Tips and Tricks - December 8, 2009
Tip of the Month: Mass Email Etiquette #1 Draw Borders Automatically in Word
Generate Filler Text in Word
Wrap Text Within a Cell in Excel Resize Columns in Excel
Tip of the Month: Mass Email Etiquette #1
So you are hosting an event or making an announcement, and you’d like to spread the word to as much of Drexel’s community as possible. Mass email communication, either through lists you or your department own, or through IRT’s centrally-maintained lists, is a great way to let everyone know what’s happening on or near the campus. However, you only need to open your own inbox every morning to see how much spam is circulating through email!
When sending messages to your lists, or requesting mass emails through IRT’s lists, please be mindful of how much email everyone gets every day. Too many announcements in too short a period of time could cause recipients to simply ignore or delete them. A great vehicle for workshop or student event announcements is the Drexel Daily Digest—a publication specifically designed to reduce inbox clutter while getting the word out. To make a submission to the Digest, visit http://www.drexel.edu/news/digest/submit.aspx.
Draw Borders Automatically in Word
When you type three asterisks (***) at the beginning of a line and press “Enter,” Word transforms your asterisks into a dotted-line border. Word can also create borders out of three hyphens (---), three underscores (___), or three equal signs (===) typed at the beginning of any line.
In order to delete a border, simply hit the Delete key twice, or hit the Backspace key five times to delete both the border and the three characters that were used to create it. You can also place your cursor immediately above the border and hit the Delete key once, or select the border and hit the Delete key.
Generate Filler Text in Word
Word’s RAND function can automatically generate filler text in your document. This function comes in handy when you need some filler text to preview a page layout, or when you want to experiment with formatting features.
To use the RAND function, type =rand() anywhere in your document and press “Enter.” Word will insert three paragraphs of text with three sentences each (in Word 2007) or five sentences each (in Word 2003). You can control the number of paragraphs and sentences that RAND generates by using the syntax =rand(paragraphs,sentences per paragraph) when you type the function. For example, typing =rand(2,10) will generate two paragraphs of filler text with ten sentences in each paragraph.
In order for the RAND function to work, Word’s "Replace text as you type" AutoCorrect feature must be enabled. To enable this feature:
In Word 2007:
- Click the Office Button followed by the “Word Options” button.
- Click the Proofing tab on the left, and click the “AutoCorrect Options” button.
- Check the “Replace text as you type” check box, click “OK,” and then click “OK” again.
In Word 2003:
- Go to Tools > AutoCorrect Options.
- Check the “Replace text as you type” check box, and then click OK.
Wrap Text Within a Cell in Excel
To wrap text within a cell, right-click on the cell and select “Format Cells” from the shortcut menu. In the Format Cells dialog box, select the Alignment tab and check the "Wrap text" check box. In Excel 2007, you can also click on the “Wrap Text” button in the Alignment group of the Home tab.
Resize Columns in Excel
If a string of pound signs (##########) is all you see when you enter a formula, don’t panic. These pound signs simply mean that the column you are working in is too narrow to display the contents of the cell. To widen the column, move your cursor to the bar that contains the column headings and place it on the border between the column and its neighbor to the right. When your mouse pointer changes into a thin, black cross, you will know that you are in the right spot. You can either double-click on the border to automatically resize the column to fit the widest cell, or you can click and drag the border to resize the column manually.
To simultaneously resize all of the columns in a worksheet, first select all of the cells in the worksheet by clicking the “Select All” button (the unlabeled button in the top left-hand corner of the worksheet, where the row and column headings meet). Next, in the bar that contains the column headings, double-click on the border between any two columns to automatically resize all of them, or drag the border to resize all of the columns manually.
The same process also works for resizing one or more rows!