Archive for October, 2010

Excel: How to add a hyperlink to another location in the same workbook

It is fairly common knowledge that we can create hyperlinks (e.g., to a website or email address) in MS Office programs. I just recently discovered that you can create a hyperlink to another location in the same Excel workbook. I challenge you to come up with a creative application for this trick.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the cell that contains the text that needs to be a hyperlink
  2. On the ribbon, go to the Insert tab and click on Hyperlink
  3. In the Edit Hyperlink dialog box, click on “Place in This Document”
  4. Select a worksheet under “Cell Reference” and type a cell reference in the text entry above.
  5. Click OK

NOTE: This will work in Word as well, but you must have headings and/or bookmarks to serve as anchors for the hyperlinks.


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Adobe Acrobat: Increase efficiency with the Pages navigation panel


Opening the pages navigation tab opens up a lot of possibilities for quick tasks. Here are a few of the most useful things you can do:

  • Rearrange pages by clicking and dragging the thumbnails.
  • Shift-click or CTRL-click multiple pages to rotate, extract, or delete pages. Right-click on one or more pages to access the functions that can be performed.
  • Drag-and-drop to add pages.
    • Pages can be dragged either from an explorer window:SS-2010.05.12-13.37.30
    • or from the thumbnails in another PDF file:SS-2010.05.12-13.39.00
  • Extract one or more pages by dragging from thumbnails to an explorer folder:SS-2010.05.12-13.41.57

NOTE: If you do not have an icon on the left side of the screen like the one shown, go to View -> Navigation Panels -> Pages.


Word: Change paragraph spacing defaults

This applies to Word 2007.

Last week I posted a tip showing how to change the default font for Word and Excel documents. Since then, I’ve been asked how and urged to share how to fix the default paragraph spacing in Word. Currently, the default is to add a space after each paragraph, which nearly none of us are used to.

Here’s how to make it go back to the old way:

  1. In a new Word document, click on the lower-right corner of the Paragraph section of the Home ribbon.
  2. Set the spacing parameters as shown below:
  3. Click the Default… button
  4. Click Yes.

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Download: ZScreen, my favorite screenshot tool

ZScreen-43554Every time I write up a tech tip, I take screenshots. I get emails every week from my colleagues asking how to perform a certain task, and when I respond, I use screenshots. Without a dedicated tool, screenshots can by kind of a pain, but they can be extremely useful as a visual aid.

The dedicated tool I use is ZScreen. With it, I can select particular portions of the screen, include the mouse cursor (surprisingly important to do), and have the shot automatically load in my image editor of choice. If I then choose not to edit the image, it automatically ends up on the clipboard, meaning I can then paste it into anything that will accept an image. All of the screenshots I take are saved in folders by date, so I can recover old ones without having to recreate anything.

ZScreen is a free download.


Acrobat: Make the most of OCR in a paperless environment

pdfBy now, many CPA firms are nearly 100% paperless, and those that aren’t should certainly consider it. Part of the paperless process involves a lot of scanning and management of PDF files. To get the most out of what Acrobat can do for a paperless firm, you need to become well-versed in Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

OCR can be both extremely useful and extremely frustrating. I get a lot of questions from my colleagues on OCR best practices. I recently came across a few excellent tutorials on the subject. They are not CPA-specific and are focused on Acrobat 9, but they present a ton of good information.

Troubleshoot Scanning and OCR
Scanning and OCR: Beyond the Basics

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Download: CleanHaven for clean copy, paste, and reformatting

A CPAs work involves a lot of copy-and-paste. I know that every time I help implement a new FASB or GASB pronouncement for a client, I first copy the related note disclosure from another client. From there, I can tailor it to suit the current client’s financials. Many of us also use PPC forms, from which we regularly copy and paste language for engagement letters, SAS 114 communications, management representation letters, etc. There are also many instances where we need to clean up all sort of text and data. The problem is, many of us are not experts at formatting. Also, I hate creating more work for our administrative staff than is necessary.

CleanHaven makes quick work of copying, reformatting, and pasting.

From the CleanHaven website:

CleanHaven is a program designed to make the cleaning of text much easier. The cleaned text can be reset as the main text with additional cleaning performed. Once finished the cleaned text is available from the global cleaned text window. You may want CleanHaven to make changes to thousands of lines of contact details before importing into CRMHaven. For example you can turn all company names to Sentence Case, all UK postcodes to Uppercase or remove any trailing spaces, tabs or punctuation. Copy a column of data from Excel, clean it, then paste it back into Excel.

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Word/Excel: Shortcut your search

The Journal of Accountancy has a helpful tip on performing searches in large Word of Excel documents:

you can save time by first highlighting the part of the worksheet or document you want to search.


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