Application Knowledge: A Powerful Tool

By Matter

As a PR professional, there are never enough hours in the day.  A lot of times you are working on multiple projects in the same day and looking for ways to speed up menial tasks: cutting and pasting, reformatting text or the ever popular: creating hyperlinks.

As a millennial, I grew up using a computer from the time I entered middle school, so the ability to use applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint are nothing new.  However, knowing how to utilize and maximize the applications to your advantage when you need to save time can be critical.  I have always tried to pass on the helpful tips and tricks I have learned to colleagues and friends so that our collective efforts are all being done in less time.

On that note, here are a few shortcuts that are my personal time-saving favorites:

Keyboard Shortcuts:

•    To create a hyperlink in Microsoft Office, highlight your text and use Ctrl + K, this is especially helpful for coverage reports and wrap-ups.

•    It’s a great shortcut to use when selecting big chunks of text, or long hyperlinks, but Ctrl + A is Select All.

•    Why click the tiny buttons above your Office Ribbon Bar when Ctrl + Z is Undo, Ctrl + Y is Redo, Ctrl + F is Find and Ctrl + S is Save?

•    You probably know that you can double click on an icon to select it on your desktop, but did you know that you can triple click within Office applications to select entire paragraphs?

•    Ever have problems with documents or emails that come to you in ALL CAPS LOCK?  Not to worry, select away and Shift + F3 can covert that text for you!

•    If you want to print a spreadsheet in Excel, isn’t it a pain to have a one page list print onto 5 sheets of paper?  Save a tree and use Page Break Preview: click on View in your Ribbon Bar and select Page Break Preview in the left hand corner, which should produce a series of blue borderlines that you can click and drag across the page as you see fit.  (If you want to change back to the normal view, click “Normal” which is two buttons to your left…)

These are just a few examples of the helpful hints that I have learned from colleagues over the years.

What helpful shortcuts help you to save time at work?