Archive for December, 2012

Best wishes for 2013!

May the new year bestow upon each of you the best that life has to offer: good health, contentment, financial security, the safe haven of supportive and caring friends and family, enjoyable challenges, as much work — and leisure — as you desire, and peace of mind. I hope that we all get better at living in / savoring the moment, something that can be difficult to do but that is essential for appreciating life’s fleeting richness.

Warm thanks to my wonderful clients, employers, students, colleagues, family members, friends, customers, blog readers, and all of the other terrific people who have made 2012 a truly special, fun year for me. I am grateful for the confidence you placed in me, as well as for your many kindnesses. You have entertained me, kept me on my toes, taught me a great deal (and not merely about software!), and touched my heart. Because of you, I have constantly striven to grow and improve — personally as well as professionally.

For me, highlights of the year included all of the work-related adventures and travel, making many delightful new friends, and regaining my voice. (While not suitable for everyone who has spasmodic dysphonia, Botox can do wonders. I’m living proof of that!)

I hope 2013 starts off well for all of us and just gets better and better.

December 31, 2012 at 11:33 am

Office 2013 Quick Start Guides (from Microsoft)

Microsoft has made available Office 2013 Quick Start Guides for Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Access, OneNote, and Project. According to Microsoft, the guides contain “useful tips, shortcuts, and screenshots to help you find your way around.” These PDF cheat sheets should go a long way toward making users more comfortable with the many changes to the Office interface in the newest version (which will be released to the general public in the first quarter of next year[1]).[2]

To download one or more of the guides, click this link. Then click the icon for a specific guide in order to download it. (Note that the icons are shown in alphabetical order by program — i.e., with Access first and Word last.) The PDF should open in another window, at which point you can use File > Save As to download it.

Thanks to Sherry (McGovern) Kappel for posting a link to the guides on LinkedIn!

[1] A beta version of Office 2013 is available now. It is my understanding that some large business customers have access to the full retail version, but that version won’t be widely available until the winter or spring of 2013.

[2] Note that you need Adobe Reader (or a similar program) in order to open and read PDF files.

December 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Holiday savings of 25% on my Word books

From now through the end of the year, you can buy my Word 2010 book and/or my Word 2007 book for 25% off the normal price.  As detailed in this earlier post, simply navigate to the CreateSpace page for the book you want, add the book to your cart, adjust the number of copies if you like, enter the discount code for the book, and submit your order.

The previous post contains all of the information you need.

Keep in mind that the discount applies only to the cost of the book itself, not to taxes or shipping and handling. Also remember that CreateSpace — Amazon’s publishing unit — must print the book before mailing it, a process that can add three to five business days to the timeline.

Thanks so much for your patronage. And thanks as well to my wonderful readers, customers, clients, employers, students / trainees, colleagues, and friends! Wishing each of you the best that the holiday season has to offer, along with good health and abundant happiness in 2013.

And may the new year live up to all that a fresh start promises.

December 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

Set up a keyboard shortcut to open the legacy Print dialog in Word 2010

In the previous post, we created a macro to open the old Print dialog — the familiar small one from previous versions, rather than the full-screen “Print Preview and Print” feature introduced in Word 2010 — and then added the macro to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). In this post, we’ll create a keyboard shortcut to launch the old-style Print dialog.

Here are the specific steps for choosing a keyboard shortcut that will open the legacy Print dialog:

1. Click the File tab, then click Options.

2. When the Word Options dialog opens, navigate to the left-most column and click to select the Customize Ribbon category.

3. Below the command box at the left side of the dialog, you’ll see the words “Keyboard shortcuts:” and a button labeled “Customize…” Click the button.

The Customize Keyboard dialog opens.

The Categories box at the left side of the dialog lists all of the permanent and contextual tabs available in Word, as well as “All Commands,” “Macros,” “Fonts,” “Building Blocks,” “Styles,” and “Common Symbols.” Clicking a particular category determines which commands display in the Commands box at the right side of the dialog. For instance, if you click “File Tab,” the Commands box will show only the commands/features that are available from the File tab.

TIP:  Perhaps the most difficult aspect of assigning a keyboard shortcut to a feature is figuring out Microsoft’s command-naming conventions. Command names often bear little resemblance to the way people commonly refer to features. For example, under the Insert category, the command to insert a page break is labeled InsertNewPage – not the seemingly more logical InsertPageBreak. So if you can’t find a command right away, try to think of alternate names for the command. Also, keep in mind that a particular command isn’t always listed under the category where you would expect to find it.

4. For this exercise, we will be looking for a command called FilePrint.

You might think the logical place to look for the FilePrint command would be the File tab. But if you click to select the File Tab category and then scroll through the command list at right, you won’t find it.

5. Instead of choosing File Tab in the Categories box, scroll down and click Commands Not in the Ribbon (or, alternatively, All Commands). Then scroll through the Commands box at right and click to select / highlight FilePrint.

TIP:  When you click a command, a description of the command appears at the lower left side of the Customize Keyboard dialog. There are a number of similarly named commands, so depending on the circumstances, the description can help you to determine if you’ve selected the correct command.[1]

6. Click to position the cursor in the Press new shortcut key box (below the Commands box) and simply press the keys you want to use as your keyboard shortcut for the Print dialog.

I pressed Alt P, which is an easy combination to remember.[2]

7. Check to see whether your preferred keyboard shortcut has been assigned to another feature.  If so, you’ll see the name of that feature to the right of the words “Currently assigned to:” about 2/3 of the way down the left side of the dialog

For instance, if you press Ctrl P, you will see that it has been assigned to PrintPreviewAndPrint.

If you have your heart set on a particular key combination that already has been paired with a different feature (such as Ctrl P), you can override the existing settings and assign the shortcut anyway. Just remember that the shortcut will no longer work to activate the originally assigned feature.

8. To assign your preferred keyboard shortcut, click the “Assignbutton.

9. Click “Close” to close the Customize Keyboard dialog.

10. Be sure to click “OK” to save your settings and close the Word Options dialog.

11. Test by pressing your chosen keyboard shortcut. Assuming you followed the previous steps, the old print dialog should appear.


[1]  I’ve tested FilePrint, so I know it is the correct command to open the old Print dialog.

[2]  Some people Alt P to the paragraph symbol. As one possible alternative, you could choose Ctrl Shift P, which is normally assigned to SelectFontSize (i.e., it opens the Font dialog with the font size highlighted). Since Ctrl D also opens the Font dialog, Ctrl Shift P is somewhat redundant — although Ctrl Shift P places the cursor in the Font size box and Ctrl D places the cursor in the Font name box.

December 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Create a macro to open the legacy Print dialog in Word 2010

Revision as of 8/21/2013: A reader wrote this week to let me know that the original coding — which did work at the time I uploaded this post — was producing a run-time error. I did some research and found alternate coding that seems to work just fine. (We both tested, with good results.) I have edited this post accordingly, stripping out the coding I used initially and replacing it with coding that works. Thanks very much to Andrew Lockton for posting the correct coding on the venerable Windows Secrets site! — JB

Many people who upgrade to Word 2010 find the new full-screen “Preview & Print” (which Microsoft calls “Print Place”) confusing and awkward to use.  In fact, people often ask me whether it’s possible to use the old-fashioned Print dialog in Word 2010.  Until recently, my reply was “No.”

At some point in the last few months, I discovered a way to invoke the old Print dialog.  Basically, it involves copying and pasting some code into an “empty” macro, then adding the macro to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).  After putting the macro on the QAT, you can open the legacy Print dialog simply by clicking the icon for the macro.  Very cool!

You don’t need to know anything about creating Word macros in order to use this workaround. Step by step instructions follow. (TIP: You might want to print these instructions before starting.)

  1. First, open Word.
  2. Select and copy the following text string:


    This language is a Visual Basic for Applications (“VBA”) code – a command that instructs Word to open the old-style Print dialog.  Later on, you will paste the command into an “empty” macro.  (No need to paste it anywhere now.)

  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Navigate to the right side of the tab, click the Macros drop-down, and click “Record Macro.”
  5. When the Record Macro dialog opens, type a name for the macro.
    1. Note:  The name can’t include spaces.
    2. Suggested name:  LegacyPrintDialog (or OldPrintDialog).
  1. Ignore “Assign macro to” (button or keyboard).  We will assign the macro a button later, after we have created the macro.
  2. Make sure the “Store macro in:” drop-down displays Normal.dotm (or some other global template).  Normal.dotm typically is the default, and that’s fine.
  3. Click OK.The Record Macro dialog should close, returning you to the main Word screen.
      (NOTE:  It doesn’t matter whether you have a document open or just a blank screen.)
  4. The mouse pointer turns into a small white cassette to show that the macro is being recorded.  We are going to stop the recording without actually doing anything so that we have an “empty” macro to paste our VBA command into.
  5. To stop recording the macro, navigate to and click the Macros drop-down again, then click “Stop Recording.”
  6. Now that the macro recording has stopped, click the Macros drop-down once more and click “View Macros.”

      The Macros dialog should open, showing a list of your existing macros.
  7. Locate and click the LegacyPrintDialog macro (or whatever you called it), then click the “Edit” button.
      Clicking the “Edit” button will open the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Editor, a somewhat odd-looking screen with several parts to it.  The “empty” macro we created earlier should appear in the main portion of the screen, a fairly large window labeled “Normal – NewMacros (Code).”
  8. In the main window, you should see some green text with the name of the macro.  Do the following:
    1. Position your cursor just to the right of the green macro name.
    2. Press the “Enter” key to move the cursor to the next line.There should not be any character(s) to the left of the cursor.  If there are any characters to the left of the cursor, delete them.
    3. Finally, use any method you prefer (Ctrl V, right-click and Paste, etc.) to paste the text you copied in step 2 at the cursor position.
    4. NOTE:  You do not have to do anything special to save the macro.  It will be saved automatically.
  1. The next step is to close the VBA Editor and go back to the regular Word screen.  To do so, click the File menu, then click “Close and Return to Microsoft Word.”
  2. Now that we have created the macro, let’s add it to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).  First, right-click the QAT, then click “Customize Quick Access Toolbar.”
      The Word Options dialog will open, showing the options for customizing the Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. Navigate to the upper left side of the dialog, click the “Choose commands fromdrop-down, and choose Macros.  You should see a name for the new macro that looks something like this:
  4. Click to select the long macro name, then navigate toward the center of the screen and click the “Addbutton.
      Doing so puts the long macro name in the large box at the right side of the dialog, which is a list of all of the icons that are on your Quick Access Toolbar.  In effect, you have just added the macro to the QAT.
  5. We’re not done, so don’t click OK just yet.  We will rename the macro to make the name more user-friendly (Normal.NewMacros.LegacyPrintDialog is kind of a clunky name!).  Also, we are going to assign an icon (image/button) to the macro.
  6. The macro name should be highlighted.  If it isn’t, click the macro name to highlight/select it.
  7. Next, navigate to the bottom left side of the box that displays the list of items on your QAT and click the “Modifybutton.
  8. When the Modify Button dialog opens, do two things:
    1. First, navigate to the lower left of the dialog.  You should see the long, awkward name for the macro highlighted in gray.  Click within that area and delete the long name, then type a new, more user-friendly name — such as Old Print Dialog.
        NOTE:  This time, you can have spaces in the macro name.  But it’s a good idea to keep the new name fairly short.  This name will appear when you hold the mouse pointer over the icon for the macro on the QAT.
    2. Next, navigate to the main part of the dialog and locate an icon you’d like to use to represent the macro on the QAT.  (Unfortunately, Microsoft has provided only one icon that resembles a printer, as far as I can tell.  But you can use anything that strikes your fancy.)  When you find one you like, click it.
    3. To save your changes, click “OK.”The Modify Button dialog will close, returning you to the Word Options dialog.
  1. Before closing the Word Options dialog, consider whether you want the icon for the macro to appear at the right side of the QAT, which is where it will appear if you do nothing more.  If you prefer to have it appear farther to the left on the QAT, click the Up arrow to the right side of the box displaying the items on your QAT.  Each time you click the arrow, the icon for the macro will move up one row, which is equivalent to moving one notch to the left on the QAT.
  2. When you have finished, navigate to the lower right side of the Word Options dialog and click “OK” to save your changes.The Word Options dialog will close, putting you back at the main Word screen.
  3. To test the new macro, click the icon on the QAT.The legacy print dialog box should appear.
  4. Assuming everything worked as expected, click “Cancel” to close the dialog.
  5. Enjoy!

December 12, 2012 at 10:49 am 1 comment

© Jan Berinstein 2009-present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of one or more articles posted on this blog -- i.e., without express written permission from the blog’s author -- is strictly prohibited. You may use brief excerpts and/or links, provided that you give full, accurate, and prominent credit to Jan Berinstein, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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