Lori Kaufman

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

Hundreds of symbols that are not available on your keyboard are provided in Microsoft Word for use in your documents. For example, you can insert fractions (½), a degree symbol (°), pi (π), or currency symbols, such as the British pound symbol (£).

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Many commands in Word have keyboard shortcuts assigned to them, making it quicker to apply formatting, save the file, and perform other tasks on your documents. These keyboard shortcuts can be customized, and you can assign shortcuts to commands that do not currently have them.

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There may be times when you want to create a new Excel worksheet based on an existing worksheet. You can easily copy an entire worksheet in Excel to a new worksheet in the same file or even to a new, separate workbook file.

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Many applications include a component that starts when you boot your computer, slows boot time, and continues to run in the background using system resources. Windows Vista and 7 included tools for managing startup applications, but they were located in obscure places (Defender and Msconfig).

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When entering formulas in Excel, you may want to remind yourself, or someone else, what it was for in the future. Or you may want to add instructions to let users of your spreadsheet know what to do in certain cells.

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By default, Excel recalculates all the formulas in your worksheet automatically when you open your worksheet or change any entries, formulas, or names on which your formulas depend. If you worksheet is large, with many formulas, this can take several seconds or minutes.

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Microsoft attempted to make typing appear smoother in Office 2013 by adding a typing animation feature. If you’re a slow typist, you probably won’t notice it. However, if you type upwards of 80+ words per minute, this feature can be distracting and annoying.

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Previous versions of Excel have had an option for viewing two spreadsheets side-by-side. However, Excel 2013 now makes it easier by allowing you to snap each spreadsheet (opened in separate windows) to each side of the screen.

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There are times, when working on an Office document, that you might forget where you saved the file. If you need to find out where the currently open document is located, you can use Save As to find out. However, there is a quicker way.

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Recently, we showed you how to add a watermark to a document in Word 2013. You can also add a watermark to worksheets in Excel 2013; however, you must add them manually using the header and footer tools. We will show you how.

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By default, when you paste text copied from elsewhere into Word 2013, you automatically get all the formatting with it. This formatting most likely does not match the rest of the content of your document and may not come in neatly.

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A watermark is a faded, background image that displays behind the text in a document. It can be used to indicate a document’s status (confidential, draft, etc.) or to add a company logo. We’ll show you how to add watermarks to documents in Word 2013.

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Office 2007 saw the addition of the Ribbon feature, which some users found confusing. However, you can use it to your advantage by adding your own custom tabs containing commands you use often. This allows for quicker and easier document creation.

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The Mini Toolbar and Live Preview are features in Word introduced in Word 2007 and continued in Word 2010 and 2013. They can be useful for quick formatting and to preview possible formats. However, if these features annoy you, they are easy to disable.

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If you have the option on for checking spelling as you type in Word 2013, you can easily add words to the custom dictionary, using the context menu. However, what if you want to add or delete many custom words, or even add specialized dictionaries?

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When you open Word 2013, a list of recently opened documents displays on the left side of the screen. This list also displays when you select the Open option from within the program. If you would rather not see this list, it’s easy to disable.

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Word 2013 offers a new feature, called PDF Reflow, that allows you to import PDF files into Word and edit the text as a Word document. You can then resave or export the text as a PDF file.

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When you install any recent version of Microsoft Office, Microsoft assumes that you want to sign up for the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). There’s a check box during installation that’s selected by default and automatically signs you up for the program.

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If you use the Windows Administrative tools often, it’s helpful to have quicker access to them. We’ve shown you how to add them to the Start menu in Windows 7. Here’s how to add them to the Modern UI screen in Windows 8.

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If you open a lot of programs at one time in Windows, your desktop can get quite chaotic and messy. One of those many windows may be displaying private data, and it’s easy to lose track of it and accidentally leave it visible.

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The Libraries view is the default view when you open Windows Explorer in Windows 7 or File Explorer in Windows 8. If you want to open a different folder when you open Explorer, it’s easy to change in Windows 8, and we’ll show you how.

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Whether you’re a web developer or just an avid internet user, you may need to use multiple browsers. Each browser has useful features that are not available in the other browsers, so, you may need to switch browsers to take advantage of certain features.

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Windows 8 has redesigned its screenshot feature, and you no longer need to launch the Snipping Tool or run any third-party screenshot tool, such as Greenshot. You can easily capture everything on the screen using one key combination.

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There are many programs available for taking screenshots. If you’re looking for a free option, Greenshot is a great program that provides many useful features, such as cropping, annotations, highlights, and obfuscating (like the smudge tool in GIMP).

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We always hear how important it is to backup your data, but do we think about backing up our web-based email? We have shown you how to backup your Gmail account using programs in Windows, but what if you are using Linux?

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