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.

Add a Dictionary

A useful add-in is Collins Dictionary. It provides not only a dictionary but also a thesaurus and a translator.

It can be sourced from Microsoft AppSource.

When it’s installed, you access it from Insert > My Add-ins. It then opens a panel on the right:

Collins Dictionary panel
Collins Dictionary panel

Image Add-ins

In Word and PowerPoint, you can include add-ins that will insert royalty-free images into the content. Two that I use, both free, are Pickit Free Images and Pixabay.

Once they’re installed, they appear in the ribbon in the Insert panel.

The Pixabay add-in can be sourced from Microsoft’s App Store.

The Picket Free add-in can also be installed from the App Store.

Password Protect Document

This applies to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in Office 2016. Earlier versions may have different ways to protect documents.

When you want to ensure a document doesn’t get changed without your approval, adding a password provides a first-level defence. (There are ways around this constraint, though.)

Note: Make sure you have a backup copy of the document. Useful if you forget the password.

Click File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password, and enter the password. Click OK.

Removing the password is as simple as deleting what you previously entered.

Note: Besides Encrypt with Password, there is an option to Restrict Editing. This enables you to prevent new styles being created, for instance, or disallow editing.

Office Memory Hogs

Three years ago, after building my new system, I noticed the CPU usage was typically approaching 50% while the system was idle. This was a concern because it generates unnecessary heat which in turn affects the CPU’s life span.

It was easy to identify the culprits: Microsoft Outlook 2013 and TrueImage Sync.

I didn’t need Sync, so I disabled that process. Outlook, though, seemed more problematic. I found the answer by Googling.

The problem wasn’t Outlook per se, but its add-ons.

The problem with add-ons has two dimensions. One is they are often installed without your knowledge; the other is they may not be efficient.

You can locate the add-ons by selecting File->Options->Add-Ins. At the bottom of the window is a drop-down menu labelled “Manage:”.

Manage COM-Add-Ins

Click Go…

COM Add-Ins

I deselected them all, as I don’t need them, but if I need one later, I can re-enable it.

My PC is now having a well-earned rest.