Ty Anderson

Office Newswire: New Microsoft Outlook features – Peek, People and Profiles – 4.4.2012

Whoa! There’s no place like home! I spent yesterday afternoon watching the weather as Dallas was hit by not one, not two… but 12 tornados! Everyone in the Dallas Metroplex area was taking cover as the Tornados had us surrounded… just check out the map below. My house is somewhere inside the white circle. The red areas don’t even begin to cover the tornado activity. Tornados in Dallas, oh my!

My youngest daughter tried to be worried as she has seen The Wizard of Oz and knows that Tornados are quite scary. I played it cool however as I know the odds of tornado hitting your neighborhood are very small. Also, I grew up in West Texas where we had Tornados for pets and sometimes rode them to school.

There was no chance of riding these tornadoes however. They were the wild, untamed sort, just check out this video: Dallas Tornado Video.

Our local news affiliate has an image gallery. It’s amazing the path of destruction they leave after only a few seconds on the ground. Rest assured we are safe and sound here at the Newswire News desk which is why we are publishing the Office Newswire on-schedule… as it should be.

Office news & editorials!

  • New Microsoft Outlook features include Peek, People, and Profiles :: I’ve included lots of Office 15 content over the last few weeks. I didn’t really place any standards on the content. It just needed to be new and from a reputable source… oh… it also had to be formatted well and easy to read. This last requirement weeds out a lot of content. Formatting matters people! Anyways, this article starts us off with something not really discussed previously… the beloved/maligned Outlook Social Connector. Have I mentioned I do not like this tool?
  • Microsoft redeploys OOXML in open standards battle :: Microsoft is pushing hard for the Brits to allow more than one document format in their IT strategy. I think it makes great sense seeing how Office is by far the most widely used application suite. The government would be ignoring the real-world not to adopt Microsoft’s Open XML standard. I’ll stop here because I feel my political views boiling to the surface and I like to keep IT topics apolitical.
  • Survey shows Office workers, bosses want to work from everywhere and anywhere :: Sometimes, the most difficult location to get work done is the office. For me, it is the social aspect of the office… the desire (or need) that people have to see and be seen. This is why I avoid the office if I can. I like to hang out at coffee shops or my home office when I need to focus and be creative. Turns out, I’m not the only one. The good news, such anti-social behavior is becoming more accepted.
  • What’s wrong with SharePoint?: Third-party SharePoint developers weigh-in :: The issue here is the same one I have when I attempt to explain SharePoint to clients. The issue is simplicity. Have you ever seen the “SharePoint Wheel“? Oh my. Despite, a good effort, it doesn’t answer the question: “What does it do?”. This is a great article. It covers it all and uses terms like “Multi-headed Monster”, “Might as well use it”, and “$700 tie on $150 suit”. I love you SharePoint but sometimes, you are difficult to comprehend.

Office tips, tricks & tools

  • Tip: Password protect OneNote notes :: I don’t do this but I probably should. I figure you are more like me than you realize so I include this tip for you today. If you are like me (I hate it when people start a sentence like this), you have lots of super-awesome ideas stored in OneNote. Left “un-password protected”, your super awesome ideas are free for the taking by dim-witted co-workers with no creativity of their own. Don’t let this happen to you. Follow this tip and protect your ideas from prying eyes. Just be sure and remember your password.
  • How to transfer data from MS Excel into a Word document :: Always good to know. This is easy… if know how to do it. If you don’t know… or… are not even aware this is possible, please read this article.
  • Switch an email signature :: This is like the signature tool for Office 365 but for Outlook traditional/desktop/on-premise. This whole cloud thing is really messing up how to distinguish between to the versions/editions/types of Office. Ugh.
  • Favorite Microsoft Office add-ons :: This is a good discussion of 5 Office add-ons from the law community. The first item is from Outlook MVP Ben Schorr. Right off the bat he mentions an Add-in unfamiliar to me. You might like it. I like that somebody built it but I don’t need it in my life. That said, I found some tools worth checking into. If you are like me…
  • Google Sync Software – Sync contacts, calendar and tasks :: Finally! I use Google Calendar sync to sync my Office 365 calendar to Google Calendar so my wife can see it without me having to pay cash to make it happen. I think the last sentence contains 5 prepositional phrases. I’ll pause for a second in case you need to re-read it as prepositions sometimes obfuscate a sentence’s meaning… Anyways, this software goes even further than the Google Calendar sync tool. It syncs contacts and tasks in addition to the Calendar. This is huge because I use Google voice. Thus, keeping contacts sync’d between Office 365 and Google will be very helpful. Don’t worry Microsoft. I love you and would use your service if you had anything like it. I am hopeful about Skype. I am indeed.
  • Import OST File Utility for importing OST file data in Outlook PST format :: Another tool. This one is for my IT Admin friends. I make fun of you behind your back. I am a developer after all. But I recognize we are on the same team and at the end of the day, I got your back. This link is proof of it.

Office Developer items of note

  • Branding the Quick Launch in SharePoint 2010, Part I :: I think there are many ways to skin this cat. But this article shows how to do it using only CSS. Pretty cool. In the future, all software development will be done using only HTML+JavaScript+CSS.
  • Integrating Windows Workflow Foundation with the OpenXML SDK :: I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with Open XML SDK the last 3 weeks. It’s an area that I have neglected much to my detriment. Sure, I know what it can do, etc… but that is not the same as getting my fingernails dirty playing in the Open XML dirt. I’ve become very interested in long document creation within Word using content from multiple authors and multiple applications (Excel & PowerPoint). This article adds an additional dimension… Workflow… rockin’!
  • Explaining some of the GUID strangeness of SharePoint :: This is a short and sweet about GUID+SharePoint. Learn why you have to include “{” and “}”.
  • SharePoint 2010 and Mega Drop Down Menu Navigation :: I read this and immediately thought of CorasWorks. They have utilized this strategy for years within their web part suite. It’s a cool strategy and I was part of a team that utilized it for a public-facing SharePoint site. It’s good to know as it gives your users an easy way to manage SharePoint navigation.

Cutting Room Floor

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