Tech Tip: Select Word text block/Convert currency in Excel/Prevent duplicate Access entries

Word: Select noncontiguous blocks of text

Many people prefer to use the click-and-drag method to select large blocks of text, but some users may begin to lose control of the mouse if they use this method to select a block of text across two or more screens or document pages. They may find it more efficient to click the beginning of a text block, hold down [Shift], and click the end of the text block.

Word includes a number of methods for selecting a contiguous block of text, but what if you need to select noncontiguous blocks of text? For example, suppose you want to change the font color of every other paragraph in a list to red. Before Word 2002, you would have to select and format each paragraph individually.

Follow these steps in Word 2002 to select noncontiguous blocks of text:

  1. Click and drag to select the first paragraph.
  2. Hold down the [Ctrl] key while you click and drag to select the third paragraph.
  3. Continue to hold down the [Ctrl] key, and select every other paragraph in the remainder of the document.
  4. Release the [Ctrl] key.

Every other paragraph in the list is now selected for formatting.

Excel: Convert European currencies to Euros

You can use Excel 2002's Euro Currency Tools to convert worksheet values or formulas from their former European currency value to their Euro equivalent. To use these tools, first add the Euro Conversion command to the Tools menu. Go to Tools | Add-Ins, select the Euro Currency Tools check box under the Add-Ins Available box, and click OK.

If the add-in has been installed, Excel will add the Euro Conversion command to the Tools menu. If it hasn't been installed, Excel will ask you to install it. Once installed, return to the Add-Ins dialog box, and repeat the above procedure to load the program.

Follow these steps to convert currency values to Euros:

  1. Go to Tools | Euro Conversion, or click the Euro Conversion button in the Standard toolbar.
  2. Under Data To Euro Convert, click the Source Range text box, and select the cells in the worksheet that you want to convert.
  3. Click the Destination Range text box, and select the upper left cell of the range where you want Excel to paste the converted values. (Note: The destination range must be located outside the source range.)
  4. Under Currency Conversion, select the currency of the values in the Source Range from the From drop-down list.
  5. Select EUR—Euro from the To drop-down list.
  6. Select the Output format, and click OK.

The Euro equivalents are now displayed in the destination range. If you need to convert Euros to their former European equivalents, follow the same procedure, but select EUR—Euro in Step 4, and select the currency to which you want to convert in Step 5.

If you don't see the Euro Conversion command on the Tools menu or the feature doesn't work as expected, refer to the Troubleshoot Euro Currency Conversion item in the Help file.

Access: Use the Indexed property to prevent duplicate entries

Primary key fields automatically prevent users from entering duplicate values. You can set multiple fields as primary keys. To prevent duplicate entries in the other fields, you must set their Indexed property.

For example, a patient information database table includes a Patient_ID field and a Social_Security_Number field, both of which must be unique. The Patient_ID field is set as the primary key field. In this example, take the following steps to set the Social_Security_Number field's Indexed property.

  1. Open the table in Design view.
  2. Click Social_Security_Number in the Field Name column to display its Field Properties.
  3. In the Field Properties section, click the Indexed property box.
  4. Click the drop-down arrow, and select Yes (No Duplicates).

When the table is run, Access will display an error message if an attempt is made to enter a duplicate value in the field.

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