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July 2005 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

This past month had plenty of OneNote training in addition to the popular efficiency training in Word & Outlook. We've also been working on a number of applications in Excel. Thank you for welcoming us to save your organization time and money by better using Microsoft Office!

Tip of the Month

Protecting your Data in Excel

Excel can be very helpful...but it's very easy to "break" a spreadsheet by entering data in the wrong cell. Cell protection is one way to prevent people from accidentally overwriting your carefully worked-out formulas. Users will be unable to edit the values or formulas in protected cells. Here's how:

Spreadsheet protection is enabled by selecting Tools->Protection->Protect Sheet. But don't do that just yet. Without having selected specific cells to UN-protect, ALL of your cells would be protected. That means that if you don't specifically UNprotect certain cells first you won't be able to modify any of your spreadsheet's contents once you select "Protect Sheet."

Therefore, the first step is to unprotect the data that you'd like people to be able to modify. You do this by selecting a range of cells, either individually or all at once, and selecting Format->Cells... In the last tab, "Protection," UNcheck "Locked." This will allow the contents of this particular cell (or range) to be edited even once cell protection is enabled.

Once you've UNchecked "Locked" on a number of cells, you should select Tools->Protection->Protect Sheet. There are a number of options on the window that appears, but the most relevant is whether you'd like to require a password for people to unprotect the worksheet. If you have a number of people using the spreadsheet or if you'd like to ensure that the formulas are maintained once the worksheet is distributed it might be a good idea to choose a password. After either entering a password in the text box or choosing not to enter a password, click OK. Now anyone who uses this worksheet will not be able to edit the contents of protected cells. To turn off cell protection, go to the same place: Tools->Protection->Unprotect Sheet. Enjoy!

Tool of the Month

The Desktop Ruler

Have you ever tried to align items on the screen and had trouble getting them just right? Whether you're making the finishing touches on a Photoshop image or just trying to make Word/PowerPoint documents look professional, it's often a challenge. I'll admit it: I've actually printed out a document only to adjust it after using a ruler!

A free product by Coder Ltd., Desktop Ruler makes aligning much easier. It's just what you'd expect: a transparent ruler that you can use in any Windows application. What a simple, brilliant idea! Thank you to Steve Bass of PC World for this valuable find! Download it here: www.desktoprul er.com.

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