Office 2021 for Macs For Dummies
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Microsoft Office apps are chock full of options and features that are just too tough to squeeze into the pages of a single book.

This cheat sheet includes a handful of helpful tips and tricks to give your Office experience a boost, including learning how to create automatic replies to senders, check your documents for accessibility issues, embed fonts in your Word documents and PowerPoint presentations for better portability when sharing, and even check the current weather when perusing your Outlook Calendar.

Send automatic out-of-office replies from Outlook

If you’re going to be away from your email for a bit (perhaps you’re going on vacation or taking the weekend off) and don’t want to leave folks waiting breathlessly for your reply, set up Outlook to automatically send an out-of-office reply to let them know you’ll be back in touch at a particular time.

For Exchange and Outlook.com accounts:

  1. Click the Mail button in the lower left of the navigation pane (if you’re not in Mail already), and then select the account for which you want to set up automatic replies.
  2. On the Ribbon’s Tools tab, click the Out of Office button.
  3. In the Automatic Replies dialog, select the Send Automatic Replies for Account email address box.
  4. Under Reply Once to Senders within My Organization, enter the text of your automatic reply.
  5. To set start and end dates for automatic replies, select the Send Replies Only during This Time Period box, and add the start and end dates and times.
  6. If you want to send automatic replies to those outside your organization, click to select the Send Replies Outside My Organization box, select either the Send Only to My Contacts or the Send to All External Senders option, and then add the text of your automatic reply in the Reply Once to Senders Outside My Organization box.
  7. Click OK to set up the automatic replies for this account.
  8. Repeat Steps 1 to 7 for other Exchange or Outlook.com accounts as necessary.

To disable automatic replies, select the account in the navigation pane, click the Out of Office button in the Tools tab of the ribbon, and deselect the Send Automatic Replies for Account email address box.

Note that these steps apply to only Exchange and Outlook.com email accounts. If you want to set up automatic replies for other types of accounts, it’s best to do so using their instructions and their web-based interfaces.

If you use Outlook to set automatic replies for other account types, you must set up rules to do so. This means you’ll need to leave your computer on and Outlook open for Outlook to be able to apply the rules to incoming messages, and chances are extremely slim you’ll want to do that if you plan to be away for a while.

Use the accessibility checker in Office apps

It’s best practice (and just plain nice) to make certain that everyone, including people with disabilities, receiving your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails can read and edit them as intended. Microsoft has included an accessibility checker for just such a purpose.

To use this great tool:

  1. In Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, click the ribbon’s Review tab and click the Check Accessibility button.

When creating an email or replying to one while using Outlook, click the ribbon’s Options tab and click the Check Accessibility button.

  1. A list of results will appear, along with any potential errors and warnings. The Accessibility Checker provides recommendations to help resolve each issue.
  2. Click an error or warning to see why it may create a problem for someone, as well as how you can fix it.

Embed fonts in Word and PowerPoint files

Sometimes, sharing documents and presentations with others can be a precarious proposition, especially if they don’t have the same fonts installed on their Mac or PC as you do.

Thankfully, Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac, PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac, and PowerPoint 2021 for Mac allow you the option of embedding your fonts so that they travel with the file. This feature helps retain the fonts, layout, and styling of your document or presentation.

Note that you must be a Microsoft 365 subscriber or have PowerPoint 2021 for Mac to take advantage of this cool feature.

To embed fonts in a file:

  1. Click either Word or PowerPoint (depending on which app you’re using) in the menu at the top of the screen and select Preferences.
  2. in the Output and Sharing section of Preferences, click Save.
  3. Click to select the box entitled Embed Fonts in the File (near the bottom of the dialog in the Font Embedding section).

It’s best not to select Embed only the Characters Used in the Document (Word) or Presentation (PowerPoint).

  1. Close the Preferences dialog and save the file.

The fonts you’ve used in the file are embedded as part of the saved file.

Note that if you want to keep your files as small as possible, it’s best to use OpenType (.OTF) or TrueType (.TTF) fonts in your documents and presentations.

Check the weather in Outlook

Knocking out email after email and wondering what the world might be like outside your door? Outlook can give you a quick heads up by displaying the current weather for you in Calendar view.

To check the weather in Outlook:

  1. Click the Calendar button at the bottom left of the navigation pane.

The current weather appears toward the upper right of the Outlook window (just above your events listing).

  1. Click the current weather icon (or hover your cursor over it for just a second) to view a few more details, such as wind speed, humidity, and precipitation for your area.
  2. Click the See More Online link to view much more detailed weather info, including weather radar and a forecast, on MSN.com.
  3. Close the Preferences dialog when finished.

If you want to turn this feature off, choose Outlook→Preferences from the menu, click Calendar, and then deselect the Show Current Weather on Calendar box in the Weather section at the bottom of the dialog.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Bob LeVitus has written nearly 100 reference books on Apple technologies. He’s the author or coauthor of macOS For Dummies, iPad For Dummies, and iPhone For Dummies, among others.

Dwight Spivey probably wrote the rest of the For Dummies books on Apple products, including iPhone For Seniors For Dummies, iPad For Seniors For Dummies, and Apple Watch For Seniors For Dummies.

Bob LeVitus has written nearly 100 reference books on Apple technologies. He’s the author or coauthor of macOS For Dummies, iPad For Dummies, and iPhone For Dummies, among others.

Dwight Spivey probably wrote the rest of the For Dummies books on Apple products, including iPhone For Seniors For Dummies, iPad For Seniors For Dummies, and Apple Watch For Seniors For Dummies.

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