Software

Tech Tip: Indent Word paragraphs/Excel page breaks/Search with Access parameter query

Word: Quickly indent paragraphs and lists

Although you can use the Paragraph dialog box or the Ruler, using the Formatting toolbar's Increase Indent or Decrease Indent buttons may be the quickest method to indent paragraphs or lists.

Clicking the Increase Indent or Decrease Indent buttons increases or decreases the indent from the left margin by one tab stop. But this function isn't limited to the default half-inch tab stops. To change the size of the indent used by the Increase Indent and Decrease Indent buttons, simply change the tab stops.

Word 2002 adds a drag-and-drop method for indenting numbered or bulleted lists. To try this method, position your cursor over a bullet or number in the list, and click and drag the mouse. When you do, a vertical dotted line that extends the length of the document window to the Ruler will appear. Drag the mouse to the right or left until the dotted line reaches the desired position on the Ruler. The entire list will be indented to that position.

Excel: Change automatic page breaks

Excel's Page Break Preview feature lets you use the mouse to move, delete, and insert page breaks.

To access this feature from a Normal view, go to View | Page Break Preview, or click the Page Break Preview button from Print Preview. This displays an image of the worksheet's print area. Solid lines indicate manual page breaks set by the user; dashed lines indicate where Excel will break the page automatically.

You can move page breaks, either automatic or manual, by clicking and dragging the break to a new location (left, right, up, or down). For example, clicking and dragging the right vertical page break on the first page to the right of the first column of the second page will move the column to the first page. Microsoft Excel automatically scales the worksheet to fit the new column to the page.

Click a page break and drag it outside the print area to delete it. To insert a new page break, right-click a row below or column to the right of the break, and select Insert Page Break.

Access: Let users perform their own searches with a parameter query

With some databases, it's impossible to design a select query that would satisfy everyone. In these situations, create a single parameter query that allows users to search the database with their own keywords.

For example, to create a parameter query that allows users to search for books by author or title in a Books database that contains an Author field and a Title field, follow these steps:

  1. Create a select query that displays all records in both fields.
  2. Under the Authors field, type [Enter an Author Name] in the Criteria cell.
  3. Under the Title field, type [Enter a Title] in the Or cell.
  4. Run the query.

Running the query displays the Enter Parameter Dialog box with the Enter An Author Name prompt. To find books by a certain author, for instance, the user would type the author's name in the box, click OK, leave the second prompt blank, and click OK to run the query. Conversely, to find a book by its title, leave the Enter An Author Name box blank, click OK, type the title in the Enter A Title box, and click OK to run the query.

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