Time-saving Tips

by : Tatiana Sushcheko

Several years ago companies expected from a successful candidate basic knowledge of MS Office as a "must". Now an average user level is not advantage at all. People asked to be more professional. Software developing companies include more time-saving functions with an every release, but as a rule, users barely know of their existence.

Here I provide several time-saving functions of several software applications that I use every day for a long time. Haven't you forgotten how useful they can be?

1. Macro is a king. Have you heard of them? Macros are based on simplified Visual Basic script. When you do some routine tasks and have to repeat several commands very often it might be a good idea to compose a Macro. If you want to record your macro on classic rules - do not use mouse while recording is in progress. The main problem with the Macro is that antivirus may recognize it as a virus.

2. "Actions" in Adobe Photoshop is the next step forward. Actions are built on the same principle with familiar MS Office Macro. It is a sequence of commands, activated on click or a keyboard shortcut. Using them is the easiest way to create different complex effects such as quadrant colors, foggy lenses, etc. And if default Photoshop actions are not enough for you - you can easily record your sequence.

3. Multi-file processing in Photoshop is called Batch. So how can it help if you need to resize, rename and make a color correction for several hundreds of pictures? Even with the fastest photo editor it might take a whole day - if you do it manually. But you can use a batch instead. Select source folder, pick one or several actions, select destination folder, pick the naming option, file format, press OK and relax with a cup of coffee. In a half of an hour everything will be done.

4. PDF-converting button in a toolbar will save you not only from retyping and reformatting but also from looking for a converting program. Install it with PDF Transformer MS Office applications and watch how useful can it be. You can convert PDF attachments in e-mails directly from the mailbox, as well as convert PDF to Excel, convert PDF to Word. Converting presentations in PDF format from Power Point is also a one-click deal. It is even more quickly than using a PDF Printer plug-in.

5. Dealing with a screenshot also can be simplified. To create a screenshot, past a piece of it in the letter or text editor you usually need to open an application for capturing screenshots, crop the picture, recognize it with another program and copy to Clipboard. All you need you will get in a single click with a Screenshot Reader - tiny screenshot-reading utility.

6. Excel always has some extra secrets. Have you though that you can automate complicate and precise work in Excel without Macro and Visual Basic. Ð’o you use auto-change and sorting functions? Have you used a standard request language with them? For example, it can change the lines "*http://www." with " www." With only this two functions you can unify and sort items, remove duplicates in any list. Removing of duplicate lines is done by Advanced filter. Just imagine how much time would you spent sorting and manually unifying the list with 2500 lines.

7. When you read text in foreign language it is much quicker when you can see the translation on-mouse-over. At least two electronic dictionaries support this useful function. Those are Translate It and ABBYY Lingvo 12. To see the translation hold a cursor over an unfamiliar word.

8. What do you know about Nero beside how to record the CD? Remember, that Nero supports multi-copying of the CD or DVD. Your part for the recording of 50 copies is simply to change the CDs.

9. Looking a little deeper into Nero again, you will find a remarkable CD-cover designer. Even complete beginner in design can create with it professionally-looking cover in several minutes.

10. File managers can can bring more comfort into your work. Sorting, multi-renaming, compressing, copying, moving, transferring files via FTP protocol, quick access to the Control panel can be done much faster than you used to. The classic example of file managers is Total Commander, former WinCommander.

The idea of the article is not teaching how to do things. This is a little reminder of what a software can possibly do for you and name the functions that exist. Now use "Help" tab to find out "How".