Microsoft Office’s 20 Best Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Your Office

Knowing the best Microsoft Office tricks is fundamental to be able to take full advantage of the office suite, work faster and increase your productivity. Take note of the ones you can’t miss and put them into practice.

The Microsoft office suite is the most popular and used worldwide, so knowing the best tricks of Microsoft Office will be of great help in your day today. This time we have selected a series of tips that allow you to combine keyboard shortcuts or decorate your documents in a way you never imagined. In short, thanks to them you can get the most out of one of the most popular and veteran office tools in the world, the flagship of Microsoft software. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the programs at the top of this suite.

Although in recent years alternatives to Microsoft Office have been coming to the market (some of them free), the truth is that few can shadow it. Perhaps only Google’s online office suite can stand up to it, no doubt because it is included at the factory in millions of Android mobile devices, a considerable advantage.

However, Microsoft Office’s best tricks may convince you to be faithful to this program, and most of them are exclusive to this tool. Here are some of the most interesting features with which you can squeeze Office programs: Word, Excel and PowerPoint, among others.

1. Search word synonyms in Word

If when writing a very long text you don’t want to repeat the same word many times and get stuck with synonyms, don’t worry because Word has the solution you need.

Just select the word in question, click with the right button of your mouse and go to the synonyms tab of the context menu. Several suggestions are shown there.

2. Protect a document with a password

If you share a computer and session with other people, especially children, it’s not a matter of throwing your work away for recklessness. What better way to protect it against unwanted changes than to block access to your documents with a password.

There’s a trick to Word, Excel and other Office programs that lets you do it. When you hit Save As, you’ll see a drop-down menu at the bottom that says Tools. Click on it and select General Options. Now all you have to do is choose the key you like the most.

3. Move elements from a list without cutting and pasting

When you list a list in Word and realize that the order is wrong, you have no choice but to change all the items one by one by cutting and pasting, don’t you? Luckily there is a much quicker remedy for this problem.

If you place the cursor over one of the elements and press Alt and Shift simultaneously, you can move the element up and down to the part of the list that suits you best.

4. Add all the cells of an Excel column

If you want to add a column to the whole of Excel without having to go around selecting and clicking with the mouse, there is a keyboard shortcut to do it.

Just select the column and press Alt and the + key. The empty cell just below will show the result.

5. And to select the current column in Excel…

The previous trick allows you to add a whole column in Excel but do you have to drag until you select it completely?

Not at all. If you press Control + Space, the whole column of the cell you have active is selected.

6. Align PowerPoint elements automatically

The easiest way to add new items to a PowerPoint slide is to drag and drop the content. However, it is difficult to align the elements correctly when doing this, which can create a bad impression on the viewer.

There’s a Microsoft Office trick so you don’t have to align them manually: select Format > Align and Align selected objects for the program to do it for you.

7. Activate autosave

Do you know that you don’t have to compulsively keep what you have written in Word every few minutes? You can let the program do it automatically.

To activate autosave, just open the menu Files>Options in the upper left corner and then select Save. Now check the Save Self-Recovery Information checkbox and you’re done! You already have one of the best Microsoft Office tricks.

8. Write anywhere on the sheet

Imagine you can write in Word like a sheet of paper. It’s really easy, but we don’t know if it’s very useful in a word processor.

You only have to double click on any part of the document, whatever it is. Then you can start writing without sticking to imaginary lines.

9. Automate a graphical forecast with Excel

Do you like data? Do you work with them? If you have completed a data collection in Excel, you can have the suite automatically generate a forecast for you based on the information entered. It is especially useful if you are a professional in this field, although you must rely on its algorithm.

Go to the Forecast Sheet section in the Data menu and you will find this option.

10. Edit a PDF with Word

Typically, PDF documents cannot be edited, and are often write-protected, although there are programs that allow you to bypass this protection. Word is not qualified to carry out this task, but if the person who created the document has authorized editing, you have the ability to edit a PDF with Word in a simple way.

Just open this program, go to File and select Open. Now find the PDF you want to edit and open it.

11. Remove the background of a PowerPoint image

Sometimes you include an image in a slide whose background is not the same colour as the slide in question. You don’t have to edit with Photoshop, GIMP or other image editing programs to make your work look good: you can do it directly in Office.

Just go to Formatting, Settings, and choose Remove Background. The program automatically trims the image to leave the background neutral.

12. Recover a presentation you didn’t save

Whether it’s a blackout or a slip, don’t give up on a PowerPoint you didn’t save in time. Luckily, this program includes default backups. You may never recover some of the last changes you made, but less gives a stone.

If you open PWP and go to File > Open, you will see a Retrieve Unsaved Presentations button appear. Click on it and select the presentation you want to recover again.

13. Dictate text to Microsoft Word

One of the best tricks of Microsoft Office is the option to dictate the text to Word to save you writing. It works in Spanish, although as it is evident, it is not perfect. This is an Office add-on that you can download from here.

Once installed, a Dictate tab will appear in the top options bar.

14. Add the current date to an Excel cell

Using keyboard shortcuts in Excel can help you save many hours of work and edit hours of text more conveniently and quickly. One of the most useful is the one used to add today’s date to the cell you have selected.

You must press Control and; for it to appear suddenly.

15. Sync your notes on Android and iOS

OneNote is one of the latest products to join the Microsoft Office family. It is a program to take quick notes on the subject you prefer. Originally designed for PCs, it has made the leap to mobile devices with its applications for iOS and Android.

If you install them on your smartphone or tablet and sign in with your Outlook account, you can automatically sync all your notes between devices.

16. Scheduling emails in Outlook

Much of the best tricks of Microsoft Office correspond to Outlook, the heir of Hotmail as a mail service of this company. In Gmail you need an extension to be able to program emails, but not in Outlook. It is one of its advantages over its main rival.

Once inside the message you want to send, select Options and then Delay Delivery. Another window will open in which you must enter the date and time to schedule the sending of mail in the box Do not deliver before. Then click Send.

17. Automate responses in Outlook

Another option offered by this Office mail manager is to program responses to emails, especially useful if you are on vacation. To do this, inside the program you must go to File > Information > Automatic answers.

Within this submenu, you can configure the message to send and the dates on which to send it.

18. Delete all the formatting of a text in Word

If you’ve been using Word for years, you probably already know how to delete formatting. It is highly recommended especially if you have copied and pasted text from the web or other sources.

Just go to Format > Delete format. However, bear in mind that all the bold, italics, underlines and other elements that you have added will be eliminated.

19. Controls which person has changed what in a document

If you share your Word documents online for collaborative editing, you may want to know what changes have been made by which people.

Go to the Review tab and select Change Control for a full listing.

20. Create automatic backups

If you save your files in the cloud, you won’t need this Microsoft Office trick, but just in case, here it goes: you can program Word to make automatic backups every time you save a file.

In the menu Options > Advanced > Save, check the corresponding box.

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