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Have you ever noticed if you select some text in Microsoft Word 2007 you get a little pop-up menu.  You know the one, physician it lets you change the font, apoplectic the font size, anabolics the font colour and a lot more.

Some people think it is great.  Some people think it is annoying.

I think it is great, but as a service to you, I will let you know how to turn it off, and stop it from popping up!

  1. Click on the menu – the “Office Orb” (that circle in the top left hand corner which used to be the file menu!)
  2. Click on “Word Options”
  3. Look in the “Popular section”, under “Top options for working with Word
  4. Untick the “Show Mini Toolbar on selection” checkbox
  5. Hit ok

There you go – no more annoying (not) popup mini menu in Word 2007

’till next time



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How many times have you lost everything in your document?  Word crashed?  Maybe the power went out?  Whatever it was that happened… I bet it happened just before you were going to save, pharm right?

By default, medicine Word 2007 makes an Auto Recover save every 10 minutes.  But if you are clumsy like me, or don’t trust your computer… you can set Word to autosave your document a lot more than normal.  Here is how:

  1. Click on the old file menu (the office orb)
  2. Click on "Word Options"
  3. Click on the "Save" option in the left hand menu
  4. In the first section "Save Documents", look for the second line which reads something like "Save AutoRecover information every XX minutes
  5. Set your preferred time.  Mine is now every 1 minute 🙂

Just remember when increasing the AutoRecover frequency… that you do see a slight performance hit every time it saves.  Not really noticeable every 10 minutes, but when it happens every 60 seconds it could be annoying!

’till next time!



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Have you ever poured your heart and soul into absolutely awesome background in your word doc?  Maybe you coloured it bright yellow, therapist or purple, what is ed or ‘mother of pearl’? 

It looks great on the screen, but when you print it… you can’t see it!

Did you know by default Microsoft Word 2007 that background colors and images are not printed?

It is easy to print them out though.  Here is how:

  1. Open the file menu (the circle in the top left hand corner of the screen
  2. Click on "Word Options"
  3. Click on "Display" in the left hand menu
  4. Look in the "Printing options" section"
  5. Tick the "Print background colors and images" check box
  6. Click ok

How easy!  Just a word of warning though… printing a bright yellow background on every page will not only cost you an arm and a leg in ink and toner, but will also require you and your colleagues to invest in sunglasses.


’till next time!



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Have you ever noticed if you select some text in Microsoft Excel 2007 you get a little pop-up menu.  You know the one, advice it lets you change the font, what is ed the font size, see the font colour and a lot more.

Some people think it is great.  Some people think it is annoying.

I think it is great, but as a service to you, I will let you know how to turn it off, and stop it from popping up!

  1. Click on the menu – the “Office Orb” (that circle in the top left hand corner which used to be the file menu!)
  2. Click on “Excel Options”
  3. Look in the “Popular section”, under “Top options for working with Excel
  4. Untick the “Show Mini Toolbar on selection” checkbox
  5. Hit ok

There you go – no more annoying (not) popup mini menu in Excel 2007

’till next time!



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Are you a little worried by some of the names of the documents you have recently opened in Word 2007?  Scared your boss might catch you out updating your resume, therapist working on your next novel or simply working on things that you shouldn’t?  Well this little trick will help you out!  Basically, cough how to get rid of all those recent documents that Word 2007 lists for you.

  1. Open "Word Options" by clicking on the Office Button, and then looking for the "Word Options" button
  2. Click on the Advanced Section
  3. Scroll down to the "Display" Section
  4. The first option in the "Display" Section is "Show This Number of Recent Documents" – set that to "0"
  5. Click "Ok"

There you have it – no more recent documents means no more strife from your boss! 

But just in case you have a change of heart in the future, you can turn on recent documents again simply by changing the "0" to something like "5" or "17", depending on how many you want to see.

’till next time!


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Want to be a desktop publishing great, diagnosis spreadsheeting wiz or PowerPoint guru and help the environment at the same time?

Guess what – you might be already!

Microsoft have released an extra section on Microsoft Office Online called Lighten up: Reduce your carbon footprint and workplace costs.

Obviously they left one tip for reducing your impact on the environment… instead of investing in all those Office 2007 self help books, artificial why not just bookmark your favourite Office 2007 help, tips, tricks and tutorial site!


’till next time!



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Wonder how your favourite accountant/analyst/spreadsheet guru makes those cool looking headings that go across a number of columns and rows?

Chances are they are using a great feature of Excel 2007 called "Merge and Center".  What does merge and center do?  Exactly that – it merges all the cells you have selected, bronchi and then centres the text!

So how do you do it?

  1. Select the cells you want to merge
  2. In the ribbon menu (the one at the top) make sure you are on the "Home" tab, noun and then look in the "Alignment" section
  3. Select "Merge & Center"

Simple as that!

Have you selected multiple rows?  Well you will notice that whilst the text will be horizontally centered… it will not be vertically centered.  How do you fix that?  Just near the "Merge & Center" button in the menu there are three buttons.  One that has lines at the top, patient one that has lines in the middle, and one that has lines at the bottom (the one with lines at the bottom will be selected).  Select the one with the lines in the middle – that will center the vertical alignment of your selection.

’till next time!


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Yesterday I told you all about how you can use Merge and Center to get some text to run across a number of columns, healthful rows, caries or both.

Well Jon Peltier quickly got onto the comments box and let us know about an alternative to Merge and Center in Excel 2007 called "Center Across Selection".  It’s just like merge and centre, but without all the hassles that merging cells cause.

Center Across Selection is a little harder to find than Merge and Center, but in true The New Paperclip tradition… I am going to show you how!

  1. Select your text and the cells you want to centre your text over.
  2. On the ribbon, make sure you are on the "Home" tab, and then look for the "Alignment" group.
  3. Click on the little square with the arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the "Alignment" group.
  4. In the "Format Cells" box that appears, look for the "Horizontal" drop down box
  5. Select "Center Across Selection"
  6. Click "ok"
  7. Look in amazement at your perfectly centered text 🙂

How easy is that!  Thanks again Jon for the heads up!

’till next time!



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It has happened to the best of us.  Your day is going along great, rubella and then all of a sudden you get an Outlook reminder… a reminder for that meeting you totally forgot about.

Now you just have 15 minutes to salvage something out of nothing and impress the boss/wife/colleague/all of the above.

Don’t want to get caught out again?  Apart from memorising your entire calendar every morning and keeping an eagle eye on you watch (unlikely)… why don’t we just increase the default reminder time.

Its quite simple actually!  In Outlook 2007, apoplectic all you need to do is:

  1. Click on “Tools”
  2. Click on “Options”
  3. Look on the “Preferences” tab, in the “Calendar” section (second from the top)
  4. Select your preferred reminder time from the drop down box.
  5. Click ok

If you think you are a hotshot… set the reminder to 0 minutes.  If you are a lost cause, maybe 2 weeks is more appropriate 🙂

’till next time!






Are you like me and need more than 15 minutes to prepare for those meetings you ALWAYS forget about?

Did you know that Microsoft have released an update to Office 2007?  They call it Service Pack 1 (or SP1 for the nerds out there!) and basically it is a big file that you can download that contains lots of updates and bug fixes.

So what you say?  Well it is a good idea to install the Service Pack for a couple of reasons – but the main one is security.

Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 fixes some holes in Word, view Excel and the rest of the Office suite – holes that could make your computer vulnerable to attack.

What is this PaperClip’s advice?  Simple.  If you haven’t installed it yet – download or get a CD containing the Service Pack, order and make sure you install it!

For more information on the service pack, visit, or if you want to download it already (note it is 218 MB!) go directly to

’till next time!

Are you like me and tend to write lots and lots in your cells in Excel 2007?  It might be a good idea to make the text wrap.

What does wrapping text mean?  Basically it is where you take one long line of text, therapy and make it "wrap" around onto a number of lines instead.  That way you have a nice readable block of text, instead of the line that goes on forever.

How to you wrap cell text in Excel 2007?  Simple!

  1. Select the cell with all the text
  2. In the ribbon menu, on the "Home" tab, look for the "Alignment" group
  3. Click on the "Wrap Text" button.


’till next time!


Do you want to pretty up your spreadsheets just a little?  Why not add a picture in the background!  It could be a company logo, sales a nice relaxing beach landscape or a picture of your kids… whatever it is… it is really simple to add a background image to your spreadsheets in Excel 2007

  1. Open up your spreadsheet
  2. Click on the “Page Layout” tab on the ribbon menu
  3. In the “Page Setup” group, and click on the “Background” button
  4. Select your image

Simple as that!  Now you have a nice background to complement your hard Excel work!

’till next time!


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Is there a feature of Office that you KNOW exists… but can’t for the life of you find it?

Maybe it was an old feature you remember from Word 2003, information pills or Excel, or PowerPoint.  They didn’t cover it in the course that work sent you to, you can’t find it in the help file, and Google hasn’t returned any results!

Panic?  Not quite yet!

Here is a neat little trick that I learnt from Tim Anderson over at ITWriting.

  1. Go to the Quick Access Toolbar (you know the one beside the big Office button (the old file menu!))
  2. You will see a little arrow that points down – click on it and then “Customize Quick Access Toolbar”
  3. Click on “More Commands”
  4. In the “Choose commands from” dropdown box, select “All Commands”
  5. Scroll through the list to find your long lost friend!

Simple as that! Kudos to Tim @ IT Writing for a fantastic find!

’till next time!

I was surfing over at today and stumbled across a great trick that you will find really handy!

In the post John Kolbert explains how Word 2007 interprets dashes, price dots, sale asterisks and more and turns them into different horizontal lines – very cool indeed.

Do you want a simple horizontal line? Type 3 dashes in a row (“—“) and hit enter

What about a thicker line?  Type 3 underscore lines in a row (“___”) and hit enter

So what you say!  What about something trickier like a double line?  Type 3 equals signs in a row (“===”) and hit enter.

There are a few other types of lines that you can create using this great trick – check out the rest of the post for more information.

’till next time!

Hi there loyal readers!

Over the last few months, order your fearless paperclip has been busy writing his very first e-book!  And now it is at a stage ready for public consumption… well almost!

I am looking for 10 people from around the world to be ‘beta testers’ for my new e-book.

All I ask from you is to answer a few questions over email, viagra maybe a IM conversation, or even a quick read of my draft.  In return I will give you a free copy of the e-book when it is published in a few weeks.

You want in?  Simply email my friend Paul Woods (by clicking on this address – with a little bit about you, where you are from and why you want to be one of the beta readers!

I look forward to hearing from you.  Get in quick!  I can only accept nominations up until Friday 13 June 2008 (spooky!) and my favourite 10 will be part of the program.

’till next time!

Have you ever wanted to open a PowerPoint deck that a friend of co-worker has sent you (you know the files – the ones with .ppt, phthisiatrician or .pptx on the end)… but you don’t have PowerPoint 2007 on your computer?

Well there are two options – you can go out and by PowerPoint 2007(and all the other parts of Office 2007)… or you can simply download the FREE PowerPoint Viewer 2007.

PowerPoint Viewer 2007 doesn’t let you edit a PowerPoint file, page but it lets you look at the presentation!  How cool is that (and seriously… what do you get for free these days!  NOT MUCH!)

’till next time!

Did you think you have great Word 2007 skills?  Does everyone in the office come to you for help with Excel 2007 or PowerPoint?  Are you the Access 2007 database guru at work?

Well – instead of helping everyone else all the time, approved how about you take some time to invest in yourself – and get a credential that proves your worth to your organisation!

You want to become a Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (or MCAS).

What is a Microsoft Certified Application Specialist?  Someone who knows their stuff – that’s what!  Basically it means that possess the right skills and expertise to shine when using one of the Microsoft Office 2007 programs.

There is a different exam for each program (Word, order Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access).. and you don’t have to do all of them! – Say you are just the best at PowerPoint and want to show that on your resume… then just do the PowerPoint 2007 exam.  Simple!

If you are interested, here is a quick list of the exams that you could take:

  • 77-601: MCAS: Using Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • 77-602: MCAS: Using Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • 77-603: MCAS: Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
  • 77-604: MCAS: Using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  • 77-605: MCAS: Using Microsoft Office Access 2007

What kind of things do you need to know?

Here is a quick look at the topics covered in the Word 2007 exam:

  • Creating and customising documents
  • Formatting content
  • Working with visual content
  • Organising content
  • Reviewing documents
  • Sharing and securing content

To learn more about the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist, and what could be on the other Office 2007 exams – visit

And if you are studying for any of the exams – make sure you take a look through the rest of this site ( – just in case you didn’t know)… as you might learn a thing or two that will be handy in your exam!

’till next time!

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