A quiet word

Microsoft Word has a habit of letting you know just how hard it’s working for you all the time.

You can customize the heck out of that behaviour.

Turn off the start screen in Office 2016

There’s a lot to like about Office 2016, but that doggone start screen can be annoying. When I open a Word document, 99 per cent of the time I just want to get to work. I don’t need to see every conceivable template.

You can disable all that and go straight to your Word document or Excel spreadsheet, just like we did in previous versions of Office. It’s easy, and it works in Office 2013, too.

  • Start by opening a Word document, either an existing one or a new one; it doesn’t matter.
  • Click on File | Options
  • Click on the General tab if you’re not there already
  • Near the bottom of that tab, clear the check mark next to Show the Start screen when this application starts
  • Click on OK

That’s it!

Now, repeat the process for Excel and PowerPoint if you want to get right into those programs, too. Next time you open one of them, you’ll go right to your document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

If ever you need the templates again, click on File |New and you’ll be right back there at the start screen.

Change your Office Background and Theme

While you’re at it, you can change the appearance of your Office programs. Let’s start with Word.

  • Open any Word document, or open a new, blank one
  • Click on File | Options
  • Under Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office click on the dropdown arrows next to Office Background and Office Theme to select the background and theme you like.
  • Click on OK

These settings will apply to every Office program on your computer. That is, if you do this in Word, the settings will carry over to Excel, PowerPoint, and whatever Office programs you’re using on that computer.

If you subscribe to Office 365, you can make those settings apply to every Office program on every computer connected with your Office account.

Save your stuff to your computer by default, not to OneDrive

Sometimes I save my documents and spreadsheets and presentations to OneDrive, Microsoft’s secure cloud storage. But most of the time I don’t.

And I’ve noticed that on quite a few of the new computers I’ve set up for customers, the first choice for Save location is OneDrive.

Sure, you can override that choice every time you want to save something, but it would be much easier to change the setting so your computer is the default choice.

Here’s how:

  • Click on File | Options | Save | Save Documents
  • Place a check mark in the box for Save to Computer by default
  • Click on OK

Check these settings in Excel and PowerPoint as well!

Bypass Protected View

Do you find it annoying that every Word document you get from the cloud or as an email attachment opens in Protected View?

You have to click three times to edit the doggone thing.

Well, first of all, that feature is there for your protection, so you won’t be tricked into opening an infected Word document. But if you want to live dangerously, you can turn off this feature.

  • Open a Word document
  • Click on File | Options | Trust Center
  • Click on Trust Center Settings | Protected View
  • Under Protected View remove the check marks where you don’t want Word to protect you
  • Click on OK

Be extra careful, now, with documents you download and open as attachments!

Ride Don’t Hide

It’s just about a week now till The Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride (Ride Don’t Hide Kelowna) for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

You can still sponsor my ride as I join hundreds of people in Canada raising funds for mental health programs and services in our community. The money raised helps people of all ages access the support and programs they need to live their best lives.

Please sponsor my ride by clicking here to make your secure, online donation: https://goo.gl/WnnSd3. Any amount is appreciated!

Cate Eales will retire June 29, 2018 from running Computer Care Kelowna a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers.

She welcomes your comments and suggestions for future column topics, good fishing spots, epic bike rides, and songs to learn on the ukulele.

Send email to [email protected].

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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