Excel: Form Entry for Tables

A lot of people prefer a form entry view to a table view for data entry. Forms for data entry are something we are all used to seeing in popular programs like Filemaker and Access, but also for something as basic as filling out an online form… that is data entry too, after all.

There are ways to accomplish this task with macros, but there is an even simpler way to activate a new view involving Tables.

Exercise File

If you would like to follow along, download the exercise file here:

ExerciseFormEntry

This looks familiar if you have attended Advanced Formulas training. We use this same data to calculate age from birthday and grade from a grade percent. Notice that columns E, G and H all contain formulas, while the other columns are free entry.

Important: Format as a Table

This data has been formatted as a Table. We talk about tables at great length in Excel Essentials. Remember how I said there are endlessly cool things that will happen in your life when you format data as a table? Here is another one!

Creating a Form Button

Form entry is not a command you can find in the ribbon, but there is a work around for this. You might recall that the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) contains all the commands you can find on the ribbon and also commands not in the ribbon… let’s find this one.

  1. Find the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) above the ribbon.
  2. Select the dropdown arrow at the right side of the QAT.QAT Dropdown
  3. Select More Commands.QAT More Commands
  4. On the Choose Commands From dropdown, select Commands not in the Ribbon.Commands Not in Ribbon
  5. On the left pane, scroll down and select Form (features are listed alphabetically).
  6. Press the Add button between the two panes.
  7. Form will appear on the right pane.
  8. Press OKSteps 5 through 8 illustated

A new button will appear in your QAT for Form entry.

New button in QAT

Using the New Button

Let’s test out the button.

  1. Place your cursor anywhere inside the table.
  2. Press the Form button you just created in your QAT.
    New button in QAT
  3. A form entry box will appear.

Form Entry box

New: Adding Entries
  1. On the right side of the form view, press New
    New Button
  2. Enter in your own information (give yourself a good grade!)
  3. Notice how the columns that contain formulas (E, G and H) are not enterable.
  4. Tab to move between fields
  5. Press enter once data is entered.
  6. Scroll down to look at the new entry in the table.

 

Criteria:  Search for a Specific Field
  1. On the right side of the form view, press Criteria.Criteria Button
  2. Place your cursor in the Last Name field and try searching for Last Name: Green
  3. Press Find Next to be taken to the next entry.Find Next Button

Possible Pitfalls

  • If you are sharing a workbook with a group of people who would like to do form entry on your table, they will need to add the Form tool to their QAT too. They will still be able to type into the table without the form view, of course.

Thoughts?

What do you think? Do you have any old tables lying around that could use this handy feature?

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

  • Hannah BatesHannah Bates

PowerPoint: Animation Painter

We frequently go to a lot of trouble to create the perfect animation in PowerPoint. In PowerPoint Essentials, we discuss options for adjusting duration, delaying animations, triggers for animations, and other various tweaks you can make when selecting an animation. Once you have spent a lot of time making these adjustments, you may want to apply the same effect to another object in your presentation without recreating the wheel every time. Animation Painter is the perfect tool for this!

Exercise File

If you would like to follow along, download the exercise file here: AnimationPainterExercise

This file has the beginnings of a presentation on Wichita State University. Slide 2, titled Shocker Hall, has an image with a couple animations applied to it; both animations have been tweaked for timing. Slide 3, Culture and Activities, has an image with no animations applied.

Your Challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to apply the animation from Slide 2 to the image in Slide 3.

Important: Animation Pane

For this exercise, and really any time you are working with animations in PowerPoint, toggle on your Animation Pane. There are many ways this will make your life easier when working with animations, and working with the Animation Painter is no exception.

  • Go to: Animations tab, Advanced Animation group, select Animation Pane.
    Animations Tab, Animation Pane button

Animation Painter

Let’s paint some animations!

Slide two selected, click on element, go to animation painter.

  1. Select Slide 2 (Shocker Hall) from the preview pane on the left side of the screen.
  2. Select the Shocker Hall image.
  3. Note the animations applied to the image in the Animation Pane on the right.
    • To preview the animations, press the Preview button in the left side of the Animations tab.
      Preview Button
  4. With the Shocker Hall image selected, go to the Animation tab, Advanced Animation group, and select Animation Painter.
    Animation Painter
  • Note that your cursor turns into a paintbrush (just like the Format Painter we explore in Word and Excel Essentials)

Cursor is a paintbrush

5. Select Slide 3 (Culture and Activities) in the preview pane on the left side of the screen.

6. Select the Performance image in the slide; this will “paint” the animation settings onto this picture.

Click on image

  • A preview of the newly-applied animation should occur immediately, but can also be replayed with the Preview button in the Animations

Possible Pitfall

  • Mouse Click Folly: Be careful where you click with this feature: be sure you have selected what you would like to copy, then immediately click onto the object to be altered. It is very easy to “paint” animation onto the wrong item (don’t forget, ctrl Z can be your best friend).

Thoughts?

How will you use this feature on your presentations?

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

  • Jesse Koza
    (channeling Clippy!)Jesse Koza

Outlook: Delay Delivery

There are a variety of reasons that you may want to delay delivery of an email in Outlook. Perhaps you are waiting until a specific time to send a reminder, or maybe you need to delay sending emails to specific people until 4:59 pm (or 7:59 am). Outlook’s Delay Delivery feature may be just what you are looking for.

Mac Users

It looks like this feature will be coming in the future to Mac users (365 and 2019 versions of Outlook), so stay tuned! It will be called “Send Later,” and will appear as a dropdown next to the Send button.
Mac Send Later screen

PC Users: Outlook Options

To start, try testing this out on a test email, not an important one.

  1. Create a New Email.
    New email button
  2. Select the Options tab in the ribbon
  3. In the More Options group, press Delay Delivery
    Options tab, delay delivery button
  4. In the pop up screen, Delivery Options section, make sure the box next to Do not Deliver before is checked. Set the date and time for delivery and pressIf you want to see the feature in action, try delaying your test email for just a few minutes.
    Do not deliver before selected, date and time entered
  5. When you are ready to send the message, press Send, just like usual.
    Send Button
  6. The email will be in your Outbox until the delivery time. To make a change or delete the message, go to your outbox. Double click on the message to reopen and access the Options tab on the ribbon.
    Outlook folder,s Outbox circled

Important Caveats

Closing Outlook

  • When you use this feature in Outlook, your Outlook program must be up and running for the delivery to occur. So, if the delivery time occurs while your Outlook is closed, the delivery will not occur until you reopen Outlook.
  • If you Delay Delivery and close your Outlook, you will receive a reminder message that there are items in your Outbox.Warning message that there are messages in outbox

Button Defaults

  • As soon as you press the Delay Delivery button, the email will be delayed until a default time until you uncheck Do Not Deliver Before In other words, if you press this button to look at the feature but do not want to delay delivery, be sure to uncheck the box next to Do Not Deliver Before.Do Not Deliver Before box

Thoughts?

What do you think? Do you have great ideas for using this cool feature in Outlook?

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

  • Susie Jacques
    Susie Jacques
  • Heather Merchant
    (as Flash Phil!)Heather Merchant

Excel: Paste Special Operations: Quick Arithmetic with a Range Cells

Every once in a while, you find yourself in a situation where you need to perform a basic arithmetic function on a series of cells… maybe you need to take a group of cells and increase or decrease their number by 1, or by a percentage.

You could create a helper column, write a formula into it, auto fill down, then copy and paste the values back into their original spots, but that is a lot of steps for simple addition! You might be tempted to change the values by hand; adding one to each cell is not so hard, right? Well, don’t! There is an even faster way.

I have mentioned before that there is more than meets the eye in Paste Special options. Here is another great example.

Exercise File

To follow along, download today’s exercise here: ExercisePasteSpecialAddition

Scenario

This workbook contains a sheet called Attendance. In this scenario, my supervisor has asked that I add myself and him/her to the staff headcount at the January meetings. So, I would like to quickly add 2 to all the numbers in column B.

Paste Special: Operations

Since we will be using copy and paste for this, we need to have the number we want to add somewhere on the sheet so it can be copied. You can always delete it later: I populated this number in cell F1 for us.

  1. Select F1
  2. Either press Ctrl C on your keyboard or right click, copyF1 Selected, Copy
  3. Select all the cells that need this figure added: so B2 to B28
  4. In the Clipboard group of the Home tab, select the dropdown under Paste
  5. Select Paste SpecialPaste dropdown, Paste Special selected
  6. In the popup screen, under Operation, select Add.Operations section, Add selected
    • By doing this, we are telling Excel that, instead of copying the number 2 to all these cells, we would like to add 2 to the existing contents.
  7. All the numbers in the selected cells have now increased by 2.New list, with numbers increased by 2Once you have finished this task, you could theoretically delete the contents of E1 and F1. We did not create formulas in column B, we just added to the existing number, so we are no longer relying on F1.

    More Arithmetic Options

    Did you spy the other options in the Operations section of Paste Special? You could also:

    • Multiply
    • Divide
    • Subtract

Operations section of Paste Special

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

  • Lana Anthis
    Lansa Anthis
  • Cindy Sharp
    Cindy Sharp
  • Susie Steinbach

Susie Steinbach

Accessibility Checker

How accessible are your documents? Do you know how to check? Do you know it is easy and not scary at all? I promise.  Let’s run an accessibility check a document.

Exercise File

To follow along, download today’s exercise here: ExerciseDocCheckAccessibility

This document looks familiar if you have attended a Word Essentials training session; it is a final draft document from our Summer Camp Exercise. While this is a Word document, the good news is the checker will work the same in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; so once you have learned it in one program, you have learned it in all of them.

Checking Accessibility

To check accessibility on this document:

On a PC:

  1. Go to File
  2. Select the Check for Issues dropdown
  3. Select Check Accessibility

Backstage View: Check for issues, check accessibility

On a Mac:

  1. Go to Tools
  2. Select Check Accessibility

Tools, check accessibility

  • Depending on your version of Microsoft, you may see the Accessibility Checker make an appearance in other views and tabs in the ribbon. Go for it! Microsoft is great about putting features in multiple locations, making them easier to find.

The Results

Once you select the Accessibility Checker, the results will appear on the right. It looks like my checker has found a few errors and a warning…. Some missing Alt Text and some repeated blank characters. What does this mean?

Accessibility Checker Results Pane

Classifications

Microsoft separates these results into three classifications:

  • Error. Content that makes the document difficult or impossible to read and understand for people with disabilities
  • Warning. Content that in most (but not all) cases makes the document difficult to understand for people with disabilities
  • Tip. Content that people with disabilities can understand but that could be presented in a different way to improve the user’s experience

Quick note, depending on your version of Microsoft, your checker may find different results than mine, so don’t be alarmed if your screen looks different. These checkers are constantly being developed and improved upon… the good news is, things are only getting better and more user friendly!

More Information About Errors and Warnings

For even more information, click on one of the errors, and look at the scrolling pane underneath the errors, titled Additional Information. Included in this pane is a Why Fix section with detailed explanations.

I can see, for instance, that my blank characters, which seem innocuous to me, could be very irritating to somebody accessing my document with a screen reader. I might be better off removing some of them or replacing them with a page break, if that is what I am really hoping to accomplish.

Accessibility Checker Errors

What is Alt Text? This is one you will see quite frequently. Alt text stands for Alternative Text. Screen readers will read alternative text aloud to your readers. So, think about the times you have created a document and conveyed a thought with an image rather than text; somebody accessing your document with a screen reader might want in on some of that knowledge so they can understand what is going on.

How to Fix

You probably know how to get rid of blank spaces mentioned above, but are you unsure how to fix problems like Alt Text?

It is worth reiterating that solutions are only getting simpler: if you are using Microsoft Office 365, the newest version of MS Office, Alt Text is accessible on a right click menu.

Edit Alt Text in right click menu in Office 365

That being said, most of us on campus are using Office 2016 or 2013, where Alt Text is absent from a right click option.

Microsoft does offer some guidance for How to fix each error:

  1. In the Accessibility Checker results pane, select the alt text error.
  2. In the same scrolling pane underneath the errors where we found why to fix the errors (above) is a subsection called Steps to Fix (you may have to use the scroll bar to see it).

Accessibility Checker: Steps to fix

These instructions are quite helpful, though I have found that they are more accurate for those using 2016 or earlier versions of Microsoft Office, where Alt Text is harder to find.

It looks like my instructions (For MS Office 2016) are telling me to:

  1. Right click on the image
  2. Select Format PictureRIght click menu, format picture
  3. Select Layout and Properties icon (looks like a four-headed arrow)
  4. Then enter Alt Text: How would you describe this picture to someone?Alt Text Screen in Word

More about Accessibility

There is so much more to say about this topic, but I will leave you with a couple more thoughts:

Styles

An excellent way to make your document accessible and utilize many more fabulous features in Microsoft products is by making use of the Styles. We cover styles at great length in Word Essentials training… I hope you are using them! More on these later…

Word Styles

Instructional Design and Access

Instructional Design and Access is the ultimate resource on campus for accessibility in documents. They offer numerous training sessions and excellent guidance. They can be reached at IDA@wichita.edu

Don’t miss their Blackboard and Accessibility Lab in the C-Space in the library every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:00 to 3:00.

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

  • Betsy Main

Betsy Main

  • Karen Rogers

Karen Rogers

Excel: Transpose

“Show me a person who likes HLOOKUP and I will show you a person who doesn’t know about transpose in Excel,” quipped Mr. Excel (Bill Jelen) at Excelapalooza last fall.

Indeed, so many people are crazy about the VLOOKUP function, but you rarely hear anyone talk about VLOOKUP’s less popular cousin HLOOKUP.  This is partially because people tend to orient their spreadsheets vertically (as they should!). But also because, in the rare instance of a horizontally oriented list, the transpose feature in Excel has you covered. Transpose will allow you to turn a horizontally oriented list into a vertically oriented list, or vice versa.

“Why haven’t I seen this transpose button?”

Well, it is not a button per se… (but it should be!). Excel has packed some sneaky features into their paste options. This is just one of them (more on this later).

Exercise File

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

On this sheet is a list of letter grades and GPAs. It is horizontally oriented, and I would prefer to see it vertically displayed.

Horizontally Oriented List

Transpose: Paste Special

  1. Select cells D1 through P2 (all the data).
  2. Copy the data to your clipboard, either by pressing ctrl C or right click, Copy.
  3. Select cell A1. This is the beginning of where you will paste your data.
  4. In the Clipboard group of the Home tab, select the Paste dropdown.
  5. Select Paste Special.Paste Special Dropdown
  6. Check the box next to Transpose and press OK.

Transpose Box in Paste Special Menu

And there is your data, now vertically oriented!

Horizontal list now vertical

It is worth reiterating that this is just the beginning of paste options in Excel. More on this at a later date…

I hope this feature saves you some time and frustration with horizontally oriented lists. Sometimes it is these small but mighty hidden check boxes in Excel that make all the difference!

 

Congratulations, New Power Users!

  • Sandy Parker

Sandy Parker

Outlook: Journal Feature

Power Users will have to pardon me for repeating myself, but I can’t stop shouting about the Journal feature in Outlook. What a cool tool; deceptively simple yet useful in a multitude of ways, this creature is a favorite in Outlook Essentials training.

There are many ways you might choose to organize your phone calls and conversations; OneNote, an old-fashioned spiral notebook, your impeccable memory… but the Journal is by far my favorite go-to for this. It integrates seamlessly into Outlook; it is searchable, compatible with your calendar, and a welcome addition to the Outlook universe.

Have you never used this feature? You are not alone. I rarely meet someone before Outlook Essentials training who has heard of it.

Apologies to Mac Users

Before I jump in too deep, I have sad news for Mac users… there is not a Journal feature in the Mac version of Outlook. This is only within the desktop PC Outlook program. Not fair! I am sorry, Mac friends.

Where is the Journal?

Even for PC users, Outlook does not make the Journal easy to find.

To find the Journal:

  1. In the lower left navigation, go to Mail Module

Mail Module

  1. Click the “” on the right side of the Navigation

Ellipses

  1. Select Folders

Folders

  1. On the left side of the screen select Journal.

Journal

Make a Shortcut

Since it is a bit of a trek to find the Journal, you might find it helpful to create a shortcut. There are a couple ways to accomplish this, but I am particularly fond of the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). The QAT is a series of tiny buttons above the ribbon in Microsoft programs.

QAT

To add the Journal to the QAT:

  1. Press the down arrow on the right side and select More Commands

 More Commands

 

  1. In the dropdown at the top of the popup, change Popular Commands to All Commands

All Commands

 

  1. Scroll down until you find the Journal (the entries are alphabetical). Select the Journal on the left pane, press the Add button between the two panes. Then it will appear on the right pane

QAT Screen

  1. Press OK.

Now you can navigate to the Journal by pressing your newly created Journal button in the QAT.Journal Button

Journal Entries

Making a journal entry is remarkably intuitive. Let’s create one. First,  navigate to your Journal by pressing the new QAT button.

 

In the ribbon of the Journal, select the first button, Journal Entry.

Journal Entry

In the popup screen notice the ability to enter a subject, an Entry type (e.g. phone, conversation, etc).

Journal Entry Screen

You can manually enter a start and end time, or you can make use of the built in Timer.

 Timer

I particularly like the timer for phone calls.

 

Once you have created a Journal entry, press Save and Close on the left side of the ribbon.

Journal Entry

Searching

Now you have created a searchable entry in Outlook. While you are still in the Journal module, there is a search feature in the upper left. If a couple weeks go by and you can’t remember certain details, now you can search by a word and quickly find all the Journal entries

 Journal Search Bar

 

Calendar Integration

You might want to add a Journal entry to your calendar. Perhaps your phone call was particularly long, or perhaps you would like a record to be visible to people with whom you have shared your calendar. To add a Journal entry to your calendar:

  1. Click on the entry in the Journal entry list
  2. Hold down your mouse, and drag this down to the calendar icon in the lower left navigation.

Drag Journal Entry to Calendar

This will create a calendar event with your Journal details.

Calendar event with Journal details

Note that you will have to hand enter start and end times for the calendar event.

Thoughts?

So what do you think? Do you have great plans for the Journal in Outlook?

Excel: The Name Box and Named Ranges

The Name Box

Most of us don’t give a lot of thought to the humble Name Box in Excel. We glance up at it occasionally to see which cell we have selected, but few people realize that there is a lot more than meets the eye with this feature.

Excel Name Box

Did you know you that this little box allows you to name a cell or range of cells? I could even rename a cell after myself.

Name in Name Box

You will be shocked to hear how easy this is… all I did was type over the cell name in the name box and suddenly “A1” became “Ali”.

Exercise Download

Let’s see how this works with a range of cells. For this, follow along with this document: NamedRangesExercise .

This data will look familiar to those of you who have taken Excel Essentials. It is a list of fictional employees, departments and salaries.

…By the way, you might find it useful to resize the name box for today’s exercise. This can easily be done by hovering your mouse to the right of the name box until you see a double headed arrow. Then simply click and drag.

Double headed arrow to resize name box

Named Ranges

I would like to name the Salary data so I can easily find and select it.

  1. Select Cells E1 through E22
    • Remember: to select a cell in Excel you hover your mouse over the first cell, and you are looking for your cursor to turn into a white cross for Excel to select it. Then click, hold down the mouse and drag down to the bottom of the list.

Selected Salary column data

 

  1. In the Name Box click over the existing cell name (in this case, E1),

Name Box

  1. Then replace it with the word Salary and press enter.

Name Box Renamed

Click onto any other cell to deselect the range.

  1. Notice there is now a dropdown that appears in the name box now with your newly created Salary moniker.
    • Test it out! Select it from the dropdown… it should select your entire range.

Name Box Dropdown

Named ranges allow users to quickly find and select a range of cells. Guess what else named ranges help you do? Formulas!

Formulas with Named Ranges

I would like to quickly figure out a 10% bonus for my employees based on the Salary range.

  1.  In F2, type = Salary*.1
  • Before you even finish typing salary, you will probably see something like this.

Formula with named range

  • Press Tab to accept the range or select it with your mouse.
  1. The end formula looks something like this:

Formula complete

  1. Then use AutoFill to take that formula down to the bottom of the list.
    • Remember the trick we talked about in Advanced Formulas for a quick AutoFill? Hover your cursor in the lower right until you see a black plus sign, then double click to carry the formula down.

Auto Fill

Managing Named Ranges

Inevitably, someday you will want to manage your named ranges. They live in the Formulas tab, in a button titled Name Manager.

Name Manager

Select Name Manager to see your full list of named ranges, alter, or delete them.

Name Manager Menu

 

Have you thought of a way you will use Named Ranges? Tell me about it!

 

Word: Citations and Bibliography

In Word Essentials training we talk about one time saving option in the References tab, the automatic Table of Contents.  If you thought that was cool, you are going to want to go back in time and redo all of your high school and college papers using the Citations and Bibliography features in the References tab.

Exercise File

To follow along, download the exercise file here: CitationsExercise

This document contains a lovely writeup about Microsoft Word that needs a couple citations (indicated by placeholders that read Source 1 and Source 2), and it also needs a Works Cited/Bibliography section. The two concepts go hand in hand, as we will see in the exercise. The yellow text box contains the source information for these citations. But enough back story, let’s jump in.

Write Up with Citation Placeholders

The Ribbon

For this exercise, we will work from the References Tab, Citations and Bibliography Group

Citations & BIbliography in the Ribbon

Step 1: Choose a Citation Style

In the Style dropdown, select the desired citation style; e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago.

  • The style you select will guide the fields that will appear in your Works Cited section

Style dropdown

Step 2: Insert Citations

  1. Remove the bold placeholder text that reads Source 1, and place your cursor at the end of the sentence where the placeholder text had been. Wherever your cursor is flashing is where the citation will appear.
  2. From the References tab, Citations & Bibliography group, select Insert Citation, Add New SourceInsert Citations Dropdown Menu
  3. For Type of Source select Article in a Periodical. Complete the fields that appear in the prompts by using the information in the gold text box. Press OK.Citations Prompts
    • Notice the Citation inserts where your cursor was:
      Citation in Document
  4. Now replace Source 2 placeholder text the same way, only select Journal as the Type of Source.
    • There are a couple additional fields you might want to add: Volume and Number.
    • Even though that doesn’t appear in the Fields list, you can check the box next to Show All Bibliography Fields and scroll down to see more fields and enter this additional information.Citations Prompts

Step 3: Insert a Bibliography or Works Cited

Now the easy part!

  1. Either remove the text box or click underneath it. The Works Cited will insert wherever your cursor is flashing.
  2. Go to the Citations & Bibliography group and select from the list of options.Bibliography dropdown
  3. A Works Cited list will appear where your cursor was.

Making Adjustments: Managing Sources

I see a typo from my data entry, so I want to change my source and update my Works Cited.

Typos in Works Cited

To edit or manage sources:

  1. Go to References tab, Citations & Bibliography group, select Manage Sources.Manage Sources Button
  2. Select the source to be edited and select Edit to make changes (optional).Edit Source button
  3. If any sources are edited or added, the Works Cited will need to be updated, just like the automatic Table of Contents we created in Word Essentials. The process is the same: right click over the Works Cited and select Update Field.Update Field Option

By the way, this is just the beginning of what you can do working with citations. There are also ways to transfer sources from old documents to new documents, to change citation styles mid paper, and so much more… but I promised a bite sized piece of information, so I must stop myself here!

 

I think you should go back to school and take a class or two just so you can play with this amazing feature in Word. I know a place where you can take some classes…

Outlook Formatting Woes: Replying to Email Sent from a Phone

You have probably experienced this scenario:

On your desktop Outlook you open an email that a coworker sends you from her phone.

Unformatted email

You notice that the formatting looks sparse, but you don’t think much about this until you start to compose your reply. Your signature looks different than usual, you can’t format text, or change fonts… even doing something simple, like making a word bold or italic, is impossible as a good portion of the ribbon is greyed out and unselectable. What is going on here?

Email response with no formatting options visible

When your coworker emailed you from her phone (or tablet), most likely the formatting of the entire email changed over to Plain Text. This means minimal to no formatting and no images, even for your responses to her email.

How to Fix

Want to hear the good news? You can fix this in two clicks.

Important: first, be sure that you are replying in a popped out message pane. We talk about this Pop Out view a lot in Outlook Essentials training, and how it opens up a whole new world of opportunities in the Outlook ribbon. This button lives right above the Send button in the Reply preview pane.

Pop Out button

Okay, are you ready for the two steps?

  1. Go to the Format Text Tab
  2. In the Format group, change the selection from Plain Text to HTML by pressing the HTML button.HTML Button

Go back to your Home and Insert tabs, and you will see that all of your options have returned. Happy day! Heads up though, if your signature is set to automatic, you may need to reinsert your signature to bring back the formatting in the signature.

Options returned to the ribbon

I hope this tip prevents some frustration for you in the future. No exercise files today, unless you would like me to send you an unformatted email from my phone to test out this setting… if so, you know where to find me!