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8 Useful Tips in Microsoft Word 2013



8 Useful Tips in Word 2013

Tip 1: Recover Unsaved Documents

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 Info
  • Click the Manage Versions drop-down arrow
  • Click Recover Unsaved Documents
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  • Select your document and click Open

A yellow warning message will display across the top of the document.

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  • 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
  • Click Open

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’.

PDF SS
  • Click OK

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
Read Mode SS

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
maximise2 SS

To change the background colour of the page

  • Click View
  • Select Page Colour from the menu
  • Select Sepia or Inverse
backgroundcolor

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
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  • Right-click on the comment icon within the comment
  • Select Reply to Comment from the menu
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  • Add your reply comments. These will appear slightly indented underneath the original comment and will display under your name.
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  • Click on any colleagues name in the comments section to directly IM, Call, Video Chat or Email without leaving Word.
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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
  • Click Crop
  • Select Crop from the drop-down menu
Crop SS
  • Drag the handles to select only the part of the picture you would like to retain
Crop2 SS
  • 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
Crop3 SS
  • Click OK

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
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  • Select Touch
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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
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  • Click Border Painter. The curser will change to a paintbrush
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  • Paint over a border of the table to apply the new style
BorderPainter3 SS

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
VIdeo SS
  • Select Bing Video Search, YouTube video search or paste the video embed code directly.
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  • Select a video
  • Click Insert
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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
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  • Select a social media service to share the link on.
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Windows 10 – How to Upgrade



Windows 8.1Microsoft would quite like to get a billion devices onto Windows 10 so if you could help they would appreciate it.

You’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about Windows 10 being a free upgrade and for many customers that will be true for the first year.  Microsoft has a Windows 10 free upgrade program geared toward consumers, however many SMBs will also take advantage of it.  That’s fine; if their devices will run windows 10 then Microsoft are happy for them to do that.  Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year.  After 1 year, you’ll need to buy a full-packaged product (FPP) or volume licence to install Windows 10.

There are things to be aware of for the upgrade so please read about the Windows 10 upgrade specifications.

Windows 10 upgrade paths

 

What do you notice from this eligibility list?  Windows Enterprise editions and Windows RT are specifically excluded.

Windows RT is likely being replaced with Windows 10 mobile edition anyway so more will become known on that in the next few months.  Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Enterprise edition are not eligible for the free upgrade offer so how would those customers acquire Windows 10?

Customers with Software Assurance (SA) on their Windows licences have rights to Windows 10 Enterprise through the software assurance new version rights benefit.

In the days when you acquired Windows Enterprise by buying Windows Pro + SA, your underlying licence was Pro but even if you stopped SA you could retain perpetual rights to enterprise.  In this case you could revert to Pro edition and go for the free upgrade.  That does involve a reinstall though so not a nice option.

Or you could buy Windows 10 Enterprise + SA all over again.  Possibly not an option which will be greeted by cheers.

Or you could go for Windows 10 Enterprise without SA and stick with the Long Term Service Branch.

Limitations with the Upgrade

The Windows 10 licence created during the upgrade is a consumer licence that is tied to the device.  The licence will continue to work for reinstalling Windows 10 after the free upgrade period ends but only on that specific device.  so if you need to replace the hard drive or do a reinstall for any reason other than replacing the motherboard, it will work.

For volume licensing customers, the licence created is not a Volume Licence (VL) and will not be in VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Centre).  Whilst there won’t be any differences in the end-user experience between the free upgrade and a new VL purchase of Windows 10, the licence is different.  If you buy Windows 10 Pro through VL, you could not use the image or keys from the VLSC to apply the upgrade for free to other, unlicenced machines.  At present the Windows 10 Pro Upgrade licenses will be priced the same as the existing Windows 8.1 Pro Upgrade licences in case you do want to buy the full edition.

A couple of last points; even though customers on Windows 8 will get a lot of nudges to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft will not force people to upgrade.  They can remain on Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 and the support lifecycle for those remains in place.

Education customers have the same criteria.  Upgrade goes by the eligibility of the device and installed operating system; nothing special or limited for education.

See part 2 of this blog post for information on how Windows 10 is becoming an evergreen service.


When 1TB Just Isn’t Enough



Unlimited storage with OneDrive for BusinessSpare a thought for all those workers out there who still have storage limits.  A 200MB inbox for example.  For a while now, Office 365 customers have been able to enjoy unlimited Exchange Online Archiving and 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage.  But Microsoft likes to set limits that customer’s aren’t going to hit.  Starting in 2015, all Office 365 customers will enjoy unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost.  No specific timescales but every customer will be notified of their service changes.

The Office blog highlighted the change in October last year but we’re starting to see Office 365 consumer and commercial customers receive this upgrade.

One step at a time however, as the current limit on items within a OneDrive for Business library is 20,000, including files and folders.

[Update for May 2015 – the current limits of 20,000 files and 2GB per file will be removed in Q4 of 2015 when the next generation OneDrive synchronisation client is released.  However a single file limit of 10GB looks likely]


New Office 365 Datacentres



New Office 365 locationsThe issue of data sovereignty arises a lot with cloud computing so it’s good to stay up-to-date with plans for local datacentres.  Offering Office 365 services from local datacenters helps customers feel more confident about complying with regulations that require data to be kept in their own region.  Microsoft has a regionalised data centre strategy with Office 365 and the billing address of the customer, which the customer’s administrator inputs during the initial setup of the services, typically dictates the Office 365 region and the primary storage location for that customer’s data.  You can view these regions on the Microsoft Office 365 Data Maps page.  For example, customer’s in Asia Pacific will have their Office 365 hosted in datacentres in Hong Kong and Singapore, however some data may reside elsewhere such as Active Directory and Global Address Book data.

Microsoft announced they’ll be launching Office 365 services from datacenters in Japan (December 2014), Australia (March 2015) and India (late 2015) and these regions will replicate data across datacenters in a single country only.

Customers should be able to create new tenants inside these additional regions as soon as they’re online (for example Japan is available now).  Existing customers in the affected regions will have their data moved to the new Office 365 datacenters from September 2015 and will be given six weeks advance notice of their move date.

You can read more about these plans on TechNet and also about the Japan datacentre on the Office 365 blog.

No news about a UK datacentre as yet.


Easiest way to MCSA?



Perhaps you’re looking for a new job and you want to refresh your certification.  Perhaps you’re hiring new staff and want to skill them up quickly or meet targets to earn a Microsoft Partner Competency.  What’s the easiest way to earn a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) accreditation?

Easy is the wrong word here.  None of these exams are easy; they exist to test and prove your experience and knowledge in a topic.  MCSA is also the prerequisite to earn the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert accreditations which really are the pinnacle of Microsoft certifications.

However the fastest route to earn an MCSA, assuming you’re not upgrading an earlier qualification,  is to work towards either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 MCSA or towards the Office 365 MCSA.  Each of these routes only require you to take two exams from scratch.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate Map

 

Your choice should clearly depend on your IT career path and the skills you’re going to need.  If you are open to all areas though, of those three MCSA options, we’d advise the Office 365 MCSA.  Firstly there is only one 5-day course whereas Windows MCSA involves two 5-day courses and thus more time out of the office and more cost.  Attending a course is not required to take an exam but it’s a great way to maximise your chances.  Secondly, the Office 365 MCSA can be used as the foundation to gain the MCSE qualification in Desktop Infrastructure, Server Infrastructure, Private Cloud, Messaging, Communications or SharePoint.  The Windows MCSA does not have an MCSE route.

Of course, we’d love to help you gain nay Microsoft qualification so please get in touch and see how we can help.

 


6 and 12 Month Pricing for Azure



Microsoft Azure Logo

Buying Microsoft Azure directly from Microsoft is as easy as online grocery shopping and for some people might even be cheaper (Waitrose does have a tempting cheese selection). Until recently, the pricing calculator on www.azure.com offered pay-as-you-go rates or discounted monetary commitment rates if you paid £300 or more per month for 6 or 12 months. You can read our previous blog post about this.

From July 26th, those commitment options are no longer shown, despite the website mentioning them.  No notice, no announcement; one could even use the phrase ‘swept under the carpet’.  Why is this?

As of 1st August, any Microsoft reseller can sell Azure monetary commitment to any customer in the same way they sell other Microsoft software such as Windows or Office (previously, Azure could only be purchased directly from Microsoft or through an Enterprise Volume Licensing Agreement).  Customers can now turn to their IT provider and buy Azure credit in $100 chunks (approx. £65 of Azure services).  This credit will then last for 12 months from the time the customer redeems the code online.  So if you want £1,800 of Azure credit, you would buy 27 or 28 of the Azure monetary commitment chunks.  We’ll run a blog post in the next week or so showing the experience in more detail.

As an example of how this credit might be used, a customer buying £1,800 worth of Azure monetary commitment from a reseller would go on to pay £34.75 per month for a 200GB Azure Backup Vault.  Around 52 months’ worth of Azure Backup (the azure credit only lasts 12 months so they’d spend the rest on other services but work with us here, this is a simple example).

A customer buying direct through Azure.com and pre-paying £300 for 6 months (a total of £1,800) would gain a discount of 22.5% off the pay as you go price and bring the Azure Backup Vault cost down to around £26.93 per month.  Around 67 months’ worth of Azure backup.  Both methods cost the customer the same £1,800 up front so which would you go for?  This is obviously detrimental to Microsoft resellers who wish to transact Azure as they wouldn’t be able to compete against those discounts.

So that is my understanding why the 6 month, 12 month and pre-payment pricing options on Azure.com  were hidden in the little attic room.  I believe it’s only for the time being and Microsoft is working towards rationalising the pricing waterfall and discounts across buying direct and via a reseller.

 


New Office 365 Plans for Small Business



Update August 2014 – We’re proud to be working with Ingram Micro to deliver a series of webinars on the Microsoft Cloud platform.  In this recording we go through the new Office 365 Business plans.

In almost every cloud event we run, I mention how frequently cloud services change.  Think about Office; there’s Office 2013.  Before that came Office 2010, Office 2007, Office 2003 and so on.  A nice predictable release cadence of three years or so.  A similar pattern exists with server products and OSs.  The cloud has a much faster release cycle and from October 1st there will be new Office 365 plans for small business: Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium.  All three of these are aimed at the small and medium business (SMB) market and will replace the current lineup (Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business) by late 2015.

 

New office 365 Plans

 

This is a nice improvement on the current, fragmented SMB position, because you can now mix these three plans to your hearts content, up to 300 seats of each.  You cannot currently mix and match Small Business and Midsized Business plans.  The 300 seat limit is per plan, not per tenant, so you can have up to 900 seats across these three plans if necessary.

Office 365 new plans described

 

Before you get too excited, these plans also have clear omissions.

Office 365 business Plan vs ProPlus

Office 365 Business doesn’t include the Office apps and features that Midsize Business did; Access and Lync.  I think this is almost the wrong way around.  Access shouldn’t be chosen over SQL Server for enterprises and SMB love the power that Access can bring.  Lync is marvellous for all types of organisation and shouldn’t be limited to just enterprise.

My personal position remains that customers and partners should start with the Office 365 Enterprise plans and then work downwards if absolutely necessary, not the other way around:

  1. There’s more choice with the Enterprise family of services, not just plans E1, E3 and E4 but all of the standalones
  2. You can mix and match so office users can go for plan E3 for example whilst lighter workers may just require hosted email
  3. More control over the Office installation and updates via the admin centre
  4. More services to grow into when you’re ready, without having to consider migrating to a higher plan
  5. Lower cost entry point: Small Business Premium is £8.40 per user per month; Exchange Online is just £2.60 per user per month
  6. Lots more reasons but I forget them

Here’s the FAQ which covers a lot more detail.


Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Bootcamp Content



We recently had the pleasure of co-presenting a series of bootcamp events for Microsoft resellers alongside HP and Zynstra.  The content covered Windows Server 2012 R2, Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Service Provider Licence Agreements (SPLA), HP Hardware and Zynstra cloud appliances.

If you would find the content useful, we’ve made the available for you to download: the Microsoft and Zynstra slides and the HP slides.  Nothing like attending an event in person of course so if this kind of event is of interest to you please do contact us as there may be some upcoming events we can let you know about.


1TB for OneDrive for Business



Microsoft OneDrive for BusinessMicrosoft are announcing increased storage from 25GB to 1TB per user for all OneDrive for Business customers.  This includes customers that have OneDrive for Business as part of their Office 365 ProPlus subscription.

Although this is immediate, it may take a few months to roll the change out to all customers.

You can read the full release in the Office.com blog.


I Survived Windows XP End of Life!



The world hasn’t ended; cats and dogs still hate each other; there’ll be another series of the X-Factor (the apocalypse has its upside).  You are thinking the Windows XP end of life was a bit of a Y2K scare.  Perhaps it was and we can only hope.

But April 8th wasn’t the date you had to be worried about.  May 13th is.

Patch Tuesday is the day every month that Microsoft releases patches for their software.  Patch Tuesday is always the second Tuesday of each month.  April 8th 2014 was a Patch Tuesday and May 13th is the next one.  So on May 13th, Microsoft are likely to release security updates to their supported operating systems which describe and overcome vulnerabilities.  Those lovely little script kiddies around the world will read the updates and assume the vulnerabilities might also apply to unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP.  They will then attempt to exploit these because they know they will not be fixed.

Think about the recent Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL.  As soon as this was made public, untold numbers of malware writers rushed to take advantage of it before the affected servers were patched.  Now imagine if those web servers were never patched.  Welcome to the fun world of unsupported software.

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report analyses threats, vulnerabilities and malware using data from Internet services and over 600 million computers worldwide.  Volume 15 of the report included some intriguing graphs.  Many people argue that Windows XP is more vulnerable because it has been around longer and is attacked to a greater extent.  However, the diagram below (click to enlarge) shows the operating systems are attacked at a fairly even rate (right) and worryingly Windows XP is far more susceptible to attacks (left).  This may be because anti-virus wasn’t included in the OS (until Windows Defender in Windows 7) or because people might be more lacklustre in patching old machines.

Infection rates across Microsoft OSs

 

The graph below provides a historic take on why you should be concerned.  The blue line shows the level of infections rose dramatically when Windows XP service pack 2 (SP2) went end of life and we can only assume the same behaviour will occur for Windows XP SP3 (the final service pack).

Graph showing Malware attacks on Windows XP SP2

 

 

 

 

 

You can check the support lifecycle of all Microsoft software through their Support Lifecycle Search.