5 Microsoft Office tips you can’t live without

Some of us have used Microsoft Office for so many years that we think there’s nothing new to learn. That’s almost never true. Read on for five tips for being more efficient when using Office.

For context, I’m running Microsoft Office 2016. My taskbar is oriented on the bottom. Here’s what works for me.

Create a new Outlook item. I often need to create an appointment or send an email while I’m working in another application. I used to search for Outlook in my taskbar, maximise Outlook, look at the top ribbon, find the New section … and then try to remember what I wanted to do. Now, I right-click the Outlook icon in the taskbar and click on the task I need. In two clicks, I’m done.


Use Quick Parts
. Although this feature is available in all Office apps, I use it most often in Outlook to respond to questions about our company’s services. Instead of digging through Sent Items to copy and paste the answer, with a message open, I simply click the Quick Parts button and select the appropriate text. Quick Parts can be found under the Insert tab in Office. Define blocks of text that will be used regularly and save time on retyping boilerplate language.


Insert a screenshot
. Grabbing a screenshot to insert into a document can be clunky. The Screenshot option in the Insert tab lets me select my screen or offers options to insert any open windows in a single click.


Copy and paste the easy way
. The small, almost hidden Clipboard feature at the bottom of the Home tab in programmes such as Word and Excel is a real time-saver. Click the button to open up to 24 clipboard items.


Create a signature line
. Need a custom signature line? Go to the Insert tab and toward the right you will find the “Signature Line” option. 


So there you have it—five quick tips to increase your productivity.

Byron K. Patrick is the managing director at Network Alliance, a US-based consultancy specialising in information technology services for accounting firms.