One of my favorite Office tools is the snap-off menu. These menus are almost always available from drop-down menus, such as Border, Highlight, and Font Color. When you see the gray bar across the top of the drop-down menu, you'll know it's a snap-off menu.
Now you're probably wondering what's so great about snap-off menus. When you run into one, use the mouse to grab that handle (the gray bar across the top) and drag the drop-down menu to create a floating toolbar. That way, you can continue to use the drop-down menu without renegotiating it each time you need it. As a floating toolbar, the drop-down menu will remain open until you close it, even if you close the document (as long as you save it with the drop-down menu in floating mode). When you're done with it, click the Close button. Snap-off menus are easy to use. Once you know how to recognize them, you'll probably use them often. I know that I do!
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.