Using Office 365 effectively: CIO perspective (video)

I recently conducted a highly appreciated session at a CIO event in Mumbai. This 45 minute video is a MUST WATCH for every CIO and IT professional who is involved in effective utilization of Office and Office 365.

You can download it from HERE (46 MB WMV video).
When you click on this link, the video will try to play from OneDrive. But it WILL NOT PLAY. Click the Download button on that page, download it locally and then run it in full screen mode. If you like it, please share it with your colleagues and friends.

The recording resolution is intentionally low to keep the file size small. Some colors may show banding. But it is good enough resolution as a reference.
Do post your feedback as comments on this blog article.

Uncommon Common Sense: Summary should appear BEFORE the data

See any report – data comes first and then the grand total (or other summary calculations). What does the viewer of the report want to look at first? The Grand Total. Should that not be shown in the beginning? Obviously yes.
Resist that urge of putting summary after the data. Put it in the beginning.

Data should be tabular – headings followed by data. Convert it to an Excel table first. Select data – Insert – Table. Now you see Table Tools – Design menu on top. In that give the data a name (default name will be Table1, Table2, etc.). Let us say the name is mydata. Put a few blank rows BEFORE the data and add a formula on top to see the summary. That’s it!

image for Summary

The big and scary File menu

Earlier, the File menu was a humble drop-down menu. Since Office 2010, it suddenly occupies the whole screen. Scary! … is it not?

Think about it – why did Microsoft decide to give it so much space?
The answer is simple – because it is GOOD FOR YOU (as in – all of us – the users).
Find out the amazing facilities this menu provides us with. Reading time 4 minutes.

Continue reading The big and scary File menu

Which version of Office are you using? A new way of finding out

The official answer to finding the version of office is here. But it requires some trial and error. I found a very simple way. Rather than asking the user (or customer) to find out this information, it is simpler to detect it myself. I ask the customer to send the screenshot of File menu to me. That shows the version number easily.

 

2003 and before – File menu has a Page Setup menu option.

2007 – NO File menu. Instead there is a round, colorful button image

2010 – File menu has Save and Send option

2013 – File menu has Share option

Simple and effective. Works all the time.

How to get the good old File Open dialog with CTRL O

Small but useful post. Since Office 2012, CTRL O or CTRL S do not open Open / Save dialogs. You must click CTRL O – Computer – Browse to get that dialog. This is a GOOD THING. Because Microsoft wants to change our bad habit of storing everything locally and help us move to internet storage (OneDrive, SharePoint, DropBox, etc.).

In some cases, you want to do some quick and repeated operations on local PC. Want the simple Open / Save dialog just with CTRL O and CTRL S. Wish granted!
File – Options – Save – Don’t show the Backstage when opening or saving files.

Use CTRL O

Use this option temporarily. When the job is done, go back to the Backstage view. I will write more articles about Why Backstage is important very soon.

Did you know: Hyperlink within the same document

This is a brilliant feature. Often unknown. It is really very simple. Hyperlink usually refers to an external file or web page. But it need not. It can also refer to a part of the current document – provided we can identify the parts. This humble icon packs so much power – we have no idea what we have been missing. I myself learnt so much WHILE writing this article!

Hyperlink story

Continue reading Did you know: Hyperlink within the same document

Have you noticed the miraculous Touch Mode in Office 2013?

Using Office on a Windows touch tablet is difficult – because all the buttons and menu options are very close together. You end up choosing the wrong option by mistake. Frustrating! Solution has been given since the Office 2013 version was released. On top left corner of Office tools, look for the Touch Mode button.

Touch Mode in Office 2013

Why Choose Touch Mode?

Choose Touch Mode and miraculously your problem is solved – instantly. Of course, number of options available do not reduce (that is not an option for Microsoft!). But the SPACING between them increases so that you can confidently touch what you want with your finger.

Also notice that the right click menus, drop downs and galleries also get spaced out. Can you even begin to imagine how much extra effort went into implementing this feature? Appreciate it and use it!

Comparing Compare and Combine!

These two options in the Review tab are often unnoticed. Here is what they are for.

Compare and Combine
Compare and Combine

If you have an original document and another revised (changed) version – but you did not enable Track Changes before changing it – you need the COMPARE option. It will take both the documents, compare them and create a third document showing Tracked Changes.

If you have sent a document with Track Changes ON to many people and all of them send their revised version to you. Now you have multiple documents with each containing tracking by a DIFFERENT person. In this case you use the COMBINE option – two documents at a time to MERGE the track changes. Of course, changes are not accepted – just accumulated. Try it!

Continue reading Comparing Compare and Combine!