SharePoint 2010 – Not seeing the Alert icon in the ribbon?

If you are not seeing the Alert icon (The Bell) in the SharePoint 2010 ribbon on lists or libraries, your friendly Server Guru/SharePoint Admin will need to tweak the set up. The underlying problem is that SharePoint needs to know where to find the SMTP server (your mail server) so it can generate emails.

In order to send email eg use the notification setting or alerts – you need to

  1.  Set up SMTP
  2.  In Central Admin – enter the information to tell SharePoint where the SMTP server is

This  article covers the process for Step 2: “To configure outgoing email for a farm by using Central Administration


Steven Knight

SharePoint – Can’t Drag and Drop Web Parts on some pages?

This problem will arise when you have a combination of a shallow height screen and a wiki page (you may have a wiki page without realising it – SharePoint uses them as the default in places, and normally that’s not a bad thing).

The article Hey – why can’t I move Web Parts below the visible portion of my SharePoint page? has two short videos under 2 minutes each that illustrates minimising web parts as a walk around. This discussion advocates cut and paste Can’t change order of web parts.

Steven Knight

How to centre a page (ie a div) in CSS

The aim in this case is to centre the page or a section of a page (a div) but not  centring  the text or images within the  page or block.

So you can’t use text-align: center in your CSS as this will centre text.

The solution is to use either in the CSS for the DIV being centred after the width property:

margin-left: auto ;

margin-right: auto ;

or  you could try:

margin: 10px auto 10px auto;

(the syntax being margin: top right bottom left;)

The article, How to Centre a DIV Block Using CSS by Christopher Heng shows very clearly how to do this in detail.


Passed MOS Exam 77-891 Office 365

Passed MOS Exam 77-891 Office 365 one hour ago!!!

In the immortal words of Kermit the Frog “Yayyyy!!!! “

SharePoint Custom Lists Tutorials

My Series of Tutorials showing building and using custom lists in SharePoint 2010/SharePoint Online (Office 365) is now gathered together in a convenient YouTube Playlist. Over the next few weeks I will be adding workflows and KPIs to this series.

Creating PDF from Word Series

My Creating PDF from Word tutorials from my YouTube channel are now gathered together in one convenient PlayList.

Excel Pivot Tables and Conditional Formatting

My Excel Pivot Tables series from my YouTube Channel – are now gathered together in a convenient Playlist.

How to create Custom Views in SharePoint 2010/Online/Office 365

Learn how to Sort, filter, group, add totals, export in 15 minutes. Part 3 in my series on custom lists in SharePoint – Applies to SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Online.

Booked in for Office 365 Exam Exam 77-891 on 20 Dec

Seeing the first signs of interest in training in Office 365, so while I have some time due to the current slowdown in the local training market, I decided to get skilled up and get a bit of paper to back it up.

More about the exam here:

And I thought I’d give Google + a proper try out – more soon


Windows 8 on Desktop – The trick is to organise the start screen

Working through the Windows 8 for IT Pros Jump Start videos and just had a penny drop with a thump. My first impression was that without the Start button, end users will find Windows 8  frustrating on the desktop. The trick is to organise your tiles into logical groups for your organisation. Sorting out the grouping could be challenge – my suggestion would be to borrow a principle from web design – that is to organise content from the perspective of the end user, not the organisation. This might mean different teams get different groups of applications on the left – to suit their needs and view of the world. Going for bigger tiles for organisations with older users? – I have just entered the trifocal zone of life and I  find the smaller tiles are OK.

So if the apps are well grouped, I could argue it is more convenient than the old start button – especially where applications were buried in sub menus in the past – they can now been brought to the “surface” more easily.

Continue reading “Windows 8 on Desktop – The trick is to organise the start screen”

Windows 8 Better impressions

One of the roles of this blog is for me to share what I have learned (and to write it down so I remember!)

I have been watching the Windows 8 Jump Start series at the Microsoft web site

Learned a few things that in combination to a few days practical exposure to Windows 8 have substantially improved my impressions of Windows 8 on the desktop, including:

  • To Search, Windows key and type part or all the name of the application or file you are looking for – it works as advertised and is a feature will appeal to end users
  • Rename and rearrange the groups on the Start screen (the interface previously known as Metro) – this is a feature I can see IT areas using to make directing users to apps easier
  • Windows Key + C to open the “Charms”
  • Windows key + X brings up a handy little system tools menu (I can see I am going to have to learn the proper names of these features!
  • Storage Spaces – gives users the ability to duplicate data from one drive to another – effectively a kind of easy RAID like tool for users
Also reading Windows 8 in Depth by Knittel and McFedries. Waiting for Paul Thurrott’s new book to come on to Safari Books Online.
More study on Widows 8 tomorrow – and then venturing into Office 365/Office 2013 and Captivate 6 and Acrobat XI from the Adobe world…


RAID, Study and Virtual Machines – Getting the hang of Hyper-V

Virtual Machines and Hyper-V for the non Server-Guru

It has been essential for me to master the basics of creating and using virtual machines to do the skill development and exam preparation as part of redeveloping my business. I have explored and used Virtual PC, Virtual Box, VMware Player and then Workstation – progressing to owning a licence for VMware Workstation. The grand plan was for the new PC to run Hyper-V server – but the gradual unraveling of my old PC has led me to setting up the new PC as a desktop PC but one that needed to run Hyper-V as well – so I can use Microsoft’s preview and trial “vhd” resources.

So I over the last two days I have learned the basics of  Hyper-V Manager on Windows 8. The aim has been to build virtual machines to run SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 for study and research purposes. As always I have learned a great deal and have followed a few rabbits down false trails. A modern Core-I7 processor and 16GB of RAM is speeding the process (to counterbalance the time lost when I have clicked into a wrong turn). Continue reading “RAID, Study and Virtual Machines – Getting the hang of Hyper-V”

Presentation at B.A.U.G. Brisbane Adobe User Group – Acrobat XI Detailed Overview

Last week, I had a chance to attend a B.A.U.G. Brisbane Adobe User Group meeting where Richard Turner-Jones (or here) walked us through the new and updated features of Acrobat XI.

The good news is that it is an enhanced version of Acrobat X.

The features that stood out for me were

  • integration with Echo Sign for digital signing
  • shift to Form Central for forms (LiveCycle Designer is now available as a separate product)
  • improved SharePoint integration
  • custom tool panels
  • enhanced export options

Motivated by Richard’s presentation, I have just created a virtual machine with Acrobat XI trial to explore the possibilities.

I’d recommend the user group to all levels of Adobe product users (that this was my first user group meeting for over 12 months is not a reflection on the quality of topics covered). There is a mailing list at the  B.A.U.G. Brisbane Adobe User Group site