Adding a Dotted Line in Microsoft Word

There's a very simple way to add a dotted line in Word.

First, open a document at the place where you want to insert the line, then add three "---".

Press Enter and there's your line.

You can also use three of the following instead: "~", "_", "#", "=", and "*".

Straight Delete in Outlook

I learned something today that I want to pass on. In Outlook, when you delete an email it is designed to go into the Trash folder. This is useful if you might want to retrieve that email later. To delete it from there permanently though you have to select Empty Folder.

But supposing you want to delete it immediately because there’s no way you ever want to see it again (e.g. spam), which is the case for many emails I receive. It’s surprisingly easy. Hold the shift key down when you hit the Delete key. Now it’s gone for good.

This way you avoid the tedious two-step process to completely remove an email from your system.

Totalling Cells in Word Tables

There was a time when, to sum a column or row of numbers in a table, you probably did it manually or used a VBA macro. These days, Word has a nifty little function called Formula in the Layout tab.

To use the function, you need to position your cursor in the cell in which the total is to be placed and select Formula.

Sample table showing cursor placement

Here is the function with a description:

Formula function in Layout tab

For our purposes we need SUM(LEFT):

Formula text entry

Select the number format and hit OK. The total is now showing in the last column.

Total shown in final column

To get totals for the cells below, you will need to repeat the process. However, the formula offered will assume SUM(ABOVE), because it thinks you’re totalling a column, so you need to change it to SUM(LEFT).

When you’re finished, you can if needed sum all the columns, like this:

Row and columns totalled

If any of the values are changed, the totals adjust automatically.

 

 

Outlook 365 Manage Rules and Alerts not working

This morning, when I selected Manage Rules and Alerts, this popped up:

Outlook Manage Rules and Alerts error message

The problem did persist. I reinstalled Office using online repair and the problem remains.

I discovered the problem is quite new. Microsoft is aware of it and working on a solution. For those affected by this issue, we can only wait until the fix is made.

Using the Keyboard to Enter Symbols

When typing, having to remove your hands from the keyboard to insert a symbol can be avoided by using a simple trick, though it only applies to the copyright, trademark, and registered symbols by default. These are set in AutoCorrect.

Instead of pausing to use the mouse to select Insert and then Symbol from the ribbon, type the following (add space after in Excel):

“c” for ©
“tm” for ™
“r” for ®

Another approach is to hold down the Alt key and enter a value using the numeric keypad. For example:

0169 for ©
0153 for ™
0174 for ®

To add a symbol to AutoCorrect, select File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect:

The default symbols are shown:

To add a symbol, use the Alt key and numeric pad. For example, to auto-correct (l) to become the sterling symbol, press Alt-0163. Click Add.

AutoCorrect is available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but not Outlook.

Special Characters NOT to Use in IMAP Folder Names

As I discovered when switching from a POP3 account to IMAP for Office 365, importing folder names containing certain characters will abort the process. These are:

~ ` ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + = { } | [ ] \ : ” ; ‘ < > , . ? /

Some may get through, but I discovered two I was using certainly didn’t.

I used the tilde character (~) at the start of some folder names to indicate the contents were old and should soon be deleted. I also used the slash (/) within other folder names.

I had to clean up the PST account and re-export it before I could import it into the OST account (see PST vs OST).

Change Outlook Folder Sort Order

For many years, the sort order in Outlook was alphabetical, A to Z, and couldn’t be changed. However, after numerous calls by users for an option to allow free ordering, Microsoft finally introduced the feature in Outlook 2013.

The option is available in the Folders tab. It’s a toggle, and it retains your chosen sequencing should you temporarily revert to alphabetical.

Outlook folder sort order toggle
Outlook folder sort order toggle

Unselecting A to Z enables folders to be moved anywhere in the list, either by dragging the folder or using Move Up or Move Down when right-clicking the folder name:

Move Up/Down folder
Move Up/Down folder

PST vs OST

I use a POP3 mail server, so I’ve always opted for a PST file when setting up a new account in Outlook. PST stands for Personal Storage Table. Outlook uses it to store all your email items, contacts, and calendar. It may be designated Outlook.pst or something like user@example.com.pst. Either way, it resides in the Outlook Files folder of your Documents folder.

I recently installed Office 365 on a laptop and discovered that instead of PST I had an OST file. OST is the initialism for Offline Storage Table.

Because PST files are local, you can copy them to other PCs that have Outlook that uses a PST, provided you change the transferred file’s name to the existing one before replacing it. This isn’t possible with OST files, which are copies from the exchange server. When you disconnect from the Internet, the local copy gives you continued access to all the files. Once the Internet connection is restored, the local file is synced with the server’s file.

Unlike PST files, OST files cannot be backed up.

Open Word Without Blank Document

I don’t like Word presenting me with a blank document each time I open the application, as I’m far more likely to search for a recent document I’ve been working on. To avoid the new document being shown, Microsoft provides a “/n” switch.

To use the switch, create a shortcut and enter the following as the target, assuming Word 2016 is installed in its default location.

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\WINWORD.EXE” /n

Search & Replace Across Word Files

If you have several dozen Word files which contain the same content (such as Header, Footer, some special words or number), and you need to replace the same content across those documents in Word. How would it be easier for you to get it done quickly? Certainly, you can open those files one by one to replace the same content, but it will be time-consuming and troublesome. This tutorial will show you a tricky way to replace same content within multiple documents in Word at once.

Step 1: Press “Alt-F11” to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Application window;

Step 2: Click Module on the Insert tab, copy and paste the following VBA code into the Module window;

Step 3: Then click Run doc-remove-numeric-characters-1 button to apply the VBA.

VBA: searching and replacing same content across multiple documents at one time