Word asks if I want to delete and I don't want it to

This question came from a Computer Magic seminar attendee. I don’t provide technical support, but when I can answer something quickly, I will (but don’t get any ideas about sending me your problems…OK?).

“In Word, if I highlight text, it wont’ let me delete by just hitting the delete button. It puts a message in the left-hand corner that asks Delete? Y or N. Then I think it makes me type Y or N. Annoying. My coworker suggested just hitting backspace instead of delete and that does work instead of the delete key. Any ideas?”

Solution from Peggy

You probably have the WordPerfect option checked. Turn it off by clicking the Tools menu, Options, General tab, and untick Help for WordPerfect Users box.

This should fix it.

Get to a Folder Quickly When you Want to Open It

I’ve set up various ways to quickly get to documents I work with a lot. One way is by adding folders to the Places bar (it’s the bar on the left of this dialog box (under Look in:) that appears when you click the Open toolbar button (or click Ctrl+O) inside your favorite software.

It’s easy to add more folders to this bar.

  1. Open Word XP or higher (or other Office software).
  2. Click the File menu, Open (or click Ctrl+O, or click the Open toolbar button). Browse to the folder you want added to the Places Bar, and select it.
  3. With the desired folder selected, click the Tools menu, Add to “My Places”. The folder you selected will appear in the Places menu (you might have to click the drop-down arrow to see it).
  4. Reorder the folder placement by right-clicking it and clicking Move Up until you get it to the desired position.
  5. Later, to remove a place, go back to where you started (e.g., if you were in Word when you created the folder, go back to Word), and press Ctrl+O to access the Open dialog box. Then right-click the folder and click Remove. If Remove is grayed out, you didn’t go back to where you started.

Save PowerPoint Slide as a High Resolution Picture

By default, PowerPoint will output a jpeg at 96dpi (click the File menu, Save As, and choose jpeg as the type). This is fine for the Web, but not for printing. In most cases, you’ll need at least 300dpi.

To create high resolution jpgs, you have two choices…fiddle with the registry and change it, or invest in some very inexpensive software that will do this for you. To complete a recent project, I chose the latter (I highly suggest you do the same).

The ImageExport on the PPTools Website is a fast, easy way to export graphics from PowerPoint as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or WMF at various resolutions. It’s $29.95, and you can try it for free.

For more tips in PowerPoint, buy my book, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint 2007 and another one on PowerPoint 2003 or enroll in one of my PowerPoint workshops.

UPDATE: I’ve recorded three videos to show you how to use ImageExport.



Create Interesting Art Projects with PowerPoint

I just finished an interesting project using PowerPoint. In an earlier post, I talked about how to save PowerPoint slides as pictures. I do this a lot when I create the photo gallery for my Website. And I’m finding other uses for this tip.

I’m creating a DVD using some great video footage from a PBS special I did for the US Virgin Islands affiliate. I edited the video using Camtasia and put a 6-minute video sample together (see SUITETV tab above).

The only thing left to do was to create the DVD jacket covers and disc label.

I could have gotten a designer here in Atlanta to do this and pay hundreds of dollars. Or I could have bid this out on Elance.com and gotten someone in China or somewhere to do it cheaper. But I wanted to give it a try…mainly because I’m a computer nut and love creating in PowerPoint (I teach PowerPoint and have written a book about it…see links below). And also because I knew I could do it as long as I kept everything simple and clean. So I turned off the TV and went to work.

Here’s what I did.

I created a disc cover and DVD jacket (front, back) in PowerPoint. I measured a DVD jacket from one I’d purchased and resized a PowerPoint slide to the same dimensions. In a separate file, I resized another slide to fit the back cover dimensions (that also included the spine). Then I went to work on the design.

Once I designed the jacket cover, I saved it as a high resolution jpeg right from PowerPoint.

By default, PowerPoint will output a jpeg at 96dpi. This is fine for the Web, but not for printing…you need at least 300dpi. I had two choices…fiddle with the registry and change it, or invest in some very inexpensive software that would do this for me. I chose the latter (I highly suggest you do the same). The ImageExport is a fast, easy way to export graphics from PowerPoint as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or WMF at various resolutions. It’s $29.95, and you can try it for free. Saving the file in the PNG format is giving me the best quality.

Then I went to work on the DVD label, using the same design (the picture above). I used a free Word template designed specifically to fit DVD/CD labels at NEATO. I had to tweak the PowerPoint design until I had a perfect fit, but this was quick. Next, I saved this slide as a high resolution jpg. Then in Word, I inserted my PowerPoint jpg as a fill effect/picture inside the drawing object on the NEATO template.

I saved both of these documents on a Flash Drive (I saved the DVD label as a PDF) so I can use a friend’s high resolution color laser printer for the best quality (or you could use Kinko’s, Office Depot, Staples, etc.). The disc cover will print directly on NEATO CD/DVD labels, 2up (two per page). I’ll print the jackets using high quality photo paper.

I’m very pleased with the results (click here to see the rest of it), and I learned some new things along the way. If you want to learn how to do projects like this, sign up for my class “Create Marketing Collateral with PowerPoint.” Or buy my book, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint 2003 (Update: 2007 version now available).

Let me know what you think.

P.S. I need to add that the only stumbling block in all of this was removing the white box behind my photo when I inserted it into PowerPoint. I used the transparency tool on the PowerPoint Picture toolbar, and it was almost perfect. Almost isn’t good enough for me.

I had to go to PhotoShop Elements and learn how to get rid of the background. I’ve paid people in the past when I’ve needed this done, but I was determined to learn how to do it myself. I went to Help, and could have kicked myself once I saw how easy it was to do this…took me 2 minutes!, if that long. Now I know.

I use two monitors so after I finished in PhotoShop, I dragged the picture over to the slide in PowerPoint. This time when I used the transparency tool, I was more pleased with the finish.


Peggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert

Save a PowerPoint Slide as a Picture

You can use PowerPoint to create a postcard, ad, or brochure you want to email, place on your Website, or print. One of my favorite things to do is create snazzy photo albums for my Website and email ads I send in Outlook to promote my training. I don’t know enough about PhotoShop to create what I need, but I know a whole lot about PowerPoint (I teach beginning to advanced PowerPoint in a 5-hour class that includes lunch…no kidding), so it make sense to do it like this.

  1. Create a slide in the desired size and create your masterpiece.
  2. (PowerPoint 2003) Click the File menu, Save As. (In PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button, Save As, Other Formats.)
  3. In the Save as type list, select the graphics format you want (e.g., JPEG), and then click Save.
  4. In Outlook, create a new email message. Click in the body of the message. Then click the Insert menu, Picture, Browse to find the file you just saved, OK.
  5. Once the picture is in the body of the email, you can create a hyperlink that jumps to your Web site (select the graphic, then click the Insert menu, Hyperlink, add your Web site, OK).

By default, PowerPoint will set the dpi for your picture at 96, which is not high enough resolution for printing. Later, I’ll tell you about a couple of ways around this. UPDATE: Here is the post that explains how to save PowerPoint slides in a higher resolution.


Reduce File Size in PowerPoint – Graphic Sizes Too

If you’re ever working on a PowerPoint presentation and notice that the file seems to get bigger for no reason, try this.

  1. Click File, Properties, General tab to see how large your file is. Close the dialog box.
  2. You can reduce the file size by up to 50 percent by resaving it under a different name. Click File, Save As, and rename the file.

Recheck the file size. If it doesn’t work the first time, try it again.

Compress Pictures to Make File Smaller. If you’ve embedded a lot of pictures, you can compress one picture or all of them. If you choose to compress all pictures, wait until you have inserted all of them so PowerPoint won’t attempt to recompress them.

  1. Click on the picture you want to compress, click to Show Picture Toolbar.
  2. Click the Compress Pictures toolbar button located on the Show Picture Toolbar (hold your mouse over each button to find it. It’s a square with a picture inside and four arrows pointing to each corner).
  3. Make desired selections.

If your file size doesn’t seem to be shrinking when you do the compress, turn off Fast Saves.

  1. Click Tools, Options, Save tab, untick Allow fast saves.
  2. Resave the file under a different name.