See all products »
Curah! curation service
Microsoft Tech Companion App
Microsoft Technical Communities
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Server and Tools Blogs
TechNet Flash Newsletter
Cloud and Datacenter
Windows Server 2012 R2
System Center 2012 R2
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1
Windows 8.1 Enterprise
See all trials »
Microsoft Download Center
TechNet Evaluation Center
Compatability & Converters
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Free Windows Server 2012 courses
Free Windows 8 courses
SQL Server training
MCSA: Windows 8
Windows Server Certification (MCSE)
Private Cloud Certification (MCSE)
SQL Server Certification (MCSE)
Second shot for certification
Born To Learn blog
Find technical communities in your area
For small and midsize businesses
For IT professionals
For technical support
For home users
Microsoft Premier Online
Microsoft Fix It Center
Security Bulletins & Advisories
International support solutions
Log a support ticket
Not an IT pro?
Microsoft Customer Support
Microsoft Community Forums
The Electric Wand
Random thoughts of a technology enthusiast.
Browse by Tags
The Electric Wand
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 #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
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
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
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
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 #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 #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 #96 – Reining back Outlook’s file size
Outlook likes to cache lots of information on your PC – which is generally beneficial. All of the email in your mailbox, for example, is already on your hard disk, so when you open a message or an attachment, it can open it quickly. This is a Good Thing . In fact, it’s the reason why Office 365 works...
10 Feb 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 #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 #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 #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 #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
Tip o’ the Week #26 – multiple time zones in Outlook Calendar
Sometimes you need to create appointments that will make sense when you’re in a different time zone - it helps to use Outlook, Exchange and its phone integration to put relevant stuff in the calendar, so you can make sure you’re in the right place and at the right time. Now there are a couple of ways...
6 May 2011
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 #19: Navigating multi-sheet Excel workbooks
Here’s a quick tip for Excel junkies. If you are using workbooks with many sheets, or where tab names are long, it can take a fair bit of scrolling around at the bottom of the Excel window. If you right-click on the navigation buttons shown to the left of the tabs/sheets, Excel will throw up a list of...
11 Mar 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
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
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
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
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
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
Calibri: a font like no other...
Someone asked me a semi-bizarre question today: the new fonts which are in Office 2007 and Windows Vista, especially Calibri (which, I must say, I think looks great)... Can they be installed on older versions of Windows or Office? I had never really appreciated all the work that goes into generating...
19 Mar 2007
© 2014 Microsoft Corporation.
Privacy & Cookies