Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Office Productivity: Text to Table

 I have my husband to thank for this week's Tech Tip.  When I asked him what should I do a Tech Tip on today he said, "Tables, everyone always messes up tables."  Well somehow if I know him he was talking about tables in HTML or Excel (not the kind you eat on, when we eat we don't need tables). Anyway, I got to thinking and I remembered that I just showed a student last week how to convert text to a table and maybe some of you didn't know it was so easy. Many people who used Microsoft Word before can Insert a table and add things to the blocks (cells). Well how many times have you had something typed up already and thought it would be easier to read as a table but didn't want to redo it?  I'm going to say it only takes 3 steps to convert text to a table (its all in perspective).  

So last week someone was typing their spelling words 3 times each.  I said that is hard to read, if you were doing it on paper maybe you would fold the paper in three columns first???  

Step 1 - Select all your text by highlighting it. 

Step 2 - Select Insert -> Table -> Convert Text to Table

Step 3 - Use the dialog box to indicate how you want to separate your text.  It's at the bottom of the box but should be done first.  I chose other and typed a space. (I know you cannot see it.) In this case there was a space between each word.  You might have a paragraph marker if you made a list or another character.  Then select the number of columns.  I wanted the 3 words to be in one row so I selected 3 columns in this case.  If you had student information you would have to see how you have it listed.  The program automatically figures out the number of rows.

Now you have a table.
The rest is just for fun.  For example I want the word  Spring to be capitalized EVERY instance. I can select the column in front of the row, this highlights the row, and choose the Aa symbol on the Home tab. In this instance I changed the case to Capitalize Each Word.

Finally you can make the table uniquely yours by selecting the table (click anywhere on it) and select the Design tab that appears under Table tools.  You can make changes to the Design of the table to make it even more user friendly.

Quick and easy productivity for reusing documents that you already have created.

For more tips on working with tables please view Using Tables Microsoft Word 2013.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Office Productivity: Word to PowerPoint

Did you know you can easy copy and paste a Word document into a PowerPoint without having to re-type the entire thing?  I find it nice when you have an outline to be able to use it also as a presentation. I do this as a lesson in class but it is practical for any of us that need to put together a presentation. It’s also nice to take outlines or lesson plans and turn them into presentations and notes for our students.

Step-by-step instructions for Word 2013
  1. Open Word document that has your outline or notes.
  2. On the Home ribbon, choose select->select all.
  3. Copy your text.
  4. Open PowerPoint.
  5. Select blank presentation.
  6. Select view -> select outline view. (IMPORTANT!!!)
  7. Click in the outline pane. Paste.
  8. On the Home ribbon select layout->blank.
  9. Press enter at each section where you want to create new slides.
  10. Select view -> normal
  11. Using the Home ribbon, format your slides with a theme and fonts of your choice.

Voila – now you have a presentation from your notes.

To make handouts do the following steps:
  1. Select view->handout master->add info like your name to notes header.
  2. Select file->print
  3. Under slides select 6 slides horizontal.
  4. Select print.

Remember to save!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Office Productivity Series: Mail Merge

One of the best things I learned in college was not in a class, it was at my on-campus job.  My on-campus job in the College of Business Advising Office taught me skills in office productivity.  The most import skill I learned was mail merge.  
Before I had a classroom I took that office productivity home I used mail merge for my wedding invitations, my Christmas cards, my daughter's graduation announcements, and back in my professional life my students LOVE the personal touch mail merge brings to handouts and letters.  

Mail merge is a tool in Microsoft Word that allows you to connect a database to a word processing document to create individual letters, labels, cards, envelopes, etc. 

At test time I like to merge names on tests and send to the copier/printer so I know who still needs to complete the test/assignment and I know who all received and returned the document without students having to put their name on it.  

So how do you get started with mail merge?

It is actually easiest if you start with a database, CSV file, or spreadsheet with data.  I like to download my class list from the school records (i.e. Progress Book) to get started. 

First, open Word and select the Mailings tab in Word 2013.

Choose Start Mail Merge.  You can select the type of file you would like to create or if this is your first time, use the Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard...

Then choose your database.
Choose an Excel file, CSV, or you can even type a New list in Word by selecting Type a New List...

Type your letter/document then select Insert Merge Field in the spot you want to put a name or other information.

When finished select Finish & Merge to send the database records (names) with your letters for individual documents.

Office Productivity at it's finest.  
To learn more or practice with a tutorial visit http://www.gcflearnfree.org/word2013/31.