Tech Tip: Word's team editing/Indent Excel cell text/Convert Access 2000 to 97

Get information about Word's team editing, how to indent Excel cell text, and how to convert Access 2000 to 97.

Clarify team editing with colors

Some documents require review by multiple editors, each of whom may add, delete, or replace text. While the document bounces back and forth between editors, you need a clear-cut way to identify who's suggesting what changes.

In Word 2000, go to Tools | Track Changes | Highlight Changes, and select the Track Changes While Editing option. Word will use a different color to display each editor's changes. However, because an editor's color often changes from document to document, you must mouse over a highlighted change to find out who made what change.

If multiple editors are making changes to a document, you might find it easier to use a low-tech method, such as simply assigning a specific color for each editor. When editors add new text, everyone can tell at a glance who added what text.

Before publishing the document, you can easily put all the text back to the same color. Simply select the entire document, go to Format | Font, and choose Automatic from the Font Color drop-down list.

Indent text within a cell

Pressing [Tab] in Excel 2000 doesn't indent text in a cell--it simply moves the cell pointer to the next cell. Beginning Excel users might hard-code the indent by pressing the spacebar several times before entering text into a cell. However, this approach can cause problems.

To indent text in a spreadsheet cell, use the Formatting toolbar's Increase Indent button. Enter your text without any lead spaces, select the cells whose entries you want to indent, and click the Increase Indent button. Each time you click the button, Excel nudges the selected text to the right. If you go too far, you can click the Decrease Indent button to nudge the text back toward the left.

If your text entry extends beyond the right edge of the cell, you'll probably want to change the cell's text alignment so the text wraps within the cell. To change the text alignment, select the cell, and go to Format | Cells | Alignment. In the Text Control section, select Wrap Text, and click OK. Excel then indents all of the lines of text in the cell.

Convert an Access 2000 database to Access 97

When you want to convert an Access 97 (or older) database to Access 2000 or 2002, the process is straightforward: Launch Access 2000, go to File | Open, navigate to the old database, and click OK. In the Convert/Open Database dialog box, you'll have the choice of converting the database to the new format or opening it while maintaining backward compatibility.

However, if you need to convert an Access 2000 database back to Access 97, choosing File | Save As won't help. To convert an Access 2000 database into a format that Access 97 can use, follow these steps:

  1. Open the database, go to Tools | Database Utilities | Convert Database, and select To Prior Access Database Version.
  2. Enter a new name in the Convert Database Into dialog box. The file extension will remain the same: .mdb.

Note that when you convert any program file to an earlier format, you may lose some features or functionality that existed in the newer version.