All posts by Dr Nitin Paranjape

Incremental Search in QAT customization list

Probably nobody noticed it. But this is an example of how Microsoft is looking at even the smallest inconveniences and resolving them to improve efficiency. In order to understand this topic, you have to know how to perform the QAT customization – Quick Access Toolbar. You can read this article for details.

While customizing QAT, you see two lists. The list on the left side has thousands of items – all available features in the product. The list on the right side contains items which are already there in your QAT.

The idea is to find the desired item from the main list and add it to the right side list. Now, in the longer list, if you wanted to find, let us say the item “Split”, you could not type the characters s p l. Basically, incremental search did not work at all. If you typed s p l it will show you the first entry of l rather than the entry starting with spl.

This required lot of scrolling and manual searching because it is a very long list. It is not a major issue but a small irritant. However, recently, Microsoft solved this and now, the long list supports incremental search. In short, you type spl together and it will go to Split item (in Word).

Incremental Search in QAT customization works.

We usually miss incremental improvements

The reason I am writing this article is that, most probably, I would have missed this improvement altogether. Why? Because for many years the list did not support incremental search. Once we know that something is not going to work, we just don’t try it.

Luckily, I tried it recently, hoping that true to its continuous improvement thought process, Microsoft may provide incremental search some day. And it did work.

A classic example of missing incremental improvements is associated with Excel. In older versions, if you click inside a cell and type CTRL A the entire sheet would get selected. What we wanted is to select the block of data around the selection. People just gave up on CTRL A.

But somewhere down the line (I don’t remember the exact version), Microsoft did enhance Ctrl A to select the current region of contiguous data. Unfortunately, most users who were earlier disillusioned with CTRL A never tried it again and they still don’t know that CTRL A works.

Such if life!

Office Efficiency Crash course

This is a jump start for using Office efficiently. It is called Office Efficiency Crash Course because it contains 120 “must know” things across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive.

This session was conducted for 400+ MBA new joiners at WeSchool, Mumbai.

3 hr, 20 min video. Fast paced. With lot of demos.

Dr Nitin delivering the session at WeSchool, Mumbai

Office Efficiency Crash Course Table of Contents

It is a long video. You may want to see a particular product. Here is the product specific Table of Contents. Click on the link to jump to that part in the video.

OneDrive
Excel
Outlook
OneNote
PowerPoint
Word

120 topics are covered. Here is the detailed table of contents. Continue reading Office Efficiency Crash course

Work Efficiency Transformation using Office 365

This is a recording of the session conducted at WeSchool – Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai on 23rd Jun 2019. All business users will find this video useful. Work Efficiency Transformation using Office 365 is relevant to any organization using the Office 365 platform.

Duration: 3 hr 12 min

This video demonstrate efficient usage of various tools including Outlook, Excel, Power BI, OneDrive, Teams and Planner.

The audience consisted of 200+ working professionals pursuing the WeSchool MBA course. Smart and attentive audience. In spite of it being a Sunday, everyone was fully engrossed and interested in learning more. Special thanks to Prof. Pradeep Pendse who invited me to conduct the session, it was a pleasure addressing such a large and intelligent audience.

Table of Contents

Jump to a specific topic in the video.
Outlook
Excel and Power BI
Office
3D Map in Excel
OneDrive
Teams and Planner
PowerPoint
Summary

Office 365 Usage Scenarios

O365 contains a lot of tools. Most users do not even know about all the tools available. Even if you know the tools, the next question is – which tool to use when? Most people take this decision either randomly or based upon their habits. Both approaches are wrong. I created a set of 5 videos to illustrate some common Office 365 Usage Scenarios.

Office 365 Usage Scenarios

This is a playlist in YouTube. Each video is about a common business need. For each business need, the video demonstrates the best suited tool. As you know, efficiency is a two step process… step 1 is to know what is available and step 2 is to use the right tool in the right place.

You can view the playlist here.
These videos have a British voice because I created these videos for global consumption.

Here are the videos. Each one is just 5 minutes long. Continue reading Office 365 Usage Scenarios

Move to OneDrive option

Small but useful enhancement for OneDrive. When you have the latest version of OneDrive for Business installed (it updates automatically along with Windows Update), you should see a Move to OneDrive option on right clicking any file or folder in Windows Explorer.

Move to OneDrive option

Choose between all the locally configured OneDrive accounts.
Business as well as Personal.

Importance of Move to OneDrive option

Without this option, most users COPIED files and folder to OneDrive. This had two side effects…

  1. The original files stayed on the local drive as a separate copy. This means the same file is occupying space twice.
  2. Often users got confused about which file they are editing / opening – the local copy or the OneDrive based file. This leads to lost changes and further confusion.

Best Practice: Move to OneDrive

The best practice is to MOVE rather than COPY local files to OneDrive. But even if you mention that as a best practice, moving itself is a cumbersome task. Even though everyone understands the difference between Copy Paste vs. Cut Paste, people feel more safe to do a Copy Paste first.

Why? Because they are worried about what happens if the Cut Paste (Move) fails. The reality is, even if a bulk Move fails, only the file which was being moved will get affected. Other files will be either in the source or destination. So there is no real danger of losing all the files in case of a failed Move operation.

Nevertheless, having a direct option for Move to OneDrive is more authoritative and reassuring.

Make sure you include this option in your training material and best practices documents.

Bonus : New OneDrive logo

Hope you have noticed the new OneDrive logo… here it is.

This one is modern and is implemented as an SVG file rather than a raster icon. It uses a more vibrant colour scheme. All Office logos have changed to make it visually consistent.

image

Change filename while the file is open

Hope you have noticed this handy feature. If your Office files are stored on OneDrive, Teams or SharePoint, you can change the file name WHILE you are editing the file.

It is so simple, but extremely useful. From the title bar, open the dropdown next to the file name. The filename textbox is editable. Change the name and press ENTER. That’s it.

Change file name dialog

What else can you do here?

  1. See Version History
  2. Open the file on web location (OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams)
  3. Share a file (this can be done more easily using the Share button in the ribbon)

Rename not possible with older file formats

image

This is an XLS file. It opens in Compatibility Mode. Live Rename is not possible.

Windows Clipboard History

I hope you know that Office gives you 24 clipboards (not just one). Now, Windows 10 also gives multiple clipboards (starting Oct 2018 update). It is called Windows Clipboard History.

Enable Windows Clipboard History

Simple method, just press Windows key + V. It will ask you to enable Windows Clipboard History. Click the Turn On button. That’s it.

image

The official way is to Go to Settings – search for Clipboard and enable it.

Windows Clipboard History enable option

How to copy into the clipboard?

Nothing new here. Use the copy option in any software or Ctrl C – as usual. What is different is that earlier we used to get only ONE clipboard. So if you copied something else, the earlier clipboard content is overwritten.

If you press Ctrl V, the current clipboard will be pasted – again as usual.

But now, there is another option.

Windows V – Windows Clipboard History shortcut

If you press Windows key with V, you will see a list of various items you have copied earlier. You can now choose which one you want to paste. The windows appears at the current cursor location in a document.

The list is visual. You can actually see the contents of the clipboard.

Click on the one you want to paste.

Pin frequent items to the Windows Clipboard History so that you don’t lose them.

When is the Windows Clipboard History cleared

It is cleared when you restart the PC. The Pinned items will be available even after a restart.

What is stored in the history

Maximum clipboard size is 4 MB. It is a very powerful clipboard. It understands all kinds of objects – not just text and images. For example, it can copy paste PowerPoint slides, Adobe Illustrator objects and so on.

Understand the risk

Past data is stored in the history. So anyone who uses the Windows V shortcut on your PC (in your login) will see all the past clipboard entries.

BE CAREFUL ABOUT PASSWORDS AND OTHER SENSITIVE DATA

Windows Clipboard History shortcut image