Excel: A fast way to delete a cell—not the contents of a cell but the cell itself: Highlight the cell and press Ctrl+- (minus sign). The cell will disappear, and you will be offered options on which adjacent cells will shift to fill the empty space.

Word: To create an em dash (—), which is a long dash, press Ctrl+Alt+- (the minus key on the numeric keypad). However, beginning with the 1995 edition, Word will do that automatically if, after typing the last letter of one word you type two dashes in a row and then type the first letter of the next word.

Excel: Two quick ways to select a range of cells: Click in the first cell and then hold down the Shift key while you use the arrow keys to select the range. Or click in the first cell, press Shift and click in the last cell of the range.

Excel: To translate Arabic to Roman numerals, use this formula: =ROMAN (Arabic number) . So 1999 becomes MCMXCIX and 2003 becomes MMIII.

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to Senior Editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at .

Because of the volume of mail, we regret that we cannot individually answer submitted questions. However, if a reader’s question has broad interest, we will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

On occasion you may find that you cannot implement a function I describe in this column. More often than not it’s because not all functions work in every operating system or application. I try to test everything in the 2000 and XP editions of Windows and Office. It’s virtually impossible to test them in all editions and it’s equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a function. I apologize for the inconvenience.


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