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The Electric Wand
Weekly tips from the "Tip o' the Week" email distribution inside of Microsoft.
Internet of things
Windows Phone 8.1
Xbox ONE. Media
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The Electric Wand
Tip o’ the Week #256 – Clip Art clips off
Exactly 5 years after publishing the very first instalment (though it was internal only for a year before I started posting the tips on this blog) , Tip o’ the Week goes Old Skool : # 256 , or 2 8 , the number of combinations possible from a single byte. If you want to join the retro-fun, Sir...
24 Dec 2014
Tip o’ the Week #239 – OneNote templates
As we’ve covered on ToW before , OneNote is an application that attracts legions of fans like few other productivity apps. The average user probably snips and clips, pastes and types into their OneNote notebooks, but may not realise the depths of functionality only a menu or two away. Surface 3 users...
5 Sep 2014
Tip o’ the Week #225 – Surveys R Us
Have you noticed an increase in online surveys asking if you have a few minutes to complete them, when you visit web sites? Do you duck & dive when walking along the street and are confronted by a just-a-little-too-friendly student in high-vis and brandishing a clipboard? Surveys are undoubtedly...
13 Jun 2014
Tip o' the Week #212 – Filing and piling of email
The topic of filing vs piling of email has been had on ToWs passim ( here & here ) , but this week’s gem comes courtesy of a recommendation by productivity guru Tim Pash . Tim says he couldn’t live without a cracking utility which plugs into Outlook, called SimplyFile . The premise is very simple...
21 Mar 2014
Tip o’ the Week #203 – Remote control of Office
Anyone who regularly presents will have had the occasion when there’s a need to wander around the stage, or instead be marooned behind a lectern on the side, yet if there’s no presentation “clicker” provided, it’s difficult to control the flow. A/V professionals complain that they can never keep hold...
7 Feb 2014
Tip o’ the Week #176 - F(u)11 screen ahead
This week’s tip might seem a little obvious to some, yet partially unknown to others. Internet Explorer has offered the capability to display a page in full-screen mode, since IE4. Just like the “ content, not chrome ” ethos of the “ Metro ” Modern UI design language, reducing the various window borders...
7 Jun 2013
Snipping tool for OneNote users
Following on somewhat from my off-topic Walking in the Country post, I thought I'd recount one useful tip that helps in grabbing the maps (or any other screen content, for that matter . at least anything that isn't rights-protected). If you have OneNote installed, press WindowsKey+S to initiate a snapshot...
8 Jan 2010
Tip o’ the Week #67–Lync Conferencing Tips
An earlier Tip o’ the Week featured “ 5 Golden Rules ” for OCS and Lync conferencing, and those tips still stand. If you host or participate in a Lync conference, you can dial-in to the meeting from a phone as well as joining from your PC – eg for Microsoft-hosted Lync conferences, attendees can find...
16 Sep 2011
Tip o’ the Week #136 – Inbox tips for Outlook 2013
If you’ve taken the plunge and started using Office 2013, you may be getting used to the subtle but impactful changes to the way some information is displayed, particularly lists of emails in your inbox. Outlook 2010 has a colourful Ribbon, emboldens folders where you have unread email, and shows everything...
7 Sep 2012
Tip o’ the Week #91 – So you're OOF? Meh.
Now that Outlook, Exchange and Lync all provide a way of showing that someone is Out of the Office (aka OOF, not OOO ), it should be no surprise when you send email to someone internally, that you get an Out of Office message. Outlook’s tool tip tells you they’re out, Lync’s status icon shows the small...
20 Jan 2012
Tip o’ the Week #92 – Take and Share better meeting notes
Be the scribe OneNote is a great audit tool. When you’re in meetings with customers and partners why not offer to take the notes on your tablet, slate or laptop and then when the meeting is done simply save the notes as a PDF to create a simple, (almost) non editable version of the notes that you can...
27 Jan 2012
Tip o’ the Week #23: Viewing Excel sheets side by side
Toni Kent from Microsoft UK’s partner group once again provides the inspiration for this week’s tip. Everyone loves the side-by-side windows feature of Windows 7, where you can dock windows to the sides of your monitor by dragging them (or pressing ÿ+→ or ÿ+←). But sometimes it doesn’t appear to work...
1 Apr 2011
Tip o’ the Week #17: Broadcast PPT to customers & partners
Many Microsoft folks have experienced the joys of scheduling Live Meetings with customers and partners, where they get an email or meeting request with lots of links, asking them to install software on their PC before they try to join the meeting. How often do the attendees not manage to click the right...
25 Feb 2011
Tip o’ the Week #44 – Making Outlook show only email from external senders
This tip came about after one reader asked if there was any way to highlight email, in Outlook, that came from a set of external addresses [in short, it kind-of is, but it’s not so straightforward] . There’s a more universally useful tip lurking beneath, though – how can I hide all...
8 Jul 2011
Tip o' the Week #144 - Office 2013 Templates
A short and sharp tip this week, courtesy of Louis Lazarus , concerning the way the New Office handles template files… and how to configure search in Outlook 2013 to be a bit more fullsome. See more templates online , and now, over to Louis… When you create a new document in Office 2013 with Word, Excel...
2 Nov 2012
Sometimes, you know you didn't pay enough
... (and sometimes you probably suspect you paid too much) A common trait in western cultures is the eye for a good deal - you know, getting two-for-the-price-of-one, or thinking that it's worth buying something because it's on sale and you'll save 25%, rather than because you really need it or wanted...
15 Aug 2007
Tip o' the Week #102 - When did someone really put something in their calendar?
I've been thinking about writing this tip since the ToW started almost exactly two years ago (yay!) but for various reasons, competitive advantage amongst them, I've held off. I figure it's now time to relent and share. genesis The tip concerns the differences in Outlook between appointments, meetings...
9 Mar 2012
Tip o' the Week #154 - Outlook 2013 searching - reprise
Sometimes, the best bits of content benefit from revisiting, improving or just being done in a different way. It was good enough for Sgt. Pepper , and a mainstay of any self-respecting 1970s concept album (try and hear the Supper’s Ready lyrics at the end of the Squonk reprise in Los Endos , for example...
18 Jan 2013
Exchange in the cloud or on the ground?
Following the price cut on the desperately-in-need-of-renaming BPOS services recently, I’ve been talking with a few people about the where the tipping point might be for running Exchange in house vs using some form of hosted provision. There are plenty of reasons why a hosted offering makes sense...
18 Nov 2009
Tip o’ the Week #29 – Filtering email to reduce the noise
Anyone who gets lots of email will appreciate the importance of Outlook rules. Most rules run on the Exchange server, but some (like rules which move messages to a PST folder on your PC) will run client-side. In Outlook 2010, the Rules settings are available from the File menu (or Backstage ). Over the...
20 May 2011
ZDNet sings praises of Office Communications Server beta
Like probably millions of other people, I get the daily ZDNet Tech Update Today (since long before RSS brought news feeds to the masses...) and was floored a little by David Berlind's column today. I think David's a good commentator - normally sails between the points of sycophancy and fundamentalism...
27 Mar 2007
Outlook 2007 signatures location
Following my post about .sig files , I had cause to dig around looking for where Outlook actually puts the Signature files. I came across a post which Allister wrote a little while ago, but it's such a useful little tip that it's worth repeating... Basically, Outlook 2007 offers a nice simple editor...
25 Jun 2007
Batch-convert Office files to 2007's Open XML format
A customer asked me the other day if Microsoft was ever going to build batch-conversion facilities to take old format files that live on a network fileshare, and convert them to the newer XML-based formats - his reasoning was the sometimes considerable reduction in size when saving as .DOCX or .XLSX...
30 Mar 2007
Tip o’ the Week #112 – Change Outlook’s startup folder
Productivity gurus wax on about how gaining and maintaining control of your never-ending to-do list starts with the way you prioritise, and how you build discipline in working through your task list rather than being distracted by less important “stuff”. So, why is it that we stick with...
18 May 2012
Tip o’ the Week #189 – Outlook View Tips
Outlook 2013 introduced some changes to the way the standard inbox view is presented. It’s basically a good thing , though if you have a lot of email and a small screen, it will certainly reduce the number of items on your default view. This means that once an email is (say) 15 from the top on your mailbox...
4 Oct 2013
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