PowerPoint 2010 Masterclass – Formatting Shapes

ppt03PowerPoint 2010 has many professional-looking, pre-defined objects that can be inserted into our presentations.

In this blog we are going to look at how we can modify them and specifically look at formatting shapes.

The techniques you will learn in this tutorial can be used with the other types of objects and can also be used with other Microsoft Office applications.

The options we will cover include:

Fill options
Transparent, solid, gradient, picture

Line options
Colour, style

Shadow and reflection options
Internal/external shadows, reflections

You can download a sample shapes document >>here<<, in Powerpoint 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

Let’s get down to business.

Background Fill

Open the shapes document that you downloaded above. (Ensure you have enabled editing).

ppt03_01

Right-click on the circle shape and select the Format Shape option at the bottom of the dialogue box that appears (Shown right).

This opens up the Format Shape dialogue box (shown below).

Learn to love this dialogue box because we will be seeing quite a lot of it during the course of this lesson.

ppt03_2

Make sure the Fill option is highlighted and click on the radio box for No fill.

If you have carried out the instructions correctly, the word Correct will appear inside the circle.

Click Close.

Now right-click the star shape and select the Format Shape option again.

This time, with the Fill option still highlighted, click on the radio box for Gradient fill.

Click on the down arrow, next to the Preset colors option and select one of the presets (I chose the Gold option).

Click Close and admire your work.

Next, right-click the hexagon shape and select the Format Shape.

The Fill option should still highlighted, click on the radio box for Picture or texture fill.

Look down and find the Insert from: section and click in the File … box.

This should take you to your default Pictures folder.

Select a photo you like and click Insert.

Click Close.

Your selected photograph should now be positioned inside the shape.

Finally, right-click the heart shape and select the Format Shape option.

Click on the radio box for Pattern fill.

Select a Foreground Color and a Background Color and in the box above, select one of the preset patterns.

Click Close.

Line Options

Weight and style

Go back to the circle shape and right-click inside it.

Click the Format Shape option.

This time, select the Line Style option.

Change the Width to 4 pt.

Change the Compound type to Triple (the 5th option down).

Change the Dash type to Dash dot (the 5th option down again).

Change the Cap type to Round.

Click Close.

Line colour

Right-click inside the circle shape.

Click the Format Shape option.

Select the Line Color option.

Click on the radio box for Gradient line.

Click on the down arrow, next to the Preset colors option and select one of the presets (I chose the Rainbow option).

Click Close.

Now, right-click on the heart shape and change the weight, style and colour to test your latest knowledge.

Shadow and Reflection Options

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Shadows

Right-click inside the star shape.

Click the Format Shape option.

Select the Shadow option.

Click the down arrow next to the Color option and make sure you select a dark colour.

Then set the following values as indicated in the diagram on the right.

Click Close.

Reflections

Right-click inside the hexagon shape.

Click the Format Shape option.

Select the Reflection option.

Click the down arrow next to the Presets option.

Select one of the Reflection Variations (I chose the first of them).

Click Close.

Below you can see how my examples turned out.

ppt03_05

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Excel 2010 Masterclass – Sorting and Querying Data

blackboardexcel7Okay, we have now created our spreadsheets and got them looking great but now we need to put them to good use.

There are many tips and tricks we can employ and one of the most common and useful techniques to help us on our way is the ability to sort and query our data.

Microsoft Excel has built-in functionality exactly for this purpose so let’s take a look at what is possible.

You can download a sample staff details spreadsheet >>here<<, in Excel 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

If you have downloaded the file, open it and click on the box to Enable Editing. This will put the instructions in context and make it easier to follow the blog post.

Now that the spreadsheet is open, the first thing we will look at is sorting data.

Sorting Data

excel005_01

We are going to apply a custom sort to our data according to Surname and then First Name.

On the Home ribbon bar click on the Sort & Filter button that you will find in the Editing section (shown right).

Select the Custom Sort option.

The Sort dialogue box appears.

In the Sort by box, click on the down arrow and select Surname from the options on show.

Now, click on the Add Level button on the top-left of the dialogue box.

A new row has been added.

In the new Sort by box, click on the down arrow and select First Name from the options on show. (Shown below).

excel005_02

Click OK.

Examine your data and note that your changes have taken place.

Filtering Data

We are now going to query our data by using a function called Filter.

On the Home ribbon bar click on the Sort & Filter button that you will find in the Editing section (shown right).

Select the Filter option.

Notice that your headings now have a down arrow displaying on their right-hand side. (Shown below).

excel005_03

Now, imagine you have been asked by the local council to supply the number of employees that live in Kilmarnock and earn more than £20,000.

excel005_04

First of all we will filter out the number of employees that live in Kilmarnock.

Click on the down arrow to the right of the Town column heading.

In the dialogue box that appears (shown right), you will see all of the town options that are available. We are only interested in the town of Kilmarnock for this exercise so…

Click on the (Select All) box that you will find above all the town names. This will de-select all the towns.

Now, click in the box beside the Kilmarnock option.

Click OK.

Note that the spreadsheet is now only displaying the employees living in Kilmarnock and that the down arrow to the right of the Town title has changed, and added a filter icon.

Now let’s sort out the salary constraint.

Click on the down arrow to the right of the Salary column heading.

Select the Number Filters option.

In the new dialogue box that appears, select Greater Than.

In the Custom AutoFilter dialogue box, type 20000 in the box to the right of where it says “is greater than”.

Click OK.

How many employees are left that comply with the filters you set?

If the answer is six, you have done very well.

That is the end of our Sorting and Querying Data masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

PowerPoint 2010 Masterclass – Slide Layouts

ppt02When preparing a PowerPoint presentation, it is important to use different slide layouts to make the most of your content in order to get the important points across to your audience.

Slide Layout refers to the positioning and formatting of a slide. The layout uses placeholders which contain all the information you want to display including text, lists, tables, charts, graphics etc.

Placeholders are the boxes on a slide that are surrounded by a dotted line and they can be moved, resized and/or re-formatted if you so wish.

Pre-defined Layouts

PowerPoint 2010 has nine pre-defined layouts but allows you to create custom layouts to suit whatever presentation project you are undertaking. Let’s take a look at them.

Open Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 if you haven’t already done so.

When the new presentation is opened, the default slide is formatted in the ‘Title Slide’ layout. It has two placeholders, one for the presentation title and one for the subtitle. If this is not the layout you want, what are your options?

ppt02_001

On the Home ribbon bar, in the Slides section, click on the Layout icon (shown right). This will open up the slide layout dialog box.

The nine pre-defined layouts are:

  1. Title Slide
  2. Title and Content
  3. Section Header
  4. Two Content
  5. Comparison
  6. Title Only
  7. Blank
  8. Content with Caption
  9. Picture with Caption

Remember, if these don’t ‘float your boat’, you can always customise your own.

Example

Let’s look at one of the options to practise.

Select the ‘Picture with Caption’ option from the drop-down menu.

This opens a new slide with three placeholders already placed for you.

In the centre of the top placeholder, click on the shaded icon. This should open your ‘My Pictures’ folder in a separate dialog box.

Select a picture of your choosing and click Insert.

Click in the Click to add title placeholder and add a title for your picture.

Click in the Click to add text placeholder and add some descriptive text.

Sit back and admire your work.

Here is the one I created.

cake

This is the end of our PowerPoint 2010 – Slide Layouts masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Word 2010 Masterclass – Multiple Columns

Multiple Columns TitleWanting to ‘jazz up’ your boring old Microsoft Word documents?

If your answer is “Yes”, then here is a very quick and simple idea for achieving the look of a newspaper article.

The vast majority of newspaper articles are laid out in a multiple column format and this effect is possible to create with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Interested? Then, here goes.

You can download a sample word document >>here<<, in Word 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

Ensure a suitable document is open.

word004_01

Go to the Page Layout ribbon bar and in the Page Setup section, click on the Columns icon.

Select Two from the drop-down list (shown right).

View your results.

Go back to the Page Layout ribbon bar and in the Page Setup section, click on the Columns icon.

Select Three, this time, from the drop-down list.

View your results.

Experiment by repeating the steps above and then selecting Left and then Right respectively to see what results you can get.

Below is the downloaded document (first page only) with the three column layout applied.

3 Column Layout Document

This is the end of our Word 2010 – Multiple Columns masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Windows 8 – What’s New

Windows 8 Training GraphicSituation normal … we have just got used to Windows 7 … and Microsoft hit us with their latest operating system – Windows 8.

Yet again we find ourselves asking:

Is it very different?
Is it any better?
Should we upgrade to it?
How do we use it?

These questions and many more will be answered in our upcoming blogs, so return often so as not to miss out.

In this blog we will cover what is different with Windows 8.

NOTE: I warn you in advance … Windows 8 is the biggest change to the Windows Operating System since Windows ’95. It will even challenge the more experienced Windows users.

Anyway here goes.

Speed

First of all, the good news. Microsoft made claims that Windows 8 would be much faster to load and close down. In my experience that is exactly the case. Windows 8 IS much faster loading and closing and it also switches between apps quicker so it gets a big tick for speed.

General Look and Feel

This is where we find the greatest number of changes and whether they are for the better is still in debate. The idea behind the system is to make it compatible with a multitude of devices and ‘touch-centric’ functionality has been added. Sounds like a good idea at first but I feel it takes away from the normal point-and-click style we are all used to.

Lock Screen

Windows 8 starts up with a Lock Screen (shown below) which appears when you boot your PC and when your PC sleeps. The default Lock Screen has a background image with the time and date in the bottom-left corner and some useful apps that tell you about your Internet connection, your battery life etc. The screen is fully customisable and you can choose your own image and your own apps on view.

In my opinion, the Lock Screen is unnecessary on a PC or laptop although it may be handy on a tablet. A lot of users disable it and, I must admit, I am one of them.

Windows 8 Lock Screen

Start Screen

Once you log in to your PC you will be confronted by the Start Screen (shown below). It is designed mainly for the mobile device and touch-screen display market and is not getting many rave reviews from PC and Laptop users.

First of all you should notice there is no Start button on view and that the screen is full of tiles. These tiles give you access to applications that you start by clicking on the individual tile. It is a real shame that the majority of these applications are cut down versions of the real thing.

One great thing about this screen, though, is that you can open the search function by just starting to type anywhere on the screen. Very handy but not enough to justify its existence.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Charms Bar

The Charms Bar (shown below) is a contextual five-option menu dependent upon your currently viewed screen.

It can be accessed anywhere in Windows 8 by:

  • pointing your mouse at the top or bottom of the screen on the right-hand side
  • pressing the Win+C keys together

The five menu items are:

  • Search:

    Brings up a search box for Apps, Settings, Files etc.

  • Share:

    Allows you to share what you are viewing on screen with friends via email.

  • Start:

    Takes you back to the Start screen.

  • Devices:

    Allows you to send your screen’s information to another device. This is limited to devices that are currently connected to your computer.

  • Settings:

    The most handy of the menu items. It gives access to a variety of settings, Control Panel, Personalisation, PC Info and Help. (This is where you can also switch off your PC (The Power Button)).

Windows 8 Charms Screen

Conclusion

I have now had Windows 8 installed for a month and find it difficult to recommend it to anyone. If you are a traditional point-and-click person, then this is probably not the operating system for you.

C’mon Microsoft, you can do better.

That is the end of our Windows 8 – What’s New masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Excel 2010 Masterclass – Freezing Rows and Columns

Excel 2010 Graphic
Freezing rows and columns is a built-in function that Microsoft Excel provides to help when working with large spreadsheets.

If you have worked with large spreadsheets before, then you will know some of the problems associated with viewing parts of the data area. If you haven’t, then download our accompanying spreadsheet and see what we mean.

You can download a sample staff details spreadsheet >>here<<, in Excel 2010 format.

Problem

If you have downloaded the Staff Details spreadsheet above, you will notice that when you scroll to the right you lose sight of the staff member names.

So, for example, if you want to know the date that Diana Prince started with the company, you find her name in the first column (column A) and scroll to the right to find the date she started (column K). Are you at the right date? It is hard to confirm if you can no longer see the persons name.

Subsequently, we now want to find out the date of birth for Sally Nice. Again, we find her name in the first column and then scroll to the right to the date of birth column. Which one is it? We can no longer see the column headings.

So that’s the problem … let’s sort it.

Solutions

Excel 2010 Graphic

     1. Freezing the top row

Go to the View ribbon bar and click on the Freeze Panes button that you will find in the Window section (shown right).

Select Freeze Top Row.

At first glance it looks as if nothing has happened but if you scroll down you will notice that the titles at the top are now always in view.

     2. Freezing the first column

Go back to the View ribbon bar and click on the Freeze Panes button that you found in the Window section.

Select Freeze First Column.

This unfreezes the top row from before and freezes the first column instead. Try scrolling from left to right and notice that, now, the staff members name is always on show.

     3. Freezing columns and rows together

Go back to the View ribbon bar and click on the Freeze Panes button that you found in the Window section.

Select Unfreeze Panes.

Select cell B2.

Go back to the View ribbon bar and click on the Freeze Panes button once more.

Select Freeze Panes.

This has frozen the top row and the first column at the same time.

Problem solved, methinks.

That is the end of our Freezing Rows and Columns masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Excel 2010 Masterclass – Conditional Formatting

Blackboard Excel Graphic
Conditional formatting is used when you want to apply a certain style to cells where particular criteria are met.

There are many excellent, pre-determined ways that Excel 2010 provides in order to format cells quickly, some of which are self-explanatory. This blog will concentrate on some of the less well-known techniques that still provide impressive results.

You can download a sample staff details spreadsheet >>here<<, in Excel 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

If you are ready to continue, let’s get started.

For all the upcoming exercises in this blog we will be using the Conditional Formatting icon that you will find in the Styles section of the Home ribbon bar.

Familiarise yourself with it now. Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of icon and see what options are available. (The icon options are shown below). We will deal with them in the order they appear.

Excel 2010 Graphic

Highlight Cells Rules

Let’s say we want to use conditional formatting to identify the salary bands of our company employees based on the amounts they earn.

The following steps will achieve this.

Highlight the cells containing the salaries (cells G6:G33).

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon. Click on the Highlight Cells Rules option and select Greater Than.

In the dialogue box that appears, type 30000 in the first box and select ‘Green Fill with Dark Green Text’ in the other. (Shown below).

Excel 2010 Graphic

Click OK.

Make sure the salary cells are still highlighted.

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon again. Click on the Highlight Cells Rules option and select Less Than.

In the dialogue box that appears, this time, type 20000 in the first box and select ‘Light Red Fill with Dark Red Text’ in the other.

Click OK.

Make sure the salary cells are still highlighted.

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon again. Click on the Highlight Cells Rules option and select Between.

In the dialogue box that appears there are now three input boxes. Type 20000 in the first box, 30000 in the second box and select ‘Yellow Fill with Dark Yellow Text’ in the third.

Click OK.

Click anywhere in the spreadsheet to view your handywork.

Top/Bottom Rules

Either undo the rules from the exercise above or download a fresh version of the spreadsheet. You are now ready to continue.

You can use these rules to determine the Top 10 items, the bottom 10 items, the top items as a percentage and the bottom items as a percentage etc.

In this example, we will use it to determine the staff members that are paid a higher wage than the mathematical average of the total wage bill.

Highlight the cells containing the salaries (cells G6:G33).

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon. Click on the Top/Bottom Rules option and select Above Average.

Excel 2010 Graphic

The dialogue box (shown left) appears.

This time I want to make it a bit more interesting so, select the ‘Custom Format …’ option for the selected range.

This will open up the Format Cells dialogue box.

Select a font colour, border colour and fill colour of your choice and click OK.

Click OK again.

Click anywhere in the spreadsheet to view your handywork.

Data Bars, Color Scales and Icon Sets

Once again, undo the rules from the exercise above or download a fresh version of the spreadsheet. You are now ready to continue with the final exercise.

This next set of rules are very similar so we will examine one technique in greater detail and leave you to play about with the rest to see what you can come up with.

In this example, we will revert back to the salary scales but with a further complicaton of hiding the exact salaries from unauthorised eyes.

Excel 2010 Graphic

Highlight the cells containing the salaries (cells G6:G33).

Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the Conditional Formatting icon. Click on the New Rule … option.

The ‘New Formatting Rule’ dialogue box appears (shown right).

In the Format Style option box, click on the down arrow and select ‘Icon Sets’.

In the Icon Style option box, click on the down arrow and select ’3 Traffic Lights (Rimmed)’.

Tick the box that says ‘Show Icon Only’.

Change both the Type boxes to read ‘Number’.

Change the Value options to 30000 in the top box and 20000 in the bottom box (shown below).

Excel 2010 Graphic

Click OK.

Your completed spreadsheet should look like the one below.

Excel 2010 Graphic

That is the end of our Conditional Formatting masterclass.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Word 2010 Masterclass – Working With Tables (Part 3)

Working with Tables 3 Graphic
Welcome to Part 3 of our three-part masterclass on working with tables. In Part 1 we discussed what tables are, when we use them and then described the different methods of creating them. In Part 2 we covered inserting and deleting rows and columns and merging and splitting cells. In this part, we will go on to text alignment, borders and shading and table styles.

If you missed Part 1, you can go to it now by clicking >>here<<.

If you missed Part 2, you can go to it now by clicking >>here<<.

If you’re happy, let’s go on with Part 3.

In order to save time, you can download a sample table >>here<<, in Word 2010 format, to accompany these instructions. This is a copy of the table that we created in Part 2.

NB: If the document comes up in Protected View you need to click the Enable Editing button.

If you are now able to edit the document, we can get on with the lesson.

Text Alignment

Word graphic

You can align text both vertically and horizontally in order to enhance and improve your tables.

Highlight the titles row (Model, Reg No, Colour etc.).

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Layout sub-section is highlighted.

Go to the Alignment section and click on the Align Center icon (shown right and highlighted in orange).

Now, highlight the Agila and Corsa titles and repeat the Align Center process with them.

Borders & Shading

Before we get on to the borders and shading options, let’s make a few text changes.

Highlight the Stock List title and change it to a bright red colour, size 14 and bold.

Highlight all the other titles and make them yellow.

Word 2010 graphic

Select the entire table.

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Design sub-section is highlighted.

Go to the Draw Borders section (shown left).

Word 2010 graphic

Change the Pen Color to red and the Line Weight to 1½ points (as shown).

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Design sub-section is still highlighted.

In the Table Styles section, click on the down arrow, immediately to the right of the Borders icon.

In the dialogue box that appears, select Outside Borders (shown right).

This should create a thick red border around the outside of our table.

Select the row containing the Stock List title.

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Design sub-section is still highlighted.

In the Table Styles section, click on the down arrow, immediately to the right of the Shading icon.

Select black as the shading option.

Now, select the title row underneath the black row we just created.

Use the same technique, but this time select a dark grey shade.

Select the two car titles and make them the same dark grey.

Finally, select all the text cells and colour them light grey.

The final table is shown below.

Word 2010 graphic

Table Styles

If you want to spruce up a table, and you don’t need the control that we have exercised so far, you can apply a quick style to your table.

Select the entire table.

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Design sub-section is highlighted.

In the Table Styles section, select one of the pre-formatted styles.

You will see a preview of the styles as you hover your mouse over them.

When you see the style you want to apply, left-click the option.

This is now the end of the final part of our Working With Tables masterclass.
>>click here to go to Part 2<<
or
>>click here to go back to Part 1<<.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Word 2010 Masterclass – Working With Tables (Part 2)

Word 2010 Graphic
Welcome to Part 2 of our three-part masterclass on working with tables. In Part 1 we discussed what tables are, when we use them and then described the different methods of creating them. In this part, we will talk about some of the things we can do to improve our tables.

If you missed Part 1, you can go to it now by clicking >>here<<.

If you have already looked at Part 1 or are confident of creating tables in Word 2010, read on.

In order to save time, you can download a sample table >>here<<, in Word 2010 format, to accompany these instructions.

NB: If the document comes up in Protected View you need to click the Enable Editing button.

If you are now able to edit the document, we can get on with the lesson.

Make yourself comfortable and let’s go.

Inserting and Deleting Rows/Columns

Click anywhere in the Reg No column of the table.

Word 2010 graphic

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Layout sub-section is highlighted (as above).

Click on the Insert Right icon in the Rows & Columns section.

The new column appears.

Name the column Colour.

Add the car colours (from top to bottom) Black, White, Blue, White, White, Silver.

Click anywhere in the top row of the table.

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Layout sub-section is still highlighted.

Click on the Insert Above icon in the Rows & Columns section.

The new row appears.

Word 2010 graphic

To delete rows and columns, click anywhere in the row or column you want to delete.

For example, let’s say we have sold the Blue Agila. Click inside this row.

Again, go to the Table Tools ribbon bar and the Layout sub-section.

Click on the down arrow of the Delete icon in the Rows & Columns section (shown left) and select Delete Row.

The row has gone.

Merging/Splitting Cells

Word 2010 graphic

Now let’s look at merging and splitting cells.

Highlight the cells as shown right.

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Layout sub-section is highlighted.

Click on the Merge Cells icon in the Merge section.

This has merged the selected cells together.

Now, do the same with the whole of the top row.

Once done, put in a title Stock List in the new merged row.

Imagine now that we made a mistake and not all our vehicles are Agilas. We can split the Agila cell that we created a while ago.

Select the Agila cell again.

In the Table Tools ribbon bar make sure the Layout sub-section is highlighted once more.

Click on the Split Cells icon in the Merge section.

In the dialogue box that appears, change the number of columns to 1 and the number of rows to 5.

Click OK.

Now, merge the top three cars as Agilas and the bottom two cars as Corsas.

Your finished table should look like the one below.

Word 2010 graphic

This is now the end of Part 2 of our Working With Tables masterclass.

>>click here to go to Part 3<<
or
>>click here to go back to Part 1<<.

Please use the comments box below to let us know what you think of our blogs.

Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options

Word 2010 Masterclass – Working With Tables (Part 1)

Word 2012 Graphic
You can create tables very easily in all versions of Microsoft Word and it is no different in Word 2010.

In this, the first of a three-part masterclass on working with tables, we discuss what tables are and when we use them. We then describe the different methods of creating tables. In Part 2, we will talk about some of the things we can do to improve our tables and continue this in Part 3.

If you can already create tables in Microsoft Word you can >>click here to go direct to Part 2<<.

Introduction

Tables are used when you want to present information in an organised, interesting and easy-to-read format. They are ideal for forms, side-by-sde lists, basic spreadsheets (using minor calculations) etc.

A table consists of rows and columns that form boxes where they cross. These boxes are called cells and they can hold text, graphics and other content. The cells expand vertically to fit the amount of text or the height of the graphic you place in them.

Creating a Table

There are a number of ways to create tables in Microsoft Word:

  • Selecting from a grid
  • Specifying the number of columns and rows
  • Drawing the table by hand
  • Converting tabbed text
  • Pre-formatted table

All these methods are available on the Insert ribbon bar in the Tables section.

1. Selecting from a grid

Go to the Insert ribbon bar and in the Tables section, click on the Table icon.

You will now see the dialogue box (shown below).

Word 2010 Graphic

Click in the small box in the top left of the grid and drag to select the number of columns and rows you require (shown in the highlighted red box). When you have the correct number, left-click the last box. In the diagram, I have selected 6 columns and 4 rows.

You will now have the table you require displayed.

2. Specifying the number of columns and rows

Again, go to the Insert ribbon bar and in the Tables section, click on the Table icon.

Word 2010 Graphic

This time click where it says Insert Table… .

The Insert Table dialogue box (shown right) will appear.

Enter the number of columns and the number of rows you require in the relevant boxes. I selected 5 columns and 5 rows.

Click OK.

The new table, with the selected number of columns and rows will have appeared.

3. Drawing the table by hand

NB. This is an advanced technique and requires a bit of practice.

Again, go to the Insert ribbon bar and in the Tables section, click on the Table icon.

Click where it says Draw Table… .

Word 2010 Graphic

The cursor has changed to a pencil.

Draw a rectangle to define the external boundaries of the table.

A new Table Tools ribbon bar has appeared.

You can now draw column and row lines inside the rectangle you created.

You an see my masterpiece above including diagonal lines.

Word 2010 Graphic

If you want to delete a line or a group of lines, go to the Table Tools ribbon bar and in the Draw Borders section, click on the Eraser icon (shown right).

Click on the lines that you want to erase. When you are finished, click the Draw Table icon in the Draw Borders section to continue drawing the table.

As an alternative, you can distribute the rows and/or columns evenly.

4. Converting tabbed text

This is useful if you have some text in columns seperated by tabs.

Word 2010 Graphic

First of all, highlight your text and I am sure you know by now, go to the Insert ribbon bar and in the Tables section, click on the Convert Text to Table icon (shown left).

The Convert Text to Table dialogue box will appear.

Check the number of columns and rows and click OK.

5. Pre-formatted table

Word 2010 Graphic

For the last time, go to the Insert ribbon bar and in the Tables section, click on the Quick Tables icon.

The Quick Tables dialogue box appears (shown right).

Click on the table you would like and it will appear.

You can edit it to your heart’s desire.

This is now the end of Part 1 of our Working With Tables masterclass.
>>click here to go to Part 2<<
or
>>click here to go to Part 3<<.

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Bob Thomson is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in the industry having worked as a Consultant, Director, Manager and Trainer. He has vast experience using Microsoft software packages as an individual and in businesses situations.

Bob Thomson
Owner / Managing Director
Real Options