Letter sized presentation? Change the size of your PowerPoint slides

Ever wanted to create a presentation which you or your audience could print out perfectly on Letter sized (8.5x11in) paper?

Well you can really easily in PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2010, or PowerPoint 2013. What we will do is change the size of the slide to match the size of the paper you want to print or present the presentation on.  Let’s see how to do it…


  1. Click on the Design Tab in the Ribbon
  2. Look for the “Customize” group at the far right hand end of the ribbon

  3. Click on “Slide Size”
  4. Click on “Custom Slide Size”

  5. In the “Slide Size” dialog box that appears, select your preferred slide size from the drop down box. In this case select “Letter Paper (8.5x11in).

  6. If you want the slides to be in portrait orientation – so they print out as you would read them naturally on Letter paper… make sure you select “Portrait” in the Slide Orientation section

There you have it – your Letter Sized Presentation!

’till next time!

Add, subtract or average time in Excel

If you are like me and you want to do some kind of calculation or duration in hours, minutes and seconds – I am sure you have been very frustrated with Excel totally ignoring what you want to achieve! Well did you know that it isn’t as hard as Excel makes it out to be! You can very quickly do calculations like adding two times together, subtracting times from each other, or seeing what the average time is of a range. They key is to ensure that your cells or formatted correctly first. Here is how you do it!

  1. Select the cells that you want to add your times to
  2. Right click, and then select “format cells” from the menu that appears
  3. In the “format cells” dialog box that appears, make sure you are on the “Number” tab
  4. In the category box, select “custom”
  5. Look for a Type in the list which looks like [h]:mm:ss and select it
  6. Click Ok

Now that your numbers are formatted correctly as times, you can start doing your calculations. Simply add, subtract or average like you normally would in excel using formulas like =SUM(), and =AVERAGE()

’till next time!

Select difficult to get to objects in Word using the Selection Pane

Have you ever worked on a document with a lot of shapes, diagrams, pictures or text boxes?  Don’t you hate it when they overlap or are on top of each other and it is near on impossible to select the right object!  You may be like me and move the objects on top to get to the ones below … but did you know that there is an easier, much better way?  There is – using the Selection Pane.

The selection pane enables you to select the object by its name, irrespective of where the object is in your document.   Not only that, you can make an object invisible for a short amount of time so you can see everything else underneath it!

To turn on the selection pane in Word:

  1. On the “Home” tab, look for  the “Editing” group on the right hand side of the screen
  2. Click on the little arrow beside “Select”
  3. Select “Selection Pane”

The selection pane will appear as a task pane on the right hand side of your Word screen.  To select an object in your document, simply click on the name of the one you are after.  You can make an object invisible by simply clicking on the “eye”.  To bring it back, click on the “closed eye”.

’till next time!

Find out Exactly what is included in Office 365

Are you considering moving your business to Office 365?  Well the www.office365.com website does a good job of explaining at a high level what you get for your dollar – but for some of us that isn’t enough information.

What if you want to get down to the fine detail before making a decision to go to Office 365?

Well luckily Microsoft have published what the call “Service Descriptions”.  These documents outline exactly what you get, explain the differences between all the plans, and ultimately help you decide what plan is right for you.

The Office 365 for Enterprise Service Descriptions include:

  • Microsoft Exchange Online Archiving Service Description
  • Microsoft Exchange Online for Enterprises Service Description
  • Microsoft Lync Online for Enterprises Service Description
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus Service Description
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps Service Description
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online for Enterprises Service Description
  • Office 365 for Enterprises Service Description
  • Office 365 Identity Service Description
  • Office 365 Mobility Service Description
  • Office 365 Security and Service Continuity Service Description
  • Office 365 Support for Apple Mac and iOS Devices

You can find all the information here.

‘till next time!

Create an Extranet using Office 365

One of my favourite things about Office 365 is that by using the SharePoint Online functionality that comes with it, you can quickly create a secure extranet to share documents, collaborate, and communicate with people outside your organisation.

In fact, depending on the Office 365 plan you are on, you can invite up to 50 people who are not on your Office 365 environment to participate!

Not only that, the best part is that it only takes a couple of minutes to set up, and once you have, it is even faster next time you want to create another extranet (maybe for another customer or supplier)

So how do you do it?

1) Go to the Office 365 Admin Portal (portal.microsoftonline.com, and click on “Admin”)

2) Click on “Manage SharePoint”

3) Click on “Manage Site Collections

4) Click on “Settings”

5) Click “Manage External Users”

6) Click “Allow” and “Save”

7) Go to the site collection (the site that will be your extranet) then click “Site Actions”

8) "Click “Site Settings”

9) Look for “Site Collection Administration” and click on “Site Collection Features”

10) Look for “External User Invitations” and click “Activate” (if it isn’t activated already)

11) Go to the site you want to share, click “Site Settings”

12) Click “Share Site”

13) Type in the email addresses of the folk that you want to invite to participate in your new Office 365 / SharePoint Online extranet!!!!

Now one thing that you should note is that at the time of writing this article, your external parties need to use a Hotmail ID, or a Microsoft Online Services ID to log into your extranet.  In the future you should be able to use any email address which will make it even easier.

So there you have it – a fully functioning, secure extranet in just minutes using Office 365!  How good is that!!!!

‘till next time!

Getting Started with Office 365? Get the E-Book

Are you one of the thousands of businesses around the word looking to use Microsoft’s Office 365 “cloud” service, but don’t know where to start?

Well Microsoft Press have made available a free e-book which helps you get started.  Called “Microsoft Office 365:  Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime.”

I like this book for a few reasons.  Firstly – FREE!  Secondly, it covers a lot of the questions you probably have about Office 365 and gives you some pretty good answers.  It covers topics like:

  • Getting Started with Office 365
  • Administering an Office 365 Account
  • What your team can do with Office 365
  • Creating your Team Site with SharePoint Online
  • Posting, Sharing and Managing Files
  • Adding and Managing Workflows
  • Working with Office 2010 Web Apps
  • Going Mobile with Office 365

It is a good blend of technical content for the folk that need to set up and run Office 365 for others, plus a little bit of user content to help you understand exactly how Office 365 works under the covers, and how you can use it to work better, faster, and stronger!

You can download the free Office 365 ebook from Microsoft here.

Change the auto-save time for draft emails in Outlook 2007

Did you know that Outlook 2007 saves drafts of your emails as you type them?  This is great if you accidentally close the email window before sending, or start an email and then the power goes out.

By default Outlook will save a draft every three minutes.  But if you are paranoid about losing your work… or don’t care that much… you can change the timeframes in which the auto-save occurs.

To increase or decrease the auto-save time for draft emails in Outlook 2007:

1) Click “Options” from the menu

2) Make sure you are on the “Preferences” tab”

3) Click the “E-mail Options…” button

4) Click the “Advanced E-Mail Options…” button (about half way down the window)

5) Beside the first checkbox (“AutoSave items every:”) change the number to the number of minutes you would like the interval to be

6) Click OK 3 times to close all the windows


To find the drafts that Outlook saves, just take a look in your drafts folder

‘till next time!

Change the default width of cells in Excel

Do you regularly resize the width of your columns and cells in Excel 2007?  Maybe you make them bigger?  Maybe you make them smaller.  Either way, there is a quick method to change the width of all the columns (and therefore cells) in your spreadsheet.

To change the default width in Excel 2007, Excel 2010 or Excel 2013:

1) Make sure you are on the “Home” tab of the ribbon

2) Look for the “Cells” group

3) Click on “Format”

4) Click on “Default Width…”

5) in the “Standard Width” box that appears, type in the desired width of your columns

6) Click “OK”


‘till next time!

Set Junk Mail to automatically delete in Outlook 2007

Does your Junk Mail folder in Outlook 2007 seem to continually build up with… well… junk mail?  If you are confident that no important mail ever ends up in your junk mail folder, you can set Outlook to automatically delete junk mail instead.

To automatically delete junk mail in Outlook 2007:

1) Click on “Tools”

2) Click on “Options”

3) Make sure you are on the “Preferences” tab”

4) In the “E-mail” section, click on the “Junk E-mail…” button

5) On the “Options” tab, look half way down for a checkbox that says “Permanently delete suspected junk e-mail instead of moving it to the Junk E-mail folder”.  Check that check box.

To stop the automatic deletion of junk mail, repeat the process, and just uncheck the checkbox in step 5

‘till next time!

Change the design of your handouts in PowerPoint 2007

If you have ever printed handouts for your PowerPoint presentations before, you know that they can be pretty bland.  Just the slides all stacked up on a page, with plenty of whitespace.

Well did you know that you have complete control over how those handouts actually look?  You can add your company logo, or a copyright statement, or remove the date or the page numbers.  You can do whatever you want!

All of this is controlled from what is called the “Handout Master”.  Those of you familiar with the “Slide Master” will know exactly what we are talking about.  The easiest way to describe the handout master is that it is the template for all the handouts printed from the presentation.

To access the Handout Master in PowerPoint 2007:

1) Click on the “View” tab in the ribbon

2) In the “Presentation Views” group on the left hand side, click on “Handout Master”

Once you are in the master, you can control all manner of different things, including the page setup, the handout orientation (portrait or landscape), the slide orientation on the handouts, and how many slides will appear on each page.

To get out of the “Handout Master” view… simply click the “Close Master View” button on the right hand side of the ribbon

‘till next time!