PowerPoint: Live Subtitles

Hold on to your hats! I am so excited to show you this amazing new PowerPoint feature in a new group called Captions and Subtitles. This life changing tool will caption your words during your presentation as you are speaking… and that is just the beginning. This tool really needed a video to showcase what it can do, so keep scrolling to check out a short video.

Subtitle settings

Live Subtitles in PowerPoint

Take a look at the video below, where I demonstrate the feature. Then there are a couple notes for you after…

How do I obtain access to this amazing wizardry?

This feature is only available for the Office 365 versions of the PC desktop application. If you are running 2016, you would need to request an upgrade (see below). Even with the 365 version, many people don’t have this feature yet, but don’t worry, it is coming soon! Here is what you can do:

  1. If you are not using Office 365, contact the Help Desk (4357) to put in a ticket to have Desktop Support update your computer.
  2. Even so, you likely will not see this feature yet, but hang tight, because you will see it soon with coming updates.
  3. When it does appear, it will live on the Slide Show tab of the ribbon.


What do you think? Is your mind buzzing with ideas? I would love to hear from you!

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit: wichita.edu/poweruser

Meghan Simpson

Meghan Simpson

Word: Linking Text Between Documents

There are several options in Word for referencing a separate Word document. A feature I particularly like is called Insert Object. There is a lot you can do with the Insert Object feature, but one nice aspect is the ability to link (and sync!) text between two documents. Let’s see how this works.

Exercise Files

There are two files that will work together today:

The Welcome New Employees document contains a section that you would like to reference back to another Word document, Policy 55555. You would like for the Welcome New Employees document to update as your policy updates.

Since we will be linking these documents together, save both of these files to your desktop before going to the next step.

Insert Object

1. Open the Welcome New Employees document.

2. Place your cursor where you would like to insert the content from Policy 55555, at the end of the document.

3. Go to the Insert tab, Text group, and select the Object dropdown.

Note: if your screen is a smaller size, or the size of the Word window is reduced, you may only see an icon for the object in the ribbon.

4. Select Object from the dropdown.

5. In the tab at the top of the pop out screen select Create from File.

Create from File tab

6. Press Browse to browse for the Policy 55555 document.

Instructions 6 through 8

7. Check Link to File

8. Press OK

Inserted Text

Notice how this inserts the text with a frame around it. You cannot edit this text anywhere except in the source document, Policy 55555.

1. Double click on the frame to open the linked document in a new window.

Inserted text in a frame

2. Make a change to the source document.  Instead of Sandy, change the contact to Hannah, and the phone number to 999 9999.

3. Save the Policy document and close it to see the change take effect in the Welcome document.

Changes made to policy document

By the way, in the future you could always just open the linked Policy file, and make a change to it on its own. The change will take effect the next time you open the Welcome file… you may have to close and reopen the Welcome file if it is open when you make the change this way, though.


A few more things to note:

  1. Be cautious of where you save or move your linked documents. They may need to be re-linked if you move them to new locations.
  2. Insert Object also exists in PowerPoint. Imagine the possibilities!
  3. If you choose to email the final file to people, or post it online, they will be able to see the latest linked text, but they will not be linked to the linked document (Policy in this example), nor will they be able to open the linked document. Only people who can access where the linked document is stored will be able to do that.
  4. All bets are off if you export to PDF. The text will appear, but it will no longer be linked.

In other words, think of this as a feature to use with your master documents, to ensure consistency.


Do you have a use for this nifty linked text feature? Also, like I mentioned in the introduction, this is only one aspect of the Insert Object feature. Feel free to explore and let me know how it goes!

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit: wichita.edu/poweruser

Excel: Magic Macros

In honor of the wizardry of technology, and because everyone should be having a blast during summer break, I made a fun exercise for us in Excel… a crystal ball… via the magic of Excel Macros.

To give credit where credit is due, this was inspired by an exercise Mr. Excel showed us at Excelapalooza last fall.

Exercise File

Here it is… ask it anything! Crystal Ball Document

Allow Macros

This magic involves macros, so if you want to use this crystal ball, you might be prompted to “allow macros” or “Enable Content.” If so, go ahead and allow them. And more on this later…

How to Use it

Alright, this is about a sophisticated as a Magic 8 ball, which is to say, you will think of a yes or no question, then press the “Ask Me Anything” button on the Crystal ball.

Crystal ball, with arrow pointing to Ask Me Anything button

Your answer will appear in cell B2, next to the “Your Answer” writing. Keep pressing the button for different answers (there are some good ones in there).

Your Answer now has a response: Nope.

Look Behind the Curtain

How did I do this? Let’s take a peek behind the curtain.

Unprotect Workbook

This is a protected workbook. Go to the Review tab and select Protect Workbook to toggle off the protection. I did not apply a password. This will allow you to discover a sheet I have sneakily hidden.

Review tab, Protect workbook button

Unhide Sheet

Right click on the tab of the sheet (where you see the sheet name) and select Unhide.

Right click menu, unhide selected.

Hey there is a hidden sheet in this workbook! This looks a lot like the results we have been seeing when we ask the crystal ball for answers. But where do these results come in to play?

Sheet with responses

Formula in B2

Go back to the Crystal Ball sheet and click on cell B2, where the results appear. Look up in the formula bar… it looks like there is a pretty nifty nested formula that is selecting a random number between 1 and 14 and matching it up to possible results.

If you want to learn more about nested formulas, come to one of my Excel Advanced Formulas sessions! Those of you who have attended before, I could have also used VLOOKUP on this cell, but for some reason I was feeling old fashioned and went with the old Match/Index one-two punch.


Okay, the hidden sheet makes sense, and the formula is logical, but what does this button have to do with anything? How exactly does this work? The answer is… Macros!

What are Macros?

Macros are basically a shortcut you create that will perform a series of commands. If you get tired of copy/pasting as values in Excel, you could make a macro button that would do that for you. I once talked to someone who consistently wanted to print only the first page of a document, so we made a macro that would do just that.This saved her a lot of clicks throughout the day.

Basically, any combination of commands, formulas, you name it, you can create a macro for it. Macros use a special code called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). If you want to take a look at the super simple macro behind this button, press Alt + F11 on your keyboard.

VBA coding of Macro

Now, don’t let this scare you off, macros can also be recorded via a macro recording tool in Excel. You don’t have to learn VBA to create macros, though it can really help.

I Thought Macros Were Something Bad…

I hear this a lot. Sometimes you open a document and receive a stern warning about macros… you may have even received a message like this when you downloaded this exercise. Because macros carry coding for actions, they can hide malicious code from ne’er-do-wells. Think of it this way, macros are a tool, and any tool can be used for good or bad purposes. So if you download something from a source you are unsure of, and you want to be extra careful, don’t allow macros to run, though know this will possibly reduce functionality. But if you made the macros yourself, or it is sent to you from a trusted friend (like me), you are probably fine.

Are You Interested in a Macros Session?

This Byte was a super fly-by narrative about macros. A couple of you have told me you are interested in learning more about macros… if you would like to attend a session like this, let me know! If there is a lot of interest, maybe I can put something together. You can either comment on this post or send me an email. I always love to hear from you anyway.

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit: wichita.edu/poweruser