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Declutter the title bar in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office has had the ability to place icons in the title bar for a long time. I seem to remember doing that way back in Office 2007. But recent versions put a lot more things in the title bar by default. This makes certain commonly used functions readily available regardless of which part of the ribbon you have visible. But the downside is when you need to move the window around. With all of those icons and the search bar up there, there isn’t a lot of clickable space left in the title bar to use to drag it around. If you can’t drag your window in Word, I have a fix.

Here’s how to declutter the title bar in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft Office apps to make multitasking a bit easier.

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How to merge data in Excel

I understand business analysts ask each other how to merge data in Excel in job interviews. The rest of us struggle and swear a lot. If you don’t count a business analyst among your best friends, here’s the secret you need to merge data with the best of them. Including the detail everyone seems to forget.

I’ll talk about Excel here, but you may be able to adapt this to other spreadsheets too.

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Save as in Office 365

I was working on some documents in Word and Excel last week and needed to know where the files were. Figuring that out used to be easy: Just use Save As. But that looks really different in Office 365. Here’s what happened to save as in Office 365, and where to find the old one.

The key to not getting frustrated with Microsoft is knowing that when useful functionality goes missing, they usually didn’t get rid of it entirely. They hid it, and in this case, it’s hiding behind the Browse button.

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Word line wrap not working? Here’s the fix

I ran into a problem with Word line wrap not working. Even though the text had spaces in them, Word was treating some of the spaces from my copy and pasted text like they weren’t spaces.

When line wrap doesn’t work how you expect in Word, it’s usually nonbreaking spaces or other special characters in the text. The obscure show formatting button can help you find them.

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Reveal codes in Word like Wordperfect

If there’s one thing people miss when they switch from Wordperfect to Microsoft Word, it’s the old Reveal Codes function. This lets you view and fine tune document formatting and fix weirdness. Word has a similar function that nobody talks about. Here’s how to enable the closest thing to reveal codes in Word.

This trick works in recent versions of Word newer than Word 2007. So it’s been around a little while.

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Make a Word hyperlink UNC path

I had an issue in a document with a hyperlink to an existing file. The file existed on a network drive, so the link worked fine… until someone with different drive mappings than me had to look at the document. Then the link didn’t resolve and the person got an error message. A confusing error message. It turns out it’s tricky to make a Word hyperlink UNC path.

Fixing it wasn’t as easy as it should have been.Read More »Make a Word hyperlink UNC path

How to use Excel VLOOKUP

VLOOKUP is a very useful tool in Excel but can be difficult to get right. Here’s how to use Excel VLOOKUP, including an example and what to do when it doesn’t work right.

VLOOKUP is a useful tool for data analysis in Excel, especially merging data from multiple sources. It’s a frequent question in job interviews for business analysts and other jobs that handle data.

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Combining cells in Excel

Combining cells in Excel is something we frequently need to do. And there are multiple ways to do it, depending on what exactly you need to do. One is easier to remember than the others, but let’s step through them.

I find the easiest-to-remember way to combine cells is to use the & operator with the cells you want to combine, along with any additional text. For example, the formula =A1&” “&B1 will combine the cells A1 and B1 with a space in between them.

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How to sort by color in Excel

When doing data analysis, frequently you’ll use conditional formatting to highlight certain cells. But then you’ll probably find you still need to group those similar cells afterward. That’s where sorting by color comes in. Here’s how to sort by color in Excel.

You can sort by color in Excel using either the filtering function, or the Sort button on the Data tab of the ribbon. Sorting with the filtering function is faster and easier, but using the sort button lets you set up complex criteria, including multiple levels. This is useful if you want to sort on both cell color and font color.

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