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Tips & Tricks II

Configure Windows Explorer to display more details

By default, if you select a folder and choose View | Details in Windows Explorer, it shows you the names of the files in that folder along with their size, the file type, and the date they were last modified. You can configure Windows Explorer to display more details by right-clicking on any of the File, Size, Type, or Modified columns and choosing the columns you want to add. For example, use the Created column to display the date the file was originally created. Or, you can add the Accessed column so that you can see when the file was last opened on the computer.

Automatically sort PivotTable data

When you initially create a PivotTable, the data is sorted according to the data that appear as row or column headings. However, when you refresh the PivotTable any new entries that may be added are placed at the end of the column or row lists by default. To manually re-sort the items, select the appropriate column field name and then click the Sort Ascending button. If your data is highly volatile, you can ensure that items are always sorted when the data is refreshed. To do so, double-click on the appropriate field name. Then, click the Advanced button when the PivotTable field dialog box opens. Next, select the Ascending option button in the AutoSort Options section. Finally, click OK on all of the open dialog boxes.

Size a table the same width as the page

(97/2000/2001/2002) When you create a table, Word sizes the table to span the page width by default. However, as you customize your table's column count and column widths, the default page-width table sizing may be lost. To resize a table so that it fits the width of the page in Word 2000 and later, select the entire table and then choose Table | Table Properties from the menu bar. Click on the Table tab, and then select the Preferred Width check box in the Size area. Choose Percent from the Measure In dropdown list, then change the Preferred Width setting to 100%. When you've finished, click OK. Word resizes the table to fit the page, retaining the table's relative column widths.

To resize a table in Word 97, select the entire table and then choose Table | Cell Height And Width from the menu bar. Click on the Column tab, and then change the Width Of Columns setting to Auto and click OK. Word resizes the table to fit the page, applying equal sizes to each column. (Note: As an alternative, you can resize the table by modifying the width of a single column instead of all columns. To do so, select any cell within the column you wish to modify instead of selecting the entire table.)

Entering tabs in a Word table

When you create a table in Word, the [Tab] key takes on some special functions. First, pressing [Tab] when the insertion point is in the last table cell creates a new row. In addition, pressing [Tab] in any other cell moves the insertion point into the next cell. (You can press [Shift][Tab] to reverse direction.)

But what if you want to insert a tab mark within a table? The trick is to hold down the [Ctrl] key as you press [Tab]. Word then enters a tab mark just as if you'd pressed [Tab] outside the table.