PowerPoint: Set Transparency

Whitespace (or any other background color) can make your inserted images look like a kindergarten stickers. Solution: remove unwanted colors using Set Transparency.

Watch this 60 second video to learn all you need to know

  1. Select the picture or image to be edited.
  2. On the Ribbon, click on the Picture Tools: Format tab.
  3. In the Adjust group click Color (or Recolor, in version 2007) and select Set Transparent Color.
  4. On the selected image, click on the color to remove (i.e. make transparent). That color is erased from the selected image.



Comments and questions are always welcome!


Bubble Charts

Break out the Bubbly!

Its well past the new year so a little bubbly is long overdue. Bubble charts are great in that they allow you to graph in 3 dimensions: Length, Height and Breadth (or area). Although the steps below are written with Excel in mind, they can also be applied to PowerPoint.

Watch this 3½ minute video to learn the basics regarding interpreting and creating bubble charts.

Creating a Bubble Chart

  1. Input your data, placing the X-axis data in the first column, Y-axis data in the second column, and the area (bubble size) in the third column.
  2. Select the data.
  3. On the Insert tab, in the Chart group, Click XY and select from Bubble types. A Bubble chart is added to the worksheet

Note: If necessary click Switch Row/Column (on the Chart Tools:Design tab) to swap the series data.

Adding Data Labels

  1. CLICK on one of the bubbles in the series. The entire series becomes selected.
  2. RIGHT+CLICK  one of the selected bubbles and select Add Data Labels. Data labels will appear.
  3. To format label appearance and content, RIGHT+CLICK on a bubble and select Format Data Labels.

Formatting the Bubble Appearance (Fill)

  1. CLICK on one of the bubbles in the series. The entire series becomes selected..
  2. CLICK (again) on the bubble. The single bubble will be selected.
  3. RIGHT+CLICK on the selected bubble and select Format Data Point. The Format Data Point dialog/pane appears.
  4. Select Fill and set the fill options (e.g., color, pattern, fill, etc).
  5. Close.
  6. Repeat as necessary for remaining bubbles.


Additional reading:

Comments and questions are always welcome!

Duplicating Footnotes in Word

Here’s another interesting challenge presented by a colleague. The same footnote text applied to many items on that page. She wanted to use the same footnote reference twice, with the same number. Here are two solutions. The first (and easier) method is to use a custom mark or symbol (e.g. *, †, etc.). The second method is to use a cross-reference.

Watch this 2m video to learn all you need to know!

Inserting Duplicate Footnote using Symbols.

  1. On the Reference tab, in the Footnotes group, click the Dialog Launcher. The Footnote and Endnote dialog will appear.
  2. In the Custom Mark field type the preferred number or symbol. Alternatively, click Symbol button, select character and click OK.
  3. Click the Insert button. The footnote reference mark is added to document at the insertion point.
  4. Enter the footnote text.
  5. In the body of the document click insertion point where duplicate footnote reference is to appear.
  6. Type duplicate number or, on the Insert tab, click Symbol and select symbol previously selected.

Inserting Duplicate Footnotes using Same Sequence Number.

  1. Insert the first footnote: On the Reference tab, in the Footnotes group, click Insert Footnote. The footnote number is added to document at the insertion point.
  2. Enter the footnote text.
  3. Click insertion point in the body of the document where duplicate footnote number is to appear.
  4. On the Reference tab, in the Captions group, click Cross-references. The Cross-references dialog will appear.
  5. For Reference type  select  ‘Footnote’ and for Insert reference to select ‘Footnote number’.
  6. Select desired footnote from the For which footnote area, then click Insert.
  7. Click Close button.

Note Apply the Footnote Reference style to the duplicates to match footnote formatting.




Comments and questions are always welcome!

Duplicate in PowerPoint

Here’s a quick PowerPoint time saver: Press CTRL + D to duplicate an object.

  1. Insert, resize and move object (i.e., shape or picture) to desired location on slide.
  2. With the object selected, press CTRL + D. A duplicate will appear, slightly offset from the first.
  3. Move the duplicate to preferred distance from original; keep this object selected.
  4. Press CTRL + D again. The next duplicate (triplicate?) appears positioned equidistant from the last.

Repeat final step, as necessary.

Tip: CTRL + D is a CUA (common user access) instruction in many Graphic and Desktop Publishing programs (e.g., Visio, Photoshop).



Comments and questions are always welcome!


Excel: Insert Tables From Web

Use the Insert from Web option, to quickly import tables from web pages into Excel.

Watch this 2 minute video to see all you need to know.

To Insert Data From Web into Excel

  1. Using your web-browser, locate the content to be imported.
  2. RIGHT + CLICK in the addressbar and select Copy.
  3. In Excel, on the Data tab of the Ribbon, click From Web. A New Web Query dialog will appear.
  4. RIGHT + CLICK in the addressbar, select Paste, and click Go. The source webpage will populate the dialog.
  5. Click the yellow arrow grnarrw next to the table(s) you wish to copy (the icon will change to a green check grnchk  ).
  6. Optionally, click Options and select formatting preference (i.e., None, Rich Text, HTML) then click OK.
  7. Click Import. The Import Data dialog will appear.
  8. Select starting cell to import data to or select “New Worksheet” to import into a new sheet.
  9. Click Properties, uncheck Save Query Definition*, and click OK.
    *Alternatively, to maintain a link to variable data, leave Save Query Definition checked; you will be prompted to ‘Enable Content’ each time the file is opened.
  10. Click OK to complete the import.
Additional reading..



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These headphones beam images directly into your eyes

Forget Google Goggles, Retina display with stereo! Is this the next thing?


From Avegant, a Kickstarter company, promises full audio and beams the images directly on to your retina (ouch?)

For more read the Quartz article here

An Internet Minute

This infographic comes from the IntelScoop.com (March 2013)
The arrangement seems wholly arbitrary; I would’ve preferred if the items were placed in ascending order.
Click here for the full article.

For an updated (December 2013) version of an Internet Minute, click here for an equally horrendous infographic, courtesy of AlleyWatch.com

Enjoy, and remember; the minute you spend looking at this is a minute you could have spent greeting those 100 new LinkedIn members.

An Internet Minute
click image for full size