Tell it, don’t look around yourself

Hunting around in Word for the right menu or tool to format your text is so frustrating. It really interrupts your workflow.

Did you know there is a much simpler way to get things done in Word and other Office programs? Forget about:

  • knowing what the ‘button’ looks like
  • remembering which tab/toolbar it’s on and
  • knowing what something is called before you can search for it.

These old procedures to get things done were taxing on you, the user. Microsoft now offers us a better way.

You can save lots of time just asking Word to bring up the right tool or function for you. This is Tell Me and it is available in Office 2016 across all main programs e.g. Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint.

It is on the top ribbon – the coloured band at the top of the screen. It looks like this:. tellmewotlook

Or hit ‘Alt’ and ‘q’.

Here is a video from Microsoft which explains all about Tell Me. Video

My favourite feature shown in the video is when he explains about looking for a ‘Watermark’ by searching for ‘confidential’ – this is really intuitive. Of course we don’t remember what all these things are called in Word. We don’t think like software developers. So it is nice to know they are helping us out by enabling us to search in more pragmatic ways.

Make sure you try out Tell Me. This is a great example of how your computer is there to help if you just let it. Tell Me was first available 3 or 4 years ago but Microsoft has widened it’s reach since then. It can really save you lots of time, especially as those deadlines loom and you are trying to fix up any formatting bugs last minute. If you have an older version of Office which doesn’t have Tell Me, it may be a good reason to upgrade. Talk to your IT staff.

This is the last post in this month’s theme Your Relationship with Your Computer – see the other posts here Shake up your computer input habits and Google Yourself, Today! and Our February Newsletter.

Next month we have the NZPI conference in Tauranga. I am speaking at the conference (link) on how we attract public input in planning processes in a world where we compete globally for the public’s attention. So for March my blog posts will be around the topic of  public participation in planning in the modern world. Hope to see you at the conference.

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