Posted by tribeofa | Posted in MS Outlook | | Posted on 10-08-2012
I, along with 150 of the Evil Meeting Maven’s closest associates are invited to a can’t-miss meeting once a month. She changes the dates constantly and the meeting is a moving target. EMM changes one of the dates and HAH – the perfect excuse – I’m on vacation. I gleefully reach for the “decline” button and it’s not there! Instead, I see “Cancel Meeting.” Huh? Tempting, but HUH? When I look at the rest of the series, I see the same thing – I’m suddenly the organizer.
This is a bug that’s been turning up lately, usually in big, recurring meetings that experience a lot of churn (changed attendees and especially dates and times). If this happens to you, you can try asking EMM to forward the meeting to you. Sometimes she will still have control of the meeting also and that’s what she’ll want to do because she’ll see it as your problem. It might even work – it does, occasionally.
Why it’s a bad solution: the series is corrupt and it should be reissued. The right solution is to to go ahead and hit “cancel series.” EMM will need to reissue it. Assuming she is really just a “MM” and not an “EMM,” you will, of course, do this thoughtfully and in concert with the MM. If she’s an EMM, all bets are off.
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If you use Visio for complex charts that require fiddling, you know exactly what I mean. The lines jump around to the wrong place. Pieces move. Connection points shift. You fix everything, save your document, move across the page, and when you come back, everything has shifted again. This time when you finish you save the document and close it. When you open it, guess what? It’s messed up again.
There’s a reason for this infuriating behavior. Just as you always suspected, Visio thinks. It doesn’t think about the best way to destroy your life, all evidence to the contrary. It’s too pea-brained for that. It’s full of – when you think about it – amazing templates. Each of those templates has behavior built into it. When you make a change, it flips through its chart of expected behaviors and applies the one it thinks is right. When you ask it to do something outside the template’s expected behaviors, it tries to fix the problem. It’s like your spouse who washes your dishes before you’ve finished eating. It thinks about how to clean up the mess it thinks you just made.
I didn’t say you were going to like the reason, or that there was some setting you could choose to fix it, just that there is a reason. Sometimes it makes me feel better as fix my org chart for the umpteenth time.
The good news? Vision 2010 is better. Not healed, but better.Share on Facebook
Posted by tribeofa | Posted in Admin Life, Thrifty Admin | | Posted on 03-04-2012
I know none of you believed me last year. Don’t lie. I know it’s true…you were too scared to try it. It’s OK. Really. I understand. Honest. But now it’s time to get over it! If you have investment real estate, a business with employees, complex trusts…head straight for the CPA. Absolutely. If you’re a “normal” admin? Save yourself a couple hundred bucks.
TurboTax walks you through it…it’s like having your grandmother hold your hand through the whole process. You’ll still collect all those receipts from your purse, desk, glove compartment, still swear you’ll get organized next year..the difference is that you do it in your own time, in bits and pieces if you want, and you can do it for FREE. Grandma wouldn’t charge you, right?
OK…here’s the deal: if you file 1040EZ, you can do the Federal return completely free. If you have enough deductions that you need to file a regular 1040, it costs $29.95. You can spend as much as $74.95 for the super duper Home and Business version. How’s that compare with your CPA again? Maximum refund is guaranteed, 100% accurate calculations are guaranteed and it comes with a free Audit Support Center and live tax advice. Hmmm. My CPA never guaranteed anything.
I’m not dissing CPAs. Really. It’s just that we don’t need ‘em.
Prefer downloading the software to doing your taxes online? Use this link:
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Of course I get a kickback. Using these links adds nothing to your cost and helps keep this site alive, so I’m very grateful when you do. Plus I really like TurboTax. I’ve been using it since it was called MacInTax in 1986. Try it!Share on Facebook
Posted by tribeofa | Posted in MS Word | | Posted on 01-29-2012
For reasons known only to themselves and perhaps Loki, Microsoft doesn’t easily give up the secret for tabbing within a cell in a Word table. If you hit tab, you move to the next cell. The solution is easy though, and surprisingly, consistent between Mac and Windows: hold the Control key and tab.Share on Facebook
Posted by tribeofa | Posted in Windows 7 | | Posted on 12-29-2011
Now that I know to use the Windows key to lock my screen, I thought I should poke around and see what else it can do. The answer turns out to be “lots!”
Win – all by itself – brings up the “Start” menu.
My favorite: Win + P pops up a Projection window that makes it at least a little clearer what you’re choosing…you know the drill…hmmm, is it fn +F7 to see it on both computer and screen, or is it just F7 or is it fn +F8…I can never remember. This at least provides a little visual guidance, and “Win +P” is a little more in keeping with Mac philosophy of making something memorable about the letter choice. I can – probably – remember that “project” starts with “P.” I hope. Here’s how it looks:
Win + F opens Windows search (“Find”)
And of course we remember that Win+D displays the Desktop
Those are the ones that interest me. Some that may interest you:
Win + R is Run dialog box (I swear I don’t even know what this means)
Win + M is Minimize all
SHIFT + Win+M will undo minimize all
Win + TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons
Win+F1 takes you to Help. They jumped the tracks here. Why not ” Win + H”?
Win + E takes you to that useless spot with the confusing name: Windows Explorer
CTRL + Win + TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (at this point, I’m not even listening anymore)
Win + Break: System Properties dialog box
If you really want to get serious, Wikipedia has an exhaustive list here.
I don’t have time to save that much time.
I’m excited to announce that we’re growing again, and since each new tribe member brings new skills, we’ll be offering a new service: transcription. I’ve been seeing some pretty shocking work coming from inexpensive transcription services staffed by people who are practicing English as a new second language. As impressive as it is that they can do the work, they lack the experience to understand our idioms and business terms. The result: entertaining babble for you and I…not so much for the client.
We now offer quality transcription at very competitive prices. The work will be done by highly literate native English speakers who will also provide executive summaries and an outline of the high points as an option.
Who uses transcribers? People who subscribe to a webcast but don’t have time to listen to the whole thing. Executives who record meetings and need minutes. Videographers doing collaborative editing. Researchers, lecturers, and scholars. Interviewers. Authors. Doctors. You?
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Someone asked how to hide certain data in a Word table. Unfortunately, a Word table isn’t like Excel; you can’t choose “hide column” and be done with it. There are some workarounds, however.
1) Create your data in Excel and import it into your Word doc one of two ways:
A) Choose “Insert,” then choose “Object.” When the window comes up, scroll down to “Microsoft Excel Worksheet.” Click “OK.” This will open Excel. Anything that you do in Excel will show up in the Word doc, hidden columns and rows and all.
B) Create the worksheet in Excel, save it, the follow the steps above, but choose “From file” and choose your file. This will embed your worksheet in your Word document. When you want to hide columns or rows, double clicking will take you into Excel to make the changes, which will be reflected in the Word doc.
Don’t want to use Excel? There are other options:
2) You can format text as hidden. If you choose to hide the text in a column, the column will remain, but will be blank. If you do it on a row, the row will actually be hidden. How to do this:
Select the column or row. Select “Format” then “Text” (or the appropriate panes in 2007 or later). In the window that comes up you’ll see several checkboxes. The last one is “hidden.” Check it and click “OK.”
Keep in mind that unless you protect your document, there’s nothing to stop the person at the other end from unhiding that text, but the same is true of the Excel document.
3) You can make your font white (or whatever the background color is) and protect the document.
4) You can buy a redaction plug-in or use the highlighter tool set to black and pretend you’re a censor.Share on Facebook
Posted by tribeofa | Posted in Thrifty Admin | | Posted on 10-08-2011
My laptop gets so hot that I have to stop what I’m doing periodically. This not only makes me grumpy, it shortens the life of the laptop, which doesn’t appeal to my “Thrifty Admin” soul. I’m always going to buy one of laptop cooler desks “when I have some extra money.” Of course, once hell freezes over I won’t need it anymore. This guy has solved the problem an it’s more or less free.
Of course, you can still go higher tech!Share on Facebook
Posted by tribeofa | Posted in MS PowerPoint | | Posted on 09-17-2011
It’s very frustrating for those of us who use dual monitors to try to compare, copy and paste between two PowerPoint documents in Windows. Word, Visio and some other programs allow you to open two copies of the program at once so you can display one on each monitor, but PowerPoint has a “parent” function that sends you to your room when you try. Here’s a workaround:
Put PowerPoint on your left-hand monitor (optional, but easier).
Under “Window” in the tool bar, or the “View” pane in other versions, choose “Arrange All.” You’ll see your presentations side by side, like this:
Now grab the sizing control in the bottom right corner of your main PowerPoint Window – the “parent” window – and stretch the window across both monitors. Now just move to right-hand deck to the right-hand monitor and you can edit between the two easily.
Or, of course, you could just buy a Mac.
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