Microsoft Office 2003

Squeeze more productivity out of your day by maximizing your office suite of choice.

More Meaningful Tasks
If you have a document that pertains to a particular Outlook task you’re creating, it’s easy to append it to a task entry. From Windows Explorer, click and drag the document to Tasks in your Outlook Toolbar, and the document appears as an attachment in the Notes field. Enter the rest of the task info and you’re set.

Macros Aren’t Just For Geeks
If you’re like most longtime Office users, you’re doing the same chores over and over. And like most, you’ve never created a Macro to automate the tasks. But it’s easy. In a given app, click on Tools in the menu bar, scroll down to Macro, and select Record New Macro. Give it a name, select whether to put it on the Toolbar or assign a keyboard shortcut, then step through – exactly – the process you want to automate. Then hit STOP RECORDING. Alternatively, you can write a Macro in Visual Basic for Applications. But that’s for geeks.

Make Left Up
The summer intern did a great job building those Excel spreadsheets but for one detail: He put what you wanted to be in columns into rows, and vice versa. But Excel can fix that for you. Just select the data you want to switch, select Cut (or Copy, just to be on the safe side), then choose Paste Special from the Edit menu and select Transpose.

Set Reminders
Never blow off another e-mail again (unintenionally, at least). If a note requires a response that you don’t have the answer for just yet, you can set Outlook to remind you to respond at a later date. Right-click the message, choose Follow Up, and enter the date you want a reminder.

Go Bicoastal
If you ping-pong between two time zones, you don’t have to manually reset the time when you travel; you can add a second zone. In Outlook, click on Tools -> Options -> Calendar Options. Click on the Time Zone button, and enter a second time zone. When it’s time to switch, simply return here and click on Swap Time Zones.

Pause PowerPoint
If business users won’t take a break from PowerPoint, they should at least know how to take a break in it. To pause a slideshow and return attention from the screen to the speaker, hit either the B or period key to blank the screen. When you’re done elucidating your point, hit B again to resume the show.

Get Quick Access to More Docs
The four most recently addressed documents that appear when you click on the File menu in Word are helpful, but too often the file you want isn’t listed as one of the shortcuts. But you can add the little known Work tool to your toolbar. Click on Tools in the menu bar and select Customize, then scroll to Built-in Menus at the bottom of the Categories list box and drag Work to your toolbar. When you’re in a file, click the Work icon and select Add to work menu. To remove a file you don’t need quick access to, press CTRL ALT –; when you see the cursor change to a minus sign, click on the document name in the Work list.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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