Tag Archives: Excel 2013

Let MS Office 2013 Custom Apps Help You Increase Your Productivity!


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Did you know there is much more you can do to enhance your experiences with the Microsoft Office 2013 Suite than what is already included in Word? Excel? PowerPoint? or Outlook? While the applications within the Suite are literally crammed with tons of powerful features, there additional ways (through add-ins) that you can customize your specific office needs even further, which can save you time and effort. These apps range from

  1. Converting PDF files to text (recognizes text in six different languages).
  2. Generating a tag cloud of text from a Word document.
  3. Sending fax documents without leaving Word.
  4. Searching the web via Google within Word, Excel, or PowerPoint—no need to toggle back and forth between your Office applications and your web browser.
  5. Creating a graphical idea map from any of the Office applications.
  6. Converting the case of your text in Excel files quickly—This can be a life saver if you are importing information into Excel from a variety of sources because it saves you time and energy by not having to make “hand edits” that are slow and manual.
  7. Creating Excel data as a “heat map” – provides a visual of data for the United States and is color coded.
  8. Previewing hyperlinks from Outlook email messages—helps to prevent messages sent that contain broken links.
  9. Integrating key information from LinkedIn from your profile with Outlook—can help with your networking capabilities.
  10. Sending Direct Messages from Outlook to Twitter.

Vangie Beal previewed a total of 30 MS Office apps that can help you increase your productivity and efficiency, but there are many others that have been added that may fit your needs also.

Many of the apps are free, while others may have a one-time charge or a subscription fee. If you see any that can help you, simply click this link to go to store.office.com and then “shop until you drop”!

P.S. I just found another app (for Excel) that can be very engaging when you are trying to transform data to a simple graphic quickly and easily. It’s free, it’s easy, and the name is Bubbles—try it, you might like it!

Take a look at the sample screen shot below.

06-29-2015 Bubbles App

If you want to learn new software or if you need to update your software skills, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.


How to Insert Checkboxes in an Excel 2013 Spreadsheet

Follow the link below to learn how to insert checkboxes on an Excel spreadsheet.  In the article, Bilal Ibrar discusses how to insert checkboxes and shares several examples of how you might use these checkboxes when designing an Excel spreadsheet.

The post is located on a blog called Write A Writing.  Please click the link on Write A Writing to learn more about using this Excel feature.

This is not a task that you will use on a daily basis in Excel; however, it may come in handy one of these days!


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu or 972-238-6215.

The VLOOKUP Function (A Mystery to Many Excel Users)

by Meggen Mills

The VLOOKUP Function is one of the most useful functions in Excel.  It is also one of the most confusing and least understood functions.  This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the VLOOKUP function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.


You can use the VLOOKUP function to search the first column of a range of cells, and then return a value from any cell on the same row of the range.


You are a new employee in the Benefits department of a large company with over 2500 employees.

Suppose your department has just sent a notice to selected company employees (approximately 750 employees) notifying them that they still have  vacation days available this year, and your boss has asked you to determine the department these selected employees work in. The only problem is that the notice you sent did not ask for their department; you only know their Name and Employee ID number. Continue reading

Explore the New Features in Excel 2013

Take a Tour1When you open Excel 2013, the first screen you see is the NEW workbook screen.  You can create a new blank Excel workbook or you can choose from the many templates (models) available.

One of the templates is simply a tour of three of the new features in Excel 2013.  To use this feature, click on the template shown, click Create and follow the steps to learn about three new Excel 2013 features:  Flash Fill Your Data, Analyze Data with Quick Analysis and Great Charts, Recommended for You.  At the end of the Tour, you will have the opportunity to “Learn More.”

Be sure to visit the Excel Team Blog often as there are many interesting and informative articles about Excel posted on this blog.


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu or 972-238-6215.

Another way to access the tour is to Click the File tab and select New.  The list of templates will reappear.  If you do not see the Take a tour template, click in the Search box at the top of the screen and type, Take a tour, to quickly locate the desire template.

Happy Workbooking in Excel 2013!

A Change You May Want to Make if Using Office 2013

The new version of Microsoft Office is here!  Office 2013 or Office 365 (a subscription version) is currently the only version of Office sold by retailers.  Therefore, if you purchase a new computer and have Microsoft Office installed on the computer; you will be using Office 2013.

One of the new features in Office 2013 is one that you may wish to turn off.  When launched, several of the Office 2013 applications show a “dynamic Start screen” by default.  This screen, in Excel, is shown below.

Excel Start Screen

If you prefer to simply see a new blank workbook, Select File, Options, the General tab, and uncheck, Show Start screen when the application starts, under Startup Options.

You will need to make this change in Word 2013 and PowerPoint 2013 if you wish to avoid seeing the Start screen in those applications also.

Making this change will save you several clicks!


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu (972-238-6215).