When you buy Microsoft Office 2010 or another Office edition, you’re purchasing a powerful office suite that can help you work smarter rather than harder. Although mastering Office may seem like a long way off to the novice, it may be easier to achieve than you think. A great way to start is understanding the fundamental skills that all Office expert must have in their arsenals.
Complex Custom Macros
Macros are a set of instructions that can control Office. These commands are functions that can be used as needed and even call on other functions. This ability to code Office is one of the most important aspects that differentiates it from other office suites. The easiest way to create a macro is to use the recorder, which will monitor your keystrokes and mouse gestures and compile them into an instruction set. However, getting the most of this functionality means actually coding functions with a language like VBA or C#. VBA is the traditional Office programming language, but .NET languages generally makes it easier to create reusable code, take advantage external resources and so on.
The power of keyboard shortcuts in Office cannot be overstated. Practically anything you can do in Office can be achieved through a key combination, and mastering these will significantly increase the speed at which you work with office. You can even customize your own shortcuts, and a particularly powerful way to use them is to bind them to custom instruction sets that you’ve created.
If you use Office a lot, you will find yourself creating similar documents repeatedly. The hard part is determining what these documents share in common. Once you’ve identified this common ground, you can create document templates that will be available whenever you create a new document manually or through automation.
Office projects will often involve numerous individual documents, and master documents are a tool provided by Office to organize them. Think of a master document as a folder and all the individual documents as the files it contains. You can even have sub-folders, and sub-folders and documents can even be shared across projects, which lets you reuse documents in the same manner you’d reuse code.
A macro is one type of Office automation, but there are many other program-specific automation tools as well, and this is another of those powerful capabilities you get when you buy Microsoft Office 2010. For instance, Excel has automation tools like autofill, which eases data entry, and pivot tables, which let you perform data analyses that would otherwise take hours or days in a matter of minutes. PowerPoint has PowerPoint motion path and animations, Office has reusable headers and so forth.