Work Cited Made Wicked Easy!

To make a work cited, bibliography, or footnote (almost) without having to know anything about APA or MLA formatting… sound like a dream? Well with Microsoft Word 2007, it’s a reality!

Adding Sources and Citations within your document:

  1. Type your quote or citation
  2. With your insertion point at the desired location, Navigate to the ‘Reference’ Ribbon/Tab at the top of the page
  3. Click on the ‘Insert Citation’ button, in the Citations & Bibliography group
  4. Choose ‘Add New Source…’, this will open the Create Source dialogue box
  5. Select the appropriate source type from the drop down menu at the top of the Create Source dialogue box
  6. Fill-in the appropriate fields for your source
  7. Click ‘OK’

Adding Footnotes within your document:

  1. Type your quote or citation
  2. With your insertion point at the desired location, Navigate to the ‘Reference’ Ribbon/Tab
  3. Click on the ‘Insert Footnote’ button, in the Footnotes group
  4. Type the appropriate information in the newly created Footnote section

Creating your Bibliography:

  1. After entering sources, navigate to the end of your document (Ctrl + End)
  2. Navigate to the ‘Insert’ Ribbon/Tab
  3. Click on the ‘Page Break’ button in the Pages group
  4. While on the new page that you just created, Navigate back to the ‘Reference’ Ribbon/Tab
  5. Click on the ‘Bibliography’ button, in the Citations & Bibliography group
  6. From the drop down menu, you can choose a predefined option, or create your own format

And that’s all there is to it!

If you would like personalized assistance with formatting documents and word processing, contact Office Solutions ME for a personalized consultation!

Resume Formatting Tips

We make assumptions based on appearance, and resumes are no different. In addition to being clear, concise, and informative, your resume needs to be easy to read, appealing to the eye, and unique. Your resume should portray your personality as much as your experience, and be easy to visually navigate.

In addition to the actual content of a resume, consider formatting for readability and personality;

  • Font – Size and type can help make your resume flow better and increase readability. Headings should be Larger and Bold. Limit font styles to 1 – 2. A san serif font can be used throughout, or descriptive text could be easy to read in a serif font type. Subtitles, such as dates and employer names can be italicized to help differentiate them from descriptive text.

I recommend headings be 11-14 point, Arial (or some other san serif font), and Bold. I recommend descriptive text be 9-12 point, and either the same font type as your titles, or times new roman (or some other serif font).

  • Spacing – There should be more space between paragraphs than between lines. This helps to ‘group’ information. There should also be just enough space between lines to read your content.

I would recommend 1.15 – 1.5 between lines, and 6 – 12 points between paragraphs.

  • Color – Here’s a great place to show character. Add some color to your presentation! Titles, Your name, a border, your footer, are all good options for a splash of color.

I would recommend keeping your use of colors to 1 shade, 2 at most.

  • Effects – Using effects such as Horizontal lines, Page boarders, Bolding, Italicizing, and Bullets, can help text stand out and guide the reader’s eye where you want them to look.

I suggest horizontal lines between sections, bold and colorful headings, and bullets outlining experience or education.

  • Length – With increasing experiences, resumes have become increasingly lengthy. Unfortunately, many people will not look past page 2, so be careful not to put anything important on page 3 (if you have one). Better yet, try to fit it all on 2 pages.

I suggest trying the following; minimize space between lines and paragraphs, decrease margins, and decrease font size.

Check out these additional resources for more information on Resume writing and formatting:

WritingHelp-Central

Resume Tips – Top Resume Tips

Sample Resumes

Guidelines For A Better Resume Presentation

Resume Basics for Freelancers

Need more help with your resume writing and formatting? Contact Office Solutions ME!

 

Mail Merge 101 – Easy!

A Mail Merge is a way to create a document once and then easily recreate the document with alternate information in specified locations. For example, the most commons use of a Mail Marge is a letter that is being sent to multiple recipients. The contents or body of the letter is the same for everyone; however the recipient information needs to be customized for each letter. 

A mail merge allows you to create a letter for 500 recipients as easily (or easier) than you could create one for 5 recipients.

  1. Create the letter that you intend to use in Microsoft Word
  2. Create a spreadsheet that contains all the information that needs to be substituted.
    For example; First Name, Last Name, Company, Address, etc…It may look something like this –

    Suffix FName LName Company Street City State Zip
    Ms. Jane Smith ABC Corp 123 C St Portland ME 04101
    Mr. John Smith 123 Inc 456 N St Portland ME 04101

    Hints: All column headings should be a single word, The ‘Zip’ column may need to be specially formatted if the zip codes you are using start with ‘0’. This can be done under the cell formatting options, Remember the name and location of the spreadsheet when you save it

  3. With your letter open and your spreadsheet closed, navigate to the ‘Mailings’ tab (5th from the left) at the top of Microsoft Word toolbar (or Ribbon).
    Choose the ‘Select Recipients’ option (4th from the left)
    Choose ‘Use Existing List…’ (Second option). This will open another windowMail Merge Select Existing Source
  4. Navigate to the location where you stored your spreadsheet
    Select your saved spreadsheet, Click ‘Open’
    Mail Merge Choose Database
  5. This will give you a list of the sheets available in that file, generally yours will be ‘Sheet 1’ unless you named it otherwise
    Mail Merge Select sheet
  6. You now have some additional options available to you on the ‘Mailing’ tab on the top of the page
    One of the new options is ‘Insert Merge Field’ this should give you a list of all of the column headings in your spreadsheet.
    Mail Merge Insert Fields
  7. Now you can insert the desired fields from your spreadsheet into your letter template by clicking on them

    Here is an example;

    Hi «Fname»,
    I hope business is going well at «Company»!

    Hint: Any blank fields in your spreadsheet will be skipped in your letter

  8. Once you are done adding your merge fields, you can ‘preview results’ or ‘Finish & Merge’
    Both options are also found on the ‘Mailings’ tab toward the right side of the menu

Hopefully this quick Mail Merge 101 tutorial helps you become more efficient and effective!

For more help with your mailings or any other word processing and administrative functions, contact Office Solutions ME!

3 Excel (2007) Formatting Tricks

SpreadsheetExcel is a great business tool! Although, it has many features the common user is unaware of, but could greatly benefit from!

Here are a few tips on formatting that I use regularly;

  1. Table Formatting – Formatting your information as a table gives you added features such as; predesigned templates, filters, and easily adding rows or columns. 
    • To do this: Select the information in your spreadsheet. Navigate to the Home Ribbon, where you will find the ‘Format as Table’ button in the Styles Group. Choose your preferred style.
  2. Print on 1 Page – Adjusting your printing options to 1 page width is easily done and can make a huge difference in readability!
    • To do this: Navigate to the Page Layout Ribbon, where you will find the ‘Scale to Fit’ group. In that group, you can choose how to alter how your spreadsheet prints widthwise or lengthwise by choosing the number of pages you wish to span.
  3. Hide Cells – Hiding confusing (or unnecessary) information can make your spreadsheets much more user-friendly! You can hide columns, rows, or even whole spreadsheets in a workbook.
    • To do this: Right click on the column heading, row heading, or page tab that you would like to hide. From the shortcut menu, choose ‘Hide’.
    • To unhide, simply right-click and choose ‘Unhide’.

 

For more tips and tricks with using Excel, please feel free to contact us at Office Solutions ME!

ABCs of Control Keys

If you want to increase your efficiency when using Microsoft Word (or any Microsoft software), try using some control! Use your control key to help perform routine tasks quickly and easily.  

Here are the basic control key functions from A to Z:  

Control Key

The Control Key is Found on the Bottom Left of your Key Board

 

Control + A = Select All
Control + B = Bold
Control + C = Copy
Control + D = Font Dialog Box
Control + E = Center Align
Control + F = Find
Control + G = Go To
Control + H = Replace
Control + I = Italicize
Control + J = Justify Align
Control + K = Insert Hyperlink
Control + L = Left Align
Control + M = Increase Indent
Control + N = New
Control + O = Open
Control + P = Print
Control + Q = Remove Paragraph Formatting
Control + R = Right Align
Control + S = Save
Control + T = Hanging Indent
Control + U = Underline
Control + V = Paste
Control + W = Close
Control + X = Cut
Control + Y = Redo
Control + Z = Undo  

Stay tuned for additional and more advanced functions in later posts.  

 
 

The Power of Presentations!

The ability to get in front of a crowed and captivate them is certainly an ART! There is so much that goes into a good presentation. There’s the ability to articulate, the physical appearance of the presenter, the setting of the venue, the content of what’s being presented, and the visuals being utilized. While majority of attendees are ‘visual learners’, we often place too much emphasis on the visuals of our presentation.

Here are a few things to consider when creating and using a PowerPoint or any other slide presentation;

Include;

  1. A title slide – Show your audience who you are as you are telling them. This gives them the correct spelling of your name and company.
  2. An outline slide – This is a basic agenda of what is to be covered, it sets the expectations of your presentation early.
  3. Pictures and graphics – You’re creating a visual, so make it interesting, use images that correlate with the topics being covered.
  4. Bulleted lists – Organize your topics into short bulleted lists. Avoid paragraphs of text.
  5. Summary page – Finalize your presentation with a wrap-up slide and be sure to include you contact information at the end.

Avoid;

  1. Reading your slides – Your audience can read (generally), they do not need you to read the slides to them. Your slides should only be outlines of what you are covering.
  2. Alternating slide transitions – Don’t make your slide transitions so crazy that they take away from your presentation. Keep it simple, consistent, and professional.
  3. Clip Art images – Don’t use standard clip art just because it’s there, it will make you look generic. Find and use images that are unique and meaningful to your topics.
  4. Make it readable – Make sure that you use a font style, color, and size that the person in the back row can read easily.

Remember, a PowerPoint presentation is simply a fancy poster board; YOU are still giving the presentation!

If you have any examples or additional suggestions to add, please feel free to comment.

 

8 considerations for a professional website impression

Does your Website give the best 1st Impression?

Your website can be crucial to the image of your business! In many cases, this is can be your first impression or a crucial follow-up. If done correctly, a website tells people what you do, shows people how you do it, builds confidence and credibility in you and your business, and encourages potential clients to contact you.

Tips to help you build/design a professional (virtual) first impression;

  1. Be crystal clear – make sure potential customers do not have to go far to find out what you do and what your business is about. Put your description on your home page, and make sure it’s clear and concise.
  2. Claim attention early – make your home page attractive to your audience, but not distracting. Use colors, images, fonts, and text that compliment each other. Remember, many visitors may not even scroll to the end of the page, never mind visit any additional pages.
  3. Look the part – you don’t have to be a web designer or HTML expert to make your website look good. There are many tools available to assist in basic creative designing. However, if you want something elaborate then it may be worth your money to outsource the task.
  4. Use testimonials – word of mouth works wonders. When asked, many customers will be glad to provide you with a short statement of satisfaction and praise. In turn, you mention them on your website with a link back to their site. This is a great way to help build credibility.
  5. Be easy to contact – offer a way to contact you on every page. Don’t make visitors have to search for your contact information.
  6. Be easy to navigate – don’t use more pages than you need, but don’t try to cram everything on one page.
  7. Don’t drive people away – be sure any external links open in a new window, so that visitors do not leave your website.
  8. Be honest – don’t go overboard, but do include Terms of Use and Privacy Statement. Let people know that you care about their privacy and what to expect when using your website or contacting you.

And if you don’t have a website at all, consider these factors…

  1. Some people will not do business with companies that do not have a website.
  2. A website is a great way for you to advertise your business and allow potential customers to ‘browse’.
  3. Cost should not be a deterrent. There are many web hosting sites that offer free and low cost basic accounts.

If you have questions or suggestions about establishing a website, I would love to hear them!