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Welcome to the first post in a series I'm hereby referring to as "The Demystifying Chain." If you read Friday's post , you know that my goal, for you, is to uncover, illuminate, and simply explain some of the language of Office software and computing in general. Why? Because I know that feeling of YAY!—you've found the help article or training that you're pretty sure will explain what you need! But then, from the very first paragraph, you suddenly find yourself lost (maybe even bereft) because the writer assumed that you were already familiar with one or two words or phrases that are now stymying you as you attempt to cross that highway of do-it-yourself knowledge.
So shall we begin the beguine with e-mail terms? Oh yes; let's shall. Got those thinking caps on I suggested Friday? Good. (Off topic: In my mind, I see thinking caps and dunce caps as the same—you know, those pointy triangular hats. Does anyone know or have an idea what a thinking cap should look like? Talk to me in comments.)
I once owned one of those low-to-the-ground robotic vacuum cleaners that goes round and round in ever-widening circles, allegedly picking up dirt, hair, and any bad memories you happened to have tossed under your bed. The thing worked pretty well but it didn't really get to knowmy floors like, say, a housekeeper or (heaven forbid) I would. I could only program it for a small-, medium-, or large-sized room; there wasn't anything else I could tell it to do. Needless to say, we soon parted ways.
What about your computer? Ever wish you had a tiny creature inside it that did your bidding (instead of gremlins that undo everything you just did)? Something to pick up slack on a particularly hard day? It happens that you do: your macros. You tell them what to do and when to do it, and they are forevermore at your beck and call.
Some of you who have written in about Outlook have been charming and delightful, while others (and you know who you are) have been creatively insulting and downright entertaining. And in my eight+ years as Crabby Office lady, I've also received three marriage proposals, two declarations of love, and one fellow who insists I'm a "closet do-gooder." (Get a grip, fella.)
What struck me was the sheer variety and creativity in how people are using and want to use Outlook. I know that sometimes features you want aren't there, but if we slap on our thinking caps and don our creativity culottes, I think we can find what I like to call workarounds (otherwise known as *magic*). In other words, we'll use what we do have with a little ingenuity. Today's letters are two examples of that.
Now that you understand some of the basics of fonts, let's take a crack at some basic font etiquette and practices:
— How to make sure your fonts travel with you
— Print or screen: Choosing the right font for the job
— Consider your audience: Cautions about going overboard
Publisher has a lot in common with Word. Both have to do with text, images, and complicated types of formatting. But consider this: You wouldn't use a hedge clipper to trim your precious baby's toenails, now, would you? So when you're creating posters, greeting cards, catalogs and brochures, or any sort of branded marketing materials, there's only one way to go: Publisher — it's made for these sorts of jobs.
I've always found that working in Publisher is really more like playing: All those fonts, all those design templates, the images I can move around to wherever I want, the colors, the borders, the effects...
Publisher 2007 added some really great new features: Email merge, the Content Library, and being able to save your publications in the PFD and XPS format, were a few features that were new to that version. Publisher 2010 has taken some of these features even further to make them easier to use and dare I say...more fun ,too.
If you've ever had an Excel workbook with multiple sheets, rather quickly, you get to the point where you no longer can see all the tabs in one view.
Of course, you can use the built-in tabs navigation buttons, and go the next, previous, first, or last sheet, but wouldn't it be great if there was a way to see all the sheets and be able to click on the one you want to work on?
If you need to get from point A to point B quickly and someone offered a safe and easy shortcut, would you take it? Of course you would.
I love finding ways to get my work done quicker so that I can push myself away from my desk, take a deep stretch, and ponder the many avenues I have taken on my way to the Kingdom Of Crabbyland. What about you? What would YOU be doing if you weren't chained to your desk? How about you learn some new tricks from me first and then figure that out what you're going to do with your time later.
Today's post offers one simple, small-but-powerful Word tip. Let's get to it.
To my long-time, short-time, or maybe even first-time Crabby Office Lady readers:
After nearly 10 years writing the Crabby Office Lady columns, blog, podcasts, videos and more, it's time to try something new. This is Crabby's last post. However, I'm not really going away. In fact, my role is expanding. From here on you'll find me writing under my own name, Annik Stahl, on the Outlook blog for starters. You'll also find me writing for the other Office blogs and for Office.com about selected topics and events.
As Crabby, there's so much I'd like to say here...and much I can't say here because of space and emotion. The jist of it is thank you.
Here's more information about what's happening to my posts and columns, and how to follow my work as Annik from here on...
Last week and this week I spent most of the time researching and writing about accessibility in computing. (You can read the first post and go from there if you're interested.) During my research I came across many references to computing for seniors (seniors being a group that also often prefers and even requires accessibility features in order to be able to use a computer). The overlap was obvious.
So I decided that after I was finished with my accessibility series. I'd look a little deeper into the subject of how to offer our senior citizens access to the world of computing and show how it can open up worlds to them that they never knew existed. But perhaps the most important thing that I discovered is that being able to use the computer as a senior citizen is a great way to lessen feelings of isolation and uselessness, especially if you're housebound or have limited mobility.
It sounds sort of hokey and self-serving, but knowing how to use and make use of a computer can open up a whole new world for the seniors in our culture.
Remember some of the benchmark tests you had to take as a kid (or maybe as an adult for grad school, law school, etc.)? There usually was an entire section of analogies. Here are some I'd like you to try:
Think you know 1 and 2 but aren't sure of 3? That's why I'm here; to make it clear for you. The answers are:
Now, about number 3: Groove has been renamed and pumped up: It's now called SharePoint Workspace 2010 (which, to me, makes the analogy a little more germane—even in just name alone).So let's see why Groove got a makeover and what we can expect from SharePoint Workspace.