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Small business chat update – Yvonne Donald

mugs Welcome to a new business chat update, this time with Yvonne Donald who makes, oddly enough, cakes and cupcakes under her Kakes and Cupkakery brand. We first met Yvonne back in September 2012, and caught up with her in October 2013, when she said, In a year’s time, I will be writing my update sipping on a coffee at a table at that cute little Bakery/cake shop called Kake and Cupkakery“. Is this what happened next? Well, regular readers will know that very often plans change, slip, slide sideways and do all sorts of things, so we never really know what the interviewees are going to answer to that first question. Yvonne’s used this opportunity to have a good think about things and plans, and shares loads of useful tips, as ever. So let’s find out how she’s doing!

Hello again, Yvonne! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

The answer to that is yes and no, Yes in that the business is still here and busy as ever, if not more so. and No as I am not in a shop front yet. Was I being overly optimistic? Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. What I do know is that getting a shop front isn’t easy, but I feel so strongly that is where I am destined to be. But boy, is it hard getting there.

I also know what my business is, and I know that must sound strange, but in the early stages you try lots of things so see what works and what doesn’t and what you want to offer, and in my last update I was still trying to decide what my shop front business would look like. Now I know, because when you run your business it will dictate to you what it is, and this is dependent on what people want/order most of, i.e. in my case, dessert cupcakes and celebration cakes.

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’m still in the full-time job, but have a little more flexibility with my days, as they vary with different start and finish times. It takes even more planning, but it’s working.

Also at the beginning of  this year, the business went in a slightly different  direction when I was approached via Twitter to supply a coffee shop (yes, social media does work). So I unexpectedly became a wholesaler. This was a for a local business that just happened to be in a location i had previously viewed, in fact it was the same row of shops, but the coffee shop was a bigger premises. So, my cakes would be in my dream location, just not with me.

I had actually supplied a  smaller business previously so i sort of knew what to expect. Well, dismiss that last statement: what you think you know what to expect in reality is so much more! A lot of work is required when you supply a business as well as running your own; a lot of organisation is required, baking, invoicing, delivery, food safety. There is loads to consider, but after some tweaking I got a system in place and it was going well. However, unfortunately the shop has now closed after 5 months due to lack of footfall, the death knell for any business.

As this wasn’t necessarily the direction I was looking at going in, this didn’t have too much of a detrimental effect, but did make me think about this being a possible opportunity, so much so that in the same week the coffee shop closed, I got approached to supply another. So there seems to be a need and indeed an opportunity, but its hard work on top of my main business and customers, so I will see how that pans out.

What have you learned?

I’ve learnt that i have to maintain a good work-life balance. I recognise that I have a tendency to just work,work, work, as I like to work first and play later, so I tend to sacrifice my own free time in the pursuit of my business. But as well as being a small business owner who wants to do everything really well, I don’t necessarily want  to be a rubbish friend or not give myself enough time and energy for life/ family etc. … so I have been trying to be better at that, and I think it’s working.

What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

Be selective, but not to the detriment of your business, don’t be too quick to say yes to everything, and don’t worry about saying no if it’s not right. Oh, and even though I bake and love making treats, I don’t try to do everything. i.e. products etc. … I officially dislike cake pops (that is all)

Any more hints and tips for people?

My tips are:

  • You are your business, the marketing never stops. More people know me as “the cake lady” than I think actually know my name, and I actually love that.
  • Look for any opportunity to market your business. I recently got national coverage in the Guardian newspaper online about how i use PR and marketing in my business; coverage that money couldn’t buy (or rather i couldn’t afford).
  • Enter competitions and industry-specific awards, which will also give you exposure, Once again I am in the finals of the National Cupcake Championships in November in Birmingham (fingers crossed).
  • Network and co-work: it can be so beneficial to get away from your distractions (especially if you work from home) and work on your business with a friend. Birmingham library is great for this
  • Schedule in free time and family time (Sunday is my non-negotiable family time).
  • For all the cakey people running a cake business reading this, don’t undercut another cake decorator for the sake of a cake and be true to what a cake actually costs. I’ve lost track of the amount of cake decorators who constantly undervalue their work and time because they perceive a customer wouldn’t want to pay. If you understand your market and offer quality, you will actually be quite surprised.
  • Do not worry if your mojo goes from time to time with your business, it’s natural. You’re probably working too hard. Take your foot off the accelerator a bit and distract yourself with something else until it comes back.
  • Overall, have fun: you’re working on your passion, what’s not to love?

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Kake and Cupkakery, one website instead of two: I’m very excited about that. I want to focus on doing some online tutorials and face to face workshops for home bakers and those more experienced. I still want a shop front that will be a bakery and that is still a work in progress. Basically, I want to continue to take the business forward. It’s here to stay, and no going back.

Strong words there at the end, and I certainly think she’s here to stay! I do hope that this is the year where Yvonne will move into working for her business full time – it’s certainly better for the work-life balance when you do that (as I know only too well). I can’t wait to see what she does next (although I can see that there won’t be any cake pops in the mix!).

Yvonne’s current two websites are at www.letthemeatkake.co.uk for the celebration cakes and www.cupkakery.co.uk for the cupcakes. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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How do I tell Word not to spell-check certain paragraphs?

This topic came up after someone commented on one of my other Word-related posts: he had a document that included programming code and he wanted to exclude that from the spell check because a) it wasted time and b) when displaying spelling errors, the red wiggly lines distracted him. He had used an easy method to exclude these in Word 2003 (highlight, click spell check, tick “do not check spelling and grammar”) but had got stuck with Word 2010.

This article will tell you …

  • How to exclude text in your document from being spell checked
  • How to only spell check a particular section of your document

How do I tell Spell Check not to check particular paragraphs in Word 2003?

So, in Word 2003, Spell Check is on the toolbar and you can highlight the text you don’t want to check, click spell check and tick “do not check spelling and grammar”. it’s actually very similar in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013 – here’s my hint for the easiest and quickest way to do this.

How do I tell Spell Check not to check particular paragraphs in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013?

First of all, highlight the paragraph (or paragraphs, holding down the control key) that you want to exclude from Spell Check.

Then you have two ways of telling Word not to spell check these sections:

1. The quick way: click on the language at the bottom of your screen:

Select text to exclude from spell check

If the editing language is not showing at the bottom of the screen, left-click on the bottom tool bar and choose to display language. If that doesn’t work, see this post).

2. The official way: on the Review tab, select Language and then Set Proofing Language (note: don’t click on Spelling and Grammar, as that will spell check the highlighted text, exactly opposite to what you want to happen):

Word language setting

Both of these options will display the Language Selection dialogue box:

Language selection dialogue box

Once you have the language choices displaying, tick your language and tick “Do not check grammar and spelling“. That should mark all of the text you highlighted such that the spell checker avoids it. I hope that works for you and takes less than 5 minutes – do let me know!

How do I just spell check one paragraph or section of my document in Word?

Allied to this is the question of how you just check a particular part of your text. Here’s how:

Highlight the text you want to check.

Press the Spell Check button, which you can find in the Review tab:

Spell check one section of a document

Word will spell check only that highlighted paragraph (or word, if you so choose) and will helpfully ask you if you’d like to continue checking everything else:

Continue spell check?

I hope you’ve found these hints helpful! Do share or pop a comment on this post if I’ve helped you learn something new or solved a tricky problem for you, and do explore the rest of my blog if this is your first visit!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here

Related posts on this blog:

How do I use Spell Check in Word 2007 and 2010?

How do I use Spell Check in Word 2013?

How do I change the editing language of my document?

Why do I need to use Spell Check if my work is being edited?

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2014 in proofreading, Short cuts, Word

 

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Small business chat – Amelia Wilson

mugsWelcome to another brand new small business chat, and this time we’re meeting Amelia Wilson, who runs an editing and localising business. I was excited to come across Amelia online, as I don’t meet many other localisers (if you need to know what it is we do, I wrote an article explaining it). Amelia also, like me, specialises in working with translators, as in editing text that hasn’t been written by someone whose first language is English. Now, you might think the overlap would worry me, but as I’m at a stage of my business where I’m usually fully booked in advance and can’t always fit in new enquiries, I’m always glad to meet people who I can recommend work on to – and so finding someone with a large overlap with my skillset is actually a Good Thing. Anyway, let’s find out how Amelia got started and what she’s learned along the way …

What’s your business called? When did you set it up?

My website is called Localisation Translation, but it isn’t strictly a business name. I wanted to find something that would explain my niche at a glance, as I specialise in editing translations and localising content for businesses. I launched in February this year.

What made you decide to set up your own business?

I wanted my efforts to go into building something for myself. It’s hard work but what I put in I get back, and it’s hugely motivating to know that I’m responsible for all the successes (or failures!) of the business. I also wanted more control over my time, and the option to be location independent

What made you decide to go into this particular business area?

Language is my passion and my background. I studied linguistics at university, and I knew I wanted to go into the publishing industry somewhere. It wasn’t until I worked in-house for a translation company that my eyes were opened to a whole new industry sector. I love the challenge that comes from working with non-native speakers and multiple different source languages, I’m constantly learning new things and it keeps it fascinating.

Had you run your own business before?

I’d freelanced a little bit after university, but not to the extent where I was full-time and “properly” up and running. My early experience set me up well, though, because it provided the perspective that setting up a solo business was always a viable career option.

How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going… ?

I started freelancing in addition to my full time job, just to put the feelers out and see if it was something realistic. As soon as the time restraints of my full time job started getting in the way of my freelance work, I knew it was time to make a decision. I left to pursue more business opportunities and I haven’t looked back!

What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

That there will never be a right time to launch. It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to make the move, I was always waiting for something to get finished, or something else to fall into place. The perfect time will never come, so if you’re going to do something, you have to just make it happen

What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?

Have confidence! When you’re so used to being validated by your boss and your superiors, appraisals and company feedback and all the typical corporate stuff, it’s really important to keep your confidence when it’s just you and your computer. Your clients will provide all the feedback you need, and if they keep coming back, you’re doing it just fine.

What do you wish you’d done differently?

There’s nothing really, it was a big step for me and I know that I did it in the best way that I could have, for me. I wish I’d had more confidence when I finally decided to start making life and career changes, but one way or another I got it done, nervously or otherwise!

What are you glad you did?

I put away some savings before taking the plunge, probably not as much I could/should have, but enough to cover the rent for a few months so that even if I ended up living on noodles, I’d still have a roof over my head! It was a comfort, to start with, not to have to worry about where the next rent cheque was coming from if things started to slow down work-wise.

What’s your top business tip?

So many! I’ve picked up so many words of wisdom since I started, from various entrepreneurs and business books and blogs. We’re so lucky to live in such an age of information. I try to remember that “everything is better than zero” – you start small, taking each opportunity as it comes, and you build and leverage on top of that over time.

I also think it’s really important to constantly evaluate – you must be willing to change the way you work in order to evolve and develop a business. I don’t want to become stuck in my ways to the extent that it becomes damaging. For every Borders there’s an Amazon, for every Blockbuster there’s a Netflix. It’s always necessary to keep moving and to remember that change is good!

How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?

I’ve grown gradually as I’ve taken on more clients, and I’ve diversified in terms of expanding the material that I work on, which is one of my favourite aspects because it keeps every day different and interesting.

Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?

I’d like to have some products to offer besides the service-based side of the business, whether that be e-books or training courses, I have a few ideas floating around. I’d also like to network more, and build relationships with other professionals in my field working in similar ways. I’d like to outsource some of the less exciting tasks (I hate invoicing!), but overall I’m looking forward to taking a look at the data from being a year in business, seeing what goals were met and finding new ways to improve.

I do like the phrase “anything is better than zero”, and it’s such a feature of the early life of a freelancer / small business – I certainly did some jobs for zero “pay” but a recommendation early on, and it’s good to know that you can shed the lower-paying jobs (or raise the rates on them) as you progress and get a full roster of clients. Oh, and it IS nerve-wracking – I went full time with Libro in January 2012, and I remember having a massive wobble in December 2011, even though, as Amelia found, my day job was getting in the way of my freelancing, I had money saved up and it was time to do it. Oh, and then I got a letter telling me I had jury service the first two weeks of January! I got through that, and we all need to embrace the nerves, examine them to see how well-founded they are, and if there’s a good chance we can prove those nerve wrong, go for it! We wish Amelia all the best as she comes up to the end of her first year in business, and I look forward to working with her on her update this time next year!

You can find Amelia online at www.localisationtranslation.com and email her, of course. She’s also on Twitter

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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How do I insert clip art in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013 and other Microsoft Office applications?

I have to admit to being a little surprised when I was asked to post about clip art. I hadn’t used it for years, and I was taken back to the old days, when you used to buy a computer magazine with a free floppy disk full of clip art pictures …

However, the very useful point about clip art is that it’s copyright free and so simple to use: you can pop a MS Office clip art image into your presentation or document and know that you’ve not stolen someone’s work of art (although there are copyright rules about using them in commercial publications).

They’re also not as ‘cartoony’ as they used to be, including photographs as well as drawings, and there are some really good images: I found this great one when I searched for “editor”, for example!

clip art of editor holding book

From MS Word Clip Art

This article applies to Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Examples are taken from Word, but the process works in the same way in all applications.

Of course, choosing and inserting your clip art varies between Word (Excel and PowerPoint) 2007/2010 and Word (Excel and PowerPoint) 2013, so if you want the latter, please scroll down a bit to the relevant heading!

How do I use clip art in Word 2007 and Word 2010 and other Microsoft Office software?

Clip art is found in the Insert tab, in the Illustrations area (this is an image from Word 2010; the button in Word 2007 has a slightly different, but recognisable, icon and is in the same place):

Word 2010 insert clip art

Making sure that your cursor is at the point where you want the clip art image to appear, click the Clip Art button:

word choosing clip art

A clip art search area will appear in the right-hand margin. It’s pretty simple: you can enter a search term, and you can also choose which kind of media you are searching for (useful for PowerPoint presentations, for example, or if you only want photographs to illustrate your document):

Word clip art choose format

Leaving this on all media, let’s search for “teapot” – pop the word in the search box and click the Go button:

Word clip art search

You should then see a grid of clip art images:

clip art search results

You will also be given the option to go online and search: however, I’ve not found that this link works, and I suspect it might be unsupported, as Word 2013 searches online in a different way and place.

clip art find more

Anyway, back to our 57 teapots (which is surely enough for anyone!). When you’ve found an image you want to insert, double-click on it and it will move into your document:

clip art insert image

You will also notice here that the image is selected and can be enlarged and reduced using the little blocks around the image outline. It can also be moved, if you hover inside the box until an arrow appears.

For more on placing images in text, please see this article.

How do I use clip art in Word 2013 and other Microsoft Office software?

For Office 2013, Microsoft went all online-based, and as a result, the way in which you access clip art changed. Note that these instructions work for both the standalone version of Word 2013 (and other software) if you bought it once, and the subscription version through Office 365 which downloads updates periodically.

You access clip art from the same menu, on the Insert tab, in the Illustrations area, but it’s now called Online Pictures:

clip art office 2013

Making sure your cursor is in the place where you want your picture to be, click on Online Pictures:

Word 2013 clip art search

You now have the option to search royalty-free illustrations on the office.com clip art website or do a Bing Image search for general images. Because I’m not logged in at the moment, I have the option to sign in with my Microsoft office account. If you are logged in, or do subsequently log in, you will get these additional options – OneDrive, Facebook and Flickr:

Word 2013 image search options if logged in(thanks to Laura Ripper for this screen shot)

To search in clip art, enter the search term “teapot” into the first text box and click on the magnifying glass icon:

Word 2013 clip art search

This will bring up the same results as for Word 2007 and 2010 (interestingly, you can’t differentiate at this stage between different kinds of file to insert, as you can with earlier versions):

Word 2013 clip art resultsDouble-click on the image you want to insert, or single click and click on the Insert button

Word 2013 clip art inserted

Note that in Word 2013, not only do you get the frame which allows you to change the image size, but the Layout Options dialogue box also pops out, allowing you to choose where the image sits in any text you might have.

For more on placing images in text, please see this article.

Related posts on this blog

How do I make pictures go where I want them to in Word?

How do I stop the pictures jumping around when I edit a Word document?

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This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. If you’ve enjoyed the post or found it useful, please use the sharing buttons below to share it via your social media networks – thank you!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 and other Office software for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here … and see the full resource guide here.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing

 

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Small business chat update – Dave Bradburn

mugs Welcome to another Small Business Update, and today we’re talking to Dave Bradburn from Opus Design. Dave’s one of my stalwart originals – we first met him in July 2011, then caught up with him in July 2012 and September 2013. I do find it fascinating to watch my interviewees’ businesses change and grow, and it’s amazing that we’re on the fourth interviews with some of them! When asked last year, this is where Dave wanted to be by now: “Steadily growing the business. The intention is to work fewer hours for greater income (a not uncommon aim!) and to gradually develop the core client base. The team will grow and evolve – most probably through outsourcing and collaboration.” So, how’s he doing?

Hi Dave! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Yes and no. To be honest, it’s been a very busy year and I’ve ended up mainly working ‘in’ rather than ‘on’ the business. I’ve found it difficult to find the right people for an expanded team in some areas, although part of the responsibility for that lies with me. The team has both evolved and strengthened, and the business has grown too. The hours most definitely haven’t reduced though!

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

New clients have come, I’ve refocussed what the business offers in certain areas (for example, I’m far more specific about the type of website projects that I’ll take on), I’m using some new suppliers alongside a number of longstanding ones and I’ve reevaluated where I get leads from. For example, I still do a reasonable amount of networking but, due to family commitments (school runs!), I had to make a decision on which to attend. Fortunately much of the networking of previous years still continues to bear fruit. Word of mouth referrals, repeat business with existing clients and networking are by far my largest sources of work.

I’m still in the same office with the structure of the business (excluding suppliers etc) unchanged and with many of the same clients that I’ve worked with for several years. The additional team member that I really need is a reliable and capable freelance designer – basically, the role I was doing 6 or 7 years ago. The irony is that at the point I need that person it is very difficult to take the time to find them and take the risk of ‘trying them out’. I’ll get there!

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I’m gradually getting better at saying ‘no’ to jobs that are not right for me. I know I can do an excellent job for my clients – I’ve proved that many times. But that is weakened if I take on too much or take on a job that isn’t one that I’m best suited to. The danger in those cases is not only that you do a poor job on that particular project, but that the time and effort that it absorbs is also taken away from those projects that are within your core offer and skills.

I tend to be very loyal to suppliers. 99% of the time that pays off. Once in a while though it can be detrimental – I need to be a little harder and more decisive in those situations.

Earlier this year I experienced my first real bad debt. I’d had a few clients that didn’t pay or took a very long time to do so in the past, but most were minimal amounts and/or eventually coughed up. In this case a client phoenixed – went into liquidation on the Friday before starting up as a new, debt-free business the following Monday. They owe me about £1.5k – I doubt I’ll ever see it. I have my feelings on whether it should be legally possible to do that, but whilst it is it is a lesson to minimise the risk that you expose yourself to with clients.

Any more hints and tips for people?

I think my tip this year would be to have a plan and to review it periodically (annually and quarterly perhaps). Take time out to do that. Be prepared to change the plan if need be, but try to avoid just drifting along without any direction.

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

Reading last year’s update I said “To treat your own business as a client. Schedule time to work on your own marketing and development. If you don’t it will always be at the bottom of the pile.” I need to take that advice myself! I’m long overdue a new website (it’s embarrassingly out of date now – don’t look!!!) but I have also decided that it’s time to go back and review the whole visual brand of the company – the logo, literature, stationery and everything else. I always advise that clients need to be proud of the way they are presenting their business but currently I’m not living up to that with my own visual branding. Time to schedule it in!

I think many of the aims for this year are the same as they were last. Increasingly managing a larger outsourced team rather than doing it all myself and, in doing so, reducing my working hours.

It is really hard to say no to people and to keep those business hours down. I’ve been quite successful at taking at least a full day off at the weekend and a half day during the week, although that last one was a by-product of my husband working from home during the summer, and I’m not sure that’s going to happen quite so nicely now he’s in an office-based job again (having said that, he gets home earlier than he used to at his old job, so I try to stop earlier, too). Dave’s hit that awful problem of a bad payer, and the way in which they did that seems very unfair indeed. Not sure what can be done about that, but it’s a warning to us all to take care and protect ourselves as much as possible. As always, I look forward to hearing how Dave is doing next year – and hope he can get that staff member and those reduced hours sorted out!

Call Dave on   of , visit www.opuscreative.co.uk or his LinkedIn page, and contact him on Twitter, too!

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

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How do I hide the toolbars and taskbars in Word 2007, 2010 and 2013 and other MS Office applications?

In this article we’re going to learn how to (temporarily) hide the toolbars, taskbars, rulers and whatnot in Word.  Note that these processes will also work for other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

Why would I want to hide the taskbars in Word?

There are various reasons why you might want to have just a blank white screen in front of you when using Word. If you’re trying to write, write, write, you might want to remove all distractions. If you’re displaying Word on a large screen using a projector, there are many reasons why a plain screen with no additional information might be useful.

In fact, the second reason, wishing to display just some text and images via an overhead projector, is why I was asked to write this article in the first place.

How to hide taskbars and toolbars in Word

This works for Word 2007, 2010 and 2013: I’ve used Word 2010 in the example because it’s what I use most of the time, but the principles remain the same.

How to minimise the ribbon in Word

You might just want to minimise the ribbon. If this is the case, first right-click anywhere on the actual ribbon, then select Minimize the Ribbon from the menu that displays:

Word minimise ribbon

How do I reverse minimize ribbon?

To reverse the minimize ribbon action, you can either …

1. Right-click anywhere on the small ribbon headings that will appear and click again on Minimize the Ribbon: the tick will disappear and the ribbon will reappear:

un-minimize ribbon2. Click on the small down arrow that appears at the top right of the screen when the ribbon is minimised:

reverse ribbon minimise

How do I remove wording and symbols from the lower task bar

If you’re fed up of seeing your word count or document language in the lower task bar, you can right-click on the taskbar, at which point a list of all items you can display pops up, and you can untick the ones you don’t want:

remove items from lower task bar

You will see the displayed items at the bottom start to disappear until you’re left with just one:

remove from lower task bar

How do I reverse clearing the lower task bar?

To add items back on to the task bar, right-click on the taskbar and click on the features you want to see – the tick will reappear next to the items you select, and the information will display in the lower task bar.

How do I hide the rulers?

For instructions on hiding the rulers in Word, please see this article.

How do I hide all of the toolbars in Word and other Office applications?

If you want to go further and just have a blank screen, you can use the shortcut Alt+V, U

Note that you must follow this process to do this:

  • Press down the Alt key and keep it pressed down
  • Press the V key and release it (keeping Alt pressed down)
  • Press the U key and release it (you can then release the Alt key)

Pressing both letters together does not have the same effect. Once you’ve pressed this key combination, you will have just the document, no toolbars, taskbars, menus, etc. However, you are still likely to have the Windows taskbar showing.

Just a document, no toolbars

So you’re not quite there, but first …

How do I reverse Alt+VU?

The first time I did this, I got a bit panicky because I assumed that you needed to press AltVU again to get back to the menus, but that’s not what you do.

To reverse Alt+VU and get back to seeing your taskbars, hit the Escape key on your keyboard. Phew!

How do I hide the Windows taskbar?

You’ve got your lovely clean document showing but you want to get rid of that Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Here’s what you do:

First, unlock the taskbar (if it is locked) by right-clicking on the lower task bar and seeing if Lock the taskbar is ticked. If it is, click on it to untick it.

unlock task bar windows

This dialogue box will disappear, so right-click on the taskbar again and this time choose Properties:

Windows taskbar properties

This will give you a new dialogue box:

Windows taskbar properties

Making sure that you’re in the Taskbar tab, click on the tickbox to Auto-hide thie taskbar.

The taskbar will now disappear, leaving you with a lovely clear screen containing only your document.

How do I reverse hiding the Windows taskbar?

To show the Windows taskbar, move the mouse to the bottom of the screen (assuming your Windows task bar is usually there), at which point it should appear. Then right-click at the bottom of the screen and select Properties, then untick Auto-hide the taskbar.

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This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. If you’ve enjoyed the post or found it useful, please use the sharing buttons below to share it via your social media networks – thank you!

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2007, Word 2010 and Word 2013 for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Other useful posts on this blog

How to display and hide rulers in Word

How to add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar

Find all the short cuts here … and see the full resource guide here.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing

 

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New book on networking, social media and social capital

Quick guide to networking, social media and social capitalI’m delighted to be able to announce that my new book, “Quick Guide to Networking, social Media and Social Capital” is out now and available to buy on Amazon and Smashwords as an e-book in all formats (for Kindle, Kobo, as a pdf …). Like my popular “Quick Guide to your Career in Transcription“, this contains the specific information – no filler, where there’s jargon, it’s explained – that you need to venture into networking, whether that’s face to face or through online services such as Twitter and Facebook. It pulls together material I’ve written and thought about on social media etiquette and building social capital … to help others as well as ourselves, and where I go into detail on particular topics, I provide links back to this blog for all of those screen shots and details that regular readers will be used to.

You can visit the book’s web page which lists all of the places you can buy it, and I have shared the first great reviews today, too.

I hope you enjoy reading about my new book and if you find it helpful or think one of your colleagues or friends would benefit from reading it, please let them know by sharing this post or the web page for “Quick Guide to Networking, Social Media and Social Capital“.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Business, Ebooks, Social media, Writing

 

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