Seven Excel Tricks You Need To Start Using

By Alan Henry of lifehacker.com

 

 

WIT: Silicon Valley poll: Women face daunting roadblocks in male-dominated tech

Pay gaps, harassment and a restroom three floors down.

By Katy Murphy of BayAreaNews

Women in the Bay Area’s male-dominated tech world have a strikingly dimmer view of gender equality at work than women in other sectors, according to a new poll that offers the deepest look to date at local employees’ attitudes on pay parity, workplace opportunity and sexual harassment.

In an industry whose sexist reputation is dramatized in court cases and parodied in situation comedies, women in tech say the obstacles they face are all too real: Half of those polled said they feel women have fewer opportunities for advancement at their current workplaces than men, and 43 percent said they are paid less. In contrast, fewer than one-third of Bay Area women outside of tech felt held back or underpaid because of their gender.

Months after the #MeToo movement began to topple power brokers from Hollywood to Congress, the poll found that women in tech were far more likely than women elsewhere to say they had been subjected to unwelcome sexual advances or harassment at work, with more than 4 in 10 saying they had been harassed at their current jobs. Despite those experiences, women in tech, like two-thirds of all respondents, believe the national reckoning will bring lasting change.

The findings of the poll, conducted for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and this news organization, point to the roadblocks, both glaring and subtle, that gender researchers say still await many women at work — particularly in tech, one of the most dynamic and lucrative slices of the economy.

Women remain so vastly outnumbered in this notoriously male-centric industry that writer Emily Chang called it a “Brotopia” in her new book about Silicon Valley. And the string of recent grievances relating to tech’s treatment of women runs from Susan Fowler’s viral account last year of the sexism and harassment she experienced as an engineer at Uber to the uproar over the case of fired Google engineer James Damore, who wrote a memo suggesting biological differences might partly explain the lack of women in tech.

“Women leave the tech industry not necessarily because there wasn’t good maternity leave or flexible work schedules,” said Gwen K. Young, who directs the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. “They say it’s the culture and the way men treat them.”

Alicia Lent, a 24-year-old engineer in the semiconductor industry, will never forget the day she went to teach a class in a sprawling factory and asked where the restroom was.

“They said, ‘Oh yeah, the closest women’s bathroom is three stories down,’ because they converted the women’s bathroom to a men’s bathroom,” she said. “They said there’s not enough women to justify a women’s bathroom on every floor.”

Lent felt being a computer science major in college — where she was sometimes the only woman in the class — not only imparted technical know-how, she said, it helped her “bulk up” for the reality of the workforce, where today she is one of two women on a team of 12 people, a job she enjoys. When working in pairs in college, she said, “I felt like I had to do good or no one would trust a woman as a lab partner again.”

Researchers say such experiences are typical in male-dominated departments and industries such as tech. The share of women earning undergraduate degrees in computer science fell dramatically after the 1980s and has since held steady at around 20 percent, a worrisome figure for those pushing for gender parity in the industry.

Stanford and UC Berkeley have begun to reverse the trend on their campuses, in part by making introductory computer science courses accessible to those with no previous programming experience. John DeNero, an assistant teaching professor who helped develop the new courses at UC Berkeley, said he is encouraged by how easily the female graduates he knows are landing entry-level jobs in tech.
When they go out to look for work, he said, “They are highly sought after.”
But mid-career women often encounter stagnation, researchers say.

national study of female scientists and engineers led by UC Hastings law school professor Joan C. Williams suggested that bias pushed women out of the STEM workforce, with two-thirds of women saying they were required to prove themselves repeatedly and the same share having their commitment and competence questioned after having children. Nearly half of the black and Latina women in the study said they had been mistaken for administrative or custodial employees.

Of Fortune 500’s 20 biggest Bay Area tech companies ranked by revenue, just one — Oracle — has a woman in charge: Safra Catz, who shares the title of CEO with Mark Hurd. Last week , the prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz hired its first-ever female general partner, former federal prosecutor and cryptocurrency expert Katie Haun.

Danielle Rhinehart, 35, of San Jose, has held an array of jobs in tech, from office manager to entertainment coordinator. She says she would love to do something more creative but has sometimes felt pigeon-holed — a circumstance she isn’t sure whether to attribute to her gender or to a narrow view of the type of administrative positions through which women often start at major tech companies.

“The more I talk to other women in this industry and others, just professional working women,” she said, “that’s the theme I hear — getting stuck in an administrative role, not being able to be seen as something more.”

The new poll also highlights a disconnect between the sexes over the perception of gender inequality. Just 26 percent of men in tech polled said they thought women lacked the same opportunities for advancement as men in their current workplaces, compared to 50 percent of women in the same sector.

Overall, 35 percent of women and 24 percent of men polled believed women had fewer opportunities where they work than men, findings in line with a recent national survey.

“I don’t think there’s companies right now that are going deliberately out of their way to make sure a girl doesn’t get the job strictly because she’s a girl,” said Rohit Basu, a 21-year-old economics major from Brentwood who is doing a data analytics internship at a local company this summer. “I think it comes down to the skills you have.”

Anthony Defreitas, a 33-year-old software engineer from San Mateo whose team of 20 includes five women, said he believes women at the places he has worked have been treated fairly. He said he hadn’t heard otherwise or witnessed overt discrimination. Still, he thinks companies like his might approach problem-solving differently with more women at the table.

“It’s not uncommon for there to be only one or two women in a room of about a dozen people,” Defreitas said. “I’ve thought at times, ‘If I were the only guy in this meeting, how would I feel?’ ”

Gender equity experts say it is important for managers to listen to the experiences of women and other minority groups at work and to take a closer look at policies — such as job descriptions, performance reviews and task assignments — they might mistakenly assume to be objective.

“Sometimes they’re just shocked. They didn’t realize all of that was going on,” said Catherine Ashcraft, director of research at the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which works with Google, Apple, Intel and other leading tech firms on diversity initiatives.

The poll did find an overwhelming belief — among tech workers and those in other fields — that the changes propelled by the #MeToo movement are here to stay. About two-thirds of those surveyed, including 71 percent of women under 40, predicted the recent attention to the problem of sexual harassment would bring lasting change, slightly higher than the findings of a similarly worded national poll earlier this year.

Kimberly Chun, a journalist-turned-user-experience writer in her late 40s who lives in Alameda, is hopeful. #MeToo seems to be re-shaping the public’s perceptions of harassment, she said, by shining a light on “outrageous allegations of bad behavior” and encouraging people to share their experiences and outrage on social media.

Chun described a flurry of impromptu conversations about sexual harassment and gender discrimination at work after the movement exploded last fall, with a push to create changes in the office. It was energizing, she said. But, she noted, “I don’t see more female vice presidents or leaders at my company.”

Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, said the poll’s finding about the lasting impact of the #MeToo movement was heartening, but only to a point.

“We have to build on that optimism with specific goals and a plan to get there,” he said, “and whether it’s a for-profit company or a nonprofit like ours, we can’t just pretend or hope or be optimistic that it will get better.”

Do you feel any progress has been made with gender equality in the Tech Sector? Sound off in the comments below!

Weekly Round Up 4/20/18

 

To echo yesterday’s article, Apple should start it’s own school…
The Classroom of Tomorrow Takes its Cues From Tech Startups

To be honest, AR freaks me out. I had to stop watching WestWorld for just that reason.
Tribeca Film Festival has everything a geek could wish for

 


I’m starting to sense a theme with these festivals…

How 3 Brands Brought Tech to Life at Coachella

 

And Apple’s gonna spend the next 5 years playing catch up…
Tech’s Hollywood Takeover: Amazon Reboots ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘E.T.’ Studio

Finally, some good news about tech this week…
What’s tech got to do with political activism? Everything.

 

Can’t wait to see what Comey’s Memos say about this…
Facebook, Microsoft, and other tech companies pledge to never help governments launch cyberattacks

 

Can they not go one day without being in effin’ the news?!
Facebook Really Wants to Bring Back Its Face-Scanning Tech in Europe. Problem Is, It Might Be Illegal.

 

I did!
How To Get A Career In Tech Without A Technical Degree

Weekly Round Up 3/9/18

 

 

At least they’re consistent.
Trump’s science and tech report focuses on deregulation

That’s because they have us beat in every other race.
The New U.S.-China Rivalry: A Technology Race


I’m gonna file this on under “DUH!”

Too Much Tech and Secrecy, Not Enough Leadership. Discuss.

 

Somewhere, there is a Russian troll reading this and thinking, “Please let Microsoft win! Please let Microsoft win!”
Pentagon kicks off a winner-take-all among tech companies for multibillion-dollar cloud-computing contract

 


See above…

Google tech used by Pentagon ‘to analyse drone videos’

 


Boy, this guy just doesn’t get it…

FBI chief asks tech industry to build crytpo-busting not-a-backdoor

Why can’t they use tech to make pizza that doesn’t suck?
How Domino’s is using tech to woo Millennials and beat rival Pizza Hut

 

Don’t laugh, it could easily be another story about tech addiction…
If You’re Reading This on Your Phone, You Probably Have Tech Neck

Weekly Round Up 2/16/18

 

Because plastic surgery and Witness Protection are no longer enough…
Israeli tech firm undercuts facial recognition to bolster privacy.

Swipe left.
This Valentine’s Day, Considering Tech That Keeps Couples Together.

 

It’s nice to see at least one industry embracing diversity.
The Founders Bringing Sex Tech to the Masses

 

Um, they shouldn’t have to prove anything…
Anne-Marie Imafidon: Stemettes prove that girls can flourish in tech and science.

 

Imagine that! New jobs being created that aren’t even related to coal!
Rise of the data protection officer, the hottest tech ticket in town

 

Because they can’t seem to figure out how to hire more women themselves?!
IBM and Microsoft battle over top workplace diversity exec

 

Of course we did.
How Women and Tech Took Over Porn: Inside the 2018 AVNs

 

This coming from the guy who made his millions from a piece of stolen software…
Bill Gates: It’s ‘scary to me’ that technology can empower small groups to do great harm.

 

App of the Week: Microsoft Office for Mac

Check Out All the Differences in Microsoft Office for Mac

By Alexander Fox of Apple Gazette

The first time I realized that there were differences in Microsoft Office for Mac, I was waist-deep in a complicated Excel table. I knew that there must be some clever way to solve my data dilemma, so I Googled a solution. And I found one, right away! Only to discover that, mystifyingly, the tool I needed simply didn’t exist. I had the right version of Excel, and the tool wasn’t just somewhere else. That’s when I first found the differences in Microsoft Office for Mac. Turns out that there are many disappointing differences in Microsoft Office for Mac when compared to Microsoft Office for Windows.

Unavailable Applications

There are a number of office applications that you simply won’t find on the macOS version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Publisher: This desktop publishing app aimed at beginners isn’t a major loss for Mac users. There’s plenty of other apps that can do the job, from something as simple as Pages to something more complex like InDesign. And there’s plenty in between: one thing the Mac doesn’t lack is creativity software.

Microsoft Access: this database management tool is a much more useful application. It’s often used to take the place of unwieldy Excel databases. While it’s not the best version of the software available, it does come with Office, making it an attractive addition to the normal productivity suite. Unfortunately, Mac users won’t have access to this application.

Differences in Microsoft Office for Mac

 

Here’s a list of the major features you won’t find in Microsoft Office for Mac. It’s not guaranteed to cover everything, but it should hit in the highlights.

Office Suite

There’s some stuff missing from all parts of the Microsoft Office for Mac suite.

Visual Basic: This proprietary programming language is available on the Mac. However, some functions are missing, and the implementation is not as fully-featured as the Windows version. Code that works in Windows might not work in macOS. And it’s generally harder to write and execute.

SharePoint Support: SharePoint is used for sharing files and distributing data in corporate environments. Office for Mac does include support for SharePoint, but some features are missing.

Accessibility Checker: checks your document for formatting or content that might make it difficult to read for users with disabilities. If you have government-mandated reporting styles, or your organization cares about accessibility, this can be a great help.

Office Roaming: Windows users can connect to a streaming copy of Office on a PC for temporary use.

Right-to-left Language Support: Hebrew and Arabic text direction is not supported.

ActiveX: you might be most familiar with these macro-style document plugins as security risks. They also allow for significant programming within the Office environment.

Document Inspector: Scans for hidden data and personal data in documents, helping you stay safe when sharing files.

Word

 

Embed Fonts: When sharing documents on Word for Windows, you can embed custom fonts to display with your document. macOS users instead must save out PDFs, which don’t allow users to easily edit them.

Booklet Printing: Printing for booklet binding is not available in Office for Mac.

Open and Repair: Office for Mac can try to open damaged files, but it won’t do as much to fix them as Windows’ Open and Repair.

Built-in Screenshots: Word for Windows includes a built-in screenshot tool, which can automatically take screenshots and insert them in to your document. macOS has a pretty powerful screenshot tool that can help make up the difference, however.

Smart Lookup: This tool search through Bing for the selected text. Useful for quickly defining a term or acronym you’re not familiar with, but hardly essential.

Digital Ink: this digital drawing and annotation tool won’t be found on the Mac version of Word.

Excel

PivotCharts: these charts work with PivotTables, visualizing information created by your new layouts to reveal patterns. While some of this functionality can be captured manually, the automated features of PivotCharts won’t be available.

PowerPivot: this ultra-powerful add-in version of PivotTables isn’t available on the Mac.

Built-in Database Connectivity: Mac Excel cannot sync with data from external databases. Some data can be imported from external sources, but updated sync is not possible.

Customized shortcuts: You can’t assign your own keyboard shortcuts in Excel for Mac. All the modifiers are different too, so your muscle memory is probably shot.

Outlook

Outlook users might have a problem that’s more annoying that missing features. The email and calendar app is not super compatible with iCloud calendar, especially not when it comes to the iPhone and Windows machines. So if you’re a big iCloud user, you might look elsewhere.

Google Security: Outlook for Mac is not as secure as its Window’s counterpart when it comes to Gmail addresses. You’ll need to explicitly permit less secure apps to get Outlook to interface with your Gmail address. This is not so for the Windows version.

Email editing and exporting: tables in email and composing emails in Word are both excluded. “Save As…” for emails is also not present.

Exchange: In general Exchange is supported, but certain features like managing distribution lists or supporting all Exchange Server versions are not.

Voting Buttons: not available in the Mac version

Social Connector: likewise, not available in any Mac version of Outlook

A Solution?

These missing features will almost certainly not be added to Office for Mac in the future. If you absolutely require the missing features, you can install Parallels to run the more complete version of Office or install Boot Camp on your Mac. Just keep in mind that single-license users can only install the suite on one machine. Multi-license users could install Office on both Windows and macOS. But pure cross-compatibility seems to be out of the question for now.

You might also like the following posts:

Microsoft, Apple and Burying the Hatchet

Why Apple’s Productivity Apps Should Replace Microsoft Office for Mac Users

 

What’s your preference? Microsoft’s Office suite or Apple’s iWork suite? Sound off in the comments below!

WIT: Mixing friendship and business: What women in tech can do better

 

by Monica Harrington for GeekWire

I joined Microsoft 30 years ago, worked there 11 years, was CMO for two successful companies and one that wasn’t, and then quit tech to focus on reproductive health. I did that for many years, and had some impact as an advocate and elected official (and was named a Woman of Courage by the University of Washington in 2016 for my efforts). But now I’m returning to tech.
Why?

Because at heart, I’m a geek and I miss it. Through high school, my math scores were always higher than my language scores and despite the fact that I got no encouragement to go into a technical field, I somehow wandered in a side door, built a career in tech, and I miss it.

I also think we need more senior women like myself in tech. The numbers tell the story. During my early years in tech, women held 35 percent of computing jobs; by 2013, women held only 26 percent. We’re missing senior level women, we’re missing women mentors, and we’re missing young women who see a future for themselves in tech.
The situation’s bad and getting worse and it didn’t need to be this way.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, when I was working at Microsoft at a pretty junior level, I built friendships with a group of soon-to-be high-powered women who were capable of doing insane, wonderful things in tech. (I also worked with a lot of terrific men, but that’s a different column.). As we took on more senior roles, our friendships flourished, but we often kept those friendships under the radar.

Now that we’re in our 50s, none of my closest circle of ten women friends from that era are still in tech. OK, one is, kind of. In fact, she sits on the board of one of Seattle’s most important tech companies. That’s pretty powerful. But her day job is spent running a nonprofit. Another sits on the board of Berkshire Hathaway (apparently, Warren thinks she’s very smart), but again, not really a tech role.

Meanwhile, many of the men I know from that era are engaged in venture capital, starting new businesses, mentoring startups, and generally staying engaged in tech.

A recent Pew survey suggests why that happens:

Basically, women in tech have it tough. It’s hard to be tough and assertive in a mixed crowd without triggering the “bitch” reaction. We’re also super sensitive about mixing friendship and business.

If you want to be taken seriously in a male-dominated field (as I was, and as many of my female colleagues were), it can be hard to let down your guard and relax into your strengths, especially if those strengths are perceived as feminine. A strength

I’ve come to recognize in many of the women I’ve come to know and admire is how to be a good and dear friend while also adhering to high standards of ethics and excellence in the workplace.

“I believe women are too often reluctant to promote the women they’ve met in business because when we become friends with women we like and admire, we then feel compromised about mixing that friendship with business.”

I don’t think women need to act like men to be successful. But I do think women need to act more like men to help other women be more successful. What I am painfully aware of is that men are better at connecting in business and promoting qualified friends. They don’t suffer the same qualms about mixing friendship and business.

When you’re building companies, it’s super helpful to draw on the talents of people you both like and respect. And often, that means drawing on the talents of friends.

I believe women are too often reluctant to promote the women they’ve met in business because when we become friends with women we like and admire, we then feel compromised about mixing that friendship with business. Too often, women won’t put forth another woman friend for an opportunity unless she’s the most qualified person on the planet. Meanwhile, the men aren’t worried about that and they promote opportunities regularly to their friends as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.

Recommending people throughout your network is the lifeblood of an effective venture capitalist.

In my return to tech, I’m committed to assertively mixing friendship and business, and to helping friends I’ve met in business – women and men – who are great at what they do, be part of what it is I’m doing.

If I got to know you at work, and I found you to be smart, innovative, reliable, and just generally a kickass person to be around, I don’t want to hold it against you professionally that we became friends. We all need to embrace the fact that many of the same qualities that make for a great friendship also make for great business relationships.

And to my men friends from several decades of a life in tech, thanks for setting an example of how you treat your friends.

Some of my best work experiences have come about because you had no qualms about recommending me despite that fact that somewhere along the road we became good friends.

Monica Harrington is a startup veteran (Valve, Picnik), women’s health advocate, and now CMO of Exro Technologies.

What do you think of her recommendations for women in technology? Tell us in the comments below?

App of the Week: One Drive

OneDrive for iOS Updated With Redesigned Interface, Drag and Drop, and FilesApp Support

 

By Tim Hardwick of MacRumors

Microsoft released an update to its OneDrive app on Tuesday that adds support for the Files app in iOS 11 and brings a host of other new features many of which are responses to user feedback.

To begin with, the interface has been overhauled to make better use of screen space and make filenames easier to read, while an ellipsis button next to each item brings up a new contextual options menu, so users no longer need to long-press a file to take actions.

 

More generally, thumbnail images have been made larger, shared files are now easier to spot, and the multi-column list view on iPad has been redesigned to be less cluttered and give items and filenames more room to breathe. Another welcome enhancement in version 10.1 is expanded preview support for over 130 file types, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, RAW, 3D objects, high-precision DICOM, TIFF files, iWork Files, Java/C/Swift, and many more.

In addition, OneDrive now supports drag and drop, enabling users to drag files to emails and move them between open tabs on iPhone and iPad. Several iPhone X UI fixes are also in evidence, with the interface now displaying properly in landscape orientation, while a number of annoying bugs have been fixed, including one that made search results vanish whenever a file was opened.

OneDrive is a free download for iPhone and iPad available from the App Store.

How do you feel about running Microsoft Apps on iOS? Sound off in the comments below!

How to: create a full system backup in Windows 10.

It’s an oldie but goodie: Creating a system image of your Windows 10 PC in case your hard drive goes belly up and you need to recover your files, settings and apps.

BY Matt Elliott of CNet

It’s been around since Windows 7 ($22.95 at Amazon.com), and Microsoft hasn’t touched it since. You won’t find it in the Settings app where you likely first turn when you need to perform a bit of system maintenance on your PC. Instead, it’s hiding out in the the old Windows Control Panel. What it is is the ability to create a full system backup, which you can use to restore your PC should it fail, become corrupted or otherwise stop operating smoothly.

Because the tool to create a system image is somewhat buried in Windows 10 ($149.00 at Amazon.com), let’s shine a light on where it’s located and how to use it.

Steps to create a backup system image

1. Open the Control Panel (easiest way is to search for it or ask Cortana).
2. Click System and Security
3. Click Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

4. Click Create a system image in the left panel
5. You have options for where you want to save the backup image: external hard drive or DVDs. I suggest the former, even if your computer has a DVD-RW drive, so connect your external drive to your PC, select On a hard disk and click Next.

 

 

6. Click the Start backup button.

 

After the system image is created, you’ll be asked if you want to create a system repair disc. This puts your image on a CD or DVD, which you can use to access the system image you created if your PC won’t boot. Don’t worry if your laptop doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive; you can skip this step and boot the system from the system image on your external hard drive.


How do you back up your computer(s)? Tell us about it in the comments below!

How to: Master Microsoft Word

 

 

By Thorin Klosowski of Lifehacker

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

Get Up and Running with Word Quickly

 

Of all of the Microsoft Office programs, Microsoft Word is probably the simplest from a user interface perspective. If you’ve ever used a word processing program in your life, you’ll recognize the menus for opening and creating files in the top left corner. The larger menu that runs across the top of the document Microsoft refers to as the “ribbon.” The ribbon has all the formatting tools you’ll need, as well as a few contextual commands that change depending on which tab you’re on.

For this series, we’ll assume you know the basics, but if you want a refresher, Microsoft’s quick start guide for Word gets you through the basics.

How to Do the Most Common, Essential Tasks in Microsoft Word

Of course, everyone’s needs are a little different, but considering most people use Office in an office setting, we’re willing to bet you’ll need to do things like edit styles, compare two documents, prepare a table of contents, and more.Let’s go ahead and cover some of those common tasks.

How to Apply and Edit Styles

A style in Word is a preset formatting for your document. This is what the document looks like, so it includes the font, font size, paragraph style, and so on. Creating or changing a style makes it possible to alter the look of a document all at once so you don’t need to go through and highlight individual sections and make specific changes. You can do things like set a universal heading style,or change what the default bulleted list looks like.

For example, if you’re working on a book, you might get a list of style guidelines from a publisher. Or if you’re working on weekly interoffice memos, a style is an easy to way to create a format guideline so every one you make looks the same way every time. Plus, you get the flexibility to change styles at any time, so if one department likes their memos one way, but your boss prefers a different style, you don’t have to change a bunch of formatting every time you open a new document.

To apply a style, make sure you’re on the Home tab, select a block of text in a document that you want to alter, and then click the Style menu in the ribbon. For example, if you want to make a heading in the middle of a block of text, you’d select the text you want as a heading, then click Styles > Heading 1. It’s as easy as that.

Making your own specific styles is pretty easy too. This is useful when you’re writing something consistently, like a newsletter or a book, and want a specific set of rules you can easily apply to a document as a whole. For example, you might want to change the font size of the default heading option, or change how creating a list works. Here’s how to do it:
From the Home tab, click on Styles Pane.
Click New Style or select the style you’d like to edit.
You’ll get a pop up window to edit a number of parameters here
including type, basis, and formatting.
Click through the options you want to change.

If you’re confused about what each term means, don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward. Paragraph styles determine the look of the text on a paragraph level.

When you apply this style, it’ll change the whole paragraph. Character styles determine the look on a character level, so you can make one word stand out. Table styles alter the look of tables, like the header row or how the grid lines work. Finally, list styles alter the look of a list, such as bulleted lists or a number scheme.

How to Add a Table of Contents to the Beginning of a Document

 

If you’re working with a big document, a table of contents adds quick navigation. Thankfully, creating a table of contents in Word is easy and it’ll update itself automatically as you add more to the document.

Word’s automatic table of contents generator takes each heading you add to a document, and then creates the table of contents based on that. If you plan on creating a table of contents, make sure you style each of your section titles with a heading.
Click an empty paragraph where you want to insert the table of contents.
Click the References tab.
Click Table of Contents and then select the appearance you want to use.

That’s it. Word automatically updates that table of contents any time you add or alter a header.

How to Compare and Merge Two Documents

If you have two versions of a document, whether it’s because someone did edits in their own copy, a cloud backup failed, or if you’re just trying to hash out what exactly changed between two versions of the same thing, you’ll need to use the compare and combine functions.

If you just want to see what changes exist between two documents, you can compare them. Here’s how to compare two documents:

Open one of the two documents you want to compare.
Click Tools > Track Changes > Compare Documents.
Pick your original document and revised document files.

Type in a name under “Label changes with” text field so you can tell the difference between the two documents. This way, Word will add a note telling you where each change comes from.

Combining a document works the same way, but the end result is a single document that merges the contents of both documents together so everything that’s the same is overwritten:

Open one of the two documents you want to combine.
Click Tools > Merge Documents.
Pick your original document and revised document files.

When the documents are merged, the differences between the two are highlighted. From here, you can go in and pick what you want to keep in the final version.

How to Format a Document Properly with Tab Stops and Indents

If you’re the type who formats a document by pressing spacebar or tab a bunch of times, it’s time to learn how to do it the right way: Using indents and tab stops. The video above shows off how tabs and indents work so it’s easy to understand, but let’s just sum up what the two terms actually mean.

Tab stops: A tab stop is the location a cursor stops after the tab key is pressed. In Word, it’s a way to easily align text. When you click the ruler in Word, a tab stop appears as a little curved arrow. When you tap the tab key, the cursor and text will jump to that arrow. If you add in multiple tab stops, you can make it so you can format text by simply tapping the tab key a couple of times to get it in place and perfectly lined up.

Indents:
As the name suggests, indents determine the distance of the paragraph from the left or right margin. On the ruler, you’ll see two triangles that adjust the indentation. You can click either triangle and move it to change the indentation. The top triangle adjusts the indentation of the first line of a paragraph. The bottom triangle adjusts the indentation for subsequent lines (aka the hanging indent) in the paragraph. You can also click on the square below them to move both at the same time.
Learning how to use these indents and tab stops can make creating a document like a resume or academic paper a lot easier.

How to Add Citations and References

 

Academic papers are a beast to write, but Word makes creating bibliographies and citations super easy. Once you’ve created a new document and you’re writing that paper, you can add a citation with just a few clicks.

Click the Reference tab.
Click the Dropdown arrow next to Bibliography style and select the style
you’re using for that paper.
Click the end of a sentence or phrase where you want to add the citation.
Click Insert Citation. In the Create New Source box, enter in all the info you
need.

Once you enter a citation once, you can add additional citations from the same text by selecting a sentence, then clicking the Citations box and selecting the reference you want to insert. When you’re all done, click the Bibliography button and select either Bibliography or Works Cited to automatically generate the reference page for your paper.

The Best Features in Word 2016

Word 2016 is a word processor—that means it doesn’t have to make giant, revolutionary leaps over its previous versions. However, Word 2016 does have a few improvements worth noting:

You can search the ribbon: In Windows, above the ribbon, you’ll see a “Tell me what you want to do” box. Here, you can type in any question you have and Word will tell you how to do it. For example, you can ask it how to insert a picture, how to format text in a specific way, or how to create lists. It’s basically a boring version of Clippy for the 21st century. For whatever reason, this isn’t included in the Mac version.
You can see collaborators edits in real time like in Google Docs: You’ve been able to work on Word documents as a team for a while, but Word 2016 adds in live edits, so you’ll see other people’s notes and updates instantly.
– Smart lookup makes research a little easier: Word is now a little more connected to the web than it used to be. In Word 2016, you can right-click a word, then select “Smart Lookup” from the menu to look up a word’s definition, the related Wikipedia article, and top search results from Bing.

Other than those minor improvements, if you’ve used older versions of Word you’ll be right at home in Word 2016 within minutes.

Work Faster in Word with These Keyboard Shortcuts

Microsoft has full lists of every keyboard shortcut in Word for Windows and Word for Mac that are worth bookmarking,, but let’srun through some of the big ones you’re likely to use every day, and a few specific to word that are really useful:

CTRL+N/CTRL+O/CTRL+S: Create, Open, and Save a document.
CTRL+X/CTRL+C/CTRL+V: Cut, Copy, Paste
CTRL+B/CTRL+I: Bold, Italic
CTRL+A: Select All
CTRL+Z: Undo
CTRL+K: Insert a hyperlink
CTRL+P: Print a document
CTRL+H: Open Find and Replace
Shift+F3: Toggle Capitalization options
CTRL+SHIFT+C: Copies the formatting for selected text so you can apply
it to another set of text with CTRL+Shift+V
CTRL+Shift+N: Applies the normal style to the selected text

Beyond that, Word supports universal text editing keyboard shortcuts like Shift+CTRL+Up/Down arrows to select whole paragraphs. These can make navigating and highlighting text a lot easier, and we’ve got a list of all of them here. If you use Word heavily, get to know these shortcuts, they will make your life better.

Additional Reading for Power Users

Word’s a big program and we can’t cover everything here. Here are a few more guides to help you push the boundaries of what Word’s capable of.

Six tips for better formatting: Formatting is a big deal in MS Word, and if you want to get better at skills like showing hidden characters, dealing with sections, and more, this post should help.
Select all text with the same formatting: This hidden little menu in the ribbon lets you select blocks of text based on its formatting.
Everything you need to know about collaboration: Collaboration is a big part of Word. From tracking changes to learning how to use markup, this post covers everything you need to know about working on documents as a group.
Create your own keyboard shortcuts: Word has a ton of keyboard shortcuts as it is, but if you want more, you can make your own.

Word might just look like a boring old text editor at a glance, but as you can see, it’s a lot more complex than most people give it credit for. Mastering it can take a long time, but once you have the basics and understand what’s possible in Word, you’ll be well on your way to being a Microsoft Word ninja.

What are your best practices for Microsoft Word? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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