Software

Office challenge: How do you inhibit Word's Reading Layout?

Here's the solution to last week's challenge on how to display a picture in an Excel comment. This week, test your Word knowledge.

A lot of Word users like the new Reading Layout view that shows two pages of a document side by side. When you open a Word document that's attached to an email, Word automatically displays that document in Reading Layout. I receive a lot of documents via email, but I don't care for Reading Layout. That means before I can start working, I have to change the view, which gets to be a bit annoying when it happens a lot. How would you inhibit this behavior? Last week we asked… How do you display a picture in an Excel comment? Three of you, sireynolds, touseef88, and sueellen, answered correctly. Now, this technique is a bit tricky and you might even think you can't do it. That's because Excel disables the Insert menu's commands when you open a comment in Edit mode. Seeing the Clip Art and other file commands disabled, you might assume that Excel can't display a picture in a comment. What you might not know is that there's another Insert Picture item. To use that item to insert a picture in a comment, do the following:

  1. Right-click the commented cell.
  2. Choose Show/Hide Comments. Most of the time, you won't want text in the same comment with a picture, but Excel will display both.
  3. Click the comment's border to select it.
  4. Choose Comment from the Format menu. Or right-click the selected comment and choose Format Comment from the resulting context menu.
  5. Click the Colors And Lines tab.
  6. Open the Color drop-down list (in the Fill section) and choose Fill Effects (at the bottom).
  7. Click the Picture tab and then click Select Picture.
  8. Locate and select the picture.
  9. Check the Lock Picture Aspect Ratio option to keep the picture in proportion. This isn't necessary, but most of the time, you'll want to choose this option.
  10. Click Insert.
  11. Click OK twice.
Excel 2007 instructions are the same. However, right-click the selected comment and choose Format Comment in step 4. It's easier than working through the Ribbon. It seems like a lot of work for such a simple task, especially a task that seems so obscure. But now that you know how to do it, you might find plenty of uses for it.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox