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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.
You know how it is when you're collaborating on a document with someone else: You make a change, send it back; they make a change, send it back and so on and so forth until that document has enough frequent flier miles to take the whole company on a worldwide tour.
Now, with PowerPoint 2010, multiple authors can simultaneously change the same presentation stored on a server. At the same time. Together. No taking turns, no separate (and often confusing) merging. It also prevents anyone from being "locked out" of a file that's being used by or is checked out to someone else; everybody plays together and no one is left out.
The server keeps a central copy of the presentation and records edits from multiple authors. You and your co-authors can see who is working on the presentation and where in the document they're working. And then their changes are automatically merged with yours.
Note: You can use SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, or Office Live Workspace to host and store your presentation.
Let's see how it works...
When Office 2007 first came out, what everyone noticed first was the new interface, namely, the ribbon. This ribbon replaced the menus and toolbars—yes, the self-same menus and toolbars that you constantly griped about and yet were suddenly so enamored of:
You cannot imagine how much whiny feedback I received about the change:
(And so on and so forth until my eyes rolled up into my head, my mouth went slack, and I wondered if it's too late to become a ballerina after all.)
And now that Office 2010 has come out...the ribbon is still there. Get used to it my chickadees because you will come to love it (and it's here to stay). But don't get crabby with me because although many of you may realize that learning to use this ribbon involves a steep learning curve in low gear, we created a few roadmaps to make it easier on you.
"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...
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.
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!).
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...
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!
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.
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???