Pivot Report Sharing

Here is a fast paced, 8 minute video which will revolutionize Pivot Report Sharing. Using OneDrive or SharePoint, control the visibility and provide full interactivity. Reports render instantly even with large files and low bandwidth.

Pivot Report Sharing articles

New, Improved way of delivering Excel reports: Part 1
New, Improved way of delivering Excel reports: Part 2
New, Improved way of publishing Excel reports: Part 3

Drop-down Gamification

Office has so many features that there is no place to show all of them on screen. That is why, Microsoft has to use drop-downs and More… buttons. Unfortunately, most of us never even notice these buttons, leave alone clicking on them to find out what more is available. Due to this, thousands of brilliant features are never noticed. Here is the solution: Drop-down Gamification. This concept applies to More buttons and sub-menus as well. The objective is to make this self-discovery of feature gems as much fun as possible.


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SFB Mute Mic :Meeting Etiquette

Skype for Business meetings are quite common nowadays. These meetings can go on for a long time and have many participants. Everyone is not speaking at all times. Most people are on mute. But what about the person who is speaking? While speaking, suddenly, there is a noisy interruption – cough, sneeze, someone barging in and talking loudly, phone ringing, etc. Most participants are using headphones. Imagine being sneezed right into your ear. Excruciatingly disgusting.  So here is a shortcut you must remember Windows key and F4. It works even when Skype for Business is not the current application. It works irrespective of which application you are currently in – typically PowerPoint, Excel or whatever else. Practice pressing Windows + F4 several times to make it into an instant reflex action. This will prevent you from torturing the participants with unexpected loud sounds.
This video has no commentary. 14 sec.

If you mute and unmute too often, are you not worried about others hearing this muting sound? Do not worry. Other’s cannot hear the muting sound. It is just for you to hear so that you are sure that the Mute shortcut worked. Unmuting does not have a sound associated with it. Sometimes you may unmute and not realize that the mic is on. Avoid such a situation. How? If in doubt press Windows + F4 agian. If you were on mute, no sound will come. If your mic was ON, you will hear the mute sound. Now decide what you want to do

Another practical use for Windows + F4 is answering while on mute. When you ask a question to someone who is on mute, you will notice a significant delay before the answer comes. Why is that? Because the muted person may not have SFB as the active application. Alternatively, that person is viewing your presentation in full screen mode. In either case the Mic mute / unmute button is not immediately accessible. The delay in response is due to that person struggling to find the unmute button! Now, using Windows + F4 you can reply instantly.


SFB Etiquette: Do not talk when you join a meeting

Yes. Just keep quiet. Listen to what is being said. Assess when is the right point of time when you can make others aware that you are a part of the meeting. At the most opportune moment, interject and introduce yourself and participate in the discussion. Simple SFB Etiquette. Follow it.

Do you know what happens usually? People join at different points of time in an online Skype for Business meeting. The person joining has no clue about what is being discussed before the point of joining. Unfortunately, most people in the world think that the entire audience is waiting for them to announce their grand presence. Which is rarely the case!

Join as usual. Listen for some time. Get the hang of what is being discussed. Most people who are already in the SFB meeting will notice that you are added to the participant list. Even if they don’t, just give yourself some time to understand the context. If you are lucky, some stupid people who have already joined will talk some secret or gossip thinking that you are not around… enjoy the moment. Finally, when the time is right, you talk and introduce yourself. That’s it. Try it and let me know if it works. If you are the host of SFB meetings frequently, it may be a good idea to educate your participants about it…. by adding one extra line in the invitation itself:

“When you join, your microphone is automatically muted. Even if it is not, mute it. Listen to what is being said and then introduce your presence at the right point of time.”

MRU Remove From List

MRU is a list of Most Recently Used files. We see that list in File – Open –Recent documents. As you know, this list shows the latest documents opened by you. Documents opened earlier move down in the list and eventually get removed when more files are opened. However, Office allows you to explicitly remove a particular item from the MRU list. Right click on any item and choose Remove from List.


The question is, why would you want to do that? Anyway the file will get flushed from the list soon. The answer is not so obvious. There are  many practical scenarios where this is very useful.  I am not going to explain each scenario. Just a list.

  1. You opened a local file and stored it on OneDrive. Now to files are seen in MRU. I want to remove the local file to avoid editing it accidentally.
  2. I am presenting to customer X. I also presented to the competitor Y just yesterday. I want to remove files related to customer Y.
  3. I opened XLS file, saved it as XLSX. This way Compatibility Mode is removed and I can use all the new features. Now, I do not want to accidentally open the XLS file and confuse myself.
  4. I am editing a complex file. I keep saving versions. When I save the latest version, I want to remove the entry of the older version from MRU to avoid confusion

If you can think of more usage scenarios, do post it as comments.

Excel risk Mitigation

This article is for CFOs, CEOs and other members of Senior Leadership Team. It requires just 10 minutes to read. But it will reduce your personal as well as organizational Operational Risk significantly.  Notice the green mark  below.
This is the biggest Excel risk.

Excel Risk - Demo

If you see even a single green mark, you should send the file back.
Ask the sender to handle all the green marks and send the revised file to you.
Of course, they may not know what you are talking about.
Ask them to read these 5 articles: Knowledge Pack: Green Marks in Excel

The rule is, Excel sheet with Green Marks should not be sent to anybody. It is the sender’s responsibility to remove all errors – not the recipient’s.

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Word Mobile Scrolling

Word Mobile is a brilliant product. It exceeds expectations in every possible way. For example, take a simple feature like scrolling. What more can you do to enhance scrolling? But Microsoft has really boosted that feature beyond your imagination. Here is a short visual blog to show you how it works. 

14 sec video. It will repeat automatically.

Word mobile scroll

It allow you to scroll while viewing the thumbnail. So convenient and useful.

The clarify of the thumbnail is perfect, even on the small mobile screen.

Works flawlessly with large documents.

Reach the desired page and stop scrolling. It will move to that page.

There is no way to abort scrolling. Remember, no Esc button on mobiles!

Neither scrolling nor thumbnail is a new feature in itself.

But combining them together in touch context is called innovation.