Monthly Archives: February 2013

Using the Selection Pane to Arrange Layers in Microsoft Word 2010 or Higher

As a word processing program, Microsoft Word can do many things. However, one of the things it hasn’t managed to do so well over the years is images.

Sure, you can add images to Word documents, adjust them, move them around, bring elements backward or forward, and even combine images, but traditionally the process has always been a little clunky.

Have you ever tried to select one shape, only to discover you actually selected the one you didn’t want? Have you ever wished that you could just “turn off” an image temporarily, so you could work with what’s behind it?

Now you can do all of this and more – if you have Word 2010 or higher.

Microsoft got wise to the frustration of Word users, and included a new feature in Word to help fix these problems and limitations. This feature is known as the Selection Pane, and while it’s one of Word’s most useful tools, it is also one of its best kept secrets.

Accessing the Selection Pane

To access the Selection Pane, you need to have a shape or image on your document already. Please note that this feature works best when you have several images on your document.

You can add images easily by going to Insert at the top of the Ribbon, and then selecting Pictures, Outlines, or Shapes.

For the purpose of following along, open a new word document, and insert several shapes, say a circle, square, and triangle, and make them each a different color. You should now have something that looks similar to the image below.

Shapes in Word 2013

Shapes in Word 2013

Once you have at least one image on the screen, you will be able to turn on the Selection Pane. To do this, click on any of the images on your document. A new tab should appear at the top of your Ribbon, called Format. Click on the Format Tab, and then click on Selection Pane.

Accessing the Selection Pane from the Ribbon in Word 2013

Accessing the Selection Pane from the Ribbon in Word 2013

 

The Selection Pane will open on the right side of the screen. From here you can drag and drop your images to re-arrange them, or turn various layers off so that you can adjust the layers underneath. You can even opt to show all images or hide all images, depending on what you are trying to accomplish during the editing of your document.

Selection Pane in Word 2013

And that’s all there is to it. Once you learn how to use the Selection Pane, you will find that it goes a long way to alleviating the frustrations of editing image layers within Word.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you get the most out of your software. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

How TechQuility Helps Law Firms with CompleteLegal

Legal

Image Credit: lawyer86001

As an attorney, you’ve got enough to worry about. There are cases to stay on top of, research to do, paperwork to process, hours to bill, clients to talk to and so much more.

With all of this work, when do you have time to focus on your office technology?

Typically, we find that while attorneys and law firms know that technology is important in their field, they either don’t have the time or knowledge, or both, to invest in determining how their computers can best support their firm to ensure maximum productivity.

That’s where TechQuility can help. We have specific solutions that can help you and your firm maximize your time, making the most of your billable hours no matter if you’re in the office, or sitting on the courthouse steps.

Here are just a few of the ways we can help your firm:

Remote Access

Have you ever been at a meeting out of the office when you realized you forgot an important file? What do you do when this happens?

Many times, when people are missing needed information for a meeting, the meeting gets rescheduled. At the very best, the meeting happens, but a second meeting is needed to review the missing information.

However, if you had remote access to the office, you could quickly pull up that file on your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device, thus removing the need to reschedule or have a second meeting.

With remote access, you can access your information at the office no matter where you’re at, whether you’re at a meeting across town, or sitting on the courthouse steps.

Increase Billing

Attorneys spend a lot of time waiting. It’s just the nature of the job. When you arrive to court on time, you end up waiting outside the courthouse for one case to be dismissed and yours to be called. Or,

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if you’re meeting a client out of the office, you may have to wait on them if you arrive at the meeting location early.

But, you don’t have to spend this time twiddling your thumbs. Instead, use it to get caught up on billing with remote access.

Remote access to the office not only allows you to access your files, but also gives you increased flexibility to bill your time whenever you have a free moment. So now, you can have your weekends back at the end of the month, instead of frantically trying to get all your billable hours entered.

Secure File Transfer

There are times when you may need to send sensitive information electronically to a client. When this happens, most companies turn to third party file services such as DropBox or SkyDrive.

But did you know that these types of services may not be completely secure? Sure, they claim to be, but because your information has to be stored somewhere when you place files on these services you’re storing them on a third party server that you no longer control. So who is to say how secure they really are?

Instead, our secure file transfer service allows you to transfer files in-house, so the only place your files ever live is on your server where you have full control.

What’s more, file uploads and downloads are faster with our service, because you’re not waiting on the slower speeds of the internet. Instead, everything is done on your local network, allowing you to take advantage of faster speeds and transfer files more quickly.

And these are just a few of the specialized solutions we have created for attorneys. If you would like to know more about how we can help your law firm, call us today and ask about our CompleteLegal package.

Spring Cleaning: How to Refresh Your Computer – Part One Physical Cleaning

Dirty Computer

Image Credit: Paulimus J

It may still be cold in parts of the U.S., but in Florida it’s already beginning to feel a lot like spring, which naturally leads us to think about one thing – spring cleaning.

But did you know that it’s not just your environment that could use a good cleaning? Your computer could probably use one as well.

Whether it still feels like winter where you are, or whether it’s starting to warm up already, taking some time to clean your computer now will ensure you’re ready and prepared to take on the coming year.

Our spring cleaning series breaks down the various steps of cleaning your computer into easy, manageable chunks, so you don’t have to spend days and days cleaning your computer.

Instead, follow the series and perform the steps outlined. By the time the series is done, your computer will be cleaned up and running good as new, and you’ll be ready to handle anything the year throws at you.

Part one of the series focuses on physically cleaning your computer.

Did you know that your computer, and specifically your keyboard and mouse, are some of the dirtiest places in your office? In fact, your keyboard could be dirtier that the toilet. Eeewww. And you touch it several times a day.

Instead of letting germs and bacteria fester for another year, take some time to clean your computer. Your body will thank you.

Cleaning Items Needed

To physically clean your computer, you will need:

  • Canned Air
  • 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Electrostatic dusting cloth
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Electronics Vacuum

Important Note: Never spray anything directly on your electronics. Instead, spray your cloth, then wipe the device clean.

Cleaning Your Devices

Keyboard

While you can leave your devices attached, it’s best to detach keyboards and mice so that they don’t activate programs and commands on the computer while you’re cleaning. This includes both wired and wireless devices.

After disconnecting your keyboard, turn it upside down and shake it out. This will remove any large debris, such as food crumbs, hair, etc. Then, spray the keyboard with canned air, removing any additional large debris. If you have an electronics vacuum, use it on the keyboard now.

Once all the big crud is removed, there will probably still be spots that need some deep cleaning. Dip a cotton swab lightly in Isopropyl Alcohol, and spot clean any heavy gunk. Make sure that the swaps have enough alcohol to clean with, but aren’t dripping wet.

Continue cleaning until your keyboard is sparkling clean. Repeat this process every few months, particularly after a cold or illness to remove any residual germs.

Mouse

Wipe down your mouse with a microfiber cloth to remove any large particles. Remember to wipe down both the top and underside of the mouse.

While rare these days, if you have a mouse with a ball, remove the ball and wipe it down. Gently clean any rollers with a cotton swab dipped (lightly) in Isopropyl Alcohol. (Again, you want it damp, not dripping.)

Otherwise, wipe down your entire mouse. For any stubborn spots, clean with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Repeat until your mouse is sparkly clean.

LED Screen

Even screens get dirty from time to time. First, clean your screen with canned air, to remove any large dust particles.

Then, clean your screen using LCD wipes, or a soft-dust free microfiber cloth. Moisten the cloth with a mix of distilled water and white vinegar, and wipe the screen in circular motions.

Wipe until your monitor is clean and streak free. Repeat every couple of months, or when your monitor is dirty again.

Note this will work for LCD TV’s too.

Computer Case / Laptop

Once all your peripherals are cleaned up, it’s time to clean the outside of your computer.

Shut down and turn off your computer. Using the canned air, clean any fans, air intakes, or other areas on the outside of the computer that is collecting dust. If your computer is super dusty, take it outside to clean.

Then, gently wipe down the outside of the case with a microfiber cloth. Clean any stubborn spots with a cotton swap dipped in Isopropyl Alcohol.

If you have a laptop, remember to clean really well between your keys, your touchpad, and any other area that is frequently touched.

And you are done! You should now have a sparkly, clean, germ free computer, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Now plug everything back in, turn on the computer, and get back to work. 😉

Stay tuned for our next installment of the Spring Cleaning Series, where we’ll focus on cleaning the inside of your computer.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who believes that a clean computer is a happy computer. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.