Excel: Calculations with Time

We talk about calculations with dates in Advanced Formulas training (hooray for DateDif!). Working with time in Excel can be a bit trickier. I have seen people give up when formulas don’t work initially, but sometimes all that is needed is a change in formatting. Let’s see how we can work with time in a common example.

Exercise File

To follow along, download the exercise file here: TimeCalcExercise

  • In this file is a list of times that you attended some fictional February meetings. You want to figure out how much time you spent in meetings last month.
  • Note that there are two sheets in this workbook: February Meetings, which is your challenge, and Solution, so you can check your work as we go.

Number Formats

You are going to see that the formulas themselves are going to be very simple: basic addition and subtraction. The real key with times is the Number Format.

We are going to be using several Custom number formats. In the custom time formats, h stands for hours, and m for minutes.

  • h:mm AM/PM: 12 hour time, indicated by AM/PM, for example 11:00 PM
  • h:mm: 24 hour time, not including AM/PM, for example 11:00.
  • [h]:mm: Elapsed time, beyond a 24 hour clock. With this you are adding total number of hours, not adding hours to a clock of revolving time.

Start and End Time

The first thing we should do is fix up the start and end time formatting so Excel will know what we are trying to calculate. I created a couple helper columns in Columns C and D called Extract Start and Extract End. Columns A and B are a common format that happens when you export time from other programs.


Extract Start and End Time with Flash Fill

There are a number of ways you might chose to do this, but as a fan of Flash Fill, that is the route I would like to take.

  1. Create a pattern: click into C2 and type 9:00 AM (from A2)
  2. Select C3 an type 11:00 AM (from A3)

Cells C2 and C3 have times entered. Cell C4 selected:

  1. Select C4. Go to the Home tab, Editing Group, Fill Dropdown an select Flash Fill

Flash Fill Selected

This should complete the rest of Column C. If it doesn’t, double check that you have established a pattern that matches what you are seeing in Column A.

Complete Column D the same way, extracting the end time from Column B.

Check Number Format

Let’s check the number format for columns C and D.

  1. Select C2 through D32.
  2. In the Home tab, Number group, click the More arrow in the lower right.Number Group, More button
  3. The Type should display as h:mm AM/PM. If it doesn’t you can type it in manually, as it is listed below. This means you are view time in a way most of us are familiar with: for example, 12:30 PM.Number Forat View: h:mm AM/PM

We are going to revisit this number format area again soon, so stay tuned.

Calculating Time Spent in Each Meeting

Let’s calculate the time spent in each meeting, and then we can move on to calculate a grand total.

Subtracting Time

Column E, Total Time, is meant to calculate the time spent in each meeting. This is going to be a simple subtraction.

  1. Select Cell E2.
  2. Type =D2-C2 . You can also select cells D2 and C2 as you are creating the formularather than typing the names of the cells.
  3. Press enter to calculate.

Formula entered as described

4. Auto Fill the rest of the column, either by clicking and dragging or double clicking on the auto fill handle.

Adjust Number Formats

Let’s check the number format of Column E. Excel may have assumed that you wanted to use the same number formatting as C and D, but remember that includes AM and PM, which isn’t relevant for Column E.


  1. Select Cells E2 through E32.
  2. In the Home Tab, Numbers group, press the More button at the lower right.Number Group, More button
  3. This time, you want the number format to be simply h:mm. So no AM/PM necessary. Make sure you are on the Custom category.

    Click into the Type field and type h:mm (or find it in the type list).

type: h:mm entered as described above

Calculating Grand Total

  1. In Cell A33, type Grand Total.
  2. Select Cell E33: This is where we are going to calculate the total time.
  3. In the Home tab, Editing group, select the AutoSum dropdown and select Sum to add all the times in column E.

AutoSum Dropdown, Sum selected

Grand Total Formatting

Something is not quite right about our Grand Total.

Grand Total Displayed

This is all about number formatting. This Sum is displaying in the same format as the rest of column E: h:mm. This means Excel is adding the time on a 24 hour clock, which is not what we intended.

Let’s make one more number formatting adjustment.


  1. Go back to your Number Format options, just like above.


  1. In the Type, type square brackets [ ] around the “h.” This will send the message to Excel that you want a total elapsed time… beyond the 24 hour clock. So it will look like [h]:mm

Type listed as [h]:mm

Now the total elapsed time is showing in hours and minutes.

Time elapsed now displays correctly

Perfect! So it looks like you have spent almost 36 hours in these fictional meetings last month.

Solution Sheet

Did you get lost somewhere along the way? Double check your answer with the Solution sheet in the exercise file.


Do you have a use for calculating time in your day to day spreadsheets? Do tell!

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

Catherine Lawless

Catherine Lawless

Jackie Boyles

Juanita Fonseca-Rodriguez

Krista Searle

Jackie, Juanita and Krista

Exciting News: Digital Credential for WSU Power Users

Friends, I have an exciting announcement about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program.

Digital Credential for Power Users

Thanks to our industrious colleagues at Instructional Design and Access, there is now an official digital credential for WSU Microsoft Office Power Users!

What does this mean?If you become a WSU Microsoft Office Power User, one of these will be yours!


Power User Credential

(The flash in the corner of the image is in honor of Flash Fill! Isn’t it beautiful??)

Email Incoming…

Once you become a Power User, you will receive  an email from Credly that you have been awarded a credential. It will look something like this:

Email from Credly

To claim your credential:

  1. Select Get Started. You will be taken to a log in screen with your name and email already populated.
  2. Create a Password and check the appropriate boxes if you agree to terms.
    Create Password
  3. Click Sign Up Now.
    (p.s. if you already have an account with Credly, you can skip steps 2 through 4 and simply click the Login button underneath.

That is it! You will be taken to a log in screen showing your new credential. If you would like, you can share your new credential on social media with the share buttons on the left:


More options

Once you have created your Credly account, you can log in any time at Credly.com.  From here you can share or download your new credential any time.

  • From the main account screen, your credentials are visible. Account Screen
  • Hover over the Power User credential until options appear. The one on the right is sharing options.


Click on the sharing options to see the ability to share your credential on:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Download a digital version of the image (you can use it in your signature!)

Share Options

That is the latest and greatest from Power User Land! Congratulations to all the powerful Power Users (and future Power Users). See you in training…

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 Brin

Julie Brin

Julie Clinesmith

Chris Darnell

Crystal Dilbeck

Taylor Moore

Jessica Torres

Freh Wuhib

True Colors: Optimizing Charts for Readers with Color Vision Deficiencies

Hey, would you take a look at this chart and let me know what you think? I am particularly concerned about the sales figures I marked in red.

Chart filtered for red green color blindness. All colors appear murky green and indestinguishable

Don’t adjust your screen. You are viewing this chart through a filter that simulates the most common type of color blindness. We often have the best intentions when we try to draw attention to an element in a chart by marking it red, or by contrast to show that all is well by marking something green…  But trust me, this is the sort of thing that can ruin someone else’s day, and it is so easy to fix.

About Color Blindness

According to the NIH, color blindness or color deficiency affects around 8% of the male population and 0.5% of the female population. This means that, if your document will be viewed by 1000 people, around 45 of them will have some form of color deficiency. If you are sending it across campus, this could easily translate to several hundred people who will be affected.

It is worth noting that color deficiency is a spectrum; people can have mild to severe forms of color blindness, and not all forms of color blindness involve the same colors. The most common type of color blindness involves deficiencies in discerning the colors red and green.

A common misconception among those who are not color blind is that if someone has red/green color blindness, they only have trouble with the colors red and green. However, these deficiencies can easily affect other colors as well; for instance, maroon and brown can look identical to people with red/green color deficiencies… after all, maroon is just brown with a touch of red. In other words, it is not just the colors red and green themselves, but also those colors within other colors. It’s like an inception of color… (I still don’t understand that movie).

Troublesome Charts

Let’s take a look at a couple examples… (Disclaimer: both charts are created with entirely fictional data for purposes of illustration of chart features).

Pie chart using purple and blue to distinguish

At first glance, this chart looks great! I think I am clearly demonstrating that so many students (95%!) are happy on campus. But let’s run this through a red/green color blindness simulator…

Same chart filtered for red green color blindness: all appears purple

Wait. What is going on?? How many students are happy? Who is unhappy? Someone is 95%, but which one?

Let’s look at another.

Schools distinguished by red and green lines

We think we did a good job of drawing attention to Anthopology’s interest numbers by marking them in red…. But here is how the same chart filtered for red/green color blindness:

Same chart filtered for red/green, all lines appear green

Oh man. Maybe we didn’t do such a good job…

What You Can Do

  1. Never Use Color Alone to Convey Meaning

“Wait, are you saying I can’t use color anymore?” Of course you can! But don’t make color the only way someone can discern what is going on.

Think about incorporating labels, tables and textures in your charts (see below for some examples).

  1. Use Color Blindness Simulators to Test Documents

There are several simulators available online to help you do a final check on images or charts in your document. Here are a couple I have been using:

  • Color Oracle: This site has a free download that allows you to filter your entire screen with a couple clicks, and see how different documents would look with different types of color impairment.
  • Coblis: Color blindness simulator: upload an image to this site to see how it would look for different types of color impairments. For charts, you may have to take a screen shot so you will have an image to upload.
  • Windows 10: the settings of Windows 10 also has a color blindness simulator in settings. Go to Settings and search for Color Filter to find it.Windows 10 settings
  1. Utilize Monochromatic Color Sets

If there are only a few variables in a chart, contrast can be helpful. Regardless of a color that is perceived, gradations in color can almost always be detectable to your viewers. Monochromatic palettes consist of the same color with different gradations of lightness or darkness. See below for an example with a pie chart.

  1. Color Blind Friendly Palettes

If you are feeling fancy, there are some tried and true color-blind friendly palettes out there. Just make sure you are still not conveying meaning with color alone, because no palette can address all types of color blindness. Here is a page with some cool options, and interesting general information: Color Friendly Palettes

Exercise File

If you would like a challenge, try fixing some of the Charts in this exercise file. There are two sheets in the workbook with problematic charts and two sheets with possible solutions. That being said, there are many ways you could solve the puzzle of making these charts more accessible.


Let’s Fix Those Charts!

If I went through all the ins and outs of chart creation, this would be much more than a byte, so please do come to my Pivot Tables, Charts and Pictures training if you get really stumped (or attend anyway, because it is a blast!)

Below is a summary of how I approached fixing the problem charts.

Chart 1

Chart 1 was this guy:

Pie chart using purple and blue to distinguish

I did two things to this chart:

  1. Utilized a monochromatic color set
  2. Added data labels

The result is conveying the same information, but the look is a bit different.

Pie chart now monochomatic yellow with labels

Running this chart through the red/green color blindness simulator (or even converting it to greyscale) it is still understandable.

Pie Chart looks mostly the smae with filter

Below are the steps I took.

Monochromatic Color

  1. Click on the chart to select it.
  2. Press the paintbrush button on the right side of the chart to access Style and Color options.
  3. Select color.
  4. Select a monochromatic color set (I picked yellow).
    Steps 1 through 4 illustrated

Data labels

  1. Click on the chart to select it.
  2. Press the + button on the right side of the chart for Chart Elements.
  3. Check the box next to Data Labels.
    • Don’t forget you can press the arrow to the right of Data Labels to access more options, like the location and appearance of the labels.Data Labels

Chart 2

Chart 2 was the fictional subject interest chart:

Schools distinguished by red and green lines

To fix this chart,  I added two things:

  1. Data labels  (see above)
  2. Data table at the bottom of the chart.

Line Chart now has labels and a table underneath

Though I didn’t change the colors, running this through a red/green color blindness simulator I can tell that people can perceive the difference between the lines with their labels; and as a backup, they could reference the table underneath.

Chart now understandable even though colors are all green

I covered data labels in the previous example.  Below is how you can insert a data table.

Data Tables

  1. Click on the chart to select it.
  2. Press the + button on the right side of the chart for Chart Elements.
  3. Check the box next to Data Table. Don’t forget you can always click on the arrow to the right of any of the chart elements to see more options.

Data Table

Tell Me About Your Experiences

What do you think? Did you approach correcting the charts differently than I did? Are you someone who has a color deficiency? Have you torn out your hair trying to read certain charts, and if so, do you have other suggestions that we, the chart makers, can do to improve? I would love for you to weigh in with your thoughts!

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

  • Johny Buchanan-Spachek

Johny Buchanan-Spachek

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:


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.


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).


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


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


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


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:


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


  1. Select Folders


  1. On the left side of the screen select 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.


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.


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


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.


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