All posts by Dr Nitin Paranjape

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.

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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

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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.

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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

Minimize button in Teams Screen Sharing

Small but useful feature added to Teams. During Teams meetings when the desktop is shared, the communication option windows used to stay on the screen. This windows often overlapped important areas of the screen. The only way to avoid that interference was to manually move it to the bottom right corner (or some such inconspicuous area).

Now the problem is solved. There is a nice Minimize button. The window disappears. Job done.

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How to get it back? Look at the Taskbar and click on the Teams app icon. There is another window visible. Click on it to get the window back.

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This applies to the Desktop Teams App only.

Irritant: wrong bullet formatting in Word

Word bullets can trouble you a lot. If there is wrong bullet formatting – that too for just ONE bullet, it can be very frustrating to handle. This happens with numbering as well as shown here.

Sample image for wrong bullet formatting

But it is not a bug. There is a method behind the madness. And of course, there is a simple solution to it.

The problem with wrong bullet formatting

The formatting for the bullet itself is stored in the last character of the paragraph – the paragraph mark itself. It is usually invisible but it is still selectable.  So all that you have to do is to select it and then press CTRL Spacebar – which resets the formatting. Problem solved.

Bad bullet

To select the invisible character, go to the last character (the period in this case), press right arrow and then press Shift Right Arrow. Now the invisible paragraph mark is selected.

When this is done press Ctrl Spacebar which resets the formatting to default. Here the formatting of the paragraph mark was also red that is why number 3 was shown in red colour. When formatting is reset, the problem is solved.

 Homer banging head

Difference between save to This PC and Browse

While saving files we see these two options: This PC and Browse. What is the difference?

If it is a local file, Save or Save As – there is no difference. It opens the standard file save dialog showing local PC files.

If this is a OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams file, there is a difference. For saving these files for the first time, we choose OneDrive or Sites (Teams). Therefore, the Browse and This PC does not come into picture.

However, when you are saving a copy of such files, there is a difference. Note that for online files, there is NO Save As option, it is a Save a Copy option.

If you choose This PC, it will still show the standard File Save dialog showing the default folder (typically Documents).

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But if you choose Browse, it browses the current file save location – which is OneDrive or Teams or SharePoint.

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WhatsApp vs Kaizala

WhatsApp is simple, convenient and popular. Due to this, it is used for official work as well. Whether you like it or not, you have to accept it. Attempts to control it fail miserably. That is where Kaizala comes in. It provides all the convenience of WhatsApp plus all the security and governance you need for managing official work and data. It is a no brainer. But still, let us see WhatsApp vs Kaizala comparison from a business collaboration point of view.

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Reading time 6 min

Continue reading WhatsApp vs Kaizala

Password-less login in Office 365

Just using a login id and password is dangerous. For best protection we must use two factor login – password + OTP. But this is inconvenient and irritating. Now we have a new option – Password-less login – for Office 365. This is secure as well as convenient. See how easy it is and ask your IT team to enable it for you. (5 min reading time)

Password-less login

This requires you to download Microsoft Authenticator app on your mobile and configure it once. You must enable the Phone Sign-In option.

Once this is done, you do NOT need to type in your password at all during login. Here are the steps.

  1. Go to the login page Office.com and click Sign In
  2. Enter the login name and click Next
  3. Now, instead of asking for your password, it will just display a number

    Password-less login screen showing a 2 digit number

  4. At the same time, you will receive a notification on your mobile. This notification shows three numbers.

    Passwor-less login notification on mobile phone

  5. Choose the correct number from the mobile notification and choose Approve
  6. If the phone was locked at the time of receiving this notification, you will have to enter unlock code or use fingerprint or face sign-in
  7. That’s it. Now your login is done … without entering the password.

What happens if there is no internet connection

For the Password-less login to work, the Microsoft Authenticator app requires internet connection  on the mobile. If there is no internet connection, you can click on the Use your password instead option.

In this case, you can type the password as usual. You will NOT receive a notification on mobile. But the Microsoft Authenticator app will still show the code for your account. Type that code and the login will work. The codes are automatically generated every 30 seconds. This does not require an internet connection on your mobile.

Ask IT to enable Password-less login

This is an Azure AD feature. Ask  your IT team to refer to this article for details. It is just a single PowerShell command as of now (Dec 2018). Soon it will be available as an option in Azure AD portal user interface as well.