Tech Tip: Word e-mail formats/Excel Paste Special calculations/Add Access Toolbox tools

Word: Customize e-mail formats

Many Exchange/Outlook shops encourage users to use Word as the default e-mail editor. That way, users stay in Word when they e-mail an attachment or when they create or respond to e-mail messages.

Word's e-mail signature and stationery options let users customize the formatting and style of their e-mail messages. In Word 2000, go to Tools | Options | General, and click E-mail Options. Select the E-mail Signature tab to create and name multiple custom signatures, such as your name, job title, and contact information. You also can specify one default signature for new messages and another signature for replies and forwarded messages.

Select the Personal Stationery tab to create custom backgrounds for your e-mail messages. Click Theme to display a list of several dozen predefined themes. To preview a theme, simply click its name. Depending on the theme you select, you can also specify which font you would like to use in new or forwarded messages and replies.

Excel: Perform calculations with Paste Special

Most Excel users know how to convert formulas to values with the Paste Special function. This function also makes it easy to perform mathematical operations on a range of cells "in place."

Let's say you've entered some numbers in a range of cells, and now you want to double those values. You could write a formula elsewhere in the sheet that multiplies the values in the original cells by two, copy the cells with the formulas, and use Paste Special | Values to overlay the new values in the original cells. However, you'd have to delete the work cells that contained the doubling formula.

To eliminate this extra step, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells whose values you want to double, and press [Ctrl]C.
  2. Go to Edit | Paste Special.
  3. Select Add in the Operation section, and click OK.

Excel adds the values you copied to the values contained in the target cells, which doubles the original values.

This feature is also useful when you want to update a range of cells using the values from a completely different range of cells. Just select and copy the first set of values, click the first cell in the target range, and go to Edit | Paste Special. From there, select Add, Subtract, Multiply, or Divide, and then click OK. Excel will update the target cells with the calculation results.

Access: Add tools to the Toolbox

When you're designing forms and reports in Microsoft Access 2000, you can access a number of tools with a single click by using the Toolbox toolbar. However, the Toolbox lacks shortcuts to some common text-formatting tools, such as bold, underline, and italics, as well as tools for aligning text and ordering objects on the form.

You can put these tools within one-click reach by customizing the Toolbox toolbar. Follow these steps:

  1. Open an Access form or report in Design view, and go to View | Toolbox.
  2. Right-click Toolbox, and select Customize.
  3. On the Commands tab, click Form/Report Design under Categories.
  4. Scroll through the Commands list until you locate the command for which you want to create a shortcut on the Toolbox. Drag that command's icon onto the Toolbox toolbar and release.

In addition to adding buttons related to designing forms and reports, you may also want to explore the other categories of commands available. For example, under the File category, you'll find the Close and Exit commands. Adding those buttons to the Toolbox toolbar makes it easy for you to remember to close your forms and save your work.

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