These tips for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will dazzle your students and save you time in the classroom and beyond.

tech tips for teachers

Automatic Transitions on PowerPoint Slides

The show must go on! Ever been pulled into the hallway during classtime by a persistent parent or adamant administrator? Automatic transitions on your PowerPoint slides can keep the show going even when you are out of the room. I have used automatic transitions during note-taking lectures, quizzes, and PowerPoint flashcard sessions. I get a kick out of standing in the hallway and watching students complete the work without my presence. Its no substite for spontaneous teacher input, but it keeps things rolling along when interruptions arise.For detailed instructions on automatic slide advances in PowerPoint, see this article at PowerPoint Hints

Move to the Front (or back) of the Line

This one might be my favorite. It works in Word and Powerpoint. With it, you can move bulleted or numbered┬álist Items up or down With a Simple Shortcut. It’s perfect for mixing up the order of questions on a quiz or test. Items in numbered lists will re-number automatically. You don’t even have to highlight the item. To move an item up, just put the cursor anywhere within the item and then press Shift – Alt – Up Arrow. To move it down, use Shift – Alt – Down Arrow. See this article at How-to Geek for complete details.

Copy, Copy, Copy

Office Extended Clipboard – many teachers might not be aware that Office can store more than one thing on the clipboard. In fact, you can store up to twenty-four. You don’t have to go back and forth between documents. It works for text and graphics. You can copy up to twenty-four items and paste one or all of them into any other Microsoft application. Works in PowerPoint, Word, and Excel on a Windows computer. (Unfortunately, Office for Mac doesn’t have a clipboard manager, but there are some add-ons available in the App store.) To activate the Extended Clipboard, select anything then hit CTRL-C three times in a row. For detailed instructions, see this article in the Microsoft Help Center.

Animated Animations

Most of us know how to use PowerPoint’s built in custom animation like Fade, Fly In, and Grow. But did you know you can create custom motion paths that any object will follow? Just go to Add Effect > Motion Paths > Draw Custom Path > and choose from the four types of path. Then you can draw a path on the slide that the selected object will follow. You can even control repetition, speed, and easing. See custom motion paths in action on this PowerPoint slide I created to illustrate the meaning of the Latin root migr, which means “wander or move.”

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