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Category: Office


New Windows Phone 8? Set it up

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft hopes to begin a push to regain lost markets and create products people will want to buy. The desktop version of the OS is selling well, with many individual users upgrading, and it’s highly likely that companies will also start to upgrade soon. To coincide with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has also released the mobile version of the OS for new Windows phones. If you’re looking to upgrade to a Windows Phone 8, you’ll need to set it up when you get it. Here’s how you can set up your new Windows Phone 8. Email When you turn on your phone for the first time you will be guided through the setup process and be able to pick your location, time and date preferences, etc. You will also be asked to sign into your Microsoft account. For most users this will be either their outlook.com email account, or their Office 365 account. The phone will pull all of your contacts, emails and calendar dates from Outlook and add them to the respective tiles. From there you can also sign into your other accounts, and the phone should take care of the [...]

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Increase productivity with iPad and apps

Tablets are gaining traction in businesses, many are starting to integrate them in some function. One of the more popular tablets is Apple’s iPad. One of the reasons people love it so much is largely because of the sheer amount of apps. Some of these help users increase their productivity, something that many businesses can benefit from. Here’s some useful apps for the iPad that can help boost your productivity. Document compatibility It’s highly likely that your office uses a document production program that isn’t made by Apple – Microsoft Office. Using another program to create documents and then spending time formatting on your work computer isn’t a great productivity booster, but there are options. If you do use Microsoft Office the iPad kind of supports Office documents through Apple’s iWork. iWork does support Office files, however formatting and other things like fonts normally won’t transfer over. This can be counter-productive. While there will be a version of Microsoft Office heading to the iPad sometime in early 2013 (no set date yet), you’re likely better off purchasing an app like Documents to Go which allows users to open, edit and create Office documents. If you aren’t doing serious work on the iPad [...]

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Freeze and split panes in Excel

Microsoft Office is one of the more popular programs, often found on systems regardless of the OS. For businesses one of the more useful Office programs is Excel. Excel has a near infinite number of uses. One problem with Excel is that it almost does too much, and some spreadsheets can become unwieldy. There are a few things you can do, however, to make entering and referencing data a bit easier. Here’s how you can easily keep track of your place in spreadsheets through the use of freezing and splitting panes. Freezing panes Freezing panes is often used when you want to keep a number of specific rows or columns in view whenever you scroll up/down/sideways. This often makes it easier to see important data without having to scroll up/down constantly. You can freeze both rows and columns by: Selecting the row/column below/beside the field you want to freeze, e.g., if you want to freeze rows A1-3, select A4. You can select the row/column by clicking on the row indicator on the side. Clicking the View tab and pressing the arrow beside Freeze Panes which is located in the Window group. Select either: Freeze Top Row - This will freeze the first row. Freeze First Column - This [...]

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Microsoft Surface: 4 pros and 4 cons

The Microsoft Surface is a tablet designed, developed and sold by Microsoft. When it was announced back in June, Microsoft introduced two different tablets, the Surface and the Surface Pro. Both systems run on Windows 8, the Surface on RT and the Pro on Windows 8. Pundits were largely taken off guard and eager to get their hands on it. At the end of October, Microsoft released the Surface. The release of the Surface Windows RT version – the Pro version is slated to be released in January 2013 – has seen largely mixed reviews, leaving business users much to think about. To help, here’s a list of four pros and cons of the Surface (note, these only reflect the released RT version). Pros The keyboard-case Because of a larger surface area, more glass and generally more to break, users want to keep their tablets safe from daily use. The easiest way to do so is with a case. Microsoft decided that a case wasn’t good enough, so they put a keyboard on it. There are two different cases available, one with a soft keyboard and the other with a hard plastic keyboard. These keyboards are essentially a laptop keyboard, [...]

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Microsoft Messenger Skypes it up

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become so commonplace that we likely use it without even knowing. One of the most popular customer oriented VoIP solutions is Skype, owned by Microsoft. Skype has received a recent update that sees Microsoft’s popular Instant Messenger program (Messenger) merged into Skype. A few weeks ago, Skype Version 6 was introduced which allowed users with a Microsoft account to sign into Skype using their account name and password and have access to their Microsoft contacts. This move, of Microsoft backing a non Microsoft branded product, was seen by pundits as an interesting one, but it works well for those who use both Skype and Messenger. It means you don’t have to have two programs to do essentially the same thing; communicate. Last week, Microsoft announced that Messenger will officially be merged into Skype. This means if you use Messenger, you will have to switch to Skype. This should automatically happen the next time you update Messenger. This may seem like a weird move, but there are some great benefits to this merger that will make both Messenger and Skype more competitive. Some of the benefits to the merger include: Messaging on more platforms - Skype [...]

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What do I need to run Windows 8?

Windows 8 is out and there’s been a bunch of news and reviews. As with most all technical products there are a ton of different opinions on whether it’s any good or not. Windows 8 does bring some big changes and will appeal to offices looking to upgrade. However, if you are planning to upgrade from an older OS, it’s a good idea to ensure your computers can handle it. Here’s three things you should focus on to ensure your system is Windows 8 ready. Processor The minimum processor speed for Windows 8 is 1GHz. What this means is that almost every system from the past decade should be able to run it. Many modern smartphones actually meet the minimum requirement, so most computers should be able to run it easily as well. Of course, if you have a processor that’s around 1 GHz, you will notice that the OS isn’t as zippy compared to systems with the latest and greatest, but it should be able to handle everyday tasks. Memory Windows 8 comes in two versions, 64 and 32 bit. The main difference between these two numbers depends on the RAM a system has. The minimum amount of RAM [...]

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Windows 8′s new aspects intrigue

Microsoft is boring. Many products, while useful, just lack the visual appeal users have come to expect from tech companies, especially when it comes to the OS and programs. Most programs and recent OSs have been utilitarian, and great for productivity but not much else. Microsoft has listened to demands and recently released Windows 8, a completely new OS (on the outside) that mobile and retail users will likely enjoy using, but, what about businesses? Here’s five key business related aspects of Windows 8. Windows 8 changes the desktop The biggest change Windows 8 brings is the change to the desktop layout. Windows 8 defaults to a new touch-oriented layout that uses tiles similar to the ones found on their Windows Mobile operating systems. This change is an indication that Microsoft is going to be throwing considerable weight into the post-pc era, where devices like tablets and touchscreens work beside or replace conventional PCs. This change from a file and folder oriented desktop to a tile oriented one could intimidate users who are unfamiliar with a mobile OS, or are less than comfortable with computers. It’s not like a user comfortable with XP or Windows 7 will be completely lost, [...]

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Delay Outlook from sending emails?

Email is both a blessing and a curse. While it has made communication infinitely easier compared with snail mail, it has also led to a number of embarrassing incidents where emails have been sent with the wrong information or worse. This might lead to loss of clients or jobs. If you use Microsoft Outlook, this risk can be avoided, or at least minimized, by delaying the sending of emails to give you time to read what you’ve written, or cancel a mistakenly sent email. Below are instructions on how to delay emails in Outlook. 7-second tape delay for emails It worked well for hockey commentator Don Cherry after a few unpopular comments landed his program, Coach’s Corner, in hot water. For emails, seven seconds is a bit short, we recommend delaying potentially inflammatory emails for 10 minutes, to give you time to review and possibly cancel if you notice mistakes. You can add a delay on individual emails in Outlook by: Clicking Options in the window you’re writing your email in and selecting More Options. Select Delay Delivery followed by Message Options. Clicking the box beside: Don’t deliver before and selecting the date and time to send the email. You’ll be taken back to the message window after you’ve [...]

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Devices at play, get them to play nice

In an ideal world, all of our technology would link perfectly. You could buy an app for iPhone and be able to access it on an Android phone or even a Windows PC. Sadly, this is more or less a pipe dream for the time being. While it may not be entirely possible, there are definitely a number of ways you can get your devices to at least play together. Here’s three things you can do to ensure your devices play well together, or at the very least talk to one another. One file system Ever put important data onto a flash drive, gone to another office, or colleague’s computer, only to find that they use a system that doesn’t recognize the drive? This is because Windows and Mac systems utilize different file storage formats, both of which can’t be read by the other system. The solution is to format your drives as ExFat – a format that can be read by Windows, Mac and Unix. If you have blank external storage drives, or would like to format existing external drives you can follow the instructions here. Just be aware that formatting will erase all data on the drive. For drives [...]

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How to automatically start Office

Is your morning routine something along the lines of: get into the office, turn on the computer, grab a cup of coffee as it starts up, sit down, log in and open Outlook to check your email? This is a fairly common routine for the majority of office workers, and has been for years. Did you know though that if you use Microsoft Office you can start up a program when you turn your computer on? Here’s how you can get an Office program to automatically open upon startup of your computer. On Windows Start your computer normally and when you’re at the desktop, click the Start button, or Windows orb, which is usually located in the bottom left of your desktop. Point to All Programs followed by Microsoft Office. In the drop-down menu, hover your mouse over the program you want to open when your computer starts up, press and hold Control and click and drag it into the Startup file. If you follow this, a shortcut of the program will be made and placed into the startup folder. If you don’t press and hold Control, the program will be moved into the Startup folder, and you will have to navigate to Startup every time you [...]

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