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Microsoft Office Tips

Microsoft OfficeExcel for Mac and PC: Links to video tutorials and handouts from our workshops.

Mail Merge for Mac and PC: Video Tutorials on creating form letters, labels, and more with this easy automated process.
Mail Merge Tips for Word 2007

Office 2010: See the features of this version of Office for Windows.

Word Autocorrect Preferences

If you've ever wondered why Word changes your asterisks into bullets, your e-mail addresses into hyperlinks, or UMass to Umass, AutoCorrect is the place to look. You can also use a very handy feature of AutoCorrect to automatically change some unique abbreviation into a longer word or phrase that you have to type frequently. Here's how.

  1. Go to Tools-->AutoCorrect (in Word 2007, Microsoft Office Button-->Word Options, then select "Proofing," and then "AutoCorrect Options").
  2. Notice the options on the first tab and decide if you like the feature or not. Check or uncheck as desired.
  3. Check out the extensive list of AutoCorrect's frequent typos. You may have noticed that if you mistype something, it will automatically correct itself before you get back to do it yourself. You can harness this power to create your own auto replace shortcuts.
    • For example, perhaps you'd like to type hacu and have it expand into School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies. Simply type “hacu” (no quotes) in the “Replace” box, and “School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies” in the “With” box. Click “Add”.
    • If a particular shortcut is not helpful to you, you can simply delete it by highlighting the list entry, then clicking on the “Delete” button.
  4. Now click on the “AutoFormat As You Type” tab and see the behaviors here that are under your control. Many people find the Automatic Numbered Lists to be more annoying than helpful. If you are one of these people, uncheck the option. Most Word documents are printed, so there is rarely a good reason to have e-mail and web addresses converted to clickable hyperlinks. If you agree, uncheck this option.

Now, explore a bit further on your own and exercise a little more control over Word.  If you have more questions about how to do something in Microsoft Word, contact the IT Help Desk.


 

Office 2007 Trust Center

Office 2007 introduced the "Trust Center," an area within Word Options to configure various security settings. Some of these settings are critical if you use files on a server (for instance, newmisserver), or if you want to be able to use macros in your documents.

To allow access to files on a server do the following:

  1. Go to Office Button-->Word Options, and select "Trust Center" from the panel on the left. 
  2. Press the Trust Center Settings button on the right hand panel.
  3. Select "Trusted Locations" from the list at the left.
  4. At the bottom of the right-hand pane, make sure "Allow trusted locations on my network (not recommended)" is checked.
  5. Select the "Add new locations..." button. This will bring up a browsing window that will allow you to navigate to the folders you use.
  6. Select the folder containing the document(s) you want to be able to access. If you would like to be able to use subfolders within that folder, make sure the "Subfolders of this location are also trusted" box is checked. When you are ready, click "ok," and then ok the changes to the Trust Center.

To enable the ues of macros in your documents:

  1. Go to Office Button-->Word Options, and select "Trust Center" from the panel on the left. 
  2. Press the Trust Center Settings button on the right hand panel.
  3. Select "Macro Settings" from the list at the left.
  4. Choose what level of macros you would like to enable. If you're using commercially developed macros, you can assume they are digitally signed. Macros created internally probably are not digitally signed and need the loosest level of security, so select "Enable all macros," despite the dire security warnings.
  5. "OK" your way out of the Trust Center and Word Options.

 

Office 2007/2008 File Conversion

If you’re using Microsoft Office 2003 or 2004 and have received Office 2007 or 2008 documents you can’t read, there is help out there. Hampshire IT has converted all users on campus to newer versions, but there are ways to read those new file formats if you happen to be on older versions.

Microsoft Office 2007 (PC) and 2008 (Mac) introduced the new file formats docx, xlsx, and pptx.

If you have the older version of Office, 2003 or 2004, you can install a file format converter that will let Office read the new file formats. The instructions below will guide you through the steps.

Mac

  • In your browser go to http://software.hampshire.edu/mac/Microsoft/  and click on the file OpenXMLConverter100.dmg
  • Choose “Save to disk”.
  • The file will download to your desktop, unless you have customized settings.
  • Double click OpenXMLConverter100.dmg, on your desktop, to open the installer, then click the green arrow with the yellow symbol to start the installer, then follow the prompts.
  • Use the password you use to log onto your computer, the same password you use to do software updates
  • When the installation is complete the docx, xlsx, and pptx files will open in compatibility mode. You may re-save them in the common format. You can then put the installer and the .dmg files in the trash.

PC

  • In your browser go to http://software.hampshire.edu/windows/microsoft/
  • Click on the file FileFormatConverters.exe
  • Choose “Save File”.
  • The file will download to your desktop, unless you have customized settings.
  • Double click FileFormatConverters.exe on your desktop to start the installer, then follow the prompts
  • When the installation is complete the docx, xlsx, and pptx files will open in compatibility mode. You may re-save them in the common format. You can then put the FileFormatConverters file in the trash.

 

Autorecover Documents

Word and Excel Documents CAN be recovered after a freeze if you do the right thing.  If you’ve haven’t saved a document for half an hour, an hour, or even more, when the application crashes take advantage of AutoRecover.

Mac and Windows Users

Microsoft Word, Excel and even PowerPoint have an AutoSave feature that is turned on by default. Even when you forget, the application remembers to save your documents for you every 10 minutes. However, the data is not saved directly into your document. It is saved to a temporary AutoRecover document. If the application freezes, and you are forced to end the task without being able to save your document, you can recover the document up to the last save, and you will lose no more than 10 minutes of work. Here’s how:

  • After the application quits abnormally, DO NOT reopen it by double clicking on ANY document file.
  • Open Word, Excel or PowerPoint ONLY by double clicking on the application shortcut (in the Start Menu, on the Desktop, in the QuickLaunch toolbar, or on the Dock).
  • When the application opens, it will display a list of all documents that were open at the time that it quit unexpectedly. These are the AutoRecover documents. Open the file from this list, and all your changes up to  the last AutoSave will be preserved. Simply save this AutoRecover document with the same filename to replace your previous version, or save it with a new name if you want to be sure you don’t overwrite the previous version.

Mac Users

If you forget, and open the original document before the application, you may still find a copy of the AutoRecover file on your hard drive. Look in the folder Documents>Microsoft User Data.  The file will be named "Autorecovery Save of ..."

 

Contact Us

Information Technology
Harold F. Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
413.559.5418
Fax 413.559.5419
helpdesk@hampshire.edu
 

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