Word: Getting The Next Heading To Appear Automatically

Have you ever worked on a Word document that automatically sets the style to be the next sequential heading when you press Enter after the current one? That is, you type out a Heading 1, press Enter and the styling is automatically set to Heading 2. But then you work on other documents and when you press Enter the styling simply reverts to Normal.

Sometimes, depending on the kind of document you’re amending, you might want to automatically move on to the next heading. For example, if you’re writing a detailed specification that includes many sub headings, it might be helpful for Word to move on to the next sequential heading automatically.

But how do you do set this up?

Modify Heading 1 Style

By default, Word reverts back to the Normal style after pressing Enter on a heading. We can change this by modifying the heading style. Let’s do this on a Heading 1. Right click on Heading 1 in the Styles gallery (Home tab, in the Styles group) and select Modify.

Modify Heading Style

In the Modify Style window that opens, change the Style for following paragraph selector to be Heading 2.

Style For Following Paragraph

Click OK to accept the changes. Go on, try it out! Type out a Heading 1 and then press Enter. The style automatically moves on to Heading 2.

As you can imagine, you just need to repeat this simple process on all the other headings you are likely to use in your document. If this is a common requirement of your documents, you could always save the document (after you’ve made your formatting changes) as a template. If you do this, you can then base new documents in the future on this template, and have this formatting already set up for you.

E-mail Merge In Word

E-mail merge in Word allows you to send personalised e-mails to recipients in your address list. Each message has similar information, yet the content of each message is unique. For example, in e-mails to your customers, each message can be personalised to address each customer by name. The unique information in each message is taken from contact information stored elsewhere in places like an Access database or an Excel spreadsheet.

With e-mail merge, each e-mail message is a separate mailing where each recipient is the sole recipient of each message. This gives a different effect than merely adding multiple e-mail addresses to the CC or BCC fields of the e-mail, in which case recipients know that they are not the only one to receive this email.

There are some pre-requisites for using e-mail merge in Word:

  • you must use a MAPI-compatible e-mail program. Outlook is OK for this.
  • you must use the same versions of Outlook and Word. So, Word 2010 and Outlook 2010 work together fine.
  • You cannot add recipients to the Cc (Carbon copy) line. Each recipient receives a copy of the message by being addressed on the To line of the message.

The E-Mail Merge Process

The e-mail merge consists of the following steps:

  1. Create the e-mail message in Word
  2. Connect the e-mail document to your list of contacts
  3. Add mail merge fields to the e-mail document
  4. Preview and complete the merge

Create The E-Mail Message In Word

This step consist of typing out the message that you want to send out to your contacts. This document can consist of text and pictures. Go to the Mailings tab and click Start Mail Merge (in the Start Mail Merge group). Select E-Mail Messages.
E-mail messages

The layout of the page will now look a little different as you are working in web layout. Type out your message using any headings and graphics you think you need.

Connect The E-Mail Document To Your List Of Contacts

Now you need to connect your document to a data source that contains a list of your e-mail contacts. If you don’t already have a list of contacts, you can create one as part of the e-mail merge process. If you’re using a data file, it must include a heading titled E-mail address.

Click Select Recipients on the Mailings tab (in the Start Mail Merge group). For this example, we’re going to create a contact list as we go, so select Type New List. You can then add contacts using the form that opens. Your list is saved as a database (.mdb) file that you can reuse.
New Address List In Word

You are provided with quite a few columns, but you can add or remove any you want. For example, if you were interested only in adding details about first and last name an e-mail address, you would customise the form to look something like this:

New Address List - Customised

Pressing the tab key at the end of each line will create a new blank line for you to type into. When the list is complete, click OK. When the Save Address List window opens, give the list a name, find a place to save it and click Save. Notice that the list has a .mdb extension. You can use this list in future e-mail merges.

Add Mail Merge Fields To The E-Mail Document

Now that the e-mail document has been written, and the contact list has been defined, we can start substituting in personal information relating to each recipient. Any field that appears in the contact form we filled out earlier can be added.

Word makes it easy to insert standard blocks of text like greeting lines and address blocks by providing corresponding command buttons for them. We can also insert individual fields from our contact list by using the Insert Merge Field command.

We’ll create the greeting line manually to get a feel for how the Insert Merge Field command works. Position the cursor in the document where you want the greeting to go and type “Dear “. Then click the bottom half of the Insert Merge Field button. Select First Name.

Insert Merge Field In Word

The field will appear like this in your document:

Dear First Name

Repeat this process for any other personal information you want to use in the e-mail.

Preview And Complete The Merge

Once you’ve finished adding the merge fields, you can preview the merge results and then complete the merge. The preview allows you to make changes before sending out the final email. Go to the Preview Results group of the Mailings tab and click Preview Results. Any merge fields you added to your document will display real data from your contact list.

You can use the controls in the Preview Results group to step through each contact in your list.

Preview Results Of The Mail Merge

If you are happy with the way the preview looks, click Finish & Merge > Send E-Mail Messages.

In the To box, select the name of the field that stores recipients’ e-mail address.

Merge To Email

In the Subject line box, type a subject line for the message. In the Mail format box, click HTML or Plain text to send the document as the body of the e-mail message, or click Attachment to send the document as an attachment. Click OK to send your emails!

System Restore Points

Creating a system restore point in Windows 7 allows you to take a snapshot of your computer’s settings while everything works correctly. Then, if anything messes up, you can return to that restore point quite easily. Often when we install new software, things go wrong, so setting up a restore point is recommended before you make any major changes to your system.

The good news is that Windows 7 automatically creates system restore points (it calls them checkpoints) once a day. Additionally, it also saves a restore point every time you successfully start Windows.

A system restore point contains Registry entries and copies of certain critical programs including drivers and key system files. It’s a “snapshot” of crucial system settings and programs. Rolling back to a restore point replaces your undesirable current settings and programs with older versions that date from when the restore point was saved.

Often, Windows 7 can detect when you’re about to do something significant to your system (for example, installing a new network card) and creates a restore point automatically. Unfortunately, though, it can’t always tell.

But if you suspect that what you’re about to do to your PC may break it, you can always save a restore point yourself.

How To Create A Restore Point

It’s a good idea to wait until your system is running smoothly before you take a restore point. When it is, do the following:

  1. Make sure that you’re using an administrator account.
  2. Click the Start button, right click on Computer and select Properties. On the left, click on System Protection.
System Protection - Windows 7
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Registry entries and copies of certain critical programs including, notably, drivers and key system files — a “snapshot” of crucial system settings and programs.

Now click on the Create button (bottom right).

Create A Restore Point In Windows 7

In the next window you can name the restore point. It’s a good idea to use a meaningful description that gives you a clue about what you are about to do after the restore point has been created. Then click Create.

Name the restore point

When the restore point has been created, you should get the following confirmation message.

Restore point created

Should anything go wrong, you can now revert to this checkpoint. Let’s look at the process of rolling back your computer to a restore point.

Rolling Back To A Restore Point

If you make a change to your system and things go wrong, you may want to roll back to the last point in time that your system was running smoothly. To revert to a system restore point, click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. System Restore presents a list of recent available restore points.

Roll Back To A System Restore Point
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It’s a good idea to check what will be affected by rolling back to a particular restore point, so select it and then click Scan for affected programs. System Restore tells you which programs and drivers have system entries (typically in the Registry) that will be altered and which programs will be deleted if you select that specific restore point. If you’re happy with the changes that willl take place on restoring to this checkpoint, click Next. You’ll then need to confirm the restore and click Finish to start the proceedings.

Note that system restore doesn’t change any of your data files, such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets etc. It just reverts to previous states of system files and system settings.

Office 2010 Themes

Creating a document that has a uniform look from start to finish when there are so many different colours, fonts and text effects available can be challenging. And getting a Word document to match an associated Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation can add another layer of difficulty. Fortunately, we can make use of Office themes.

A theme is a coordinated selection of colours, fonts and text effects. Each Microsoft Office program uses colours, fonts and text effects so you’ll find that Office themes are consistent across them all. This means that you can create a collection of Word documents, Excel spreadhseets and PowerPoint presentations that all have the same overall look.

We’ll look at themes in Word in this tutorial, but you’ll find that the process of using them is the same whichever Office program you’re using.

To apply a theme to your Word document, go to the Page Layout tab and you’ll find a Themes group on the left. If you click on the Themes button, a gallery opens that displays all the themes you can use.

Office 2010 Themes

Hovering over the image of a particular theme temporarily applies it to your document so you can see what it looks like. This is called a Live Preview, and it’s removed when you move the cursor away from that theme. Live Previews allow you to easily move from theme to theme, previewing what each one looks like quickly without having to click to apply it, ctrl-z to undo it and then click on another to try that one. To apply a theme, just click on it. It applies to the whole of your document.

Although each theme that Office provides looks good, you might want to use one as a starting point and amend it to your own tastes. To modify the current theme, you can use the Colours, Fonts and Effects drop down lists in the Themes group (Page Layout tab). Let’s explore what’s on offer when we click on each one of those buttons:

  • Colours – the colours drop down list displays all the different colour schemes attached to themes. Office, Grayscale, Adjacency etc are all Office themes and each corresponding colour scheme is seen here.
  • Fonts – the same is true of fonts: each font combination displayed corresponds to a theme.
  • Effects – each effect displayed also is from a matching theme.

You can mix and match the preset combinations of colours, fonts and themes that we saw above, but you can also define your own. At the bottom of each drop down list there is the option to create your own combination. The principle is the same whether you’re creating a new combination of colours, fonts or effects so we’ll look at fonts for this example.

To create a new set of theme fonts, click the Fonts button in the Themes group and click Create New Theme Fonts at the bottom.

Create New Theme Fonts

In the window that opens, name your new font combination.

New Theme Fonts

Creating new theme fonts is easy as all we have to do is choose a font for headings and a font for body text. The Sample window provides a preview of what your selections look like. When you’ve made your selections, click Save and you’ll find your new theme fonts available for selection when you click the Fonts button again. Because you built this font combination, it is displayed in the Custom group at the top. Now you can select it like all the other pre-built ones.

Create Your Own Office Theme

Above, we saw how we can create a new set of theme fonts. We can apply those to the current document and we can also make other changes to colours and text effects used, too. Eventually, our document may look nothing like the original theme we started out using. If we think we might use again the styling we created here in future documents, we can save it as a new theme. To do so, click the Themes button in the Themes group (Page Layout tab) and click Save Current Theme at the bottom. The Save Current Theme window opens and you’ll notice that the location you’re about to save the theme in is the Document Themes folder that Microsoft specifies for all its programs.

Save New Theme
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This means that your new theme can now be used by any Office program. If you create an Excel spreadsheet and click on the Themes button, you’ll see your new theme in the Custom group at the top. If you select that theme, the colours, fonts and text effects used will be the same as the current Word document.

P.S. You might also have noticed that the theme you’re saving is a file that has a .thmx extension. That’s the extension for Office themes.

Make A Calendar In Word

As the new year is upon us, it seems appropriate to show you how to make a calendar in Word. Rest assured, it’s a breeze. And you don’t have to mess around with inserting tables and annotating each cell manually, thank heavens!

Instead, all you need to do is use a Word template. Let’s have a go at making a 2011 calendar in Word: click the File tab and then click New. You’ll see a huge gallery of template categories and we need the Calendars one, so click that.

Calendar Category In Word

The calendar templates available are all on office.com, so you need to be connected to the internet to see them. There’s a few different calendars to choose from but we need a 2011 calendar, so click that one:

Word 2010 Calendar Template

As these Word templates are on office.com, it may take a few seconds for the gallery to load, but it’s worth the wait. There are loads of calendars ranging from standard calendars to lunar calendars to 3D calendars. We’ll just keep it simple here and select the first one: the 2011 Year Calendar.

2011 Year Calendar

Whenever you select a Word template, you get to see a preview of what it looks like, over on the right side of the workspace.

2011 Year Calendar Preview

That’s the one we want, so click Download. You should now see a dialogue box requesting that you read the terms of use for this template. Once you’ve done that, and agree to those terms, click I accept. Again, because we are downloading files from office.com, it may take a few seconds to load up this calendar in Word.

Once it’s loaded, you should see a very tidy set of 12 tables holding the dates of each month in 2011. This is what each month looks like:

Calendar Month In Word

OK, not every month looks like January, but you see what I mean. Now that beats creating the month tables manually yourself! Now that you have your 2011 calendar, you can start amending it or just print it off as it is. If you do amend it (maybe you want to add important dates and then use it as a kid’s worksheet), don’t forget to save it with Ctrl-s.

The PowerPoint Tutorial

Are you ready for the PowerPoint Mega Tutorial? This tutorial will take you through the process of creating a PowerPoint presentation from start to finish. Although we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010 for this guide, many of the steps and concepts are transferrable to other versions of PowerPoint.

With PowerPoint being pretty much everywhere (it is the presentation program), you probably want to get to grips with how to use it to create great looking presentations. So let’s get started!

The tutorial is broken down into several sections listed below. It’s a good idea to start at the beginning and work your way through in sequence.

  1. Creating a new PowerPoint presentation
  2. Applying a theme to a presentation
  3. Adding text to a slide
  4. Adding new slides to a presentation
  5. Formatting text
  6. Adding images to slides

Adding Transitions To A PowerPoint Presentation

In the last lesson, we learnt how to format the text on our slides. In this lesson, we’re going to explore the use of transitions.

A PowerPoint presentation wouldn’t be the same without transitions. Slide transitions are motion effects that occur in Slide Show view when you move from one slide to the next during a presentation. You can control the speed, add sound, and even customise the properties of transition effects. Transitions will really spice your presentation up and will give it a slick professional look.

PowerPoint 2010 has got loads of transitions, and here is a demo of them all:

To add a transition to your presentation, first of all select the slide that you want to add the transition to. The transition will be displayed between the previous slide and the selected one. Now click the Transitions tab and and select a transition in the Transitions to This Slide group. There is a selection of transitions displayed in the ribbon, but if you want to see the whole set, click on the more button in the bottom right of the group.

More Transitions In PowerPoint 2010Clicking on the more button reveals a huge collection of transitions that you can use.

All Transitions In PowerPoint 2010
Click to enlarge

To add a transition, just click on its image. When you add a transition, you get to see it played once.

The very first thumbnail image in the transitions gallery is for “None“, so you can probably guess that clicking on this will remove the transition. Similarly, to change the transition you just click on the new one you want to apply. There is nothing presenting us from using a different transition on each slide.

Any slide that has a transition will have a whooshing star displayed in the top left of the slide in the Slides panel.

Transition Symbol

You can click on this whooshing star to see the transition again. Another way to see transitions in action is to actually run the presentation. You can do this by pressing F5 on the keyboard or by clicking the Slide Show tab and clicking the most appropriate command in the Start Slide Show group.

In the next lesson, you’ll find out all the options available to you when running your slide show.

Adding Text To A Slide

We’ve created a blank PowerPoint presentation, saved it and applied a theme to it. Our new presentation has one blank slide in it. Now we are going to add some text to it.

Each slide that you add to a presentation has placeholders that you can add text to. The blank slide that each new blank presentation has includes placeholders for a title and subtitle. The image below shows one such slide with only the default Office theme applied. Don’t forget, in the previous lesson, we applied the Clarity theme.

Placeholders In PowerPoint
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To add text to a placeholder, all you have to do is click in it and start typing. Since this is a presentation about how to study, and it’s aimed at students, guess what we typed for our title and subtitle?

Title Slide
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The above slide has the Clarity theme applied. See how even a simple colour scheme with minimal styling makes the presentation look so much better? In a later lesson, we will look at styling text.

The one blank slide that always appears in a blank presentation is a Title Slide. Now that we have the title sorted out for our presentation, we need to add some information to help our students with their studying. So let’s now add more slides to our presentation.

Setting Up OneNote 2010

When you run Microsoft OneNote 2010 for the first time, you will need to perform some setup tasks. The very first screen that is displayed asks you whether you will be using OneNote from other computers (via the internet) or just the computer you’re using at the moment. The recommended option is the first one, so unless you have a good reason not to, select that.

Opening First Notebook

Click Continue.

The next screen asks you to sign in with your Windows Live ID log on details. If you haven’t yet created a Live ID account, click on sign up for Windows Live SkyDrive. If you already have a Windows Live account, click Sign In.

Notebooke Synced To Web

After you click Sign In, OneNote will try to connect to the server.

Contacting The Server In OneNote

Once a connection has been established, you will be asked to type in your Windows Live ID log on details.

Connecting To Docs.Live

Type in your log on details and click OK.

Now that OneNote has your log on details, it tries to connect to the web service that it needs. Once your account details have been verified to be correct and connection with the web service has been established… you’re in! You should then see the following screen where you can begin using OneNote 2010.

Start Using OneNote 2010
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You can view the setup process as one that involves you giving your Windows Live ID details to OneNote so that it knows how to connect to your SkyDrive account.

Picture Corrections In Word

You can easily insert a picture into your Microsoft Word document by clicking Insert > Illustrations > Picture. You then navigate to where your picture is on your computer, select it and click Insert. But what if your picture is too dark or there isn’t enough contrast in it, for example? If you have a graphics program like Adobe Photoshop or Fireworks, you could correct the image before you insert it into your Word document.

But if you don’t have a graphics program you’re stuck.

Well, actually, you’re not stuck because Word 2010 comes with some impressive picture correction tools. Let’s explore them now.

Picture Tools In Word

With the picture selected in your Word document, you should see the Picture Tools tab appear in the ribbon.
Picture Tools Tab In Microsoft Word

Ensure that you are working on the Format tab and then go to the Ajust group. When you click on the Corrections button, you’ll see a gallery of preset corrections that you can apply simply by clicking on one.

Picture Corrections In Microsoft Word

You can see that each image gives you a small preview of what it will look like if you apply that correction. You can get a larger live preview if you hover over the thumbnail image, too. The picture corrections at the top adjust how soft your image looks, whereas the large selection of correction below adjust the brightness and contrast of the image.

If the preset corrections don’t offer you the adjustment you want, you can always fine tune the corrections manually by selecting Picture Corrections Options. The Format Picture window opens on the Picture Corrections panel and displays the following options:

Format Picture In Word

On this window, the same preset corrections are available when you click the Presets buttons. However, you also have precise control over just how much you soften or sharpen your image. The same is true with brightness and contrast: you can drag the sliders to the left to reduce them or drag to the right to increase them.

While this window is open, you might want to pop over to the Picture Color tab:

Picture Color Tab In Word

Here, you have some presets for Color Saturation (how much color is in the image), Color Tone (how “hot” the colors are) and Recolor (changes the actual colors used in the picture). There are sliders to give you precise control over the values for Color Saturation and Tone.