Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Other software

SAY GOODBYE TO COMPUTER FRUSTRATION

Find simple instructions and fast solutions to your program tasks: MS Word, Excel, Adobe and more. Whether you’re working on a business document or a creative project, the Inspired Professional has the tips and tricks to help you excel.

Continue reading “SAY GOODBYE TO COMPUTER FRUSTRATION”

Microsoft Word

HOW TO TRACK CHANGES IN WORD

This tool is an editing command that tracks any changes you make to a document. It’s highly useful when you want someone to check your work as they can make comments and necessary changes. If you are sharing the document with others, you can see exactly who’s made what changes and when.

Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to track changes in Word.

The Advantages of Using Track Changes

  • Excellent editing system
  • Keeps track of all changes and users
  • Enables people to make comments or ask questions
  • Speeds up the editing process
  • Doesn’t deface the original document
  • You can save feedback for future reference
  • On-screen changes are more legible than hand-written comments
  • Owner has the flexibility to accept or reject changes and delete comments
  • Great tool for students, writers, editors and researchers

How to Track Changes in Word

Once you set Track Changes, it records any text you add, delete or reformat. It enables you to make comments or ask questions within any part of the document. Using this function, you can create edited versions of your original document.

Video breakdown: Track changes 0.08, Add Comments 0.55, Turn off Track Changes 1.22, Accept Changes 1.30, Reject Changes 1.50, Delete Comments 2.33, Viewing Changes 2.40, Markup Options 3.35.

Turn Track Changes On

  1. Go to Review Tab →Track Changes (in Tracking group).
  2. Change ‘Simple Markup’ to ‘All Markup.’

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+E

Track changes

What the different markups mean:

Simple Markup – shows red lines in the margin to indicate changes. Comments are symbolized with a speech bubble icon.

All Markup – shows all changes in detail.

No Markup – shows a preview of the changes implemented.

Original – shows the original document without the suggested changes.

View the video for demonstrations.

Track Changes Markers and Functions 

There will be a bar in the left margin noting any changes to the text. The changes you make in the document will show in different formats. Here are the different functions and how they appear:

Deletion – marked with a strikethrough and noted in the right margin.

Additions – marked with an underline and in a different colour.

Comments – are noted in the right margin.

Reformat text – are noted in the right margin.

Note: Different authors’ changes are shown in different colours.

Track changes formatting

Make a New Comment

To make comments:

  1. Select the words/section you want to comment on.
  2. Review tab → New Comment (or right-click on the word)

The comment appears in the right margin with options to reply or resolve.

There’s even an option to ‘Ink Comment’ where you can write/draw in the comment box directly with a pen and eraser tool.

Comments function

Reviewing Track Changes

Accept Changes

Go to Review Tab → Press the ‘Accept’ button (in Changes group).

Or select from the drop-down list:

  • Accept and Move to Next
  • Accept All Changes
  • Accept All Changes and Stop Tracking

Accept Track Changes

Reject Changes

This is next to the ‘Accept’ button (Changes group in Review tab).

Or select from the drop-down list:

  • Reject and Move to Next
  • Reject All Changes
  • Reject All Changes and Stop Tracking

Reject Track Changes

Previous and Next

You can use these buttons to move back and forth between the changes and comments.

Previous & Next buttons

Delete

You can delete changes as you come across them, such as comments. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Select the comment on your document → Review tab → Reject and Move to Next.
  2. Right-click on the comment itself → Delete comment.
  3. Select the comment on your document → Review tab → Delete or Delete All Comments.

Delete Track Changes comments

Show Markup

Here you can select which markups you want to see (comments, insertions and deletions, formatting).

You can select what changes you’d like to show as balloons. The default is comments and formatting only.

If you have several reviewers checking your document, you can select them individually or view everyone’s changes together.

View the video above for demonstrations.

Show Markup

Reviewing Pane

This command opens a pane that shows revisions of changes made. You can view it horizontally or vertically.

Reviewing pane

How to Turn Track Changes Off

Go to Review Tab → press Track Changes again.

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+E

Word will stop marking changes, but the coloured markers (strikethroughs and underlines) will remain visible.

>>Want more editing help? Consider using Grammarly! Discover more here<<

Compare

You can compare documents to view changes between them.

Compare and Combine functions

  1. Review tab → Compare – select it again in the drop-down list.
  2. In the left box, browse and select your original document.
  3. In the right box, browse and select your newer version → Ok.
  4. Both document edits are shown with a Revision box highlighting the differences. You can then update it using Track Changes.

Compare documents

There’s also an option to combine the two documents:

  1. Go to Review tab → Compare → Combine
  2. This will create a new copy, leaving the original as it was
  3. Save the new copy → if it shows any revision marks, click the ‘Accept’ button.

>>Click here to learn how to protect your document & restrict editing<<

Editing Made Easy

Once you’ve accepted/rejected changes, you’re presented with an updated version of your document. Be sure to save it under a new version number for future reference.

Track Changes is a great way to speed up editing while minimizing confusion and the risk of missing corrections. This function is designed to make the process as easy as possible. It’s definitely a tool I strongly recommend you use.

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Microsoft Excel

HOW TO CREATE EXCEL DROP-DOWN LIST, AUTOFILL & FLASH FILL

Drop-down lists, AutoFill and Flash Fill functions can save you a ton of time. Excel can identify patterns, automatically display consecutive data, set up message alerts and more. With these tools, you no longer need to type the same data over and over!

What are These Functions?

  • Drop-down lists – just click on an arrow in the cell to choose your data from a list.
  • AutoFill – create entire columns or rows of data based on the value of the first cell.
  • Flash Fill – Excel can fill entire columns based on patterns of other columns.

Read on to learn more and discover how easy it is to use them.

How to Create Excel Drop-down List

Create a list in Excel. For example, it could be a list of grocery items. Or simply ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

Source List

1. On your existing worksheet, click on the cell/s where you want a drop-down list.

2. Go to Data → Data Validation → Settings tab.

3. In the ‘Allow’ drop-down menu, select ‘List.’

Data Validation

4. Click on the ‘Source’ field, then go to the list you created and select it.

Data Validation Source

5. Click on the small arrow to expand the Data Validation box again (bottom right corner of the floating field).

6. Press Ok.

7. An arrow symbol will appear beside your cell to indicate there’s now a drop-down list.

8. Click on the arrow to pick from the list, which will appear in your cell.

Drop-down list

Tip: If you have a long list, you can scroll with your arrow keys, or press alt+up/down arrow, or type the first few letters of the word.

How to Extend a Drop-down List

There are a couple of ways to do this.

Copy & Paste

Simply copy the cell with the drop-down list and paste it to another cell.

Data Validation

1. Select the cell with the drop-down list and the cells beneath it that you want to include.

2. Go to Data Validation → You will get this message:

Data Validation Source

3. Click ‘Yes’ to open the Data Validation box (as shown above) → Ok.

4. The drop-down list will now appear on every cell you highlighted.

How to Update Data Validation List

To include more words in your drop-down list, go to your source list to add them. (E.g. in this case, add the word ‘Maybe’). If you have a long list of words, it’s best to sort alphabetically.

Adding to this list won’t automatically update your drop-down list. You then need to:

  1. Select the cell with an existing drop-down list.
  2. Data Validation → Settings tab → click on the ‘Source’ field.
  3. Select your updated source list (as shown previously) →

Alerts and Messages

If you type a word that doesn’t exist in the drop-down list, you will get this alert:

Value Doesnt Match Data Error Message

To add the word to your list, follow the steps above.

However, you can also control error alerts to suit you. To do this:

  1. Data Validation → Error Alert.
  2. Untick the box ‘Show error alert after invalid data is entered.’

Untick Error Alert

Or change the alert to a warning:

1. Data Validation → Error Alert.

2. In the ‘Style’ drop-down menu, change to ‘Warning.’

3. Add a title and error message (e.g. ‘Please add to source list’) → Ok.

Error Warning Message

4. Now you can type a word that doesn’t exist, but you’ll first get this warning:

Please Add to Source List Warning Message

Or you can change the alert to information:

  1. Data Validation → Error Alert.
  2. In the ‘Style’ drop-down menu, change to ‘Information.’
  3. Use the same title, description from the warning above.
  4. Now you can type a word that doesn’t exist, but you’ll first get this message:

Not on Source List Information

You can also input a message on the cell itself:

  1. Data Validation → Error Alert.
  2. Tick the box ‘Show error alert after invalid data is entered.’
  3. Go to ‘Input Message’ tab.
  4. Enter a title and message → Ok.
  5. Now, when someone clicks on the cell, they will see instructions.

Setting up cell instructions

Cell instructions

How to Remove a Drop-down List

There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Data Validation → click on the ‘Clear All’ button → Ok.

Note: This will also clear any error messages and input alerts.

OR

  1. Data Validation → in the ‘Allow’ drop-down menu, select ‘Any Value’ → Ok.

Note: this will not clear any alerts or input messages.

Clear drop-down list

How to Use Flash Fill and AutoFill

Flash Fill

Excel picks up on any patterns of the data you’re filling in. This can be handy for filling columns with certain data instead of manually typing.

One good example is having customer information you want to separate for envelope labels.

  1. Enter your data in the first row so Excel can establish a pattern.

E.g. Type data in column D (First Name) and column E (Surname) using the information in column A (Name).

  1. Click on the next empty cell beneath.
  2. On Home tab go to Fill → Flash Fill (or Data tab → Flash Fill).
  3. Excel will auto-populate the remaining cells, going off the patter of information in the columns above.

Keyboard shortcut: ctrl+E

 

Flash Fill

Autofill

Instead of manually typing a lot of sequential data, you can use the Autofill function. Excel will calculate the proceeding cell data based on the value in the first cell.

  1. Click on a cell and you’ll see a small green square in the bottom right corner.
  2. Drag this icon down the column, or across the row.
  3. The other cells will auto-populate with proceeding data (e.g. days of the week).
  4. If you want the cells to copy the same (e.g. Monday, Monday, Monday) then hold the ctrl key as you drag the green square down or across.

 

 

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Microsoft Word

12 COOL MS WORD TRICKS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Ever wondered how to insert a copyright symbol in your document? Want to hide text? Customise grammar? Learn some quick editing tips to make the job quicker? Then check out these 12 cool MS Word tricks.

These are all simple tools designed to make your life easier. Learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Word and become a master!

1. Insert Special Characters

One of the great things about MS Word is you’re not limited to just text. It can insert symbols, icons, and special characters if you need it. These can include the copyright symbol, trademark symbol, em-dash, en-dash, numerals, international currency, arrows, ticks, office icons, emojis, designs and much more!

To access:

Insert tab → Symbol → More Symbols.

Insert Symbol

The selection is split into two tabs: Symbols and Special Characters. Just select what you want and click ‘Insert’.

Many interesting symbols can be located under the font: Wingdings. In the ‘Subset’ field, the symbols are split into categories to narrow your search.

The Special Characters list their shortcut keys. Or you can create your own shortcuts for any object using the ‘Shortcut Key’ button.

Symbols

Special Characters

 2. Reveal Formatting

Ever have trouble aligning a bullet point? Or your text keeps breaking over a page? The ‘Reveal Formatting’ function can help you with that. It shows markers for page breaks, spaces, line breaks, fonts, indentations, etc. It can help you locate the reason you’re experiencing a problem (e.g. excess spaces in your document).

Press Shift+F1 to access. A box will appear on the right side of the page, displaying all the formatting attributes.

If you see something you want to alter (e.g. alignment) then click on the blue title. These are links that will take you to the appropriate tool to make changes.

Reveal Formatting links

Using the ‘Show/Hide’ tool is also great for picking up on errors such as too many spaces. It shows all formatting marks within the document. If you’ve used spaces instead of a tab, hidden text etc, this tool will indicate so.

Show-Hide Tool

Did you know you can place watermarks anywhere you want? Click here to learn how to manipulate watermarks to suit you!

3. Type Anywhere in Document

 Not everyone is aware of this feature but it’s quite handy. You can double-click anywhere within your Word document and begin typing. Your cursor will set wherever you place it, without worrying about tabs.

You could begin in the middle of the page, at the bottom… whatever you like. Who says you’re restricted to top-left alignment?! 

Type Anywhere on the Page

 4. Smart Lookup

Why have more programs open than you need? Having a search engine in the background with a million tabs can slow your device. Trying using the ‘Smart Lookup’ function in Word instead.

This opens an ‘Insights’ pane on the right side of your page. It’s powered by Bing and will show relevant articles, images, definitions and more. You may find the information you need without ever leaving your Word document. Otherwise, you have the option to explore further online by clicking on the links.

Smart Lookup

To access:

  1. Select the word you want to research.
  2. Go to References tab → Smart Lookup (or right-click and select from drop-down list).
  3. Scroll through the list and click ‘More’ for more information.
  4. Check out the ‘Define’ tab for definitions.

Note: The Researcher tool is another handy function that helps you find credible sources and content for academic writing.

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 5. Read Aloud

 When it comes to editing, I highly recommend this tool. Our brains can automatically insert letters and words that mightn’t be there (is, I, a, as). So, reading over your document can only edit so much. But the ears can pick up what the eyes miss.

The ‘Read Aloud’ function does exactly as it sounds. It has the capacity to play, pause, skip forward and backward. It comes in two voices (female Catherine or male James).

This tool is great for WH&S. It gives your eyes a break from scanning the same document, and the chance to stand up and stretch for a few minutes.

To access:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the reader to begin.
  2. Go to Review tab → Read Aloud.
  3. A control panel will appear on the right where you can operate it and change settings.
  4. To stop playing, click X on the panel or press the Read Aloud button again.

Read Aloud

Ever used the Find/Replace tool? It’s more useful than you think! Click here to discover more.

6. Hide Words

 If you have sections in your document you don’t want everyone to read, you can hide the text. The process is surprisingly simple:

  1. Highlight the text you want to hide.
  2. Right-click → Font → tick the box ‘Hidden.’
  3. To un-hide, select all and tick the box again.

Note: another way to indicate hidden text is to use the ‘Reveal Formatting’ tools (2).

You can also choose whether to print hidden text or not. To include all hidden text:

  1. File → Options → Display.
  2. Tick the box ‘Print Hidden Text.’

Click here to learn various ways to protect your Word document.

 7. Drop Cap

Drop Cap example

  1. Select the first letter at the start of your text.
  2. Go to Insert tab.
  3. Click on the Drop Cap button (in Text group).
  4. Select ‘Dropped.’ This will enlarge the first letter and align with the main text.
  5. Or select ‘In Margin’ to align with the margin.

Click here to learn how to use and modify Styles.

 8. Format Painter

 With this tool, you can copy formatting from one word/sentence/section to another. It does it in bulk, so you don’t have to change individual elements such as font, size, colour, etc. This tool can save you a lot of time.

For example:

“This is a sample text.”

Now, I want to change this sentence to match the formatting above.

  1. Highlight the sample text.
  2. Home tab → Format Painter.
  3. A paintbrush icon will appear next to your cursor. Highlight the text you want to change. The Format Painter tool will automatically adjust it to match the sample text.

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Have trouble with alignment? Click here to learn about hanging indents.

 9. Word Calculator

 If you have something to calculate, you can do it without even leaving your document! Word has a built-in calculator for your convenience. Once you add it to your quick menu, it only takes a second to make a calculation.

To add the calculator:

  1. Click on the arrow beside your Quick Access Toolbar (top left corner).
  2. In the drop-down list, select ‘More Commands.’
  3. In the pop-up box, change ‘Popular Commands’ to ‘All Commands.’
  4. Search for Calculator → press Add → Ok.
  5. You will now see a circle symbol in the Quick Access Toolbar.

To use the calculator:

  1. On your document, type a sum you want to calculate (e.g. 450 – 231).
  2. Highlight the sum and press the calculator button.
  3. The response will appear in the bottom left corner of your page.

 10 Insert Object

You can embed other documents into your work, such as Excel, PDF or Word attachments.

This is handy if you want to give your reader the option to read additional information (without forcing them to scroll if they don’t). Or if your study assignments want you to include a copy of your first draft with the final product.

Insert Object

  1. Go to Insert tab → Object (in Text group) → Object.
  2. Select the second tab, ‘Create From File.’
  3. Press the ‘Browse’ button to locate the file you want to add.
  4. Tick the box ‘Display as Icon.’
  5. It will embed into your document and look like this:Attachment Example
  6. Readers simply double-click to open the document and read.

Note: if you tick ‘Link to File’ it will copy all the text into the body of your document.

11. Customise Grammar Rules

Instead of using Word’s default grammar checker, you can customise it to suit you. Use it to pick up on passive voice, plural errors, jargon and relative clauses (who vs which). And you can remove checks that you might find irrelevant to you.

To customise this:

  1. File → Options → Proofing.
  2. In the section ‘When correcting spelling and grammar in Word’, press the Settings button.
  3. In the ‘Writing Style’ drop-down list, select ‘Grammar & Refinement.’
  4. Tick the grammar options you want Microsoft to check and untick the ones you don’t.
  5. Press Ok.

Customise grammar

12. Content Readability

 Knowing how readable your document is can be very handy. It helps you:

  • write to your specific target audience
  • establish any reading difficulty levels
  • cut unnecessary words and sentences
  • decrease the risk of losing readership
  • improve analytics and SEO rankings

The Flesch Reading Ease calculates how easy the writing is to understand. It works on the average number of syllables per word and the average number of words per sentence. The higher the score, the easier to read.

Once you have the readability statistics activated, go to Review tab → Check Document.

Microsoft will run through the usual spelling and grammar check. Once it’s completed, it will display your readability statistics.

Click here for more on readability statistics & other tips.

Ribbon Add-ons

If you have sections in your document you don’t want everyone to read, you can actually hide the text. The process is surprisingly simple:

If you can’t find any of these tools in your top ribbon, you can easily add them on. Customise the ribbon with the tools and functions that suit you.

  1. Go to File → Options → Customize Ribbon.
  2. Under the right list (Main Tabs), press the ‘New Tab’ button.
  3. If you right-click you have the option to rename the new tab.
  4. Scroll through the list on the left (Popular Commands) to find new commands.
  5. Select what you want and press the ‘Add’ button → Ok.
  6. A new tab will appear in your top ribbon with your added commands.

Add new tabs

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Microsoft Excel, Other software, Products

FEEL CONFIDENT WITH GRAMMARLY – FREE ONLINE GRAMMAR CHECK

Grammarly Product Review Summary
*Note: current prices may be subject to change.

What is Grammarly?

Grammarly is a free writing assistant that you can add to browser extensions, or download a Desktop app. It automatically detects issues like grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes in your writing.

Whether you’re writing a document, email or social media post, Grammarly can assist you. It’s even possible to add to Microsoft Office.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YIpF1hlwm8&w=560&h=315]

The software was released in July 2009 in San Francisco and is now used by over 20-million people. What makes this writing tool stand out, is that it’s more than a grammar aid. It helps with writing style and tone, wordiness, vocabulary enhancement, contextual issues, plagiarism checks and more.

Grammarly offers advice for casual writing, business writing, creative writing, technical writing, academic writing and general writing. With this software, you can confidently write and post online knowing your work is clear and mistake-free.

Features

  • Grammar, spelling & punctuation checks
  • Grammar rule explanations
  • Performance statistics
  • Vocabulary suggestions
  • Word definitions
  • Detects style and tones
  • Easy-to-use extensions and apps
  • Can integrate with Microsoft Office
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Personal dictionary
  • Checks repetitive words
  • Checks weak adjectives
  • Checks wordiness & readability
  • Can use on various devices
  • Goal setting for relevant suggestions
  • Can choose America, British, Australian or Canadian spelling
  • Updated with some slang and word abbreviations

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission through purchases made on this site. This is at no extra cost to you; it simply keeps the site running. Click here to read more in the affiliate disclosure.

How to Use Grammarly

Once you sign up for a free account, you can start using Grammarly within minutes. The software is extremely user-friendly and readily available.

As you write (e.g. online post or blog) Grammarly will mark any errors in red. You can correct them with just one click of your mouse. You’re also given the option to add any words to your personal dictionary.

It can indicate the tone of your text, provide performance stats and more.

Tone detector

Performance Statistics

Who is it for?

Grammarly is ideal for work, academic and personal use. Suitable for business workers, writers, bloggers, students, teachers, freelancers, marketers and more. Everyone can benefit using Grammarly.

Does it Cost?

Grammarly offers a free plan and a premium plan.

Free Plan

This plan is a fantastic way to familiarise with the software. You get a free browser extension and an online text editor you can use with email, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, blogs, and more.

Grammarly will check grammar, spelling, conciseness, clarity, tone, performance and provide you with a personal dictionary to add words to. You can choose to view definitions and synonyms on any particular word.

You can also set goals so Grammarly can make helpful suggestions (e.g. what target audience you’re writing for, the style, emotion and intent of your writing, etc).

You will have access to Grammarly Facebook and Twitter community, an online grammar handbook, and Grammarly blogs for daily tips.

>>Download Grammarly FREE today<<

Premium Plan

A premium plan will give you access to all of Grammarly’s functions. The pricing is affordable and offers super value for the services you receive.

It provides the same as the free plan plus it runs over 400 checks, including sentence structures and advanced punctuation. It helps with source citation for research papers and detects plagiarism (checks over 16 billion web pages).

It can adapt to different writing genres and provide weekly statistics. You can also integrate it with Microsoft Word and Outlook. Here is a full list of the premium plan’s inclusions:

Grammarly Premium Features

Grammarly statistics indicate that premium users correct twice as many mistakes, see improved writing grades and find writing more enjoyable.

Premium pricing:

Grammarly premium pricing
*Note: current prices may be subject to change.

>>Download Grammarly Premium Today<<

And there’s a Grammarly Business option to cater for entire business teams. This includes monitoring tools, hundreds of checks and features, centralized billing and 24/7 support. Visit Grammarly to find out more.

Grammarly Pros

User-Friendly

This software is accurate, reliable and very simple to use. It checks errors in real-time, catching typos and spelling mistakes before you post or email. It’s very easy to understand and operate.

Excellent Functions

Grammarly has many great functions, including 400+ checks, language preferences, essay assistance, and more. It can also identify words used in the wrong context (e.g. whether/weather) which makes a significant difference.

Using all these functions will give you the best chance of producing work to the highest standard.

Customisation

With Grammarly you can choose which websites you want to use it on; set your language preference and more.

If you often use brand names/words/slang that Grammarly doesn’t recognize, you can ‘Add to Dictionary’. This prevents Grammarly from constantly highlighting it as an error.

Improves Writing Skills

Grammarly is known to strengthen your writing. It provides plenty of insights, performance statistics and helps you learn common errors. It can assist with structure, tone and intent, based on your goals.

Grammarly Cons

Still Testing on Google Docs

Grammarly is in the process of extending its services. It’s currently beta-testing for Google Docs, so it doesn’t include Grammarly Premium corrections. However, I can still use the editor to make immediate corrections without any problems.

Free Plan is Limited

If you need advanced editing tools, then you may find the free plan restrictive. Premium offers far more functions, including integration with Microsoft Office. The free plan is sufficient for people wanting day-to-day grammar checks.

Doesn’t Pick up on Everything

Grammarly is an automated system, so it doesn’t pick up on everything, i.e. certain slang and acronyms. You need to add them individually to your dictionary.

See What Customers are Saying…

Testimonials

Download free today & see why millions of people use it to enhance their work!

How do I access it?

Firstly, you need to sign up to a free account. Then you get a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Edge, or Firefox.

You can access the Chrome extension straight from the Grammarly site. Or go to your preferred store (e.g. Chrome Store), search  ‘Grammarly browser extension’ and download.

>>Download Grammarly FREE today<<

To download the phone app, go to Play Store for Android, or the App Store for iOS devices.

Premium users can get instructions from Grammarly on how to add to Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Feedback and Support

If you’re still unsure, rest assured that Grammarly has a support team available 24/7. Their goal is to respond to email support issues with eight-hours.

They also have an extensive Help Centre and FAQ section for common issues and questions, and blogs with tips and advice. Or you can contact them via social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Improve Your Work the Easy Way

Whether you’re using Grammarly for work, personal or academic, it can vastly improve your writing and grammar skills. With over 20-million active users, Grammarly has a high customer satisfaction rate.

I’ve loved using this software (both free plan and premium) and highly recommend it.

Grammarly Product Review Final Verdict
Grammar Check

Microsoft Word

QUICK TIP: HOW TO ADD CHECK BOXES IN WORD

What Are Check Boxes?

They’re boxes you can display on your document to indicate responses to questions/statements. The user has the option to tick which box best represents their response. They can be used for simple ‘Yes’ ‘No’ answers or a number of different choices.

For example:

Do you live in Australia?

☐ Yes                ☐ No

Select your subscription preference:

☐ Send me monthly newsletters

☐ Include me on weekly insight emails

☒ Subscribe me to everything

☐ Unsubscribe me

Advantages of Check Boxes

The problem with today’s technology is we’re bombarded with competing information, ads, and banners. Our concentration span has decreased, and our time is more limited.

With forms, people respond better to check boxes and multiple-choice rather than open-ended questions. Other advantages are:

  • less time consuming to complete
  • can give you more accurate answers than vague open-ended responses
  • cuts down the number of text boxes for open-ended questions
  • you can create an unlimited number of responses
  • eliminates problems trying to read illegible handwriting
  • makes the document more scannable and inviting to participate

Open-Ended Questions Vs Check Boxes:

Open Ended Questions vs Check Boxes

How to Add Check Boxes in Word 

There are three methods, depending on the purpose of your document.

Method 1: Insert Symbol

This method is for visual purposes only (e.g. print outs). If you want a check box that a person can tick electronically, see method 3.

1. Place your cursor where you want a check box

2. Insert tab → Symbol → More symbols

Insert symbol

3. In the Font drop-down list, select ‘Wingdings’

Symbols

4. In this list, you can select:

An empty box symbol

Empty check box

Or a box with a tick (or cross)

Ticked checkbox

5. You can change the size of the box by adjusting the font size.

Font size

This icon will remain in the Symbol quick menu for future use.

Too strapped for time? Subscribe for video tutorials

Method 2: Define New Bullet

Visual purposes only (e.g. print outs). For an electronic check box, see method 3.

  1. Place your cursor where you want a check box.
  2. Click on bullet drop-down arrow (in Paragraph group).
  3. Define new bullet → Symbol

Define new bullet

4. Select the box symbol → Ok

New bullet symbol

It will now show on your bullets list for future use.

Method 3: Developer Tab 

You can add electronic check boxes using the Developer tab. This allows someone to tick the box onscreen.

To add the Developer tab:

File tab → Options → Customize Ribbon → Develop tab (from Main Tabs list).

How to access developer tab

1. The Developer tab will appear in the top ribbon next to View Tab.

2. In the Controls group, click on the ‘Check Box Content Control’ button.

Check box content control

This symbol will appear:

If you click on it with your mouse, it will mark the box with an X.

You can change the size of the box by adjusting the font size.

 

[wpvideo ZQdtr2Qb]

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Products

TOP 10 OFFICE ERGONOMIC PRODUCTS FOR YOUR SAFETY

Work can involve mental stress, but have you considered the stress it takes on the body? Having an office job can take its toll too.

Sitting for long periods in the same position can cause all kinds of chronic issues. We’re designed to move around to keep our heart and organs functioning properly.

Bad posture, repeated movements, and awkward wrist/hand positions can cause Musculoskeletal disorder. This can affect your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Ergonomics is important because it helps combat this.

By improving your work environment, you can reduce pain and discomfort, boost productivity and overall quality of work. Employers will reduce costs with fewer injuries and compensation claims, and absenteeism.

Most importantly, you could save yourself from long-term health issues.

Safety Risks

Ergonomics can reduce:

  • fatigue
  • trip hazards
  • eyestrain
  • headaches
  • sore neck, back, hands, wrists, arms, legs, and feet

… and just think of the money you’ll save on massage therapy!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission through purchases made. This keeps the site up and running. Click here to read more of the affiliate disclosure.

Top 10 Office Ergonomic Products

Here, we’ve put together a list of ergonomic products to improve your comfort and wellbeing.

1. Gimars Soft Gel Memory Foam Set – Mouse Pad & Wrist Support

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $16.43*

Size: 17.4 x 9.3 x 2.5 inches, weight 10.4 ounces

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents straining the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders.

Save your wrists from strain and the risk of Carpal Tunnel syndrome. This product provides great support to your hands and wrists while typing and using your mouse.

It’s padded with soft memory foam to add to your comfort. The base is made of non-skid rubber to prevent any sliding movements.

The keyboard wrist pad improves posture and takes the pressure off your elbows and shoulders. Instead of slumped on a desk, your hands are cushioned and raised. The mouse pad is size large and supports the base of your hand.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Keeps your hands level rather than an upward position
  • Keyboard wrist pad fits most computers, notebooks or mouse
  • Pads designed with grooves to fit your hands securely
  • Non-skid rubber base
  • Ideal for long hours of use

View it on Amazon

2. HOKEKI Foam Footrest

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $18.97*

Size: 17.3 x 11.5 x 4.9 inches, weight 13.3 ounces

*price may be subject to change.

Relieves sore feet and legs and prevents backache.

This design is simple yet highly effective. Resting your feet reduces soreness in your soles, ankles, legs, back, right up to your neck. And it improves your overall blood circulation.

This footrest has velvet material with massage beads that prevent slipping. The cushion is made of 30D high-density sponge that doesn’t sink.

Having a footrest can make you feel more comfortable in the office environment. It also promotes relaxation in the home.

This footrest boasts versatility – you can also take it on long trips by bus, rail or plane. Use it to rest your feet sitting up; prop your feet lying down; support under the knees lying down. You can even turn it upside-down and it becomes a rocker.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can use on the feet, legs or lap
  • Made of high-density sponge
  • Non-slip on any surface, floor or carpet
  • Removable cover, easy to clean
  • Comfortable design, not too high or too short

View it on Amazon

3. VicTsing 2.4G Wireless Mouse

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $9.99*

Size: 4.3 x 3 x 1.9 inches, weight 2.4 ounces

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents straining the hand, wrist, and arm.

This Wireless Mouse is an excellent choice for ergonomic and practical use.

It’s symmetrically designed to keep your hand comfortable after hours of use. Its height and shape fits either palm snugly. It’s made with super-soft rubber padding on either side, so your hand experiences a relaxing touch. It’s also sweat-proof, anti-slip and fingerprint resistant.

The 2.4G wireless technology gives you a stable transmission in distances up to 50 feet. It has a long battery life and goes into a power-saving mode if not used for over eight minutes.

It has a modern stylish look to compliment your device. The design includes a standard left/right button and scroll wheel. But it also has a page up/page down button and DPI Switch button. The DPI switch allows you to change the cursor speed, depending on your chosen activity.

This mouse works with most systems such as Windows, Mac, and fits PC, laptop, MacBook and other devices.

Key Features:

  • Stylish design
  • Comfortable contoured shape
  • Adjustable DPI(2400/2000/1600/1200/800)
  • Wireless technology and works long distances
  • Prevents wrist strain
  • High performance

View it on Amazon

4. Gamma Ray Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: *Starting from $17.99+

Size: Lens width 53mm.

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents digital eye strain.

One of the problems with modern technology is we’re surrounded by blue light. These Gamma Ray glasses are equipped with anti-blue ray lenses to help protect your eyes.

If you do a lot of reading on your computer, tablet or work under fluorescent lights then you’ll want to consider these glasses.

Blue light is emitted from most digital screens and can cause harmful eye damage. Using these glasses will prevent strain, visual fatigue, and sensitivity to glare. The computer reading magnification depends on how far you are from the screen you are viewing.

The nylon frames are a stylish design, both durable and lightweight. They’re also RX-compatible so you can fit the frame with your own prescription.

Key Features:

  • Non-polarized
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Nylon frame and amber-tinted lenses
  • UV400 protection and glare reduction

View it on Amazon

5. DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: * Starting from $119.98

Size: 27 x 19 x 8 inches, weight 18.45 pounds

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents backache, sore knees, shins, backside, and bad posture.

Put an end to hunching over your desk for endless hours. This ergonomic chair is specifically designed to improve your posture and comfort.

It’s equipped with a nice comfortable seat that tilts at 90-degrees to keep your back upright. This distributes your weight evenly, keeping your spine aligned. It’s also great for the abs!

The height is easily adjustable, and it supports up to 250 pounds. It also has wheels so you can move about the office or lock them in place.

The ergonomic kneeling chair will help you work productively for longer periods.

Key Features:

  • Angled three-inch cushion seat
  • 4 lockable caster wheels
  • Strong metal base
  • Sleek black design
  • Height adjustable from 21 – 28 inches

View it on Amazon

6. OFM Bonded Leather Chair

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price:  $107.34*

Size: 30.5 x 28.2 x 48.2 inches, weight 16 pounds

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents aching arms, legs, neck and supports the spine.

This ergonomic swivel chair is perfect for office workers and gamers alike.

It’s ergonomically friendly with molded padding throughout, including a cushioned headrest to support the neck. The high back supports the spine, the height is adjustable, and the arms can flip up and down for various positions.

The seat reclines and the chair swivels 360-degrees, reducing the risk of stretching wrong.

This type of heavy-duty chair is built to last. It’s made with premium leather and mesh to keep it cool. Whether you’re using it for intense sessions or long workdays, this chair provides luxury, comfort, and safety.

Key Features:

  • Stylish Design
  • Ergonomic adjustments
  • Flip-up arms
  • Tilt control
  • Lumbar support
  • Integrated headrest
  • Wheel base

View it on Amazon

7. SOFTaCARE Coccyx Orthopedic Lumbar Support Seat Cushion

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $41.91*

Size: 17.3 x 13.1 x 5.8 inches, weight 2.55 pounds

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents back pain, sore loins, tailbone, fatigue and improves posture.

Sit comfortably without pain or awkward posture. This lumbar support cushion set is a great addition to an existing chair. Made of soft memory foam, it’s shaped to fit the curve of your body.

The back-support pillow has adjustable straps to keep it in place. The center is made of 3D ventilating mesh to prevent overheating.

The soft seat has a rubber base to prevent slipping. And it has a cutaway tailbone section to relieve pressure.

Unlike other products, this includes a pocket to store your phone and a built-in handle for easy carrying. You can use it on your office chair, car seat, airplane seat and more. With this cushion set, you get both orthopedic support and great comfort.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA5Y1AMbPG8&w=560&h=315]

Key Features:

  • Set of two pieces
  • Easily transportable
  • Relieves pressure on your spine, back discs, and tailbone
  • High-density premium memory foam
  • 3D breathable mesh
  • Adjustable straps and phone storage

View it on Amazon

8. Aloudy Memory Foam Armrest Pads

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $17.99*

Size: 9.3 x 6.7 x 2.9 inches, weight 8.8 pounds

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents aching forearms and elbows.

Why put up with cold hard plastic poking at your elbows? If you already have a chair that lacks padding, consider these armrest pads. Made of soft memory foam, they could be mistaken for pillows.

They relieve pressure from your arms up to your elbows. Sweat free and made of Polyester, they are a simple solution to ergonomics and covering old surface damage.

The bottoms have an elastic opening for a secure fit. Just stretch them over your existing armrests and easily remove to wash.

Key Features:

  • Professional upholstered look
  • One set of left and right pieces
  • 5-inch thick padding
  • Pads stretch around most factory chairs (6 – 11 inches long, 5 inches wide)
  • Memory foam molds your arm to relieve pressure points
  • Easy to use (elastic and zip)
  • Cheaper than buying a new chair

View it on Amazon

9. TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with USB Port

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $39.99*

Size: 17.5 x 26 x 7.2 inches, weight 2.45 pounds

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents eye strain and fatigue.

Get the latest in lighting with this sleek affordable smart lamp. It’s touch-sensitive, having no need for switches.

This particular light is a great aid for your eyes. You can customise the illumination with 5 different colour modes and brightness levels (3000K – 6000K cct). So, you can easily adjust your lighting to different times of the day. And its memory function will store your preferred settings.

It’s designed to reflect the light sideways to reduce glare. The flexible stand rotates 135-degrees, so you can adjust it to your environment. The LED light is flicker-free to protect your eyes, and energy-efficient.

Added for your convenience is a USB port so you can charge while you work. This stylish lamp ticks all the boxes and comes with a one-year warranty.

Key Features:

  • Touch-sensitive design
  • Elegant modern look
  • Energy-efficient LED
  • Memory function for your perfect settings
  • Built-in USB port
  • 25 light modes with different brightness levels

View it on Amazon

10. Heavy Duty Carpet Chair Mat

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

Price: $49.99*

Size: 48 x 36 x 0.8 inches, weight 8 pounds

*price may be subject to change.

Prevents ankle and leg strain, and trip hazards.

You might wonder what’s the point of a floor mat? Firstly, it provides ergonomic support with the chair maneuverability. A chair catching on the carpet can cause unnecessary stretching/straining. Secondly, it can save your floor from chair damage and wear and tear.

This product boasts the thickest chair mat in the market. It measures 1/8 of an inch thick with a firm surface. The studded underside ensures a firm grip to hold the mat in place. It’s designed so the wheels don’t sink or leave indentations, and the corners stay flat.

This mat is 100% pure polycarbonate, free from volatile toxins. It has a transparent look, so it blends nicely with your floor.

Key Features:

  • Heavy duty
  • Guaranteed not to break, crack, scratch or curl
  • Highly transparent
  • Secure grip backing
  • Environmentally friendly

View it on Amazon

Or check out the Avantree Laptop table → Use it as a portable stand-up desk and improve your posture! 

>>View full product review here<<

Your Wellbeing Matters

Work is just as much about your health as it is your productivity. It’s important to work in a comfortable environment. Good ergonomics reduces pain and boosts morale, promoting a safety-conscious culture. With these premium products, you’re investing in your wellbeing.

Top 10 Ergonomic Products for Your Safety

Uncategorized

2 SUPER EASY WAYS TO COMBINE TEXT & IMAGE EFFECTS

Combining images with typography can be fun and effective. Learn how to spice up your text in Photoshop using these two simple methods. Play around with colours and effects to make it exactly as you wish:

Combine Text with a Face Portrait

With this design, you can use typography to portray part of your image.

1. Open an image of a face (one with a dark background is best).

2. Add a new layer.

Create new layer

3. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a box over half the face (e.g. the left side).

Marquee Tool Use Marquee Tool

4. Click on the Paint Bucket tool and fill in the Marquee shape with a colour.

Paint Tool

5. Add a new layer and select the Text tool.

Text Tool

6. Pick a nice thick font and a visible text colour.

7. Type text running down the left side of the face. You can use the Character tool to reduce the space between letters.

Character tool

Type text

8. To readjust the size and positioning of text, press Ctrl+T for the Free Transform tool.

9. In the text layer, hold down the Ctrl key and press the T icon. This will select the text on the image.

Ctrl+T select text

10. Uncheck the eye icon on the text layer. This will make the text transparent.

Make text transparent

11. Click on layer 2 and press delete. This will reveal the image underneath the text.

Blend text layer

12. Go to Select → Deselect (or Ctrl+D).

13. Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl+T) to make any final size adjustments.

Optional

14. If you want to change the colour of the Marquee box:

Press fx or right-click on layer 2 → Blending Options → Colour Overlay → click on the shaded box and experiment with your colours.

Color Overlay

15. Then you can adjust the image tint to blend with your foreground colour:

Select Background Image layer → Adjustments tab → Hue/Saturation → tick the box ‘Colorize’ → play with the hue to get a coloured tint like the colour of your Marquee box.

(See video for detailed instruction)

Face Portrait

Blend Image into Text 

With this design, you can fill your text with an image.

1. Change your background layer to your preferred colour.

2. Add a new layer and type your text.

Type text

3. Add another layer → File → Place → select your saved image.

Place Image

Set image.jpg

4. While on the image layer, press Ctrl+Alt+G to wrap the image into the text.

Ctrl+Alt+G

5. Using the arrow tool, you can adjust the image to fit within the text however you want.

6. Press fx or right-click on text layer → Blending Options. Here you can add effects to give more depth to your text, like Bevel & Emboss and drop shadow.

Blending Options

7. If you want to change your text, make sure you’re on the text layer. Select the text tool and simply retype.

End Result

(See video for detailed instruction)

Microsoft Excel

QUICK TIP: HOW TO PROTECT CELLS IN EXCEL

After spending hours preparing a complex spreadsheet, the last thing you want is your formulas or layout tampered with. Accidents can happen, particularly when there are many fingers in the pie.

Stay confident by learning how to protect cells in Excel:

  • Lock cells
  • Allow edit ranges
  • Set up passwords
  • Protect entire workbooks

How to Protect Cells in Excel

Lock Cells

1. Select the entire worksheet.

2. Home tab → Format Cells (via 1. font group, 2. alignment group or 3. Format drop-down list).

Format Cells

3. Go to Protection tab → untick ‘Locked’ → Ok.

Protection Tab - untick locked

4. Select the cells you want to lock.

5. Go back to Format Cells/Protection tab and tick ‘Locked.’

6. Go to Review tab → Protect Sheet.

7. You’re given a variety of restriction options (or you can stick with pre-selected 2).

Protect sheet

8. There is an option to create a password → Create password and confirm.

9. If anyone tries to alter the locked cells, they will be prompted with the message below. The other cells will still be accessible to edit.

Protected cell warning

To remove: go to Review tab → Unprotect Sheet.

Password options: if you don’t want a password, just leave it blank and press Ok. This means anyone can edit the cells by pressing ‘Unprotect Sheet.’

Allow Edit Ranges

This allows a user to unlock certain cells on a protected worksheet. Rather than unprotecting the entire worksheet, the user can alter specific cells using a password.

1. Firstly, make sure your worksheet is currently unprotected (check via ‘Unprotect Sheet’ button).

2. Select the range of cells you want to allow for editing.

3. Go to Review tab → Allow Edit Ranges.

4. Your selected range should appear in the white box. Otherwise, press ‘New’, click on the ‘Refers to Cells’ box and select your cells on the worksheet. The fixed formula should appear in this box.

Allow Edit Ranges

5. You can create a password, or leave blank to allow anyone to edit this range.

6. You can give some users permission to edit without a password by clicking the ‘Permissions’ button and adding their username (optional).

7. To add more ranges, repeat steps 4 and 5.

8. Click the ‘Protect sheet’ button → Ok.

Tip: you can also alter passwords in this box via the ‘Modify’ button.

Protect Entire Workbook

To protect the workbook structure:

1. Go to Review tab → Protect Workbook.

2. You’re given the option to set a password, leave blank if you don’t want to → Ok.

Protect Workbook password option

3. If you right-click on the worksheet tab, the options to modify (insert, delete, rename) are now inaccessible.

>>Click here to learn more about Excel tabs<<

You can also confirm protection status in the Review tab (‘Protect Workbook’ is highlighted). Or in File/Info (‘Protect Workbook’ is highlighted).

Protect Workbook activated

Password Protect Entire Workbook

1. File → Save As.

2. Type in a file name.

3. Click on ‘More Options’ → Tools → General Options.

Save As Tools

General Options

4. Create a file-sharing password and confirm. There’s also the option to recommend ‘Read Only’ → Save.

5. Users will be prompted for the password every time the file is opened. If you select ‘Read Only’ option, it will encourage users to open in that mode unless they need to make changes.

Protect Your Work

It’s worth it to take a few minutes to learn these functions. Protecting your spreadsheets can save you potential frustration and hours of rework from accidental edits.

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Products

BEST LAPTOP COMPUTER BAGS 2019 – STYLISH BACKPACKS & CASES

Having the right laptop bag is essential. You want something stylish that offers protection, feels comfortable and practical for your needs.

With all our devices and accessories these days, a bag goes beyond just holding a laptop. It can be your all-in-one office with everything at your fingertips. Storage capacity and security are crucial.

Here is a guide to the best laptop computer bags, both fashionable and practical. Whether you’re looking for a backpack, shoulder bag or briefcase, there is something to suit everyone.

How to Pick a Suitable Laptop Bag

The style of bag you choose depends on whether you want it for business, travel, school or something else. Or you can choose something multi-purpose.

Work within your budget and consider these factors:

  1. Size and weight.
  2. Main purpose you’ll be using it for?
  3. Are you planning to upgrade the computer size in the future?
  4. Is the bag weatherproof?
  5. Will you require accessories like wheels and USB ports?
  6. Does it have hidden pockets, lockable zippers or any other security features?
  7. Do you need to store a lot of accessories? You should always go for a bag with at least two compartments. Also, look for multiple pockets and sturdy zippers.
  8. Check the warranty.

Some of these links are affiliate links. If you decide to use them, I may receive a small commission through purchases made. This is at no extra cost to you.  Click here to read more of the affiliate disclosure. Thanks for supporting the site.

Best Laptop Computer Bags

Here’s a comprehensive list of stylish, affordable bags; practical for your daily travels:

1. Matein Business Travel Laptop backpack 

Matein Business Travel Laptop Backpack Features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Separate laptop compartment
  • Built-in USB charger and cable
  • Ventilated back padding to promote airflow
  • Water-resistant, made of Polyester Fabric
  • Dimensions 18x12x7.8 inches, weight 1.56 pounds
  • Fits laptops 15.6-inches and under

As one of Amazon’s best-selling bags, it’s easy to see why. This bag has a spacious design allowing for plenty of storage. The front pocket has many pockets making it easier to organise your accessories for quick access.

Its USB port design makes it convenient to charge your phone while on the move.

It’s fitted with a strap so you can slide it securely over your suitcase handle for easy carrying.

There’s also a hidden anti-theft pocket on the back; great for storing money, passports or any other valuables. Its position against your back protects from threats like pickpockets.

Can use it as a laptop bag, travel backpack or school bag.

DESIGN:

  • Separate Laptop compartment with secure strap
  • Large main compartment for headset, books, magazines, cameras, etc.
  • Front organiser compartment for phones, pens, keys, glasses and other accessories
  • Side pockets to fit a water bottle or compact umbrella
  • Back pocket for wallets, phones, passports, etc.
  • Lockable metal zippers
  • Thick padding on back and shoulder straps and grab handles
  • Comes in various colours

PRICE: $31.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

2. Coolbell Convertible Laptop Shoulder Bag


Coolbell Convertible Laptop Shoulder Bag Features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Lightweight design
  • Can use bag in three different styles
  • Includes roomy clothes compartment
  • Dimensions 18.8×5.1×13.7 inches, weight 2.65 pounds
  • Fits laptops up to 17.3-inches

What makes this bag stand out is its versatility.

You can change your bag style to suit your purpose. Use a single strap for a shoulder bag or remove it and carry it by the handle. And there are straps tucked in the back of the bag you can take out to convert it to a backpack.

The laptop compartment has a Telescopic belt for more protection for your device. It also comes with an extra-wide belt to slip over your luggage handle.

Can use it as a shoulder bag, backpack or messenger bag for business, travel, and school.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EKmklJpgxA&w=560&h=315]
DESIGN:

  • Four outside pockets for accessories
  • Large laptop compartment
  • Clothes compartment
  • Adjustable straps and grab handle
  • Back compartment to store straps
  • 8-inch luggage belt
  • Comes in various colours

PRICE: $49.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

3.      KROSER Stylish Laptop Backpack


KROSER Stylish Laptop Backpack Features

KEY FEATURES:

  • USB port
  • Backpack design
  • Water-resistant
  • 1-year warranty
  • Dimensions 16.9×11.15×7.5 inches, weight 1.85 pounds
  • Fits laptops 15.6 inches or less

This bag offers a chic design with practicality to boot. It’s made of leather/nylon with fashionable black leather handles and straps and gold zippers.

Its aqua interior has multi-compartments and a steel frame with padding to ensure your computer’s protection.

It has the convenience of a built-in USB port to charge your phone on the go (power bank not included).

This too comes with a luggage strap to fit over your luggage trolley while travelling. This bag has a very good customer satisfaction rating for a reason.

Can use it as a laptop bag, travel backpack or school bag.

DESIGN:

  • Padded laptop compartment, roomy enough for clothes and books
  • Several front functional pockets for accessories, phone, pens, and keys
  • Two mesh side pockets for water bottle and umbrella
  • Padded back with shoulder straps
  • Luggage strap
  • Colour: black

PRICE: $33.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

4. DHK Vintage Leather Laptop Briefcase


DHK Vintage Leather Laptop Briefcase Features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Shoulder bag design
  • Made of genuine leather
  • Dimensions 18x13x5 inches, weight 2.2 pounds
  • Fits laptops 17 inches or less

This bag is luxurious to the eyes and touch with a vintage design. Made of genuine leather, its suitable for both men and women.

It has an adjustable shoulder strap and pad, making it a great messenger bag. It also comes with a top carry handle for your convenience.

Many customers compliment this bag for its character and various pockets and pouches.

Can use it as a shoulder/messenger bag/briefcase for business or casual.

DESIGN:

  • Three outer pockets that fit an iPad and accessories
  • Large laptop compartment
  • Two other compartments to store files
  • Interior zipper pocket
  • Adjustable strap and handle
  • Colour: dark brown

PRICE: $64.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

5. KROSER Premium Laptop Briefcase

KROSER Premium Laptop Briefcase Features
KEY FEATURES:

  • RFID anti-theft design
  • Water-resistant, made of canvas poly fabric
  • Four separate compartments with secure zippers
  • Expansion zipper for main compartment
  • Dimensions 18×12.8×7.5 inches, weight 2.88 pounds
  • Fits laptops 17.3 inches or less

If you’re after a shoulder bag with a more conventional look, this is the go. Rated Amazon’s choice, it’s easy to see why. It boasts three key features: storage, protection, and comfort.

It’s made of durable material with multi-functional compartments and metal fittings. It has an adjustable padded shoulder strap, which can also be removed. Plus, there are carry handles for your convenience.

Feel more secure with its RFID pockets. This function protects against the threat of RFID skimming (such as dates encoded on most IDs, credit cards and passports).

It also comes quite padded with an extension zipper so you can expand the space of the main compartment. This is great for adding more files or storing clothes while you travel.

Can use it as a shoulder/messenger bag/briefcase for business, travel or casual.

DESIGN:

  • Large laptop compartment with padded sleeve and Velcro strap, and two small pockets
  • Zipper front pockets for accessories
  • Back compartment for notebook and file folder
  • Hidden interior zipper pocket
  • Built-in RFID pockets with identity protection function
  • Adjustable strap and carry handle
  • Luggage strap
  • Colour: black

PRICE: $39.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

6. TANTO USB Laptop Tote Bag

 

TANTO USB Laptop Tote Bag Features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Elegant design
  • USB port
  • Water-resistant
  • Bonus mini purse
  • Dimensions 16.8×12.3×2 inches, weight 2.1 pounds
  • Fits laptops 15.6 inches or less

This is an excellent choice for a simple yet practical design. It may look thin but it’s surprisingly spacious. It can carry everything from your computer to accessories and makeup.

It contains two padded compartments with tons of dividers and a clip for your keys. It also has a built-in USB interface to charge your devices from a power bank inside (power bank not included).

Its stylish look is the perfect complement to any outfit, business or casual. And it comes with a matching portable purse where you can store your makeup or change. There are compartments for everything so no more hunting the bottom of your bag!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGlISj8XbpQ&w=560&h=315]

Customer reviews reflect the high-quality craftsmanship. This elegant bag is an affordable price, making it Amazon’s choice of work bags for women.

Can use it as a shoulder/messenger bag for business, travel or casual.

DESIGN:

  • Large padded laptop compartment
  • Two elastic pockets for bottles or umbrella
  • Front zipper pocket for iPad or accessories
  • Middle compartment for books, files or lunch boxes
  • Four mesh bags for computer accessories, headset, and cables
  • Five small lining pockets for power bank, phone, and cosmetics
  • Key hook, pen slots and three pockets for cards/passport
  • Adjustable straps
  • Detachable shoulder pad
  • Portable purse/pouch
  • Colour: grey, purple or black

PRICE: $29.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

 7. J WORLD New York Sunny Laptop Rolling Backpack

J WORLD Sunny Laptop Rolling Backpack Features
KEY FEATURES:

  • Rolling backpack with extendable handle
  • Night visual safety feature
  • Dimension 17x12x8.5 inches, weight 3.5 pounds
  • Fits laptops 16 inches or less

Why carry a case when you can roll it?

This is an ideal choice for travellers. It comes with wheels and an aluminium locking handle. It’s specifically designed to fit under aeroplane seats and overhead compartments. It has an added safety feature of reflective tape to increase your visibility at night-time.

Made from 100% polyester, it’s designed for comfort too. It has air mesh cushion padded shoulder straps. Though it claims to be water-resistant, many customers report otherwise.

Can use it as a laptop bag, travel backpack and a popular choice for a school bag.

DESIGN:

  • Plastic base with durable wheels
  • Rust-free T-shaped locking handle
  • Large laptop compartment
  • Two side mesh pockets
  • Front pocket organiser with pen holder
  • Key chain
  • Night visibility tape
  • Shoulder straps with secure slip-on system
  • Comes in various colours and patterns

PRICE: $49.99*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

8. Damask Rolling Computer Laptop Bag

Damask Rolling Computer Laptop Bag Features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Rolling backpack with extendable handle
  • Eye-catching design
  • Lightweight with protective padding
  • Deep storage
  • Dimension 13.5x7x17 inches, weight 6 pounds
  • Fits laptops 17 inches or less

This chic bag is certainly a head turner!

Its unique pattern is not just a fashion statement, it makes it easy to distinguish in the crowded airports. The extendable handle and skate wheels cater for smooth travel. The handle is telescopic, making it easy to lengthen and contract.

This computer case has plenty of space for your daily essentials too. The lid is lined with pockets and pouches, and the base is deep enough to fit some clothes.  It holds a lot but still fits under an aeroplane seat.

This bag costs a little more, but it proves its worth in practicality and classy design.

Can use it as a laptop bag/shoulder bag for business and travel.

DESIGN:

  • Deep padded laptop compartment
  • Two inner pouches to organise pens, notepads and computer accessories
  • Two front pockets for iPad, phone and other accessories
  • Adjustable/removable shoulder strap
  • Solid zippers and Velcro straps
  • Bottom stabilizer to prevent bag from toppling over
  • Stylish black and white pattern

PRICE: $74.95*

*Price may be subject to change.

View it on Amazon

On a budget?

Check out AmazonBasics 17.3-inch Laptop bag for only $16.99!

*Price may be subject to change.

Overall Recommendation

Here are our top picks from this list of laptop computer bags:

Best Backpack – Matein Business Travel Laptop backpack

Best shoulder bag – Kroser Premium Laptop Briefcase

BEST LAPTOP COMPUTER BAGS - STYLISH BACKPACKS & CASES

Microsoft Word

HOW TO USE PROOFING TOOLS MORE EFFECTIVELY – MS WORD

In the business world, your documents must be professional and free of glaring errors.

Whether you’re writing a report, resume, article or correspondence with customers, the same rules apply. It can make all the difference in landing a job, winning a client and scoring a sale.

Discover ways to use the proofing tools in Microsoft Word more effectively:

  • Correct spelling, grammar, clarity, and conciseness
  • Use the thesaurus
  • Use custom dictionary and custom autocorrect
  • Ignore web addresses
  • Change country spelling
  • Readability tests
  • Check jargon, complex words, passive invoice and more
  • Tricks to using Word Count

These tips make the editing process smoother and faster.

Spelling and Grammar

Using the Editor function ensures you don’t send out a document full of errors. It not only corrects misspelling; it also highlights grammatical errors, formats sentences and confirms clarity and conciseness.

To access the proofing tools, go to Review tab → Check Document.

PC Shortcut: F7

Proofing Tools

The bar at the bottom of the screen gives you a visual reminder of the editor. It displays the word count and a symbol to indicate when proofing errors exist. It also reveals what country spelling format it’s using.

Visual Editor Reminder

What do the Coloured Wavy Lines Mean?

No doubt you’ve seen wavy coloured lines appear under certain words as you type. This isn’t random, it’s the automatic spelling and grammar function.

  • Red line = misspelling
  • Green line = grammatical error
  • Blue line = inconsistent format

With this function, you can fix errors on the spot:

Right-click → spelling correction appears with options to ignore or add to the dictionary.

Correct Spelling

If you want to turn off this feature:

  1. File tab → Options → Proofing.
  2. Untick boxes such as:
  • ‘Check spelling as you type’
  • ‘Mark grammar errors as you type’

You can make further changes via the ‘Autocorrect Options’ button.

At the bottom of the proofing page, you can select whether to apply to one document or all future documents.

AutoCorrect Options

You can also access this via the settings in the ‘Check Document’ box.

How to Check Document

This is one of the most important proofing tools in MS Word.

  1. Review tab → Check Document.
  2. The editor box will appear on the right side of the screen.
  3. Editing is sorted into categories and subcategories:
  • Corrections (spelling, grammar, etc.)
  • Refinements clarity and conciseness

Check Document Editor

  1. You’re given suggested corrections and the option to ignore it or add to the dictionary. When you’ve made an action, it will take you to the next spelling/grammar error.

Ignore Spelling or Add to Dictionary

 Tricks to Using the Editor More Effectively

You can customize several functions to make the editing process faster and more convenient for your needs.

Ignore All

You might have a certain word throughout your document that the editor is picking up as an error, but you don’t want to change it (e.g. spelling of a person’s name). In this case, select ‘Ignore All’ to skip it for the entire document check.

Custom Dictionary

Spell check works off the main dictionary, but it also has a custom dictionary. If a certain word is not included in the main dictionary, the editor will highlight this word. In this case, select ‘Add to dictionary’ and the editor will no longer prompt you about the word.

Custom Autocorrect

You can custom AutoCorrect settings for words you write often and tend to misspell. To do this:

  1. Click on the settings icon at the bottom of the editor box (or go to File → Options → Proofing tab).
  2. AutoCorrect Options.
  3. Add your own custom words (e.g. the way you tend to misspell it) then the correct spelling you want to replace it with.

Custom AutoCorrect

 Eliminate Complex Words

 This command makes the editor check your document for overly complex words.

  1. Click on the settings icon at the bottom of the editor box (see image below).
  2. Click on the settings button ‘When Correcting Spelling & Grammar in Word.’
  3. In the list under ‘Clarity and Conciseness’ tick ‘complex words.’

Skip Jargon

Jargon and technical terms often show in the editor. It’s best to eliminate these so you don’t confuse readers and lose your audience. To do this, follow the same steps as above. In the list under ‘Clarity and Conciseness’ tick ‘jargon.’

Passive Voice

These days, a lot of writing calls for the active voice rather than the passive voice. This makes content more concise.

Example:

Passive – the light globe was changed by John.

Active – John changed the light globe.

To activate this, follow the same steps for complex words and jargon, but this time tick ‘Passive Voice’.

Proofing Settings

You can use these settings to check all sorts of things: slang, clichés, unnecessary commas, weak verbs, etc.

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Ignore Web Addresses

You can prevent the Editor from stopping at every URL/web address. To check this:

  1. Click on the settings icon at the bottom of the editor box (opens Proofing tab).
  2. Make sure ‘Ignore Internet and file addresses’ is ticked.

Ignore Internet and File Addresses

Change Country Spelling

You can add your own country spelling to the Language Preferences:

  1. File → Options → Language tab.
  2. Go to the ‘Add additional editing languages’ drop-down list and select your preferred language (e.g. English-Australia).
  3. This appears in the top box → click ‘Set as Default’ button.
  4. If you want to remove it, simply highlight it and press the ‘Remove’ button.

How to Change Language Spelling

Check Your Document’s Readability Statistics

Why do this? It helps determine how easy your document is to understand. You can check that your writing is suitable for your target audience. If it is too advanced, your readers might have trouble following and lose interest.

You can add a feature, so the Editor displays readability statistics:

Flesch Reading Ease test – rates text out of 100 points. The higher the score, the easier the document is to understand. 

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test – rates text on school grade levels. If it shows 7.0 then a seventh-grader can understand it.

To access this:

  1. File → Options → Proofing tab.
  2. Tick ‘Show Readability Statistics’ → Ok.Show Readability Statistics
  3. Run the spellcheck (Review → Check Document).
  4. When the Editor has run through the spelling and grammar, it will then display the readability statistics.

Readability Statistics

Find out more about Flesch-Kincaid readability tests here.

Thesaurus

You can use this tool to find words of the same meaning. It’s handy if you don’t want your document to sound repetitive, or you’re not sure of a definition, or simply want to expand your vocabulary.

To access this, go to Review tab → Thesaurus.

PC Shortcut: ctrl+shift+G

Thesaurus

Word Count

There are many advantages to using word count. You might be assigned a word limit for your essays, articles and business reports. Using this tool can prevent your document from being ‘too wordy.’ It helps your writing be more focused and concise, keeping the reader’s attention.

To access this, go to Review tab → Word Count.

You can also view the word count at the bottom of your screen (see image 2).

PC Shortcut: shift+F7

Word Count tool

Tricks to Using the Word Count

Count Words in a Specific Section

Select the section (e.g. a sentence) you want a word count for. If you want to do it for several paragraphs, hold down the ctrl key while you select. Click the ‘Word Count’ button and it will show you statistics for your selections rather than the whole document.

Note: the same method applies when counting words in a text box.

Include Words in Footnotes and Endnotes

To include these, press the ‘Word Count’ button and make sure the box ‘include textboxes, footnotes and endnotes’ is ticked.

Insert Word Count into Your Document

You can insert the word count statistics into your document if you wish.

  1. Insert tab → Quick Parts (in the Text group).
  2. Field→ from the list, select ‘NumWords.’.

Make Life Even Easier with Grammarly!

Be consistent with your spelling and grammar everywhere!

Grammarly is a proofreading tool for emails and messages, documents, projects, and social media. Use it to check your writing across the web.

>>Download Grammarly FREE today<<

It has a free and premium version, and it checks grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, conciseness, formality, plagiarism, sentence structure and more.

You can add Grammarly to Chrome for free and start using it right away.

Free & Quick Proofreading from Grammarly!

With this tool, you needn’t worry about errors in your email to the boss or letters to clients!


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