Outlook: Search Folders and Smart Folders

Search Folders often elicit an “aha!” moment for attendees in Outlook Advanced training. Many people discover these handy folders can take the place of their existing complicated folder rules. Let’s see how these special folders work.

New Search Folder View

Exercise File

Hey there is no exercise file for you today! Just open up your Outlook and follow along.

Oh, and if you are a Mac user and think this won’t apply to you, think again! I have a solution for you toward the end.

PC Users: Create a Search Folder

On the left side of your Outlook mail, you likely have all sorts of folders. Scroll all the way down to the bottom, and you will find Search Folders

Search Folders on left menu

1. Right click on top of Search Folder and select New Search Folder.

right click menu, new search folder

2. A popup screen will appear with a plethora of options. Lets start with one toward the top: Mail Flagged for Follow Up. Select this option and press OK.

New Search Folder View

3. A new folder appears on the left side of your screen under Search Folders. Click on it, and here is a shortcut to all the mail you have flagged for follow up.

Don’t have any messages flagged for follow up? No problem, we are going to create some more folders.

For Follow Up Search folder visible on left side of screen

Create Another Search Folder

1. Follow step 1 above, and this time select Mail from and to specific people.

2. Toward the bottom of the popup, press Choose to search for a person.

New search folder view, choose button circled.

3. You will be taken to the old familiar search screen (blurred out here for WSU employees’ privacy). In the upper left, type the last name of someone who emails you often.

Global Address List

4. When you find their name on the list, select it, and press OK.

5. Now you have a folder of all the emails in your inbox from this person.

More options

It is worth your time to look through all the Search Folder options. Popular Search Folders include:

  • Unread mail
  • Mail flagged for follow up
  • Important mail
  • Mail from specific people
  • Categorized mail
  • Mail with attachments
  • Mail with specific words (think about form results that come to you with the same title)
  • Custom Search Folder: if all else fails, you can completely design your own
New Search folder view, mail with attachments selected.

Since most of us have a lot of activity on the left side of our Outlook screen, if you want to draw attention to your new Search Folder, you can add it to favorites by right clicking on it.

Right click menu, add to favorites circled

In this way, and a couple other ways, Search Folders are going to behave very much like other folders. But there are some important differences.

A Word About Search Folders

Since they behave similar to regular folders, it is easy to forget that Search Folders are a different type of animal.

A shortcut to search

A search folder is a shortcut to search, nothing more. It is a window into what could have been an advanced search. This is important for several reasons:

  • The mail in the folders still only exist in your inbox, not a separate folder within the inbox.
  • Deleting a search folder will not delete the contents, just the search window.
right click menu, delete folder circled.

If you delete a search folder, you will even receive a message that tells you as much.

warning message indicating that items items in the folder will not be deleted if folder is deleted.

Note: be careful when you do so that you are selecting Delete Folder, not Delete All.

Mac Users: Smart Folders

Mac users, it is finally your turn! While you don’t have Search Folders, you have something arguably cooler. They are called Smart Folders.

1. Start by clicking into the Search bar in the upper right. This will activate the contextual Search tab.

2. Click on the Search tab, and create a customized search: perhaps email from a specific person, then plugging in their name underneath.

3. In the upper right of the Search tab, press Save Search.

Mac view: search tab circled, save search button circled

4. A new folder is created in your Smart Folders, all you have left to do is name it!

New folder appears in Smart Folders on the left.

In a lot of ways, the Mac Smart Folders are more user friendly than the PC Search Folders, but they both accomplish the same task: they give you a very special window into a search of your inbox.


What do you think? Will you find a use for Search Folders or Smart Folders? Will this eliminate the need for some of your folder rules?

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

PowerPoint: Custom Slide Shows

Did you know that you can create custom slide shows in PowerPoint? Let’s say you have a PowerPoint document that you would like to use for two different presentations, but you have a few different slides that you would like to show for each presentation. You can easily create several custom slide shows from the same document. Let’s check it out.


If you would like to follow along, you may download today’s exercise here:

This is a PowerPoint document about Wichita State University. The data is all fictional, of course!

The idea is that you would like to create two possible presentations from this one document: one presentation for parents and one for students.

Set Up Custom Slide Shows

1. Go to the Slide Show tab in the ribbon.

2. In the Start Slide Show group, select the dropdown for Custom Slide Show and select Custom Shows.

3. In the popup that appears, press New.

4. Give the slide show a name in the box provided. Perhaps our first one will be the student presentation, so we can title it Student Show.

5. Select the slides you would like to appear in the slide show: perhaps everything except Finances and Statistics.

6. Press the Add button, and make sure the slides appear on the right pane. Notice you have the ability to rearrange the slide order with the arrows on the right.

7. Press OK.

8. Repeat the steps above, but this time create a Parent Show, consisting of all the slides except Recreation.

9. Now when you visit the Custom Slide Show dropdown, Custom Shows, you can see both the shows you created.

Access Custom Slide Shows

Are you ready to show one of your presentations? Revisit the Custom Slide Show dropdown, and select either the Student Show or the Parent Show to start one of these presentations.


What do you think? How will you use Custom Slide Shows?

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

Carody Bryan

Linda Steinacher

Excel: Navigating Inside a Document with Links

Utilizing links in an Office document can do so much more than simply take your end users to a website. Links are also a great way to help people navigate around a document. Below is a great example… let’s check it out.

Exercise File

Feel free to follow along with today’s Exercise File:

This is a special file full of (fictional) information; there are a variety of sheets at the bottom of the document: a Home sheet, a Management sheet employee information, a sheet with a Class List, and last but not least, Dessert Sales.

You would like to share this document with a group of people who may or may not be very proficient with Excel. Just like we saw with slicers, creating buttons for people to press can be a huge help if people are not familiar with navigating around an Excel document.

Assigning Links

Linking within the Document

We want to assign links to the icons on the Home sheet.

1. Click on the icon of people to select it.

2. Right Click on top of the image, and select Link. (note: this may be called Hyperlink in your version of Office)

3. Notice on the left side of the screen there are a variety of location options. For the icons, we are going to select Place in This Document.

4. Select the Management sheet and press OK.

5. Test out your link by deselecting the icon (click on any cell), then click on the icon.

6. Follow the same process to link the Backpack image to Class List, and the Cake Slice to Dessert Sales.

7. Notice each additional sheet (besides Home) has some arrows in an icon to the right of content. Click on this icon to select it, then link this to the Home sheet.

Test out the icons you just created! You should be able to navigate to a sheet by pressing on an icon in the Home sheet, then go back home by pressing on the Arrows on any other sheet. How cool!

Linking Outside the Document

We have created all sorts of links inside our document. Let’s take a look at linking outside the document.

1. On the Home sheet, press on the WSU Logo to select it.

2. Right click on top of the logo, and select Link (or Hyperlink).

3. On the left side of the screen, press Existing File or Web Page.

4. In the Address box, type http://wichita.edu

5. Press OK.

Test out your newly created link by clicking on the WSU Logo.

Additional Notes

  • Linking to Documents: When you linked to the webpage, you might have noticed the contents of your computer pop up underneath. You can link to an existing document, but remember that the only people who can open the link will be people who have access to the location you are linking to. If you link to something on your desktop, probably you are the only person who can open the link (and only on that machine).
  • Cell Reference: When linking to a place in this document, you can have the link go directly to a specific cell. Enter the cell name in the field provided, otherwise it will default to A1.
  • Removing a link: At any time, links can be removed or edited by right clicking on top of the link and selecting Remove Link or Edit Link.


What do you think? Will you use links to navigate within your shared documents?

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: PivotTables and Calculated Fields

Formulas and PivotTables. Many of us have gotten caught up creating formulas outside of a PivotTable by referencing cells within a pivot table, only to be disappointed when we update our PivotTable and cells shift back and forth. There are several ways of dealing with this issue. One way is to create a Calculated Field within your PivotTable. This is something we cover briefly in Excel PivotTables sessions, but it is definitely worth a review.

Fields, Items and Sets drop down with Calculated Field circled

Exercise File

If you would like to follow along, here is an exercise file:

This document contains two sheets: one sheet contains the PivotTable, and the other contains the source data, showcasing a couple years of dessert sales. Right now, you have income and expense information in the values of the PivotTable. Since we have those figures handy in our data, it would be nice to figure out net income.

For this Byte, I am assuming you are comfortable with PivotTables in Excel. If you are not, please come attend my PivotTables, Charts, and Pictures sessions! Sessions are listed in myTraining and are updated regularly.

PivotTable Contextual Tabs

We are going to be working a lot with the PivotTable Tools contextual tabs. Like any other contextual tab in Microsoft, remember that you need to click on the element to see the corresponding contextual tab(s).

PivotTable Tools COntextual Tabs

When you click on the PivotTable, you should see two contextual tabs for PivotTable Tools: Analyze and Design.

Click onto the pivot table to activate Pivot Table TOols tab

Be sure you can see these tabs before moving on to the next step.

Inserting a Calculated Field

Remember, our end goal is to create a Net Income field that will subtract the Expenses from the Revenue.

1. With the PivotTable Tools activated, go to the Analyze tab, Calculations Group.

2. Select the dropdown for Fields, Items & Sets and select Calculated Field.

Fields, Items and Sets drop down, Calculated Field circled

3. In the popup screen that appears, you will see all the PivotTable fields listed at the bottom of the screen. At the top is an opportunity to name the field and a space for a formula.

Insert Calculated Field Pop up

4. Click in to the Name box and change Field1 to Net Income.

5. Click in to the Formula box, and double click on Revenue in the Fields area. Type a “-” on your number pad, and double click on Expense. We are building a formula that will read: = Revenue – Expense.

6. Press Add.

Insert Calculated Field pop up, filled out as described in text.

7. Press OK, and look at the field you just created incorporating a formula from two other fields. Pretty cool!

Pivot table with new Calculated Field column


  • PivotTable Fields: You will see this calculated field appear in the Values section of your PivotTable Fields.
Sum of Net Income visible in the Values box of Pivot Table Fields list.
  • Calculations from Calculations: If you are creating another Calculated Field, you will see the Net Income field we just created as a field option for use in future formulas.
Calculated field visible in a new Calculated Field pop up screen for further calculations


What do you think? Can you incorporate Calculated Fields into your PivotTables? I would love to hear from you!

Open Labs

Did you know that Applications Training has open labs every other week? Whether you have a Banner question or a Microsoft question, feel free to stop by! Open lab times are listed in myTraining under the title Open Lab Assistance on Banner 9, Time Entry, Reporting, & Microsoft/Adobe.

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

Julie Scott

Julie Scott with Power User Certificate

PowerPoint: Creating Master Slide Layouts

Why would someone want to alter a Master Slide in PowerPoint? Several reasons… Sometimes you are making a simple alteration to the overall formatting or appearance of your slides – we do this in PowerPoint Essentials training. Other times you might want to do what we are about to do today, which is to make a larger layout change for your presentation. Altering the Master Slide might sound intimidating, but it can be a huge time saving step… and can make uniformity of your presentation so much simpler. Let’s check it out.

Exercise Files

No exercise file today! You can open PowerPoint to your favorite theme (or even no theme at all). For reference, my screen shots are showing the Gallery theme.

Master Slides

You have seen Master Slides before, even if you didn’t know where they lived. Whenever you select New Slide on the Home tab, you were picking from preset Master Slides. You probably noticed these options change when you select a different theme… that is because each theme comes with its own unique set of Master Slides.

New Slide view

Let’s find where these Master Slides live. In the View tab of the ribbon, Master Views group, select Slide Master.

View tab, slide master button circled

This can be a bit disorienting at first. Your presentation seems to disappear (but don’t worry, it is still there!), and you are thrown onto a new tab called Slide Master with a plethora of options.

Slide Master tab

At any time, you can leave Master View by selecting Close Master View in the Slide Master tab.

Close Master View circled

Master Slide View and Creating Layouts

Let’s make some adjustments to the Master Slides.

1. Go to View tab, Slide Master (instructions above).

2. On the left side of the screen, notice a list of all the existing layouts. Hover your mouse over one of them to see the name appear.

Mouse hovered over slide layout to see title
  • Notice there is a plethora of options on a right click menu… more on this later. But for now, notice that if you like a layout, and want an additional slightly altered version of it, you have the ability to duplicate and alter.
Right click menu, duplicate circled

3. In the Slide Master tab, go to the Edit Master group an select Insert Layout.

Insert Layout circled

4. In your new layout, find the Master Layout group, and select the dropdown for Insert Placeholder.

Insert Placeholder circled

5. Notice you have the option to limit content to a specific type, or insert generic content (what you are most used to seeing in layouts). We are going to insert Content.

Insert Placeholder options

6. Your cursor will change to a cross hair. Draw out a box the size you would like your content box to be on your slides.

Drawing a placeholder

7. Let’s do another one. Go back to Insert Placeholder (above), and this time select SmartArt. Draw out this box next to the Content box you created. Notice you can use the PowerPoint guides (red dashed lines) to see if the boxes have lined up properly.

Size guides
  • You should be left with a layout similar to this:
Final new layout

8. Remember how we explored the right click options earlier? Find your new layout in the slide list on the left. Right click on top of it, and select Rename Layout.

Right click menu, rename selected

9. Give it a new name that you will easily be able to identify.

Name box

Test Out Your New Slide

Let’s test it out! Remember to leave the Master View, go to the Slide Master Tab, and select Close Master View on the right.

Close Master View button circled

You will be taken back to your presentation. Select the New Slide dropdown. Do you see your new layout?

Newly created master slide visible in New Slide dropdown

More About Master Slide View

While you were in Master Slide View, You might have noticed a couple of other things about the Master Slide tab…

Themes, Colors and Fonts

In PowerPoint Essentials training, we talk about manipulating themes, colors and fonts on the Design tab… the Master Slide tab contains another way to access these same features.

Themes, Colors, Fonts on Master Slide View


To the left of where we selected Insert Placeholder, you might notice a checked box for Title. This is a very important little box.

Master Layout: Title

Luckily this box is checked by default, but be sure not to uncheck it. All of your slides should have a title: this is usually found at the top of your slide. If you were to remove this title box and replace it with a text box for instance, your PowerPoint will not be as easy to work with, nor will it be accessible to people using screen readers. Long story short, leave it checked!


Will this help you customize your presentations? 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

  • Tonya Bronleewe
  • Donna Hughes