Top 4 Microsoft Office Tips & Tricks with Oliver Nicoll

Statistically speaking there’s a very good chance that you, the reader, are a Microsoft Office user. With over 1.2 Billion Office enthusiasts on the planet, I feel fairly safe in the assumption that almost all, if not every single one of you, has used or is currently using Microsoft Office.

But for such a ludicrously large user group, not everyone seems to be getting the most out of their Office Apps. Microsoft have built some fantastic features into 365 (the latest iteration of their Office Package) but many people simply haven’t discovered them all.

Whether the problem lies in poor instruction by Microsoft or a lack of interest from users, I think you’ll agree that we need to wage war on Office-Ignorance.

So let’s get started. Prepare to be enlightened by our resident Office expert, Oliver Nicoll.

Open a PDF in word

What is it?

This is relatively simple but can totally change the way you work with PDF documents. You can now import a PDF directly to word and edit all text without completely upending previous formatting and layout. Simple, but revolutionary stuff.

Why do we love it?

“From a lot of people’s perspectives, they want to be able to edit and make changes to a PDF when they download it. This feature means you can take a PDF document and make changes without having to reformat or redesign your original document.

“This is a really functional tool that’s a great time saver. While the application might seem a little bit limited, you’ll find yourself using it all the time.”

How do I do it?

  • Click the open menu and find the PDF you wish to work on.
  • Simply open the document and word will convert the PDF into word format for you to edit.


The magic red dot

What is it?

It’s exactly what you think it is. Turn your mouse arrow into a laser pointer for presentations.

Why do we love it?

“The red dot is a bit of fun really. Not a lot of people know you can turn your mouse into a little red laser-pointer dot while doing presentations – I often tell people it’s the most important thing I can teach them about Office 365!

“But on the practical side I suppose it shows a bit of professionalism, it shows that you’ve actually thought about your presentation and how it’s going to look overall. Little things like this can show people you know what you’re talking about”.

How do I do it?

  • Open up your power point presentation and click the slide show button to start the presentation.
  • Press down CTRL then click and hold the left mouse button – your mouse is now a laser pointer.
  • Hit shift five time in quick succession to turn on sticky keys (same to turn it off) now you can ‘lock down’ the CTRL button and have a permanent laser pointer.


What is it?

DocuSign is a third-party app that can be integrated with the Office 365 package for absolutely free. It allows you to place an electronic signature on any document you need to sign.

Why do we love it?

“This is a fantastic feature, it’s a free app with Office 365 integration which allows you to easily sign digital documents with your own signature. That in itself is a huge time saver – if a document requires a signature you generally have to print it out, sign it, scan it and then send it back, or scan a copy of your signature and try to apply the jpeg to the document individually.

“This way, you have an encrypted file that gives you a confirmed paper trail and speeds up your processes. It also makes things far easier for your customers because they don’t need to wait too long for you to sign official documents.”

How do I do it?

  • Install DocuSign on your PC and sign in to the app via outlook.
  • Select the email or attachment you wish to sign.
  • On the right hand side of the top bar on outlook, pick the ‘Sign Attachments’ option.
  • If you have already added your signature to Docusign, simply select the field you wish to sign, import your signature and hit the ‘Finish’ button.


Smart Lookup

What is it?

Smart Lookup is a feature that allows you to bring up relative information to the subject you’re writing about from the internet and straight into your Word tab.

Why do we love it?

“This feature is all about time saving. If you’re writing about an unfamiliar topic, or you’re stuck for ideas, or if you’re even just looking for a different word choice in your text – you can use Smart Lookup to do the research without having to leave the Word App.

“Once you get into the habit of using it you’d be surprised how often it plays a part in your day-to-day and how pivotal it can become in your writing. It totally streamlines the research process of your work.”

How do I do it?

  • Highlight the subject in your text that you want to research
  • Right click on the highlighted area and select ‘Smart Lookup’. Simple!
  • Note, you will need the latest version of Office to use this feature.

If you have any questions or queries feel free to contact us by emailing in to You can contact your dedicated IT account manager to discuss these stories in more depth by ringing 01724 400300.