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Working Smarter: Type once, enter twice, save time

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Microsoft Email Outlook,Office Technology

Cut way down on your keystrokes, with these Outlook tools that let you mine information that's already in your files.

Link files

One of the most useful situations for linking Office files is when you want an up-to-date Excel file to appear when a user opens a Word file.

Open the file with the source, such as an Excel spreadsheet, select the data you want to include and click the copy button.

Open the destination file, such as the report you're creating in Word, and place your cursor where you want the data to appear. From the Edit menu, select Paste Special, then Paste Link.

As long as both files remain on the same computer system, changes in the Excel file automatically will appear in the Word document.

Activate smart tags

In newer versions of Word, when you type some kinds of data—names, dates, addresses, etc.—a faint dotted line appears below the information. Pass your cursor over top and the "smart tag action button," a small "i" inside a circle, appears.

Left-click on that button to activate actions you usually would open other applications to accomplish.


If a name exists in your Contacts, you can automatically insert the person's address.

With an address, you can click to display a map or get driving directions.

Click on the tag for a date to see your Outlook calendar or schedule a meeting.

If the information you want exists somewhere else in Office, look for a way to access it directly.

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