How to remove formulas in excel but keep the values


(Update: 2022-10-03

I have been getting a lot of hits on this particular article. So, I thought I would update it by adding some additional images and a bit more clarity to the subject. I hope you enjoy this article and can benefit from it. Continue reading the main article below and my other articles listed on the left side of this page. And leave a comment if you don’t mind. Thanks.)


If you have used Microsoft Excel, or even Open Office Calc (the free alternative to Microsoft Excel) you have most likely used or even created formulas to return a desired value. An example would be;
Column A contains a latitude, Column B contains a longitude and Column C has a formula that concatenates the two together. Here is a sample of that formula in column C:

In the formula above, notice the three commas and space between the two quotation marks following the middle comma. Anything you put between the quotes will be shown in Column C, but the quotation marks will not appear. See the sample below.

In this sample, we will put the word “Hello” within the quotes.


And here are the results of that same cell in the Excel sheet.



Now, getting back to our real-world example. 

Given the latitude of 34.6528144 and the longitude of -98.4146529 in columns A and B respectively, you get the following result displayed in column C.Capture3

As you can see, the results contain the comma and space (between the two numbers) that was specified in the formula between the quotation marks.


Okay, I know this article is supposed to be about how to remove the formulas from a calculated cell (or cells) while retaining the resulting data. Instead, all I have discussed so far is how to create a formula in a cell. True, but to remove a stain, you must first understand what the stain is and how it got there. The same theory holds true in a substantial number of aspects of life.

With that said, let’s remove those pesky formulas now that we are done with them. There are many ways you can accomplish this, and I have seen countless chapters in Excel books and dozens of web sites that have you find a specific tool on the toolbar and navigate through a dozen or more options to get your desired results. However, the simplest way is to just select the cell or cells that contain the formulas and press “Ctrl” + “C” to copy them. Next, with the cells selected, press “Ctrl” + “V” to paste the resulting values in the same cells.

Before you just hit the “Enter” key or move on to other things in your life, notice the little “clipboard” looking icon that popped up. It should look something like this: ExcelCopyPaste (I know the image is small, but that’s the way it is in Excel, so bare with me.)

Click on it and scroll down the menu to the “Paste Values” section of the list and choose the “Values (V)” option.


Hint, as you mouse over the options (represented by small icons), a tool tip will appear telling you what that function is called. Once you click the “Values (V)” icon, all formulas will be erased and replaced with only the results that it calculated. See the results in the two images below.

Image 1, Before


Image 2, After


Mystery solved! It really is a lot simpler than a lot of web pages make it out to be. As you can tell, I am a firm believer in the K. I. S. S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) method of thought.


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What to ask repair centers when your PC crashes

Computer repair center cautions.

Who do you trust with your beloved computer and all the data residing on it? It’s a question most of us take for granted as we drop off our computer at the local repair shop. Photo’s, legal documents and passwords are just a few of the things that we store on our computer thinking it is safely tucked away. Once the computer leaves your possession and is placed in a shop, how do you know all is safe?

Below is a list of important questions along with the expected answers you should receive when shopping for a repair center. If you are not comfortable with the answers your getting from a local computer repair shop or individual, you should consider other places.

How much do you charge per hour or service?

Most respectable computer repair centers will charge either by the hour or by task, depending on the issue. The hourly rate should range between $50 – $75 ‘depending on where you live.’ Too high of a price may mean that you are being overcharged and too low may mean that the repairman may not know what he is doing or he may be planning on billing for an excessive amount of hours.

Some services will be billed by “bench hours,” meaning, how many hours the computer is actually on the work bench whether attended or unattended. Expect to pay for unattended hours when your computer is using electricity and bench space while a program is being installed or updated.

Other services will be billed by  “product,” meaning, they charge a flat fee for installing a new video card or power supply.

How many billable hours will this take to repair?

The last thing you want to do is pay $60 hour for nine hours of labor, totaling $540 to repair a computer that can be replaced for three or four hundred dollars. This is where cost vs. reward comes into play. Is it worth it to fix the computer or just purchase a new one?

You should expect to hear from the repairman, “I can’t be totally sure, but these types of repairs in the past have cost an average of (x) dollars to repair. We can certainly call you if we see the cost is going to exceed the value of the computer.”

Don’t be alarmed if the technician can’t give you an exact amount over the phone, some computer problems may seem similar but are very different in reality.

Do you have a minimum charge?

Not all computer problems require nine hours on the work bench. If your issue takes only 15 minutes to repair, you may be slapped with a minimum bench time.

You should expect to hear “yes, we have a one billable hour minimum.” On part replacements, it is also common to have a flat rate for installing new hardware.

Will there be any additional charges?

While some companies stifle you with hidden fees, this simple question should clear the air. No one wants to get a quote only to find out the actual cost is much higher.

What you should expect to hear; “No. If it looks like it is going to cost more than we quoted, you will receive a phone call notifying you of the added expense and an explanation as to why.” At this point you may choose to go forward with the extra repairs or simply pick up your computer as-is.

Do you guarantee your work?

Guarantee’s and warrantees are a given in today’s society, but are they worth anything? Ask the repairman the conditions of the guarantee, if they fix the problem and it returns, what will they offer? If their response is “uhm or I’m not sure,” then try another repairman. No one wants to pay for repairs and have the same issue again two weeks later. This does not apply to all issues, for example; viruses. You may have your computer completely cleaned of all viruses and three days later be infected again.

You should expect to hear; “Yes, for most repairs we guarantee our labor and/or parts for 30 to 90 days.” Most hardware comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer in conjunction with the local shops warranty. When replacing or upgrading parts, make sure you get new, not used if you want a warranty.

Anytime you have hardware or software programs installed on your computer, make sure you get the box, CD and literature for the product when you pick up your computer. Usually software will have a CD Key that you may need to register the product later.

Will you save my files?

Your computer is an assembly of parts that in most cases can be easily replaced. The digital items such as photo’s of your dog, video’s of your child’s first steps, legal documents and spreadsheets with your usernames and passwords are what’s really important to most of us.

The answer you should expect is; “yes, if they are retrievable.”

This also happens to fall under one of those items that are listed as a flat rate in most cases. Expect to have to pay $x per gigabyte of data retrieved. Most places will charge a flat rate of about $85 for the first gigabyte and $20 for each additional gigabyte. If your primary goal is to retrieve data from a dead hard drive, expect to send the drive to a professional lab. Generally, local computer stores do not have the ability to do this level of work. Professionals can most often retrieve data even if the drive has been formatted two or three times.


When shopping for a computer repair center, do not hesitate to ask questions. Ask about certifications, knowledge level of the technicians and years of service. This is your computer and your sensitive data. Most often, your best option is to take it to a shop as opposed to a local guru’s house. On the reverse of that, some techies that work from home after their day job, are real brainiac’s and some are want-to-be’s, so beware.

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Windows 10 Free upgrade ending soon


Windows 10 free upgrade ending July 29. Microsoft is engaged in a final push to get users to upgrade, pushing fresh new features and overhauls to its design. However, is Windows 10 right for you? Here are some arguments, both for and against the upgrade.

For the upgrade:

1. New Features

Not everyone agrees about the value of Windows 10’s new features, but most agree the new operating system (OS) offers more than previous versions of Windows. The introduction of Cortana, a new virtual assistant, who’s intentions are to provide you with traffic and weather reports for your day and answer simple questions. Cortana also helps with your scheduling and to-do lists.

Rendering 3D graphics in games and other applications is boosted with the new DirectX 12 including faster boot times than that of Windows 7 and 8.1 and more support for multi-monitor setups. Side note: DirectX 12 can also be installed on Windows 7 and 8.

Storage from and to multiple drives, both locally and online, can be pooled more easily.

2. Support and Upgrades

While Windows 7 and 8 still have some years left before Microsoft stops supporting them, Windows 10 is being promoted as the “last” OS your computer will need. However, they are reflecting in their lifecycle fact sheet that support will end Oct, 14. 2025.

Rumor has it that Microsoft will eventually move Windows and Office to become a service or subscription after the 2025 end date for Windows 10. There was some thought of this as early as Windows 7 when it was in production and known only by its codename Blackcomb.

3. The return of the desktop

Windows 10 brings back the familiar desktop and start menu – well kind of. The start menu looks similar to the Windows 7 version, but has the tiled start screen from Windows 8 tethered to the side.

Some nifty upgrades to the Windows desktop include better support for Virtual Desktops and an enhanced Task View. These allow the user to easily jump between open apps and virtual desktops.

4. Better data access

Windows 10 takes advantage of Internet connectivity in a way its predecessors don’t, plugging users into a wider range of information and automatically syncing information with cloud services.

Searching from the Windows 10 taskbar will search more than just files on the hard drive, it will also search Windows Store apps and Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Windows 10’s integration with cloud services such as OneDrive helps automatically sync files between PCs and Cortana can share your profile between devices.

Against the upgrade:

1. New Features

The new smart assistant Cortana is not actually that smart, according to most users I have talked with. Often responding to simple questions with a Bing search rather than a direct answer, I found it frustrating and had better results with a simple Google search done by myself. The new Edge browser should have been a good idea, but with most new web browsers, it needs a lot of work. It lacks key features that are common-place in other browsers such as Firefox.

2. Privacy

Windows 10 collects more data than I am comfortable with. I am okay sharing how I use Windows and what apps I use, but I am concerned about Windows collecting what I type, my contacts and location. When Cortana is enabled, this data extends to my web browsing history, voice commands and more. The data gathering settings can be turned down, but not off.

Updates on Windows 10 also happens more frequently than older versions of Windows. Users have less control over when updates are done and what changes these updates will make.

3. Old Hardware / Software

Windows 10, like other Windows releases, does not support certain older hardware or software. I am not referring to items from the 80’s, I’m talking about hardware and software that worked fine on Windows 7. I found that printers are the least supported item, but some video cards were not supported either. When I spoke to the Microsoft tech support, their response was to simply buy newer hardware.

Older software that I paid good money for was no longer supported, but I could (with some software) buy an upgrade from that company that did allow it to function on Windows 10. So now I’m left to wonder; how much is that FREE upgrade to Windows 10 really going to cost me?

4. Missing features

A key item missing from Windows 10 is the Windows Media Center. This software was designed for TV, music and movie playback. The Windows store offers a version for you to download, but at an extra cost. There are some open-source (free) media programs out there to fill in the gaps.

Solitaire is still there but it comes with full page ads that you have to work around. You can disable them, but only by purchasing the solitaire game from the Windows store.

Another issue I found was that on some laptops, Windows 10 did not allow moving icons on the desktop. Where they landed is where they stayed. Even when creating a new icon, it was populated on the desktop in a random spot and was not movable. So, I could not arrange my icons to my viewing pleasure.


If you decide to make the upgrade, there is one option not found in previous versions of Windows, the option to go back to Windows 7 or 8. You have 30 days to revert back to your original OS if you decide Windows 10 is not a benefit to you. In my experience, this option works most of the time. Two of the computers I tried this on crashed beyond repair.

So, there is a short list of my pro’s and con’s regarding the upgrade. I will leave it up to you the user to determine if the upgrade would be a good thing. My personal opinion is, if you are a heavy graphics user, (games and video) you may want to try it out. If you are a basic user, (Internet, email, word, etc) you may want to stick with Windows 7 or 8.

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10 Tips for New Microsoft Project Users


With all the “Top 10 Lists” out there on varying subjects, I thought it was time to create one for Microsoft Project. Most beginners that are given Project are simply thrown a copy of the program and maybe an 800 page book that reads like assembly instructions for a Space Shuttle.

In the real-world work place classes are just not an option, usually due to budget constraints. With the proper training and a good understanding of a few simple rules, the users frustration level can be drastically reduced to a tolerable level. So, here is my list of a few basic rules or guidelines to consider when working in Project.

  1. Project is not Excel.

This may seem obvious but surprisingly when you first open a new project, most are inclined to think in terms of an excel spreadsheet.  After all, it’s been ingrained in our thought process since the dawn of Microsoft Office. While the grid-like layout of the “Gantt Chart” may look similar to excel, make no mistake, it is different. It may look similar but it behaves very differently. For example, Project will automatically change the start and end date. Let it. Remember, this is a scheduling tool and scheduling tools change dates based on other inputs. Not understanding how and why it does this will lead most newbies to abandon the software.  Stick with it and it will become a valuable tool.

  1. Understand the basic scheduling formula.

(Duration = Work divided by Units)

This is a fundamental formula across all scheduling practices and thus is no different in Project. Understanding this formula and the definitions of the words themselves is vital in comprehending how Project schedules and manipulates tasks. Without an understanding of this formula, changes made by Project may seem obscure and unjustified. Knowing the formula may not stop Project from making changes to your scheduling, but it will help you better understand what changes to expect given certain modifications on your part.

  1. Setting fixed types.

By default, Project will set the “units” as fixed, when in reality most often we would want the “work” as fixed. On a default set-up where either work, units or duration is fixed and you modify one of them, Project will recalculate the third but will not change the one that is fixed. Since most technical tasks are driven by the amount of work effort required, they should be set so the work type is fixed.  You would set the work type as fixed if you do not want overtime. So, if your order for units increases you can plug in the new quantity and since the work is fixed, Project will adjust the time and provide you with a new deadline for production. In the same respect you can change the fixed type to any of the three options so if your deadline gets pulled in, adjust the new duration while keeping the same quantity of units and Project will calculate the adjusted amount of “work” or hours needed.


  1. Don’t assign everyone at 100%.

When you assign a resource or person to a task, the default in Project is 100%. This means that that resource or person will work solely on that assignment. In some situations this is okay, but it limits that resource to only that task for the duration of the task. This will result in erroneous numbers and timelines in Project. Also pay attention to assigning people or resources to concurrent (parallel) tasks. Although most of us like to think we can multi-task, in Project it just doesn’t work.

  1. Minimize those constraints.

When you add constraints such as “Start no earlier than” or “Finish no later than”, you are actually telling Project not to schedule anything. While there may be legitimate uses for such constraints,  such as a dependency on an external event, the best practice is to let Project adjust the schedule. This is known as Dynamic Scheduling. Difficult or inflexible constraints may cause scheduling conflicts and force Project to ignore or eliminate a particular project schedule. If your sponsor (by sponsor I mean boss) mandates an end date then use Deadlines. Deadlines will flag a missed milestone but will not disable scheduling of the task.

  1. Avoid estimating or guessing the Percent Complete.

Estimating the percent complete for a project is a practice you should avoid. This often becomes a habit and soon becomes a subject of abuse. The best practice should be to ask a resource (or manager) to report the actual work then calculate the remaining work. This will allow project to automatically (and correctly) calculate the percent of work completed. A point to remember is that; in project the percent complete actually means duration complete which is distinguished from work complete. Remember, we are using Project – not Excel. Before you make changes to work or units, make sure you understand the difference between work complete and duration complete.

  1. Let your project program talk to you, and listen to what it says.

Think twice before you hit the “ignore” button when Project pops up an error message “This action will cause a scheduling conflict…” They are there to warn you of potential problems that may occur if you continue. Deal with the errors or conflicts immediately or their consequences will have long term effects. Not taking care of them now will make it more difficult to trace back later when these issues start stacking up.

  1. Leveling is not a magic wand.

As anyone who has used automatic leveling can tell you, there is no real magic to it. Leveling simply delays the start or continuation of a task or tasks in a schedule until your resources are no longer over allocated.  It’s best to use some thought when first assigning resources to tasks. A common mistake is to assign a person full time to more than one task that is on the same scheduled time frame. If you are careful, leveling can work great for you, if not it can be a nightmare.


  1. Tools are not communicators.

Considering the various collaboration tools in the Enterprise Edition of Project Management (EPM) environment including things like notifications and SharePoint, you may be inclined to think the tool can communicate for you. Wrong! Ninety percent of a project manager’s job is communication. PM tools may facilitate some communication and relieve us of some mundane tasks allowing us to spend more time communicating – but it will not replace it.

  1. Knowing project management will not make you a project manager.

Project Management Institute (PMI) identifies 44 processes that a typical project manager performs. Project really only handles a few of these processes. Project makes a good manager better and a bad manager worse. Project will facilitate some of your routine scheduling tasks so that you can devote the bulk of your time to truly managing your projects.

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Tracking expiration dates by color code ‘automatically’ in excel


Have you ever wondered how to automatically highlight expired dates and dates that are less than 30 days from expiration? An option in excel called “conditional formatting” holds the key to this task. If you are an avid excel user tracking calibration dates, evaluation dates, birthdays, shipping, expenses or a number of other date related content, then you will definitely benefit from this tip.

In this article we are going to walk through the steps to have excel automatically change the color of a cell or the color of a font after a certain date has passed. Consequently, every time you open your spreadsheet it’s automatically updated with the appropriate color changes.

For example, you are monitoring calibration dates and want to know at a glance (by color code) what equipment is past due for calibration and which is coming due. The following steps will walk you through making these changes.

First open a new blank excel sheet to work from. Put in cell A1 the word “Equipment” and in cell B1 put “Due Date.” Now populate cells A2 through A5 with various equipment names and populate cells B2 through B5 with various dates. For this example it’s best to put in varying dates from last year, some from the current week and some from the months or years ahead.

Select the Home tab in the toolbar at the top of the screen if you are not already there. When you open excel it should default to this screen. Now select the cells that you want to apply the formula to such as the cells in column B. You can select the entire column by clicking on the B in that column. From the top tool-bar in excel click on Conditional Formatting and choose New Rule from the drop down menu. When the next dialog box opens click on the option “Format only cells that contain”. This will change the options in the dialog box. On the bottom half of the dialog box, click “Cell Value” from the first (far left) drop down menu. Select “Less than” from the second drop down menu then put your cursor in the text box to right of that and enter the following formula without the quotes “=NOW( )+30”.

Next we will set the formatting we want to apply by clicking on the “Format” button in the bottom right corner of the dialog box. This one may be familiar to you if you have ever changed the color of a cell or text in excel and we will be doing the same thing here. Now select the color that you want the cell to shade to for items that will expire in the next 30 days by clicking on the “Fill” tab at the top of the dialog box and selecting the color from the color chart. (Note: if you don’t want to change the color of the box but rather you want to change the color of the font only then click on the “Font” tab and select your color from the color chart.)

When your color is selected, click the “OK” button and this will take you back to the “New Formatting Rule” dialog box. Now click on the Okay button here and it should take you back to the “Conditional Formatting Rules Manager” dialog box. If for some reason it does not then simply click on the Conditional Formatting option from the tool-bar at the top of the excel sheet and choose “Manage Rules” from the drop down menu. Here you will notice that the rule you just created is listed in the dialog box. The next couple of steps will seem like deja vu but what we are doing is simply creating 3 similar rules but with different formulas to produce a single action in excel.

From the “Manage Rules” dialog box click on “new rule.” From the top part of the dialog box again select “format on cells that contain” option and in the lower part of the dialog box select “cell value” in the first drop down menu and “less than” from the second dialog box. Now place your cursor in the formula text box and enter the following code, again without the quotation marks. “=NOW( )”

Next step is to click on the “format” button to change the color of the cell or font for this rule. If you want to change the color of the cell then click on the “fill” tab for changing the color of the font, click on the “font” tab and select the color of your choice. For this exercise we will select red. Click OK to save changes and this should return you to the new rule manager, click OK here as well.

Now we are back to the first level rule manager and you should see your two new rules listed here. Again, click on the “new rule” button and from the top part of the dialog box we are going to select the option “use a formula to determine which cells to format” as the rule type. In the formula bar that appears type in the following without the quotes, “=ISBLANK(B1)=TRUE”. Next click on the “format” button to select what actions will apply when the conditions of this rule are met. If you are changing the color of the cell then click on the “fill” tab, if you are changing the color of the font then click on the “font” tab. For the purpose of this example we are going to choose white for the fill color and “automatic” for the font color, depending on which you are doing. Click the OK button and then click the next OK button on the rule dialog box and you should be taken back to the rules manager dialog box.

There should be 3 rules listed now in order by creation with the newest on top. You should have 2 “cell value” rules and one “formula” rule. On the far right of each rule you will see a “stop if true” check box. Click on the check box for the “formula” rule but leave the other 2 rules unchecked. Now click the OK button to close the dialog box. Now, click the “Apply” button, then click the “OK” button.

Congratulations, you have just entered lines of code in excel to create a rule of conditions. Save the excel sheet as “test1” in a folder of your choice or on your desktop and close it. The next time you open the document the color rules will take effect. If you would like to play around with this try changing the date on your computer to another day in the past or future and re-open the excel sheet. Notice the cells change colors based on the date change.

With this new knowledge at hand you can make the changes to your existing documents by applying this process to the dates you want to monitor.

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Function Keys F1 – F12, what are they and how to use them


Welcome to the first edition of “Tech Made Easy.” This is where the rubber meets the road and tech short cuts are made easy.

Hello, my name is Aubrey Love and I am the newest edition to the Fort Sill Tribune as a contract writer. I have been working in the computer industry since the PC was invented back in the 70’s and am now a retired U.S. Army vet. In the past I have worked for such companies as Dell Computers in the Engineering Research and Development lab, NASA in the IT lab, Lockheed Martin in the Flight Simulator lab and various other businesses. I have written countless tech manuels/instructions, white papers and a book “Linux the Other Windows” and am currently writing “Linux Made Simple.” Over the years I have picked up a great deal of tips, tricks and shortcuts and look forward to sharing some of them with you.

Function keys are a time saver when you need to get a lot done with limited time to do so. Shortcut keys are a combination of two or more keys that simulate some functions of a mouse or other pointing devices.  On a side note, you may in some instances use the ctrl, alt and shift keys in conjunction with the function key as a functional shortcut.

In some work environments you are provided a cardboard template or a peel and stick label placed above or around your function keys to indicate what those keys will do within your specific work programs or software. This may be a database, a special word processer or personnel scheduling program designed specifically for your company. When you are working in those programs you will use the function keys in that manor but when you exit that program and open a more generic or commercial program such as Microsoft Windows or Excel your template should not apply and they will revert back to the default operations of the function and shortcut keys.

Taking a look at your keyboard you will notice a row of “F” keys at the very top. These are known as function keys. Most keyboards today are equipped with keys F1-F12. However some keyboards (especially the older IBM keyboards) may also have keys F13-F24.  The following is a list of the function keys and their basic definitions. Here we will be covering keys F1 through F12 only. Since keyboards with function keys F13 through F24 are no longer used, they will not be discussed in this article.

F1 – This one is almost always reserved as the help key. Most programs will display a help dialog box with a search option and index. Pressing the “Windows” key (located on the bottom row of your keyboard) plus the F1 key will open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.


F2 – In Windows this will highlight the name of any selected folder or icon on your desktop allowing you to simply start typing and rename the selected icon or folder. This is also used to enter the CMOS setup during the computer boot up process for some computer brands such as Dell Computers. It is not recommended to use this option unless you are quiet familiar with the internal settings of how your computer boots and runs. Pressing ALT + Ctrl + F2 will open a document window in Microsoft Word if that program is installed. Ctrl + F2 will display the “print preview” window in Microsoft Word.


F3 – This function key will open a search feature for most programs such as Microsoft Windows while you are at the Windows desktop.

While in MS-DOS mode or a Windows command line mode pressing the F3 key will repeat or retype the last command you typed in.

Pressing the shift key + F3 while in Microsoft Word and most other word processors will change the font from upper to lower case.

In Microsoft Outlook pressing the Windows Key + F3 will open the “Advanced” find/search window.


F4 – On older computers that are still running Microsoft Windows 95 through Windows XP will open the “find” window.

This function key will also open the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.

It will also repeat the last action performed within Microsoft Word version 2000 and newer.

ALT + F4 will close the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows.

For those of us who are constantly multi-tasking, pressing the Ctrl + F4 closes the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.


F5 – In all current Internet browsers, pressing the F5 key will refresh or reload the page or document window that you are currently viewing. If you have multiple tabs open it will only refresh the tab you are currently viewing and has no effect on the others until you click on those tabs and press the F5 key.

In Microsoft Word the F5 key will open the find, replace and go to window.

If you are using Microsoft PowerPoint, F5 will begin your slide show.


F6 – In Internet Explorer, Mozilla  Firefox and most other browsers will move the cursor to the “address bar.”

Ctrl + Shift + F6 toggles between other open Microsoft Word documents. On a side note pressing the ALT + Tab will toggle you between all open applications.


F7 – This will be a real time saver for someone that does a lot work in Microsoft Word or emails in Outlook. Pressing the F7 key will start the spell check and grammar check of your word document or email.

If you need a thesaurus simply highlight the word you would like to check and press the shift + F7 keys.

Caret browsing – no this is not referring to diamonds in your computer, this feature will place a moveable cursor in your web pages allowing you to select text with the keyboard. If you are not familiar with exactly how this works then I would suggest doing a little more research on it before you use it. However, in the interest of getting the most from your computer and if you are so inclined to experiment, go ahead and activate Caret browsing and try it out. After all, turning it off is just as easy as turning it on.


F8 – This one doesn’t really have a lot of function on the desktop but it can be a real life saver in the event that you are not able to boot into Windows successfully. If your computer just will not boot into Windows or you constantly get the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” then the F8 key may cure your problems. Simply power off your computer then reboot, on first boot you should hear one beep. This is good, that is a system self test and the single beep indicates all is well so far. Just after the single beep press the F8 key to be taken to a menu screen. If you were unable to boot into Windows successfully in the past attempts then you should use the up arrow keys to highlight the “Safe Mode” option and press the enter key. Once you have reached the desktop in safe mode you can now reboot the computer as you normally would and all should be fine. If not, press the F8 key again after rebooting and choose one of the system restore options.


F9 – While using Microsoft Word this option will refresh the word document.

When in Microsoft Outlook it will refresh your email account sending and receiving any pending emails.

If you are using a program named Quark 5 or later this function key will open the measurements toolbar.


F10 – In Microsoft Windows this function activates the menu bar of any open application.

Pressing the Shift + F10 provides the same function as right clicking (or left clicking if you are using a left hand mouse) on a hyperlink or any highlighted file or icon.

This function key will also allow you access to the hidden recovery partition on most Compaq, HP, and Sony computers.

The F10 key is also used to enter CMOS on some computers.


F11 – This will allow you to enter and exit the full screen mode in all current/modern Internet browsers.

This function key will also allow you to access the hidden recovery partition on most Dell Computers. In some instances you may need to press the Ctrl + F11 keys to activate this hidden recovery partition on Dell Computers.

This function key will also allow you access to the hidden recovery partition on most eMachines, Gateway and Lenovo computers.


F12 – If you are working in Microsoft Word this function key open the “Save as” window.

Most of us are familiar with the shortcut “Ctrl + S” to save the changes to a word document and Shift + F12 will do the same.

Pressing the Shift + F12 will open a document in Microsoft Word.

The Ctrl + Shift + F12 will print the currently open document in Microsoft Word. It will also preview a page in Microsoft Expression Web, if you are using that program.


So there is the short and to the point facts of how to save a great deal of time by simply making use of your function keys. One of the more prominent things I have learned over the years is that no one knows everything about computers and I really don’t anticipate any one person ever achieving that goal. With that said, if you have any shortcuts, tips or tricks that you would like to share for upcoming articles please feel free to contact me



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