Use the Styles when formatting text in SharePoint

While reviewing the sites ​that were updated by the SPOCKs on Friday, I noticed a common theme, and that’s that formatting was somewhat inconsistent across the sites. Some had Times New Roman, others had larger text, others had incorrect leading.

If you are finding inconsistencies with your text on your page, I suggest you use the styles that are standard with your text boxes. SharePoint comes with a bunch of standard font styles including

  • Paragraph
  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Heading 3
  • Heading 4
  • Heading 1 Alternate
  • Heading 2 Alternate
  • Heading 3 Alternate
  • Heading 4 Alternate
  • Normal
  • Quote
  • Intense Quote
  • Emphasis
  • Intense Emphasis
  • Reference
  • Intense Reference
  • Accent 1
  • Accent 2

Between all of these styles, you should have enough variation while remaining consistent.

You can find these styles in the FORMAT TEXT tab at the top of the page.


Using Excel to generate a random number

o365-excelComputers are great at randomization, and if I need to randomly select something, I use Excel to help. Excel has a very handy formula called RANDBETWEEN.

The way to use it: type

=RANDBETWEEN(bottom, top)

The smallest integer value that the function will return.

The largest integer value that the function will return.

NOTE: If bottom is a greater than top, the RANDBETWEEN function will return #NUM! error.

You can compare 2 cells using

=RANDBETWEEN(cell1, cell2)
Result: a random number between the number in B2 and the number in B3

Or by using actual numbers, like
Result: a random number (between 1 and 22)

Result: random number   (between 100 and 200)

Result: #NUM!           (because bottom is greater than top)

And yes, it will return the lowest number as well as the largest number in the range.

Using Contact Groups in Outlook

The ability to create Contact Groups is probably one of my favorite features. If you are on a committee or work within a department, or just generally have a specific group of people to whom you regularly send emails, then you should be using Contact Groups in Outlook (or Google).

Using contact groups will make sure that everyone in your department or committee gets the same email and that you’re not needing to think about who your committee members are.

This feature saves you having to count the number of recipients, and obliviates that deer in the headlights look when you mention an email you distributed.

The only caveat is that you do have to keep your group updated when people join or leave your department, but those changes are hopefully few and far between, and given how many emails you send out on a regular basis, a very small burden to bear.

The magic of the middle mouse button!

The middle mouse button – also known as the scroll wheel – can help you in a couple of ways.

Most people know that you can scroll up and down a page, using the wheel on the mouse, but did you know, that if you click it, a whole new set of features abound.

Quick Scroll

Clicking your middle mouse button in most windows will give you a quick-scroll image and moving the mouse up and down will scroll quite a bit faster than if you moved the scroll wheel with your finger.

In your browser

In your browser, if you click the middle mouse button in the “new tab slot” you create a new tab. (Left clicking will do that too).

In an open tab however, if you click the middle mouse button, it closes the tab without you needing to hunt for the little X.

Task bar

Open and close instances of your applications quickly by using the middle mouse button.

You can also accomplish opening a new instance of an application by right-clicking on the application, and then clicking on the name of the application, but this is much faster.

You can accomplish closing a new instance of an application by hovering your mouse over the application, and clicking the X in the corner of the preview window, or you can click the middle mouse button anywhere in the preview window to close it.

The task bar tip is one I have unknowingly wanted to know since Windows 7 first came out with the “pin to taskbar” feature, trying to replace the Quick Launch toolbar. I like the “pin to taskbar” but creating new instances always perplexed me, which is why I always added the Quick Launch toolbar to my windows taskbar, rather than using the “pin to taskbar” feature.

The magic of the middle mouse button helps me in so many ways, I thought it might help you too.

Using Delve to view shared files

As always, when you’re trying to show someone a feature, you discover another feature, right? So it was today.

I discovered an almost hidden portion of Delve, that should ultimately prove to be very handy. I noticed that there was a “One Drive for Business” link at the bottom recent activity box in someone’s profile.

I clicked on it, and it shows me the person’s One Drive with only the folders that are shared with me. For most people, that’s the “Shared with Everyone” folder, which for many, is empty.

On the left, however, is a handy link called Shared Files.

Click on that, and you will see which files from that person’s OneDrive are shared with you.

Since there are numerous ways to see shared files, including Delve, and OneDrive’s “Shared with me” view, this may not be something you are terribly excited about, but I thought it was a nice find, and so I’m sharing it with you.

Using reference tools such as Pinterest and Pocket

OK, so this is not a SharePoint or Office365 post, but bear with me. I use these tools every day in different ways so I thought you might enjoy them too.

Many people think of Pinterest as a place to save and share recipes, vacation destinations, and craft ideas. I know I did.

Then I started using it to gather websites and articles for work-related tips and tricks, and now I have several boards that I refer to on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

I split my boards into specifics such as, actual articles and pages with real tips and instructions, and use other boards to collect sites that I have found and want to peruse at a later time, but for which I don’t have a specific need right now.

pocket_logo401xAnother lesser-known, but equally useful tool is Pocket. This handy-dandy tool lets you save any article till later. What I like about it, is that in article mode, it strips out the extraneous stuff like ads, etc. and provides you with a clean, easy to read, format.


While Pinterest is more graphical in nature, and works off the premise that you need to visit the website that you saved, Pocket is more accessible in that the articles are available right in your app.

I use Pocket more for articles I am presented on Social Media or for random articles that I come across and want to save till later, such as VT Daily News articles; I use Pinterest more for saving content when I am researching, and that I want to refer back to. Both can be tagged or organized into topics and you will probably find a use for both.

Both of them are available as an app, and they both have browser extensions that let you add content directly from your web browser.

Learn more about each:

Rearrange your paragraphs using Alt, Shift and up/down arrow keys

This tip is exceptionally useful if you do a lot of writing or editing. I bet you spend a lot of time copying and pasting paragraphs to rearrange text in a document, or when you’re writing a story.

Next time you want to move a paragraph (or more), try holding down the Alt key and the Shift key, and then use the up or down arrow keys to rearrange your text.

Handy for when you’re in a meeting, and someone starts talking about something a little off-topic, you can take your notes wherever you are in the document, and then use Alt+Shift and your up/down arrow keys to move the notes where they belong.


Oh, and just in case you try this with the left/right arrow keys: they let you toggle the styles within your document, so you can quickly switch between headings and normal. Styles are worthy of a post all unto their own – they really help with managing content, and I’m sure I will write one in the near future.