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April 26th, 2007

Diana always seems to have the tips you need-read them!

 Diana Huggins who contributes to Lockgnome’s Windows Fanatics blog always seems to have those tips and how tos that people need.  Whether it’s watermarks in Word or new lines in Excel cells, Diana has posted them.

Sure, you might think they are simple, if you’ve already spent time trying to figure out how to do it through trial and error and Office help, but lots of people haven’t.

Instead of just posting every day her latest tip, just save us both some time and subscribe to the blog and get them via RSS.


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

March 14th, 2007

Finally a real tip to speed up Outlook 2007!

 One of the big problems folks have been having with Office 2007 is Outlook.  Frankly, it can be a serious dog.  Sluggish, serious performance lags.  All the things you don’t want in your “latest and greatest” e-mail client.  Looks like, thanks to Mack D. Male, there is a solution:

DELL has gotten back to me with a solution that seemed to work.

Following these steps:

1. Open Outlook as an Administrator by going to C:Programs/Microsoft Office/Office12 and right clicking on the Outlook exe program.  Choose “Run as Administrator”.

2. Then once Outlook opens, go to Tools, then Trust Center, then Addins.

3. Click “Go…” at the bottom and uncheck Outlookaddins.

4. To maximize speed, they recommended to uncheck everything EXCEPT Windows Indexing, which, according to them, is the only useful addin anyway.

When I did this, the speed of my Outlook 2007 improved significantly; although, we will all have to wait for Microsoft to release the update that fixes this issue completely. I hope this helped you.  Microsoft Discussion Groups Home

I did this last night and I think it’s working.  Mack and I would both like to see what others find.  Truth be told I didn’t disable Evernote clipping or ClearContext (of course!), but I still think there was a boost.

Give this tip a shot and let me know if it works for you.  Best of all you can “undo” it very, very easily.


By Tris Hussey -- 14 comments

February 20th, 2007

Mindsystems ThemeReader-An exciting new add-on for MindManager

 I got an e-mail from Tom Hodgers today.  Remember him?  Yeah he was one of our contest winners.  It sounds like Tom has been getting into MindMager and told me about a really cool new MM add-on called ThemeReader.  Here is how Mindsystems describes it:

Mindsystems ThemeReader™ is the latest edition to the MindManager® family of products. Offering an advanced new way to scan almost any document type for ideas and common themes. Mindsystems ThemeReader then instantly converts the relevant information in into an easy to understand visual MindManager® Map.
Source: Mindsystems: Mindsystems ThemeReader™

You read this and think “Yeah, right. How can something go through my document and turn it into a useful Mindmap?”  Yeah, I was a skeptic too.  Then I tried it.

First pass was on a simple document from a client laying out the categories for a new blog.  It was pretty darn impressive.  It brought some things to my attention that I had missed on my first pass through the document.

Okay, that was just a simple Word doc.  So I figured it needed a real challenge, let’s try a PDF.  I took Charlene Li’s recent Blogging ROI whitepaper.  Not too long, but lots of info in there.  And …

Wow.  Took less than a minute to process and get the map up.  Now that’s cool.

Tom suggested that this app would be great for students.  I’m going to take it beyond that.  Here’s the best example I could think of.  You’ve been asked to summarize a whitepaper, proposal, or article for your boss.  Instead of reading it and then writing your summary, you read it and let ThemeReader make a map of it.  All the detail is there.  It’s easy to re-organze and edit.  Zap that map off to your boss and the original.  Done.  Maybe edit the map so the ThemeReader info isn’t there.  You don’t want to give away all your secrets do you ;-) (never forget the Scotty Principle)?

Best of all ThemeReader, like MindManager, comes with a 21-day trial so you can really give it a good try before buying it.  ThemeReader is on my wish list already.

By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

February 16th, 2007

Download needed to save as PDF or XPS in Office 2007

One of the anticipated features and Microsoft office 2007 is the ability to natively export files as PDF or XPS.  I was looking for this feature today when I needed to send off an invoice but couldn’t find it.  Luckily a quick search in help gave me the answer right away, I needed to download the add-in!

It only took a couple seconds to do this and I didn’t even need to reboot or close Excel, but really bugged me that this wasn’t included by default.

Here’s the link to the page where you can download this pretty essential add-in for office 2007.

Even though Microsoft has been criticized by Adobe for including PDF export in Office 2007, I think it’s a really good thing.  I wonder if the XPS format is gonna catch on and all.  I think we’ll have to wait and see. 


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

February 15th, 2007

Stuck creating a document? Try using a template

So you need to create a new document.  It doesn’t matter if you’re using Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint (or even OpenOffice), looking at a blank screen is almost as daunting as getting the document done.

Now, when you make this a complex task, like a form letter or invoice, you can waste a lot of time making one from scratch.  My first stop whenever I need to do something like this is to look for the built-in templates that of come with Microsoft office.

Like today, I needed to make a new invoice, my old PDF invoice wasn’t going to work anymore, so I needed something new.  My first stop in Excel, because a knew Excel was the right application for me to make invoices, was to open help, and type invoice template.  I was given a choice of several different styles of templates, I picked one, downloaded it from Microsoft, filled it in, and I was done.

The same goes for Word or PowerPoint, browsing the built in templates can save you a ton of time when you need to make a new document, an especially a complex document.

For instance business cards.  When you buy one of the print yourself business card packs, using a template is critical to making sure the cards come out right.

For those of you who think all stock templates are boring and ugly, you’re wrong.  A lot of the templates are very nice, and all of them can be customized.

One of the best work tips I can give you is to use the resources your computer already has two save you time and effort.  Using templates is one of those tips that everyone should be using.


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

February 14th, 2007

Office 2007 early adopters, don’t forget everyone else

You jumped on the Office 2007 bandwagon, eh?  Yeah me too.  Like it?  I do.  I think it rocks.  Yeah there have been complaints about Outlook 2007 being a tad sluggish, but eh, I can deal.  But, we’re the cutting edge, we’re out there, trailblazing.  The rest of the working world, well it might be a few years before Office 2007 is installed on the majority of machines.  So in the meantime here are some tips for you.

First, make sure you save files in the old Office 98-2003 format.  You won’t notice much of a difference and Office let’s you know when you’re using an Office 2007 feature that might not be fully compatible.

Next, if you’re working on documents a lot with other folks, stick to the Office 2003 styles.  I love the Office 2007 styles myself, and I use them, but that’s only because I’m usually the last person to touch a proposal before it’s PDFed for a client.

To me sending a file in one of the new formats is pretty rude.  Look, you’re an early adopter (most likely) so you should know better.  Sending and Office 2007 file is like saying “hey you’re not as cool as I am, just get with it and install the importers…”.  Not a good way to win friends and influence people in my book.  Especially clients.  Lord, especially clients.

For the next while, just stick with .doc, .ppt, .xls and PDF.  Those are all standard files.  Do that, and you’ll be happier.  And have fewer e-mails to deal with saying “I can’t open this, can you re-send it?”


By Tris Hussey -- 0 comments

December 5th, 2006

Are you going to be ready for Office 2007? What about your Mac friends? (Updated)

For the moment at least, the door is closing on MS Office being a universal office app program.  For years you’ve been able to send your Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files to Mac users as they are and know they would be able to open, edit, and save them just fine.  Okay sometimes Mac users forget Windows folks need the suffix, but that’s no big deal.  With the launch of Office 2007, that all has changed.  The default file format is the new XML-based one that there isn’t a translator for on the Mac.  Office 2003 users on Windows will be able to download a translator pack, but Mac users are left out in the cold.

So what are you going to do?  Stick with older versions of Office until the translators are out?  Remember to save as an older version of Office?  Of the two, the stick with the old version seems the easiest (not to mention cheapest) route.  Yes, I like Office 2007.  Yes, I have a copy.  I’ve installed it on one of my machines here at home.  But this brings out a bigger question.  How do you handle Mac-PC issues?

Frankly I haven’t given it much thought in years.  Yeah I used to be a die-hard Mac guy, but not anymore (I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard Windows guy though).

For most business users, it isn’t going to be a huge deal.  Most businesses run on PCs, but you deal with a lot of Mac users.  Designers, artists, layout, print prep.  These are still Mac dominated areas.

Me?  Well, I’m going to be making the move to Office 2007 pretty soon (one more beta to come out and I’m there).  I will, though, be saving in Office 2003 format for a while I’m sure.

How about you?

Update:  The folks at Mac Mojo (the Office Mac team blog) have posted that the Mac translators for Office 2007 will be coming soon and will be free.  In fact according to the post the translators are being worked on now.  Good show!

Hat tip to Global Nerdy.  See also CrunchGear.

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By Tris Hussey -- 1 comment