Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Give Yourself a Tip

Take your own advise


If you still have Windows set up so that it shows a tip when you first sign in, you can add your own message, or change the ones the developers created.
  1. Go to start>Run and type in Regedit

  2. Find:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Tips]
    

  3. Create a new string value named by incrementing the existing value names and set it to the required tip text.

  4. The Data Type is REG_SZ (String Value)

  5. The Value Data: Your tip




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Monday, August 22, 2016

Notes from Word

Import it all


One technique that can be used when preparing a PowerPoint show, is to import material from an existing Word Outline.

If the Word document is formatted with Heading styles, Heading 1 will become a new slide and the subsequent headings, 1 through 6 will become bullet points on the slide.

It may be desirable to prepare notes for each slide while developing the Word outline. Notes don't appear on the slide, they are placed on a separate page that can be printed out for the speaker or handed out to the audience.

Bill Dilworth has written a macro that moves information that has been formatted, say at Heading 6, and places it on the notes page:

"This macro outline allows the user to use Word's "Send To PowerPoint" feature, then run this macro to get notes from MS Word to PowerPoint as notes. The macro allows you to set the text level you want to become the notes."


Word Outline to Notes Page in PowerPoint



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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Burn Wrapping Paper?

Holiday info


If you want to find out the real background story on any number of water cooler questions, try:
StraightDope.com

For instance:

Why is it dangerous to burn wrapping paper?


The fire is the wrong place for other holiday detritus as well - der Tannenbaum, for example.

My assistant Una had an Uncle Bob, a manly man who felt throwing the Christmas tree away was a waste of good firewood. So he tossed it in the fireplace - gave him a nice warm glow.
Unfortunately
what was glowing was the roof, presumably ignited by embers.
Fortunately
the fire was small and anybody with a hose could have put it out.
Unfortunately
the hose was frozen solid and the fire department had trouble getting the nearest hydrant to work.
Fortunately
the firefighters were able to throw a ladder up against the house and put out the fire with a chemical extinguisher. They then hacked off a small hunk of charred roof with axes, peered into the crawl space, and declared the fire out.
Unfortunately,
having by now found an operational hydrant, the firemen declared they needed to hose down the roof "as policy," sending a torrent of water through the hole and collapsing the living room ceiling.
Really unfortunately,
the house that all this happened in belonged not to Uncle Bob but his in-laws. Bob bought them an RV and matters were pronounced square, but it was a lesson he won't soon forget, and neither should you.




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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Combo Box Queries

How to



Parameter queries add flexibility to filtering records in a database. To make it easy, take a look at this approach from Martin Green's Office Tips site:

Drop down box in a Parameter Query

  1. Build a dialog box with as many combo boxes as you need.
  2. Design a query to read its criteria from the information on the dialog box.
  3. Create a macro or visual basic procedure to tell them both what to do.
Also:
Base Combo Box on Parameter Query to Filter Values



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Friday, August 19, 2016

It's Policy

Set your own


It's best to make your email rules available and well known:


" Email is a quick, cheap and easy means of communication. This makes email a great business tool, but at the same time a potential threat for employers. Email threats such as confidentiality breaches, legal liability, lost productivity and damage to reputation cost companies millions of dollars each year.
How can a company protect itself from these threats? The first step in securing your company is to create an email usage policy. After you have created your email policy you must make sure it is actually implemented. This can be done by giving regular trainings and by monitoring employees' email using email security software. "

You may find it useful when trying to develop your own E-mail policy.

Nolo.com: Create an Email Policy



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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Change Insert Picture Target

File location


If you would like to specify the folder Word will default to when you go to Inset>Picture:
  1. From the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. Select the File Locations tab.

  3. Select ClipArt Pictures from the File Types list.

  4. Click the Modify button.

  5. Navigate to the folder you want Word to default to.

  6. Click OK. OK.


In 2007-10, you'll find the entry by
  1. Click on the Office logo

  2. Go to Word Options>Advanced

  3. Scroll down to General

  4. Click the File Locations button




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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Have a Geeky Gift

And a Functional New Year


It is rather late in the season, but this is a gift that gives all year long:
This hilarious clock is the perfect accessory for any Excel power user. Each numeral has been replaced with a suitable Excel function that will evaluate to that numeral.

We've used one function from as many function categories as possible to really provide a broad range of functions.


For instance:
=FACT(3) - The FACT() function returns the Factorial of a number. The Factorial of 10 is 10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1. This function is great for statisticians calculating combinations and permutations. In our case, the Factorial of 3 is 3x2x1 or 6

MrExcel.com:

Excel Function Clock



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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Files DO have Extensions

Smarten your machine


For some reason, the powers that be thought that the general public was going to be confused by those suffixes at the end of file names.

To help us all out, they hid extensions by default.

I like to see .Doc (or .Docx). Here's how to get that information back
  1. Open Windows Explorer

  2. Go to Tools>Folder Options.

  3. In the Folder Options dialog box, click the View tab

  4. Clear the checkbox to the left of the Hide extensions for known file types option

  5. Click OK to close the dialog box and return to Windows Explorer


Also see EdBott.com:
 Show or hide file name extensions

and
Configure Windows



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Monday, August 15, 2016

Display Row, Column Headings

User Function



Here's an odd little use of functions.

If you want to display the Row number on a spreadsheet, the formula
=Row()
works just fine.
You could then hide the Row and Column headings and format the Row numbers any way you want. If a Row is deleted the numbers will automatically update.

Column headings are a little harder. The formula =Column() will show the number of the Column, not the letter, i.e. "2" instead of "B".

The following formula extracts the Column letter:

=SUBSTITUTE(ADDRESS(1,COLUMN(),4),"1","")


To break it down:

=ADDRESS(row_num,column_num,abs_num)

This finds the address at Row number "1" and current Column number. The abs_num of "4 " says make the result a relative address.

The formula will produce a result such as "AA1".

SUBSTITUTE(text,old_text,new_text)

This function looks at the address, i.e. "AA1".
It replaces the Row number character ("1") with a null or empty value ("").
The formula will produce a result such as "AA".

Also see Daily Dose of Excel by Dick Kusleika.

Dick mused:'

"Sometime before the year 3,000, Microsoft will hopefully increase the number of columns in Excel (Hey, I can dream can't I). The challenge before you is to write a function that converts a column number to its letter equivalent assuming columns go to ZZZZ. That’s about 450,000 columns - maybe more than I need."


Of course Office 2007+ has taken it up to 16,284 columns.



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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hungarian Notation

Belépés



This tip is useful in a number of applications.

When you name an object, include a prefix that identifies the type of object.

When naming a table for Customers, use "tblCustomers" .
You could also have a form for customers. It would be "frmCustomers" .


It's called Hungarian notation because with the prefix, it does not look like an English word.

Dr. Charles Simonyi developed the convention at Microsoft, and he is from Hungary.

He wrote an article on Hungarian notation for MSDN, the Microsoft Developer's Network.

Hungarian notation


Here are some prefixes:
  • tbl- Table
  • qry- Query
  • frm- Form
  • rpt- Report




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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Templates are Digital Stencils

Make your own


If you have a document; such as a report or reoccurring newsletter, one way to reduce the production time is to create a template.

These preformatted, boiler plated documents can then be fleshed out without having to reinvent the sardine.

Here are some tutorials to help you along:

AddBalance.com
Template Basics

About.com
Word Templates



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Friday, August 12, 2016

Sparklines

Quick graphic reinforcement


A graph or chart can give the reader a visual representation of a great deal of data. Concepts or results can be more easily grasped by a well formatted graphic.

Charts, usually, take up more space in a document than is absolutely required.

Edward Tufte has come up with the concept of Sparklines (Sparklines:Intense, Word-sized Graphics)
.
These are small graphs about the same height and width as common words. They are not out of place in the text of a document.

Sparklines give the reader a snapshot of the data that quickly supports the material being discussed.



See:
Sparklines Tutorial

Bisantz Sparklines




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Thursday, August 11, 2016

What's the Expression

FrontPage, we knew you well


Microsoft has retired FrontPage in favor of an application called Expression Web Designer.

It is part of four programs that will make up the Expression suite.

Channel9.MSDN.com has a series of videos on the quartet.

Here's the one on FrontPage/ Expression
Expression - Part Four: Web

Also:
Expression - Part One: The Overview

Expression - Part Two: Design

Expression - Part Three: Blend



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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hidden Macros Names and Shortcuts

Revealed


Word has built in macros to perform routine actions such as using the Format Painter to copy formatting.

Rather than trying to guess the name or look up the shortcut keys, use this seldom mentioned trick to find toolbar macro names.

Press the three key combination of Ctrl, Alt, and + (the plus sign on the Numbers keypad).

The mouse pointer changes to a 4-leaf clover.

Click on a toolbar icon. Word will display a form revealing the macro name and the assigned shortcuts.



(It works the same way in 2007+)



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Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Curves

and More


Gabriels Horn from the Curve Bank
Famous curves from Cal State at LA. All your favorites from Astroid to Witch of Agnesi.

Here is a collection of Functions relating to astronomy from Stargazing.net.

Can't tell who might be interested in the obliquity of the equator given date in days after J2000.0.
See: Astro VBA

Other Curve stuff:

DelphiForFun.org: converting polar coordinates to Cartesian coordinates.
"Students of analytic geometry, (the kind that combines algebra and geometry), often work in one of two coordinate systems: Cartesian or Polar - and frequently must convert from one to the other.

The Cartesian system locates points on a plane by measuring the horizontal and vertical distances from an arbitrary origin to a point. These are usually denoted as a pair of values (X, Y).

The Polar system locates the point by measuring the straight line distance, usually denoted by R, from the origin to the point and the angle of an imaginary line from the origin to the point, θ, (Greek letter Theta), measured counterclockwise from the positive X axis."




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Monday, August 08, 2016

Answer Before the Show

As helpful as No-Doz (almost)


Here are some question to answer before that presentation.
Your audience, probably, does want to be informed not put to sleep.
  • Is this slide for me or for my audience?

  • Will it really help them better understand my message or just serve as a distraction?

  • How can I remember what I'm going to say without putting the entire text on the slide?

  • What can I do to simplify the slide so that only essential information is displayed?

  • What do I really need to do at this point in the presentation to engage the audience and enhance my message?

  • Is a visual the best way to convey the information or could a story do a better job?

  • Using ideas like this, your talk will be much stronger and your audience will be engaged and awake.
From The Boston Herald




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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Password Background

Unencrypted

Alan Myrvold has written a background article on how Office handles passwords and what password strength means.

"Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have been able to password protect documents for several versions by setting the 'password to open'. What we felt could be improved was the ability to enforce password strength rules, similar to what may be required when logging into your computer at work."






Enabling password rules for Office 2010+



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Saturday, August 06, 2016

Remote Access

Distance Computing


"There are lots of reasons why you'd want to access your PC remotely, and luckily there are also plenty of ways to do so. Crossloop is one of the simplest (it’s also free), but for those willing to venture further, you've got lots of options.

Excuse us while we get technical for a second. This list is divided into four main sections: VNC (Virtual Network Computing), NX, remote desktop and cross-protocol. If those terms mean nothing to you, you might want to skip to the 'other' section for the most straightforward applications."

Mashable.com



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Friday, August 05, 2016

PP Diet

Reduce the size of your presentation files



Ellen Finkelstein has some suggestions to make your PowerPoint files more manageable.

Save the file under a new name
PowerPoint remembers all your actions in a session so that you can undo them. Saving under another name discards this information. For some reason, this works better than closing and opening the same file.
Convert the image file type
The image file type makes a huge difference. In my tests of a photo, JPEG files were the smallest by far. (GIF files are also small, but are not suitable for most photographs because they don't support enough colors.) I took an image and Microsoft Office Picture Manager to convert it.

Read more:

EllenFinkelstein.com



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Thursday, August 04, 2016

REDUCE MISSPELLINGS

You might be missing typos in tables

If you've ever found typos in a table or list that you're positive you remember spell checking, chances are that the typos are in words that are purposely skipped during the spell check.

By default, SpellChecker ignores words that are all upper-case or that have numbers in them. In most cases, this is probably fine. However, especially with purchased data, you'll occasionally come across tables where everything is capitalized.

Fortunately, you can change the way SpellChecker works so that all words are included.

To do so, run the SpellChecker on a data selection that will cause the Spelling dialog box to be displayed.

Then, click the Options button and clear the Words In UPPERCASE and Words With Numbers check boxes.

Finally, click OK and then Cancel.



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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Find the Word

And Replace


Word has one of the most complete and malleable Find/Replace systems of any application.
Here is a 26 page report on how to use it from Editorium.com.
While your there, sign up for the free newsletter.

Advanced Find and Replace for Microsoft Word

"One of Word's most powerful features, especially for editing, is Find and Replace using wildcards and character codes. This free tutorial (a Word document) will take you step by step through what you need to know. If you don't download anything else here, be sure to get this--and work your way through it. It's well worth the effort."


Editorium.com/Freebies



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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Conditional Formatting

Much more capabilities


Pre-2007 Excel was limited to only 3 conditions. The new Office is more generous and versatile.
Here are some of the features:
Format all cells based on their values
Use this to create a data bar, 2-color or 3-color color scale, or icon set rule.
Format only cells that contain:
Use this to create style rules and more (format cells greater than, less than, greater than or equal to, less than or equal to, equal to, not equal to, between, not between). This is also the entry point to create rules of type: specific text, date occurring, blanks, non-blanks, errors, non-errors.
Format only top or bottom ranked values:
Use this to create top n, top n%, bottom n, bottom n% rule types.
Format only values that are above or below average:
Use this to create above average, below average, 1 or 2 or 3 standard deviation above, or 1 or 2 or 3 standard deviation below rule types.
Format only unique or duplicate values:
Use this to create rules that format unique or duplicate values.
Use a formula to determine which cells to format:
Use this to create style rules where you can enter a formula to determine whether a format should be applied.


2007+ Conditional Formatting



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Monday, August 01, 2016

3-D Breakout

No special glasses required



You are not limited to a flat PowerPoint slide.
You can add a 3-D look to your shows.

Bart Jones at OnPPT.com provides some basic suggestions.

Also see this series by Glen Millar.

"Many options in PowerPoint are often unseen, until a particular need arises.

The first tutorial shows how to use some of the 3d options in PowerPoint to roll images over into layers.
Roll Images

In the second tutorial, I show how a shape that is drawn as a Bezier curve can be turned into a 3d object.
3d Bezier curves

This effectively means you can draw any sort of shape you like and turn it into a 3d object right within PowerPoint.

The first tutorial will make you clever. The second tutorial may make you famous!"
More 3-D and other effects at Awesome PresentationPictures.com

Also:
PPTMagic.com
3D Transitions



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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Get Toasted

It's a recommended practice


"Let's face facts. The whole low-carb craze is playing itself out. The USDA recommends that every day we eat 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and other foods containing grains, especially whole grains. Bread is not the enemy of a healthy body, if you select the right bread.

The American Dietetic Association recommends a minimum of three servings of whole grains per day and goes so far as to recommend whole-wheat toast with peanut butter as a quick and healthy breakfast option."

366 Ways To Enjoy Toast
By Mr Breakfast

Also:
Roller Toaster



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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Send Pictures

Email Photos


If you have a photo on your computer, from a digital camera or something that has been scanned to produce a JPG, GIF, or PNG file.

Here are two choices for doing that:


  1. Send the photo as an attachment to an email. It'll show up as an icon at the top of the email for the receiver to click and open in their picture viewer. This is the most common option.
  2. Embed the photo into an HTML formatted message so it appears in the text of the message just like a photo in a newspaper article. This looks nicer for people who want to read the message and not necessarily work with the photo file. But there are compatibility issues to keep in mind.
Whichever way you choose, you need to keep an eye on the overall size of the message. With higher resolution cameras available it's easy to go over the recipient's limit for incoming messages.
There is a little more to it. Here is a link to a great newsletter that comes in handy again and again:
 Office-Watch.com



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Friday, July 29, 2016

Spell Check On

Spell check off


You can run Spelling and Grammar checking in Word by clicking on the ABC icon on the Standard toolbar (it's on the Review ribbon in Word 2007), going to Tools> Spelling and Grammar, or just hitting the F7 key.

As you go through the document, you may find areas that you would like to correct. You don't have to close the Spell checker, just click into the document, make the changes and click Resume in the Spell checker dialog box.

You can also flip focus to the document with Ctrl+Tab.
Then go back to checking with Resume.



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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Psst - Cheap Gas

Drive to Save


"GasBuddy.com is the portal site to more than 170 web sites that help consumers find cheap gas prices. All web sites are operated by the non-profit organization known as GasBuddy Organization Inc.

Since gasoline prices change frequently and may vary by as much as 20 percent within only a few blocks it is important to be able locate the service station with the lowest priced fuel. GasBuddy Organization web sites allow consumers to both share information about low priced fuel with others as well as target the lowest priced stations to save at the pumps!"
Also:
Gas Price Watch.com

Autos.MSN.com



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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More Free Templates

Three dozen more


Sometimes it takes someone else's example of a PowerPoint show to stir your own imagination.

Graphicsland is offering a collection of 36 templates for PowerPoint. The templates are saved as .pot files & are compatible with all versions of PowerPoint. The collection is free of charge & is available now for downloading.
To see a printable preview & to go to the download area:

Free Templates



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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

History is Something to Play with

Games for kids (and you)


History can be boring when the only reward is a scribbled "Acceptable" on a test paper.

But what if part of the game is to build a trebuchet to fling the teacher?

"Welcome to the SchoolHistory.co.uk downloadable resources centre. This has been updated to allow quick, easy access to our resources kindly contributed by other teachers. There are now over 1,400 pages of resources available."

Interactive History Games



Also see Build a Trebuchet in your Backyard



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Monday, July 25, 2016

Download All Outlook Pictures

The Good and the Evil


By default, Outlook 2003 blocks all HTML content that is referenced by an external location. Many junk e-mail senders put an image URL in the e-mail message. The image URL notifies the junk e-mail senders' Web server when you read or preview the e-mail message. This type of image URL is also known as a "Web beacon." An example of a Web beacon image URL is:

<img src="http://myserver/cgi-bin/program?e=your-e-mail-address-here" />

If you preview or open an e-mail message with this type of an image reference, this action may make you a target to receive more junk e-mail messages.

To prevent this type of Web beacon, where an HTML e-mail message contains references such as links and banners to an external URL, the Outlook 2003 HTML viewer does not automatically render the external content. Instead, when you view the e-mail message, areas in the e-mail message that should have a picture appear as a red X placeholder.


Also, you receive the following InfoBar message that indicates that the HTML content has been blocked:
Click here to download pictures.
To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download
of some pictures in this message. 


With all that warning, if you still want to do it:

  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click Tools menu
  3. Select Options
  4. Click the Security tab
  5. Click Change Automatic Download Settings button
  6. Select when you want pictures downloaded
  7. Click OK OK
Download pictures automatically in Outlook

In Outlook 2007 go to Tools>Trust Center Automatic Download

 



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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Control Access Text Alignment

Distribute Text Evenly Within Controls


When you add form or report controls, the Text Align property defaults to General setting: characters align to the left while numbers and dates align to the right.

When you set up controls to act as headings or titles, you can achieve interesting visual results by changing the Text Align setting to Distribute (This is called Justify in Word).

This setting distributes characters within the control evenly to span its entire width.

If you apply this setting to a textbox control, the alignment switches to Left alignment when you click inside the control to allow for easy data entry.
General (Default)
The text aligns to the left; numbers and dates align to the right.
Left
The text, numbers, and dates align to the left.
Center
The text, numbers, and dates are centered.
Right
The text, numbers, and dates align to the right.
Distribute
The text, numbers, and dates are evenly distributed.




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