Windows offers a setting named Dark Mode that applies a dark theme to apps you get from the Windows Store. It doesn’t affect most desktop apps, or tools like File Explorer, but we’ve got some other solutions for those. Here’s how to get your whole desktop (or as much as possible) looking dark.
Odds are pretty good that you create the same types of Excel spreadsheets over and over again. Creating a custom template can help make that process a lot smoother.
Excel spreadsheets can be hard to read at a glance, thanks to dense information and the grid formatting. Spending a little time on your spreadsheet to make it easier to read is a solid plus, starting with the borders around different cells.
Macros are basic bits of programming that let you hit a quick button or keyboard shortcut to trigger a pre-recorded action. Here’s how to make easy ones in Word.
When you create multiple columns in Word, they default to a set width. It’s easy to change that default width for each column. Let’s look at two ways you can do that.
Like peanut butter and chocolate, a word processor with some basic spreadsheet chops makes a fantastic combination. When you want some rather easy number-crunching embedded in an otherwise ordinary text document, Microsoft Word has you covered, thanks to baked-in functionality from its sister program Excel.
LibreOffice Writer can handle some of the very basic tools that are part of Calc (the LibreOffice version of Microsoft Excel) with its Table function. For example, to sum up the contents of multiple cells and place the total in a new cell, you use the exact same formula, “=sum<[cellstart]:[cellfinish]>.
If you’re using the free and open source LibreOffice suite of programs, your word processor is probably way more powerful than it needs to be. Writer has at least as many standard features as the paid Microsoft Word, and getting more acquainted with some of them can help dramatically streamline your workflow. In other words, spend a little time setting stuff up and you’ll fly through your documents like a 60WPM Superman.
When you open Microsoft Word, a list of recently-opened documents appears on the left side of the screen. You can clear documents from this list or, if you’d rather not see recent documents at all, disable the list entirely.
Modern office software suites can be unnervingly complicated. Like most of its alternatives, the free and open-source LibreOffice sticks its often-used controls above the content area in various menus. But most of the available tools are actually hidden by default—you’ll have to manually add the ones that aren’t visible out of the box. Here’s how.
LibreOffice Writer bundles in a free auto-complete system, similar to the one you’re probably familiar with on your smartphone’s keyboard. But LibreOffice’s is a lot more powerful, and a lot more customizable—you can more or less tell it exactly which words you want to auto-complete, and which ones you don’t.
The Windows version of Microsoft Office has always been the gold standard for office suites, as far as features are concerned. Office exists on other platforms too, like the Mac—but those versions are missing some products and features.
Templates let you configure all the relevant settings you want pre-applied to documents—font settings, margins and tabs, boilerplate text, and so on. You just open the template and save it under a new name to get a jump start on a new document.
Sideheads (where a document’s subheads appear out to the side of the text) and pull quotes are really just two specific uses for text boxes in Microsoft Word. Here’s how to set them up.
If you’re on a collaborative team of workers, or you’re simply dealing with several revisions of your own work, it’s important to be able to track incremental changes. In Microsoft Word, the ability to compare every difference in two nearly-identical documents is built in to the Compare tool. Here’s how to use it.
Word’s rulers let you control the margins of your page and the indentation of paragraphs. They’re great for precisely lining up images, text, and other elements. If you’re printing a document, the rulers can help ensure that what you see on your screen translates into what you’ll get on the printed page.
Microsoft Word will mark contractions like “I’m”, “don’t”, and “doesn’t”, as grammatical errors, showing that dashed line under them. For more casual documents, this can be annoying.
When you paste text from a web page into OneNote, it won’t just paste the text. You’ll also get a link to the web page you got it from. You can disable this feature if you like, forcing OneNote to only paste the text you actually copied.
Microsoft offers several different ways to run the various Office programs—as desktop apps, as mobile apps for Android or iPhone/iPad, and online in a web browser. As you might imagine, the online and mobile app versions aren’t as robust as the desktop version, but you might still find them useful. And for some of you, they might be all you need. Here’s the breakdown.
Since the beginning of the computer age, people have always enjoyed making computers talk to them. These days, that functionality is built right into Windows and you can easily use it to have your PC read documents to you.
When you email someone a copy of your Word document or PowerPoint presentation and they don’t have a font installed, Microsoft Office shows that document with the default font instead. This can mess up the whole layout and make the document look completely different, but you can fix this by embedding fonts into your documents.
Microsoft has been pushing Office 365, the $100-per-year Microsoft Office subscription, for years now. But the Windows Fall Creators update goes further. For the first time, non-Office Windows features will live behind the Office 365 paywall.
Adobe’s PDF standard is handy whenever you need to distribute some information and be sure that it’s seen the same way by all recipients. But PDF files are also infamously tough to edit.
Since the majority of written words are now produced in one digital form or another, fonts and typefaces have become much more important than they used to be. And to the chagrin of graphic designers and generally nerdy people everywhere, those terms are often used interchangeably.
Microsoft Office applications have a built-in Safe Mode feature. This helps when you can’t use Office normally. Perhaps Word crashes every time you open it, or maybe Excel crashes when you open a single file. You can start the application in Safe Mode and there’s a good chance it will work normally.