Recovering Unsaved Office Documents

Have you ever forgotten to save a document you were working on? Maybe you accidentally clicked the No button when prompted to save your spreadsheet on closing it? Lost power in the middle of working on an important presentation? Of course, we’ve all had something like this happen at some point….and most likely lost a lot of blood, sweat and tears recreating the work we had already done. (Man I HATE that!)

Well, the next time that happens you should know this handy trick for recovering unsaved Office documents. (Note that it’s not perfect but it has saved me hours of rework a few times.)

How It Works

Once you’ve realized you might have lost some unsaved work. Reopen Word, Excel, or Powerpoint and go to  File » Open then look for the Recent tab.


Scroll down to the bottom or the files list and click the Recover Unsaved Presentations button.

If you’ve got any unsaved documents you’ll see them and get a 2nd chance at saving them before they’re gone forever!

If the document has never been saved, it might have some weird name so don’t ignore it without opening it to see if it is what you’re looking for.


This little trick is based on the AutoRecover function so  don’t be surprised if  your recovered document doesn’t have everything you’ve already done.  Nothing you can do about that –other than remembering to save it in the first place! 😎



Intergrating Microsoft Office with Google Chrome

If your preferred web browser is Google Chrome, you probably already know that it integrates pretty seamlessly with other Google tools like Google Docs. But what if you are more of a Microsoft Office user than Google Docs?

Here is a Chrome extension from Microsoft that brings some nice integration with your Office documents.

As you can see, you’ll get one-click access to your Office files, whether they’re on your hard drive or in the cloud.

You can be up and running in now time. Here’s how:

  1.  Grab the Office Online extension from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Next type chrome://extensions into the address bar and scroll down until you see the listing for Office Online.
    NOTE: You can tie this to your Office 365 account, or if you don’t already have a Office Online/OneDrive account you can create one for free.
  3. If you want to upload documents to OneDrive from your hard drive using drag-and-drop, click the box that says “Allow access to file URLs.”


With this set up, dragging & dropping files into your Chrome browser will automatically upload them to Office Online for easy sharing & collaboration.

Also, when you run across Office document formats on a web page, such as Word documents or Powerpoint presentations, they will automatically open in Office Online instead of requiring you to download them, open the right Office app and then viewing them. PDF files will continue to open in Chrome’s native viewer.

Super Easy Way to Recover Unsaved Word Documents

Have you ever lost work when the power went our or your battery died unexpectedly? Most of us have felt that type of pain at one time or another. But did you know that if you’re working in Word when that happens or even if you’re in a hurry and accidently hit No when asked if you want to save, you can still get you stuff back?

You can and here’s how.

Let’s say you’ve just closed a document for whatever reason wit out saving your work.

  1. Your first step is to open a new, blank Word file and go to File » Info.
  2. Look for the Versions  button for the big square that has a drop-down that says Manage Versions.
  3. Click that and choose  ‘Recover unsaved documents’ and you’ll see a list of the unsaved files it can recover.

Recover Unsaved Documents

Bing, bang, zoom! And you’re back in business. While it might not be fool proof it could certainly save you a lot of time reworking things you’ve already done. This is a great little trick to keep up your sleeve! You’ll make friends for life of anyone you’re able to help out with this handy trick!

Quick & Easy Newspaper Style Columns in Word

Have you ever wondered how to get nice looking, space saving columns of text in Word? Well today is your day. Here are two simple ways to get the results you’re looking for.

Option 1: Tables

Putting your text and images inside the columns of a table is a super simple way to create tables. Many times this is all you need to design the columns you need in your document. Remember to turn off the borders and nobody will ever know there is a table hidden in there.

The layout for the document above was created by using “hidden” tables.

Here are a few items that might help you as you venture down this path:

3 Ways to Create Tables in Word & Which One is Best For You

Using Tables for Document Layout

Option 2: Columns

The columns feature in Word is the way to go if you want things to be a bit more dynamic and automatically adjust to your content.


  1. Select the text you want formatted in columns, or place your cursor where you want columns to begin.
  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Columns.
  3. Click More Columns.
  4. Click the number of columns that you want.
  5. In the Apply to list, click Selected text or This point forward.

Improve Your Writing With Grammarly

Would you like to get rid of dangling modifiers, wordy sentences and other unwanted writing bugaboos? How about saving time in the process? Sounds good right?!

You can easily do this for all of your writing with Grammarly, which can find and fix most common writing errors. It even catches over 250 advanced grammar errors that Microsoft Word doesn’t even check for!

It’s sorta like having your high school English teacher watching over your shoulder — but not nearly as creepy as that would be.

You can use Grammarly online, via the browser add-in or you can grab the free add-in for Microsoft Word and Outlook.

Go ahead and give it a try. You’re old English teacher will approve!

Do You Know What’s Hiding in Your Documents?

Most people who share electronic versions of their Microsoft Office documents don’t realize that there is often much more in those files than they think. There is a whole host of metadata that can be embedded in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files beyond just the words, numbers and images you normally see.  What kinds of things?

Office files can have hidden data and personal information such as:

  • Comments, revision marks from tracked changes, versions, and ink annotations
    This information can enable other people to see the names of people who worked on your document, comments from reviewers, and changes that were made to your document.
  • Document properties and personal information
    Document properties often include details about your document like author, subject, and title. Document properties also include information that is automatically maintained by Office programs, such as the name of the person who most recently saved a document and the date when a document was created. If you used specific features, your document might also contain additional kinds of personally identifiable information (PII), such as e-mail headers, send-for-review information, routing slips, and template names.
  • Hidden text Word documents can contain text that is formatted as hidden text.

So know that you know what might be in your documents, you’re probably wondering how you can get rid of it all. That’s where the Document Inspector comes in.

Document Inspector

If you plan to share an electronic copy of a Microsoft Office document with clients or colleagues, it is a good idea to review the document for hidden data or personal information that might be stored in the document itself which can reveal details about your organization or about the document itself that you might not want to share publicly.


How to clean hidden information from your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files

  1. Open the document that you want to inspect for hidden data and personal information.
  2. Click the File tab, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original document.

    IMPORTANT   It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original document, because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  3. In the copy of your original document, click the File tab, and then click Info.
  4. Under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then click Inspect Document.
  5. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected.
  6. Click Inspect.
  7. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.
  8. Click Remove All next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document.

For more details check out this support article from Microsoft.

3 Ways to Create Tables in Word & Which One is Best For You

There are a lot of ways you can use tables that will help you create better documents in Word. Tables are great for getting Word to put your content exactly where you want it.

To get an idea of what that looks like, check out this article: “Using Tables for Better Document Layout

Here are three different ways to create the right kind of table for what you need it to do.

Quick & Dirty Keyboard Shortcut

If just need a basic table and don’t want to spend a lot of time fumbling through menus to find the right commands I just use this handy auto-replace trick. Just start by typing a + followed by a series of – characters. Add another + for each of the columns you want and press enter after the last one to create your table without having to reach for your mouse.

Drawing a Table

When you need to go beyond the basics, you can Make Easy Work of Complex Layouts by drawing your table exactly the way you want it.

Convert Existing Tabbed Data

Personally, I don’t like working with tabbed columns of data when I can simply Convert Them Into a Table, which is MUCH easier to work with.

TIp of the Week #435

Keep Your Own Custom Templates in the PowerPoint Template Gallery

When you create a new presentation in PowerPoint 2013 you’re presented with a selection of featured design templates you can use. There are some decent options there but over time you may have found a few “go to” favorites or even come up with your own personal templates.


Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put the templates that you actually use in this convenient start-up gallery? Well, you can! And it is super easy.

How to Add Any Template to the PowerPoint New Presentation Gallery

1. Save your PowerPoint template file (.potx) to this folder on your hard drive:

C:\Users\<your username>\Documents\Custom Office Templates

[ Replace the  part with whatever your user name is on your PC ]

And that’s all there is to it…now any template files you save in this folder will appear on the Personal tab of that start-up gallery screen.


And the other cool thing about this is that it works the same way for Word and Excel templates.

 Tip of the Week #433

How to Highlight Text in PowerPoint

When you’re building your slides you should always try to reduce the number of bullet points and on-screen text. (You already knew that right?) Even with a minimal amount of text on your slides, there still may be times when you want to highlight a particular bit of text.

If you’re using PowerPoint 2013 you can take advantage of a cool text highlighting feature in Word. Here’s how it works:

1. Either create your text in Word or copy it from Powerpoint and paste it into Word.

2.  Select the text you want to highlight and look for the Highlight button on the Home tab.


3. Select which color highlighting you’d like to have and you’ll get something that looks like the text above.

4. Copy the highlighted text you’ve created in Word and jump over into PowerPoint 2013.

5. Now paste it onto your PowerPoint slide and bing, bang, zoom you’ve got some nice looking highlighted text for your slide.

Once you have it in PowerPoint you can easily edit it or copy and paste it to use it on other slides, etc. without any need to go back into Word.

NOTE: If you don’t see the highlighting after pasting it into PowerPoint, immediately look for the Paste Options… button and click the Keep Source Formatting option. 


Interested in even more ideas for emphasizing your slide text? Check out these great ideas from Jeannette Brooks – “7 Easy Ways to Emphasize Text“.

7ways to emphasize text

Tip of the Week #430

How to Embed Videos Into Microsoft Word Documents

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? Sometimes words alone just aren’t enough and a video is just what you need to get your point across.

For times like those why not just grab one of the zillions of videos already online and drop it into your document? Keep reading to see just how easy it is to add online videos that you can watch right in Word without having to leave the document.

Adding an Online Video to Your Word Document

Click Insert »  Online Video.

By default you can search for videos on Bing and you can add the option to search YouTube and others. Another option is to copy and paste the embed code from a site like YouTube, etc.


NOTE: If the Online Video button is grayed out, check to see if you’re in Compatibility Mode. You know you’re in Compatibility Mode if [Compatibility Mode] appears after the document name in the title bar at the top of the Word window. If so, convert the document by going to File » Info » Convert and then try again.

Searching For YouTube Videos

If you want to add videos from YouTube and you don’t see it as an option, click the YouTube button at the bottom of the Insert Video window. If you don’t see a YouTube icon, make sure you’re signed in to Office 2013. (You can get a free Office account if you don’t already have one.)

With the video in your document, anyone can simply click the play button to watch the video.

Word Video

You can use this trick for your PowerPoint presentations too. Check out this great post for all the nitty gritty on using YouTube videos in PowerPoint.

Tip of the Week #429