Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Two Cool Tools
These aren't directly related to Office XP, but they might make your work less frustrating and more fun. :) I've run across both of these tools in the last couple of days:
- Filext.com : A site that lists maybe every file extension ever created and gives the name, format, and the program that created them. This was helpful recently when someone sent me a digital composition and Windows Media Player had no clue how to play it. I went out to the site, found the name of the program, downloaded a demo version, and played the song--all in under three minutes.
- audblog.com: I can sum up my reaction to this tool with one big "Woo hoo!" <jumping up and down>. I admit to being a complete computer nerd and a total blogophile, but this simple add-on technology allows you to phone in your blog postings. Very, very cool. I tried it out on one of my other blogs (www.revisionsplus.com/practicalfaith.html) because I'm not sure how it will act with a subscription system, but it's simple, free (for a trial period anyway), and adds real life to your online voice.
Take a look and see whether these things add a little sparkle to your day. :) k
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
A Little WinXP Help
This link takes you to a Windows XP newsletter I get regularly...it hasn't occurred to me to mention it on the blog before, but I read it whenever it comes and usually find at least a couple of good ideas to think about and/or try. Here's the link: WinXPnews Have a good day! :) k
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
A Vision of...Refrigerator Magnets?
Here's an interesting article about a talk Bill Gates delivered today at Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals summit in Redmond. He's giving his thoughts about the "digital decade." Interesting stuff! But what kind of digital data could my refrigerator magnets possibly give me, besides "Buy Milk!" Here's the link: Gates lays out digital vision | CNET News.com :) k
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
From Table to Text
This afternoon I was gathering research for a new chapter and I needed to save out some white paper info that was published in tabular form. I copied the table from the site and pasted it into my Word document and--you guessed it--I had margin-to-margin grids. I create web pages and I understand how layout tables make things easier, but they sure are a mess when all you want is the basic info quickly. So here's what I did to de-grid the text so I could keep it in readable form in my research file: Select the entire table and then choose Tools > Convert > Text to Table (yes, that seems counter-intuitive, but read on...). The grid on the document appears to get worse for the moment. Then, with the table still selected, choose Tools > Convert > Table to Text (this options wasn't available the first time because Word wasn't seeing the information as a "real" table). Now you've got usable text, no grids, and you can format it anyway you like. Simple, elegant, and it works when Clear Formatting in the Styles list won't. Happy formatting! :) k
Saturday, February 08, 2003
Project Management Templates
Happy Saturday! This morning I was reading a posting from
Stefan Smalla's Info Feed (a German blog with great insight into the happenings in business & tech the world over), and he mentioned a page with lots of project management templates. I went to check it out, and sure enough--the templates are written for Word, Excel, and Project. Click this link to take a look: tools: Project Management checklists and templates
Enjoy your weekend! :)
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Amazing Online Thesaurus
Nothing against Word's Thesaurus, but if you're a word person, you've just got to check this out: Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus. Better yet, grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee, put voicemail on, and explore! :) k
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Finding Mr/Ms Right
Maybe I'm the last XP user on earth to discover this feature, but I was so excited to discover the Activities tab in the Contact dialog! Do you know about it? Previously, whenever I needed to find a specific email from, say, Alex at Microsoft Press, I'd click the From column in the Outlook mail view to alphabetize received email and then scroll down for Alex's name. But then if I'd already filed the message in another folder (and couldn't remember the exact Subject line), I'd go hunting through my various project folders in the same way. The result? I spent lots of time scrolling for no reason.
What I could have done, I now know, was click Contacts, double-click Alex's entry, and click the Activities tab. Then Outlook goes through and compiles a list of every bit of activity that involved Alex--emails to and from, journal entries, notes, tasks, and so forth. I can then go right to the email (or task or what-have-you) by double-clicking it in the list. This is a very cool feature that could have saved me a huge amount of time and email-hunting frustration. But now I know! (and you do, too). Have a good day, everyone! :) k
Genius blogger and author Biz Stone has a top, front-page mention on *the* blogging site, Blogger.com. Go Biz! Your book rocks!
Monday, February 03, 2003
Blogging for Everyone
Blogs open doors for developers - Tech News - CNET.com
Good Monday morning (that's not an oxymoron, is it?)...This is an interesting article for those of you who are interested in how blogging can be used as part of corporate communications. Dream job #2: Setting up blogs for companies: it's easy...find your "authentic" voice...extend yourselves...welcome others as part of your development feedback cycle...build the buzz...smart stuff! :) And you can build and maintain your pages in Word and/or FrontPage or use one of the many blogging tools out here in the blogiverse.
One of the things I love most about blogging is its alive, evolving nature; it's never a "done" thing like a final report or a published book...it's a message, changing and growing and passing from person to person and gaining momentum. You learn and your blog shows it. You add readers and your community grows. You invite other people in to share your thoughts and they invite you in to hear theirs. Real, in-the-moment communication. The web at its best. :) k
Thanks, Steve, for your email about Phantom Friends. I did think my updates were up-to-date but I'll check again...and yes, Knowledgebase rocks! :) k
Saturday, February 01, 2003
For the Love of Devices
Okay, I've got a Tablet PC sitting on my desk. From Viewsonic. Put simply: I love it. Write your notes in Word; use the stylus to grab a quick range in Excel and drag it to a report you're writing. If you are a doodler, you'll love it. If you think better taking notes long-hand, you'll love it. If you sketch out processes, draw diagrams, or want an easy-to-take-along PC to show PowerPoint presentations to clients, you'll love it.
I haven't had a chance to experiment with different makes and models, but I'm much more impressed with the functionality than I thought I'd be. They're pricey now, but definitely worth a closer look. Microsoft thinks so too; in fact, they've given the Tablet the lead article space on the www.microsoft.com/office site. Here's a link to more info and a few online demos.
Even if Tablets leave you cold right now, be forewarned: we're only going to get more mobile. Someday (soon?) we won't even need desktops or offices. Give me a warm spot in the sun, a good cup of coffee, and I'm ready for work. Have a good weekend, everyone! :) k
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