The Electric Wand

Weekly tips from the "Tip o' the Week" email distribution inside of Microsoft.

The Electric Wand

  • Tip o’ the Week #291 – A few handy date handling tips

    Sometimes, the Tip o’ the Week is all about one topic, and sometimes it’s a theme that spans several things. Today’s is just such a smörgåsbord of stuff, spanning a number of apps that are concerned with dates. Windows 10 dates This is not a new topic...
  • Tip o’ the Week #290 – get your Groove on

    It’s quite useful to have a catalogue of names that can be put to different uses. Codenames are frequently reused, and there was a time when every new product had to have a snazzy moniker – remember Daytona , Natal or more recently Spartan ? As well as...
  • Tip o’ the Week #288 – When I’m reinstalling Windows

    Now that Windows 10 is here , Whether you’ll be waiting for a new machine that comes with Windows 10, or whether you’ll be one of the millions that will upgrade , there’s lots to be thrilled about or to quietly look forward to, depending on your personal...
  • Tip o’ the Week #289 – Edge, Cortana & Win10 keyboard tips

    Assuming everyone has upgraded to Windows 10 by now, it’s a useful time to post some tips that could help the new user get a leg up more quickly. So far, reaction seems to be going well – even some Mac users quite like it (though if you read to the very...
  • Tip o’ the Week #286 – Windows Explorer tweaks in Win10

    Here’s a quick tip on navigating around Windows 10, courtesy of Stuart Leeks , concerning the File Explorer app (now, thanks to Internet Explorer being moved to the background in favour of the Microsoft Edge browser, maybe the name Explorer will be primarily...
  • Tip o’ the Week #284 – Music on OneDrive

    Did you know you can now put music on your OneDrive, and stream it to the Xbox music app on your phone, your PC, the web or even your Xbox Console? You don’t need an Xbox Music Pass to do it, either – though in time, you may find that having both XMP...
  • Tip o’ the Week #282 – Delay your mail

    There are several techniques to delay sending messages, something that could be considered good practice – according to Harvard Business Review, for example, bosses who send email late in the night are causing lots of stress as people feel obliged...
  • Tip o’ the Week #285 – Windows 10 picking up pace

    The release of Windows 10 has started to pick up speed as it nears its planned July 29 th RTM . If your home PC isn’t running Windows 10 yet (ie. you haven’t opted in as a Windows Insider ) , then you can reserve your free upgrade today and you’ll get...
  • Tip o’ the Week #281 – Calculator rebooted

    So, Windows 10 will be with us in less than 2 months . As well as many significant improvements and new experiences, there are a number of subtle but still cool updates. One such is the new calculator app, a “modern app” which has been enhanced compared...
  • Tip o’ the Week #280 – Telling time on Windows 10

    For some time now, the death of the watch has been predicted, as people increasing use other devices to tell the time. The frenzy of interest around the Apple watch (even if it’s only being worn as a bit of bling ) maybe shows that there’s life in the...
  • Tip o’ the Week #278 – Skype for Business UI tips

    Skype for Business has rolled out across a good number of customers and it’s, generally-speaking, a great UI update compared to Lync. The clients’ histories were covered a few weeks ago , if you’re interested… But there are a few differences that could...
  • Tip o’ the Week #279 – Windows 10’s multiple desktops

    Windows 10 is developing apace. A new build ( 10112 ) arrived this week if you’re on the “ Fast Ring ” for getting updates ( check here if you’re already on Win10 but are not sure about how quickly you’ll get updates) . Sometimes, latest builds get two...
  • Tip o’ the Week #276 – Reduce massive PowerPoint files

    Windows Explorer has a search function which can filter found files, based on some attribute or other – so you return files that are only of a particular type or age, or maybe of a specific size. The problem is, the understanding of what is a big file...
  • Tip o’ the Week #275 – Prioritising External Email

    Do you suffer from email overload ? The temptation is to get dragged into dealing with all the nonsense internal emails and corporate spam, but it’s worth trying to prioriti(z)|(s)e email from external senders, excepting the genuine bulk guff that you...
  • Tip o’ the Week #273 – Projecting your Windows Phone

    It’s often handy to be able to show to an audience what’s happening on a phone’s screen (or other device) . Many an A/V technician has had to deal with the challenges of switching from PowerPoint bore-ware to an analogue ELMO  projector , trying...
  • Tip o’ the Week #274 – Hello, Skype for Business

    Instant Messaging (and later, voice/video calling) has been with us, in the corporate world, for 15 years – the first real enterprise IM platform was Exchange 2000 Instant Messaging , which used a variant of MSN Messenger as its client, and some workers...
  • Tip o’ the Week #272 - Finding your phone (again)

    ( breaking the fourth wall ) Inevitably, when writing the Tip o’ the Week for 4½ years, the odd topic is revisited , sometimes because there’s a notable improvement or update, and sometimes just because it makes sense to do so. I try to keep the stuff...
  • Tip o’ the Week #271 – Finding your Friends

    Sometimes, people don’t want to be found . That’s maybe understandable if you’re a sweary unemployed pugilist , but often, you’d like to locate your friends and colleagues and you’d like them to find you. Start by letting people see your calendar – in...
  • Tip o’ the Week #270 – Renaming Windows Phone

    No, we’re not talking about the rumoured change of brand from Windows Phone to simply, Windows 10 . This week’s tip is inspired by Edward Hyde , whose several-phones-in-one-family position meant that it was difficult to tell one from the other when referring...
  • Tip o’ the Week #269 – Clip to OneNote, once more

    Time moves on. Things that are news soon turn into things in history : 20 years ago , Microsoft Bob came into the world. Bob was ahead of its time in some ways, foretelling some UI principles and ideas that later became more refined. It also indirectly...
  • Tip o’ the Week #267 – Synchronising Outlook Signatures again

    Hot on the heels of last week’s missive about how to snaffle more storage space, once again we turn to OneDrive to solve a problem. First, let’s journey back in time to recall some previous tools. Once, there was a peer-2-peer (P2P) file...
  • Tip o’ the Week #266 – OneDrive - getting more storage

    OneDrive has been quietly expanding its functionality over the last while, increasingly echoing the UI of Office365 (with the numerous apps shown as tiles on the upper left of the screen). As well as offering a tier of free storage (recently upped to...
  • Tip o’ the Week #265 – Sorting pages in OneNote

    As has been mentioned before on ToW, OneNote is the kind of application that lots of people really love; it has a legion of fans who take to getting things done & their stuff in order, and are increasingly able to access it from all sorts of places...
  • Tip o’ the Week #264 – BCC people to a meeting

    There’s a great deal of etiquette bound up in email communications – and it varies by culture and sometimes by country. Some people politely make the point of always addressing the recipient in an email, and in thanking them at the end, whereas others...
  • Tip o’ the Week #263 – Starter for 10: Windows 10 Tips

    “ Starter for 10 ” – a phrase that evokes thoughts of Paxo berating some poor swot, or Bambi and the Scumbags . But what we have now is a few tips to get started with on Windows 10, and a promise of more to follow in due course (and maybe a picture round...