Microsoft Office for Windows - General
Case: when you try to start Word, you get an error msg: "Word has failed to start in safe mode. Do you want to try to repair your installation?"
Reason for this is unknown. Solution is simply to click through the messages to repair / "clean" your MS Office installation; in at least some cases, you do not even need the Office install CD to do so.
MS Office versions don't always line up perfectly. Even if it says "MS Office Pro 2003", doesn't mean that your MS Office Pro 2003 disk will be able to do a repair install. In many of these cases, the only fix is just to remove Office and reinstall it from scratch, making any needed modifications.
Cannot open older files
Office 2003 SP3, as well as Office 2007 will refuse to open documents created with very old versions of MS Office. There is a fix.
- Close all word documents and windows.
- Click on Start => Run
- Enter this text:
- Click OK, then when asked "Are you sure you want to enter this information?", click YES.
- Click on Start => Run:
- Enter this text:
- Click OK. In the folder that opens double-click FIX-OF03-OF07-open-blocked-files.reg, then click Yes.
In the US English version of Office 2003, only English, Spanish and French proofing tools (spell/grammar checks) are available. For details see Proofing Tools That Come Standard in Office 2003
File formats in Office 2007
By default, Office 2007 programs will save in an Open XML format. At a glance, it simply looks as though all they did was add an extra 'x' at the end of all the existing file extensions:
- .doc => .docx
- .xls => .xlsx
- .ppt => .pptx
The new format is incompatible with Office 2003. People should avoid saving in this (default) format. To ensure compatibility on documents that you intend to work on with other computers or collaborative works, save files using the office 97-2003 format. This can be done by changing the format to the Office 97-2003 format in the dialog box at the time of saving. You may also change the default saving format from the open XML to office 97-2003 in each application. This can be done by:
- Click on the office button
- Select O options (where O is the name of the program you are working in)
- Select save and for save format, select the O 97-2003 document
If user needs to open a .docx file, MS Office 2007 Compatibility Pack can be installed (requires MS Office). Alternatively, OpenOffice.org version 3 can also view and edit .docx files, although it cannot save to this format.
Word for Windows
MS Word freeze-ups
- Due to unavailable network printer: If a network printer is configured as a default printer and the computer is connected to the internet but the printer is not available (for example, if the computer is off-campus), Word may hang when you open the Print dialog box. (Acc. some reports, may even cause Word 2003 to freeze on launching.) Solution: change default printer. PDFCreator ?
- Due to unavailable mapped network drive: In MS Word, when you go to Save As..., Word tries to scan all mapped drives listed in the pulldown menu to determine whether they are available. If a mapped drive can't be reached, Word will keep trying to ping it until it finally times out and gives up - but it doesn't learn from this giving up for next time. Solution: Go to My Computer and unmap any unavailable drives - but make sure the user has a way of getting back to them again. (Shortcut on desktop?)
Removing a phantom horizontal rule/bar/line
- Select the paragraph where the horizontal bar appears and click on the "Format" menu, then select "Borders and Shading".
- Click on the Borders Tab.
- Under "Setting", click in on "None", and click OK.
How do I turn off the border on a text box in MS Word?
For Office 2003 and earlier:
- Place the cursor inside the text box
- From the Format menu, select Text Box
- Under the "Line" section choose "No Line" from the "Color" dropdown menu
For Office 2007:
- Place the cursor inside the text box
- From the Format tab, select "Shape Outline" and click "No Outline"
Remove blue wavy underlines in Word
In Microsoft Word:
- Go to: Tools -> Options
- Click on the Edit tab
- Uncheck the box beside "Mark formatting inconsistencies."
Shutting off the Reading Layout view in Word 2003
In Word 2003 How to stop it from opening in the double pane view for proofing or reading (called reading layout).
- Choose General tab
- Uncheck the box beside "allow starting in Reading Layout"
Macros and viruses
Word documents can contain macros which are small scripts that automatically perform complex or repetitive actions in MS Word. Unfortunately macros can also have extensive control over your computer, so they can be used to write viruses. Any system that can run macros in a MS Word document, is also vulnerable to macro-based viruses. Use and run macros with care.
- Unable to see headers and footers in a Word document
- Endnote toolbars not showing in Word
- Changes to toolbars in Word not being saved - this is generally related to Adobe Acrobat Pro being installed.
- Get rid of Tracked Changes for once and for all
Excel for Windows
Excel is missing all the toolbars and tabs
This happens if excel is in fullscreen mode. Until you undo the fullscreen mode Excel will always start fullscreen. You undo fullscreen by clicking View => Fullscreen.
Formatting a list of ID numbers
When you enter in a number like 00324328 into Excel, Excel usually deletes the leading zeros because they're "not important". Sometimes those zeros are important - for example, on a list of Midd student/staff ID numbers. You can set Excel to include those leading zeros in specific cells with the following steps.
- Click and drag to select the area of cells that you want to show leading zeros.
- Right-click in the selected area and choose Format Cells.
- Under the Number tab, choose the Category Custom. (In this area, you specify the way you want Excel to show cells. By choosing "Custom", you are saying that you want to manually specify the format to be used.)
- In the Type: field, erase the default value "General" and enter in 00000000 (eight zeros). (This tells Excel that every number value in these cells should display with at least eight digits, leading zeros by default.)
- Click OK and verify that the fields formatted show any entered number shows leading zeros up to eight digits.
Disable Green Triangle
- Problem: How do I disable the green triangle in Excel telling me there are numbers formatted as text?
- Solution Here's how you can stop the green triangle from displaying in Excel (indicating that a number has been stored in text format):
- From the Tools menu, select Options.
- Click the Error Checking tab.
- Uncheck the box beside Number stored as text.
- Click OK.
PowerPoint for Windows
PowerPoint not showing pictures or videos
Symptom: You see the message "QuickTime and a <codec name> decompressor are needed to see this picture"
Symptom: QuickTime(TM) and a Photo - JPEG decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime(TM) and a TIFF decompressor are needed to see this picture.
Note: It is unclear if Office 2007 resolves this problem.
Video inserted in PowerPoint not playing smoothly
There can be a number of reasons for videos in powerpoint not playing smoothly, ranging from quality of video, to computer speed, and software version. More details are available in the Video inserted in PowerPoint not playing smoothly article.
Cannot edit PowerPoint presentation
Problem: You have a powerpoint file that you are unable to edit.
Solution: Check to make the sure has a .ppt file extension. If the file is a .pps (Powerpoint Show), it is uneditable. If you simply change the extension to .ppt it becomes an editable Powerpoint file.
Embed a Flash movie in PowerPoint
It is possible to embed a flash/shockwave movie/video/animation in PowerPoint, but it will work in the Windows version of PowerPoint ONLY. See:
- PowerPoint 2000 and 2003: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/HA010348071033.aspx
- PowerPoint 2007: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/HA012303211033.aspx
In Powerpoint, you can specify when a sound file should stop playing. For whatever reason Microsoft considers this a "Custom Animation" property. Follow the directions in this article: Play a sound file over multiple slides in PowerPoint.
How do I create a template for my Power Point presentation?
Exchange Server not Found
There are times, you log onto a computer connected by a wired connection and all that, fire up outlook and after a long wait you get an error message saying that the exchange server cannot be found and it gives you the option to retry or cancel. When it is almost certain that the connection to the network if OK, computer is registered and all that, the problem might be a bad profile. I don't know why it happens, how it happens but I know one possible fix.
- Click on Start -> settings -> control panel -> mail
- Select profiles and remove all that are present
- Close everything and then set up Outlook
At times you may want to take an entire distribution list and share that list with others. Outlook allows you to do this by sending the entire distribution list as an attachment. The details are described in the Share a Distribution List using Outlook article.
When a user deletes mails from his/her personal mailbox or from a shared office mailbox, the mails will be stored in his/her personal "Trash" folder. The user must log into Outlook, find the mails in Trash, and drag them back into the Inbox or appropriate other folder.
More detailed steps: Recovering Deleted Items in Outlook
Outlook Running Very Slowly
Common complaints about Outlook responsiveness are:
- It takes several seconds for a message to open.
- It takes several seconds for a message to disappear once I click Send.
When word is selected as the default e-mail editor - replying and sending is slower. When there are addins installed for Outlook (such as Google Desktop, Plaxo, etc.) opening messages is slow.
- Remove Outlook Add-ons: Remove Outlook Add-ins
- Uninstall Google Desktop
- Use Cached Exchange mode
- Follow the instructions here: Remove Word from being default e-mail editor
Error when printing daily Outlook calendar
Error: the messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook Happens when printing Outlook calendar in daily format.
Solution: This is a known issue. An option called "Task Pad" is turned on by default, and if there are no tasks for that calendar, and you try to print it, it creates that error. So the solution is to just turn off the task pad option.
Follow these steps to deselect the TaskPad option when printing the Daily Style: 1. Open the shared calendar 2. On the Outlook File menu, click Print. 3. Under Print Style, click to select Daily Style and click Page Setup 4. Click TaskPad to deselect it. 5. Click OK and OK to close and print.
- Email configuration - General email configuration tips
- Inserting a signature in Outlook
- Configure Outlook for the Middlebury Exchange Server
- Creating Outlook Templates for commonly sent messages
- Follow-up Flags in Outlook - The behavior of follow-up flags has changed in Outlook 2003 and 2007.
- Add Another Mailbox in Outlook
Office for Mac
Install and configuration
For instructions for installing and configuring Office 2008 for Mac, see Office_2008_Installation
Insert More Than One Audio File in PowerPoint
PowerPoint X and 2004: Insert => Sound from File. Can only do 1 sound file, but can have multiple sound files inserted as movie files (Insert => Movie from File) Have 1st sound file play automatically. PowerPoint 2008 has no limitations to the number of sound files inserted, so you don't need to insert the second sound file as movie.
Tutorial on how to adjust so the sound file plays continuously: http://www.royaltyfreemusic.com/tutorials/powerpoint.htm
Great resources for troubleshooting Entourage
Viewing the members of a distribution list using Entourage
Dangerous Bug in Entourage 2004
Troubleshooting Entourage Speed Issues (slow, spinning beach ball, intermittent freezing)
Troubleshooting Calendar Issues in Entourage
How do I delete attachments from email messages in Entourage?
SMALLER FONTS IN ENTOURAGE
When you have a message open in Entourage you can decrease the font by:
- choosing Edit/Decrease Font Size
- pressing Shift+CMD+Minus sign (repeat as needed)
Entourage and Banner-generated e-mail messages
It looked like earlier, Banner generated messages, separated e-mail addresses using commas "," and entourage thought that "jsmith, pclab, helpdesk" was one long e-mail address, so it didn't send the message to the email addresses. We checked now, and it looks like banner generated messages separate e-mail addresses using semi-colons ";". Now Entourage correctly understands that each entry is a separate email address. It should work fine that way. It does help to click the button titled "Check Names" -- if there is a problem this will generate a question mark, and if there is no problem, it will autocomplete all the email addresses, making sending quicker. To avoid having to click this button you can turn on Entourage => Preferences => Compose => "Automatically check names when sending messages".
In general, when entering e-mail addresses in Entourage's To, CC or BCC fields, each e-mail address needs to be on a separate line (enter one address, then click on the next line, enter the other address, click on the next line, etc...).
Entourage and sending messages to multiple recepients (To CC or BCC)
See the section above.
Useful settings to enable in Entourage
Entourage comes with the Microsoft Office installation cd, which can be obtained from the Main Library Circulation Desk. For installation notes see Office_2008_Installation
Adding Delegate and Other Mailboxes in Entourage