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In the new version of Microsoft Office (2008), you have probably noticed the massive improvements to the user-interface. Thanks to designers at EnhancedLabs, the interface is remarkably beautiful. One of the main features to point out in the new version of Office are the Toolbars which now carry so much functionality with the SmartArt Graphics, Quick Tables, Charts, and the Document Elements. You can do just about everything you can imagine possible with Microsoft Office 2008. I’ll get you started by pointing out where the new features are and how to use them.

Using Handy Toolbars in Word

  1. When you first open Word, you’ll see a new toolbar with many new additions.
  2. When you select something from the toolbar like SmartArt Graphics, it should appear directly within your document.
  3. When it appears, go ahead and enter in any data you need to, then feel free to customize the looks of it with the Formatting Palette.

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Word’s New Layout Views

  1. In the new version of Word, there are new layout views such as Publishing Layout which is an amazing page-layout view with lots of templates.
  2. The second layout update is the Notebook layout, which you just about customize any way you like.
  3. I highly recommend you spend the time to go through each of those layouts and edit the built-in templates to learn all of the features they’re capable of.

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Setting Up Default Fonts in Microsoft Office

  1. If you used Microsoft Office 2004, then you probably remember that the default font was Times New Roman. That’s not the case with Office 2008 — it’s now Cambria.
  2. Most of the documents I make with Word, must be in Times New Roman. To change the default font, hold down the ⌘ (Command) + “D” keys to activate the Font window.
  3. Locate Times New Roman or whichever font you wish, then click on the “Default…” button in bottom left corner.

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“Slide Thumbnails” Sidebar in PowerPoint

  1. When you opened up PowerPoints in previous version of Microsoft Office for Mac, there wasn’t a sidebar that showed thumbnails of each slide. With the new version a sidebar has been included with this feature. I personally like it, so I can easily identify a certain slide and go right to it.
  2. With PowerPoint open, just click on the sidebar in the left-hand side and select “Slides” instead of “Outline” to make the thumbnails appear.

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PowerPoint Slide Transitions And Animations

  1. Now in PowerPoint, adding Transitions and Animations has never been easier.
  2. If you’d like to add a Transition, just choose “Transitions” from the Toolbar.
  3. For Custom Animations, select the part of the slide for which you want to animate, then click on the icon in the Formatting Palette.

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Changing The Looks Of Your Graphs in Excel

  1. Just like in Numbers ’08, you can now easily change the look of your Excel Graphs right from the Toolbar.
  2. Select the graph for which you want to change.
  3. Select another style from the Toolbar.

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If you like to edit your photos using an external editor such as Photoshop and like to use iPhoto to manage them, you’ve probably encountered a problem as to how to sync the iPhoto library with the edits you make. If you have not encountered that problem, I still recommend you take a look at this article as it may make things easier for you.

  1. With iPhoto open, hold down the ⌘ (Command) and the “,” keys to activate the Preferences window.
  2. In the Preferences window, make sure you’re in the General section. Then, go to the “Edit photo:” field and choose the external editor of choice in the drop-down menu.
  3. Now, switch back to your library and select some photos that you would like to edit with the external editor. Hold down the Shift key or the ⌘ (Command) key to select more than one photo. Now right-click and choose “Edit in external editor” from the contextual menu.
  4. The second way to open up photos, is within the external editor (Photoshop).
  5. Open up Photoshop, and go to File > Open…
  6. Now browse the photos in the Finder window and use the Shift or ⌘ (Command) key to select more than one photo.
  7. Once you’ve finished making the edits to the image(s), save it (hold down ⌘ (Command) + “S”).
  8. When you look at your iPhoto library, you should notice the changes made to the selected image(s).
  9. If you wish to revert back to the original image, just right-click on the image and choose “Revert to Original” from the contextual menu.

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Included with all new Macs is a neat little app called OmniOutliner. It serves as an “outliner” application which helps you put together your ideas. When you first open OmniOutliner, you may be shocked by how plain and simple its interface is. After this article, you will be surprised at all the power that OmniOutliner has. My main usage for this application is to make and manage my to-do lists — and man does it do a great job of doing that.

  1. Go ahead and open up OmniOutliner.
  2. Click on the “Inspect” button in the top right corner, or just hold down the Shift, ⌘ (Command), and “I” keys.
  3. In the document that is open, select everything by holding down the ⌘ (Command) and the “A” keys. Now in the Inspect panel, go to the “Document: Display” section. Check off “Horizontal Grid” and “Vertical Grid”.
  4. If you’d like to change the color of the grids, just click on the small color box beside “Horizontal/Vertical Grid” in the Inspect panel. Then select your color using the Color window (personally, I prefer a light gray color because it’s easier to look at).
  5. One of the key steps in setting up a to-do list is proper organization.
  6. The best way to organize your to-do list is with “categories”, such as “Other”, “To Buy”, “Projects”, or “Organize”.
  7. To make these categories, just type the word in the first line with bold (hold down the ⌘ (Command) + “B” keys) print followed by a colon (“:“).
  8. After you’ve typed the category title, hit the Return key, then the Tab key.
  9. To add a column for due dates, just click on the “Add Column” button.
  10. Now just type in your due dates in that extra column.
  11. If you plan to use OmniOutliner a lot for one to-do list, I recommend you set it up to open that to-do list every-time you use OmniOutliner.
  12. Just hold down the ⌘ (Command) and “,” keys and in the preferences window, check off “Open documents which were open last time you quit”.
  13. That’s it! You can do as much customization as you want, but I prefer to keep my to-do lists very simple and easy to follow.

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In the new version of iWork ’08, Numbers was included along with the traditional Pages and Keynote applications. Numbers is basically Apple’s version of Microsoft Office Excel. In this article, I am just going cover to basics you need to give you a general idea of how much Numbers is capable of. To experience more of Numbers functionality, I highly recommend you use the Inspector panel (hold down the Option, ⌘ (Command), and “I” keys to activate it) along with the built-in Templates to truly take advantage of making graphs.

Calculating Graph Data

  1. When there is a graph with data filled in it, you can easily find out everything about the graph such as sums, averages, minimums, and maximums within a few clicks.
  2. To start, select the first item in the graph and hold down the Shift key.
  3. Then click anywhere else to finish making your selection.
  4. Instantaneously, you’ll notice results appear in the bottom left sidebar in Numbers.

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Changing The Style For A Graph

  1. Select the graph for which you want to change the style.
  2. Now, take a look at the Styles menu in the left sidebar in Numbers.
  3. Choose any one of those styles and it will be automatically be applied to your graph.

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Order Graph Data From Ascending/Descending

  1. As I mentioned previously, to select a specific range on a graph clicking once and hold the the Shift key, then click one more time to finalize your selection.
  2. Hover your mouse pointer over a graph until the column headers (“A”, “B”, “C”) appear.
  3. When you put hover your mouse pointer over one of the columns, you should see a small arrow appear.
  4. Click on the arrow, and choose “Sort Ascending” or “Sort Descending” to change the order of the data.

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Changing The Data Units In A Graph

  1. Go ahead and select the parts of the graph you want to change the units for (remember: use the Shift key to select specific areas).
  2. Now go up to the Format Bar and select one the the units listed (1.0 $ % ✓).

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Adding Images To Your Graphs

  1. Numbers makes adding images to your graphs incredibly easy.
  2. Select and spot to place your image and open up the Media Browser (located above the Format Bar beside Inspector).
  3. Now drag and drop your image into the graph wherever you’d like.
  4. You can also add a shadow or reflection via the Format Bar.
  5. Use the Inspector panel to change how your reflections and shadows appear.

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The longer you use your Mac, the better you will get at it. In Mac OS X, there are an insane amount of keyboard shortcuts to the point where you can even remember them all. I’m just going to mention common ones that will help you use your keyboard more than your mouse.

Logging Out

  1. If you want to log-out without having that window appear asking if you are sure, just hold down the Shift, ⌘ (Command), Option, and “Q” keys.

Applications

  1. If you want to quit an application hold down the ⌘ (Command) and “Q” keys.
  2. If you’re using multiple windows in an application (for ex. multiple Safari windows), use the ⌘ (Command) and “`” keys to switch between the windows.
  3. When you’re using your Mac and you’ve got several applications open, instead of going to the app with your mouse, use the
    ⌘ (Command) and the Tab keys.
  4. Whenever you have quit an application, you sometimes get a “Don’t Save, Cancel, or Save…” drop-down menu. Most of the time you can use the ⌘ (Command) and “D” keys to select “Don’t Save” or hit the Return key to select “Save”.
  5. If you want to close a window in an application, simply use ⌘ (Command) and “W” to close that window.
  6. To undo something, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “Z”.
  7. To hide an application, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “H”.
  8. To save a document, just hold down ⌘ (Command) and “S”.

Trash Can

  1. If your trash-can is full and you’d like to empty it, use the
    ⌘ (Command) and Tab keys until you get to Finder, and hold down the Shift, ⌘ (Command), Option, and Delete keys to empty the trash without the “are you sure” window appearing.

Shut Down, Restart, Sleep

  1. When you’re ready to shut down, restart, or put your computer to sleep use the following keyboard keys.
    To Shut Down, use the ⌘ (Command), Option, Control, and ⏏ (Eject) keys.
    To Restart, use the ⌘ (Command), Control, and the ⏏ (Eject) keys.
    To Sleep, use the ⌘ (Command), Option, and ⏏ (Eject) keys.

iChat

  1. If you have your iChat preferences setup so it doesn’t log you in once it opens, then use the ⌘ (Command) and “L” keys to sign on.
  2. If your Buddy List doesn’t appear, hold down
    the ⌘ (Command) and “1” keys.

Safari

  1. When you’re in Safari, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “L” to go directly to the address bar.
  2. Use ⌘ (Command), Option, and “F” to go to the Google Search bar.
  3. If you need to search a website for something hold down ⌘ (Command) and “F” for a find menu.
  4. If you want to switch between tabs, hold down Control and “Tab”.
  5. When you want to bookmark a web page, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “D”.
  6. If a website is stuck, hold down the ⌘ (Command) and “R” keys to refresh it.
  7. To browse a website, hold down Option and the downward/upward arrow key (↓ ↑).
  8. To make a new tab, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “T”.

Dashboard

  1. To open up Dashboard, just hit the F12 key (you may need to use the Fn key for a laptop).
  2. To view your widgets, hold down ⌘ (Command) and the “+” key. To browse through them, use ⌘ (Command) and the arrows keys (← →) .

Mail

  1. To see if you got any new mail, hold down Shift, ⌘ (Command), and “N”.
  2. If you want to see your Inbox, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “1”. For Sent mail, hold down ⌘ and “4”.
  3. To reply to a message, first make sure the message is selected (use the Tab key until if it’s not selected); then hold down ⌘ (Command) and “R”.
  4. To send a New Message, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “N”.

Finder

  1. If you’re in Finder, hold down Shift, ⌘ (Command), and “N” to make a new folder.
  2. Hold down ⌘ (Command) and “F” to use the Find search.

iTunes

  1. To play or pause a song, hit the Spacebar.
  2. To go to the next song, hold down ⌘ (Command) and the right arrow key (→).
  3. If you accidentally close the iTunes window and your music is still playing, just hold down ⌘ (Command), Option, and “1” to show the iTunes window.
  4. If an item is highlighted in the sidebar, you can type the letters of another sidebar item to go to it. For example, type “po” and the blue highlighted rectangle switches to Podcasts.
  5. To fast-forward through a song, hold down ⌘ (Command), Option, and the right arrow key (→).
  6. If you want to highlight what song is currently playing, hold down ⌘ (Command) and “L”.