Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies book cover

Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies

By: Peter Weverka Published: 10-30-2018

One practical book that’s ten books in one: Learn everything you need to know about Microsoft Office with one comprehensive guide on your bookshelf 

To know your way around all the applications within Microsoft Office would require you to be part mathematician, part storyteller, and part graphic designer—with some scheduling wizard and database architect sprinkled in. If these talents don't come naturally to you in equal measure, don’t panic—Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies can help.  

This hefty but easily accessible tome opens with Book 1, an overview of the Office suite of applications and tips for handling text and becoming more efficient. From there, you’ll find a book on each of the suite’s major applications:  

  • Word: Learn the basics of word processing with Word, plus lay out text and pages; use Word’s styles and proofing tools; construct tables, reports, and scholarly papers; and become familiar with manipulating documents. 

  • Excel: In addition to refining your worksheets so they’re easier to understand, you can also master formulas, functions, and data analysis. 

  • PowerPoint: Find out how to make your presentations come alive with text, graphics, backgrounds, audio, and video. This book also contains a chapter with guidance and tips for delivering presentations—in person or virtually. 

  • Outlook: From helping you to manage your contacts, inbox, calendar, and tasks, Outlook can organize your days and keep you working productively.  

  • Access: Not everyone needs to build and maintain databases, but if that’s part of your job, this book has all the hands-on information you need to get going: Build a database table, enter data, sort and query data, and filter data into report format. 

  • Publisher: The Publisher book is a quick-and-dirty introduction into desktop publishing, helping you to design a publication using built-in color schemes, templates, fonts, and finishing touches like borders and backgrounds.  

The last three books cover material that applies to all the applications. Book 8 shows you how to create charts, handle graphics and photos, and draw lines and shapes. Book 9 provides a quick primer on customizing the Ribbon, the Quick Access toolbar, and the Status bar, and guidance on distributing your work (via printing, emailing, converting to PDF, and more). Finally, Book 10 wraps up with how to use OneDrive, especially for file sharing and online collaboration. 

  • If you need to make sense of Office and don’t have time to waste, Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies is the reference you’ll want to keep close by! 

Articles From Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies

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19 results
Office 2019 All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-25-2022

Master the commands in one Office 2019 program and you are well on your way to mastering the other programs. Following is key information you can take to any Office 2019 program you are working in.

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What Is Outlook?

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

Outlook isn’t in character with the rest of the Office programs. It’s a little different in that what you see onscreen changes when you click a Navigation button on the bottom of the Outlook window. Click a Navigation button — Mail, Calendar, People, Tasks, Notes, Folders, or Shortcuts — and you go to a different Outlook window altogether. Outlook 2019 serves many purposes. To wit, Outlook is all this: An email program: You can use it to send and receive email messages and files, as well as organize email messages in different folders so that you can keep track of them. An appointment scheduler: Outlook is a calendar for scheduling appointments and meetings. You can tell at a glance when and where you’re expected, be alerted to upcoming appointments and meetings, and invite coworkers to meetings. An address book: The application can store the addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of friends, foes, clients, and family members. Looking up this information in the Contacts folder is easy. A task reminder: Outlook is a means of planning projects. Use Outlook’s task reminders to keep you on track. You can tell when deadlines fall and plan your workload accordingly. A notes receptacle: This part of the program is a place to jot down notes and reminders. Do you need Outlook? Before you penetrate the mysteries of Outlook, ask yourself whether you need the application. If you don’t receive volumes of email, your calendar isn’t crowded, and the office where you work doesn’t require you to use Outlook, consider using an email program that isn’t as cumbersome as Outlook, or better yet, consider using a web-based email program. Outlook is good at organizing email so that you can find and reply to messages quickly. It is good at handling volumes of email. Outlook can help you manage schedules and coordinate meetings with coworkers. It can help you keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when you’re supposed to be there. On the minus side, however, Outlook has many more features than most people need, and all these features clutter Outlook and make it hard to use. What’s more, email messages are kept on your computer. Unless you carry around a laptop, you have to be at your home or office computer to collect your email. With a web-based email program, messages are stored on a server on the Internet, and all email activity — composing, sending, and receiving messages — is accomplished through a web browser. You can be in Timbuktu and still collect your email if you can find a computer with an Internet connection. You don’t have to be at home or at the office to read your email. If web-based emailing appeals to you, ask your Internet service provider whether it offers a web-based email service. Or check out Google Mail, which is free and easy to use. Google Mail offers a calendar and other amenities as well as emailing. If you want to keep it simple and you can manage to do that, steer clear of Outlook. If you work in a corporate environment, get a copy of Outlook 2019 For Dummies, by Faithe Wempen and Bill Dyszel. It describes the ins and outs of using Outlook in a business setting.

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Detecting and Correcting Errors in Excel 2019 Formulas

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

It happens. Everyone makes an error from time to time when entering Excel formulas in cells. Especially in an Excel 2019 worksheet in which formula results are calculated into other formulas, a single error in one formula can spread like a virus and cause miscalculations throughout a worksheet. To prevent that calamity, Excel offers several ways to correct errors in formulas. You can correct them one at a time, run the error checker, and trace cell references, as the following pages explain. By the way, if you want to see formulas in cells instead of formula results, go to the Formulas tab and click the Show Formulas button or press Ctrl+’ (apostrophe). Sometimes seeing formulas this way helps to detect formula errors. Correcting Excel errors one at a time When Excel 2019 detects what it thinks is a formula that has been entered incorrectly, a small green triangle appears in the upper-left corner of the cell where you entered the formula. And if the error is especially egregious, an error message, a cryptic three- or four-letter display preceded by a pound sign (#), appears in the cell. Common Excel Formula Error Messages Message What Went Wrong #DIV/0! You tried to divide a number by a zero (0) or an empty cell. #NAME You used a cell range name in the formula, but the name isn't defined. Sometimes this error occurs because you type the name incorrectly. #N/A The formula refers to an empty cell, so no data is available for computing the formula. Sometimes people enter N/A in a cell as a placeholder to signal the fact that data isn’t entered yet. Revise the formula or enter a number or formula in the empty cells. #NULL The formula refers to a cell range that Excel can't understand. Make sure that the range is entered correctly. #NUM An argument you use in your formula is invalid. #REF The cell or range of cells that the formula refers to isn't there. #VALUE The formula includes a function that was used incorrectly, takes an invalid argument, or is misspelled. Make sure that the function uses the right argument and is spelled correctly. To find out more about a formula error and perhaps correct it, select the cell with the green triangle and click the Error button. This small button appears beside a cell with a formula error after you click the cell. The drop-down list on the Error button offers opportunities for correcting formula errors and finding out more about them. Running Excel’s error checker Another way to tackle Excel formula errors is to run the error checker. When the checker encounters what it thinks is an error, the Error Checking dialog box tells you what the error is. To run the error checker, go to the Formulas tab and click the Error Checking button (you may have to click the Formula Auditing button first, depending on the size of your screen). If you see clearly what the error is, click the Edit in Formula Bar button, repair the error in the Formula bar, and click the Resume button in the dialog box (you find this button at the top of the dialog box). If the error isn't one that really needs correcting, either click the Ignore Error button or click the Next button to send the error checker in search of the next error in your worksheet. Tracing Excel’s cell references In a complex worksheet in which Excel formulas are piled on top of one another and the results of some formulas are computed into other formulas, it helps to be able to trace cell references. By tracing cell references, you can see how the data in a cell figures into a formula in another cell; or, if the Excel cell contains a formula, you can see which cells the formula gathers data from to make its computation. You can get a better idea of how your worksheet is constructed, and in so doing, find structural errors more easily. The image below shows how cell tracers describe the relationships between cells. A cell tracer is a blue arrow that shows the relationships between cells used in formulas. You can trace two types of relationships: Tracing precedents: Select a cell with a formula in it and trace the formula’s precedents to find out which cells are computed to produce the results of the formula. Trace precedents when you want to find out where a formula gets its computation data. Cell tracer arrows point from the referenced cells to the cell with the formula results in it. To trace precedents, go to the Formulas tab and click the Trace Precedents button. (You may have to click the Formula Auditing button first, depending on the size of your screen.) Tracing dependents: Select a cell and trace its dependents to find out which cells contain formulas that use data from the cell you selected. Cell tracer arrows point from the cell you selected to cells with formula results in them. Trace dependents when you want to find out how the data in a cell contributes to formulas elsewhere in the worksheet. The cell you select can contain a constant value or a formula in its own right (and contribute its results to another formula). To trace dependents, go to the Formulas tab and click the Trace Dependents button (you may have to click the Formula Auditing button first, depending on the size of your screen). To remove the cell tracer arrows from a worksheet, go to the Formulas tab and click the Remove Arrows button. You can open the drop-down list on this button and choose Remove Precedent Arrows or Remove Dependent Arrows to remove only cell-precedent or cell-dependent tracer arrows.

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How to Touch Up a Picture Using Office 2019 Tools

Article / Updated 01-14-2019

Every picture can be a collaboration with Office 2019. You can do the following using Office 2019 tools to make a picture your own as well as the work of the original artist: Softening and sharpening: Mute or polish a picture. Changing the brightness and contrast: Adjust a picture’s tone. Recoloring: Give your picture a brand-new set of colors or gray shades. Choosing an artistic effect: Take your picture for a walk on the wild side. Choosing a picture style: Present your picture in an oval fame, soft-edged frame, or other type of frame. Cropping: Cut out the parts of a picture that you don’t want. Removing picture areas: Keep the essentials of a picture and remove the rest. If you regret experimenting with your picture and you want to start all over, go to the (Picture Tools) Format tab and click the Reset Picture button. Then, on the drop-down list, choose Reset Picture to restore the picture to its original appearance, or choose Reset Picture & Size to restore the picture to its original appearance and size. Softening and sharpening pictures in Office 2019 The image below shows the effects of the Office 2019 softening/sharpening settings. These settings mute a picture or make it look more succinct. To soften or sharpen a picture, select it and use one of these techniques: On the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Corrections button and choose a Sharpen and Soften option on the drop-down list. Open the Format Picture task pane and drag the Sharpness slider or enter a negative or positive number in the text box. Negative numbers soften the picture; positive numbers sharpen it. To open the Format Picture task pane, click the Corrections button and choose Picture Corrections Options on the drop-down list. Correcting a picture’s brightness and contrast in Office 2019 The image below shows a picture that has been made over several times with the Brightness and Contrast settings in Office 2019. Brightness settings govern the overall brightness of a picture; contrast settings determine how distinguishable the different parts of the picture are from one another. Change a picture’s brightness and contrast to make it fit better on a page or slide. Select your picture and use one of these techniques: On the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Corrections button and choose a Brightness and Contrast option on the drop-down list. Open the Format Picture task pane and change the Brightness and Contrast settings. Negative Brightness settings make a picture darker; positive settings make it brighter. Negative Contrast settings mute the differences between the parts of a picture; positive settings heighten the differences. To open the Format Picture task pane, click the Corrections button and choose Picture Corrections Options on the drop-down list. Recoloring a picture in Office 2019 Recolor a picture to give it a makeover. Take a peek at the image below to see examples of Recolor options. As well as recoloring a picture, you can use Office 2019 to change its color saturation and color tone settings. Color saturation refers to the purity and intensity of the colors; color tone determines the degree of lightness and darkness. Recoloring is useful for giving a picture a uniform appearance. Select your picture and use these techniques to recolor it: On the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Color button and choose a Color Saturation, Color Tone, or Recolor option on the drop-down list. You can choose More Variations at the bottom of the list and choose a color on the sublist. Open the Format Picture task pane and change the Color Saturation and Color Tone settings. Change the Saturation setting to mute or bring out the colors; change the Temperature setting to make the color tones darker or lighter. To open the Format Picture task pane, click the Color button and choose Picture Color Options. Live-previewing really comes in handy when you’re recoloring a graphic. As you change Color Saturation and Color Tone settings, you can see the effect of your choices on the picture. H0w to make a color transparent in Office 2019 The (Picture Tools) Format tab offers the Set Transparent Color command for making one color in a picture transparent and thereby allowing the background to show through in certain parts of a picture. The Set Transparent Color command works by making all the pixels in a picture that are the same color transparent. In a picture in which one color predominates, you can make this color transparent and get some interesting effects. To experiment with the Set Transparent Color command: Select the picture. On the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Color button and choose Set Transparent Color on the drop-down list. Click in your picture on the color that you want to be transparent. You can choose the Set Transparent Color command again and make another color in your picture transparent. Choosing an artistic effect in Office 2019 The image you see below demonstrates four of the 23 artistic effects that you can apply to a picture: Pencil Sketch, Glow Diffused, Glass, and Glow Edges. To experiment with the artistic effects and maybe find one to your liking, select your picture and use one of these techniques: Go to the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Artistic Effects button, and choose an effect on the drop-down list. Open the Format Picture task pane and choose an artistic effect. To open the Format Picture dialog box, click the Effects button and choose Artistic Effects Options. Selecting a picture style in Office 2019 A picture style is way of presenting or framing a picture using Office 2019 tools. The image below shows examples of picture styles. Picture styles include Simple Frame, Soft Edge Rectangle, Perspective Shadow, and Reflected Bevel. To choose a picture style for a picture, select it, go to the (Picture Tools) Format tab, open the Picture Styles gallery, and choose a style. If you don’t like the picture style you chose (or you don’t care for any change you made to a picture), click the Reset Picture button to reverse all your format changes and start over. If you like the picture styles, you may be enamored as well with the picture effects. On the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Picture Effects button and experiment with the options on the drop-down list and sublists. Cropping off part of a picture in Office 2019 Cropping means to cut off part of a picture. You can’t use the Office cropping tool like a pair of scissors or an Xacto knife to zigzag cut around the edges of a picture or cut a hole in the middle. You can, however, cut strips from the side, top, or bottom. Here, the cropping tool is being used to cut off extraneous parts of a picture. Select your picture, go to the (Picture Tools) Format tab, and use one of these techniques to crop it: Crop manually: Crop the picture by dragging its cropping handles. Click the Crop button. Cropping handles appear around the picture. Drag cropping handles to lop off a part or parts of the picture. Click the Crop button again or press Esc after you finish cropping. Crop to a shape: Crop the picture to a rectangle, circle, or other shape. Open the drop-down list on the Crop button, choose Crop to Shape, and select a shape in the Shapes gallery. Crop to proportions: Crop the picture to a proportional size setting. Open the drop-down list on the Crop button, choose Aspect Ratio, and choose a ratio. For example, choose 1:1 to crop to a perfect square with the width and height the same size. Crop by filling: For placing an image in a picture placeholder, crop the image to make it fit in the placeholder box. Open the drop-down list on the Crop button and choose Fill. Crop by fitting: For placing an image in a picture placeholder, shrink the picture to make it fit. Open the drop-down list on the Crop button and choose Fit. With the cropping handles showing, you can drag the picture left, right, up, or down to determine where it is cropped. When you crop a picture, you don’t cut off a part of it — not as far as your computer is concerned. All you do is tell Office not to display part of a graphic. The graphic is still whole. You can, however, compress a graphic after you crop it, and in so doing truly shave off a part of the graphic and thereby decrease the size of the file you’re working with. Removing the background from a picture in Office 2019 Yet another way to diddle with pictures is to use the Remove Background command. This command endeavors to locate the unessential parts of a picture so that you can remove them. Here the sky was removed and replaced with a rainbow image behind the skyline. Select a picture and follow these steps to test-drive the Remove Background command: On the (Picture Tools) Format tab, click the Remove Background button. The Background Removal tab opens and the parts of your picture that Office wants to remove turn a lurid shade of magenta. On the Background Removal tab, indicate what you want to keep and remove. Keep your eye on what’s magenta and what’s not as you use these techniques, and consider zooming to 200 percent or more so that you can get a good look at your picture: Changing the size of the box: Drag the side and corner handles of the box to capture what you want to keep or remove. Marking what you want to keep: Click the Mark Areas to Keep button. The pointer changes into a pencil. Click your picture to indicate what you want to keep. Each time you click, a keep mark (a plus sign icon) appears on your picture. Marking what you want to remove: Click the Mark Areas to Remove button. The pointer changes to a pencil. Click your picture to indicate what you want to remove. When you click, a remove mark (a minus sign) appears. Of course, you can click the Undo button to backtrack as you work. If you get thoroughly lost on the Background Removal tab, click the Discard All Changes button and start all over. Click the Keep Changes button when you finish marking what you want to keep and remove. How do you like your picture now? If it needs more work, click the Remove Background button again and diddle some more on the Background Removal tab. Click the Discard All Changes button if you want your original picture without the background removed.

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How Excel Formulas Work

Article / Updated 01-11-2019

Excel does lots of super cool things. In order to see them in all their glory, you need to understand how to work with Excel formulas. A formula, you may recall from the sleepy hours you spent in math class, is a way to calculate numbers. For example, 2+3=5 is a formula. When you enter a formula in a cell, Excel computes the formula and displays its results in the cell. Click in cell A3 and enter =2+3, for example, and Excel displays the number 5 in cell A3. Referring to cells in formulas As well as numbers, Excel formulas can refer to the contents of different cells. When a formula refers to a cell, the number in the cell is used to compute the formula. In the image below, for example, cell A1 contains the number 2; cell A2 contains the number 3; and cell A3 contains the formula =A1+A2. As shown in cell A3, the result of the formula is 5. If you change the number in cell A1 from 2 to 3, the result of the formula in cell A3 (=A1+A2) becomes 6, not 5. When a formula refers to a cell and the number in the cell changes, the result of the formula changes as well. To see the value of using cell references in formulas, consider the worksheet shown below. The purpose of this worksheet is to track the budget of a school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA): Column C, Actual Income, lists income from different sources. Column D, Projected Income, shows what the PTA members thought income from these sources would be. Column E, Over/Under Budget, shows how actual income compares to projected income from the different sources. As the figures in the Actual Income column (column C) are updated, figures in the Over/Under Budget column (column E) and the Total Income row (row 8) change instantaneously. These figures change instantaneously because the formulas refer to the numbers in cells, not to unchanging numbers (known as constants). The image below shows the formulas used to calculate the data in the worksheet above. In column E, formulas deduct the numbers in column D from the numbers in column C to show where the PTA over- or under-budgeted for the different sources of income. In row 8, you can see how the SUM function is used to total cells in rows 3 through 7 Excel is remarkably good about updating cell references in formulas when you move cells. To see how good Excel is, consider what happens to cell addresses in formulas when you delete a row in a worksheet. If a formula refers to cell C1 but you delete row B, row C becomes row B and the value in cell C1 changes addresses from C1 to B1. You would think that references in formulas to cell C1 would be out of date, but you would be wrong. Excel automatically adjusts all formulas that refer to cell C1. Those formulas now refer to cell B1 instead. In case you’re curious, you can display formulas in worksheet cells instead of the results of formulas by pressing Ctrl+’ (apostrophe) or clicking the Show Formulas button on the Formulas tab. (You may have to click the Formula Auditing button first, depending on the size of your screen.) Click the Show Formulas button a second time to see formula results again. Referring to formula results in Excel 2019formulas Besides referring to cells with numbers in them, you can refer to formula results in a cell. Consider the worksheet below. The purpose of this worksheet is to track scoring by the players on a basketball team over three games: The Totals column (column E) shows the total points each player scored in the three games. The Average column (column F), using the formula results in the Totals column, determines how much each player has scored on average. The Average column does that by dividing the results in column E by 3, the number of games played. In this case, Excel uses the results of the total-calculation formulas in column E to compute average points per game in column F. Operators in Excel 2019 formulas Addition, subtraction, and division aren’t the only operators you can use in formulas. The table below explains the arithmetic operators you can use and the key you press to enter each operator. In the table, operators are listed in the order of precedence. Arithmetic Operators for Use in Formulas Precedence Operator Example Formula Returns 1 % (Percent) =50% 50 percent, or 0.5 2 ^ (Exponentiation) =50^2 50 to the second power, or 2500 3 * (Multiplication) =E2*4 The value in cell E2 multiplied by 4 3 / (Division) =E2/3 The value in cell E2 divided by 3 4 + (Addition) =F1+F2+F3, The sum of the values in those cells 4 – (Subtraction) =G5–8, The value in cell G5 minus 8 5 & (Concatenation) =″Part No. ″&D4 The text Part No. and the value in cell D4 6 = (Equal to) =C5=4, If the value in cell C5 is equal to 4, returns TRUE; returns FALSE otherwise 6 <> (Not equal to) =F3<>9 If the value in cell F3 is not equal to 9, returns TRUE; returns FALSE otherwise 6 < (Less than) =B9 If the value in cell B9 is less than the value in cell E11, returns TRUE; returns FALSE otherwise 6 <= (Less than or equal to) =A4<=9 If the value in cell A4 is less than or equal to 9, returns TRUE; returns FALSE otherwise 6 > (Greater than) =E8>14 If the value in cell E8 is greater than 14, returns TRUE; returns FALSE otherwise 6 >= (Greater than or equal to) =C3>=D3 If the value in cell C3 is greater than or equal to the value in cell D3, returns TRUE; returns FALSE otherwise Another way to compute a formula is to make use of a function. A function is a built-in formula that comes with Excel. SUM, for example, adds the numbers in cells. AVG finds the average of different numbers. The order of precedence for Excel formulas When a formula includes more than one operator, the order in which the operators appear in the formula matters a lot. Consider this formula: =2+3*4 Does this formula result in 14 (2+[3*4]) or 20 ([2+3]*4)? The answer is 14 because Excel 2019 performs multiplication before addition in formulas. In other words, multiplication takes precedence over addition. The order in which calculations are made in a formula that includes different operators is called the order of precedence. Be sure to remember the order of precedence when you construct complex formulas with more than one operator: Percent (%) Exponentiation (^) Multiplication (*) and division (/); leftmost operations are calculated first Addition (+) and subtraction (-); leftmost operations are calculated first Concatenation (&) Comparison (<, <=, >,>=, and <>) To get around the order-of-precedence problem, enclose parts of formulas in parentheses. Operations in parentheses are calculated before all other parts of a formula. For example, the formula =2+3*4 equals 20 when it is written this way: =(2+3)*4.

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Office 2019 Chart Tricks for the Daring and Heroic

Article / Updated 01-11-2019

In this day of superhero pop culture, you need a handful of Office 2019 chart tricks to impress your friends and intimidate your enemies. Here, you discover how to make your Office 2019 charts roll over and play dead. You also find out how to decorate a chart with a picture, annotate a chart, display worksheet data alongside a chart, and create a combo chart all using tools in Office 2019. Decorating a chart with a picture in Office 2019 A picture looks mighty nice on the plot area of a chart — especially a column chart. If you have a picture in your computer that would serve well to decorate a chart in Office 2019, you are hereby encouraged to start decorating. Follow these steps to place a picture in the plot area of an Office 2019 chart: Select your chart. On the (Chart Tools) Format tab, open the Chart Elements drop-down list and choose Plot Area. Click the Format Selection button. In the Format Plot Area task pane, click the Picture or Texture Fill option button. Click the File button. You see the Insert Picture dialog box. Locate the picture you need and select it. Try to select a light-colored picture that will serve as a background. Click the Insert button. The picture lands in your chart. You may need to change the color of the data markers — the columns, bars, lines, or pie slices — on your chart to make them stand out against the picture. Annotating a chart in Office 2019 To highlight part of a chart — an especially large pie slice, a tall column, or a bar showing miniscule sales figures — annotate it with a callout text box and place the text box beside the pie slice, column, or bar. The annotation tells you that one sector isn’t performing especially well and somebody ought to get on the ball. To annotate a chart, select a callout shape, enter text in the callout shape, and connect the shape to part of your chart. Follow these steps to annotate a chart in Office 2019: Select your chart and go to the (Chart Tools) Format tab. Open the Shapes gallery, scroll to the Callouts section of the drop-down list, and choose a callout. Depending on the size of your screen, you may have to click the Insert button to get to the Shapes button. Drag on the page or slide to draw the callout shape. Type the annotation inside the callout shape. After you type the text, you can select it, go to the Home tab, and choose a font and font size for it. Resize the callout shape as necessary to make it fit with the chart. Drag the orange circle on the callout shape to attach the callout to the chart. You probably have to do some interior decorating to make the callout color fit with the chart. Displaying the raw data alongside the Office 2019 chart Showing the worksheet data used to produce a chart is sort of like showing the cops your I.D. It proves you’re the real thing. It makes your chart more authentic. If yours is a simple pie chart or other chart that wasn’t generated with a large amount of raw data, you can display the data alongside your chart in a data table. Anyone who sees the table knows you’re not kidding or fudging the numbers. To place a table with the raw data below your chart, go to the (Chart Tools) Design tab, open the Quick Layout gallery, and select a layout that includes a data table. To format a data table, go to the (Chart Tools) Format tab, open the Chart Element drop-down list, and choose Data Table. Then click the Format Selection button. You see the Format Data Table task pane, where you can fill the table with color and choose colors for the lines in the table. Placing a trendline on a chart in Office 2019 Especially on column charts, a trendline can help viewers more clearly see changes in data. Viewers can see, for example, that sales are going up or down, income is rising or falling, or annual rainfall is increasing or decreasing. In this case, the trendline shows that the deer population in Sacramento County is rising. Follow these steps to put a trendline on a chart in Office 2019: On the (Chart Tools) Design tab, click the Add Chart Element button. Choose Trendline on the drop-down list and select a trendline option on the submenu. The Add Trendline dialog box appears. Choose the data series that you want to highlight with a trendline and click OK. To remove a trendline from a chart, go to the (Chart Tools) Design tab, click the Add Chart Element button, choose Trendline on the drop-down list, and choose None on the submenu. Troubleshooting a chart in Office 2019 Sometimes tinkering with a chart opens a Pandora’s Box of problems. You find yourself having to correct little errors that appear in charts. Here are some shorthand instructions for fixing common chart problems in Office 2019: The dates in the chart aren’t formatted right. To change the way in which dates are formatted on a chart, go to the (Chart Tools) Format tab, open the Chart Elements drop-down list, and choose Horizontal (Value) Axis or Vertical (Value) Axis. Then click the Format Selection button, and in the Format Axis task pane, go to the Number category, select Date in the Category menu, and choose a date format. The numbers in the chart aren’t formatted right. To change the number of decimal places, include comma separators in numbers, display currency symbols, or do all else that pertains to numbers, go to the (Chart Tools) Format tab, open the Chart Elements drop-down list, and choose Horizontal (Value) Axis or Vertical (Value) Axis. Then click the Format Selection button. You see the Format Axis task pane. Visit the Number category and select options for displaying numbers. “Category 1” or “Series 1” appears in the chart legend. To direct you to the right place to enter data in the data grid, phantom names such as “Category 1” and “Series 1” appear in worksheets. Sometimes these phantoms wind up in chart legends as well. To remove them, go to the (Chart Tools) Design tab and click the Edit Data button. You see the data grid, where the data range used to generate the chart is enclosed in a blue box. Drag the lower-right corner of the box so that the box encloses only the data you want for your chart. In 3D charts, small markers are obscured by large markers in the foreground. For all the data markers to be shown in a 3D chart, the smaller ones have to be in the foreground. To rearrange data markers, go to the (Chart Tools) Design tab and click the Select Data button to open the Select Data Source dialog box. Then select a series and click the Up or Down button to rearrange the series in your chart. Series that are high on the list go to the back of the chart; series that are low on the list go to the front. The chart doesn’t gather all data from the worksheet. On the (Chart Tools) Design tab, click the Edit Data button, and in the data grid that stores data for your chart, enlarge the blue data-range box so that it encloses all your data. You can enlarge the box by dragging its lower-right corner.

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6 Common Microsoft Access Queries

Article / Updated 01-11-2019

For your pleasure and entertainment, here are six useful types of queries you can perform in Microsoft Access. Access 2019 offers a handful of other queries, but these are common queries. Those queries are pretty complicated. If you become adept at querying, however, you’re invited to look into the Help system in Access for advice about running the query types that aren’t explained here. Microsoft Access 2019: Select query A select query is the standard kind of query. A select query gathers information from one or more database tables and displays the information in a datasheet. A select query is the most common query, the primal query, the starting point for most other queries. Microsoft Access 2019: Top-value query A top-value query is an easy way to find out, in a Number or Currency field, the highest or lowest values. On the Query grid, enter the name of the Number or Currency field you want to know more about; then choose Ascending in the Sort drop-down list to rank values from lowest to highest or Descending in the Sort drop-down list to rank values from highest to lowest. Finally, on the (Query Tools) Design tab, enter a value in the Return text box or choose a value on the Return drop-down list: Highest or lowest by percentage: Enter or choose a percentage to find, for example, the highest or lowest 25 percent of the values. To enter a percentage, type a percent sign (%) after your entry and press the Enter key. Highest or lowest by ranking number: Enter or choose a number to find, for example, the top-ten or lowest-ten values. Press the Enter key after you enter a number. This may seem counterintuitive, but to see the top values, you have to sort the field you’re ranking in descending order. For example, if you sort employees by number of sales in descending order, the employees with the top sales appear at the top. To see the bottom values, sort in ascending order. Microsoft Access 2019: Summary query Similar to a top-value query, a summary query is a way of getting cumulative information about all the data in a field. In a field that stores data about sales in Kentucky, for example, you can find the average amount of each sale, the total amount of all the sales, the total number of all the sales, and other data. To run a summary query, go to the (Query Tools) Design tab and click the Totals button. A new row called Total appears on the Query grid. Open the Total drop-down list in the field whose contents you want to summarize and choose a function. Summary Query Functions Function Returns Sum The total of all values in the field Avg The average of all values Min The lowest value Max The highest value Count The number of values StDev The standard deviation of the values Var The variance of the values First The first value Last The last value The Group By, Expression, and Where choices in the Totals drop-down list are for including fields you're not performing a function on: Group By: For choosing which fields to show totals for. Expression: For creating a calculated field. Where: For setting criteria (you can’t include the field in the query). Microsoft Access 2019: Calculation query A calculation query is one in which calculations are performed as part of the query. For example, you can calculate the sales tax on items sold or total the numbers in two fields in the same record. The beauty of a calculation query is that the data is recomputed each time you run the query. If the data used to make a calculation changes, so does the result of the calculation. If you were to include the calculation in a database table, you would have to recalculate the data yourself each time one of the values changed. With a calculation query, Access does the math for you. To construct a calculation query, you create a new field in the Query grid for storing the results of the calculation; then enter a name for the field and a formula for the calculation. Follow these steps to create a calculation query: Create a query as you normally would and be sure to include the fields you want to use for calculation purposes in the Query grid. In the Field box of a blank field, enter a name for the Calculation field and follow it with a colon. In the image below, Subtotal: was entered. The purpose of the new Subtotal field is to multiply the Unit Price by the Quantity. After the colon, in square brackets ([]), enter the name of a field whose data you use for the calculation. Data from the Unit Price and Quantity fields are used in the calculation, so their names appear in square brackets: [Unit Price] and [Quantity]. Be sure to spell field names correctly so that Access can recognize them. Complete the calculation. How you do this depends on what kind of calculation you’re making. In the image above, an asterisk (*) was entered to multiply one field by another. The equation multiplies the values in the Unit Price and Quantity fields. You can add the data from two different fields — including calculated fields — by putting their names in brackets and joining them with a plus sign, like so: [SubTotal]+[Shipping Cost]. Sometimes the results of the query aren’t formatted correctly on the datasheet. To assign a new format to a field that you create for the purposes of making a calculation query, right-click the field on the Query grid and choose Properties. The Property Sheet appears. On the General tab, click the Format drop-down list and choose the correct format for your new, hand-crafted field. Microsoft Access 2019: Delete query Be careful about running delete queries. A delete query deletes records and doesn’t give you the opportunity to get the records back if you change your mind about deleting them. If used skillfully, however, a delete query is a great way to purge records from more than one database table at one time. Back up your database file before running a delete query. To run a delete query, start a new query, and on the (Query Tools) Design tab, click the Delete button. Then make as though you were running a select query but target the records you want to delete. Finally, click the Run button to run the query. You can delete records from more than one table as long as the tables are related and you chose the Cascade Delete Related Records option in the Edit Relationships dialog box when you linked the tables. To preview the records that will be deleted before you run the delete query, switch to Datasheet view (click the View button). Those records you see? The delete query will delete them if you click the Run button. Microsoft Access 2019: Update query An update query is a way to reach into a database and update records in several different tables all at one time. Update queries can be invaluable, but as with delete queries, they can have untoward consequences. Back up your database before you run an update query; then follow these steps to run it: Starting in Design view, go to the (Query Tools) Design tab and click the Update button. In the field with the data that needs updating, enter text or a value in the Update To line. You can even enter another field name in square brackets ([]). What you enter in the Update To line replaces what’s in the field of the records you collect. Click the Run button. To update records in more than one table, you must have chosen the Cascade Update Related Fields option in the Edit Relationships dialog box when you linked the tables.

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MS Access Field Properties for Making Sure That Data Entries Are Accurate

Article / Updated 01-10-2019

Unfortunately, entering the data in an Access database table is one of the most tedious activities known to humankind. And because the activity is so dull, people are prone to make mistakes when they enter data in an Access 2019 database table. One way to cut down on mistakes is to take advantage of the Field Properties settings on the General tab in the Design view window. These properties determine what can and can’t be entered in the different fields of a database table. Some of the settings are invaluable. The Field Size property, for example, determines how many characters can be entered in a field. In a State field where two-letter state abbreviations are to be entered, make the Field Size property 2 to be certain that no one enters more than two characters. If the majority of people you’re tracking in an address database live in New York, enter NY in the Default Value property. That way, you spare data-entry clerks from having to enter NY the majority of the time. They won’t have to enter it because NY is already there. The Lookup tab in the Field Properties part of the Design view window is for creating a data-entry drop-down list. It, too, is invaluable. If you happen to know that only four items can be entered in a field, create a drop-down list with the four items. That way, data-entry clerks can choose from a list of four valid items instead of having to enter the data themselves and perhaps enter it incorrectly. A look at MS Access Field Properties settings Especially if yours is a large database, you’re encouraged to study the field properties carefully and make liberal use of them. The Field Properties settings safeguard data from being entered incorrectly. Following is a description of the different properties (listed here in the order in which they appear in the Design view window) and instructions for using them wisely. Which properties you can assign to a field in Access depends on which data type the field was assigned. Field Size In the Field Size box for Text fields, enter the maximum number of characters that can be entered in the field. Suppose that the field you’re dealing with is ZIP code, and you want to enter five-number ZIP codes. By entering 5 in the Field Size text box, only five characters can be entered in the field. A sleepy data-entry clerk couldn’t enter a six-character ZIP code by accident. For Number fields, select a value for the field size from the drop-down list. The table below describes these field sizes. Access Numeric Field Sizes Field Size Description Byte An integer that holds values from 0–255. Integer An integer that holds values from –32,768– +32,767. Long Integer An integer that holds values from –2,147,483,648– +2,147,483,647. Single A floating point number that holds large values up to 7 significant digits. Double A floating point number that holds large values up to 15 significant digits. Replication ID* A globally unique identifier (GUID) required for replication; this number is generated randomly. Decimal A number with defined decimal precision. The default precision is 0, but you can set the scale up to 28. *Not supported by the .accdb file format. The Single, Double, and Decimal field size options hold different ranges of numbers. For now, if you need to store numbers after the decimal point, choose the Double field size so that you cover most situations. Format Click the drop-down list and choose the format in which text, numbers, and dates and times are displayed. Decimal Places For a field that holds numbers, open the Decimal Places drop-down list and choose how many numbers can appear to the right of the decimal point. This property affects how numbers and currency values are displayed, not their real value. Numbers are rounded to the nearest decimal point. The Auto option displays the number of decimal places permitted by the format you chose on the Format drop-down list. Input Mask For Text and Date field types, this feature provides a template with punctuation marks to make entering the data easier. Telephone numbers, social security numbers, and other numbers that typically are entered along with dashes and parentheses are ideal candidates for an input mask (another ridiculous database term!). On the datasheet, blank spaces appear where the numbers go, and the punctuation marks stand at the ready to receive numbers. In the Input Mask text box, enter a 0 where numbers go and enter the punctuation marks where they go. For example, enter (000) 000-0000 or 000/000-0000 to enter an input mask for a telephone number. You can also create input masks by clicking the three dots beside the Input Mask text box. Doing so opens the Input Mask Wizard dialog box, where you can fashion a very sophisticated input mask. Caption If the field you're working on has a cryptic or hard-to-understand name, enter a more descriptive name in the Caption text box. The value in the Caption property appears as the column heading in Datasheet view, as a label on forms, and on reports in place of the field name. People entering data understand what to enter after reading the descriptive caption. Default Value When you know that the majority of records require a certain value, number, or abbreviation, enter it in the Default Value text box. That way, you save yourself the trouble of entering the value, number, or abbreviation most of the time because the default value appears already in each record when you enter it. You can always override the default value by entering something different. Validation Rule As long as you know your way around operators and Boolean expressions, you can establish a rule for entering data in a field. For example, you can enter an expression that requires dates to be entered in a certain time frame. Or you can require currency figures to be above or below a certain value. To establish a validation rule, enter an expression in the Validation Rule text box. To use dates in an expression, the dates must be enclosed by number signs (#). Here are some examples of validation rules: >1000 The value you enter must be over 1,000. <1000 The value you enter must be less than 1,000. >=10 The value you enter must be greater than or equal to ten. <>0 The value you enter cannot be zero. >=#1/1/2019# The date you enter must be January 1, 2019, or later. >=#1/1/2019# And <#1/1/2020# The date you enter must be in the year 2019. To get help forming expressions, click the three dots beside the Validation Rule text box to open the Expression Builder and build an expression there. Try clicking the Help button in the Expression Builder dialog box. Doing so opens the Access Help program, where you can get advice about building expressions. Validation Text If someone enters data that violates a validation rule that you enter in the Validation Rule text box, Access displays a standard error message. The message reads, “One or more values are prohibited by the validation rule set for [this field]. Enter a value that the expression for this field can accept.” If this message is too cold and impersonal for you, you can create a message of your own for the error message dialog box. Enter your friendly message in the Validation Text text box. Required By default, no entry has to be made in a field, but if you choose Yes instead of No in the Required box and you fail to make an entry in the field, a message box tells you to be sure to make an entry. Allow Zero Length This property allows you to enter zero-length strings in a field. A zero-length string — two quotation marks with no text or spaces between them (“”) — indicates that no value exists for a field. To see how zero-length strings work, suppose that your database table calls for entering email addresses. If you didn’t know whether one person has an email address, you would leave the E-Mail Address field blank. If, however, you knew that the person didn’t have an email address, you could indicate as much by entering a zero-length string. Choose Yes on the drop-down list to permit zero-length strings to be entered in the field. Indexed This property indicates whether the field has been indexed. Indexes make sorting a field and searching through a field go faster. The word No appears in this text box if the field has not been indexed. Unicode Expression Choose Yes from the Unicode Expression drop-down list if you want to compress data that is now stored in Unicode format. Storing data this way saves on disk space, and you probably don't want to change this property. Smart Tags If you intend to enter Smart Tags in the field, indicate which kind you enter by clicking the three dots next to the Smart Tags box and choosing an option in the Action Tags dialog box. Text Align This property determines how the text is aligned in a column or on a form or report. Select General to let Access determine the alignment, or select Left, Right, Center, or Distribute. Text Format Available on Long Text fields, this drop-down list lets you choose to allow rich text in the field. With this property set to Rich Text, you can make different words bold, italic, underline, and change font sizes and colors. Set it to Plain Text for plain, boring text with no formatting. Append Only Available on Long Text fields, this property lets you add data only to a Long Text field to collect a history of comments. Show Date Picker This property is available on Date/Time fields. Choose For Dates to place a button next to the column that data-entry clerks can click to open a calendar and select a date instead of typing numbers. IME Mode/IME Sentence mode These options are for converting characters and sentences from East Asian versions of Access. Creating a lookup data-entry list in MS Access Perhaps the best way to make sure that data is entered correctly is to create a data-entry drop-down list. That way, anyone entering the data in your database table can do so by choosing an item from the list, not by typing it in. This method saves time and prevents invalid data from being entered. Access offers two ways to create the drop-down list: Create the list by entering the items yourself: Go this route when you’re dealing with a finite list of items that never change. Get the items from another database table: Go this route to get items from a column in another database table. This way, you can choose from an ever-expanding list of items. When the number of items in the other database table changes, so does the number of items in the drop-down list because the items come from the other database table. This is a great way to get items from a primary key field in another table. Creating a drop-down list on your own Follow these steps to create a drop-down, or lookup, list with entries you type: In Design view, click the field that needs a drop-down list. Open the Data Type drop-down list and choose Lookup Wizard, the last option in the list. The Lookup Wizard dialog box appears. Select the second option, I Will Type in the Values That I Want, and click the Next button. Under Col1 in the next dialog box, enter each item you want to appear in the drop-down list; then click the Next button. You can create a multicolumn list by entering a number in the Number of Columns text box and then entering items for the list. Enter a name for the field, if necessary, and click the Finish button. Switch to Datasheet view and open the drop-down list in the field to make sure that it displays properly. To remove a lookup list from a field, select the field, go to the Lookup tab in the Design view window, open the Display Control drop-down list, and choose Text Box. To see what’s on a drop-down list, select the field for which you created the list, switch to Design view, and select the Lookup tab in the Field Properties pane. You can edit the list by editing or removing items in the Row Source text box. Be sure that a semi-colon (;) appears between each item. Getting list items from a database table Before you can get list items from another database table, you might want to define a relationship between the tables; it’s not required, but it’s recommended. Follow these steps to get items in a drop-down list from another database table: In Design view, click the field that needs a list, open the Data Type drop-down list, and choose Lookup Wizard. The Lookup Wizard dialog box appears. Select the first option, I Want the Lookup Field to Get the Values from Another Table or Query, and click Next. You see a list of tables in your database. Select the table with the data you need and click the Next button. The dialog box shows you a list of available fields in the table. Select the field where the data for your list is stored. Click the > button. The name of the list appears on the right side of the dialog box, under Selected Fields. Click the Next button. Normally, lists are displayed in ascending order, but you can select a field and click the Ascending button to reverse the order of the list. (Note that the button turns into the Descending button.) Click the Finish button. If you’re so inclined, you can change the width of the list before clicking Finish, but you can always do that on the datasheet. Suppose that you obtain the items from the wrong field or wrong database table. To fix that problem, select the field for which you created the list, and in Design view, select the Lookup tab. Choose Text Box instead of Combo Box on the Display Control drop-down list and start all over.

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Things to Consider When Designing an MS Access Database

Article / Updated 01-10-2019

Being an Access database designer isn’t nearly as glamorous as being a fashion designer, but it has its rewards. If you design your Access database carefully and correctly, it can be very useful to you and others. You can enter information accurately. When the time comes to draw information from the database, you get precisely the information you need. The information below explains everything you need to consider when designing an Access database. The hardest part about designing an Access database is deciding how to distribute information across database tables and how many database tables to have. Deciding what information you need in your MS Access database The first question to ask yourself is about the kind of information you want to get out of the database. Customer names and addresses? Sales information? Information for inventory tracking? Interview your coworkers to find out what information could be helpful to them. Give this matter some serious thought. Your goal is to set up the database so that every tidbit of information your organization needs can be recorded. A good way to find out what kind of information matters to an organization is to examine the forms that the organization uses to solicit or record information. These forms show precisely what the organization deems worthy of tracking in a database. Check out the information below. This image shows the paper form that players fill out to sign up for a baseball league whose database tables appear below. Compare the images and you can see that the Players, Teams, and Divisions database tables all have fields for entering information from this form. Separating information into different Access database tables After you know the information you want to record in the Access database, think about how to separate the information into database tables. Many are tempted to put all the information into a single database table, but because Access is a relational database, you can query more than one table at a time, and in so doing, assemble information from different tables. To see how Access databases work, consider the simple database. The purpose of this little database and its four tables is to store information about the players, coaches, and teams in a baseball league. The Team Name field appears in three tables. It serves as the link among the tables and permits more than one to be queried. By querying individual tables or combinations of tables in this database, you can assemble team rosters, make a list of coaches and their contact information, list teams by division, put together a mailing list of all players, find out which players have paid their fee, and list players by age group, among other things. This database comprises four tables: Players: Includes fields for tracking players’ names, addresses, birthdays, which teams they’re on, and whether they paid their fees Coaches: Includes fields for tracking coaches’ names, addresses, and the names of the teams they coach Teams: Includes fields for tracking team names and which division each team is in Divisions: Includes fields for tracking division numbers and names Deciding how many database tables you need and how to separate data across the different tables is the hardest part of designing a database. To make the task a little easier, do it the old-fashioned way with a pencil and eraser. Here are the basic rules for separating data into different tables: Restrict a table to one subject only: Each database table should hold information about one subject only — customers, employees, products, and so on. This way, you can maintain data in one table independently from data in another table. Consider what would happen in the Little League database if coach and team data were kept in a single table, and one team’s coach was replaced by someone new. You would have to delete the old coach’s record, delete information about the team, enter information about the new coach, and reenter information about the team that you just deleted. But by keeping team information separate from coach information, you can update coach information and still maintain the team information. Avoid duplicate information: Try not to keep duplicate information in the same database table or duplicate information across different tables. By keeping the information in one place, you have to enter it only once, and if you have to update it, you can do so in one database table, not several. Entire books have been written about Access database design. You can, however, store all your data in a single table if the data you want to store isn’t very complex. The time you lose entering all the data in a single table is made up by the time you save not having to design a complex database with more than one table. Choosing fields for Access database tables Fields are categories of information. Each database table needs at least one field. If the table itself is a subject, you could say that its fields are facts about the subject. An Address database table needs fields for recording street addresses, cities, states, and ZIP codes. A Products database table needs fields for product ID numbers, product names, and unit prices. Just the facts, ma’am. Within the confines of the subject, the database table needs one field for each piece of information that is useful to your organization. When you’re planning which fields to include in an Access database table, follow these guidelines: Break up the information into small elements. For example, instead of a Name field, create a First Name field and a Last Name field. This way, you can sort database tables by last name more easily. Give descriptive names to fields so that you know what they are later. A more descriptive name, such as Serial Number, is clearer than Think ahead and include a field for each piece of information your organization needs. Adding a field to a database table late in the game is a chore. You have to return to each record, look up the information, and enter it. Don’t include information that can be derived from a calculation. Calculations can be performed as part of a query or be made part of a table. For example, you can total the numbers in two fields in the same record or perform mathematical calculations on values in fields. Deciding on a primary key field for each Access database table Each database table must have a primary key field. This field, also known as the primary key, is the field in the database table where unique, one-of-a-kind data is stored. Data entered in this field — an employee ID number, a part number, a bid number — must be different in each record. If you try to enter the same data in the primary key field of two different records, a dialog box warns you not to do that. Primary key fields prevent you from entering duplicate records. They also make queries more efficient. In a query, you tell Access what to look for in database tables, Access searches through the tables, and the program assembles information that meets the criteria. Primary key fields help Access recognize records and not collect the same information more than once in a query. Social security numbers make good primary key fields because no two people have the same social security number. Invoice numbers and serial numbers also make excellent primary key fields. Returning to the sample baseball league database, which fields in the Little League database tables are primary key fields? In the Teams table, Team Name can be the primary key field because no two teams have the same name. Division Number can also be a primary key field because divisions in the league are numbered and no two divisions have the same number. The Players and Coaches database tables, however, present a problem when it comes to choosing a primary key field. Two players might have the same last name, which rules out Last Name as a primary key field. A brother and sister might have the same telephone number, which rules out a Telephone No. field. Because no field holds values that are certain to be different from record to record, fields called Player Number and Coach Number have been introduced. For the purpose of this database, players and coaches are assigned numbers. Mapping the relationships between tables in Access If your Access database includes more than one table, you have to map how the tables relate to one another. Usually, relationships are formed between the primary key field in one table and the corresponding field in another, called the foreign key. The image below shows the relationships between the tables in the Little League database. Because these tables are linked by common fields, you can gather information from more than one table in a query or report. For now, when you design your database, consider how to connect the various tables with common fields.

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Using Outlook 2019 Reminders for Activities and Tasks

Article / Updated 01-10-2019

Outlook 2019 offers the Reminder message box to alert you when an appointment or event from the Outlook Calendar is about to take place, when a task deadline is looming, when an email message needs a reply, or when someone whose name is in your Contacts folder needs attention. The image below shows the Reminder message box. When Outlook is running and you least expect it, a Reminder message box may appear to keep you on your toes. These pages explain how to handle reminder messages, schedule messages, and make the messages appear when you want them to appear. Handling reminder messages Select a reminder in the Reminder message box and do the following to handle an Outlook reminder: Dismiss it: Click the Dismiss button to shelve the reminder notice. If more than one notice appears in the Reminder message box and you want to erase them all, click the Dismiss All button. Be reminded later: Click the Snooze button. At the bottom of the dialog box, the Click Snooze to Be Reminded Again In text box tells you when the next reminder message will arrive. To change this setting, open the drop-down list and choose a different time period. Open the item: Double-click the reminder to examine the appointment, task, email message, or contact to which the reminder pertains. Procrastinate: Click the Close button (the X) in the Reminder message box to make it disappear. To open the message box later, go to the View tab and click the Reminders Window button. Outlook reminders work only for items that are stored in these folders: Tasks, Calendar, Inbox, and Contacts. Store an item in another folder or a subfolder of one of the folders listed above, and you won’t see the Reminder message box when the reminder is due. To make sure you get reminded, store items in these folders: Tasks, Calendar, Inbox, or Contacts. Scheduling a reminder message Follow these instructions to schedule a reminder message in Outlook 2019: Calendar appointment or event: In the Appointment window, open the Reminder drop-down list and choose how many minutes, hours, or weeks in advance of the appointment or event to make the reminder appear. Task deadline: In the Outlook Task window, select the Reminder check box and choose a day and time to be reminded in the drop-down menus. Contacts name: In a Contact window or the Contacts window, click the Follow Up button and choose Add Reminder on the drop-down list. The Custom dialog box opens. Treat this dialog box the same way you treat the one for email messages (see the preceding item in this list). Making reminders work your way You can do two or three things to make reminders work your way. On Outlook’s File tab, choose Options to open the Options dialog box. Then follow these instructions to have your way with Outlook reminder notices: Changing the reminder time for appointments and events: By default, the Reminder message box appears 15 minutes before appointments and events start. To change this setting, go to the Calendar category and enter a new setting in the Default Reminders drop-down list (look under “Calendar Options”). Changing the default time for task reminders: When a task’s deadline arrives, the Outlook Reminders dialog box lets you know at 8:00 a.m. (or when you start Outlook, if you start the program after 8:00 a.m.). To change this default setting, go to the Tasks category and choose a new time from the Default Reminder Time drop-down list. Playing a different sound (or no sound): By default, you hear a little chime when the Outlook Reminder message box appears onscreen. To hear a different sound or no sound at all, go to the Advanced category of the Options dialog box. To play no sound, deselect the Play Reminder Sound check box. To play a different sound, click the Browse button and then select a .wav sound file in the Reminder Sound File dialog box.

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