Missing Clippy? Some Microsoft Tips to Ease the Pain.


You’re whipping through emails. Knocking off action items. Whistling “If I Were a Rich Man.” You feel like nothing can slow you down.  And then Microsoft finds another clever way to turn a simple task into the 13th labor of Hercules.Curse all you want, but let’s face it, in today’s workplace you need to make friends with at least a couple Microsoft products. And to be fair, one reason Microsoft programs can be confusing is because they’re jam-packed with powerful functionality. Some of it is even useful to humans.

So, if you get stuck, don’t despair. Instead, use the setback as an opportunity to learn a new trick or two to churn through repetitive tasks more quickly.

If the Help tool in your Microsoft program doesn’t serve up an easy solution then check the Microsoft Office support site. Sometimes it’s even quicker to type your question into Google or another search engine. Feeling proactive? Type in “ProgramName tips and tricks” and you’ll discover independent sites like this one that serve up goodies like Top 10 lists and tutorials. And if the written explanations are too confusing, try YouTube for step-by-step video.

To get you started, here are a few tricks that might make the end of your workday come a little quicker.

Microsoft Word – Use AutoCorrect to Type Out Long Words

Use this example to learn a super shortcut: Tired of typing “Oracle OpenWorld”? Press [Alt]T to open the Tools menu. Press A to select AutoCorrect. Type OOW. Press [Tab]. Type Oracle OpenWorld. Click [Add] then [OK]. Now, any time you type OOW followed by a space or punctuation, MS Word will automatically replace it with Oracle OpenWorld.

Microsoft Excel – Format Multiple Sheets at Once

Want to format more than one sheet exactly the same way? It’s easy. Ctrl-click the tabs of all the sheets that you want to format. All the grouped tabs will turn white. While the sheets are grouped, anything you enter in one sheet is also entered into the others, including formatting and data. When you’re done entering the shared formatting and data, click on the tabs to ungroup them.

Microsoft Outlook – Preview Attachments Without Opening Them

Want to take a quick look at email attachments like Word docs and PowerPoint decks without having to download and open them? Just right-click the attachment and select Preview. The attachment opens right inside you’re viewing pane. You can decide whether it’s worth saving, or copy and paste any content you want to use.

Do you have a favorite efficiency tip or online resource?  Share it in the comments!

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