Tech Tip: Save to the right Word folder/Calculate a person's age in Excel/Delete fields from an Access query

Learn how to make sure users save to the right folder, calculate a person's age, and delete fields from a query.

Make sure users save to the right folder

By default, Word automatically saves all files to the My Documents folder. But if you prefer users to save all files to another folder, such as one located on the company server, they don't need to navigate to that folder each time they want to open or save a file.

Instead, you can change the default folder. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools | Options.
  2. On the File Locations tab, select Documents from the File Types list, and click the Modify button.
  3. Navigate to the folder you want to use as the default document folder, and click OK.

When users open or save a file, Word will automatically direct them to the appropriate folder.

Calculate a person's age

Excel's DATEDIF function allows you to quickly calculate a person's age. For example, let's say you need to know which employees are within five years of the retirement age of 65.

Column A lists the employee names, and column B lists their birth dates. To find the age (in years) of the first employee listed in A2, enter the following function in C2:


Excel will display the age in years of the employee listed in A2. To find the rest of the employees' ages, you can just copy the formula in each cell.

If you need to know the exact age of each employee in years, months, and days, enter the following formula in C2:

=DATEDIF(B2,NOW(),"y") &" years," & DATEDIF(B2,NOW(),"ym") &" months," & DATEDIF(B2,NOW(),"md") & " days"

This formula returns the age as a text string (e.g., 60 years, 4 months, 3 days).

Delete fields from a query

If a query keeps returning unexpected results, it's possible that you need to remove a field with irrelevant criteria from the query grid. This often occurs when you build a query from an existing one.

For example, an existing query may search for all customers that live in New Jersey. If you use this query's grid to build one that lists only those customers who live within the 215 area code, and you don't correctly remove the New Jersey criteria, your results will still show customers from New Jersey even though 215 is in Philadelphia.

One way to ensure that you've removed irrelevant criteria is to delete the field. Click the field selector above the field name, and press [Delete].

You might find it easier to click anywhere in the field's column grid and go to Edit | Delete Columns. Or you might find you get better results if you first go to Edit | Clear Grid to ensure the removal of all irrelevant criteria and then re-create the entire query using only the tables specified in the existing one.