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The Best Free Stuff For Microsoft Office Users

There are a lot of free resources available for Office users. This week, we feature a few small but useful items that are out there for the taking.

Microsoft Office is both popular and widely distributed, which means that there are a lot of resources available for Office users. This week, instead of focusing on one feature, I'm going to point you toward a few small but useful items that are out there for the taking.

Powerpoint Backgrounds
I'm always on the lookout for interesting Powerpoint backgrounds that are suitable for business presentations. You'll find several backgrounds and templates for free download at:

While several are too dark for my taste, I like the Blue Green and Lime Geometry backgrounds in particular.

Excel Charts Using VBA Code
Want to create charts in Excel 2003 using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code? Microsoft's Office Developer Center has an eight-page technical article that shows you how to add a chart with the Macro Recorder, add a chart sheet with VBA, use embedded charts, and move a chart between chart sheets and workbooks.

You'll find the explanation and code at:

Improving Access Subform Performance
If your Access project uses a form within a form (and many do, especially those that list detailed transactions), Microsoft's Knowledge Base (article 209113) has a couple of quick tricks worth heeding. You'll find the suggestions at:;EN-US;209113

Word: Repeat Headings In Long Tables
If your table is going to span more than one page, it's best to repeat the column headings on each page. Fortunately, you don't have to do that manually (which would be a nightmare). The following tip works in Word 2000 and later.

Enter the headings in the top row of your table. Use the Table command from the main menu, and select Heading Rows Repeat (it's a toggle).

If you don't see the headings at first, don't panic. If you're in Normal mode, you won't see the headings. In Web Mode, there is no such thing as a page break, so they won't show up there either. Switch to Print Layout (use the View/Print Layout command) or use Print Preview (File/Print Preview) to see the headings at the top of each page.

One more thing: Even though you can see the column headings on subsequent pages, you can only change the heading text in the top row of the table.

The Office Letter is a weekly e-mail and online newsletter offering tips, tricks, and techniques for Microsoft Office. It offers shortcuts, explores features, and boosts productivity with hands-on how-to information for Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and more.

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