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Office 2010 Tips and Tricks

Turn Off Protected View


Applicable to – All Microsoft Office 2010 products

Microsoft Office 2010 has a really nice security feature that automatically opens any office documents, be it Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc., in a special protected view. What this does is, it disables any macros or other embedded vulnerabilities that Office 2010 thinks may be harmful to your computer. A great feature which I personally like, but for those who find it annoying, here is a way to turn it off.

Note: – There is no global switch to turn off Office 2010 Protected View feature; each individual application will have to be opened to turn off this special mode.

Open any Office 2010 application. (Word in the case)

1. Hit File button on top left

2. Click on Options under right below.

3. Now go to Trust Center and click on the Trust Center Settings on the right hand side.

4. Here disable all the options or at least the first two options that decide which files are safe to open and which aren’t.

5. Click Ok once done.

6. Rinse, wash and repeat for all the remaining Office 2010 application such as Powerpoint, Excel, etc.

Remove Photo Backgrounds Like a Pro


Applicable to – All Microsoft Office 2010 products

The best part about Office 2010 is the wonderful and amazing photo-editing tools that it comes with by default. The tools are not any wimpy effects, but actual Photoshop worthy tools with a lot of thought put into them.

Photo background removal is one such unique tool that can do wonders for your photos by removing distracting backgrounds. Here’s how it works

About Remove Background Tool

The tool aptly called “Remove background” is available only if you use the latest Office 2010 format ending in “x” such as docx or pptx. The tool has intelligence of its own, but needs guidance from you to perform the way you’d like.

Keep in mind that the tool has varied results depending on the photograph you choose. Look at the two possibilities below.

The butterfly photo is hands down easier to edit than the girl’s photo on the right. Not only is the computer going to get confused with the background in the girl’s photo, but it is also difficult for us to make out the difference, as there is so much happening in the photograph without any clear contrasting elements. Therefore when choosing a photo, remember that what photo you choose will – to a large extent – determine how difficult a process it will be to edit.

Alright, now that we know some basics, let’s start with the actual editing process.

1. We open the butterfly photo first; either by inserting it in the document or simply copy pasting it straight from the source.

2. Click on the photo to select it, you’ll get a pink colored option Picture Tools above Format on the upper right. It is important to select it; otherwise you will not get the Picture Tools option. Click on it to see Remove Background option to the extreme left of screen.

3. Microsoft has beautifully simplified the task of background removal with this tool. As you can see, the butterfly is already very clear with purple all around it. The purple indicates the masked area. The removal tool doesn’t actually remove the background but masks it, so later any number edits can be made on it or removed without actually hampering the original. Since I selected an image that had a clear contrasting background compared to complex girl photo, the software automatically has done the job without any intervention by me. Superb!

4. To enhance the photo a bit more or to add some depth, you can apply a slight shadow, border, etc., as indicated on top in the Picture Styles section.

If we take a lot more complex image like the girl photo, it isn’t as easy. Here you need to specifically select the portions you want.

1. To remove or add areas that you want to keep can be easily done by clicking on the region above.

2. The tool auto selected only a part of the image, you need to pull the small white boxes on the side to correctly focus into what is important. Once you do that, the important areas will most probably be automatically selected; such as the face and body got selected by themselves but yet the shoes weren’t. This is where you need to personally inspect things.

3. Click on the tool above Mark Areas to Keep and get ready to mark the areas you want. Just remember that you need to “click and drag” the areas you want. The same goes for areas that you don’t want, just remember to select the right tool and always remember to click and drag small portions of the photos in straight lines. This will take some patience and practice while the software is always there to assist you to make automatic selections. Keep in mind the purple area is the unwanted masked area. If any unwanted area gets selected, just use the Mark Areas to Remove tool, and click n drag.

4. Now this isn’t the best result, but more practice will get you there. Just remember inanimate objects are easier than people and furry animals. Hair is almost impossible to get perfect with this tool, even avid Photoshop users need to painstakingly work on tough bits like fur and hair.

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