PowerPoint: How to create Picture Organizational Chart in 2 minutes

The need

It is annual Planning time.  You need to create an organizational chart with pictures and designated titles and present to your boss.  But you dont want to have to manually insert each picture one by one.  How can you do that in PowerPoint?

Preparation

  1. You need pictures of people who go into the organization chart. Save these in a single folder.
  2. PowerPoint 2010 or above

Picture Organizational Chart

Simple steps to creating a Picture Organizational Chart

  1. Create a new PowerPoint presentation
  2. Add a blank slide
  3. Insert – Picture – choose all pictures from the folder and choose insert
  4. All pictures will be added and selected
  5. DO NOT disturb the selection
  6. Click on Picture Tools – Picture Layout – Choose Org Chartcreate Picture Organizational Chart in PowerPoint
  7. Now all of the pictures are arranged in a straight line. Don’t Worry!
  8. It is now converted to a SmartArtimage
  9. Click on the edit button on the left edge of the SmartArtimage
  10. Now you can see pictures and empty bullets
  11. All bullets are same level that is why the org chart is flat
  12. Choose the boss. Use Shift Alt Up arrow / Down arrow to rearrange
  13. For subordinates press TAB one or more timesSNAGHTML2d14236
  14. Rearrange and you are done!
  15. If you want, type names in each bullet
  16. Resize the SmartArt as required
  17. That’s it!

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Choose the SmartArt – SmartArt Tools menu – Design – Choose another Layout. Only two layouts in this category support pictures.

PowerPoint Picture Organizational Chart

Readjusting the visible portion of a picture

If PowerPoint chose a wrong area, click on the picture – Picture Tools – Crop. Now move the picture to select desired area. This part may have to be done repeatedly to get perfect results. Unfortunately, there is not shortcut available because PowerPoint does not know which region of the photos you want to show.

Demo files

This presentation contains three slides.

  1. Contains all pictures
  2. Contains Final Org Chart
  3. Contains Org chart in different format

Download the presentation Org Chart Demo

The pictures are royalty free – from Office Online Clipart

How to create a list of all WordPress blog posts

Lifelog

Conrad Bangkok.. Extended exposure photo…

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The need

I needed this myself. I am new to the WordPress platform.

I wanted to add a page containing all my post titles for a simple reason. I don’t want to repeat the same post. Trust me it can happen!

So I did lot of R&D and finally found this simple method. No programming is necessary.

As a result I added the All Posts page to this blog.

The solution: WordPress archives Shortcode

    1. Go to WordPress admin page
    2. Go to Pages and Add New Page
    3. In the visual editor (no need to go to the text editor) type
      [ archives order=asc]
    4. Save and publish the pageWordPress archives
    5. That’s it. The page now lists all the posts in ascending order (oldest first)All WordPress posts

There are many other options available for refining the archive list. These modifiers are documented at Archives Shortcodes.

Problem

I wanted a serial number before each post. There is a before and after tag. But it did not work as the already has a

    tag around it. So OL and LI was ignored.

Better method

Then I found a better shortcode called [ display-posts]

This one gives much more customization options.

The final shortcode gave me exactlly what I wanted.

[ display-posts wrapper=”ol” order=asc display-posts posts_per_page=”500″ include_date=”true” date_format=” : j M y” ]

Here is the final result – All Posts Page

List of blog posts in WordPress

Control who can edit what in Word with Restrict Editing

You need it, but you did not know it exists

This is a classic example of a great feature which nobody uses because nobody knows. But once you know it, you will curse yourself for not knowing it earlier.

For this feature to work, you must have Active Directory setup in your organization. If you are not sure, ask your IT team.

You specify which area can be edited by whom by using Restrict Editing

  1. Create a document
  2. Create a structure (outline) by using Headings and Subheadings using Heading stylesimage
  3. Review – Restrict Editing (older versions – Document Protection)
  4. New window (pane) opens on the right side.
  5. Choose Allow only this type of editingWord Restrict Editing
  6. By default it will be Read Only
  7. Understand the Exceptions section
  8. As of now, there is no exception. That means – for everyone it is read only
  9. Now click on More users  link
  10. Add userid or email ids of people from your organization separated by commas and click ok
  11. Now select any area in the document and choose who can edit itimage
  12. For common areas like Executive Summary, Discussion, Conclusion, Action Plan ,etc, select the Everyone option
  13. Finally click Start enforcing protection
  14. Now specify a password (long one, of course)
  15. DO NOT give this password to anyone
  16. Send the document to people (ideally store it on SharePoint and send link to people)
  17. Now whenever someone opens the file, Word asks Windows who is this person
  18. It then manages the editing or read only parts dynamically
  19. When you open it, the part you can edit can be far away. So it shows you these helpful buttons.Restrict Editing options
  20. If you use SharePoint and Word 2010 or 2013, these people can edit the document simultaneously.

This feature is there for at least 10 years!

Next time you say – I already know Office… think again!

How to select things faster in Office

The need

Selecting text, data or objects is so commonly done that we don’t even think how it is ACTUALLY being done. As a result, many methods of selecting things are inefficient. Each time you may waste few seconds, but it adds up. Based upon what I have seen, I feel most of us waste at least 15 minutes a day because we don’t use the right method of selecting things.

Ctrl A = Select All – not just in Word

All of us know CTRL A selects the whole document. Unfortunately, we never try it elsewhere.

The idea is simple. Wherever there is a logical need for selecting everything in a given context – try CTRL A

  1. Excel Table If cursor is inside a table CTRL A selects the data portion. Another CTRL A selects the header row as well. Another CTRL A selects the whole sheet. The active cell always remains the same. (will explain this in another article)
  2. Excel data : CTRL A selects contiguous block. Another CTRL A selects whole sheet.
  3. Excel Find Search Results: Selects all results. Ctrl Click can be used for unselecting individual items.
  4. In a Slide: Selects all objects. Ctrl Click for exceptions

Inclusive selection

This is useful for shapes, pictures and other objects. If there are multiple objects on a slide, Click somewhere outside any object and draw a rectangle by dragging the mouse.

Any object which is completely inside the rectangle is selected. Ctrl Click for exception.

Inclusive selection in Powerpoint

Inclusive selection in Powerpoint

Select beginning, scroll to end, Shift Click

This is useful for very long lists, long data, long portions of text, web pages etc.

Start the selection at the beginning. But don’t try to drag the mouse all the way to the end, because it is very cumbersome. Let some small portion in the beginning be selected.

Now scroll to the end point without clicking anywhere inside the document. Now press shift key and click at the end point. The entire intervening area from beginning to end will be selected.

Go To in Excel

If you know the beginning and ending of the range, you can choose F5 (Go To) and type the range like A1:D1000 and click ok.

If you have a name for the range or the table, you can type the name itself.

You can open the dropdown near the name box to move to and highlight any named item.

Go to in Excel

Triple Click

Double click selects a word. Triple click selects a paragraph in Word. Did you know that?

Shift is the selection key

If you are moving from place A to place B in the document by any method – page down, scroll, mouse scroll , whatever… and if the shift key is pressed, then it selects things.

Try this out to understand what I mean.

End mode in Excel

Make sure you have a block of data to try this out.

Selection - End mode in Excel

Look at the status bar. It should show Ready

Now press and release the END key.

Now status bar shows END mode. What does this mean? Excel now knows that you want to move the selection from the current place to the end. But it still does not know end in which direction. So it is waiting for you to clarify that. That is called End Mode.

Now you are supposed to guide Excel by just pressing and releasing up, down, right or left key. Then it will move to the end in that direction.

Of course if Shift key was pressed all along then it will SELECT from original to final position.

So if you want to select from current position (C4) to the end of the row, the exact sequence would be like this.

  1. Keep pressing SHIFT key
  2. Press and release End key
  3. Notice that End mode is active in the status bar
  4. Press and release Right arrow key
  5. Now C4 to end of the row will be selected
  6. Now release the SHIFT key

Selecting within Word tables

Lot of convenient methods of selection are available using mouse. The best way is to create a table. Move the mouse cursor slowly and whenever it changes try a single or double click.

Also try single or double click on the left side margin, just outside the table.

Summary

Of course there are hundreds of other methods of selecting effectively. This article has shown some commonly useful ones. But keep on the lookout for situations where you are selecting something repetitively. That is the place where you have to find a faster method of selection. Try to explore. I am sure you will find a better way.

If you cant, ask me.

How to format books for Kindle: Raj Chaudhuri – Guest Post

Introduction

As you know I just published my first book on Kindle. I could not have done it without help from Raj Chaudhuri. Raj is my close friend and a genius on Microsoft platform. I wrote the book in Word and when I converted it to Kindle format it looked horrible. Raj came to the rescue and refined the HTML to ensure it renders properly on Kindle. We realized that this conversion has to be done by hand and it has not been documented properly anywhere. Fragmented, random posts are available but no authoritative guidance available. So I invited Raj to write this post. image

How to create content for Kindle Books

Kindle books are created in a format called AZW, which is a variation of a format called MobiPocket. AZW (or mobi) files are created from HTML source files, and can include images and some formatting. When creating books for Kindle, we need to keep in mind at least two important things about the MobiPocket format:

  1. Mobipocket content is meant to be freely reflowed, to optimally adapt to the screen size. This means that we should not plan a book with rigid formatting requirements. Things like multiple columns, tables, text flowing around images, etc. should be avoided. We should also avoid page numbers, footers and annotations.
  2. The user (rather than the publisher) chooses the font family, font size, margin size, line spacing, etc. to make the reading more comfortable. This means that we should not spend too much time choosing fonts – nor should we differentiate our text using only font family or font size. Any of these things may be unavailable on some devices, or be overridden by a user.

The Kindle Direct Publishing site allows us to upload a zip file containing an html file and supporting media files, and converts it to the AZW format automatically. The HTML file should not be too complex, and can contain some CSS styling. The CSS styles can be defined in a separate stylesheet file, which needs to be included in the zip file. All images used in the HTML file should also be included in the zip file. In general, we should limit the HTML to the following tags: p, div, h1-h9, ol/li, ul/li, img, a, b and i. CSS should be limited to margin, padding, indent and line-height. There are two lines of Amazon Kindle devices: the e-ink line and the Fire series. The e-ink ones are monochrome, and support a limited number of fonts. The Fire series support color, fonts and richer formatting options such as tables. To ensure a uniform experience across devices, we need to watch out for some factors. These are the ones I found.

  1. Use heading styles (h1-h9) and paragraphs mainly. Use div tags sparingly.
  2. Different Kindle devices have different defaults regarding how headings and paragraphs are styled. If we want uniformity, we will have to redefine the styles using CSS. This is particularly true for paragraph indents. Most kindle devices format paragraphs using a first-line indent. We can override this using the following css: p { text-indent: 0 }
  3. The fire devices support color. The e-ink devices display colored images as grayscale, and do it quite well. Some e-ink devices can also display text foreground and background colors as grayscale, but some can’t. So we should not differentiate any of our text content using color only.
  4. Bold and italic work across kindle devices.
  5. The HTML ul tag creates a bulleted list on all kindle devices. By default, text in this list is slightly indented, which is what is usually expected. The ol tag creates a numbered list on all devices except the Kindle DX. This list is also indented by default.
  6. Changing the default fonts will work on the Fire devices, but not on the e-ink ones. It’s generally better to stick with the default fonts, especially for paragraphs. We can change the fonts for the heading if we really need to.

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A book will turn out better if the HTML is created by hand. But we can use Microsoft Word if we want to. These are the guidelines for using Microsoft Word. Even after using Word, it is a good idea to clean up and refine the HTML manually. There does not seem to be an automated way of doing it.

  1. Do NOT use any of Word’s wonderful formatting tools. Use only Heading styles, bold and italics.
  2. Do not use Word’s bullets and numbering. Write any bulleted or numbered lists as simple paragraphs, and change them later, as described in point 7.
  3. Do not paste images into the Word document. Instead, use the Insert Image command to insert them from files.
  4. Do not leave extra lines between paragraphs. Use Paragraph setting of Space Before and After to get desired spacing.
  5. You can use Word’s Table of Contents feature. Make sure the TOC is updated before the next step.
  6. Start a new topic (Heading 1) on new page. It is better to add the page break manually rather than include it as a part of Heading 1 style definition.
  7. Save the document as “Filtered HTML”. This saves the document and the associated images using minimal HTML. The HTML that Word still generates is still horrible, but this is better that saving as “HTML”.
  8. Edit the HTML using a text editor. Introduce ul and ol tags in places where you need bullets and numbering. Clear out any unneeded formatting or text. In particular, look for   elements and remove them.
  9. Word embeds a style element in the HTML file itself. It defines a number of CSS style classes, most of which we do not need. The ones we do need are as follows:
  10. MsoNormal – Word assigns this class to all paragraphs. We should ideally ensure that this class contains only margin, padding and indent styles, if at all.
  11. MsoToc1 through MsoToc9 – These are classes for the different levels in the table of contents.
  12. In Nitin’s book, we used custom CSS styles for showing Step by Step processes, additional details, pictures (centering) and spacing above and below and Generic learning. Make sure not to rely on color and font type because monochrome devices do not render it either completely or partially.

Publishing the book

Buy the book Building your book for Kindle. Yes it is 2.5 USD it does explain the process step by step. The formatting details mentioned above are sadly missing. That is why we wrote this blog. Building your book for kindle

  1. Login to Kindle Direct Publishing site and sign in.
  2. Create a new book and enter all details
  3. Create a separate book cover file and upload it.
  4. Create a zip file containing the base html file and its related image files folder. If you are using a CSS file, make sure that is a part of the zip file as well.
  5. Upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing
  6. Fill in all the details and wait. After few hours your book should be available in the store

Feedback

Do post your feedback and comments. We will keep updating this post if we learn any more related best practices.

Published my first book: Ribbon Hater’s Handbook

This book explains how the Ribbon is an empowerment rather than a disappointment. Office Ribbon was introduced around for 7 years. Still most of us are still not comfortable with it. Some of us hate it actively, most of us just settle for a compromise.

Ribbon Hater's Handbook

View details on Amazon Kindle bookstore. Only available on Kindle platform.
USD 5 (INR 307).

If you don’t have a Kindle device you can still read it by downloading free Kindle Reader Apps for Windows PC/ Mac, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, iPhone or iPad devices.

Book Summary

  1. Ribbon is good for you.
  2. Read  each tooltip in each tab to learn more about great features which you may be ignoring
  3. Add commonly used buttons which don’t have keyboard shortcuts to Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
  4. Add buttons which you need but are not available in the Ribbon to the QAT
  5. First 9 buttons get automatic shortcuts Alt 1 to Alt 9
  6. Therefore, arrange the most useful 9 buttons in QAT at first 9 positions
  7. Create Custom Ribbon and Custom QAT as per your needs
  8. Commonly used buttons go into QAT. Activity related buttons go into custom Ribbon tabs
  9. The File menu now occupies the full screen for a purpose. Explore all options there and you will be surprised how much you were missing out on.
  10. Quick Print button can be activated by using the dropdown next to the QAT
  11. You must share your customization with your colleagues using Export / Import feature
  12. IT can deploy pre-customized ribbon automatically using a login script and group policy
  13. Sometimes, you need to create a custom ribbon for a specific document.
  14. Such documents, if commonly reused, should be stored as templates.
  15. Templates can be shared using email (not recommended), SharePoint + Group Policy or SharePoint Content Types
  16. Download interactive command guides. These help you find old commands in the new UI.

Features NOT mentioned in the book

Specially for followers of this blog Smile

Double click works with some buttons

Try using it on Format Painter and Highlighter. Double clicking allows you to use the button repeatedly – it remains in the same ‘Mode’.

For example, if you want to copy formatting from one shape and apply it to multiple shapes (even across slides) – this is how you do it.

  1. Select the original shape from where you want to copy the formatting.
  2. Double click on Format Painter.
  3. Now the mouse cursor changes.
  4. Now click on one or more shapes.
  5. You can change to another slide, still it is in Format Painter mode.
  6. When you finish, press Escape.

Double click DOES NOT work with shapes

This is unfortunate because we do need to draw multiple shapes of the same type quite often. But don’t worry. Right click on the shape and choose Lock Drawing Mode.

Now you can draw multiple shapes of the same type without clicking on the shape icon repeatedly.

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Next Article

I will cover what I learnt while creating and publishing the Kindle Book.

Show Off Demo: OneNote and Outlook

This is a new type of article. Impress your colleagues, boss, spouses, partners, soul mates, children by showing this impressive demo! I show you the steps and tell you what to speak Smile

Before you start this demo, check the requirements

Office 2010 or Office 2013

OneNote and Outlook installed.

Outlook must have at least one mailbox configured.

Demo: Meeting notes

What you have to do is in black color. What you have to say is in blue color.

  • Open Outlook calendar
  • Click on any meeting
  • How will you take notes for this meeting? Open a blank Word document and type meeting details all over again? Obviously not!
  • Right click on the meeting, choose Meeting Notes
  • If it asks what type of notes, Choose

    image

  • Now Outlook will ask you to choose the notebook in OneNote. Choose any one.

    image

  • A new page will be created with meeting name.

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  • Unlike Word, all the meeting details are automatically added. Did you expect that?
  • Now type some random notes. One sentence should be “Action Point Demo”
  • Let us say this is an action point which must be completed by tomorrow.
  • Right click in that sentence and choose Outlook tasks – Tomorrow

    OneNote Task demo

  • Now go to Outlook and open Tasks folder. Select Tasks. Not Follow up.
  • Point to the task which was automatically created by OneNote.

    image

  • See – even before I finish the meeting, I already know my tasks.
  • Pause for people to appreciate the integration
  • Now when I mark this task as complete (mark the task as complete in Outlook) what do you expect?
  • Your audience will say something like, the OneNote task should be updated
  • DO NOT go to OneNote yet.
  • This is an amazing example of how these OneNote and Outlook integrate with each other. Usually we would have received the Minutes of Meetings a day later and I would have forgotten to execute my action point on time. What happens then? Delays and fire fighting! Sounds familiar?
  • One more thing – this was my own task. But what if I wanted to delegate task to someone? No problem, we could have chosen Custom task and Assigned it to someone else. That way I can still monitor the task and check for delays.
  • Wait for some response from the audience
  • Basically you have to spend at least 20 seconds before you return to OneNote
  • Now go to OneNote and notice that the Task is already marked as complete

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  • That is OneNote for you. Use it next time you are in a meeting. 

    Practice this few times to perfect the demo.

    Cheat sheet

    Mark as task in OneNote – it reflects IMMEDIATELY in Outlook task folder.

    The catch is – when you mark it as complete in Outlook, it takes around 20 seconds to refresh the OneNote task status. That is why you have to mark it as complete in Outlook and kill some time by talking some relevant stuff before you return to OneNote.

    If you return to OneNote too soon, the task will not be shown as complete and the demo will fall flat Sad smile

     

    Enjoy.