Sunday, 22 January 2017

Add a custom colour to your default colour palette in Word and other Office applications

I'm currently using Office 2013 and there's a colour I use often in my documents, it isn't the usual blue, it is different from any of the blues provided with the Office applications. To get this special blue I have to add it as a custom colour using the colour code RGB 0, 144, 188. But I have to do this every time I open Word, for example.

After entering my custom colour it is shown at the bottom of the window in the Recent Colors, so I can quickly select it. However, when I close and reopen Word, my custom colour has gone. I have to enter the custom colour every time I start Word. It's the same story for the other Office applications.

I would like to have my custom colour available for all new documents I create. This can be very important, imagine your company has it's own corporate colours, shouldn't they be available to everyone as part of the standard colour palette? It's a bit much to expect user to enter custom colours using RGB codes for every document. Having the colours available easily will make the adoption of the correct colours much easier.

NOTE: I'm using Office 2013 / Word 2013 in my example here, in other versions you may find some differences but I hope at least this will help you find your way.

Solution for Word 2013
In Word, click File, New and Blank Page (or the template you would like to add your custom colour to)

Click Design

Hover the pointer over Colors to see which theme you are currently using - as in the example below:

In the above example I am currently using the Office theme.

Click Colors

Click Customize Colors (at the bottom of the drop-down list)

On the ‘Create New Theme Colors’ window, select one of the preset colours, in my example I will change Accent 5 because it is already close to the custom colour I want to add.

Click More Colors

Click the Custom tab

Enter the colour you would like, in my example RGB 0, 114, 188

Click OK

In the Name box change Custom 1 to the theme name that you’d like, in my example “Corporate Colours” and click Save.

Now your new colour is accessible for the current document (you can see it at the top of the menu - above). However, if you’d like it to be available for all new documents using this template, on the Design tab...

...and click Set as Default.

Here's what it looks like to actually use it:

Outlook 2013
Once you've created a new Colour Theme in one Office application, it'll show up in other applications. For example, when I am composing an e-mail the same colours will be available. In the screen shot below you can see the Options menu where the Colors menu is located.

Excel 2013
As with Outlook, the same is true but look on the Page Layout tab for the Colors option.

Powerpoint 2013
It is a little different here, go to the Design tab. Click the expand button on the 'Variants' box:

There is the usual Colors option to select from.

Deploy to other computers
I am sorry but I have not done this myself so I cannot provide a full explanation here. However, I did discover that the new Colour Theme I created and named "Corporate Colours" in Word, was stored as an XML file like this:
Document Themes\Theme Colors\Corporate Colours.xml

I also found the following page on the subject, using Group Polocies:

I hope that helps!

If you are using a particular colour often, this really is a great little time saver. If you are using a whole palette of colours, perhaps a corporate colour scheme - this is essential. I say essential because expecting users to enter RGB numbers is a lot to ask them. They will make mistakes or forget. Customising the colours available in Office applications is best and as you can see here, it is not difficult.

Microsoft Office Change a Theme


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Excel 2013 - Compare two spreadsheets

A few years ago I wrote an article explaining how to use a third-party tool to compare worksheets in Excel 2010, click here to read it. Recently I wanted to do the same but using Excel 2013 and I was pleasantly surprised to find there is a special tool included with Office 2013 that can do this job. The tool is called Spreadsheet Compare, the chances are that if you are an Excel 2013 user, you already have this tool on your computer.

Using the Windows search (press Win-S or click Start and type in the search box) do a search for "spreadsheet compare", it'll come up, run it and you'll see it's a nice straightforward little program. Just click the Compare Files button and enter the Excel worksheets you'd like to compare.

Spreadsheet Compare

In my example above I compared two files and you can see in the lower middle window three changes are listed. One is a spelling correction of Woburn and I've clicked on it - then in the two windows above showing the original worksheets, it moves to that position to show the difference.

Also, Spreadsheet Compare can be started from the INQUIRE tab from within Excel 2013. Just make sure you have the worksheets you want to compare open before running it from there.

For more details including a step-by-step explanation please see the Microsoft page, they've done a good job already so there wasn't a need for me to redo it here. Click the following link (last accessed 17/01/2017):

Friday, 6 January 2017

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier watch face sunrise/sunset widget showing No Info

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Classic smartwatches both have a watch face called 'Frontier' included as standard. I have the S3 Classic watch and I liked the Frontier watch face, I selected it but then I noticed the sunrise/sunset dial said "No info" - as in the image below:

It says "No info" in the sunrise/sunset dial, bottom middle.

I pressed where it says "No info" and it told me to add a location on my smartphone. The screenshot below is from my smartphone at this point:

I added my location but it told me I had previously done that! I tried many times but no luck. It was still saying "No info" on my S3.

On the smartphone, open the Samsung Gear app:

Press Settings | Apps

On the Apps page press the Weather cog/gear icon (as shown above)

Press Use current location

Make sure it is set to On (as shown in the example above)

NOTE: Before setting it to On do read the message on the 'Use current location' screen (shown above). Make sure you understand what it will do, if you are worried about your location information being used by others then do not use this feature.

After setting 'Use current location' to On, check your Gear S3:

You can see in the images here that the sunrise and sunset is shown in the dial on the watch face.

I hope that was helpful :-)