Issue #50 January 20, 2004

1. Insert Slides in PowerPoint

Do you ever wish there was an easy way to combine slides from different PowerPoint presentations into one file? Many of us want to reuse a slide or many slides from one presentation in a new presentation and this tip will show you an easy way to do it. First thing you need to do is to go to the presentation you want the slides to be inserted into (the destination presentation) and click on the slide you want to be before the inserted slides. Then, click on the Insert menu item and click on the Slides from Files option. You will see the Insert Slides from Files dialog box. To find the source presentation, click on the Browse button and find the file you are looking for. The dialog box will then display small images of all of the slides in that file. You can select which slides you want to import by clicking on the first slide and holding the Ctrl key down as you click on each subsequent slide that you want to insert. If you have a series of slides in the file, you can click on the first slide, scroll over to the last slide in the series and hold down the Shift key while clicking on the last slide – this will select the first and last slide and all slides inbetween them. You can choose to keep the formatting from the source file or apply the formatting in the destination file with the Keep Source Formatting checkbox. You would want to keep the source formatting if you want the slides to look exactly as they do now (ie. when combining different presentations into one file), and you would want to clear this checkbox if you want the content of each slide to be reformatted using the destination presentation formatting (same color scheme, text placement, etc. when you are creating a new presentation and inserting slides from a previous one). This technique is a great way to combine multiple presentations into one file and a huge time saver if you are creating a presentation that is similar to one you already have.

2. Paste Special in Excel

One of the most useful commands when working in Excel is the Paste Special command. It is used when you want to copy only specific information from one cell (or set of cells) to a new location. Select the cells you want to copy in the normal way and click on Edit – Copy. Then click on the new location. Click on Edit – Paste Special to bring up the Paste Special dialog box. Here you can choose to copy only some aspects of the cells instead of all aspects of the cells. One of the most useful to me is to copy the Values. What happens is that I have created values from a formula and I want to sort those values for reporting or to apply the Subtotal command. But if I sort the cells with the formulas, it doesn’t sort the values in the cells, just the formulas, which doesn’t do what I want. Or worse, sometimes it messes up the formulas – good to know about the Undo button there! But I can copy just the values to a new block of cells and these new cells contain just the result of the formulas as if I had typed them in as values. Now I can sort and subtotal safely. Remember that because you have copied values, it is not tied back to the original cells, so if the formula gives a new value, the cells you pasted will not be updated. So you may have to keep an eye out for this and only use this technique at the end of your analysis when the values have all been set by the formulas. And you can re-copy and re-paste if you need to.

3. Useful Resource – MS Office Tips & Tricks Newsletter

I am always on the lookout for useful newsletters to pass on to you, my loyal subscribers and today I have one that I have found very useful and well written. It is called MS Office Tips & Tricks and it is true to the title. Each week, April, the editor, gives one or two tips that really help you get the most out of MS Office. Best of all, it is free!. You can sign up at