Author Archive: Julie Tausend

Excel: Shading Every Other Row

If you have a lot of data in your Excel workbook and would like to create a visually appealing way to read the data, try shading every other row with Format as Table.

To use the Format as Table Styles option to shade rows in a worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell range that you want to shade, or press Ctrl+A to select the whole worksheet.
  2. Click the Home tab.In the Styles group, click Format as Table
  3. Select your preferred style.


  1. In the Format as Table dialogue box, verify the cells you want changed (this will be automatically filled when you complete step 1). Check mark My table has headers if you created a Header Row. Click OK.


  1. If you have a large amount of data selected, Excel will ask you if you want to continue with the Large Operation. Click OK.excel5

The result:


View information on how to create Header Rows in Excel or Filter, Sort, and Remove Duplicate Data.

Excel Header Row

If using Excel to maintain large amounts of data, it is recommended that you use a Header Row to label each column of data. You can then freeze the pane to keep this Header visible no matter how much scrolling you do in the Excel Worksheet.

  1. Create a new Row with your heading information. Or identify the portion of the spreadsheet that will be used as a head row.
  2. Select the cells that make up your header row by clicking on the Row Number. It will highlight blue.
  3. excel1Optional- Create a visual contrast for this row by formatting the font in the Home Tab.
  4. Click the Row Number for the next row AFTER your Header Row. It will highlight blue.
  5. Click tab View, in Window, click Freeze Panes. Select Freeze Panes.excel2 View information on how to create Shade Every Other Row in Excel or Filter, Sort, and Remove Duplicate Data.

The Art of Blogging

blogAre you looking for a summer activity to keep your mind and skills active? Try starting a blog on a topic that relates to your specialty.

A blog is essentially an online journal that can be read by anyone. According to Wikipedia (2013), “A blog (a contraction of the words web log) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).”

In maintaining a blog, you will not only practice your writing skills, but can also hone your research and critical analysis, depending on what you plan on writing.

Another benefit of blogging is that it is an instant way to promote yourself and your knowledge of your specialty.

But be deliberate about what you blog, because it does go public and cannot be easily removed from the Internet. Also, remember to cite any sources that you may paraphrase or reference to avoid plagiarism.

Once you begin blogging, make sure you publicize your work. A simple way to do this is to link all new posts to your existing social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This will give you an instantaneous audience.

Obviously we like WordPress here at SOL-IS, we have a self-hosted implementation of their software running this blog. However, there are many different tools for those wishing to Blog. You may also want to consider using Blogger, Weebly, and Xanga.

Clipboard To Be Discontinued

The following article was published by School of Law Research & Electronic Services Librarian, Alyssa Thurston. The original post can be found at the Law Library publication View from the Library

Last August, we blogged about Clipboard, an online “snipping” tool that allows users to collect and store items of interest on the Web. Clipboard has been acquired by another company and will be discontinued as of June 30, 2013. If you are a Clipboard user, read their FAQs to learn how to handle your stored data and for more information on the transition.

View Archived Email Temporarily

So, you’ve archived your Outlook mailbox (which removes your old messages) and now you want to read an old message.

View PDF Version of this Quick Guide.

Don’t worry, you can view your archived messages by:

1.)    Click File. Click Open.


2.)    Click Open Outlook Data File


3.)    A new window will open: Open Outlook Data File

  1. Browse to the location where you saved your Archive.pst file.
  2. Click it to select it. Click Open.


4.)    The window will close and your Outlook Mailbox will open.

  1. You will now see a new folder for your archive. Click it to view your archived messages.


When you are finished viewing your Archived messages, right click on the Archive file and select Close to close the archives.


What if I want to restore my archived messages, permanently? There’s a way to do it! You can view How to Restore Archived Outlook Mail for information on how to do so.

For more information: view How to Archive Outlook Mail here.

Restore Email from Archive

Have you archived your entire Outlook mailbox only to realize that you only meant to archive a specific folder? Don’t worry, you can revert what you have an archived by restoring the archived file.

View a PDF Version of this Quick Guide.

1.)    Click File. Click Open. Click Import.

outllook102.)    Select “Import from another program of file”. Click Next.

outllook113.)    Select Outlook Data File (.pst). Click Next.outllook12

4.)    Click Browse…outllook13

5.)    Locate where you stored your Archive File (.pst). This will typically be in your My Documents, Outlook Files Folder. Select the file. Click Open.


6.)    Click the Option “Replace duplicates with items imported.” Click Next.


7.)    If you only want to import a specific folder, select the folder to import from. Otherwise select the Archive File name.

  1. Checkmark “Include subfolders”
  2. Select “Import items into the same folder in:”
  3. Select your Outlook email address in the drop down menu
  4. Click Finish


The box will close and your Outlook Mailbox will now be repopulated with your Archived mail.

View more information on How to Read Archived Email Temporarily or How to Archive Outlook Mail

Archiving Your Outlook Account

It’s important to periodically backup your communications within Outlook by archiving them. It is recommended to do this quarterly or annually.

It will help to make sure your Outlook is working efficiently and give you a backup in case your computer or program has a unfortunate accident. You’ll still be able to recover your messages.

View PDF Version of this Quick Guide

1.)    Click File. Click Info.


2.)    Click Cleanup Tools and Select Archive…


3.)    A new window called Archive will open. Select Archive this folder and all subfolders:

  1. Make sure your account is highlighted in blue if you want all of your Outlook messages archived. If not, select just a specific folder.


4.)    Select a date from the drop down menu Archive items older than:  This will archive and remove all items within your chosen folder that are older than the date selected.

Selecting today’s date means everything in your Outlook folder from yesterday and older will be removed.

5.)    Use the Browse button to select a folder to save the Archive file. It is recommended that it is saved in your Documents folder, in the Outlook Files subfolder.  Type a file name. It is recommended to use include the date(such as: archive_May10_2013) (C:UsersusernameDocumentsOutlook Filesarchive.pst)

outlook56.)    Click OK

Now all of the messages will automatically be moved from your Outlook box to the Archive file you saved.

But wait! I have to look at an old email, what do I do? You can View Your Archived Messages Temporarily.

Do you think you made a mistake in archiving your mailbox and would like to permanently restore the messages? You can do so by following the directions found at Restoring Your Archived Email.

Mind Mapping: A Visual Diagram

Have you ever brainstormed about a new project or idea to find that you had too many thoughts to fully understand the relationships? Perhaps your ideas were too complex to fully comprehend?

Mind mapping is a diagram technique used to visually outline information.


A mind map is often created around a single word or topic. The topic is placed in the center of the map and associated ideas or words are added. These major categories go around the central topic, and lesser categories branch off of the larger branches. The important thing to remember is that the categories and sub-categories of your main idea illustrate semantic relations between the categories.

How to Create a Basic Mind Map:

  1. Start in the center of the page with an image of the topic
  2. Select key words
  3. Print each word or create a representative image. Each word/image is best independent on its own line (AKA Branch)
  4. The lines should be connected, starting from the central topic and flowing outward. The central branches are thicker; sub topics get thinner branches as they radiate  from the center.
  5. Make the branches the same length as the word they support.
  6. Use multiple colors throughout the mind map, to encode or group like topics and subtopics.
  7. Show associations in your mind map.
  8. Keep the Mind Map clear by using radial hierarchy or numerical order to organize your branches.

Creative Tips:

  • Use images, symbols, and codes throughout your mind map.
  • Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.


Mind maps can be used for:

  • Problem solving
  • Relationship representations
  • Marriage of words and visuals
  • Condensing material into a concise and memorable format
  • Team building, synergy creating activity, anonymous collaboration

Mind maps can be drawn by hand or created using software such as Microsoft Visio, Prezi, FreeMind and WiseMapping, among others.


Creating a Template in Word

Have you ever had to create a document over and over again? Maybe a Fax Cover Sheet? Or articles for publication with very specific formatting guidelines? You can avoid redundancy and frustration by formatting a document and then saving it as a Template for repeated use.

Once you have your document formatted, it is now time to save it as a Template for repeated use. View PDF Version of the Quick Guide.

1.)    Click File.

2.)    Click Save As. A new window will appear.

file Saves AS1

3.)    On the left hand navigation, scroll up and click Microsoft Word. Then click Templates.


4.)    In the File Name field, name your document. Be specific (Example: Article Template).

5.)    In the Save As Type field, click the drop down menu and select Word Template.


6.)    Click Save.

This will save your file in your Microsoft Word application in the Templates folder.

Now, anytime you want to use the Template when creating a new document you can do so by following these steps:

1.)    Open Word

2.)    Click File

3.)    Click New

4.) Under Available Templates, double click My templates. A new window will appear.


5.) Your newly created template should be an option. Click the template you want to use. Under Create New, select Document.


6.) Click OK

You can now type your new document using the Template. Don’t forget to save your document.

More on Word- Don’t forget to view Best Practices in Word for tips on saving and good habits or view Word Keyboard Shortcuts for tricks. Learn how to keep track of your edits until a final version is needed in Collaborating with Word.

Word Best Practices

Many working professionals use Microsoft Word on a regular basis. It comes second nature to type documents, however, some of the best practices for productivity are sometimes overlooked. View PDF Version of the Quick Guide.

Best Practice #1- Save and Save Often

Keyboard Shortcut = hold CTRL and S at the same time

Set your Word Software to save automatically, in case you forget to manually save:

  1. Click File
  2. Click Options. A new window will appear.save1
  3. Click Save.save2
  4. Under Save documents. Check mark Save AutoRecover information every ____ minutes. And use the drop down menu to pick a few minutes. IS Recommends 5.
  5. Check mark Keep the last autosaved version if I close without savingsave3
  6. Click OK

Best Practice #2- Save Version Reiterations

You’ll have early “draft” versions you can refer back to if necessary. A good file name includes the title, date, and version number so you can easily see when you created a document and the current version:

  • title_date1_v1
  • title_date2_v2
  • title_date3_v3

Best Practice #3 Save in Multiple Locations

If your computer breaks or gets lost, you have backups of your work

  • Hard Drive (AKA computer)
  • Flash Drive (AKA thumb drive, USB drive)
  • Drop Box or Google Drive

Best Practice #4 Use Templates

Like how a document looks? Save it for reuse as a template (see topic on Creating Templates).

Best Practice #5 Use Track Changes

Keep track of your edits until a final version is needed (see topic on Collaborating with Word).

You may also be interested in viewing Word Keyboard Shortcuts for tricks.