Ultimate guide to Office apps: Microsoft cheat sheets

These quick and easy tips will help you find your way around earlier versions of Microsoft’s office apps

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IDG

Similar to the Cliffs Notes you used in college to get the synopsis of classic novels, Computerworld’s cheat sheets are easy-to-use guides to help you navigate through older versions of Microsoft’s software. Sure, they've been around for a while, but Microsoft still supports them for those users reluctant to the update to the latest and greatest.

With that in mind here's a one-stop resource that runs the gamut from Excel 2016, to SharePoint 2013, Word 2013, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010 and even Windows 8. (Yes, some users are still hanging onto Windows 8; it still accounts for about 9% of the Windows user base.)

Use this as a reference whenever you get stuck.

Excel 2016 cheat sheet

Microsoft Windows seems to get all the enterprise attention, but when you need to get  work done, you turn to Microsoft's Office apps. And if you use spreadsheets, that generally means Excel.

The current version is Excel 2016, released in late 2015 when the entire Office suite was upgraded. Even if you've already upgraded to the latest version, you could be missing out on some worthwhile features that have been added. One of those features is Tell Me, which puts even buried tools in easy reach. Another feature, Smart Lookup, lets you do research while you're working on a spreadsheet.

Whether your copy of Excel 2016 was purchased as standalone software or is part of an Office 365 subscription, all of the tips apply to either version.

SharePoint 2013 cheat sheet

Although a lot of organizations are making their way to SharePoint 2016, many are still using SharePoint 2013 as their major corporate collaboration tool. (SharePoint 2013 is now part of the Office 365 subscription service, though some enterprise users may have already been automatically updated to SharePoint 2016.) With this cheat sheet, you'll learn all of the basics of navigating and using a SharePoint 2013 site, and where to go to get some of the customization options.

Word 2013 cheat sheet

Still using Word 2013? This cheat sheet is for you, whether you bought the software by itself or are using it as part of Office 365. Note: This particular cheat sheet focuses on what was new in Word 2013, rather than what stayed the same from previous versions. For more help getting up to speed on the basics, such as how to work with the Ribbon interface, check out our Word 2010 cheat sheet.

Outlook 2010 cheat sheet

Outlook 2010 arrived with some very big changes, most notably the ubiquitous Ribbon interface. The Ribbon first made its appearance in Outlook 2007, but in a relatively minor way -- it wasn't shown in the main Outlook screen, but showed up when you opened or composed an email. In Outlook 2010, it was everywhere.

Other significant changes compared to earlier versions included integration with social media networks like Facebook and better handling of threaded messages.

PowerPoint 2010 cheat sheet

PowerPoint 2010 looked a lot like its predecessor, PowerPoint 2007. What was new? The File tab replaced the old Office orb button and leads you to Backstage. That was the new command center where you can handle an array of tasks, including opening, printing and sharing files; customization; version control and more. Backstage represented one of the biggest changes in PowerPoint 2010, along with -- you guessed it -- the Ribbon interface.

Windows 8 cheat sheet

One of the most controversial -- and criticized -- Windows versions ever released, Windows 8’s main interface felt like it was designed more for touch-screen tablets than traditional computers. In truth, Microsoft was trying to marry a desktop OS and a  tablet-style UI. It didn't really work for either one.

Among other things, the Desktop was hidden away and the traditional Windows Start button was removed. (That latter change really annoyed a lot of longtime Windows users.)

Overall, the changes made the move from Windows 7 to Windows 8 a jarring prospect for a lot of users. The horizontally oriented Start screen (once called the Metro interface) sported big tiles that practically begged users to touch them. But the mosh-mashed UI left users feeling as if they were running dueling operating systems, because each worked differently from the other in numerous ways. Some of the problems were ironed out with Windows 8.1, but Microsoft moved as quickly as it could to the bigger successor: Windows 10.

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