In Transition

Folks

My apologies for the lack of recent posts

I am currently in the process of transitioning back to being a fully freelance contract trainer, studying for my Certificate IV TAE and a SharePoint exam.  And I have been doing a few custom courses recently.

All of which doesn’t leave a lot of time for blog posts!

I have some posts planned including:

  • How to tell what version of SharePoint you have
  • Some video posts on  Pivot Tables and SharePoint/Office 365

Regards

Steven

Mail Merge dates in the wrong format

Problem:

I am doing a mail merge in Word with data from an Excel spreadsheet. One of the merge fields displays a date from a column in the Excel data, but the date doesn’t display in the expected format. How do I change the date format?

Answer:

  1. Open the Word Document
  2. Right click on the Date field
  3. Choose Toggle Field codes Continue reading “Mail Merge dates in the wrong format”

Sunday Night Music – Pivot tables – the Musical!

Pivot Tables Make Everything Just Right

A class project featured on YouTube and Blogs.Office.Com singing the praises of Pivot Tables

Just watch and enjoy, or go through to YouTube -where you can expand the info section to see the words and sing along..

Death by PowerPoint by Don McMillan

I might be the last person to have seen this. It was referred to me by a trainer on a recent course.

An effective use of humour to make a point. Watch and Enjoy!

Do You find the Office 2007-2010 ribbon hard to use, try Ribbon Hero

I have been catching up on the last couple of Episodes of the Windows Weekly Podcast by Paul Thurrott.  Found the software tips very useful, particulary Ribbon Hero 2, Clippy’s Second Chance. This is a free learning game by Microsoft – aimed at end users having trouble moving from the Office 2003 interface to the ribbon. So I have downloaded, installed and started playing it. Its fun! Recommended for recalcitrant ribbon users.

Ribbon Hero 2, Clippy's Second Chance
Ribbon Hero 2, Clippy's Second Chance

 

 

Recording Assessment or Training Simulations on Word or PDF Forms with Adobe Captivate

Question: Can we record training simulations or assessments using Word or PDF based forms?

Answer:

PDF Forms

With the PDF forms – Captivate in training or assessment mode added click boxes to the drop down lists, check boxes and text fields as I clicked on them (good).

With Drop down lists and check boxes – It expects the user to click on the exact option you clicked on when recording _ so you will need to make your test instructions clear.

The click boxes were smaller the actual objects – so you will need to resize them to cover the drop down list . Continue reading “Recording Assessment or Training Simulations on Word or PDF Forms with Adobe Captivate”

Too Many Different Cell Formats Error – Excel 2007/Excel 2010

This error can arise when you go to paste data at the end of a list or in a large spreadsheet where some of the following conditions apply:

Free simple guide to Numbering to Headings and Paragraphs in Word 2010/2007

Please complete the simple form below and I will send you a link to download a four page guide to Applying Numbering to Headings One to Three and Paragraphs (as you might use in a legal environment) using Word 2010.

Continue reading “Free simple guide to Numbering to Headings and Paragraphs in Word 2010/2007”

SharePoint End User Assorted Questions

Sharing an accumulation of answers and resources covering recent questions I have been asked.

Which SharePoint books have you read and found useful?

I have both of the books below on my bookshelf at Safari Books Online. I have downloaded many chapters as pdf to my e-book reader.

SharePoint® 2010 How-To

  • By: Ishai Sagi
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Pub. Date: August 15, 2010
  • Print ISBN-10: 0-672-33335-X
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0-672-33335-4
  • Web ISBN-10: 0-13-248748-9
  • Web ISBN-13: 978-0-13-248748-1
  • Pages in Print Edition: 400

Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 Plain & Simple

  • By: Johnathan Lightfoot; Chris Beckett
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Pub. Date: November 1, 2010
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-4228-7
  • Pages in Print Edition: 256

Continue reading “SharePoint End User Assorted Questions”

Need to Use Outlook forms to send attachments and store replies and process information in Excel

Q  How do I use Outlook forms to build a solution which features:

  • Online forms which allow attachments and generate emails to nominated email addresses
  • Ability to send and reply
  • On line reports
  • Ability to store process data  into an Excel spreadsheet

Key points

  • There are a number of ways to do this, Outlook forms isn’t one of them…
  • Use a solution that operates via the web browser
  • I can see either an Dreamweaver/ASP/ASP.net/SQL Server solution or a  SharePoint solution

Option 1: ASP/ASP.net/SQL Server

  • Develop a custom ASP/SQL server application using Dreamweaver with forms and reports accessed via the browser
  • If CDO.sys (or JMAIL or similar) is available then completion of forms can generate emails to nominated e-mail addresses (emails generated by the server – not using email client)
  • Components are also available that allow documents to uploaded via the browser and then attached to the email
  • Input forms can be completly custom and data can be validated client-side and server-side
  • This approach can also use XML to facilitate transfer of data to Excel
  • Database tables and server side code would have to be created – lots of hand coding and testing
  • Completely tailored and custom solution but not something a typical end user can create – you will need IT resources and basic programming skills.

Option 2: SharePoint

  • Use SharePoint site with a document library with attached workflow
  • The Document Library could be customised to add required additional data – additional fields can be required and validated – using built in tools or InfoPath
  • SharePoint provides forms to add and edit information about the document
  • Data is stored in a Library– (actually in an SQL server table, but SharePoint looks after that for us) and can be transferred to Excel in one click
  • A Feedback or Approval workflow will do exactly what is required regarding forwarding documents and associated data for review or approval
  • A workflow can be triggered by a document being added (uploaded) to the library
  • A workflow will cause a link to the document with a customised email message to be sent to a nominated user or group of users for feedback or approval
  • Tasks are created to allow the documents review or approval to be tracked
  • Responses can include comments/request changes etc and will be emailed to a nominated email address
  • Unless a custom workflow is required, a trained SharePoint user with designer permissions could do this – no coding required Recommendation

 

Steven Knight

IT Trainer

Steven Knight Training

 

Blog or Wiki – The Prime Directive – To Share

It occurred to me while explaining wikis and knowledge banks on a recent course, that this blog is more of a wiki than a traditional blog. The ultimate purpose or “the prime directive” of this web presence is to share useful tidbits that I find with you.  The secondary purpose is to act as a portable on-line reference, I can use when asked questions while on site training and consulting.

So lets share some resources…

Found these via discussions in LinkedIn.

For Presenters using PowerPoint

ARE YOUR SLIDES A SLEEP-AID?

This is all about moving from endless bullet points to more effective graphical metaphors. PowerPoint 2007/2010 make this easier than ever before. Features makeovers of  bullets to visual approaches and interviews with known experts on presentations. Continue reading “Blog or Wiki – The Prime Directive – To Share”

Keeping pictures in line with text in Word 2007

Question:  Keeping pictures in line with text in Word 2007/Word 2010

Answer:

  • In the document, click in the text where they want the picture to go
  • Select the Insert tab
  • Choose Picture – insert the picture
  • Having inserted the picture, make sure it is still selected
  • From the Picture Tools Tab
  • Choose Wrap TextSquare (or other choice as required)
  • Don’t use Position – you need to leave position as the default “in line with text”
  • If text is added above the image the image will now stay with its associated text, but with the text wrapping around the image.

Steven

How to do mathematically accurate Venn diagrams in Excel 2007

Question: How to do mathematically accurate Venn diagrams in Excel 2007 (as distinct from the ones in Smart Art)

Answer:  Widely discussed question on the web – there doesn’t appear to be a plug in for this

Looked in the Office Marketplace but couldn’t find anything close (The office marketplace also lacks decent search tools, so I might have missed it…)

There is an article on mathematically accurate Venn diagrams – which details building them up step by step at http://blog.data-miners.com/2008/10/creating-accurate-venn-diagrams-in.html

I haven’t tried it – but it looks like it would work.

Steven