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12 Ways to Hack Microsoft Office

Everyone loves a good life hack, so try out these pro tricks and tips to get the most out of Microsoft Office. Which leaves more time for drinking.

It’s tough, being a student. Think of all those assignments you have to do, essays to write, reports to make and presentations to give. We’ve searched high and low to bring you the best, most useful – and sometimes even fun – tips on how to hack Microsoft Office for an easier and more sudoku filled life (you’ll see).


1. REAL-TIME CO-AUTHORING

You can now work collaboratively on the same document, with updates and comments appearing in real-time. That’ll make it much easier when you have to do an assignment with that one person who never turns up to class – just share the document with them and you can both work on it remotely, at the same time!


2. DOUBLE CLICK ANYWHERE TO BEGIN TYPING

That means you don’t have to keep pressing tab and adding spaces to put the text where you want it to go!


3. SMART COPYING

Click the little clipboard arrow in the copy & paste section to see & paste the last things you’ve copied. It can hold up to 24!


4. KERNING

For when you need to make an essay longer, but increasing the line spacing is too obvious. Kerning changes the space between the letters. This looks better with some fonts than others. Click the little arrow near Font, then ‘advanced’ then tick ‘Kerning for fonts’ and play around.


5. SMART LOOKUP

This feature is perfect for struggling through those notes you took with a hangover a month ago when it comes to writing an actual essay. All you need to do is highlight a word or phrase and select ‘Smart Lookup’ from the right-click menu, and Word will pull up and display related information within the Word app. Much quicker than googling ‘post-feminism’.


6. INTEGRATED SKYPE

You no longer have to open up a whole new window when you need to Skype your pets and family back home! Instead you can access Skype from within Word or Excel, and keep writing that essay whilst you admire your cat’s whiskers and chat to your mum.

7. UNSEND EMAILS IN OUTLOOK

So there isn’t actually a button for this, but you can create a rule that adds a delay to your emails – perfect for when you are 2,500 words into an essay and half a bottle of wine down and accidentally send one to your professor explaining how much you hate them. For a step-by-step guide, head here.


8. HIGHLIGHT A WHOLE SENTENCE WITH JUST ONE CLICK

No more of that click and drag nonsense – simply hold down ctrl (or command) and click on any word and it’ll highlight the whole sentence. Ta-da!


9. CHANGE CASES

HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN A WHOLE SENTENCE ONLY TO GLANCE UP AND REALISE THAT IT LOOKS LIKE THIS? Well, there’s a solution to that. Highlight the text you need to change, then (if using a PC) go to the Home Tab and click on the “Aa” pull-down menu near the font/size menu. On a Mac, head to Format > Change Case.


10. MASTER THE BASIC SHORTCUTS

How much time do you spend reaching for the cut and paste buttons, or undoing your mistakes? Okay, it’s probably a few milliseconds every time. But add it up over the years and they’ll cost you hours of your life. Get used to the basic keyboard shortcuts listed here and soon you’ll be editing your essays at record speed.


11. CLEAR FORMATTING

You know that annoying thing where you copy text into your document and it looks different from everything else? Remove that problem forever by mastering Office’s styles. You can either remove all formatting from a bit of text with the ‘tx’ or select one of the preset styles listed at the top of the page to instantly change it


12. MAKE A SUDOKU SOLVER AND GENERATOR IN EXCEL

Who wouldn’t want to be able to solve those hardest sudokus that you just can’t figure out? Well, with this download, you can sneakily solve them, and pretend you did all the hard work yourself. Or use it to generate endless sudokus! For the more Excel-savvy, there’s also a step-by-step guide on how to create the tool yourself.

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