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Archive for September 2012

Creating Styles in Word 2010 – a search and destroy mission

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Microsoft “moved my cheese” when they came out with 2007, and then, darn, they moved it again in 2010.  I’ve used Microsoft products since they began and am so used to things the way they used to be that sometimes I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out where things got moved.  It is really bad to have to admit I actually like the ribbons at the top now that I realize they keep the majority of things you use right in front of your face.  However, they do a amazingly good job at hiding some things.

Because I work with HTML quite a bit, sometimes I want to bring in HTML code into a document.  Then when I go to spell check it the dictionary goes all wonky and spastic trying to show me all the “supposed” misspellings.  So, I said, self, why don’t you create an HTML style and tell it to not spell check.  I found out how to not spell check during another seek and destroy mission.

Since this was a royal pain, I thought I’d put it into a blog article to save some other poor sole the effort of figuring this out.  This will show you how to even begin to build a style – which is the first thing really hidden, and the second part will show you how to exclude spell checking on a style.

Ok, first things first.  Where the heck did they hide creating a new style?  Open Word and make sure you are on the Home Ribbon.  Next click on the little corner widget on the Styles Group.  I have learned that these little corner widgets hide a myriad of secrets, and usually have what I am looking for in the first place.

After clicking on the corner arrow, you will see the following drop-down. The icon you are searching for, and which is totally non-obvious is shown here on this graphic. The green arrow is pointing at your destination.

Styles Dropdown

Hooray, we can now build a new style.  As I said I built one for HTML Code.  The next mission was to set the style to do no spelling checking.  Let me explain where you can use this.  Say you are writing a blog article about HTML coding – or even more probable, a user manual.  You can use a normal default style and when you are entering the HTML code, go to the Style Group and select your new HTML Code style.  Then, when you run your spell checker it will bypass spelling checking that section.  In my case, it is HTML code.  It could be technical terminology for engineers, or Visual Basic or C# code for programmers, or very broad medical descriptions for doctors.  I think you get the idea.

So now that I have you interested, let me show you how to set the style to not spell check.  In Word, again make sure you are on the Home ribbon and click on the Styles corner arrow.  Locate your style and right click on the name to bring up the dialog box.  You are going to choose Modify as shown here in this graphic.

After clicking Modify you want to click the Format button.

On the format dialog box choose the Language selection.

Finally, you can now check the Do Not Check Spelling or Grammar box.

Whew, see, I told you it was non-intuitive.  I know it didn’t used to be this hard.  The good news is all the clicking and searching causes me to find some things that are indeed really new.  But I don’t know about you, I really don’t have the time to have to go through this every time I need to do something out of the ordinary.  Yes, I know, I can go look it up on Help, but the Microsoft Help, as my husband likes to say, “makes up for lack of function by being slow.”  That combined with my total lack of patience spells disaster or a search and destroy mission – ergo, the title of my blog article.

That’s it for today.  Several of my readers have sent me emails asking for more regular updates.  They like the ones I do on Microsoft products, so look for more in the near future.  Who knows – maybe it will become a series of articles.

Written by pregen

September 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Favorite iPad apps

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A week ago I posted a tweet asking what were people’s favorite iPad apps.  Today I’m posting what came back as a result of that poll.  We are doing a lot more work with iPads so I see a series of blog articles coming soon as we talk about different scenarios where iPads work well in a business environment and also talk about situations where they just don’t fit at all.

First off, everyone should know that the iPad is a great vehicle for games and puzzles.  One of my favorite apps is a little Suduko game by Finger Arts.   The other favorites on my iPad are Quickoffice Pro, Evernote, Dropbox, Hootsuite, Netflix, FormConnect and last but absolutely not least Kindle for iPad.

Ok, so what did I get back as replies for favorite apps. Evernote, FormConnect, AudioNotes and Suduko got mentions as replies to my tweet.  Armed with that information, here’s a blurb about each of the products menti0ned. I will post URLs for all these apps at the bottom of this post.

Evernote – this handy app keeps important information as notes up in the cloud.  It’s free if you choose to only access it via the cloud – if you want to have it on devices locally, it’s $5 per month for a subscription.  The key thing here is this app runs on PC’s, smartphones and tablets so you keep your important notes synchronized on all devices.

FormConnect – this app is a way to design forms such as invoices, patient records, etc.  As per their website, “FormConnect allows you to create your own custom forms for storing information on your iPad. Create patient records, customer contacts, expense reports, invoices, proposals, purchase orders, questionnaires, real estate listings and more.”  It only costs $9.99 and has tremendous potential for small business applications.

Quickoffice Pro – for those of us who still live in the Microsoft world, this app is a must.  It allows you to read and create Office documents on an iPad.  You can use it to view PDF files as well.  At $14.99 it is one of the more pricey iPad apps but for me is an absolute necessity.

Dropbox – what can I say.  I love Dropbox.  I’ve been using it even longer than my iPad.  Dropbox is another cloud application that allows you to store files in the cloud and also on your devices.  It is similar to Evernote – except that this is for all file types.  You “drop” a file into a folder and it automatically gets sync’d to a cloud location.  What is particularly cool is you can share a Dropbox folder with other people in your organization or with customers and vendors.  You get a nice popup on your device telling you a file has been placed in a folder.  How cool is that.  I recently used it to put a Kindle book that was out on Facebook into a Dropbox folder and then opened Dropbox on my iPad and retrieved the Kindle book.  The Dropbox app was smart enough to download the book into the Kindle app.  Cool indeed.  Even better is the fact that Dropbox is free for up to 2 gig of storage. You can add more free storage by referring people to Dropbox.  Or you can upgrade to more storage for as little as $9.99 per month.  It makes a very good inexpensive alternative for backing up critical files to the cloud. That is always a good idea for disaster recovery.

Hootsuite – if you read my blog often, you know I am into social media.  Hootsuite keeps me sane.  It allows me to manage all my social media accounts in one place, including those of my clients who I monitor as part of our social media services.  Having it on my iPad turns my iPad into a device that serves me well in a business environment.

Audio Notes – I have a cheaper version of the iPad so I don’t have a means of recording sounds.  So, I had to go look up this tool and boy I wish I had recording ability.  It looks amazing.  Here’s what it says on their website: “AudioNote combines the functionality of note-taking and voice recording apps to create a powerful tool that will save you time while improving the quality of your notes.  By synchronizing notes and audio, AudioNote automatically indexes your meetings, lectures, classes, interviews—you name it. Watch as your text and drawings highlight during playback, helping you to remember the context in which they were taken. Tap notes to seek in the audio, taking you instantly to what you want to hear.” It sounds cool indeed.

Summary

Having elderly parents around means spending time in doctor waiting rooms for me.  Traveling quite a bit and suffering through the slings and arrows of airline services also means sitting around and waiting.  Pulling out my iPad is soooooo much easier than finding a plug for my laptop.  Since I read and respond to my emails, get instant messages, check my social media, read books, play suduko, read proposals, fill out quotes, and on and on, it has become my device of choice when I know I am going to be sitting somewhere for an eternity.  I am now mobile and productive and what’s not to like about that.

That’s my first pass at this series of blog articles.  If you have a favorite iPad app or are using it creatively in your world, post a comment here.  We all would love to hear about creative uses for this evolving technology.

And finally as promised, here are URL’s for all these apps.

http://www.evernote.com

http://www.formconnections.com

http://www.dropbox.com

http://www.quickoffice.com

http://www.hootsuite.com

http://luminantsoftware.com/iphone/audionote.html

Suduko 2 by Finger Arts – find it on the Apple store with your iPad

Written by pregen

September 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

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