Access, Certification Training, Microsoft Office Specialist

Lights, Camera, Action!

Microsoft Access Action Queries

Action Queries can change the data in the Tables. For example, an Update Query can find any movie released before the year 2000 and set the rental price.

The other Action Queries include Append (add more Records), Delete (subtract Records), and Make Table (Copy the Records from a Query into a new Table.)

Action Queries simplify the task of archiving the old movies.

I have a video on YouTube that shows these steps:

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Please consider my course on UDEMY, The Beginning Guide to Microsoft Access. This course is free.

The Beginning Guide to Microsoft Access 2013 – Udemy

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Certification Training, Microsoft Office Specialist, Word

Equations in Word

Hello, Equation Tools! At long last, Word has a whole Ribbon of Tools for writing and editing Equations. This post will introduce the new Ribbon.

Before You Begin: A new, blank document is open.

Insert Equations: Creating math symbols as you type is very useful. You can also insert and edit equations in Microsoft Word 2013.

1. Try This: Find the Equations
Go to Insert-> Symbols->Equation. Click on the drop-down arrow on the right.

What Do You See? There should be a list of equations including the Area of a Circle, Binomial Theorem and, yes indeed, it is the Pythagorean Theorem for triangles.

2. Try This, Too: Insert A New Equation
Go to Insert-> Symbols->Equation.
Click on Insert New Equation.
Click OK.

3. What Do You See? There should be a new Equation Block that you can edit.

What Else Do You See?The Equation Tools include: Tools Symbols Structures

4. Try This: Review the Equation Ribbon
Go to Equation Tools-> Design->Structures.

What Do You See? Many of the math and business symbols can be found in the Symbols.  The Structures enable you to document Fractions, Script, Radicals, Integrals, Bracket, Function, Accent, Limit and Log, Operator, and Matrix. Way cool new Ribbon.

Math AutoCorrect Options

Earlier, we reviewed the Math Equations. Many professions use mathematical symbols in reports and documentation. Prior to Microsoft Office 2007, you had to Insert a Symbol and select a letter from a set of Fonts named Dingbats or Symbols.

How Did We Get Here?

The Word Options are open. Proofing is selected. Go to the top of the Proofing page. Click AutoCorrect Options… Try it: Find the Math AutoCorrect Options  When the AutoCorrect window opens, select the Math AutoCorrect Tab.


Math AutoCorrect has an extensive list of text for math, chemistry and engineering. This list is adaptable, too. You can add or edit your own entries, same as with AutoCorrect.

Look for the check box to Use Math AutoCorrect outside of the math regions. This is an important option if you wish to type formulas and equations.

Extra Points if you can identify this math calculation tool, above

That’ll work. Good question. Thanks for asking.


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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Certification Training, Educational Technology, Excel, Microsoft Office Specialist, PowerPoint

Microsoft SWAY: Almost Useful

Microsoft, did anyone test the User Interface of the new SWAY product? I appreciate some of the programming but Yikes! what a difficult program to use. All in the name of “Making it Simple.”

Please click on the image to see our SWAY tutorial.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks, eBeth

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Certification Training, Microsoft Office Specialist, Word

Working with Block Quotes in Word

Create a Block Post in Word

There are two ways of handing Paragraphs in Microsoft Word:

The Paragraph options on the Home Ribbon format the Text. This Group has Bullets, Numbers, Indents and Line Spacing.

The Paragraph options on the Layout Ribbon format the margins and adjusts the space between the paragraphs.

Block formatting is used in business letters to call out important information. The APA also requires Block Quote formatting for any quote greater than 40 words.

Here is the answer on Quora:

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Certification Training, Microsoft Office Specialist, Word

Take a Break!

Footers, Page Numbers, and Breaks

How do you create different Headers and Footers in a Word document? Say you wanted to have each Chapter in a report have a different Header (Chapter I, Chapter 2, etc.). Say that the page numbering in each chapter restarted at Page 1. This little post will show the steps.

That’ll work. Please let me know if I answered your question.

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Computers, Educational Technology, Microsoft Office Specialist

What Are the Differences Between Microsoft Office 2010 and 2016?

What Changed for Me
The big difference was the switch from desktop computers to devices: Phones, Tablets and iPads. Almost 60% of all computing is now done on a hand-held device, not a desktop PC. Microsoft bought Nokia, the phone company, and all of the Touch Screen patents that Nokia owned.

Bigger Ribbons
The Ribbons definitely changed from Microsoft Office 2007 to 2013. The Ribbon is almost twice as big, so that I can click with my fingers, instead of my mouse.

Word 2010 Home Ribbon

Word 2013 Home Ribbon

New Quick Clicks
The Quick Clicks provide rich options right next to whatever I am editing-Picture, Chart, Text-without having to scroll up to the top of a very little screen.

Excel 2013 Chart Style

If you look at the bottom of Microsoft Excel, you can see the plus (+) sign by the Tabs. Doesn’t that remind you of the (+) that you use on your SmartPhone to add a new Contact? Hello, New Tab

Consume or Create?
In class I make a distinction between consuming information:
I read it on my SmartPhone.

…And creating knowledge:
I analyze the data and publish the findings professionally.

My Humble Opinion
I believe that Microsoft is seeking the right pathway with their flagship product Microsoft Office. The options in Office 2016 are integrated with the business version of Microsoft Office 365. Being part of a server, especially an Exchange server, puts a lot of business savvy into the hands of a small business. These tools were very expensive to deploy and maintain in my own office: hardware, setup, support.

I am looking forward to the next steps.

Good question. Thanks for asking.

Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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Certification Training, Excel, Microsoft Office Specialist

The Dynamic Duo: vLookUp and IF

The Lookup Function

Say your company offers a bonus for meeting sales goals. The bonus will be calculated as a percent of the sales. The best way to calculate the bonus is to look up the answer in a Table. Excel calls this the Lookup function. A vertical, or VLookup uses the values in the columns. A horizontal, or HLookup, uses the data in rows.

Microsoft Office is most effective when the tasks are strung together in a sequence. It is how we process our work: many little steps one after the other. Today’s post presents the Dynamic Duo: vLook and the Logical Function IF. This will be fun.

My Approach

As a database designer, I think of Excel as a “Prequel” to Access. The data in Excel and Access is the same, they can be linked. So the data should be normalized in both. There should be a Table for each type of information. In this example, there will be a Table for the Bonus (VLOOKUP). Then we can look up the right answer in the Tables.

Create the Lookup Table in Excel

Here is a YouTube video that demonstrates all of these steps that you can watch if you wish: Intermediate Excel: Using Lookup Tables

Can these formulas be used with the other Logical Options: And, Or, Not? Absolutely. But that is new story for another day.

Good question. Thank you to the people who invited me to post an answer on Quora.


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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Certification Training, Microsoft Office Specialist, PowerPoint

Enhancing Photos in PowerPoint

What Can Be Done With This Picture in PowerPoint? It’s Ugly. 

PowerPoint is a visual program that speaks to a big audience. According to Temple Grandin, many people think in Pictures, while others think in Words. There are some excellent Picture Tools in PowerPoint. Here is the Computer Mama’s favorite: Brightness and Contrast.

In this example, there is a picture of the pumpkin field in Gregory, Michigan. It was taken on a bright summer day late in the afternoon, so there are strong shadows. The picture was taken with a digital camera using the automatic setting. The picture is good, but it could be better.

Adjust the Brightness and Contrast

Brightness is the amount of light on the subject. Contrast is the difference between absolute white and absolute black. Changing the Brightness can make an image much more alive and colorful.

Try it: Adjust the Brightness and Contrast

The picture on Slide 1 is selected. The Picture Tools should be available.

Go to Picture Tools->Format-> Adjust.
Go to Corrections->Brightness and Contrast.
Select: Brightness: 0% (Normal) Contrast: +40%.

What Do You See? There are three different Picture Correction options:

  • Sharpen and Soften
  • Brightness and Contrast
  • Picture Corrections Options.

Each little square in the library is a different percentage of Brightness or Contrast. When you run your cursor over the Correction, you should see a Live Preview.

Lots of Picture Tools

There are many other Picture Tools that you can use to make adjustments, recolor the image, or crop to shape.

Here is a YouTube video that you can watch if you wish.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 Beginning: Every Picture Tells a Story

One More Thought: Compression

By default, Microsoft Office compresses all pictures to a very low resolution. In one way it makes sense: We have to consider Size and Resolution if this image is going to be viewed on the Internet. An image at full resolution (say 8MB) can take a loooooong time to download.

One way to handle this compromise is to use a small, compressed version of the image in the article or online publication. This thumbnail can link to the original, high resolution image.

More Information: Word Compresses My Pictures: Make it Stop!

Good question. Thank you for asking.


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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Certification Training, Microsoft Office Specialist, Outlook

Manage Outlook Meeting Requests

Is It Possible to Schedule Meeting Invitations in Microsoft Office?

Yes, you can schedule when an Appointment and it’s Meeting Request are emailed. Meetings and messages go together like donuts and coffee. If you want someone to attend a meeting, then you need to invite them….if that doesn’t work, offer them ice cream.

In this lesson ) and the Attendees are the ones who respond to the Meeting Request.

The Calendar is open in Microsoft Outlook.

Try it: Create a New Appointment
Go to Home ->New-> New Appointment.
Enter the Subject: Team Meeting
Select the Start Time: 11:00 AM
Select the End Time: 1:00 PM
Type the Location: The Yum Yum Tree, Brighton

Go to Appointment->Options.
Show As: Out of the Office.

Try This, Too: Add a Hyperlink to the Meeting
Type the following, please.
Here is a link: .

Use the Forward Option to Create an Email Invitation
Try This: Forward this Appointment

Go to Meeting->Actions->Forward.

What Do You See?
The email Header will open at the top of this appointment. You can add the Meeting Attendees, now.

What Else Do You See? All of the Email Options are now available.
So, you can choose to Delay Sending this email.

Try This: Delay the Delivery
Go to Meeting->Options->More Options.
Click on Delay Delivery.

Try This: Delay the Delivery
OK, here are the options that you can edit: When it is delivered, what email should be used for replies, and when the email will self-delete.

Good Questions! Thanks for asking.


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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