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!

What is the annoying Yellow Bar in Word, Excel or PowerPoint?

If you have been using Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 for a while, you might have come across what most people call the “Annoying Yellow Bar”

If you don’t know what I am talking about – open up a word document that someone has send you via email – or a spread sheet that you might find on a website.  Chances are when you open that Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, you will see the “Annoying Yellow Bar” – and you will not be able to edit, print, or save your document.

Well it may be annoying, but it is actually really important.  The yellow bar shows you that Word, Excel or PowerPoint is running in what we call “Protected Mode”.  Any time you open a file that isn’t on your computer, or from somewhere that you can’t trust (like the internet), the document will be opened in protected mode, to (as the name suggests) protect your computer from harm.

It opens up the document so you can take a look at it, and then if you are sure it is what you are looking for, and you trust that it will not do any harm, you can then click on the “Enable Editing” button, which sits on the yellow protected view bar.

Now there are ways to stop Protected View from happening, but trust me, it is worth putting up with because if you accidently open a document that causes damage to your computer, it is a LOT more annoying!

‘till next time!

Change the slide Layout in PowerPoint

Are you working on a PowerPoint presentation and want to insert a new slide?  By default, chances are you will get a slide which has a title at the top, and a big box below that in which you can add your bullet points.

The default layout is what we call “Title and Content”, but there are many others you can choose from.  For example:

  • Title Slide (the first slide you see when you create a new presentation)
  • Section Header
  • Two Content
  • Comparison
  • Title Only
  • Blank
  • Content with Caption
  • Picture with Caption

To create a new slide with one of these layouts, simply click on the bottom half of the “New Slide” button on the “Home” tab in PowerPoint.

A small menu will appear with pictures of what each layout looks like.  Simply click on the layout you like and it will be inserted into your document.

Now if you want to change the layout of an existing slide:

1) Click on the slide that you want to change

2) On the “Home” tab, just to the right of the new slide button you will see one called “Layout” – click on that

3) From the menu that appears, select the layout that you want

Now your presentation will have a bit of variety!

‘till next time!

Office 2010 Tips and Tricks–the Screen Saver!

Are you deploying Office 2010 in your organisation and looking for a great (ie FREE!) way to increase the adoption of Office 2010?  Or maybe you are a home user just interested in learning more about Word, Outlook or Excel?

Either way – Microsoft have a great training tool available which can help you or  your people get more out of Office 2010.  It is the Office 2010 Getting Started Screensaver.

Now you need to be running Windows 7 to use it, but if you are, it is one of the better ways I have seen to learn more about Office.

Click here to download the screensaver today.  Thanks to Ian Palangio from Microsoft Australia for pointing it out!

‘till next time!

Guide to Group Policy in Office 2010

A quick post for all you guys out there that have to manage Office 2010 deployments in a business.  Microsoft have made available a great resource that outlines all the different Group Policy settings for Office 2010 – a must have resource if you want to manage your Office 2010 deployment well.

Check it out at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=66a6848c-6c28-4b61-9c12-a8cad4b380a4&displaylang=en

‘till next time!

Building an add-in for Microsoft Office

Soon I will be publishing a series of articles on The New Paperclip which dive a bit deeper into extending the functionality of Microsoft Office.  Probably a scary thought for most of you, but I have found that if we want to extract that extra 10-50% more out of Office there comes a time where you need to start coding.

In particular I am going to focus on building high value add-ins for Microsoft Office.

Now when it comes to writing an add-in, there are a couple of ways to go about it.

1) Roll your own

If you are confident C#  or VB coder there is nothing stopping you from cracking open Visual Studio, downloading Visual Studio Tools for Office and giving it your best shot.  I must admit I tried this at first, and had some success.

But that success was time consuming, and when I wanted to build an add-in that was backwards compatible with Outlook 2007 (which has that horrible combination of ribbon and command bar), Office 2003/XP and beyond it became VERY time consuming.

So I decided to use an alternative.

2) Use Add-in-Express

Before I share my experience with Add-in-Express… here is what the brochure says!

Add-in Express for Office and .NET is the only all-in-one platform that includes all the features you may expect for your Microsoft Office extensions such as Office COM add-ins, smart tags, Excel XLLs, RTD servers and Automation add-ins (UDFs). It fully supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, 2008 and 2005 and makes it very comfortable for developing application-level extensions for all available Office versions from 2000 to 2010.”

What that means for people new to Office Development is that Add-in-Express makes it easy to quickly extend the functionality of Microsoft Office, irrespective of what version you are running.  And after spending about a month using the tool to build some add-ins myself, I have to agree.  For someone who is exploring Office Development for the first time, taking the painful parts of COM out of the picture meant that I could focus on the features and functionality I wanted to build, and not spend hours pulling my hair out!

For example, being able to access all the key events in Office without having to write event handlers accelerated development time.  Sure, it may only seem like a small thing, but as any developer knows, anything that saves you time, and takes the pain of troubleshooting away is a good thing!

Anyways – if you are interested in developing your own Office Add-in, make sure you subscribe and check back in the next few weeks for more content about my development experiences – and some examples that will get your Office Development journey started.

‘till next time!
TNP Winking smile

The file menu is back! Welcome to Office 2010

So if you are a bit of an Office freak like me, you will know that Office 2010 was RTM’d last week (Released to Manufacturing – a fancy way of saying “yep, its ready”).  It will be available in the shops in the next few months, but if you are a corporate customer with a volume licensing agreement – or you have a subscription to MSDN or TechNet – you will find you can get the Office 2010 bits, and product keys already.

With RTM comes a shift in content here at The New Paperclip.  Whilst I will still produce Office 2007 content, there is a whole new world of Office 2010 that is to be explored, documented, and published in easy to understand language just for you kind folks!

Before we get into the nitty gritty of Office 2010 – there is one thing I would love to share with you.

One thing that most of you will like (and people that work on IT Helpdesks will LOVE) about Office 2010 is that the File Menu is back!  Well, technically it never left, but in Office 2007 it wasn’t called the File Menu, it was simply this weird looking “Office Orb”. 

So IT Managers – if you are looking for a quick win to cut your helpdesk calls dramatically (you know… all the ones that were like “Where has Print gone”, Where has Save gone” etc) – just upgrade to Office 2010.  Because everyone knows, you find them in the File Menu.  And you will not get as many calls about

“What is that funny looking circle thing… what do you mean you want me to click on it?  It doesn’t look like a button!”

If you are upgrading to Office 2010 – make sure you subscribe or check back regularly for more tips, tricks and tutorials.

‘till next time!

Add a Excel spreadsheet to your PowerPoint presentation

Do you want to do some hard core data manipulation in your PowerPoint presentation?

Well instead of adding a simple table layout to your slide, you can actually add an Excel spreadsheet.  You have all the features of Excel – like formulas, but in a nice looking PowerPoint table.

To insert an Excel table in PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2010 or PowerPoint 2013:

1) Make sure you are on the slide you want to include the table in

2) Click on the “Insert” tab of the ribbon

3) Click on the little arrow below the “Table” button

4) Click on “Excel Spreadsheet”

5) Enter your data, manipulate it, and format the table as you desire


‘till next time!

First Look Microsoft Office 2010: Free e-Book from Microsoft Press

Hi there!

Are you on the bleeding edge and have already had a play around with the beta version of Microsoft Office 2010?  Or are you just interested in what is coming in the next version of your favourite productivity tool?  Well do we have a great link for you today!

Our friends over at Microsoft Press have released a few electronic version of the book – “First Look Microsoft Office 2010”.  14 chapters of Office 2010 gold, including:

  • Welcome to Office 2010
  • Express Yourself Effectively and Efficiently
  • Collaborate in the Office and Around the World
  • Create and Share Compelling Documents with Word 2010
  • Create Smart Data Insights with Excel 2010
  • Manage Rich Communications with Outlook 2010
  • Produce Dynamic Presentations with PowerPoint 2010
  • Organize, Store, and Share Ideas with OneNote 2010
  • Collaborate Effectively with SharePoint Workspace 2010
  • Create Effective Marketing Materials with Publisher 2010
  • Make Sense of Your Data with Access 2010
  • Putting It All Together
  • Security in Office 2010
  • Training Made Easy

You can read the Microsoft Press blog post – or just click here and download the book directly.  It is about 10.5mb or so.

‘till next time!

Get Office 2007 Help, Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials on Twitter!

Are you a member of the Twitterverse?  If you use the micro-blogging service called Twitter, you can how get your favorite productivity articles on Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint… in fact the entire Microsoft Office 2007 suite directly in your Twitter feed.

All you have to do is follow @TheNewPaperclip.

I will be on there regularly so if you have any questions or suggestions for articles you can post them to Twitter as well!

‘till next time!