Issue #96 November 1, 2005

1. PPT – Version Issues

Many readers have told me that they create their presentations on one computer and present from another – either a colleague’s laptop or a PC connected to the projector in a conference room. When taking your carefully crafted presentation to a different computer, you can have all your work be ruined by version differences. A recent example from a reader e-mail is a perfect illustration. They create the presentation on a machine with PowerPoint 2002, but the machine connected to the projector only has PowerPoint 97. This causes no end of headaches as a number of features are not supported and the resulting slides look awful. What can you do in a similar situation? First, there are known issues when trying to display a PowerPoint file on a previous version and the worst incompatibility in recent years is with PowerPoint 97. One solution is to upgrade the display computer to the latest version of PowerPoint and the problem will vanish. This may be too expensive or take too much time to be complete before your presentation. So what else can you do? The other way to solve the problem is to install the free PowerPoint Viewer application. The Viewer has been updated to be able to handle the latest version of PowerPoint and is downloaded from Microsoft’s web site at . The Viewer only allows you to show or print the presentation, not edit it, so it may not be a good solution if editing will be required. But as a backup I always carry the install file for the latest PowerPoint Viewer on a flash drive just in case I need to install it in an emergency.

2. Text Selection in Word

If you have ever wanted to copy a column of text from the middle of a Word document, this tip is for you. If the text you want is in a table, it is easy to copy since you just select the column or the rows of the column that you want. But if the text is not in columns, you have a problem. Perhaps you have lined up a column of numbers using tabs and now need to copy that column of numbers, but not the text that is on each line preceding each number. How can you do it? Recently, the Office Tips newsletter provided a tip that can be used in this situation. Position your cursor at the top left corner (or any corner) of the section you want to select. Press the Alt key on your keyboard and hold it down. Now click the left mouse button and drag the mouse pointer over the area to be selected until you reach the opposite corner of the area you want to copy. Now release the mouse button and release the Alt key. Word has now selected only the text that you wanted. Now you can press Ctrl+C to copy the text and Paste it into another place or into another application. You may not use this tip every day, but it will save you plenty of time compared to the copying and cutting that would otherwise be required.

3. Useful Resource – Keyboard shortcut list

I have been having some problems recently with my shoulder due to poor positioning of my mouse relative to my desk chair. For anyone who would like to (or in my case needs to) use the mouse less, keyboard shortcuts are the way to perform many of the tasks that the mouse is usually used for. Microsoft has published a list of shortcut keys for their most popular applications that will probably help you out. Get the list at: