Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mail Merge

Personalize mass mailing

Mail merging creates multiple copies of the same document and inserts data from an external file or database. For example, printing a form letter for different recipients and including each recipient's name.
Word mail merge

FAQ about the mail merge feature in Word 2003 and in Word 2007-10 will help you learn how to use Mail Merge to create form letters, mailing labels, envelopes, or catalogs. It can also help you troubleshoot problems; and provides step-by-step instructions.

The Word MVP site has some more suggestions.
Mail Merge
Creating Documents With Mail Merge

Cindy Meister:
Mail Merge FAQ

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Macro control

Here are some useful macros concerning Excel and printing.
They were written by Ole P. Erlandsen of:

Change the default printer
Change the default printer with a macro.
Insert headers and footers
This example macro inserts a header/footer in every worksheet in the active workbook. It also inserts the complete path to the workbook.
Print all workbooks in a folder
With these macros you can print all workbooks in a selected folder. You have more control with what is printed than you have if you do this from Windows Explorer.
Print multiple selections on one sheet
If selected multiple cell ranges is printed out on different sheets, you can use this macro example to print all the selected areas on one sheet.
Select a printer tray before printing
In Excel you don't have the opportunity to set the properties FirstPageTray or OtherPagesTray like you can in Word. It's possible to create a simple solution by using SendKeys.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Number Entries

Beyond AutoNumber

Embedding information in a Primary key or ID, can lead to trouble in the future.
(If the first three numbers are to represent the warehouse address, what happens if new addresses have four numbers?)

Autonumbering can give a false sense of order. There is an initial tendency to try to keep all database records in some order. This violates the sense of a relational database.

The records can be sorted or filtered as needed.

Still some record numbering scheme may be desired.

Allen Browne's Access tips:
Numbering Entries in a Report or Form

"In relational database theory, the records in a table cannot have any physical order, so record numbers represent faulty thinking. In place of record numbers, Access uses the Primary Key of the table, or the Bookmark of a recordset. If you are accustomed from another database and find it difficult to conceive of life without record numbers, check out What, no record numbers?"

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Server Answers

What they're doing in the back room

Jonathan Maltz, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Windows Server, has created a collection of visual, step-by-step guides to Windows Server.

The Microsoft Server home page is at:
Microsoft Windows Server

Windows Server Resource Kit Tools
"The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools are a set of tools to help administrators streamline management tasks such as troubleshooting operating system issues, managing Active Directory, configuring networking and security features, and automating application deployment:"

Microsoft :
Window Server - latest news

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Address Layout

Custom layout

When you use the Outlook as a source for addresses, you can customize the display to suit your own needs.

When you use the Insert Address button in the Envelopes and Labels dialog box it does not use the same format as the Insert Address button.

Here's the location to put the Address book on the Quick Access Toolbar in 2007-10:

Here's the work around:
Insert Address Button Does Not Use AddressLayout AutoText Entry

MacroButton; scroll down to Insert Address from Outlook.

Here are two sources with directions about how to reformat the AutoText entry: "AddressLayout".
Inserting Addresses into Microsoft Word Documents

Microsoft Knowlegebase:
HOW TO: Modify the Layout of an Address Book Entry

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hipster PDA

PDA for $3.00

From 43

Introducing the Hipster PDA

" The Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid) is a fully extensible system for coordinating incoming and outgoing data for any aspect of your life and work. It scales brilliantly, degrades gracefully, supports optional categories and “beaming,” and is configurable to an unlimited number of options. Best of all, the Hipster PDA fits into your hip pocket and costs practically nothing to purchase and maintain."
  1. get a bunch of 3"x5" file cards
  2. clip them together with a binder clip
  3. there is no step 3
More expensive, but part of the new-old cool: Moleskine Pocket Notebooks Jeremy Wagstaff: The Moleskine Report
"There is an immense amount of satisfaction in writing on paper - we tend to forget that in this digital-toy-crazed world we live in. The Moleskine has lovely paper - crisp, creamy, and smooth - that is a pleasure to write on. I use a four-nib Rotring pen that has a mechanical pencil (great for sketching), a roller ball pen, a bright orange dry-lighter, and a PDA stylus tip - all contained in a very precision-machined metal barrel. I also enjoy flipping through my journal pages, reviewing sketches, diagrams, and ad hoc notes. With the Tablet PC, I get a near-paper experience but the best thing about paper is that it requires no batteries!"

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Friday, April 24, 2015

All Fonts

List maker

Here is a macro that will produce a list of all of the installed fonts.

  1. Open Word.
  2. Use Alt+F11 to open the Visual Basic editor.
  3. Choose Insert>Module from the Menu.
  4. Copy and Paste this code in the module.
  5. Return to Word and go to: Tools>Macro>Macros.
  6. Select and run "InstalledFonts".
Sub InstalledFonts()

Dim F As Integer
Dim InstalledFonts As Table

 'Open a fresh document

Set FreshDoc = Documents.Add

'Create a table and define the header

Set InstalledFonts = FreshDoc.Tables.Add(Selection.Range, FontNames.Count + 1, 2)
With InstalledFonts
.Borders.Enable = False
.Cell(1, 1).Range.Font.Name = "Arial"
.Cell(1, 1).Range.Font.Bold = 1
.Cell(1, 1).Range.InsertAfter "Font Name"
.Cell(1, 2).Range.Font.Bold = 1
.Cell(1, 2).Range.InsertAfter "Example"
End With

'Loop through all the fonts and add them to the table

For F = 1 To FontNames.Count
With InstalledFonts
.Cell(F + 1, 1).Range.Font.Name = "Arial"
.Cell(F + 1, 1).Range.Font.Size = 10
.Cell(F + 1, 1).Range.InsertAfter FontNames(F)
.Cell(F + 1, 2).Range.Font.Name = FontNames(F)
.Cell(F + 1, 2).Range.Font.Size = 10
.Cell(F + 1, 2).Range.InsertAfter "ABCDEFG abcdefg 1234567890 &$@"
End With
Next F
'Sort the names of the fonts

InstalledFonts.Sort SortOrder:=wdSortOrderAscending

End Sub

Also see a more sophisticated macro using Excel from Erlandsen Data Consulting: Display all installed fonts (Excel)

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Auto Link

Outlook Contacts in Access

Automatically set up links to data outside of Access.
It still works in Access/Outlook '07-'13.

Try this:
  1. Choose File >Open from the menu bar.
    (Office button>Open in 2007)
  2. Under Files Of Type choose Outlook().
  3. Locate your Outlook PST files.
  4. Choose Contacts, or if you have set up separate files for different groups choose an appropriate one.
  5. The wizard walks you through the process of creating an Access database with a linked Contact table.

The changes made in Access will be reflected in Outlook and vice versa. If you want to create a new database that will link to other data that isn't in an Access format, you can do it quickly.
The classic way is to use the File>Get External Data >Link Tables method. However you can simply choose File >Open from the menu bar. Select the appropriate data format from the Files Of Type dropdown list (such as Microsoft Excel (*.xls)). Open the file and Access will automatically create an MDB file with the same name as the data source you selected and will set up links to the data. From there you can develop forms, queries and reports.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Low Vision

Screen-magnification or zoom

Creating a Web site that accommodates people with low vision should be a goal of designers. Accessibility laws require it in some cases.

The online magazine, has some interesting articles:

Big, Stark, & Chunky

"[Participants] told us that they often copied and pasted material into Word where they could enlarge the font even more and make it bold, thus rendering it easier for them to see."
"We have not done a good job of catering to these screen-magnification or zoom users. Using CSS, it's easy to do, as we shall soon see. And moreover, using CSS to develop zoom layouts is almost exactly what developers of handheld and PDA browsers are doing in their quest for small-screen rendering of wide, multicolumn web pages."


Web Accessibility

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Live Notes Slide

Keep a record

How to create a "Live Notes" page in your presentation

"Frequently there is a need to capture information in a PowerPoint presentation. For example, when making a presentation before an audience, there might be a need to capture comments and questions as the presentation proceeds. You might also have a need to capture answers to a quiz or survey, or to record game responses.

You can download a small (12KB) presentation by clicking on that demonstrates the method. Unzip the file (notetaker.pps) and click on it to see it in Slide Show mode.

Please note that this method requires the use of an Active-X control and therefore only works when run from PowerPoint. It will not work in the Viewer."

It does work in 2007.

See more tutorials and PowerPoint downloads at Sonia Coleman's web site, Digital Studio.

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Monday, April 20, 2015


More data


An introduction to the benefits of online analytical processing (OLAP)

"Every day we create reams of data in customer relationship management applications, order entry applications, and warehouse management systems. We're drowning in a sea of data. However, even with all that data we don't have a large amount of information. We have the ones and zeros of the transactions, but we don't have the answers we need to simple questions like:
  • "Why was March better than February?"
  • "Where is the sales force having the most success?"
  • "In what conditions does the sales team struggle with making sales?"
The article also has links to:
  • Oracle 9i makes data warehousing easy to implement
  • Seven highly effective steps to a smooth data warehouse implementation
  • Business intelligence is just a few steps away for SAP R/3 users
  • Resources for designing, planning, and implementing a data warehouse strategy
  • Making the operational case for data warehousing
  • TechRepublic Tutorial: Data warehousing defined
Also see:

Data Warehousing and OLAP A Research-Oriented Bibliography

FAQ Excel 2007 – OLAP

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ground Shaking?

Doorway or PC?

If you feel a quake, where do you go?

U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program Website

"Earthquakes pose significant risk to 75 million Americans in 39 States. The USGS is the only Federal agency with responsibility for recording and reporting earthquake activity nationwide. Citizens, emergency responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information on where an earthquake occurred, how much the ground shook in different locations, and what the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

The USGS estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year, but many go undetected because they occur in remote areas or have very small magnitudes. The USGS now locates about 50 earthquakes each day; 20,000 a year."

  • Current Earthquakes
    • USA
    • World
  • NEIC Current Earthquake Information
  • ShakeMaps
  • Seismogram Displays
  • Past & HistoricalEarthquakes
  • Earthquake Notification E-mail
Also: Ask USGS Earth Science Information Center
Tsunamis research at USGS

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Saturday, April 18, 2015


Project Charts

The Gantt chart was developed by Henry L. Gantt around 1910. The chart shows a project's status, but not how one task depends on another.

In the 1950's, the Navy developed PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) charts. A similar process is called the Critical Path Method (Analysis) or CPM (A).

The terms PERT, PERT/CPM, and CPM are often interchanged.

A PERT chart looks more like a flow chart than a graph.

BaRaN Systems has some clear examples:
Project for Excel

Here's an example of a Gantt chart being constructed using an open source product called GanttProject :
Flash Demo

John F. Lacher has created a nice example of how to create a Gantt chart.
This one is appropriate for scheduling rooms, resources, and time.

A sample can be downloaded and customized.

Gantt Chart

Also see:

Simple Gantt chart


Microsoft Knowledgebase:
How to Create a Gantt Chart Using Hours as the Scale
Visual Basic Module to Create Gantt Chart

Jon Peltier:
Advanced Gantt Charts
Gantt Googled

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Friday, April 17, 2015


More than affordable software

Here is a collection of free software including a desktop utility called:

"RUNit is a simple but yet powerful launchpad. RUNit gives you quick access to applications, documents, folders and shortcuts. Unlike many other launchpads RUNit doesn't occupy any space on your screen - you only see it when you actually use it.

RUNit defines a "hot area" on your screen where a click of the right mouse button makes the RUNit launch-menu appear .The "hot area" can be any border of the screen or even the whole screen."
"The Pricelessware list is a compilation of software collected through a yearly vote by the participants of the "alt.comp.freeware" newsgroup. It is a list of what people have voted as "the best of the best in Freeware".

  • Business-Home
  • Desktop
  • File Utilities
  • Graphics
  • Organizers
  • Multimedia
  • Security
  • Web Design
  • Internet
  • Programming
  • Text
  • System Utilities

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Formatting/Layout Suggestions


From the Word site:
Typographical Tips from Microsoft Publisher

..."Word is ubiquitous. If you buy a new computer, chances are good that it will come with some version of Office or Works Suite (which includes Word) installed. Word is a powerful word processing program that incorporates many of the features of a page layout application, but there are times when a page layout or desktop publishing application is what is needed. If you are using the Small Business Edition of Office 97 or Office 2007+, Professional, or Ultimate, you have such a program: Microsoft Publisher.

...even if you use only Word, Publisher can be useful to you. Because once upon a time, at least, it came with an excellent manual. The Microsoft Publisher 97 Companion is a 328-page book (compare this to the 19 pages devoted to Publisher in Discovering Microsoft Office 2000 Premium and Professional), and it contains much material that can be equally helpful to Word users.

For example, the chapter "The Look of Words" discusses what fonts are, how to choose them, and how to get the most from them. The following tips, guidelines, and rules of thumb are excerpted from that chapter [with some comments interspersed]. We have not attempted to reproduce all the illustrations that appear in the actual manual, but even the text alone is helpful."

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

gMail Print Selection

Obscure clicks

"I would like to know how to only print part of email, as all the parts of an email conversations are not necessary to print. I have tried by highlighting the part I want and then choose "select" on print menu - but the font is so small then (no matter which printer I use). I can select in the print menu which pages to print, but that is not always clear where the page breaks happens. I could copy and paste into a word document, but then the details are missing."

Here's how I do it:

Click on "New window"

Make your selection in the gMail document.
(Hold down the left mouse button and "paint")

Right click the selection and choose "Print Preview"

Find the layout and size buttons

Change to "As selected on screen" and about "150%".

You can also turn off the Header and Footer.

Now you can print the selection.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

WiFi at Home

First steps

"You can use a wireless network to share Internet access, files, printers, and more. Or you can use it to surf the Web while you're sitting on your couch or in your yard. Plus, it's easier to install than you think."

There are 4 steps to creating a wireless network:

  1. Choose your wireless equipment

  2. Connect your wireless router

  3. Configure your wireless router

  4. Connect your computers
Set up a Home Wireless network (By Tony Northrup)

Wireless Security for Home Networks (PCMAg)

O' Setting Up an 802.11b Home Wireless Network (Wei-Meng Lee) Wired vs Wireless Networking (Bradley Mitchell) How WiFi Works ( Marshall Brain) Securing your Wireless Network

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Fill Formula

Double click the handle

If you have a column of data, you may wish to insert a new formula on each row, number the lines, or add a date column.

To fill the column down to the bottom of the database, just double-click on the fill handle - the tiny square at the bottom right corner of the active cell.

The duplication continues as long as there are entries in the adjacent column.

If you wish to fill down a series, make at least two entries so that the interval is apparent. For instance if there is a column of data in A1:A400, enter the number "1" in B1, "2" in B2.
Select B1:B2. Double click on the fill handle and Excel will fill the series down to B400.

You can also select a longer series, such as the name of a supervisor and the team members.

Format the supervisors name differently, if you want.

Select the list and double click the fill handle. The list will be repeated down the page, as long as there is a corresponding entry in an adjacent column. The formatting will also be repeated.


Custom Lists

F. David McRitchie:
Fill Handle

Microsoft Office Online:
Fill data in worksheet cells

If you don't see the Fill handle:
Click Options on the Tools menu and click the Edit tab.
(Use the Office button in the upper left corner in 2007+)
Select or clear the Allow cell drag and drop check box.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

More Java?

It's in the script

Here is a descriptive article from Microsoft's Office Online:

Jazz up your Web site with JavaScript
"Have you ever wanted to add a pop-up window to your Web site? Maybe you've wanted to add a hyperlink that closes the page or to display the current date and time. You can add all of these features and more by using JavaScript: A scripting language that can be used to add functionality to a Web page or a Web site, or to enhance the look of one. JavaScript scripts can run on any type of client or server computer."


Days Remaining in Year
Use this script to calculate the number of days between now and the end of the year.
Popup Checkbox Navigation Menu
This script opens a small popup window containing a checkbox navigation menu.
Form Field Help
Add a help link to each section in your form. When clicked, an explanation is given of what is required and a box is offered where the information can be entered and transferred to the form.
Image Viewer
Use this script to display different images without opening a new window. Click the links to change the displayed image right in the current page.
Random Password Generator
This script can be used to generate random passwords for improved password strength
  • Free JavaScripts
  • JavaScript Tutorials
  • Free Java applets
  • Advanced JavaScript Tutorials
  • DHTML/ CSS Tutorials
  • Web building tutorials
  • JavaScript Reference

Java and all that free jazz

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Census Maps and Graphs

Statistical treasure trove

The charts and maps can be set for specific areas. The underlying database figures are also provided.

Tacoma, Washington:

"Census 2000 and Trend Data going back to 1990, 1980, and sometimes even further, on a growing list of topics, including population growth, population by race, age structure, family structure, and income."

"Many of the most important social trends affecting America have a strongly regional flavor. Figure out where you fit in with demographic maps showing where the elderly predominate (think: the Great Plains), where the nuclear family is (and isn't) the norm, and how "diversity" breaks down regionally."

"State and county-level rankings by population growth, race, educational attainment, language, gender, and more."

"Segregation Exposure and Dissimilarity Measures for 1246 individual US cities with population exceeding 25,000 and for all metropolitan areas, based on single and multiple race populations as identified in Census 2000."


University of Michigan:
Social Science Data Analysis Network

The site was suggested by the eclectic J-WalkBlog of John Walkenbach.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

View Pictures

All at once

This article walks you through the process of using VBA to develop a form that will allow you to open all e-mail picture attachments at one time.

Office Developer Center:
Viewing Multiple Picture Attachments in Outlook
By Eric Legault (Outlook MVP)

It helps to have some experience with VBA coding, but the instructions are clear and no other applications are needed other than the Visual Basic editor that is built into Outlook.

The source code for the MSDN article can be downloaded there. It includes the complete form as well as the code modules.

... "image viewers that use a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) are best suited as a custom viewer. It's better to have one application handle several open image windows than individual windows cluttering your Taskbar! A perfect application for this scenario is the Microsoft Office Photo Editor, but it is no longer bundled with Office 2003."

Microsoft has replaced Photo Editor with a new photo editing and cataloging program in Office 2003 and 2007: Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Here is how to reinstall Photo Editor from your Office XP CD:
Photo Editor is removed when you install Office 2003 or Office 2007

How to Install Microsoft Office Picture Manager in Office 2013

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Build a Trebuchet in your backyard

Pumpkin chunkin

The Trebuchet at NF/ Observatory

"The NF/ Ranch is a small cattle ranch in the Mimbres Valley (New Mexico). The earliest signs of human occupation are from 1000AD, when the Mimbres Indians occupied sites along the Gallinas River, just down the hill. A Spanish fort was built over some of these ruins arround 1600, for protection against the local Warm Springs Apaches. Now the residents include Bill, Ty, Nick, Cindy, Amber, and Kaelin along with the animals at the ranch. Ty and Nick are currently perfecting a Trebuchet, a high tech siege weapon from the 10th century."

Trebuchet MS Font

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Windows Guides and Links

A collectors collection

"With over 960 pages scattered throughout the domain, something is bound to catch your attention."

Operating System Guides include:
  • Red Hat 8.0
  • Windows 10 Service Configurations
  • Windows 2000 Professional and Server
  • Windows 2003 Enterprise Server
  • Windows Me
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP Home
  • Windows XP Professional

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015


Start on time

Your PowerPoint show can be set up to start at a particular time, repeat a chosen number of times and, then, turn itself off automatically.

Tushar Mehta has put together a step-by-step instruction sheet.

He combines the Windows Task Scheduler with PowerPoint's Slide Show Set Up.

This could be set up to run in a "kiosk" setting. Perhaps at a trade show or seminar.

Multiple shows could be set up to run one after another or at different times of the day.

PowerPoint Auto Scheduler Tutorial

Also take a look at VisualCron , a standalone task scheduler.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Dynamic Web Templates


"FrontPage 2003 introduced Dynamic Web Templates, a new and sophisticated type of Web page template that enables you to share a layout among several pages in a site, preserve specific regions of content from unwanted changes, and save time when you begin to manage the Web pages on your Web site.

By creating a Dynamic Web Template, you can make regions on attached pages available for other authors to add and modify content, while preventing changes to other regions on the same page. This provides you with control to preserve the layout of the pages and the template itself. When you update the content in a Dynamic Web Template, you can update the attached Web pages simultaneously."

Create a Web page layout
by using Dynamic Web Templates

Change the master page layout
by using Dynamic Web Templates

Dynamic Web Template Interchange Guidelines

"The Dynamic Web Template Interchange Guidelines have been established by a consortium of web designers and developers in an effort to provide webmasters using a third party DWT the ability to cross over from one design to another with relative ease. The goal of the DWTIG is not to standardize design; rather, to standardize the method in which the content is added to a DWT through Editable Regions within the design."

Expression Web:
Dynamic Web Template Packages

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Jean Shepherd

"You filthy pragmatists, I'm going to get you!"

A Salute to Jean Shepherd:
"Those who have seen the 1983 movie "A Christmas Story" know Jean Shepherd as the voice of Ralph Parker as an adult. Others who grew up in the New York Metropolitan area during the 50's, 60's and 70's may recall the nightly radio show he did on WOR 710AM five nights a week for forty-five minutes and the two-hour Saturday night "Live at the Limelight" shows.

... a stunt he liked to pull, was the hurling of invectives. He would instruct his listeners to place their radios in the open window of their house and turn the volume way up. He would then yell over the radio things like, "You filthy pragmatists, I'm going to get you!"

Shep often said that there was 5 to 10 hours of preparation for each of his nightly shows, and yet fellow WOR personality Barry Farber, and one of his engineers, Herb Squire say that it all came from the top of his head. Herb claims that Shep would come into the studio with only a scrap of paper with a few notes, or perhaps an article someone had sent him. He would sit down behind the mike, and as the theme song would play Shep would ease into 45 minutes of non-stop chatter. He would start out talking about a particular subject, and through the course of the show, would side track to other related topics. But as his theme music at the end of the show came to a close he managed to tie it all together and bring the show to an end."

Jean Shepherd: Radio's Noble Savage
by Edward Grossman
"10:15 P.M. The WOR news and weather are out of the way. A bugle sounds, and a sprightly theme song comes trotting on the air. The theme has a double meaning: it is the one that calls the horses to the gate at Aqueduct, and it is the Bahnfrei Overture, composed for an operetta by Eduard Strauss, the only member of the Strauss family who did not make good. Presently, Shepherd's clear, rowdy voice intrudes. 'Okay, gang are you ready to play radio? Are you ready to shuffle off the mortal coil of mediocrity? I am if you are.' There is a noise like a mechanized Bronx cheer (BRRAPP!)- it is Shepherd blowing his kazoo. At other times he twangs his Jew's-harp (BRROING!). 'Yes, you fatheads out there in the darkness, you losers in the Sargasso Sea of existence, take heart, because WOR, in its never ending crusade of public service, is once again proud to bring you--(EROICA SYMPHONY UP)-- The Jean Shepherd Program!'"

Bob Kaye:
Shep In Concert! Video Clip


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Saturday, April 04, 2015


A contrary opinion

Is there anyone who has not seen a PowerPoint presentation?
In class, in business, at seminars, at any gathering of two or more people the blue screen of PowerPoint will appear.

Edward Tufte has written a number of books, including:

Beautiful Evidence,
Visual Explanations,
Envisioning Information,
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information,
Data Analysis for Politics and Policy.

He is Professor Emeritus at Yale University, where he taught courses in statistical evidence, information design, and interface design.

If you are ever within 300 miles of a city presenting Tufte's one day course: "Presenting Data and Information", GO!

Tufte has written that:

PowerPoint Is Evil
Power Corrupts.
PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely

"Particularly disturbing is the adoption of the PowerPoint cognitive style in our schools. Rather than learning to write a report using sentences, children are being taught how to formulate client pitches and infomercials.

Elementary school PowerPoint exercises (as seen in teacher guides and in student work posted on the Internet) typically consist of 10 to 20 words and a piece of clip art on each slide in a presentation of three to six slides -a total of perhaps 80 words (15 seconds of silent reading) for a week of work.

Students would be better off if the schools simply closed down on those days and everyone went to the Exploratorium or wrote an illustrated essay explaining something. "

Yea, but....

Hi Doug -

I agree, Tufte is a smart man, and people should go see his talk. I saw him last year in Boston, and the price of admission included three of his books.

He risks throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Sure, using many of the defaults in PowerPoint (or Excel or Word) will produce a less effective document. It is up to the user to adjust his/her use of such tools to avoid the narrow-mindedness that indiscriminate use of the tools can impart.

PowerPoint's a decent tool, one I use frequently in conjunction with Excel and Word in the solutions I create. I didn't know you'd written a PowerPoint book. It looks like it's geared toward UI use of Ppt. Do you know of any sources dealing with programming of PowerPoint?

- Jon
Jon Peltier, Microsoft Excel MVP
Peltier Technical Services

I've seen Tufte twice.
I think he serves a purpose by exposing a viewpoint far to one side, so that others can say "I wouldn't go that far, but ..."
There's not much on PP VBA.

There are some references on
and Shyam Pillai's site.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Outlook/Exchange Archive

Words from the wise

Here is a 11-year archive of articles about Outlook and Exchange. From both a user's and administrator's perspective.

Exchange Messaging Outlook

The suggestions come from, so you know they're good.

The publication is available both as an e-mail newsletter and with RSS distribution.

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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Hide Slide

You don't need to show everything!

If you create a PowerPoint show that includes all of the information about the subject, the show will be much too long and tedious for most audiences.

Go to Slide Sorter view. Hold down the Ctrl key and select slides that contain extra or supplementary information.
Right-click the selection and choose "Hide Slide."

None of the selected slides will be shown during the show, but if a question comes up that needs more detail, the hidden slide can be retrieved by typing its number on the number key pad and hitting Enter.

You can right-click on a slide and choose "Go to Slide." The hidden slides are indicated by parentheses.

In the Print dialog box, you can choose to "Print Hidden Slides."

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Enter in Multiple Worksheets

Group sheets

A common use for Excel is to keep periodic statistics; sales by quarter, or phone calls per month.

It can be tedious to try to create worksheets for each month and include duplicate data such as client or salesperson's names.

Set up the workbook with as many worksheets that may be needed; perhaps one for each month and one for cumulative year-end totals.

Click the tab for the first month, hold down the SHIFT key and select the last worksheet in the series.

All the sheets are now chosen. You will see [Group] on the Title bar.

Enter any common information on the first sheet and it will be duplicated on all of the grouped sheets.

When you are done, Right-click a sheet tab and choose Ungroup Sheets on the context menu.

Non-contiguous sheets can be selected using the Ctrl key.

If the sheets are grouped, they will all be printed together.

John Walkenbach:
Making an exact copy of a range of formulas

Microsoft KB:
Run a macro on multiple sheets in Group mode

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