Monthly Archives: August 2011

Successfully managing a team is a complex undertaking. Increase the odds of reaching your goals by doing the following three things:

  • Establish urgency. Team members need to believe they’re working on something that matters. And it needs to matter today, not at a nebulous point in the future. Be sure the team sees the potential fruits of its labor.
  • Set high standards. The higher the expectations the more likely the team will live up to its performance potential. Set ambitious goals and hold the team to them.
  • Start off on the right foot. Pay particular attention to first meetings and initial impressions. How a team starts its work together often sets the tone for future interactions.

Harvard Business Review – Management Tips of the Day

Surprisingly, basic safety is often ignored by people using the web to research information quickly and efficiently. If you use the Internet for research of any kind, you could be exposing yourself and your company to hidden dangers such as the unauthorized transfer of confidential information. And no one wants to be the person responsible for a companywide computer network shutdown.

Whatever your reason for using the web, there is a smart way to conduct research on it: with an alert eye and a vigilant approach. Use these four tips to help protect yourself and your company from prying eyes and malicious programs.

1. Update, update, update!

Microsoft continually provides enhancements and security updates to all its products, including Internet Explorer. No program is completely safe from harm but as threats are discovered, Microsoft makes fixes, upgrades, and service packs for its products available. To maintain the highest level of security on your computer, you or your IT department must make sure to apply all service packs.

Before you venture onto the web, make sure you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer. At the time of this writing, the latest version is Internet Explorer 8.0.7. To see what version you are using, follow these steps:

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Help menu, click About Internet Explorer. There are three items you should notice in the window that is displayed:
    • VersionInternet Explorer 8.0.7 is the latest version.
    • Cipher Strength: This is the level of encryption that the browser can support. If you are going to be sending any confidential information over the Internet, you must make sure the cipher strength is 128-bit. If it is less than this value, it will be possible for a hacker to crack the encryption code and view confidential information.
    • Update Versions: Keep your version updated to ensure the balance between security and functionality is correct.
    Use latest version of Internet ExplorerUse latest version of Internet Explorer
  2. Click OK to close the window.

If your browser needs updating, go to the Microsoft Update website, where you can download the latest version of Internet Explorer.

2. Get into the zone

By setting up Internet zones to meet your personal needs, your computer can help protect you as you surf the web. A zone is a logical region or grouping of websites, based on where they are physically located and how well you trust the source. These default zones are available in Internet Explorer 8.0.7:

  • Local Intranet — Websites located on your local network. These sites do not have to communicate over the Internet to be accessed.
  • Trusted Sites — A list of websites that you trust not to harm your computer, such as sites you have identified as properly encrypted.
  • Restricted Sites — A list of websites that are known or suspected to be harmful to your computer.
  • Internet — All other sites that don’t fall under the other three categories.

You can indicate how Internet Explorer should behave when it accesses a website within each of these zones. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab.

Internet zones can help protect you.Internet zones can help protect you

When you select a web content zone, you can change the security levels. For all but the Internet zone, you can add specific sites to a zone based on your personal requirements. And Custom Level allows you to enable or disable a variety of options based on personal preference. For example, you may want to allow automatic logons only to websites that are located in your Intranet zone instead of everywhere on the Internet. The User Authentication section of the Custom Level zone allows you to set that preference. Or, you may want to ensure your Pop-up Blocker is enabled. Custom Level is where you can ensure your security settings allow your blocker to operate.

Follow the prompts in the Internet Options dialog box in the zone you want to customize by either clicking Sites or Custom Level.

3. Limit your intake of cookies

Cookies are small files stored on your computer that contain information needed on certain websites. A cookie can be used to store user ID, password, preferences, personalization, or other information that is helpful to enhance your experience on that site. For example, suppose you visit a website that allows you to select a preferred language. So you don’t have to choose the language preference each time you enter the site, a text file on the site stores language preference directly on your computer as a file, or cookie.

Here’s the catch: you don’t know what the cookie has been programmed to collect. You don’t know if the cookie is malicious or not. If it’s malicious, you could quickly end up with a spiteful little program stored directly on your hard drive. A malicious cookie can collect and store almost any information that you may not want it to, such as your name, credit card information, address, or more. Cookies make it possible for unwanted information to be stored and accessed repeatedly when you visit a website.

By default in Internet Explorer, cookies are allowed for all zones except the Restricted Sites zone. However, if you want to limit cookies for a particular zone, here’s how you do it:

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Privacy tab.
  2. In the Settings section, move the slider up or down to adjust the settings.
    Select settings for Internet ZonesSelect settings for Internet Zones

    Moving the slider up incrementally increases the Internet security on your computer, so that cookies are not accepted. Moving the slider down incrementally decreases the security, so that cookies are accepted. Check with the IT department for your organization if you are not sure which settings are appropriate to use.

  3. Also in the Settings section, click Sites to explicitly set a cookie policy for individual websites. Here, you can specify which sites you want to allow or not allow to use cookies. Enter the desired website address in the Address of website text box. Click the Block button to block all cookies for the entered site, or the Allow button to allow all cookies for the entered site.
  4. Continue entering settings for each specific website for which you want to set a cookie policy.
  5. Click OK to return to the Internet Options dialog box. Click OK.

If you are concerned that you may already have cookies on your computer that contain personal information, you can delete cookies and other temporary Internet files by following these steps:

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected. (This is the default.)
  3. In the Temporary Internet files section, click the Delete button. You will be prompted for confirmation before continuing.
  4. The Temporary Internet files that you can delete are listed and selected for deletion by default, including Cookies. Clear the check box beside any temporary Internet file types that you do not want to delete.
  5. Click OK.
Delete Browsing HistoryDelete Browsing History

Get more information on privacy features in Internet Explorer 8.

4. Check for encryption before entering information on a site

While surfing the Internet is less dangerous than finding an abandoned bag in an airport, security should still be taken seriously. Encryption is a method that website owners use to help protect sensitive information, such as user names, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card numbers. If a website you visit does not use encryption, any sensitive information you place on it is easily accessible to hackers who want that information for unsavory purposes.

There are two ways to ensure you are viewing an encrypted site.

  • Make sure you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer as outlined in Tip 1 (“Update, update, update!”) above.
  • Make sure that a website uses encryption when you are entering or viewing sensitive information. There are two ways to see whether a site uses encryption. One is a small yellow “lock” icon on the status bar of Internet Explorer. The other is in the web address itself. If it begins with https:// (note the “s“), then the site is secure. If you ever visit a website without either of these encryption indicators, do not click a SubmitSave, or OK button, because sensitive information will be transmitted without being encrypted. 

    Source: Microsoft at Work

Why do we get so attached to another human being? The depression that follows the break-up of a relationship is considered by mental health professionals as a normal part of grieving. However, to those going through it, the pain can seem unbearable, and the accompanying behavior, embarrassing.

But when a relationship is no longer flowing — either because one partner wants out or for any other reason — it is time to release. The magic of releasing gracefully may actually bring the partner back. However, it doesn’t work to fake it. One must truly release without expectations for the future. And it is much easier to release than to go through the agony of holding on after it’s over.

Below are some guidelines for releasing when it’s necessary. They make it easier to let go and even expedite the process so you can be free to move on.

1. Allow yourself to cry and grieve without judgment. Embrace the tears. Even welcome them, because they are healing. Don’t fight your feelings of depression and sadness. Let them be, knowing that they will pass. Meanwhile, realize that the pain won’t kill you. By letting your grieving flow freely, you will recover quicker.

2. Surrender to the Divine moment-by-moment and day-by-day, especially during the hard times. Stop trying to make something happen with your ex. Trust that if you’re meant to be together, eventually it will be. But for now, you must release. There’s a magic in this. Each time you manage to surrender, putting your pain in God’s hands, you will be met by some unexpected good. I’ve seen this come in the form of a distraction, a visit from a caring friend or an inspirational email that lifts your spirits. This will build your trust. Understand that you are and will be taken care of, even in the midst of your sorrow. Watch for what shows up for you each day in the form of support and love.

3. One of the best methods of stopping obsessive thoughts about the other person is to focus instead on yourself and your own life. What we may look for in a lover is something we think is missing in our self, so it makes sense that attention to the self is what can actually fill this void. By turning your attention to yourself, you heal. Open to the Divine vision of yourself as a fulfilled, sacred being with an amazing life. Declare that it is time that you come into your own. Every time you slip into obsessing about your former partner, take steps toward realizing your potential. The goal in letting go is to eventually be neutral about the other person.

This means that you don’t waste time thinking about her, either with longing or with bitterness. Wish her well, but be too busy with your own life to waste much time on something that is now in the past.

4. When pain arises, embrace it but don’t feed it. There is a hilarious bit in the film Broadcast News, in which each morning, the television producer played by Holly Hunter spends a few minutes in her closed office bawling her eyes out. Then, she puts away the Kleenex and gets on with her day. This is not a bad approach to the sadness of release.

Yes, you must embrace and allow the pain, but there are times when you must put it on the back burner and get on with life (like at your job). Furthermore, you don’t want to become a drama queen (or king) in which you allow your life to become a tragedy of unrequited, doomed love. There is too much loving and living waiting for you. Notice ways in which you feed your pain.

Notice when you think of the person or your pain and how often. This alone will begin to dissolve the pattern. Say to yourself, “I’m thinking of him again.” Watch yourself do this as if you suddenly realize you’re sitting in a movie instead of being completely caught up in the movie. You will notice that the pain actually goes away as you dis-identify with it.

Start understanding that you are not your thoughts, and that you can instantly pull yourself out of mushrooming negative thoughts or pain. As you master this practice, you are living in the present and leaving your past in the past.

5. Forgive so you can be free. Whether you blame your ex-partner or another person for “breaking up” your relationship, hanging on to bitterness will not serve you. If you feel victimized, remember that you chose to stay in the relationship, ignoring the warning signs that were invariably there. Now, it’s time to move on, and that’s good. Be glad that you have finally seen the truth and can be open to something better. And don’t bother taking anything personally. Refrain from thinking there is something wrong with you.

6. Take the high road as a way of practicing self-love. Don’t name call. Don’t scream. Don’t act childishly. Don’t be petty. If you’re a parent, don’t put your children in the middle with little digs or get into a custody battle unless your children are truly in jeopardy. You may think vengeful thoughts but don’t act on them. You will respect yourself much more by being above this “small” behavior.

7. Do a formal release of your partner. It’s not necessary to do it face-to-face or over the phone. Write a letter that you don’t send or perform a ritual, releasing him to his highest good. Imagine the ties between the two of you — between your hearts, between your sexual organs, between your minds, between your souls – being cut. Then, say good-bye out loud and in your heart. This may be extremely painful, but you will feel much lighter afterward.

8. Don’t let your heart close. There is no such thing as a broken heart, only one that’s opening wider. A heart in pain is simply feeling love and loss fully. This means that it behooves you to embrace your grieving while continuing to be open to love in whatever way it appears in your life. A heart that remains open heals faster.

Time does help. So does meeting someone new or cutting off all contact with your ex. But it is also true that seeing your former partner regularly (if, for example, you work together) forces you into doing deeper internal expansion. If you have ever been in love before and gotten over it, you know you can do so again, even if this love has seemed like the greatest love you’ve ever known.

Rest assured that there will be much more love for you and that this ending is actually a new beginning in your life.

Author: Lilly Calandrello

Bullying in the workplace is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether
verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or  others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual‘s right to dignity at work.

Examples of behaviour that may constitute bullying are as follows:

  • Purposely undermining someone
  • Targeting individuals for special negative treatment
  • Manipulation of an individual‘s reputation
  • Social exclusion or isolation
  • Intimidation
  • Physical abuse or threats of abuse
  • Aggressive or obscene language
  • Jokes that are obviously offensive to one individual by spoken word or email
  • Intrusion by pestering, spying and stalking
  • Unreasonable assignments to duties which are obviously unfavourable to one individual
  • Repeated requests with impossible deadlines or impossible tasks

All employers have a responsibility, as far as is reasonably practical, to provide a workplace where accident, disease and impairment of physical and mental health are prevented. The (2005) Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act states that the employer’s duty includes in particular the provision of systems of work that are planned, organised, performed and maintained so as to be, as far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.

Where a bullying culture has been identified, employers must take reasonable measures to prevent incidents of bullying occurring and also when and if they do occur, prevent the risk of injury to the health of employees worsening by providing and implementing transparent and just anti bullying policies and procedures. Employees have a responsibility to ensure that they are not contributing to abullying culture and it is the duty of every employee to take reasonable care for his own safety, health and welfare and that of any other person who may be affected by his acts or omissions while at work.

Managers and supervisors have a particular responsibility to promote dignity in the workplace for all. They should be alert to the possibility of bullying behaviour and be familiar with the policies and procedures for dealing with allegations of bullying, as bullying has been identified as a workplace hazard.

Effects on the organisation

The tell tale signs of workplace bullying in any organised setting include:

  • Reduced efficiency
  • Reduced quality and quality control
  • Low morale among staff
  • Atmosphere of tension
  • High rates of absenteeism
  • Drop in productivity and profits
  • Depression
  • Increase in cases taken to court

There are now many studies quantifying the effects of workplace bullying on those people who experience workplace bullying (often-labeled victims). Researchers in workplace bullying generally describe many different health effects caused by workplace bullying. They include:

Psychological effects

  • Severe stress symptoms or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Mistakes and accidents at work
  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking and overeating

Physiological effects

  • Raised blood pressure and heart disease
  • Reduced resistance to infection
  • Stomach and bowel problems
  • Skin problems
  • Fear or anxiety or depression leading to suicide, and severe loss of confidence and selfesteem.

Behavioural Changes

  • Becoming aggressive
  • Becoming irritable
  • Becoming vengeful
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Obsessive dwelling on the aggressor
  • Becoming hypersensitive to criticism
  • Becoming emotionally drained

The impact of bullying is not confined to the person who is on the receiving end. Other workers are also affected. In international research, co-workers witnessing workplace bullying also experience bullying related consequences even though they were not themselves directly subjected to bullying actions.

People also report that their relationship with their partner or family worsened because of the bullying. Victims of bullying often report feelings of intense anxiety, shame and guilt. These feelings were in part due to their professional status and subsequent failure to deal with what was happening to them. Unfortunately, the symptoms of bullying tend to persist over long periods. Individuals who are bullied may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D) and/or Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder (P.D.S.D). The growing recognition that bullying at work is a cause of illhealth, absenteeism and even death makes it a Health & Safety issue.

Bullying and harassment cases are not often clear cut and sometimes people are unsure whether or not the way they are being treated is acceptable. If you are sure you are being bullied or harassed, then there are a number of options to consider, and these are set out below. You should take any action you decide upon as quickly as possible.

  • Let your union or staff representative know of the problem.
  • Try to talk to colleagues to find out if anyone else is suffering, or if anyone has witnessed what has happened to you – avoid being alone with the bully.
  • If you are reluctant to make a complaint, go to see someone with whom you feel comfortable to discuss the problem. This may be your manager, or someone in personnel (particularly if there is someone who specifically deals with equality issues), your trade union representative, or your Employee Assistance Service.
  • Keep a diary of all incidents – records of dates, times, any witnesses, your feelings, etc. Keep copies of anything that is relevant, for instance annual reports, letters, memos, notes of any meetings that relate to your ability to do your job. Bullying and harassment often reveal themselves through patterns of behaviour and frequency of incidents. Keep records and inform your employer of any medical help you seek.
  • Tell the person to stop whatever it is they are doing that is causing youdistress, otherwise they may be unaware of the effect of their actions. If you find it difficult to tell the person yourself, you may wish to get someone else – a colleague, or a trade union official – to act on your behalf.
  • If you cannot confront the bully, consider writing a memo to them to make it clear what it is you object to in their behaviour. Keep copies of this and any reply.
  • Be firm, not aggressive. Be positive and calm. Stick to the facts. Describe what happened.
  • If you do decide to make a formal complaint, follow your employer’s procedures, which should give you information about whom to complain to and how your complaint will be dealt with.
  • Writing the complaint will seem a daunting task, especially if you are afraid of confrontation, or suffering from depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Keep the following in mind when drafting your complaint:

– keep it factual; do not try to guess the bully’s motives or ascribe intentto any actions
(that is up to the investigators);
– don’t use insulting language
– don’t generalise
– don’t use absolutes (e.g. “he always” or “he never”) because one exception breaks
the rule; use rarely or often instead
– include as much as you can about your feelings (e.g. “I felt excluded /rejected” is
more effective than “he excluded / rejected me”).
– Ask someone you trust (a colleague, union rep, solicitor, friend,doctor, therapist) to
read your complaint – you are far too involved a) to read it with calm detachment; b)
be sure that it is complete and understandable by someone outside the workplace
situation; c) not too specific about trivialities.

  • Disciplinary procedures may also be used for disciplinary action against someone who makes an unfounded allegation of bullying or harassment.

Source: Vhi Healthcare

If you’re like most people, you’re always looking for ways to save time, even when using Microsoft Office software. Keyboard shortcuts could be your new best friend when it comes to time management.




Not everyone uses shortcut keys to save time, but some people find them easier to use than a mouse, especially when spending long stretches of time at the computer.

Ready-made Microsoft Office tools

If the thought of memorizing key combinations makes you wince, you can still save time and effort while working in all Office programs by using these built-in tools.

  • Shortcut menus. Right-click in any Microsoft Office program to display a shortcut menu that gives you quick access to many of the most commonly used features. If an arrow appears next to your selection, you can click to see more options. For example, right-clicking a Word document displays Paste OptionsLook Up,Synonyms, formatting, and other options.

No matter which Microsoft Office program you’re working in, right-clicking is one of the greatest shortcuts available.

  • KeyTips. Introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, KeyTips are built-in keyboard shortcuts available in all programs that have the Ribbon or the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar. In Office 2010, KeyTips are also available in the Backstage view. Press Alt to display a letter or number by each Ribbon tab or Quick Access Toolbar command. After you press a letter or number, you get new KeyTips letters and numbers to access each command in the location you selected.

Pressing Alt displays KeyTips that you can press to quickly access any command.

  • Quick Access Toolbar. Add the commands you use all the time to your Quick Access Toolbar in all Office programs that have the Ribbon. Just right-click almost any Ribbon command, and then click Add to Quick Access Toolbar. This is also a great way to create custom keyboard shortcuts for your favorite commands across all Office programs, since the KeyTips for your Quick Access Toolbar items remain the same as long as the command remains in the same position in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts on the Office Ribbon. You can even change shortcut key combinations or create new ones of your own. Here’s how to do it in the latest versions of Microsoft Office.

In Microsoft Office 2010:

In Microsoft Office 2007:

Whether you want to work more easily and efficiently in Internet Explorer, streamline your Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 experience, or key international characters into your email messages to Europe, you’ll find lots of shortcuts to help you. Here is a sampling of commonly used standard-keyboard shortcuts, many of which work across all Office programs—from Outlook toAccess and from Visio to PowerPoint. You can find a more complete list of built-inkeyboard shortcuts for a particular application by searching keyboard shortcutsin Help.

General keyboard shortcuts

To… Use this shortcut
Open Help Press F1.
Select all content in a document, window, or text box Press Ctrl+A.
Search for a file or folder Press F3. In Windows 7, you can also press the Windows logo key to open theStart menu and then type in the Searchbox.
Rename a file or folder Select the file or folder, press F2, and then retype the name.
Find out when the file or folder was created, by whom, and how big it is Select the file, and then press Alt+Enter.
Display the Start menu Press Ctrl+Esc. In Windows 7, you can also press the Windows logo key.
Scroll between open windows Press Alt+Tab, and then hold down Alt while pressing Tab to reach the desired file or program.
Undo an action Press Ctrl+Z.
Redo an action Press Ctrl+Y.
Check the spelling of titles or words in any Office application with the Spelling & Grammar checker Press F7.
Create a shortcut on your desktop to your favorite file or folder In Windows 7: Right-click the file or folder. On the shortcut menu, clickSend to, and then click Desktop (Create shortcut).

In Windows Vista: Right-click the file or folder. On the shortcut menu, clickCreate Shortcut. Drag the new shortcut to your desktop.

Capture a screen shot Press Alt+Print Screen, and then press Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste.
Lock the computer, switch users, log off the computer, change a password, start Task Manager In Windows 7, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
Lock the computer Press the Windows logo key+L.
Quit program Press Alt+F4.

Working with Microsoft Word

To… Use this shortcut
Select text Press Shift+Right Arrow, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, or Down Arrow to highlight text. To select one word at a time, press Shift+Ctrl+Arrow. To select to the end of the line, press Shift+End.
Copy selected text Press Ctrl+C.
Cut selected text Press Ctrl+X.
Paste selected text Press Ctrl+V.
Bold text Press Ctrl+B.
Search for text in a document Press Ctrl+F.
Find and replace text in a document Press Ctrl+H.
Got to a page, line, or bookmark in a document Press Ctrl+G.
Italicize text Press Ctrl+I.
Underline text Press Ctrl+U.
Subscript text Press Ctrl+equal sign (=).
Superscript text Press Ctrl+plus sign (+).
Center text Press Ctrl+E.
Align text left Press Ctrl+L.
Align text right Press Ctrl+R.
Justify text Press Ctrl+J.
Decrease the font size Press Ctrl+Shift+less than sign (<). If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also press Ctrl and scroll down.
Increase the font size Press Ctrl+Shift+greater than sign (>). If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also press Ctrl and scroll up.
Change the font Press CTRL+SHIFT+F, and then use the arrow keys to reach the new font.
Change font size Press Ctrl+Shift+P, and then use the arrow keys to reach the new font size. If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can also press Ctrl and scroll up or down.
Create a page break Press Ctrl+Enter.
Create a new document Press Ctrl+N.
Open the My Documents window Press Ctrl+O.
Close a document Press Ctrl+W.
Save a document Press Ctrl+S.
Print a document Press CTRL+P.
Preview what you’re about to print Press ALT+Ctrl+I. In Windows 7, this keyboard shortcut opens the integrated Print and Preview window, which you can also access by pressing Ctrl+P.
Resize a shape (Office 2010) Select the shape, and then press Shift+Arrow.
Rotate a shape (Office 2010) Select the shape, and then hold the Alt key while you press the Left Arrow key or the Right Arrow key.

Accelerating Microsoft Excel

To… Use this shortcut
Open a new workbook Press Ctrl+N.
Move left to right, cell by cell Press Tab, or press the Right Arrow key.
Move right to left, cell by cell Press Shift+Tab, or press the Left Arrow key.
Move down, cell by cell Press Enter, or press the Down Arrow key.
Move up, cell by cell Press Shift+Enter, or press the Up Arrow key.
Move down or up to the last empty or non-empty cell Press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow or Up Arrow.
Move to the last empty or non-empty cell to the right or left Press Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow or Left Arrow.
Erase data in the current cell Press Backspace.
Insert a return within a cell Press Alt+Enter.
Return to the beginning of the row Press HOME.
Advance to the next worksheet Ctrl+Page Down
Go to the previous worksheet Ctrl+Page Up
Enter the date Press Ctrl+Semicolon (;).
Enter the time Press Ctrl+Shift+Colon (:).
Find out about the style within the cell Press Alt+Apostrophe (‘).
Display the Format Cells dialog box Press Ctrl+1.
Apply the general number format Press Ctrl+Shift+Tilde (~).
Apply the currency number format Press Ctrl+Shift+Dollar Sign ($).
Apply the percentage number format Press Ctrl+Shift+Percent (%).
Apply a border Press Ctrl+Shift+Ampersand (&).
Remove a border Press Ctrl+Shift+ underscore (_).
Hide the selected columns Press Ctrl+0 (zero).
Hide the selected rows Press Ctrl+9.
Unhide hidden rows within a selection Press Ctrl+Shift+opening parenthesis.

Find more Excel keyboard shortcuts at the MSDN blog.

Expediting Internet Explorer

To… Use this shortcut
Add sites to your Favorites
  1. Go to the site.
  2. Press Ctrl+D to add to your Favorites.
  3. Click Favorites, and then, to create a separate folder for the site or to add it to an already-formed list, click Add to Favorites.
Select a home page
  1. Go to the webpage that you would like to make your home page.
  2. Open the Tools menu, and selectInternet Options.
  3. Under Home page, on theGeneral tab, click Use Current.
Use the History function if you visit a few select sites constantly
  1. Press Ctrl+H to open the History pane.
  2. Select the site that you would like, right-click the site, and then selectAdd to Favorites.
Customize your toolbar to the tools you use most frequently
  1. Right-click the command bar.
  2. Point to Customize.
  3. Click Add or Remove Commands.
Go to your home page Press Alt+Home.
Switch between tabs Press Ctrl+Tab.
Move forward through the items on a webpage or the Address bar Press Tab.
Move back through the items on a webpage or the Address bar Press Shift+Tab.
Find on this page Press Ctrl+F.
Stop downloading a page Press Esc.
Use zoom on a webpage Increase zoom (+ 10%): Press Ctrl+plus sign (+).

Decrease zoom (- 10%): Press Ctrl+minus sign (-).

Increase to 100%: Press Ctrl+0.

Find more Internet Explorer 8 keyboard shortcuts.

For Outlook keyboard shortcuts, read the Outlook team blog.

Shortcuts aren’t limited to Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer, of course. Ample time savers are built into many popular Microsoft programs, including AccessVisio, andPowerPoint. For Outlook keyboard shortcuts, read the Outlook team blog.

Another convenient way to save time is to add and Microsoft Answers to your Favorites in Internet Explorer, so you’ll always have ready help nearby.

The more you use these tools and make Microsoft work for you, the more time you can save. Have fun exploring the options available to you!

Source: Microsoft at Work

Ever wonder how to create a good PowerPoint presentation? Creating professional, unique PowerPoint presentations with the latest version of Microsoft Office is much easier than you think. This article will help you find the tools to create exactly the presentation you want.

Read on for PowerPoint presentation tips, to learn about PowerPoint templates and PowerPoint backgrounds, and get advice about outlines, communication skills, and how to maximize your Microsoft software. You’ll also find time-saving tips, not to mention three key guidelines for creating effective presentations:

  • Grab viewers’ attention
  • Clearly communicate your information
  • Stay in control of your presentation

Looking for tips for an earlier version of PowerPoint? Learn strategies for making a PowerPoint presentation with PowerPoint 2003, or Learn all about PowerPoint 2007.

Grab viewers’ attention

Creating slides that grab viewers’ attention is not about fitting as much as you can on the screen. It’s about using the space on your slides effectively. Don’t crowd your slides, and only include elements that contribute to the points you want to make. When you use graphics on a slide, choose images that serve a purpose (such as a chart or diagram that displays a direct benefit of your idea). Compare the slides that follow, for example.

Images of two slides showing graphic used to replace textTwo versions of the same content: The simple graphic replaces much of the text and makes a much stronger point.

Here are a few ways to help grab and keep your viewers’ attention.

1. Select or create your own theme.

Themes are the evolution of design templates in PowerPoint, but they’re also much more than that. Themes were introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 to help you easily create the right look for your presentations and to coordinate all of your Microsoft Office documents almost instantly.

A theme is a coordinated set of fonts, colors, and graphic effects that you can apply to your entire document with just a click. The same themes are available for your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel workbooks, and even your Microsoft Outlook email messages (and, in Office 2010, your Microsoft Access database forms and reports), so it’s easy to create your own personal or business branding throughout all of your documents.

In PowerPoint, the theme also includes the slide master, slide layouts (and slide background options).

Image of slides with the same content shown in five different themesFive versions of the same slide: It took just one click to apply a theme that changed the fonts, colors, graphic effects, and design for each slide shown here. Clockwise from the top are the Office (default), Adjacency, Couture, Newsprint, and Slipstream themes.

When you apply a theme in your presentation, you automatically get slide layouts, colors, fonts, and graphic effects that go together, and you can format content with just a few clicks.

  • In the PowerPoint Ribbon (at the top of your screen), find many built-in themes on the Design tab. To preview a theme, in the Themes gallery, simply hover your pointer over it. In Office 2010, you also see a selection of themes in this gallery that are automatically updated periodically from
  • Using the galleries on the Design tab, you can also mix and match a slide design with different theme colors, fonts, and effects to quickly create your own look.
    Image of the PowerPoint Design tabPowerPoint includes a large selection of themes.

    You can even easily create a completely custom theme.

Note: If you change the theme in your presentation but the formatting doesn’t change, you may not have used theme-ready formatting when you created your presentation. When you start with a new PowerPoint 2010 or PowerPoint 2007 presentation, theme-ready formatting is automatic for fonts and colors on slide layouts and for Microsoft Office graphics, such as SmartArt graphics, charts, and shapes.

Learn how to customize and save a theme. (Note that the link provided is for Office 2010 but also applies to Office 2007.) Create a design template in PowerPoint 2003.

2. Use video and audio to convey your message more effectively.

Dynamic content, such as a brief video that illustrates an important point, is a great way to engage your audience. Using audio that helps convey your message, like recorded narration (you can add this to slides when sending your presentation to others to view), can also help keep your slides clean and approachable.

In PowerPoint 2010, video you insert from your files is now embedded by default, so you don’t have to include multiple files when sharing your presentation electronically. You can also customize your embedded videos with easy-to-use tools, such as video trim, fades, and effects. And with PowerPoint 2010, you can insert a video that you’ve uploaded to a website to play directly in your presentation.

Explore PowerPoint 2010PowerPoint 2007, or PowerPoint 2003 by topic. See what’s new in PowerPoint 2010, or watch a video on how to add artistic effectscrop shapes and images, or broadcast your PowerPoint 2010 presentation live on the web.

3. Use graphics to emphasize key points

A well-chosen chart or diagram can often convey much more to your audience than can boring bulleted text. Fortunately, creating charts and graphics has never been easier. In Office 2010 and Office 2007, Office graphics coordinate automatically with the active theme in your presentation.

  • If Excel is installed on your computer, you automatically get the power of Excel charts when you create a chart in PowerPoint. Just click the Chart icon on any content placeholder in the PowerPoint presentation to create a chart.

    Image of Excel chart iconWhen your chart is created, an Excel worksheet opens, and you can add and edit your data. And when you select the chart in your document, you see the Chart Tools DesignLayout, and Format tabs that make it easy to format and edit your chart. Find chart styles on the Design tab that automatically coordinate with your active document theme. Learn more about working with charts:

    SmartArt graphics, introduced in Office 2007, enable you to create a professional-quality diagram as easily as you can type a bulleted list. Just type in the SmartArt text pane, and the diagram is automatically built. SmartArt layouts are available for many types of diagrams, ranging from simple lists to process diagrams, organization charts, timelines, and much more.

    Click the SmartArt icon on any content placeholder to add a SmartArt graphic.

    Image of SmartArt icon

    Image of SmartArt graphic with text paneWhen you type in the text pane, SmartArt adds your text to the graphic. Press Enter to add a new shape or content at the same level, and then press the Tab key to create a subshape or subcontent, as shown here.

    When you select a SmartArt diagram, the SmartArt Tools tabs become available on the Ribbon. On the SmartArt Tools Design tab, you can use galleries to select a style that coordinates with the effects of your theme and you can choose from several color options that also coordinate with your theme. You can even select a different SmartArt layout to apply to your active diagram. The layout is updated, but your content and formatting remain. And you can point to options in any of those galleries to see a preview of your selection on your active graphic—before you apply it.


    • To convert a bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic, right-click in the list, point toConvert to SmartArt, and then point to a layout to see a preview of the diagram on your active slide or click to apply the layout of your choice.
    • In Office 2010, dozens of additional SmartArt graphics are available, including more organization chart and picture layouts, along with improved tools for working with picture diagrams.

4. Use animations and transitions wisely.

Having text and graphics appear on screen just when you need them can be a nice touch. However, overdoing animation can detract from your presentation’s content.

  • To emphasize your points without overwhelming your audience, limit animation to key points and use consistent animation choices throughout the presentation.

    Customize, preview, and apply animations directly from the Animations tab in PowerPoint 2010. In PowerPoint 2007, go to the Animations tab and find theCustom Animation pane.

    Note: Animation effects in PowerPoint 2010 are improved to provide more realistic movement. You can also trigger animation of an object when you reach a specific point in audio or video playback. Watch a video on how to trigger animations in PowerPoint 2010 and one on how to organize a slide deck into sections.

  • Consistent or complementary choices in slide transitions can also provide a professional touch and help prevent distractions.

    Customize, preview, and apply transitions from the Transitions tab in PowerPoint 2010 or the Animations tab in PowerPoint 2007.

Image of slides showing PowerPoint 2010 transitionsPowerPoint 2010 adds several new three-dimensional slide transitions with stunning visual effects, such as the gallery transition (shown here).

Learn about working with animations and transitions:

Clearly communicate your information

Presentation can make a world of difference, and PowerPoint provides a host of tools for keeping your slides consistent, precise, professional, and clear. You might be surprised how using the slide master and layout formatting, for instance, can take you from basic to brilliant.

Images of two slides with the same content—one formatted, one notTwo versions of the same content: The version on the right uses the slide master and layout formatting in the presentation theme for a more organized, readable slide.

5. Start by outlining your presentation.

Take the time to outline your presentation before you create your slides. Doing so can save time and help you give a more clear and effective presentation.

You can create your outline by typing a slide title and bullet points for your main topics on each slide. But you can also use the Outline pane to type your entire presentation outline in one window and add slides to your presentation as you go. To do this:

  1. In Normal view, on the left of your PowerPoint screen, in the Slides pane, click the Outline tab. (If you don’t see the Slides pane, on the View tab, clickNormal.)
  2. Notice that a slide number and icon appear for your first slide. Type a title to the right of the icon, and then press Enter to create your next slide.
  3. Press the Tab key to demote the text level and add points to the current slide in your outline. Or press Shift+Tab to promote the text level and add an additional slide.
Image of PowerPoint 2010 showing slide beside the Outline paneThe Outline pane is available in both PowerPoint 2010 (shown here) and PowerPoint 2007.

Note: PowerPoint 2010 adds a new feature, called slide sections, that enables you to divide your presentations into logical sections for easier organization, such as to assign a set of slides to one author or to easily print just one section of slides. Learn about working with slide sections.

6. Use masters and layouts to save time and help get better results.

The slide master is one of the most important PowerPoint tools for creating easy-to-use, great-looking presentations. The master gives you a central place to add content and formatting that you want to appear on all (or most) of your slides. Formatting and layout changes on the slide master automatically update throughout the slide layouts in your presentation, saving you a tremendous amount of time and effort and helping to keep your slides consistent. For example, place your logo on the slide master, and it will appear on all slides in the presentation.

  • A slide master includes a set of slide layouts for different types of content. Nine slide layouts are available by default in the Home tab, and they are formatted based on the slide master. You can customize any of these layouts individually and even create your own custom slide layouts.
    Image of PowerPoint slide layout galleryThe Layout gallery displays the name of the active theme at the top and provides thumbnails of each available slide layout. When you add custom layouts to your presentation, they also appear in this gallery.

  • If you just need a single slide that doesn’t fit an existing slide layout and won’t need to be reused, you can use the Title Only or Blank slide layout and create your own unique slide. But if you will reuse a layout for multiple slides in the same (or another) presentation, create or customize a slide layout to avoid doing the same work multiple times and to keep your slides looking professional and consistent.

To access the slide master, on the View tab, click Slide Master.

Learn to create or customize the slide master:


  • To hide graphics that you place on the master for just one slide, on the Designtab, in the Background group, click Hide Background Graphics.
  • Masters are also available for formatting notes pages and handouts. Find these options on the View tab.

7. Consider differences between print and on-screen presentations.

Presentations designed to be viewed on screen don’t always work well when you print them. Dark backgrounds that look good on slides, for example, rarely print well. Similarly, footer content that you need in print is likely to be distracting on screen. Fortunately, PowerPoint makes it easy to switch between print and screen presentation options. Here are two features that can help:

  • When you format your presentation using a theme, slide master, and layouts, as described earlier in this article, you can change from a light background to a dark background in just a click, and text on your slides automatically changes color to be visible on the new background. Find the slide background gallery on theDesign tab, in the Background group.
  • To quickly show or hide footer, page number, and date content on all slides at once, on the Insert tab, click Header & Footer. In the Header & Footer dialog box, choose to display them or hide them, and then click Apply to All. ((Note that if you remove the footer, page number, or date placeholder on any slide, the slide will not display this content—even if you turn it on in this dialog box.))

    Image of Header and Footer dialog box

8. Use notes pages and handouts to help deliver the story.

Use the Notes pane that appears below the slide in Normal view to write notes to yourself for your presentation or to create notes that you can print for your viewers instead of crowding your slides with text. You can also format and print handouts that contain up to nine slides per page.

Create and print notes pages:

Create and print handouts:

Stay in control of your presentations

Custom colors, layouts, and graphics can do a lot for your presentation. But a misaligned flowchart or a presentation that crashes on your client’s computer isn’t likely to make the impression you want. For example, look at these two timeline graphic images:

Image of two diagrams with same content but created differentlyTwo versions of the same content: Nudging and fussing to create the graphic on the left took about an hour, and it’s far from perfect. Using PowerPoint tools, it took just a few minutes to create the flawless diagram on the right.

9. Keep file size manageable.

A common cause of stress when you work in PowerPoint is that the file becomes too large to edit or for the presentation to run smoothly. Fortunately, this problem is easy to avoid by compressing the media in your files and using native PowerPoint features whenever possible (such as tables, charts, SmartArt graphics, and shapes) instead of importing and embedding objects from other programs.

Learn about compressing pictures in your presentations:

Note: PowerPoint 2010 also gives you the ability to compress the embedded video and audio files in your presentation. Learn about compressing media.

10. Use the tools available to get it right the first time.

You’ve already seen in this article that you can use features like slide layouts to quickly create consistent slides or use tools such as SmartArt graphics to create a professional-quality graphic in no time. But when you need to do your own thing—and that thing doesn’t belong on a slide layout or fit an available graphic style—PowerPoint still provides tools to save you time and improve your results.

11. Turn off (or manage) AutoCorrect layout options.

PowerPoint provides several automatic formatting options to help your slides conform to the provided layouts. They can be big time-savers, but they can also be frustrating if you’re not using them intentionally and if they cause formatting (such as the font size in slide titles) to become inconsistent from one slide to the next. If you don’t want your text to shrink automatically to fit content, you can easily disable those features in the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.

  1. In PowerPoint 2010, click the File tab to open Backstage view, and then click Options. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Microsoft Office button and then clickPowerPoint Options.
  2. On the Proofing tab, click AutoCorrect Options.
  3. On the AutoFormat As You Type tab, clear the AutoFit title text to placeholder and AutoFit body text to placeholder check boxes.

Turn automatic layout on or off in PowerPoint 2003.

12. Know exactly what your viewers will see.

When you want to be sure that what you send is what viewers will see, you can save the presentation in the PowerPoint slide show format so that the show starts for the recipients as soon as they open the file. But some variables, such as whether media will play correctly on the recipient’s computer, may still affect what viewers see.

PowerPoint 2010 introduces a new feature that makes it easy to share your presentation perfectly with almost anyone, anywhere. You can now create a high-quality video of your presentation, complete with your saved narration and timings, in just a few clicks. PowerPoint creates the video in the background while you keep working. Read how to create a video of your presentation, or watch a video about it.

Source: Microsoft at Work

No one wants to invest time in something only to be mediocre at it. We want to be great. But before you can be great you have to understand what being great looks like. What are you trying to achieve and what are you aiming for? What do people who are great at X look like? Because before you can be better than them, you at least have to be equal. And that takes some understanding on your part.

Do you want to be great at social media? Well, below are 23 things that great businesses do in social media. Maybe you can help me and add to my list in the comments.


Great social media brands…

  1. Bring sexy back to word of mouth marketing.
  2. Dedicate time to answering questions from customers, potential customers and people first learning about the brand.
  3. Constantly poll their community for opinions, feedback, and criticism.
  4. Make it a habit to highlight other brands that are doing cool things, even if they’re doing it outside of their particular industry.
  5. Start conversations that others are scared to have.
  6. Give their employees a unique voice and the permission to connect to others.
  7. Regularly save the day.
  8. Push back the curtain to give their audience a better understanding of how things work, why they work that way, and what the company believes.
  9. Bleed company culture.
  10. Use tools to monitor their social media activity and makes adjustments when things aren’t working.
  11. Don’t take social media too seriously, but are too smart to view it as a joke.
  12. Understand the importance donuts and share them regularly.
  13. Don’t forget to tie offline events into what they’re doing online so there’s cohesion between strategies.
  14. Track their brand name in social media and knows when to respond, how to respond and how to engage brand advocates.
  15. Give us “the why” to go along with their social media calls to action.
  16. Plan for social media as to not leave channels voiceless for long periods of time just because they’re busy.
  17. Never, ever automate human interaction.
  18. Understand social media doesn’t belong to just the marketing department, but the company as a whole.
  19. Enter the waters with a social media plan to help guide their interaction and make sure they’re getting something for their investment.
  20. Use their social media plan to avoid falling victim to Shiny Object Syndrome.
  21. Understand that social media is the medium, not the message.
  22. Pass on insights gleaned from social media throughout the entire organization so that the right people are hearing the right conversations.
  23. Have clear social media guidelines so that employees know how to engage on behalf of the brand and connect with customers.

What else? What makes a brand stand out for you?

From Small Business Trends