Work Easier

Published Date
01 - May - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - May - 2005
Work Easier
Word, PowerPoint and Excel are some of the most commonly used programs in our day-to-day work. But we often struggle with formatting the files we create. There's an easy way of having a ready format for your documents, which we present here.

All three programs offer the facility to create templates that can be opened and filled up like a form, thereby taking care of your formatting worries. These programs also come loaded with templates that can be used if they suit your needs. You could, in fact, continue to use them, unless you need a greater degree of customisation in every document you create.

MS Word
We use Word for typing out reports and creating letters, and, if you are using MS Outlook, it could even be your default e-mail editor. Here's how you can create a template for each of these.

If you send out a lot of letters on a daily basis, and if they must be in a particular format, you can create a template that caters to this. To do this, open Word and create a blank document. Type out a sample letter with the various attributes the way you want them, including fonts, font sizes, spacing and paragraph setting, and even things like your company logo (this could be placed in the header space). You can also make good use of the footer space provided and include Date, Time and page number details.

What makes all this better is the fact that all the fields in the header or footer spaces can be filled up using Auto text, or just at the click of a button.

The major advantage is that such a format maintains uniformity and lets the reader get comfortable with your format. What's even better is that you no longer have to spend time re-formatting files created by others to maintain this uniformity. (Refer to Diagram 1 to know what you can templatise)

MS Excel
Excel is a multi-purpose application. You can use it for many things besides just spreadsheets. The various possibilities, including filtering columns, locking views and sorting information, make this a powerful tool for a variety of uses, from creating tables to maintaining a monthly balance sheet.

In Excel 2002, also known as Excel XP, the pre-loaded templates include a loan amortisation statement, a balance sheet, and an expense sheet, among others.

But you can create your own template if you want to. Say you want to keep track of employees' attendance and the time they spend in office daily.

It's just a simple sheet you need to create. (Refer to Diagram 2 to know more)

MS PowerPoint
We all make presentations and have some fixed elements in every presentation, such as your company name or logo, and would like to maintain these elements for every presentation you make.

You could do this using the Auto Content Wizard, and PowerPoint will generate a complete presentation document. There are various types of presentations to choose from as well.

You could then choose the header or footer space to add your logo (and any other information you want), and save this as a master slide. This slide can then be used throughout the presentation. (Refer to Diagram 3 for more info) Additionally, you could also change the style of the text that appears across a presentation by doing the following:

Make sure no objects are selected. From the 'Format' menu, select 'Font'. Make all the changes that you want and click 'OK'.

From that point on, new text will be created in the style you just defined.

To set the formatting for the title or slide body objects, go to the 'Slide Master' and format these objects on the master.

Why Templatise?
While some of this stuff sounds rather basic, the reason behind emphasising this is the cost saving it could bring you and the identity you could create.

Take for example the template created in MS Word. If you could have a logo and your address placed in every printout you take, you would not need to make letterheads for your company. All employees could print out their letters on ordinary paper.

By creating a universal template in MS PowerPoint, your presentations could have uniformity and consistency of style. Clients can come to expect this from you and it also displays a certain level of discipline.

More importantly, though, you could templatise spreadsheets for purposes such as claiming expenses-a company balance sheet with locked formulas can ensure that there is no misappropriation. All the employee has to do, is fill in the requisite fields and take a print. The advantages are obvious.

Programs such as Word and PowerPoint offer an even greater level of customisation that can help you take out the hassles of worrying about how every document is going out.

One thing you need to remember in all this, though, is to save your file as a template and not as a file. All the others need to do is open this template.

You also don't need to worry about anyone overwriting your template file because the program will automatically open the 'Save As' dialog box whenever someone hits [Ctrl] [S].

It's a good idea to create a variety of templates for various requirements that could save everyone time and a lot of headache!

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.