Computer Training


Software Tips

This page contains tips on the following subjects. The links below will take you to each section.

Adobe Illustrator CS
Adobe PageMaker CS 
Corel Central
Corel Draw
Corel Paradox
Corel QuattroPro
Corel Presentations
Corel WordPerfect

Internet Explorer
Lotus Approach
Lotus 1-2-3

Lotus Freelance Graphics
Lotus Organizer
Lotus WordPro
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Excel

Microsoft FrontPage
Microsoft Outlook 
Microsoft PowerPoint 
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Word



Canceling A Drag-and Drop Operation

Have you ever started dragging a file from one location to another and then discovered that you grabbed the wrong file? If so, chances are that you dragged the file back to it original location in order to cancel the operation. While this technique works, there's a quicker way to cancel a drag-and-drop operation--just press [Esc]. When you do, the operation is immediately cancelled.

Create A Shutdown Icon

Want to click an icon to shutdown your Windows at night? You can. Create a shutdown Desktop Icon by following these steps:  1) Right click your Desktop to bring up a context window. Select New, then Create Shortcut. 2) In the Command Line space, type the following path: C:\WINDOWS\RUNDLL.EXE user.exe,exit windows (space only between EXE and user). 3) Click on Next, then rename the Icon Shutdown. Click on Finish and your new Icon is on your Desktop. 4) Now double click on your new Icon and the computer will go directly to shutdown

Opening All Folders

Have you ever wanted to be able to see all the folders on your hard drive? If so, open Windows Explorer, select the drive icon, and press the asterisk (*) key on the numeric keypad. When you do, every folder on the drive will open. To close all the open folders, double-click the drive icon, to close the tree, and press [F5].

Saving Temporary Documents to the Desktop

Saving temporary documents to the desktop. When you're working with temporary documents, you may not want to save them on your hard drive lest you forget about them and they

end up wasting hard drive space. Rather, save those temporary documents to the desktop. You can do so quickly in Windows 98 by taking advantage of the View Desktop button on the toolbar of most Save As dialog boxes. Just click the View Desktop button and click the Save button.

Climbing The Directory Tree At An MS-DOS Prompt

The MS-DOS CD command changes the active directory to the directory you specify when you issue the command. You probably know that typing CD.. (two periods) takes you to the parent directory. Windows 95 adds two new shortcuts of this type. Typing CD... (three periods) takes you to the grandparent directory and typing CD.... (four periods) takes you to the great-grandparent directory and so on. For example, suppose the active directory is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook. If you type CD... at the MS-DOS prompt, you'll find yourself at the Microsoft Office directory. If you type CD.... at the MS-DOS prompt, you'll find yourself  at the Program Files directory.

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Microsoft Access 

Display Repetitive Data Once On An Access Report

Sometimes, you may have data that needlessly clutters a report. For instance, suppose your report is listing the fields strCompany, strFirstName, and strLastName. If there are multiple people listed for each company, and the report is sorted by company name, repeating the company information is unnecessary. Your first instinct may be to create a group header based on the company name, but there's an easier way to hide the redundant data. First, open the report in Design view and select the control that displays repetitive information. Then, display the control's Property sheet and  set the Hide Duplicates property equal to Yes. Finally, save and preview your report. If the data in the modified  control is the same as the data from the previous record, the control is hidden.

Split The Access Module Window

There are often times when it's helpful to view non-adjacent code in a module. However, continually scrolling through your code can be a real headache. Fortunately, you can easily split the module window into two scrollable panes. Simply drag the split box (the small rectangle that's directly above the vertical scroll bar) to where you want the split made. To remove the split, just double-click on the split line

Creating A List Of Fields In Access Table

When viewing a table that has many fields in Design view, you have to scroll up and down to review the field names. This can be tiresome when you're referring to them constantly, and particularly when you're working with several tables. The following code produces a field listing for a given table. This can then be copied to Notepad and printed for easy reference. Enter the code into a module, substituting your table's name where appropriate. Then, open the Debug window, type ListFields, and press [Enter] to produce the listing.

Sub ListFields()
Dim dbfield As Field
Dim tdf As TableDef
Set dbs = CurrentDb
Debug.Print ""
Debug.Print "Name of table: "; tdf.Name
Debug.Print ""
For Each dbfield In tdf.Fields
Debug.Print dbfield.Name
Next dbfield
End Sub

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Microsoft Excel 

Control How Text Wraps In Excel Chart Legends

How can you force Excel to intelligently wrap text used in chart legends. Typically, you're at Excel's mercy. For example, if you have a column labeled History: First Contact, Excel may display the legend as History: First Contact. However, you'd probably prefer the label formatted as History: First Contact. You can accomplish this when Excel pulls the legend text from a worksheet cell. When you enter the text, simply press [Alt][Enter] wherever you want to force a hard return.

Quickly Create A Column Header

Here's a quick way to make a weekly listing of column headings in adjacent columns. Enter the first date of the series in a cell (we'll say A1). In the cell next to it, enter the formula +A1+7. Then, place the mouse pointer on the lower-right corner of the second cell until the fill handle appears. Finally, click on the fill handle and drag to produce your row of headings.

Prevent Numbers From Expanding In Excel

You've probably noticed that Excel automatically widens a column when you enter a number that exceeds the current width. Or, if the column has previously been resized, Excel displays "#" characters instead of digits. If the formatting of your worksheet requires the current column widths, you can avoid these behaviors by using the TEXT function. This function will display the number as text, so the column width won't change and you'll be able to see the complete number. However, you still can use the numeric value in calculations. To see how this works, open a new worksheet and change column A's width to a setting of 3. Then, enter the number 12345 in cell A1. Excel displays "###". Now, change A1 so that it contains the formula =TEXT(12345,"#"). You'll find that Excel displays the number by letting it overlap onto column B. Note that you can replace the "#" argument in the TEXT function with other number formats if your needs require it.

Add A Dropdown List To A Cell In Excel

Do you wish you could create a dropdown list for a particular cell so you can select from it instead of typing in data? You can... and you don't need to create a macro to do it. First, type the list of valid entries in a single column. (This list must be on the same sheet as the cell that will contain the dropdown list. If you need to, place the list in an unused column and hide the column later.) Select the cell or cells that will contain your dropdown list. Choose Data/Validation, and select the Settings tab. From the Allow dropdown list, select List. In the Source box, select or enter the range address of the list items in your sheet. Make sure the In-cell dropdown box is selected. Then click OK.

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Microsoft Word 

Remove A Document From Word's Recent Files List

If you share a computer with other users, you may find the Recent Files list, located at the bottom of Word's File menu, to be a frequent betrayer of privacy. By default, this list itemizes the four most recently opened documents; and, if you click on an item in the list, Word opens it for you. If you've recently worked on a private document that you don't want others who use your computer to know about, you can remove it from the Recent Files list. To do so, first press [Ctrl][Alt][-]. When you do, the mouse pointer changes to a minus sign. Now from the menu bar select File, then click on the item in the Recent Files list that you want to remove. This action removes the item from the list, reducing it to three items; however, the next time you open a new file, it will be added to the list so that the list will again contain four items.

Drawing Perfect Shapes Using Word Graphics

If you're more of an analyst than an artist, adding shapes to your Office documents can be very frustrating. Your circles look like eggs, you agonize over creating squares with equal dimensions, and you can't draw a straight line to save your life. Fortunately, Office includes help for the artistically challenged. Simply select the drawing tool you want to use, press the [Shift] key, and click and drag to create your shape. (If the Drawing toolbar isn't visible, select View/Toolbars/Drawing from the menu bar.) Using the [Shift] key with the Oval tool creates a circle, using it with the Rectangle tool creates a square, and using it with the Line and Arrow tools creates perfect horizontal and vertical lines, as well as lines in 15-degree increments from their starting points. Pressing the [Shift] key even helps create proportional AutoShapes.

Prevent Word From Auto- Selecting Whole Words

By default, when you're selecting a block of text in Word, the selection block advances by a whole word at a time as you drag the cursor over the text. If you find this feature annoying, you can turn it off. Choose Tools/Options, click on the Edit tab, and deselect the Automatic Word Selection check box. Click OK to return to your document.

Closing Multiple Word Documents

When you've opened multiple documents or spreadsheets in Word and  it comes time to close them all, do you select File/Close from the menu  bar to close each file individually? Or do you simply exit the application  to close all files, only to find that you need to start it again the next  time you need to use it? To quickly close all open Word files simultaneously without closing the application, hold down the [Shift] key, then select File/Close All from the menu bar. When you hold down the [Shift] key, the Close All command replaces the Close command on the File menu.

Inserting Tabs in Table Cells

As you may know, when you press the [Tab] key in a Word table, Word moves the insertion point to the next table cell rather than inserting a tab space as you might expect. To insert a tab space in a Word table cell, place the insertion point where you'd like the tab space to appear and press [Ctrl][Tab].

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Microsoft PowerPoint 

Control Your Mouse Pointer In MS Graph Within PowerPoint

In PowerPoint when you enter data for a chart, you probably use the data sheet. To enter a number, you simply position the insertion point in the desired cell and press Enter to move to the next cell. However, what if you don't want to move to the next cell when you press Enter? You can control the insertion point by choosing Tools/Options while in Microsoft Graph to open the Graph Options dialog box. Click on the Datasheet Options tab, deselect the Move Selection After Enter option, and then click OK. Now,when you press Enter,  the insertion point stays within the selected cell rather than moving to the next one.

Quickly Align Or Distribute Objects In PowerPoint

If you frequently use objects on your slides, you may find that it's hard to manually align or distribute the objects perfectly by dragging them around the slide. If you need to align objects, use the Align command. While holding down the [Shift] key, select the multiple objects you wish to align. Then, from the Drawing toolbar, choose Draw/Align or Distribute, and then choose the desired alignment option from the cascading menu. You can also distribute objects horizontally or vertically.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Mouseless text formatting in PowerPoint PowerPoint's menus and toolbars offer a variety of options you can use to format text. However, there are several common formatting options you can execute using the keyboard. The next time you need to format text, try one of these keyboard shortcuts: [Ctrl Shift >]: Increases font size [Ctrl Shift <]: Decreases font size [Ctrl T]: Displays the Font dialog box [Ctrl B]: Toggles bold [Ctrl I]: Toggles italic [Ctrl U]: Toggles continuous underline [Shift F3]: Toggles upper, lower, and title case [Ctrl =]: Toggles subscript [Ctrl Shift +]: Toggles superscript [Ctrl Spacebar]: Removes manual character formatting

A "Dummy" PowerPoint File Can Save Load Time

If you have your dialog boxes set to Preview, which displays a picture of the selected file in the right pane, you may notice that it sometimes takes a moment to load the image. This can be cumbersome when working with PowerPoint because presentations often contain images on the first slide. Not to mention you may work with large multimedia files that you store in a single location. Every time you open the Insert File, Insert Picture, Open, or Save As dialog boxes (to name a few), you have to wait while the first file in the directory displays. You can avoid this wait time and still take advantage of the Preview mode by creating a "dummy file". All you have to do is create a blank slide and save it with a name like 1presentation.ppt. If you place a 1 in front of the filename, the file appears first in the directory. Now, when you open a dialog box, the Preview only takes a second to load. You'll want to place this file in every directory folder you use frequently when working in PowerPoint.

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Microsoft Outlook 

Synchronize Folders Automatically Upon Exiting

Synchronize folders automatically when you quit Outlook. If you work with Outlook offline, you know how important it is to synchronize your folders before you log off of the server. If you sometimes forget to synchronize your folders, have Outlook do it automatically when you exit. All you need to do is set a couple of options. To do this, choose Tools/Options from the menu bar. Click on the Mail Services tab and select the Enable Offline Access check box. Just below that check box, select the When Online, Synchronize All Folders Upon Exiting check box. Then click OK. The next time you exit Outlook, the folders are automatically synchronized.

Have Outlook Remind Your To Do Something For A Contact

If you need a reminder to do something for a contact, set a flag to have Outlook remind you. The flag causes a pop-up box to appear for a specific date and time which gives you a reminder of what has to be done. To set the reminder, right-click on the contact and choose Flag For Follow Up from the shortcut menu. From The Flag To dropdown list, select an option such as Call, Arrange Meeting, or Send Letter. Then click on the arrow for the Reminder dropdown list. A calendar is displayed. Select the date you want the reminder to appear. If you want the pop-up box to be displayed at a certain time, change the time in the Reminder text box. Then click OK. Depending on which view you use, you'll see a red flag next to the person's name or the text Follow Up Flag: (the type of follow up). When the task is done, you need to either mark it as completed or clear the flag. To do this, right-click on the contact and choose Flag For Follow Up. In the dialog box, select Completed to mark the task as done. This retains the flag but marks it as completed. As an alternative, to remove the flag, click the Clear Flag button. Then click OK.

Creating a Custom Signature

These days people don't just sign their email messages with their name. Often you see a company name, phone number, and even a sales pitch of their latest product. In Outlook, you can create several custom signatures to fit the mood and intent of your messages. Some can be used for business and others can be used to pass on your favorite quote. To create a custom signature, choose Tools/Options from the menu bar and click on the Mail Format tab. In the Signature panel, click Signature Picker. (If you have Microsoft Word selected to edit your email messages, the Signature Picker isn't available.) The Signature Picker dialog box opens with an empty signature box. Click the New button to open the Create New Signature dialog box. In the Enter A Name For Your New Signature text box, type the name of the signature. You can use letters and numbers in the name. Verify that Start With A Blank Signature is selected and click Next. In the Signature Text text box, type the text you need for this signature. Once you've entered the text, it's time to format it. Select the text and use the Font and Paragraph buttons to add character and paragraph formatting to your signature. When you're done, click Finish and click OK to close the Signature Picker dialog box. To have Outlook automatically insert a particular signature in all new messages, on the Mail Format property sheet, in the Signature panel, select the name of the signature you want to insert from the Use This Signature By Default dropdown list. When you create a new mail message, the signature is automatically added to the bottom of the message

Reduce Message File Size By Attaching Shortcuts

Using Outlook, you can successfully send and receive almost any type of attachment with a mail message. However, large attachments can often be burdensome for a mail server to process. They can also take a long time to open. To reduce the size of messages and file attachments in Outlook, attach a file shortcut to the message instead of the file itself. Shortcuts store the path to a file rather than a file's contents. Therefore, they're quite small--typically 1 KB in size, whereas the size of this tip, for example, is 22 KB when saved as a normal Word document. Because the shortcut must be able to navigate the path to the original file in order to launch properly, both you and the message recipient(s) must have access to the network where the original file is located. To attach a file shortcut to your Outlook mail message, create a new Outlook mail message and select Insert/File from the message window's menu bar (or click the Insert File button on the toolbar). In the Insert File dialog box, locate and select the file you'd like to create a shortcut to. Select the Shortcut option in the Insert As panel, then click OK. When you do, Outlook attaches a shortcut to the file in your message body. When your message recipient double-clicks the shortcut to open it, the shortcut searches for and opens the original file from its network location.

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Microsoft FrontPage 

Differentiating Between Cell Padding and Cell Spacing

When you create a table in FrontPage and access the Table Properties dialog box, you find two settings that seem very similar: cell padding and cell spacing. What's the difference? Cell padding controls the amount of space between a cell's edge and its content--think of it as the cell's margins. Cell spacing, on the other hand, controls the amount of space between cells. If you increase cell spacing, the table's background color (or image) will show between the cells.

Using Hover Buttons On A Frames Page

Would you like to change the contents of one frame by clicking a hover button in a second frame? You can do so by taking advantage of a hidden parameter for the hover button applet. Once you've created your hover button, switch to HTML view and add the following parameter to the list of parameters between the <applet> and </applet> tags: <param name="target" value=" FRAME NAME GOES HERE ">

Install Missing FrontPage Themes

FrontPage 2000 comes with more than 60 themes. However, when you go to the Themes dialog box, you only see 13. The other themes are on your FrontPage CD-ROM. With FrontPage 2000 and the other Office 2000 components, Microsoft has introduced a revamped installer program. To save disk space, this program just installs core program files. Other files are installed the first time they're needed or simply accessed from the CD-ROM. By default, the installer only installs 13 themes. To add the rest, simply click on Install Additional Themes at the top of the list of themes and click Yes to acknowledge the confirmation dialog box. Then the Windows Installer launches. Be sure to have your CD-ROM handy, and make sure you have an extra 1.28 MB of space on your hard drive.

Typing Curly Quotes In FrontPage

Unlike other members of the Office suite, FrontPage doesn't automatically convert ordinary single and double quote marks into curly quotes and apostrophes. If you know the ASCII codes for these punctuation marks, however, you can easily type them in FrontPage. For example, to type an apostrophe, hold down the [Alt] key, type 0146 on the numeric keypad, and then release the [Alt] key. Here are the codes you need:

Opening single quote: [Alt] 0145 
Closing single quote: [Alt] 0146
Opening double quote: [Alt] 0147
Closing double quote: [Alt] 0148

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Corel WordPerfect 

Using A New Character In Your WordPerfect Dot Leaders

Do you get tired of those boring dots in your dot leader? Did you know that you can use any other character, such as an underscore or an asterisk, and you can even control the spacing between the dot leader characters? To customize your dot leader, select Format/Line/Tab Set. When the Tab Set dialog box appears, replace the period in the Dot Leader Character text box with a new character. The default spacing between dot leader characters is 1, but you can decrease that number to 0 or increase it up to 255. Then, when you want to use the dot leader in a document, select Format/Line/Flush Right With Dot Leader. When you do, WordPerfect inserts the dot leader to the right margin using the character and spacing you selected.

Rearrange Your Corel WordPerfect Suite Toolbars

It's easy to customize your toolbars and property bars to look the way you want them to. To move a button to a new position on the toolbar, press [Alt], then click and drag the button to the new location. You'll see a vertical bar that moves with your mouse pointer as you drag the button. This bar indicates where the button will appear if you release the mouse button. To remove a button, again press [Alt] and click and drag the unwanted button. Rather than dragging it to a new location, drag the button off the WordPerfect's toolbar area. When the mouse pointer becomes a trash can icon, you can release the mouse button and the offending button will be deleted.

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Internet Explorer

Open A HyperLink In A New Browser Window

If you're about to click on a hyperlink but you'd rather not bid the page you're currently visiting farewell, why not open the link in a new window? In Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, simply right-click on the link and choose Open In New Window from the resulting shortcut menu. When you do, a new browser window opens and points to the link's URL, while the original window remains open and unchanged. If you're using Internet Explorer, there's an even quicker way to open a link in a new window. Simply press and hold the [Shift] key when you click on the hyperlink.

Fudging E-Mail Addresses

These days, it seems that in order to enjoy any type of commercial service or other Web-page goodie via the Internet, you need to provide the site owner with your email address--even if you don't want them to send you anything! If you're sick of Big Brother knowing too much about you, and you don't intend to accept any email communications from the site in question, fudge your email address. The domain names "," "" and "" have been reserved by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) for experimentation and testing. You can take advantage of these test domain names by making up a username and tacking it onto any of these three test domain names. Simply use the format,, or and replace the word "username" with any word at all. This way you remain anonymous and your personal information remains a secret while enabling you to enjoy the solicitor site's service with neither fear nor guilt.

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Corel QuattroPro 

Anchoring And Extending A Block In Quattro Pro

Did you know that you can anchor a block selection? This means that the block retains the location, or address, of the active cell as you select other cells to include in the block. To anchor a block selection, hold down the [Shift] key while highlighting cells with the mouse pointer. If you use the keyboard to select the cells in your block, press [Shift][F7] to anchor your block selection. Another useful feature allows you to extend a block selection to include a three-dimensional block or a group of blocks. Extended blocks often allow you to use one command in place of a series of commands within an operation. To extend a block selection that includes noncontiguous blocks, select your first rectangular block. Then, hold down the [Ctrl] key and select each additional block. These features will make working with blocks even more useful to you.

Print Your Formulas and Reference Notes In Quattro Pro

There's a great way to keep track of your formulas in Quattro Pro: reference notes. If you want to add a note to a formula, simply type a semicolon after your formula, then type your note. When you click in that cell, the formula and note will appear in the input line. However, when you print your worksheet, these notes aren't included. What if you want your formulas and notes included in the printed version of your worksheet? The answer is simple: change the worksheet's page setup. To do so, select File/Page Setup, then click the Options tab. Select the Cell Formulas check box and click OK. Now, when you print your worksheet, the cells containing formulas with reference notes will print.

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Tips On Clear Images in Illustrator

Clear objects like glasses can be difficult to reproduce in Illustrator. This is because something that looks clear in Illustrator has a fill color that blocks anything placed behind it. For instance, if you created a glass with ice cubes in it, you wouldn't be able to place the ice cubes behind the glass so it looks like the cubes are floating. To do this, you have to place the cubes in front of the glass and create the illusion that the cubes are behind the glass. You can create this illusion if you place highlights on you glass. Use the Pen tool to draw these highlights, and then place them on top of the ice cubes that are located in front of your glass. The highlights will hide parts of your ice cube, creating the illusion that the cubes are floating in your glass.

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