Issue #80 March 22, 2005

1. PPT - Recolor Photos

One of the tutorials on the Using Images video tutorial is on changing the coloring of a photo. I think that this is a largely unknown feature, so I thought I'd profile it today. It allows you to take any photo that you have inserted on a slide and change it to suit your needs. There are four choices. First is Automatic, which uses the coloring that the picture has when originally inserted. Second is Grayscale. This option converts the colors in the original picture to shades of gray. It is like taking the picture on black and white film in a camera. The third option is Black and White. This is a little confusing because this option turns all colors to only black or white, no shades in between. It is not like using black and white photo film, it is more like an artistic appearance. The final choice is Washout, which puts a white screen over the picture and is best used for washing out a photo that you are using as a background for some text. It still allows the photo to be seen, but it is lightly in the background. Know that any of the changes it makes are not to the original picture you have on your computer, only to what is shown in PowerPoint on this slide. In order to change the coloring of a photo on a PowerPoint slide, you click on the photo to bring up the Picture toolbar. If the Picture toolbar does not appear, click on View -> Toolbars -> Picture to display it. The Color button is close to the left side of the toolbar and looks like two columns side by side, one shading from clear to black and the other half white and half black. Click on the Color button and it will drop down the four options described above. Select the option you want and the picture will change to that coloring. To reset the coloring to the original colors, select the Automatic option.

2. Print only what you want

Too many times we print a document, e-mail or web page only to discover that we have printed more pages than we needed. This costs us in paper and toner costs, as well as the cost to the environment. Today I want to share a strategy for printing only what we need to print. The first step is to always do a Print Preview before you print. This way, you can see which pages contain the information you need to print. Once you have identified the pages that need to be printed, the second step is to print only the pages you need. You can print a page range in almost all programs. In the Print dialog box (usually displayed when you click File -> Print), there is an entry box to enter a page range to print instead of the usual default of all pages. In this entry box, you can use the comma (,) to separate individual pages and you can use the dash (-) to indicate a range of pages. For example, the entry of "5,7,9-11" would mean print page 5, page 7 and pages 9 to 11. Enter only the pages you identified in the first step using the comma and dash as necessary (do not enter the quote marks shown in the above example). In some programs (Word being one of them) you can print pages in reverse order by entering a page range in reverse. So entering "11-9" would print page 11, then page 10, then page 9. Follow these steps and you will reduce the cost of printing documents at your office or home.

3. Useful Resource - Cleaning a Laptop

Fred Langa, whose newsletter I enjoy reading every time it comes out (go to to subscribe) wrote an article recently on cleaning the dust from your laptop without opening the case. You can do lots of damage by opening your laptop case if you don't know what you are doing, so this sounds like a good way to keep things running smoothly and do it safely. Check out his article at: