Create Business Cards In Word

This tutorial on how to make a business card in Microsoft Word demonstrates again the power of using Office templates. At Office Online, there are lots and lots of templates for business letters, budget sheets – and business cards.

Before you start, you really should get some high quality business card paper. You can get this from most stationery stores, so this shouldn’t pose a problem. Business card paper is usually perforated, allowing you to fold along the edges a few times before removing the cards cleanly from the remaining card. Most paper is double sided too.

OK, now to download a business card template from Office Online. Click on Templates > All Templates.

Templates On Office Online

Go to the Business Card section and click on Print business cards at the bottom. When I looked, there were 200 business card templates, some of which were submitted by the public! There should be something there that fits your requirements, but be warned that there are a lot of templates for Microsoft Publisher, not Word. Make sure that you download a template for Word, not Publisher!

You can get a preview of what a card looks like just by hovering over it. The preview display a download link, too, so just click on that when you find the one you want.

Download Business Card Template

When you open the document in Word, you will usually find lots of copies of the business card, all on one page. When downloading Publisher templates you usually get just the one copy. Obviously, the sample details are just dummy details and you’ll need to change the to your own. You can change the details on the first card and then copy those details to all the other cards on the page.

There are usually 2 cards on each row and then maybe 5 rows to the page. You’ll probably find it quicker to change the first card, copy those details to the other card on that row and then copy that row to replace subsequent rows.

When changing your business cards, don’t forget that you can use any of the thousands of freely available clipart images to spice them up.

Once you’ve finished fine tuning your cards, don’t forget to save the document. Then go ahead and print those babies!

Resignation Letter Sample

There may come a day when you feel that you’ve outgrown your current place of work. Or perhaps you simply get a better job offer elsewhere. Before you can start working your notice (if indeed you need to give some notice), you need to submit your resignation letter. If you’ve never written a resignation letter before, the prospect may seem daunting.

“So long and thanks for all the free photo-copies” doesn’t quite cut it. But then you don’t want to offer a 5 page essay on why your boss sure is going to miss you when you’re gone. Also, in case you need to work there again at some point in the future, you shouldn’t burn your bridges with scathing insults and hometruths.

Thank heavens for this resignation letter sample!

Needs will vary with your circumstances, but you should find this resignation letter a good starting point. You can use it as a base and amend as you see fit.

Susan Smith
Smart Web Media
Solaris Business Park
WA15 6LX

Dear Mrs Smith

I write to inform you of my decision to leave my current position as analyst programmer for Smart Web Media.

I have very much enjoyed my tenure with Smart Web Media, first as a member of the help desk and then as a member of the development team. As my wife and I have decided to move closer to our family in Barbados, I must depart from my post with the company.

My time with Smart Web Media has allowed me to develop both professionally and personally, and I am greatly appreciative. It is my hope that I have served the company well in return for everything I have gained. I wish you and all my colleagues the best of fortune in all future endeavours.


John Allerton

The Data Document In A Mail Merge

There are two parts to a mail merge in Microsoft Word: the data document and the data source. The data document defines how the finished document (the mail merge) will look, and includes layout and styling. The data source holds all the data that is placed into the finished document, such as names and addresses.

There are two kinds of data document. For the first kind, each data record in your data source will create its own document. For example, if you were mailing a press release to all your customers, each customer would get one document. The second kind of data document includes information from multiple records in the data source, all in the same document. Think of catalogues and directories as being examples of this kind.

When you start the Mail Merge process, you need to decide what kind of data document you are working with. Click the Mailings tab and then click Start Mail Merge.

Start Mail Merge

Letters, e-mail messages, and envelopes use one record per output document, while labels and directories use multiple records for each output document.

After you’ve chosen what kind of data document to create, you will need to select what your data source is. To keep things simple, we’re going to use an Excel spreadsheet that holds a list of customers and their details, namely:

  • first name
  • last name
  • address line 1
  • address line 2
  • town
  • county
  • postcode

The spreadsheet looks something like this:

Customers Spreadsheet
Click to enlarge

Click Select Recipients in the Start Mail Merge group (on the Mailings tab). Because we already have data prepared in our Excel spreadsheet, we’ll select Use Existing List.

Use Existing List - Mail Merge

Find the spreadsheet, select it and then click Open. In the next window, select what sheet in the workbook your data is in. Click OK. It looks like this action has done nothing, but actually Word has detected what data is in the spreadsheet and has made available the Insert Merge Field command button in the Write & Insert Fields group. If you now click that, you can select from the list of data columns in the spreadsheet. Whatever field you select will be inserted into your data document where the cursor is positioned.

For example, you might want to use the “Dear” salutation in your letter, followed by the customer’s first name.

Dear First Name

The mail merge tools in Word are quite powerful, and include such facilities as being able to insert address blocks, defining how the salutation line looks, etc. We’ll cover those in more depth in later tutorials, but for now just get a feel for how the data document works. Basically, you are structuring your document and inserting fields from your spreadsheet (or other data source) in the right place.

When you have finished preparing your data document, it’s time to perform the mail merge itself. Clicking on the Finish & Merge command in the Finish group presents three options.

Finish And Merge In Word

When you choose one of the selections, the data document you’ve prepared is merged with the actual data in the spreadsheet. Real data from your spreadsheet is placed in all the places where you inserted a merge field.

Word 2010 – Shrink To Fit

Suppose you are writing a document in Word 2010 and you are aiming to get the whole thing on one page. Often, you’ll end up with a lone sentence or two on an extra page. What a waste of good space. Wouldn’t it be good if you could reduce the document in size just enough for it to fit on one page? This is precisely what the Shrink To Fit command does. Shrink To Fit will reduce the font size to the point where the document fits on one less page than it used to. Be careful that the font size doesn’t become too small to read, though.

The only problem is that Word 2010 has hidden this command!

To use this command, you will have to add it to either the Quick Access Toolbar or the Ribbon itself. Personally, for something like this I would prefer to add it to the Ribbon. It’s very easy to clutter up the Quick Access Toolbar if you are not careful.

Add Shrink To Fit To The Ribbon

To add the Shrink To Fit command to the ribbon, you first need to create a new group for it to be placed in. Click the File Tab > Options > Customize Ribbon.

Add Shrink To Fit On The Ribbon
Click to enlarge

Let’s work backwards: to the right of the window you can see a list of tabs that already exist in the ribbon. Within each tab is a selection of groups and within each group is a set of commands. You can expand and collapse tabs and groups by clicking on the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ signs.What you see in this list is the current setup of the ribbon.

We’re going to create a new group to put the Shrink To Fit command in, so first of all look over on the right and select a tab for the group to appear in. I’m going to select the Page Layout tab but you can choose a different one if you prefer. Click the New Group button and a new group will be created at the end of the selected tab. The new group is called New Group (Custom), but we can rename it by clicking the Rename button. Call it something like “Printing”. If you decide that you no longer need this group, you can always get rid of it by selecting it and clicking Remove (between the list of commands on the left and the tabs/groups on the right).

Over on the left is a list of all the commands that you can add to the ribbon. You’ll need to change the drop down list selection at the top to be All Commands to see the Shrink To Fit command. Click anywhere in the list and then press ‘S’ to get a bit further down the list quickly. Scroll down to find Shrink One Page (it’s not called Shrink To Fit) and then select it. When you click the Add button, the command will be added to the new Printing group you just created.

Shrink To Fit In Word 2010

Click OK. The new group will now appear in the Page Layout tab.

Shrink One Page In Word 2010

Now when you need to shrink to fit, you can simply click this button.

Change The Default Font In Word 2010

Since time began, and even before that, the default font in Microsoft Word was 12 point Times New Roman. However, with the introduction of Word 2007, the default font changed to 11 point Calibri.

This is not everyone’s cup of tea. Having any kind of default value that isn’t the one you want is frustrating because you keep having to change it. Fortunately, it’s an easy task to change the default font in Word so you can say goodbye forever to 11 point Calibri.

How To Change The Default Font In Word

To change the default font settings in Word, go to the Home tab and click the Font dialogue box launcher (in the bottom right of the Font group). In the Font window, make all the changes you want regarding font family, font size, style and effects.

Change The Default Font In Word 2010

When you’ve changed all the font settings you want, click Set As Default. The next dialogue box asks whether you want these changes to affect only the document you are currently editing or all future documents you create based on the normal.dotm template. It’s your choice, but if the default font was bugging you in the current document, then it’s probably going to bug you in further documents you create. I’d consider changing the default font for all future documents you create based on the normal.dotm template.

All Documents Based On Normal.dotm

That’s one way of changing the default font. Another way is to edit the template file Normal.dotm itself. When you create a new document, Word copies all the formatting from Normal.dotm to the new document. The path to this template file is convoluted but a quick way of getting there is to put this in the address bar of Windows Explorer and press Enter:


Find Normal.dotm
Click to enlarge

Once there, don’t double click on Normal.dotm to open it! Doing so will simply create a new document based on the template, whereas we want to actually edit the template. Instead, right click on it and select Open. Make all the changes you want to the fonts used here in Normal.dotm, but be careful: the changes you make will affect all new documents you create in the future.

If you mess up and want to return to the original default settings, all you have to do is delete the template Normal.dotm. Next time you open Word, it will recreate it with the standard default settings.

Adding New Slides To A PowerPoint Presentation

Our “How To Study” presentation is looking good. We’ve created it, saved it and have applied a snazzy looking theme. In the last lesson, we added some text to our slide and gave our presentation a title. Now we’re going to add some new slides to give our students some handy hints on studying effectively.

There are nine different layouts that a slide can have:

  1. Title Slide
  2. Title and Content
  3. Section Header
  4. Two Content
  5. Comparison
  6. Title Only
  7. Blank
  8. Content with Caption
  9. Picture with Caption

When you create a brand new blank presentation, it always comes with a blank title slide. To be honest many people only use the default title slide and Title and Content slides to create their presentations.

To add a new slide to your presentation, click Home > Slides > New Slide. If you hover over teh New Slide button, you’ll see that the button is split in two.

Add New Slides To A Presentation

If you click the bottom half of the button, you get a choice of all the different slide layouts to add.

Slide Layouts
Slide Layouts

Click on the slide layout you want to add. If, however, you click on the top half of the New Slide button a slide is added that has the same layout as the last one you added.

Let’s keep things simple and add a Title and Content slide. We can then add some text to our slide. An example of the kind of content you might add is shown below:

Organise Your Studying
Click to enlarge

And, of course, you can keep adding more slides as you need them. You’ll notice in the image above that the text we added is bullet pointed. By default, bullet points are added to all text that you add.

WARNING! Keep saving the changes you make to your presentation by pressing ctrl-s.

Now that we know how to add new slides and then add text to those slides, let’s look at how we can format the text on those slides.

Stress Management In The Office

Office environments can be stressful. Tight deadlines, workplace conflicts and too much coffee all play their part in raising your stress levels. But fear not! Here are some small things that you can do to help alleviate that stress.

Update Your Boss

Trying to finish work for an unrealistic deadline can be a huge stressor. However, it could be that your boss doesn’t know that the deadline is unrealistic, and maybe the deadline can be changed. Ask yourself whether talking to your boss would help. Often, if you have a good reason why the deadline won’t be met, your boss will thow more people at the task or simply extend the deadline. Sometimes deadlines are arbitrary, and there isn’t actually a team of important people tapping their watches and awaiting your task’s completion.

Often, it pays to keep your boss informed of the progress you are making and to make them aware of any delays. She or he can then react in an appropriate way to the delay. No, that doesn’t mean falling to the floor and convulsing. That means they can inform whoever is affected by your task so that they in turn can change their expectations.

You could be putting yourself under unnecessary pressure by working to a tight deadline that could actually be pushed back. Inform your boss.

Did something happen that made your project much more complex? Inform your boss.

Did the task you’re working on suddenly become much bigger? Inform your boss.

Work Relationships

Maintaining good working relationships has many benefits, and one of them is that they enable you to interrelate with your colleagues more easily. It greases the wheels. In extreme cases, you might actually enjoy talking to your colleagues!

Yet difficult working relationships are one of the biggest causes of stress in the workplace. They can cause fear, distress, and of course raised stress levels. Find out how you can improve your work relationships.

The Comfortable Office

Office ergonomics is a whole book in itself, so check out the link to make your office as comfortable as possible.

Take Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks is a great way to alleviate stress and is also good for improving your performance at work too. Tired, frustrated workers become stressed workers. Similarly, your productivity is reduced when you become fatigued.

A break from your work could come in the form of a walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water, or even a walk to another part of the office to talk to a colleague. Physical movement is good, so if you can move around, that’s great. If you have to stay at your desk but you have the internet available, you could visit a website totally unconnected to your work.

Lunchtimes are prime times for breaks. Whatever you do, don’t stay in the office during your lunch hour unless you absolutely have to. Spending an hour in the gym is the perfect use of your lunchtime. Performing physical exercise is an excellent way of shaking off all the stresses of the morning. Of course, not everyone can make it to the gym. If you can’t, it’s important to at least get some exercise, even if it’s walking around the block, or driving to the shops and having a wander around.

Take Regular Exercise

Taking regular exercise outside of your work hours can increase fitness, make you healthier and reduce your stress levels. The stresses you endure during work time don’t magically evaporate the moment you leave the office. They can linger. In extreme cases, the stress that builds up at work can linger until bedtime and actually affect your sleep.

Exercising regularly can reduce your general level of stress. You don’t need to go crazy and start a bodybuilding program in a gym, either. Simply walking for 20 minutes every day (30 minutes is better) can drastically reduce your stress.

Have A Healthy Diet

Remember to eat properly. In fact, doing anything that leads to a more healthy lifestyle will, by definition, reduce your stress. You should be eating good, healthy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but in addition to these major meals, you can actually help yourself in the office too.

Take fruit to the office and eat it in your break times. Some people I know take an apple, an orange and a banana to work and eat them in their mid morning break. If you can eat some fruit in the afternoon, then that’s doubly good.

Drink plenty of water. Some offices provide their staff with a water fountain. If you work in an office without one, you could take your own bottled water.

Cut down on caffeine intake by drinking less coffee. Too much caffeine can make you nervous and anxious. As you can imagine, being nervous and anxious won’t help your stress levels at all! If you find it hard to reduce how much coffee you drink, try substituting it with other hot drinks like tea.

Get Enough Sleep

Being tired at work can make it hard for you to concentrate on your daily tasks, and that can lead to you experiencing more stress. The answer is obvious: get more sleep! Waking up rested and feeling rejuvenated can set your working day up perfectly.

Applying A Theme To A Presentation

Now that we’ve created a new PowerPoint presentation, we need to style it. PowerPoint provides a quick and easy way to apply professional looking styling: themes. Themes are preset combinations of colours, fonts and effects that you can apply with a mouse click. PowerPoint 2010 comes with a set of prebuilt themes for you to choose from, and you can even create your own themes.

To apply a theme to your presentation, click Design and then click on a theme in the Themes group. You can actually see what a theme looks like before you apply it by hovering over its thumbnail image. This is called a live preview, and you can hover over any number of themes to try them out before you apply one.

You only see a selection of themes in the Themes group, but you can see the whole collection by clicking on the More button.

See More Themes

When you click on the More button a large panel that shows all the available themes is displayed. You can use live preview here, too, to quickly see what themes will look like when you apply them. Each theme has its own colour scheme, font combinations and effects. When you find one you like, just click on it.

Browse All Themes
Click to enlarge

Applying a theme like this applies it to all the slides in your presentation. I know we only have one blank slide at this point, but when you have more, it’s good to know this. Also, you can change your mind if you decide that a different theme would look better. All you have to do is click on the new theme and it will replace the old one.

For our “How To Study” presentation, we used the Clarity theme.

Now that we’ve laid the foundations for our presentation, let’s start adding some text!

What’s New In Outlook 2010

Microsoft would have you believe that Outlook 2010 saves you time, is easier to use and gives you extra functionality. Is this true? Let’s find out.

Outlook Ribbon

Let’s summarise what’s new in Outlook 2010:

  • Look and feel – Outlook 2010 sports a new look and feel that is consistent with other programs in Office 2010. Whereas the ribbon in Outlook 2007 was a cut down version that integrated with command bars, in 2010 the ribbon is fully fledged. In case you don’t already know, the ribbon is Microsoft’s replacement to the old menu and toolbar system of navigating the program.
  • Backstage View – this is completely new and replaces the file menu of previous versions. Here you find commands that affect the whole application.
  • Conversation Management – this is a big change that pulls all messages related to a conversation into a single “thread”.
  • Calendar Preview – a new feature that shows a preview of a meeting in your inbox so that you can see conflicting appointments without having to open up the calendar.
  • Quick Steps – these are sequences of commands that are grouped together so that they can be initiated with one click of a mouse. For example, you might create a quick step that defines a set of criteria and actions to perform on any message that meets those criteria. These actions might include moving a message to a folder and setting the importance level (there are other actions that can be performed, too).
  • People Pane – the people pane is the visible part of the Outlook Social Connector that connects Outlook with social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. It allows you to keep track of your social contacts from your inbox.
  • Mailtips – mailtips inform the user that they are about to send emails to groups or individuals outside of their organisation. These alerts are designed to help you avoid common, sometimes embarrassing, mistakes.

The problem with a What’s New In Outlook 2010 article is that if the author includes everything that’s changed, it becomes a gargantuan piece of wriring. There are many, many changes to this program but none are big enough to merit their own bullet point above. Only the more significant changes are listed there. However, there are also additional improvements in the areas of:

  • scheduling meetings
  • instant search
  • cleaning up conversations
  • auto-complete list suggestions
  • roaming signatures
  • attached picture resizing
  • spellchecking in more places
  • many more!

It’s all very well to list everything new in Outlook 2010, but the best way to discover the changes is to use the program. Why not work through the Outlook 2010 tutorials and see the changes for yourself?

Create A Random Number In Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel provides the facility to generate random numbers. There are two functions that can do this for you:

  • RAND

The RAND Function

The RAND function returns a random number between 0 and 1 and requires no arguments. It is possible to create a number in a different range than 0 – 1, but that requires some extra bits adding to the formula. For example, to just get a random number between 0 and 1, you would type into a cell the following:


To get a random number between 150 and 200, you would use:

=RAND()*50 + 150

That is,


The random number is returned every time the worksheet is calculated. If you want the random number to be constant, and not change every time the worksheet is calculated, enter the RAND() formula in the formula bar, and then press F9 to change the formula to a random number.


The RANDBETWEEN Function returns a random integer number between the numbers you specify. A new random integer number is returned every time the worksheet is calculated.

For example, to get a random integer between 20 and 50, you would type into a cell the following:


Generating Lots Of Random Numbers

To quickly generate random numbers in many cells, all you have to do is generate the first random number in a particular cell, say with =RAND(). Next, make that cell active and position the cursor over the bottom right corner of the cell until the cursor changes to a ‘+‘. When you see the ‘+‘, drag downwards. When you release the mouse, the selected cells will be populated with random numbers.

Random Numbers In Excel

You can take this one step further: while that column of cells is selected, again, drag the bottom right corner of the bottom cell over to the right. When you release the mouse, all selected cells will be populated with random numbers.

Generate Lots Of Random Numbers In Excel