to format some information in two columns, for example someone’s name, then their phone number, it is best to do this using TABs – much neater and easier than putting in spaces.  To set up your TAB, make sure you can see the ruler (if you can’t, click the View option then check the Ruler box), and look to see that the TAB icon is showing a left tab:

Using TABs

Check for the Left Tab

Now click on the base of the ruler at the position you want the TAB to be.
When you type in your names and numbers, make sure to use the Tab key on the keyboard after each name, to take you across to the starting point for the numbers.

Using TABs (2)

Using the Tab to align columns

If you want to move the tab, simply drag it along the ruler.  If the text is highlighted (selected) it will move too when you move the tab, so you can re-position your column.

If you want to remove your tab, drag it off the ruler.