Did you know you can cut and paste with Microsoft Spike? Probably not! Word has a hidden feature that most people do not know about to collect text on the clipboard from multiple locations and then paste it in to your document all in one go! Most Word users are familiar with using the clipboard to copy and paste text, but Spike works in a slightly different way.
Highlight the paragraph of text you would like to cut
Select the next paragraph of text you would like to cut
Continue cutting text from your document in this way. The paragraphs do not need to be next to each other, you can cut from anywhere in the document to move them to the clipboard.
Once you have finished cutting, you can paste all of the paragraphs in the order that you cut them into another part of the document,
Press CTRL+SHIFT+F3, OR
Type spikeand press F3
This clever piece of functionality utilises the Quick Parts feature in the background and is a useful trick to remember next time you are formatting a long document.
There are many great partnerships in life; Bert and Ernie, Batman and Robin, Yin and Yang and of course the humble Cheese and Pickle sandwich.
Introducing the Dynamic Duo – Cortanaand Microsoft Edge. These two separate applications seamlessly interact to provide you the consumer with a much more fluid and full browsing experience.
Lets back track a little. If you are reading and this and thinking ‘What in the world is Cortana?‘, then you are not alone.
Cortana is your clever new personal assistant! Cortana will help you find things on your PC, manage your calendar, track packages, find files, chat with you, and tell jokes. Yes, I said tell jokes. That was not a typo. The more you use Cortana, the more personalized your experience will be.
Now if you are anything like me, the words ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Assistant’ may conjure up this image in your mind…
Remember this guy?
Ah, Mr Clippy. Everyone’s favourite letter writing obsessed friend. The good news is, Cortana is very different to previous Microsoft Assistant tools and it can be utilised very effectively from within Microsoft Edge.
Turn on Cortana
Before you can use Cortana in Microsoft Edge you need to turn it on in System Settings.
Click the Windows button in the bottom left-hand corner OR press the Windows logo key on your keyboard
Start typing ‘Cortana’ to search
Select ‘Cortana & Search settings’
Use the slider to turn Cortana on
Once Cortana has been turned in, you can now ‘Ask Cortana’ questions directly from your we pages as you are browsing.
Ask Cortana when browsing the web
For example, I was looking at the BBC News website this morning and I was reading an article on the Falkland Islands. I was curious as to where the Falkland Islands were located so I utilised Cortana within my Edge browser.
Highlight the word you would like to search
Right-click and select ‘Ask Cortana’
Cortana will load information related to your search in a pane on the left-hand side of the screen.
NOTE: You must ensure you turn Cortana on within settings in order for ‘Ask Cortana’ to show in the menu when you right-click.
Hands up if this applies to you. You’ve spent hours working on an awesome document, typing and formatting like a mad thing, switching from one window to the next when suddenly….ahh! You’ve accidently closed the document you were working on without saving. *Cue lots of colourful language and crying*. Fortunately, Word 2013 allows you to recover your unsaved documents.
Click File to go to the backstage area
Click the Manage Versions drop-down arrow
Click Recover Unsaved Documents
Select your document and click Open
A yellow warning message will display across the top of the document.
Click Save As
Save your document as normal
Tip 2: Edit a PDF in Word 2013
If there is one thing sure to infuriate me, it’s receiving a form or document that I need to complete in PDF format! For years, PDF was the ‘go to’ file format if you wanted to prevent others from editing your document. Well not anymore! In Word 2013, you can easily edit and make changes to a PDF document. You can almost hear the sound of Microsoft users everywhere rejoicing!
Click the File menu to go to the backstage area
Click the Open tab
Navigate to the correct folder and select the PDF file
A dialogue box will appear informing you that your PDF file will be converted to an editable Word Document. It is worth noting that if your document contains a lot of images or graphics it might not look exactly like the original PDF and may need some ‘tweaking’.
Tip 3: Preserve your eyeballs and switch to Read Mode
Read Mode is a great option to use if you find yourself spending time reading or checking long documents. Also, if you are like me and find it easier to read text on a darker background, you can switch the background colour and give your eyeballs a well needed break from black on stark white. All of the document review options you know, love and need are still available in Read Mode.
Click the View tab
Click Read Mode
The document layout will change to an easy-to-read, two page per screen format.
Click the grey arrow to move to the next two pages
To maximise the ‘real estate’ on the page, you can hide the toolbar by clicking the ‘Auto-hide reading toolbar’ button in the top-right corner
To change the background colour of the page
Select Page Colour from the menu
Select Sepia or Inverse
Tip 4: Replying to comments
Collaborate smarter on documents by utilising Word’s reply to comment feature. This is an inline option that enables you to directly reply to any comments added by colleagues ensuring a smoother workflow.
Ensure that you have comments showing
Right-click on the comment icon within the comment
Select Reply to Comment from the menu
Add your reply comments. These will appear slightly indented underneath the original comment and will display under your name.
Click on any colleagues name in the comments section to directly IM, Call, Video Chat or Email without leaving Word.
Tip 5: Permanently delete cropped areas of a picture
This was something that I didn’t discover until recently. Did you know that if you crop a picture in Word and then send that document to a colleague, they can see the full, uncropped picture and restore it to the original? Imagine the embarrassment of cropping out a company logo or sensitive information only for it to re-appear again with a simple click of the Crop button by a ‘Word savvy’ colleague. Don’t be an amateur, ensure you permanently delete all cropped areas before sending.
Select a picture in your document
Click the Picture Tools contextual ribbon
Click the Format tab
Select Crop from the drop-down menu
Drag the handles to select only the part of the picture you would like to retain
Click Crop again
Once the picture has been cropped ensure that you permanently remove the cropped section so that it cannot be restored by a colleague.
Select the picture
Click Compress Pictures
Place a tick in the ‘Delete cropped areas of picture’ tickbox
Tip 6: Touch/Mouse Mode
In an increasingly mobile world it is becoming extremely important to be able to access and work on documents and files ‘on the go’. Mobile devices play a huge role in this with more and more people working from Smartphones and tablets. The new Touch/Mouse Mode in Word (available across all Office applications) optimises the spacing between commands for use with a mouse or a touchscreen. Yes, Microsoft have developed a solution to ‘fat finger’ syndrome. Hoorah!
Select the Touch/Mouse Mode icon on the Quick Access Toolbar
Tip 7: Border Painter Tool
This new feature in Word 2013 enables you to fully control your border style and placement in a table. Go crazy with your painting and decorating and really make those tables stand out!
First, setup the colour, weight and line style for the border
Select the table
Click the Design tab under the Table Tools contextual ribbon
Set the desired Border Style, Pen Colour, Line Weight
Click Border Painter. The curser will change to a paintbrush
Paint over a border of the table to apply the new style
Tip 8: Adding online video
Have you found a really awesome video on YouTube or Bing that you would love to be able to insert into your Word document to really make it come alive? Utilise Word 2013’s Online Video feature to search and add any video into your document.
Click the Insert tab
Click Online Video
Select Bing Video Search, YouTube video search or paste the video embed code directly.
Select a video
The video will be inserted into your document.
Click the Play button
You can also share the link to the video on social media from within the Word document.
Click the Share icon
Select a social media service to share the link on.
Performing a clean install of the free Windows 10 upgrade is a 2 step process. Firstly as an in-place upgrade to register the free upgrade and then as a clean install. This is an inconvenience especially when upgrading multiple desktops and sometimes in-place upgrades from one version of an OS fail to complete.
In-place Upgrades can Fail
Reasons for failed upgrades range from undetected incompatible hardware drivers, erroneous applications, user tweaked settings, malware, antivirus and hard disk accelerator software through to not enough disk space, underlying bad disk sectors and proprietary disk compression or encryption software.
Although these possibilities have been around for many years, the free offer of a Windows 10 upgrade has made more people than ever want to jump up onto this new release and because of the time limitation before the free upgrade offer expires in July 2016, it has made the heightened the perception of urgency to do it now (it could just be because ‘the grass is greener’ or maybe even some think Microsoft will suddenly have a change of heart and whip this free upgrade from under them).
And while the vast majority of people will simply perform the in-place upgrade and allow Windows 10 to merge onto their existing PC setup, some, however, prefer to go down the ‘purists’ route of a clean install. Migrate all the useful data off their existing system, wipe the drive (preferably after having run a HDD surface scan on older drives), install a fresh OS and enjoy the challenge of searching out any missing drivers for those odd hardware pieces.
In order to be eligible for a Windows 10 free upgrade you must allow the upgrade process to identify that your existing OS installation is valid in terms of version (Windows 7, 8.0, 8.1), edition (Home or Pro), and activation (genuine software, not a trial, or otherwise not properly activated). For those interested in more detail, go to the Windows 10 FAQ.
Two-Step Upgrade Process
This leads us back to our original point; performing a clean install of Windows 10, whilst trying to qualify for the free upgrade, is a 2 step process. Firstly the existing OS must be registered as being eligible and secondly that eligibility must be migrated over to the new clean install.
Given that quite often the reason for a clean install is that this existing OS is experiencing some of the issues I mentioned right at the very start of this article this can mean that this initial in-place upgrade never completes, preventing enrolment of the PC to enable a subsequent clean install.
However, this is a shortcut to this initial step – that of enrolling/registering/certifying (call it what you will) the PC’s existing OS that it is indeed suitable and eligible for a free Windows 10 upgrade without having to perform the entire Windows 10 in-place upgrade first.
Naturally, before proceeding, any data migration from the old PC must be completed, either in the form of a backup, file transfer or Easy Transfer Wizard. You may even want to consider performing a full system image copy in case you do not successfully complete the fresh install phase. Proceed only if you have a way to recover.
Use your preferred method to access the files within the downloaded ISO (such as burn it to disk, mount it within Windows or use a 3rd party utility to expand it).
Search for gatherosstate.exe. Depending on the version of the image you chose, it will either reside in sources or \Windows\x64\sources or \Windows\x32\sources. Copy gatherosstate.exe to your desktop.
Ensuring you are properly connected to the internet, run the gatherosstate application. After a few seconds, an additional file should appear on your desktop – GenuineTicket.XML. This is confirmation that your existing PC and OS have passed the pre-requisites needed to perform a clean Windows 10 install. Save the file GenuineTicket.XMLto a location NOT on your system HDD (as this is going to be wiped). Any location will do; USB, network share, even email it to yourself!
Perform your clean install of Windows 10. When requested for the product key, click the ‘SKIP’ button.
When the clean install has completed and you’re looking at your fresh desktop, locate GenuineTicket.XMLand copy it to the hidden folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\ClipSVC\GenuineTicket. You can navigate to it directly by pasting this URL directly into a RUN dialog box (Win+R to activate, or Win+X,R or just type in RUN into the Cortana search box).
Reboot your PC.
That’s it! In order to confirm activation, bring up the SYSTEM panel (Win+Pause, Win+x, S, or type SYSTEM into the Cortana search box). The System dialog box will now confirm that this new installation is activated.
Allow updates to be performed on your new system, via SETTINGS, Update & Security.
Enjoy that new-fresh Windows 10 installation smell!
Select Disable Updates and none of your Office applications will be updated; you won’t need to do this in each application. Somewhere in the world a puppy will start crying however, because you are defying Microsoft.
This action shouldn’t be taken lightly though; you will also not receive security patches so your products may become vulnerable. And at some point, your installation of Office will become unsupported.
Option 3 is performed by running OfficeC2RClient.exe from an administrative command-prompt and using the updatetoversionswitch with the specific version you want to deploy which can be newer or older than the current version (or you may not have one installed at all). If you don’t specify a version, it defaults to the latest one. The versions only go back so far but theoretically you could deploy an older release going back a couple of years.
How will rollbacks work when Office 2016 applications are brought into mainstream Office 365?
We’ll post an update to this blog when we try it.
The last point may seem obvious and irrelevant but we have to mention it for completeness. You can of course still use Office 2011 for Mac on the device whilst connecting to the Office 365 cloud services. But this is not going to help if you’ve subscribed to an Office 365 plan which includes Office applications; who wants to pay twice for the same thing?
Upgrading the Existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Desktops to Windows 10
As we’ve discussed in How to Upgrade to Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (Home and Pro editions) are eligible to benefit from the 1-year free upgrade offer. If your desktop machines are upgraded within that year they have a perpetual (but not transferable) licence for Windows 10 and they are able to be reimaged or reinstalled with Windows 10.
Using Windows 10 Media as the Initial Upgrade Image
The Windows 10 free upgrade offer is aimed at consumers and most people will initiate the upgrade from their own pc. However organisations with Windows Pro are eligible to take advantage of the offer and are unlikely to want to sit in front of each pc to upgrade it so upgrade media will be provided as part of the free upgrade offer. This media can be used on a machine (or multiple machines) to initiate the upgrade process. The media image can be customised like any other Windows image, for example via DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to include drivers, applications, etc.. During the upgrade process, a Windows 10 licence will be obtained from the Windows Store for the specific device. The upgrade media is intended to be used to initiate the upgrade process from within a currently-activated, eligible Windows OS. It shouldn’t be used as bootable media because the upgrade process validates the currently running OS to ensure it is eligible to be upgraded.
Using Windows 10 Free Upgrade Media to Reinstall or Reimage
As long as the specific device has been upgraded within the free offer year, Windows 10 can be reinstalled or reimaged on that device because the licence is tied to the motherboard, so even a hard drive upgrade is fine. So in theory, reimaging using the Windows 10 upgrade offer media will be allowed but as stated earlier, the advice from Microsoft is that it can’t be used as bootable so that makes reimaging tricky. Allowed: yes. Technically possible: it’s not clear because the upgrade media isn’t available yet.
Using Windows 10 VL Media to Reimage
One key benefit of licensing Microsoft software under a Microsoft Volume Licensing program is the right for customers to use VL media to deploy a standard image of software across multiple licenced devices. It doesn’t matter whether those devices are licenced under that particular VL program, an OEM or retail so long as certain eligibility rules are followed. The main rule is VL media may be used to reimage devices as long those devices are already licensed for the edition and version being reimaged onto them.
As long as your devices have upgraded to Windows 10 Pro within the free upgrade period, you will be allowed to use VL media to reimage them. If your VL licence is for Windows 10 Enterprise you must down-edition to Windows 10 Pro.
The Microsoft Product Terms document (a new document from July 2015 combining the Product List and Product Use Rights document) states “If a third party intends to re-image Windows on Customer’s separately licensed devices, Customer must first provide that third party with written documentation proving it has licenses for the software the third party will install.” So to cover your backs in case of an audit, ensure you have proof that the current installations of Windows are valid. With OEM, that should be easy as there’ll normally be a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker on the device.
What if the Current Editions are Windows Home?
The Product Terms document states that down edition rights for Windows through Volume Licensing are from Enterprise edition to Pro (see the image below). You cannot down-edition Windows in volume licensing to Home edition because they are different products and that’s against reimaging rules. Therefore you won’t be able to use Windows 10 VL media to reimage devices if they are only licenced for Windows 10 Home (hence the big red block in the top right of our flowchart above). Licensing is full of exception though and it is possible that rights to reimage by using a different version or edition may be granted in the EULA that came with your OEM version of Windows.
One Last Point
The main points in this article are taken from the Product Termsdocument which hasn’t yet been updated for Windows 10 but as far as we’re aware the Windows 8.1 rules will apply, and the Licensing brief: Reimaging rightsdocument from February 2015. We’ve also included some information from Microsoft sources in the case of unreleased bits such as the Windows 10 media and as such, they must be viewed as unconfirmed.
We hope that’s clear but feel free to Tweet us or contact us if you have any questions.
There’s lots of chatter about Windows 10 so we’ve posted a licensing call that we recorded for Microsoft which sets out the fundamentals of how Windows as a service will work, the editions of Windows 10, licensing Windows per-user instead of per-device and how customers can get the Windows 10 upgrade.
1 – Windows will be an evergreen service and devices on Windows Home and Pro will have Windows updated at no ongoing cost.
2 – Windows Home will be on what’s known as Current Branch which means those machines will get feature updates as soon as they’re released.
3 – Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise with Software Assurance (SA) will default to Current Branch but can be set to Current Branch for Business which allows them to defer feature updates for up to eight months. If updates are not deployed within that time, the OS will become unsupported.
4 – Windows Enterprise is the only edition where customers can fix on a specific release(known as a Long Term Servicing Branch).
5 – Windows Enterprise without Software Assurance (SA) will NOT BE UPDATED. The update facility (Current Branch or Current Branch for Business) is a Software Assurance benefit for Enterprise edition, not part of the Windows licence. So Windows will only be kept up to date for Enterprise edition customers if they maintain their SA annuity.
6 – Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 devices can be upgraded at no cost for 1 year after the release of Windows 10. Windows Enterprise is not eligible for this free upgrade.
7 – The upgrade licence is tied to the specific device and is not transferable. For example if you bought Windows 8 retail, that can be transferred to another pc but the Windows 10 upgrade cannot be transferred. Within the first year, you would need to transfer the Windows 8 licence to the new machine and then kick off the free upgrade again. After the first year, if the new machine didn’t come with an OEM Window 10 then you would need to buy Windows 10 in order to install it on that device.
8- There will be downgrade rights so if you buy a device with Windows 10 you will be able to deploy Windows 8 or 7 in its place. This varies according to the channel you purchase through.
9- We’d love to get some more questions so please contact us if you have any that you’d like us to answer.
If the customer tried to create a new D series VM in the same VNet or cloud service, they will also receive the following warning message telling them the cloud service doesn’t support those compute units.
If you create an A series VM in a new cloud services, Azure’s cloud fabric will host that VM in a cluster that currently may only support A series. That’s why you’ll see the behaviour that our customer has experienced.
It is not possible to move a VM between cloud services either so even if you had a service currently hosting D series VMs, the customer would need to delete their VM (but choosing the option to keep the attached disks) and recreate the VM from the attached disks in the other cloud service.
So our little trick would be for this customer to create the VM as a D series initially and as soon as it’s created, scale the VM down to an A2. That way Azure will host the VM in a cluster capable of supporting both A and D series compute units. The customer can scale up, down and mix VMs of A and D series to their heart’s content (with the exception of the A8-A11 compute sizes). The image below shows a cloud service with both A and D series compute units.
This doesn’t work with G series currently but at present they can only be hosted in the West US and East US 2 data centres anyway. Of course the feature release cadence of Azure is rapid so it’s likely this will be possible at some point in the future.
How would the customer have known to create the D series first to avoid this trap? We’d recommend utilising a Microsoft partner with experience in Azure services or attend one of our training courses; that’s what we’re here for.
Small and medium are pretty easy to calculate. If you have large instances, you will be paying £6.109 (prices as of May 2015) per 500GB so a 1.3TB backup would cost you £18.33 per month. A simple protection estate could be:
Windows 7 laptop
Linux virtual machine
And the cost for those would be £12.22 per month. So that takes care of the backup service; the agent, compression, encryption and bandwidth.
Next we need to calculate the cost of the storage. Microsoft have wisely brought this in line with the standard Azure Storage costs and you have the choice of locally redundant where your backup files are replicated three time within a single datacentre (e.g. Dublin) or zone redundant where they are replicated three times in one data centre and then three times in geographically paired datacentre (e.g. Dublin and Amsterdam).
We’ve put a typical price per GB in the table above. The actual figures vary with the amount of data you store and you can view current prices on the Azure Storage Prices. Determining the amount of storage is a bit of a guessing game as it depends on how much the data changes (the churn), how many restore points you want to keep and the level of compression that can be achieved. A file server with lots of Word documents will be compressed far more than a file server containing hundreds of .jpg images because the jpeg format is already compressed. Azure will only charge for the actual storage used so your estimate doesn’t need to be accurate. In our example, we might use the following factors:
1- the total storage of 375GB
2 – locally redundant storage because we only want an archiving and backup solution to replace tape-drives
3 – 20% of the data changes between backups
4 – 10% compression (this is conservative; a typical compression should be around 30-40% depending on the type of data being backed up)
5 – a backup every week
6 – retention period for the backups of 1 year (for a maximum of 52 backups stored after a year)
Our back-of-a-napkin calculation would be 375GB initial backup + 52 further backups would just be the data changes at 75GB (20% of 375GB). Total of 4.275TB, with compression at 10% this comes down to 3.8475TB.
So after 1 year (at which point we will have a rolling 52 backups retained), our monthly cost might be £53.87 (for storage at a rough £0.014 per GB) + £12.22 (for the protected instances) = £66.09
For more technical information about Azure, sign up for one of our courses and gain your professional qualification.