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For Monday's post, I told you about a new feature I was starting up: A "Dear Crabby" community cultivation sort of thing. You write to me about ideas, tips, things that bug you, things that you love, and I'll print the ones I find most...useful, entertaining, or so very strange that I need my other readers' help understanding them.
And so, today as we embark upon our maiden voyage of the Friday Dear Crabby feature, we're going to learn some neat-o tips, ones I've never even heardof, from two illustrious Crabby blog readers Phil V. and Elizabeth S.
Good heavens my readers are creative and smart.
Today's "Use this!" tip is a bit of a lecture. I'm begging you, once again, to refrain from sending out rumors, jokes, links to adorable kitten videos, and hoaxes (even those that you don't yet know are hoaxes but most definitely are) without hiding the names of the 137 recipients who simply MUST know about whatever it is you're sending.
And what do I mean when I talk about hiding the addresses of all your recipients from one another? Am I telling you this to encourage you to be sneaky? Not really. What I'm doing is saving your email receivers from possible spam and computer viruses and worms (and other nasty stuff).
I recently became a beneficiary of a certain type of virus sent to me by some creepy spammer who got my email address from a certain acquaintance of mine who shall remain nameless because I like to have friends.
So! Let's talk about making use of the lonely, underused Bcc line.
How could you not love PowerPoint? It's a total package: You get to write, design, add pictures, make movies... It's like a coloring book on 'roids.
PowerPoint 2010 has some very interesting additions and improvements (oops...I said improvements again...). You get a lot more options for how to deliver and distribute your presentations; you gain much more control over how your pictures, charts, graphics, and effects work; and there are some amazing new innovations in the field of collaboration.
So, my advice to you is: Read my post, watch the videos...and go get it. It's like having a new, powerful toy—that gets your work done, too!
The issue of getting elementary schools—public or otherwise—on board with electronic communication has taken some time. It takes a strong leader, possibly in the form of a principal, to guide that effort. When you're a busy school principal or administrator, your administrative assistants, secretaries, office managers, and other support staff are of vital importance to the day-to-day operations of the front office. If you're using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange, you can hand off some of the calendar and mailing duties to someone you set up as a delegate. Then you'll have more time to drop in, unannounced, to some of the classrooms and make everyone nervous.
When I saw a lot of email communication that was written by the principal coming from the email address of her front office admin, I wondered if they knew about setting up delegate access (they didn't). And so I'm on my way over there to show them how.
But hey, not everyone has the Crabby Office Lady right down the street, now do they?
In the past I've touted Office Communicator and frankly, I am and have always been quite fond of that program. But I have to admit that like some past presidents and ever-present politicians, I also have a bit of a wandering eye; I've often wondered if there might be something, well, cleaner, more integrated with the other programs I use most. Something a bit more satisfying and complete than the reliable and comfortable old Communicator.
Well, look who's entered the building: Microsoft Lync (meee-owww!).
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun."
"The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule."
" Any fool can make a rule, and every fool will follow it."
(Sources, in order: Katharine Hepburn, Warren Buffet, Henry David Thoreau).
Apparently everyone has different ideas about what a rule is and how/when/why/IF to follow it. Are you a rule maker or a rule follower? The shepherd or the sheep? In life, we are often both (depending on the circumstances), but when we're talking about Outlook, I want you to be in charge—you're the herding dog and Outlook is the sheep (or cow), following your every move, performing every rule you set down and, truth be told, with a dose of healthy fear (the great motivator). That's right: you can create a rule—an action performed automatically when you send or receive email—and be confident that Outlook will follow it. You are the master! Read on to find out what awaits you in your kingdom...
This week's Friday Dear Crabby letter is about Excel 2007. Working with data and keys and multiple spreadsheets from multiple sources can give even the most expert Excel user a whopping headache. That's apparently what's going on with this week's Dear Crabby email letter writer.
See, Linda's figured out a way around the issue (an issue I'll explain in the full post) but it takes longer than need be, and frankly, it's just inefficient and clumsy (no offense Linda; my hat is off to you for figuring out a workaround).
As I told Linda when I wrote her to say that she was this week's lucky Dear Crabby winner/writer/victim, sometimes the answer is just right in front of us—in the form of other people who use Excel and who may have experienced the same issues.
Who among you has the hidden answer to Linda's conundrum? Hmmm???
Today's post was written by Angela Chu-Hatoun, a senior programmer writer on our big Office team who's, frankly, much more technical than I am and is good at exploring the deep underbelly of programming, how it works, and how YOU can do it too.
This post originally appeared last Friday, May 13, on the MSDN Office Client Developer Content blog (friendly name: Dev Docs) and I just HAD to ask Angela if I could post it here, too. I figure it's a good tandem piece to my September 2010 post What is a macro and why you should care.
When you put all that work into writing the perfect email message, it's nice to know that someone has received and read it. Outlook has a feature that can help with that, but it's a two-way street: Your recipient has to be willing to play the game too.
I like to think of it this way: When you order a meal in a restaurant, you know that the chef has received your "message" because your food arrives a short while later (provided you haven't angered the chef by making too many suggestions). When it comes to email, however, things aren't so black and white. How can you be sure that someone has received and actually read your message? To put it bluntly, you can make it easy for them to let you know...but you can't make it happen. You can set it up for your recipients to let you know if they've read your note, but it's really up to them to decide whether to let you know or not.
Oh, the games people play...
Happy Bastille Day, Francophiles!
And because today is my delightful Uncle Phil Stahl's 80th birthday, I thought I'd offer some special tips that I know he—and you—could use. Listen up Crabbyphiles: This is a guy born in 1930 who uses Office like no other 80-year-old (or 70-year-old, or some 20-year-olds) I've ever seen. Sure, he comes to me with questions once in a while, but not until after he's done some pretty fancy troubleshooting himself. And so today, Uncle Phil, these tips are from me to you (and anyone else who wants to wish you a happy 80th birthday).
You all just love Office tips and tricks and I can't say I blame you. It's fun to learn secret things like your very best friend can still do five back handsprings in a row, or that that your nephew-in-law was a runner-up in the Scripps National Spelling Bee back in the 1980s, or that the gal on your block with the unbelievable hydrangeas turned out to be a Russian spy...