Keyboard Storage Space

If you waste time searching for pens, paper clips and other small office items, a keyboard with storage space might save you time.

These are available for purchase on-line, from the Keyboardorganizer.com web site. They come in plain white or black, with stock artwork, or your own custom design.

Easily Rearrange Items in the Windows Taskbar

As you work on your computer, you probably open several applications, and the Windows Taskbar quickly fills with buttons. The buttons you need most might be stuck at the far right, or in a hidden row of buttons, and that can slow you down.

Taskbar Shuffle is an easy-to-use free utility that gives you control over the taskbar button placement. You can download the utility, and read more details, at the FreeWebs website.
When installed, Taskbar Shuffle appears as an icon in the System Tray: 

Another handy feature of the Taskbar Shuffle is the ability to rearrange the icons in the System Tray. Move the icons you use most so they're at the left, closest to your mouse pointer, and it's easier to click on them when you need them.
(Thanks to Jim Cone for this tip!)

Quickly Repeat an Action in Excel

After you do something in Excel, you may be able to repeat the action by pressing the F4 key.
For example, after you format a cell with bold font, select another cell and press F4. That cell is also formatted with bold font, and it's much quicker than moving the mouse to click on the Bold button in the toolbar.
You can also use the Ctrl+Y shortcut to repeat an action, or click on the Edit menu, and click the Repeat command, as shown below.

Grab the Excel Color Palettes

While working on an Excel 2003 worksheet, you might want to colour a few of the cells, change the font colour for the text, or add borders to a range of cells.
To add colour, you select a cell, click on the dropdown arrow at the right side of the colour button on the toolbar, and click on a colour.

That's simple enough, but all those trips up and down from the toolbar can get a bit tiring, and take extra time.
To Save Time, Move the Palettes
If you have lots of formatting to do, it will be easier if the palettes are closer to the area where you're working. You can detach the palettes from the toolbar, and move them onto the worksheet.
Note: This feature is not available in Excel 2007, or later versions.
To move one of the "tear away" palettes (Font Color, Fill Color, or Borders):

  1. On the toolbar, click the dropdown arrow, to open the palette.
  2. At the top of the palette, point to the thin grey bar.
  3. When your pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag the palette down onto the worksheet.


When you've finished working with the palette, click the X at its top right, to close it.

And here's a short video, if you'd like to see the steps performed on screen: