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Technology Q&A: nudge a graphic in word ... create an electronic dictionary ... make Excel stop talking ... create a shortcut to recently opened files ... be alert to e-mail dangers ... create a multiple-signatures option in outlook ... shortcuts.

Key to Instructions

To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we use two different typefaces.

Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.

Sans serif type indicates the names of files and the names of commands and instructions users should type into the computer.

NUDGE A GRAPHIC IN WORD

Q. I often insert graphics in Word, and once I do, I need to position them a little to the left, right, up or down. But moving a graphic with a mouse just a tiny bit is not easy. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Positioning a graphic with a mouse is like trying to sign your name with a five-inch paintbrush. What you need is a way to nudge it to the right spot. The best way is to highlight the graphic and then use the arrow keys--not the mouse. Pressing the left arrow key moves the graphic to the left. Likewise, the up, down and right arrow keys move it accordingly. If you want even finer control, hold down the Ctrl key as you press an arrow key; that moves the graphic one pixel at a time.

CREATE AN ELECTRONIC DICTIONARY

Q. I need to prepare a resources program for my staff that defines, among other things, accounting and financial terms. I was thinking of designing a computerized dictionary similar to those click-on alphabet programs I've seen on the Web. They list the letters of the alphabet (from A to Z) at the top of the opening page. Each letter links to a section under which are stored definitions of words that start with that letter. So, when a user clicks on the letter A, for example, the A section of the dictionary pops up and all the words listed under the letter A pop up. Is there a way to do that without getting into high technology?

A. Fortunately, Word can do that rather easily using two tools--Bookmark and Hyperlink. Begin by creating a blank document. Place your cursor on a page that will eventually contain resource material that starts with the letter A and create a bookmark by clicking on Insert and then on Bookmark. Place a check in the box next to Hidden book marks and type A in the space under Bookmark name and click on Add.

Move down the page and do the same--only this time use B as your Bookmark name.

Later you can add the rest of the alphabet using the same technique--and eventually, if you wish, you can move the bookmarks to other pages in the document. In the meantime return to the top of the page aim we'll begin to construct the main menu--with the letters of the alphabet lined up across the top of the page.

Click on Insert, Hyperlink (shortcut: Ctrl+K) and then click on Place in This Document and highlight the A under Bookmarks and click on OK.

That will place the hyperlink for A in the document, and the page now will look like this:

Then move your cursor to the right--to the place where you'd like the letter B to appear--and repeat the process. The Insert Hyperlink screen should now look like this:

After you click on OK, add your resource material--the A material under the A bookmark and the B material under the B bookmark. To add an artistic touch, you can format the letters. When you're done, the pages should look like this:

Now every time users want to access material, all they have to do is place their cursor over the letter of choice, hold down the Ctrl key and click--and they'll be taken directly to the letter where the resource material is stored.

MAKE EXCEL STOP TALKING

Q. Thanks for your tip on teaching Excel to speak the numbers in a spreadsheet (JofA, Dec.03, page 91). It really was keen. However, how do you turn the darn thing off?. I keep clicking on the off button, as you advised, but I can't get Excel to shut up!

A. My apologies. I should have warned you. Excel's on-screen instructions are incomplete when it comes to describing how to turn off its speech engine, and I failed to provide an alert about that.

Here's how to get Excel to stop its chatter: First evoke the Speech toolbar by clicking on Tools, Speech and then on Show Text To Speech Toolbar ... bringing up this toolbar.

Now, here is where Excel provides incomplete clues about turning it off. If you click on the far right icon (Speak On Enter), you'll see it acts like a toggle switch. Each click on the icon toggles the speaking function on or off. But the only alert you get that it's on or off is Excel's spoken message; so listen carefully. The text doesn't change: The text continues to read Speak On Enter.

I also should note that the speech function is available only on Excel 2002 and later versions.

CREATE A SHORTCUT TO RECENTLY OPENED FILES

Q. I know that applications such as Word and Excel give you the option of quickly identifying and then opening up to nine recently used files. But frankly that's not enough. For example, why can't I have easy access to the last 10 or even 20 or more recently opened files? And why can I access only the most recently opened Word files when I'm in Word and only the most recently opened Excel files when I'm in Excel. In other words, why can't I access recently opened Word files when I'm in Excel? I feel shortchanged.

A. I can appreciate that. Microsoft doesn't offer a solution. However, I can show you an "undocumented" way to accomplish what you want.

But before I do, here is some information for those who are unaware of the "most recently opened files" option. If you're in Word, for example, and you click on File, a list of the most recently opened files will drop down (see the bottom portion of the screenshot at left).

You can adjust the number that appears by clicking on Tools, Options and the General tab and then placing a check next to Recently used file list and selecting the number of entries (maximum of nine).

My undocumented way is much more powerful. It can open an unlimited number of recently used files no matter where you happen to be in the computer. Unlimited may be an exaggeration: I haven't had the patience to test the upper limit, except to say it's more than 50. And for real convenience, you have only to be on the desktop--not even in an application--to access this recently opened file shortcut. Also, I know it works in Office XP, but I'm not sure whether it works in earlier versions of Office.

Here's how to set it up: In any vacant space on your desktop, right-click and then click on New and Shortcut. In the space under Type the location of the item, type E:\\Documents and Settings\your user name\recent.

My user name is Stanley Zarowin, so the location in this case would look like this (see screenshot at right):

Then crick on Next and type a name for the shortcut--such as Recent Files. Now click on Finish.

If you want to customize an icon for the shortcut, right-click on the Recent Files icon, then on Properties and Change Icon and click on the icon of your choice and follow the screen directions.

BE ALERT TO E-MAIL DANGERS

Q. When sending an e-mail to a lot of people, many of whom don't know each other, I thought I was so clever when I addressed them as blind copies (Bcc). That way, I figured, when the e-mails arrived, all those Bcc addresses wouldn't be in the To or Cc address line. I thought that was a great idea until I ran into this problem: One of my e-mail recipients replied to my message, but instead of clicking on Reply, she clicked on Reply to All. As a result all my Bee recipients got the reply with all the names and addresses that I had tried to hide. To make matters worse, the message in the reply was sensitive, and everyone got to see it. So how do I send messages to people, safely keep their addresses hidden and not risk having a recipient seeing a reply?

A. That's a good question, and quite frankly, I don't have an answer. If anyone does have a practical solution--other than to send all sensitive messages individually using To or Forward instead of Bcc--please send it to me at zarowin@mindspring.com and I'll share the solutions in a future column.

CREATE A MULTIPLE-SIGNATURES OPTION IN OUTLOOK

If you've had trouble creating the multiple-signature option in Outlook (March 2004, page 75), it's not your fault--a paragraph was accidentally dropped from that column.

Here's how to achieve that option: In Outlook's Mail tab, click on Tools, Options and the Mail Format tab. Click on Signatures at the bottom of the screen, producing this:

Then click on New and follow the screen instructions. As you'll see, you can create multiple signatures--from nicknames to a formal signature with your professional affiliation. You also can establish different default signatures for original e-mails you send and for replies or messages you forward. And by right-clicking on your automated signature that appears at the bottom of your outgoing e-mail screen, yon have the option of using any of the signatures you composed. For example, my default signature is Stanley Zarowin, but by right clicking on my name I can change it to any of my other options (see screenshot at right).

If you want your signature to appear in any font other than the style of your e-mail text, you must prepare for that by commanding Outlook (Tools, Options, Mail Format tab) to Compose in this message format: Rich Text (see screenshot below).

Shortcuts

* Excel: Ctrl+' copies the formula in the cell above the highlighted cell.

* Excel: Ctrl+" copies the value in the cell above the highlighted cell.

* Excel: Ctrl+D copies the cell directly above the highlighted cell (fills down).

* Excel: Ctrl+R copies the cells just to the left of the highlighted cell (fills right).

* Word: Ctrl+Delete removes text from the insertion point to the end of the next word. So if you want to delete four words to the right, press Ctrl+Delete four times. Ctrl+Backspace deletes words to the left of the insertion point.

* Word: Shift+F5 puts yon at the last place you edited before you closed the document.

STANLEY ZAROWIN is a freelance writer in Zionsville, Indiana. Mr. Zarowin retired from the JofA in 2003. His e-mail address is zarowin@mindspring.com.

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to contributing editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at zarowin@mindspring.com or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy, 201 Plaza Three, Harborside Financial Center, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.

Because of the volume of mail, we regret we cannot individually answer submitted questions. However, if a reader's question has broad interest, we will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

On occasion you may find you cannot implement a function I described in this column. More often than not it's because not all functions work in every operating system or application. I try to test everything in the 2000 and XP editions of Windows and Office. It's virtually impossible to test them in all editions and it's equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a function. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Thanks to the following people for suggestions on this topic: Mark Friedman, CPA, of the University of Miami; Jeff Lenning of Click Consulting; Paul Goldwater oft he University of Central Florida, Orlando; Jacob M. Rose of Montana State University, Bozeman; Mark G. Simkin, CPA, of the University of Nevada, Reno; and Theo Callahan of I Get It! Development, Los Gatos, California.
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Article Details
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Author:Zarowin, Stanley
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:2012
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