Category Archives: Microsoft

How to find a question mark (?) or other wildcard symbol when searching in Excel

Failed solution:

You use Find & Replace to try and find the question mark (or other symbol like percentage % or asterix *) only to realise that Excel considers it to be a wildcard character (i.e. like a blank tile in scrabble, it can mean absolutely anything) and so every single letter in every cell gets highlighted.

Actual solution:

You need to ‘escape’ the character and to have Excel treat it like a real symbol not a wildcard by placing a ’tilde’ symbol (~) in front. As an example with the question mark, the picture below shows its use:

Excel find and replace wildcard with tilde

Bulk Extract Hyperlink from Excel Cells

Alas there is no pre-defined function for extracting a hyperlink from an Excel cell. Therefore the easiest way to accomplish this is to create our own function using a macro.

Within Excel, open up the VBA Macro Interface:
Alt + F11

From the VBA interface, goto the menu and select:
Insert -> Module

On the module screen that opens up, paste in the following text:

Function HyperExtract(content As Range) As String
    On Error Resume Next
    HyperExtract = content.Hyperlinks(1).Address
End Function

Save your spreadsheet (you’ll now need to save it as a *.xlsxm format) and close the VBA screen.

Voila!

How to mount a *.vhd image in Windows 7

1) Right click on ‘Computer’ -> select ‘Manage’

right-click-manage-computer

2) Expand ‘Storage’ -> select ‘Disk Management’ and let HDD information load -> right click on ‘Disk Management’ -> select ‘Attach VHD’

right-click-attach-vhd-disk-management

 

3) Browse and select the VHD image you would like to use. Click OK.

add-vhd-browse

 

4) The VHD image should now mount. If autoplay is enabled, this will appear.

Manually force Netflix (or any Silverlight stream) to use HD (or any preset bitrate).

When using Netflix from a computer browser (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc.), it will automatically stream content based on your internet download speed. This ensures smooth playback that isn’t interupted by annoying ‘buffering’ pauses.

It can sometimes get it wrong though. If you prefer to wait for prebuffering, then you can force it to use a higher bitrate – even an HD setting.

Instructions for Windows
Use one of the following key combinations:
Ctrl + Shift + Alt + S
or
Shift + Alt + Left Click

Instructions for OS-X
Ctrl + Shift + Option + S

How to remove a formula but keep the value in an Excel spreadsheet

When you delete a cell in an Excel spreadsheet, both the formula and value are deleted. If you want to keep the value, then you can delete the formula only.

Procedure:

  1. Select the cell or group of cells you wish to remove the formulae from.
  2. Select the ‘Home’ tab from the menu bar.
  3. Click ‘Copy’. (You can alternatively do this using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+C.)
  4. Press the down arrow under ‘Paste’ and click ‘Paste Values’. (You can alternatively do this using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+V instead, then a small icon should appear in the corner of the pasted area with ‘Paste Values’ available within a context menu.)

How to capture snapshot of the screen in Windows

All PC keyboards have a key marked ‘Print Screen’. This may be abbreviated to say¬†‘PrtScn’, ‘PtSn’ etc.

Historically these would literally print out what was on the screen, however the modern usage is to capture the current screen and copy it as an image to the Windows clipboard. If you open an image editor, e.g. Paint, you can use Ctrl+V to paste it in.

To capture the current window only, e.g. the internet browser you are currently using, then hold down ‘Alt’ when pushing ‘Print Screen’

How to keep Track Changes when copying text from Microsoft Word

If you are copying and pasting¬†text from one Microsoft Word document to another, then any track changes in the original will be lost in the new document. However if you ‘cut’ the text using a key combination and then paste you can keep this markup.

Procedure:

  1. As you are cutting text from the original document, it would be best to make a backup.
  2. Ensure ‘Tracked Changes’ is switched OFF in the new document. Otherwise, the entire paste will appear as new text.
  3. In the original document, select the text you wish to copy.
  4. Press ‘CTRL + F3’ to cut the text.
  5. In the new document, press ‘CTRL + SHIFT + F3’ to paste the text.
  6. If you wish to undelete the text in the old document, simply press ‘Undo’ or ‘CTRL + Z’. If this doesn’t work for some reason, then don’t worry as you have hopefully made a backup in Step 1!