Increase/Decrease AutoRecover Frequency in Word 2007

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, right?

By default, 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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Turn off the mini toolbar in Word 2007

Have you ever noticed if you select some text in Microsoft Word 2007 you get a little pop-up menu.  You know the one, it lets you change the font, the font size, 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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Change the angle or orientation of text in Excel 2007

Have you ever seen those spreadsheets or charts where the text isn’t normal?  You know the ones where the text is diagonal, or vertical, or on its side?  It is a pretty nifty trick you can use to display more information in less space.  And in Excel 2007 it is really easy to do.

How to change text orientation in Excel 2007

  1. Type the text into a cell
  2. Select the cell
  3. On the home tab of the ribbon, look for the alignment group.  There you will find a button with an ‘a’ and a ‘b’ and an arrow all on an angle.  That’s the Orientation menu.  Click on the little drop down arrow beside it.
  4. Select one of the quick options to angle your text

If you want to be more specific about the angle of your text, you can select “Format Cell Alignment” and set down to the degree how “slanty” you want your text.

The results are pretty impressive – well your boss will think so and that is all that matters right?

’till next time!

Email Merge in Word 2007

Do you have a message that you want to send to multiple contacts, but you don’t want to do the old BCC trick?  Better yet… do you want to actually personalise the message for each recipient? 

Instead of “Hi all”, what about “Hi Bill”, “Hi Jane” etc?

You can, with email merge in Word 2007.

Email merge works exactly the same as a standard mail merge… except for one big difference.  Instead of printing individual letters or envelopes or labels… Word 2007 will generate individual emails, send them to your Outlook 2007 outbox, and then when you are next online in Outlook, Outlook will send each your personalised emails to each addressee.

Kicking off a email merge in Word 2007 is easy.

  1. Open up Word 2007
  2. Type your email in Word 2007
  3. Click on the “Mailings” tab in the ribbon
  4. In the “Start Mail Merge” grouping, click on the “Start Mail Merge” button.  It will show a list of mail merge options available.  You can choose Letters, E-Mail Messages, Envelopes, Labels or Directory.  In this case as we want to send an email… click on “E-Mail Messages”
  5. Next you need to select the recipients of your email merge.  These names could come from any number or sources… maybe an Excel 2007 spreadsheet?  maybe your Outlook 2007 Contacts… or you could just type them yourself.  

    To do that, click on the “Select Recipients” box in the “Start Mail Merge” group.  Either find your data source, your outlook contacts, or create a new list.

  6. If you want to edit any of the recipients in the list, now is the time to click on “Edit Recipient List” in the “Start Mail Merge” group.
  7. The next step is to add the appropriate fields to personalise the greeting, the recipients name, or to add any other piece of data you might have on the contact anywhere throughout your recipient list.  

    You can find the appropriate fields in the “Write & Insert Fields” group (still on the “Mailings” tab).

    More than likely you will want to add at least a greeting line (Dear Bill… or something like that).  To do that click on the “Greeting Line” button in the “Write & Insert Fields” group.  The following dialog box appears

  8. Once you are happy with your greeting line format, click “OK”.  Word 2007 will now drop the field into your document.
  9. Now you can preview your results to ensure that everyone’s name is coming up correctly.  Click the “Preview Results” button in the “Preview Results” group… then use the forward and back arrows beside it to run through your recipient list.
  10. If you are happy with the preview, not is the time to finish things off and compete the merge.  In the “Finish” group on the “Mailings tab” you will see a button called “Finish & Merge”.  Click on it, and then click “Send E-mail Messages…” 


  11. Now Word 2007 automatically generates all the individual emails, and sends them to your Outlook 2007 outbox (or your default email client).
  12. Open up Outlook or your email client, and watch all your emails be sent!


So there you have it… your 12 step guide to Email Merge in Word 2007!

’till next time,

Change the Duration and Transparency of Email Notifications in Outlook 2007

Here is a quick way to control how the pop up email notification (you might know it as the desktop alert, or toast) acts and looks in Outlook 2007.

  1. Got to Tools, then Options in the menu
  2. On the preferences tab, in the E-mail section click on the “E-mail Options…” button
  3. Then click on the “Advanced E-mail Options…” button
  4. Then click on the “Desktop Alert Settings…” button

Desktop Alert / Toast / Email Notification settings in Outlook 2007 -

From this window you can control how long your Desktop Alerts appear for, and how transparent they are.

By default, your email notification/popup/desktop alert/toast will appear for 7 seconds.  The minimum you can set this to is 3 seconds, the maximum is 30 seconds.

As for transparency, the default is 20%.  It can be solid (0%) or can go to a maximum of 80% transparency.  Any more and you couldn’t see it!

If you don’t want desktop alerts at all… read about how you can turn them off in an earlier article I wrote – How to turn on or off new email notifications in Outlook 2007


’till next time

Turn On or Off New Email Notifications in Outlook 2007

Some people like them… some people hate them.  That’s right, we are talking about new email notifications.  It doesn’t matter what you call them… the popup thing in the bottom right hand corner… the envelope down the bottom beside the time… the toast… some people love them, and some people hate them.

How to turn on or off email notifications in Outlook 2007

  1. In the menu, click on Tools, then Options.
  2. On the preferences tab, in the E-mail section, click on the “E-mail Options…” button
  3. Click on the “Advanced E-mail Options…” button
  4. Look for the “When new items arrive in my Inbox” area…
  5. Tick or untick all the notifications you want to receive.

Turn on or off new email notifications in Outlook 2007 -

Note that there are four notifications that Outlook can give you when you receive an email in your Inbox

  • Play a sound <- click here to learn how to turn the sound off or back on
  • Briefly change the mouse cursor
  • Show an envelope icon in the notification area
  • Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only)

From the Advanced E-mail Options window, you can control each of these as you wish.  Now you wont get distracted by email when you want to be productive… or you know how to turn the notifications back on if you don’t feel like doing any work!

’till next time

Insert a Drop Cap in Word 2007

Have you ever read a book, or a fancy brochure and noticed that the first letter of a chapter is really big (and goes across a few lines) and the rest of the text looks normal?  That is called a “Drop Cap”, and you can insert one really easily in Word 2007.

How do I insert a drop cap in Word 2007?

Firstly, you need some text in your document.  Generally you would only add a drop cap after you have written your document.  Here is an example of some plain text that I have inserted into the document

Drop Cap None in Word 2007

Secondly, you need to find the Insert Drop Cap button.  Go to the “Insert” tab on the Word 2007 Ribbon, then go across the the “Text” group.  You will find the “Drop Cap” button there.  If you click the button there are three options, plus an options menu.

Drop Cap Menu Word 2007

Obviously if you have Drop Cap set to “None”… you will not have a drop cap.  If you click on “Dropped”, you will get…

Drop Cap Dropped in Word 2007

Pretty cool huh!  Now your document looks like a professionally published book (well almost!).  The other Drop Cap option is “In Margin”, and basically drops the first letter into the margin, which looks something like this…


Which one looks best?  Dropped or In Margin?  I don’t know, you need to decide on that!

Drop Cap Options

There are a few options you can play with when creating a drop cap in Word 2007.  For starters, you can make the drop cap a different font, make it span more (or less) lines, and set the distance it sits away from the text of your document.

If you click on “Drop Cap Options” in the Drop Cap menu, you get this dialog box to the left.  The options under position are just the same as those that I have mentioned earlier in this post.  Dropped means that the first letter of the paragraph will appear larger than the rest of the text, and displace the text a little.  In margin, the first letter will like larger than the rest of the text, but sit in the margin.

The Options section is where you can have some fun.  Your first choice is what font you want the drop cap to be.  Depending on how many fonts you have installed on your computer, this could be a very hard decision.  Unfortunately we don’t have live preview here (Note to Microsoft – Please, please, please, add live preview to the drop cap options menu!), so you might have to use a little trial and error.

The second option is “Lines to Drop.”  This basically lets you choose how big your drop cap is.  The smallest you would want to go is 2 lines (otherwise it wouldn’t be a drop cap!) and the most would depend totally on the size of your font.  Generally 3 looks good, but I have seen some very cool drop caps work over 10 lines, with a small body font.

Finally the last option is the “Distance from text”.  This is handy if you want to put a little space between your drop cap and your body text.  Again you don’t want too much of a space here, otherwise it will be difficult to read the first word!

Here is an example of my custom drop cap.  I chose “Blackadder ITC” as my font (it is one of those really really old curly fonts!, lines to drop as 3, and distance from text as 0.2cm.  This is what I got…

So there you have it – a quick start guide to how to insert a Drop Cap in Word 2007!  Just be careful not to go overboard, drop caps look good when used well, but if you go crazy, your document will look very, very ugly!

’till next time

[tags]Desktop Publishing, Word 2007, Tutorial, Help, Guide, Drop Cap[/tags]

Do you have Office 2007 Questions? Get the answers at The New Paperclip forums – now ONLINE!

Ask your Office 2007 questions at The New Paperclip Forums –

Do you have questions about Word 2007, Excel 2007 or Outlook 2007, but don’t know who to ask?  Are you stumped by something in Access 2007, OneNote 2007, or Visio 2007?  Do you know what to do with SharePoint Designer 2007, Publisher 2007, Groove 2007 or Communicator 2007?

If you have answered yes to any of those – you need to start asking your Office 2007 questions at The New Paperclip forums –

Not only are their forums for all the desktop programs that are in Office, there are also forums for the server programs that make up the Microsoft Office System – SharePoint Server (MOSS), Performance Point Server, Project Server and Groove Server. 

I will be on hand when I can to answer your questions – and most importantly members of the community will also be there to help out.

I look forward to answering all your questions in the near future – start posting them today!!


’till next time,


Word 2007 – Send your Document – Share it with the World!

Do you regularly send your Word documents via email?  I know I do – I spend ages crafting the perfect document/form/report/whatever, and then as soon as I am done I want to share it with my colleagues/the world!

In the old days (before I found what I will call the “Send Menu” from now on) I would create the document, then save it, then I would go to Outlook, create a new email, type in some corny subject, type a quick message “FYI this is my document, hope you like it…” then add the attachment… hang on, where did I save it?  It isn’t in the normal place? Where could it possibly be?  Oh that’s right I saved it on the desktop – drop down that drop down box, click on desktop, then click on the file… then click attach.  Double click the attachment to make sure I go the right one – nope that was the draft version… time to find the real one……..

You get the idea – what should be simple – turns out time consuming.  Don’t worry though, by using the send menu in Word 2007, you can save yourself a lot of trouble!

[NOTE] – this post assumes that you have downloaded the free PDF/XPS plugin for Office 2007.  If you have not downloaded this great plugin – you can learn more here

When you click on the Office Orb (the old file menu) you will find a menu option called Send.  If you have the PDF/XPS plugin installed, you will find four different options.

  1. E-mail
  2. E-mail as PDF Attachment
  3. E-mail as XPS Attachment
  4. Internet Fax

By selecting Send -> E-mail option, Word 2007 will open a new email message in Outlook, with the document as an attachment in Word Format.  If you have saved the document in Word 2007 format (.docx) then the attachment will be .docx.  If you want to send your document to people using Word 2003 or earlier, make sure you save in Word 97-2003 format (.doc) first – then click Send -> E-mail.

E-mail as PDF Attachment
By selecting Send -> E-mail as PDF Attachment, Word 2007 will open a new email message in Outlook, with the document as an attachment in the Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) format.  This is handy if you are sending documents to printers, or if you want to share this document online

E-mail as XPS Attachment
By selecting Send -> E-mail as XPS Attachment, Word 2007 will open a new email message in Outlook, and attach the document in Microsoft’s XPS format

Internet Fax
Finally, by selecting Send -> Internet Fax, if you have an account with one of the Internet Fax providers, you can send your document by fax to any fax machine.  If you have an account – you can also receive faxes via email – very cool stuff!

The above are just a few different ways you can send your Word 2007 documents.  If you are lucky enough to have SharePoint infrastructure in your workplace, there are many many more ways you can share your documents (with things like Workflow!)

’till next time,


[tags]Word 2007, Tutorial, Share, Collaboration, SharePoint, Internet Fax[/tags]

Create a Task in OneNote 2007, and keep track of it in Outlook 2007

Many people live and breath by their task list!  One of the most popular features of Outlook 2007 (apart from email and calendaring of course) is Tasks.  “Tasks” allow you to set a reminder to do a certain portion of work… or in other words… a Task! 🙂

There are many different ways to create a task to keep track of in Outlook 2007 (The quickest way in Outlook 2007 is to type your task into the “To-Do Bar”)… however that is not the most efficient way, especially if you take most of your notes in OneNote 2007. 

For those who don’t know what OneNote 2007 is, it is great for taking notes, jotting down information, and keeping track of things.  Just like a paper notebook, except electronic!  Fantastic for school, college or university, as you can keep your research notes all in one place.

And if you are taking your notes in OneNote 2007, you are more than likely thinking about Tasks that you need to perform after taking those notes!  That is where the integration between OneNote 2007 and Outlook 2007 is so handy!

In this screenshot, you can see that I have created a list of things I need to do on a page in OneNote.  Now a few of those things I can remember for myself (Mrs Paperclip will make sure that I do the washing!)… but I need to make sure that I Book my flights to LA.  To ensure I get a reminder to do that in a few days when I am back in the office, I will turn that bullet point into a Task.

How to create an Outlook 2007 Task in OneNote 2007?

  1.  In OneNote 2007, select the text you would like to turn into a Task.
  2. On the menu bar, select the “Task” drop down menu
  3. Select the timeframe you would like to complete the task in.  In the screenshot you can see that you can set a task for today, tomorrow, this week, next week, or for no specific date.

In this example, I selected that the task needs to be completed tomorrow.  If I then open up Outlook 2007 and have a look at my task list, I will see the task now being tracked in Outlook 2007 🙂

Simple as that!  Now you have no excuses to loose track of things you need to do!  Well that is what Mrs Paperclip says to me 🙂

’till next time!


[tags]Outlook 2007, OneNote 2007, Help, Tutorial, Integration[/tags]