Ty Anderson

Office Newswire: The Office Ribbon secret decoder ring – 1.18.2012

The Australian Open tennis tournament started this week and I couldn’t be happier. Well, maybe if I were in Melbourne watching a fortnight of tennis… that might make me wee bit happier… but not enough to make a measureable difference.

The great thing about Tennis (with a capital T) is that it is filled with drama, epic duals, & ridiculous personalities. It’s a bit like boxing but much, much, more civilized (no offense meant to Muhammad Ali who just celebrated his 70th birthday and could still put the hurt on my software developing behind). So let’s scratch that last statement.

On second thought, Tennis is a lot like the software industry.

  • Drama? Yep!
  • Epic Duals? Yes sir!
  • Ridiculous Personalities? Ummm… .does Larry Ellison have an ugly beard? Oh yes… yes indeed!

I’m just thinking out loud here as I write today’s Office Newswire. There are lots of rules I create to help me focus as I write. But one rule that is sacrosanct is that the Newswire is written in a steam-of-conscience manner.

All this means is that we start at the top and work our way to the bottom. What happens in-between? Well you have to read it to find out and that’s the fun of it. Okay then, let’s do this!

Office news & editorials

A surprising good week for Office news and opinions. I have, of course, offered my thoughts and opinions about the items below.

  • The year of Microsoft? :: I know I have said a bit about Microsoft re-gaining their sea legs (aka MOJO). My hunch is gaining some traction. No, I don’t credit for it. I just had a hunch… that’s is. But now, respectable journalists like Ed Bott are beginning to weigh in on the subject as well. Is 2012 the year of MSFT? We’ll find out soon enough. In the mean time, read what Mr. Bott has to say. He (almost) always raises good point. I’d say he always does but no one “always” does anything. Think about that.
  • Has Microsoft Word affected how we work? :: Uh… let me think about this one… before Word, I was using a typewriter and dabbling with Lotus Symphony to create my school reports. Then along came Excel quickly followed by Word (at least according to my memory). I ditched the typewriter and threw out Symphony and my document authoring life has never been the same. Despite the obvious answer to this question, this is a great article assessing the impact Word has had on our writing lives. It’s a philosophical piece… it won’t impact your day as much as Word will… but read it. I did and I enjoyed it.
  • Designing the social enterprise in the Facebook era :: I try hard not to include items from eWeek.com. One of the rules here at the Office Newswire is that the source site must not be ugly and/or annoying. eWeek.com is both ugly and annoying. It hurts my eyes just to look at it. But sometimes, they have a good article and it is worth straining your eyes to focus and read the article. So, I’m breaking my “don’t include anything from eWeek.com” rule to bring this little bit about using SharePoint’s social features in the enterprise. Try to read this one quickly. It’s ugly (and annoying) but informative.
  • Viewing reports and scorecards on Apple iPad devices (SharePoint Server 2010) :: I have another rule that I must include at least one news item regarding iPad and Office (or SharePoint) until Microsoft announces they will release Office for iPad. The short blog post discusses how the recent cumulative release for SharePoint 2010 enables scorecard viewing on that pretty little piece of Apple hardware.

Office tips, tricks & tools

Yep, yep, yep… it’s T&T&T time! Here, you will find this week’s Tips & Tricks & Tools for Microsoft Office. I think this acronym could make for a great TV show (or podcast?). If you like TNT Wrestling then you have to love the (currently non-existent) Office T&T&T Show! For now, please settle for the following list…

  • How to create an email template in Outlook :: True, not exactly published this week but you can’t neglect your Office fundamentals. This is Outlook’s version of “blocking & tackling”. Learn this technique and stop writing the same email over and over again.
  • The Office Ribbon secret decoder ring :: Mr. Ed Bott… I salute you because you are this week’s Office Newswire winner for most inclusions. Please keep up the good work sir as we enjoy it. This blog post offers Mr. Bott’s thoughts regarding the Search Commands add-in from Office Labs. If you can’t ever find that ribbon button that does that “something or other”, read this post and install the Search Commands add-in.
  • Start the new year with a “to-do list” strategy :: How are those New Year Resolutions going? Great to Not-So-Great? I know how you feel. Don’t lose heart. Read this article and see what Jason Womack has to say about them and the dreaded to-do list. Don’t know who Jason Womack is? Well then you… my friend… need to read this article and stop living in ignorance!
  • Notes & Todo addin for Office 2010 :: Outlook has a task management feature but what if you want to track tasks within the other Office applications? Well, then you need this is free Office add-in from Ablebits.com. Notes & Todo lets you create notes and tasks and have them at your finger tips when working within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & Outlook. The link in the heading is a review of the addin and there is another write-up here. I’ve installed and I’ve been impressed. Oh, did you know it was built using the Add-in Express toolset? It sure was.
  • MSFT Outlook Social Connector Provider for Facebook :: I develop solutions for Outlook and I don’t really like the Outlook Social Connector. It is in my way. So I hold my nose as I list this item. I do admit to a morbid curiosity related to the Outlook Social Connector. If you like it and want to connect it with your Facebook account… go for it.

Office developer news

Cutting room floor

As I (almost) always do… here are some items that didn’t fit in the categories above and/or are newsworthy but not comment worthy (even though sometimes I provide comments).

That’s it and that’s all (for today at least).

It’s hump day everyone… go out and make it happen… the week is almost over.

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