Tag Archives: Microsoft Office

2 little-known tips for working with the Ribbon in all Office programs

Tip 1 – Minimize the Ribbon quickly

When Microsoft introduced the Ribbon interface in their Office 2007 version, lot of users were unhappy that it takes up so much screen real-estate away. I hated the Ribbon interface and over time, I have gotten used to it. When you are editing a document whether it is Excel, Word or Powerpoint, it is helpful to have the Ribbon fully displayed. However, when you are presenting a document or just reading it, it is good to have more screen real-estate by getting rid of the Ribbon temporarily.

In a lot of meetings I attend, I see people scrolling up and down to see a few more lines whereas minimizing the Ribbon could have helped them to avoid scrolling. If you are sitting with a group of people of review any Excel, Word or Powerpoint, you should consider minimizing the Ribbon.

It is actually quite easy to do and there are 3 ways to do this:

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A simple yet powerful keyboard shortcut that works in all Microsoft Office programs

If you want to repeat any action in any Microsoft Office Program, press F4. This works in all MS Office programs – Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc.

Here are some of the things that you can do with this simple keyboard shortcut

  • You can apply complex formatting to a cell. After that, you can go to another cell and press F4 and your formatting will be applied to the new cell – this can be as simple as changing the background color of a cell in Excel or changing the font family or font size in Word.
  • You can delete a row from Excel and then press F4 after moving the cursor to other rows that you want to delete.

Try pressing F4 after various actions you do in Microsoft Word or MS Excel and see what happens. Soon, you will learn to love this shortcut, which I use all the time.

In case you press F4 to repeat an action and it resulted in some unintended consequence like deleting a line or removing the formatting, etc., don’t worry – another very useful keyboard shortcut will come to your rescue. That is CTRL + Z for undoing any action. This also works in all MS Office Programs.

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