Monthly Archives: May 2012

6 Tips To Speed Up Your Office Tasks

There are a few simple ways of speeding up your workflow in the office. The following tips were not devised by rocket scientists, so you won’t need any advanced technical skills to follow them yourself.

1. Pin To Taskbar

If you find yourself using a particular program frequently, you should consider pinning it to your taskbar. This will enable you to start it much more quickly than having to click the Start button and then hunt for it. To pin it to the taskbar, first of all find it by clicking Start (you may have to search in “All Programs”). When you see it in the list, right click on it and select Pin to Taskbar). The icon representing the program will appear immediately in the taskbar.

If you change your mind, you can always right click on the icon in the taskbar and select unpin this program from taskbar.

2. Recent Items

Whether you are in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, when you click the File tab you’ll see the Recent tab on the left. Click on that to see listed all the documents, spreadsheets and presentations you’ve been working on recently.

Opening up the last document you worked on using this method can save you much more time than having to navigate Windows Explorer to find it. This is especially true when you work with complicated folder structures.

3. The Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar is seen in all Microsoft Office programs in the top left of the workspace, above the File tab (by default). Initially, you will see the commands for Save, Undo and Redo displayed there, because these commands are used the most frequently. The Quick Access Toolbar is displayed whatever tab you’re working in, so you don’t need to jump between tabs to use these common commands.

So, if you find that you use a particular command frequently, you can save yourself time by adding it to the QAT. Find the command in the ribbon, right click on it and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

4. Keyboard Shortcuts

Most of your work in Office will probably involve typing content in via your keyboard. If you can find and memorise a keyboard shortcut for a particular command, then your hands can remain at the keyboard. Removing your hands from the keyboard, locating the mouse, moving the cursor around the screen, navigating to the desired tab in the ribbon to find the required command, and then returning the hands to thye keyboard all take time.

Often, the shortcut for a command is displayed in a tooltip that appears when you hover over the command. To get you started, here are some of the more commonly used shortcuts:

Command Keyboard Shortcut Command Keyboard Shortcut
bold ctrl+b italic ctrl+i
underline ctrl+u open ctrl+o
save ctrl+s select all ctrl+a
grow font ctrl+> shrink font ctrl+<
apply heading ctrl+alt+1 (the number refers to the level of the heading) insert hyperlink ctrl+k
track changes ctrl+shift+e zoom in/out ctrl+middle mouse wheel

5. Macros

If you find yourself repeating the same sequence of steps over and over again, it may be appropriate to create a macro to perform them.

On the View tab (in all Office programs) you’ll see the View tab and over on the right there is the Macros group. Click on the down arrow beneath the Macros button and select Record Macro.

Record Macro

The Record Macro window allows you to name the macro, and assign it to a button in the QAT, or to a keyboard shortcut. Once you’ve entered those details, click OK and the cursor will change to a cassette icon. Perform each step of your task and when finished, click Macros > Stop Recording. You can then run the macro any time you need that sequence of steps performing.

6. Favorites In Windows 7

If you find yourself navigating to the same locations time after time in Windows 7, and especially if your folder structure involves many levels, those locations may be good candidates for adding to the Favorites folder.

Navigate to one such location, so that its path displays in the Windows Explorer address bar. Right click on the Favorites folder (not the current folder!) and select Add current location to Favorites.

Add Current Location To FavoritesThe Favorited location will now appear underneath Favorites, so that it always appears. Now all you need to navigate there is to click on it in Favorites.