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30 Tips

30 Tips in 30 Minutes

This is my favorite class, and very popular with lawyers.  (No, I won't come to your firm for 30 minutes to teach just this class!) These are my current favorites, subject to change, and still under construction.  I'm also developing e-learning tutorials for each of them - look for them soon.


Outlook:   Excel:
  • Flag messages and use the “For Follow-Up” search folder in your Favorites to keep track of them.

  • Use the AutoFilter (Data menu) to create automatic filters – for “Location,” for example.
  • Right-click a sender’s email address and choose “Add to Outlook Contacts.”
  • If your Excel document won’t print correctly, it may mean that a “Print Area” has been set and not updated correctly. From the File menu, choose “Print Area,” then “Clear Print Area.”
  • To open a second window for a Calendar, right-click the Calendar and choose “Open in New Window.”  If the window is still open when you exit Outlook, it will re-open the next time you start Outlook.
  • To widen a column to the width of the text in it, double-click the line separating the column heading from the next one.  (Be careful – if there’s a lot of text in one cell, you can get a very wide column!)
  • If you receive a message announcing a meeting, and you want to add it to your Calendar, just drag it to the Calendar navigation button.  You’ll need to change the date and time, which will default to the current date and time.
  • Ctrl-‘ (single quote mark) repeats the cell immediately above it. 
  • Keep a list of unimportant passwords in Notes. Do not keep your network password there – or any passwords related to financial information, etc.
  • The formula =TODAY() enters the current date, and updates whenever you open the worksheet.
  • Keep the folders you use most in the Favorites section. (You can arrange them in any order.)
  • To select the entire spreadsheet, click the empty box at the top left of the spreadsheet, between the column headings (across) and the row headings (down).
Word:   PowerPoint:
  • Use “Paste Special” when pasting text from the Internet (or another document) into a legal document.
  • To draw a chart with connecting boxes, use the “Connectors” Autoshape (on the Drawing toolbar).   When you move the box, the connector moves with it.
  • Turn on Document Map – especially if you’re working in a styled document.  It allows you to navigate quickly and easily to a numbered paragraph.
  • One of my favorite keyboard shortcuts – Shift-Alt-Up/Down moves a paragraph, or a row in a Word table, up or down one position.
  • Another keyboard shortcut – Heading styles (1-3, at least) can usually be applied with Ctrl-Alt-#. (“#” being 1, 2 or 3.)
  • Want to insert multiple rows in a table?  Select the number of rows – say, three – then choose Insert Rows Above/Below from either the Table menu or the “Tables and Borders” toolbar.
  • Another favorite keyboard shortcut – Ctrl-Home and Ctrl-End, to go to the top and bottom of the document, respectively.  Add Shift and you select the text as well.



Last modified: 04/28/08