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February 2005 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

Salesforce.com training: you asked for it, so we've added another expert trainer to our team. David Claiborne brings a wealth of Customer Relationship Management and Salesforce.com experience to SET Consulting, so that we can offer you training in one of the most popular and effective sales/leads management packages. Let us know if you're interested in any development or training with Salesforce.com; we've already got a number of success stories!

January was fantastic for SET Consulting; we hope you've had an equally efficient and rewarding start to the new year!

Tip of the Month

Protect Excel Formulas From Accidents

Formulas in Excel can greatly simplify our lives...until they stop working. One of our most common frustrations is accidentally typing a value in a cell that's supposed to contain a formula, which causes calculations to fail. Perhaps we weren't looking carefully or maybe the worksheet's layout was unfamiliar, but there is an easy solution to this quandary: cell protection. (While steps 1 & 2 below could be combined, I've found this method to be easier for new folks):

  1. Turn off all cell protection:
     - Select the entire sheet by pressing Ctrl+A
     - Choose Format->Cells
     - Click on the "Protection" tab
     - Uncheck the "Locked" checkbox
     - Click OK to close the "Format Cells" window

  2. Lock formulas and labels you don't want to be accidentally deleted:
     - Select the cells that contain formulas or values that should not be edited. To select multiple cells at once, press the Ctrl key while clicking on the cells with your mouse.
     - Choose Format->Cells
     - Click on the "Protection" tab
     - Check the "Locked" checkbox
     - Click OK to close the "Format Cells" window

  3. Protect the worksheet:
     - Choose Tools->Protection->Protect Sheet
     - Enter a password if you'd like to make it more difficult to later unprotect the sheet
     - Click OK

Anyone will be able to enter data in the unprotected cells, but formulas cannot be edited without unlocking the worksheet first. Give it a try! To later unlock the worksheet, simply choose Tools- Protection->Unprotect Sheet.

Tool of the Month

Outlook Maps (via MSN MapPoint)

This will take 30 seconds. Open any Outlook contact that has a full address and click the toolbar button that looks like a yellow street sign with an arrow. If you don't see the icon, you can also go to the contact's "Action" menu and select "Display Map of Address."

A map of your contact's address will open in your web browser. I'd encourage you to then zoom in and enlarge the map to your liking. You'll notice that not only does this save you a few steps, but that the maps on MSN MapPoint and Expedia.com (they both use Microsoft MapPoint) are much easier to read, particularly on B&W paper, than the ones on competitors like Yahoo Maps and MapQuest. I can't speak for their accuracy in driving directions as I use MapQuest myself, but these maps are excellent for urban areas: all the street names are readable and they even list arrows to indicate one way streets!

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