Many Microsoft folks have experienced the joys of scheduling Live Meetings with customers and partners, where they get an email or meeting request with lots of links, asking them to install software on their PC before they try to join the meeting. How often do the attendees not manage to click the right link, or fail to install the software beforehand, or even when they do, join the Live Meeting and can’t hear audio, or see slides?
Well, thanks to Microsoft UK’s irrepressible John Noakes and courtesy of Office 2010, here’s an easy alternative…
We would like to start using our Office 2010 technology in these meetings now by using PowerPoint Broadcast – a great feature of PPT 2010…
With this technology, all you need to set up is the voice conf call (arranged via simple Outlook addin, using Office Communication Server or Lync Server). See here for Microsoft IT’s own case study on using UC technology to save money and increase flexibility…
Once we have the customer on the line we can then broadcast our PPT deck direct to the customer over the web by starting PowerPoint Broadcast on our client. This then generates a simple URL that we email or IM to the customer.
All they have to do then is click on the URL and……… hey presto……….they see the slides and they hear the audio via Communicator!
If you want to try it for yourself, open PowerPoint, go to the Slideshow menu and look for Broadcast Slide Show
From the dialog which appears next, choose “Change Broadcast Service” and set it to Powerpoint Broadcast Service. Sign in with your Windows Live ID, and your URL is generated……… copy, paste, email/IM to recipient. And we’re off. SIMPLE.
Even the best of us make common typos – “teh” instead of “the”, “Exchnage” instead of Exchange etc. Microsoft Word’s Autocorrect feature has mopped up a lot of the common ones – have a look if you’re interested, from the File Menu/BackStage in Word 2010, under Options…
The same options can be accessed in Outlook 2010 from the File Menu / Options / Mail / Spelling & Autocorrect… though if you add something to the auto-correct list in Outlook, it isn’t immediately available in Word.
There are some quite cool little tricks you can type in an email or in a Word doc, to make the content look better or to make it easier for the recipient/reader to consume, and these fall into AutoCorrect although they’re more like mini-macros.
A few examples…
- Horizontal line – see that line above? Type “—“ and press enter. Great for separating parts of your email, like the “here’s the mail I was planning to send to the partner” type messages… finish your intro blurb with a nice horizontal line and everyone will know what follows is separate…
- Em & En – As well as being useful Scrabble words, “Em” and “En” are units of typography—an “em” being the same width as a capital letter “M” (and a space, and as the point size of the font), and an “en” being half that—which are used to measure, amongst other things, the widths of dashes.
Whichever dash you choose is up to you and to the style guide you’re writing for (and both look so much classier than a dull old minus-sign), but the rules on how to involve them are pretty easy:
- An Em Dash (“—“) is made by typing two hyphens (“-“) without spaces – eg em–dash
- An En Dash (“–“) is made by typing space-two hyphens-space – eg en — dash
- URLs with spaces – How many times have you ever received an email with a URL which doesn’t work because it has a space in it? (such as http://sharepoint/sites//TipOWeek/Tip o the Week 15 – Show yourself.msg)? Or a UNC like \\windymiller\Video\MSFT Internal\TR10\Ballmer – Cloud.wmv ?
If you’re ever pasting or typing in a URL which has spaces, and you want Word or Outlook to treat it properly, start with a “<” then type or paste the URL/UNC then add a “>” to the end. As soon as you press space/full-stop etc, everything between the <>s will be turned into a URL/UNC and the angle brackets are removed.
Some of us use RSS, many of us use SharePoint, but all of use email. Did you know that you can combine these three great technologies to keep you up to date on what other people are doing?
Most areas of SharePoint allow you to request to be alerted when things change – in this picture, for example, we can get an alert when someone changes in the document library. The same is true of whole lists or for individual items inside the list.
If you choose to be alerted via email, you can then select under what circumstances (eg when something new is added to the library, when an existing document changes etc), and you can choose when to receive the notification – from an immediate “something has changed” mail, to a weekly summary of all changes.
The same alert mechanism can be fired separately on a single document – so if you are keeping an eye on someone changing a doc, then sign up.
I periodically update some sales data on a departmental SharePoint site, for example. Some people find it useful to find out who has bought what product, and when – maybe stuff they’d been working on months ago, it’s nice to see the revenue hit the books.
If you want to know when the report has been refreshed, look at the context menu against the document within SharePoint, and choose an email alert – these screenshots were taken from SharePoint 2007 but 2010 has the same concept.
More Outlook tippery this week. Many of these may be familiar to the “Mouse? Mouse? We don’t need no stinking mouse!” keyboard fanatics – if you’re a shortcut junkie, think of this as a refresher.
Since we spend more time in Outlook than any other application (with the possible exception of the browser), it makes sense to familiarise yourself with some common shortcut keys to shave a few seconds off regularly performed activities.
There are literally hundreds of keyboard shortcuts in Outlook – see them all here.
A few samples:
- CTRL+1 – switches the current view to mail – the last mail folder that was viewed
- CTRL+2 – switched the current window’s view to Calendar
- CTRL+3 – ditto for Contacts
- CTRL+4 – ditto for Tasks
- CTRL+I – switches to the Inbox (ie. moves your mail view to the inbox folder)
- CTRL+N – creates a new item (of whatever type is appropriate in the current folder)
- CTRL+SHIFT+A – creates a new appointment (regardless of which folder you’re in)
- CTRL+SHIFT+M – creates a new message (regardless of folder)
- CTRL+E (or F3) – switches the focus to the “Search” box in the main view
- CTRL+SHIFT+G – opens the “flag for follow up” dialog on the current item
- SPACE and SHIFT-SPACE – moves the active email in the Reading Pane up and down
I think you get the idea… the view switching ones are brilliant – CTRL+2 to switch to your calendar and CTRL+1 to switch back to email – must save a few seconds over clicking on the Outlook bar on the left…