Office / Productivity

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Office and productivity software is virtually any application people use to "produce" information. That includes almost any program used to create or modify a document, image, audio or video clip. However, business application suites such as Microsoft Office, which include word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs, are typically called productivity software, as contrasted with a "utility program," such as a file manager, which is used to organize files and folders on the computer. Many office- and business-oriented groups of programs are organized into suites.

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Gain an elementary understanding of Blockchain technology.
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Schedule a Tour of the ATEN booth at InfoComm 2017
Schedule a Tour of the ATEN booth at InfoComm 2017

Tour the ATEN booth to see the the Latest Addition to the Modular Matrix Switch Series, New 4K HDMI Over IP Extender and more! Enter ATEN's Ultimate Giveaway Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of several great prizes, including an ATEN US7220 2-Port Thunderbolt 2 Sharing Switch!

When asking a question in a forum or creating documentation, screenshots are vital tools that can convey a lot more information and save you and your reader a lot of time
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by:Jim Horn
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^^^ Looks to me like Martin should write an Apple and Skitch specific article on how to make custom screenshots.
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by:Martin Liss
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Good idea:.
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The advancement in technology has been a great source of betterment and empowerment for the human race, Nevertheless, this is not to say that technology doesn’t have any problems. We are bombarded with constant distractions, whether as an overload of information or ads vying for our attention.
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Interactive e-Resume Template Vol. 1
This article will shed light on the latest trends when it comes to your resume building needs. For far too long, the traditional CV format has monopolized the recruitment market.
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Companies keep a much closer eye on costs today, so changing to new Technology – Microsoft Office 365 is the smartest move to take.
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Today companies are subjected to more-and-more data, and it won't stop any time soon.  But there are obvious opportunities for reducing data, particularly data duplicated among companies.
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by:tomfarrar
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Thanks for the comments, LHerrou.  I will drop back and consider your suggestion.  - Tom
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by:tomfarrar
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Thanks, Jim.  I understand the controversy and issues around what I've proposesd.  I am also interested in how the ideas will be viewed.  - Tom
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A high-level exploration of how our ever-increasing access to information has changed the way we do our jobs.
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PaperPort has a feature called the "Send To Bar". It provides a convenient, drag-and-drop interface for using other installed software, such as Microsoft Office. However, this article shows that the latest Office 2016 apps (installed with an Office 365 subscription) do NOT work with the Send To Bar.
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by:Peter Durdovic
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Hi, Joe. I appreciate your articles. There is a notion here that PaperPort 14 or 14.5 is full of problems and a lot of them are connected to scanners. You say that the major problem is that manufacturers of scanners do not produce drivers.
I use PaperPort from the time of PaperPort 2, Scansoft & Caery Co. As one of my favorite scanners, I use probably the most popular scanner on the market CanoScan 9000F. Do you have any clue, why this scanner works fine with PaperPort 14 & OmniPage 18, but it has incredible troubles to work with PaperPort 14.5 & OmniPage Ultimate (19)? Obviously TWAIN driver of CanoScan 9000F didn't disappear by publishing a new version of Nuance software.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
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Hi Peter,

> I appreciate your articles.

Thank you for saying that — nice to hear!

> There is a notion here that PaperPort 14 or 14.5 is full of problems and a lot of them are connected to scanners.

To be clear, I wouldn't (and didn't) say "full of problems". Yes, PaperPort has problems, like any large, robust software package and, yes, some of the problems are related to scanners.

> You say that the major problem is that manufacturers of scanners do not produce drivers.

To be clear again, a key problem is that scanner manufacturers (and manufacturers of other peripherals) do not always produce drivers for the latest version of Windows. So users are sometimes left with old hardware devices (scanners and other peripherals) that do not work with their new version of Windows. I found this prevalent in the early days of 64-bit Windows and again in W10.

> I use PaperPort from the time of PaperPort 2

You beat me by one version! :)  I started with PP3 that came bundled with an HP scanner in the early to mid-nineties.

> Do you have any clue, why this scanner works fine with PaperPort 14 & OmniPage 18, but it has incredible troubles to work with PaperPort 14.5 & OmniPage Ultimate (19)?

I don't know why PP14 and OP18 work fine with your scanner while PP14.5 and OP19 do not. What I do know is that scanning problems in all point releases of PP14, including 14.5, are often resolved with the PaperPort 14 Scanner Connection Tool (no charge for it). So that's my first recommendation. You may learn about it in this other EE article:
PaperPort 14 Scanner Connection Tool - Fix Scanning Problems in PaperPort 14

Regards, Joe
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Microsoft Office Picture Manager was included in Office 2003, 2007, and 2010, but not in Office 2013. Users had hopes that it would be in Office 2016/Office 365, but it is not. Fortunately, the same zero-cost technique that works to install it with Office 2013 also works with Office 2016/Office 365.
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by:Liz Bottia
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Excelente artículo!! Muchas gracias!!!
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
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You're very welcome, Liz, and thanks to you for joining EE today and reading my article — and for the compliment — I appreciate it! Welcome to Experts Exchange! Regards, Joe
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As freelancing is becoming more and more common in the tech industry, certain obstacles are proving to be a challenge to those who are used to more traditional, structured employment. This article is meant to help identify such obstacles and offer advice on how to overcome them.
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by:Yashwant Vishwakarma
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Nice article Morgan :)
Voted as Good article :) Thumbs up.
Keep sharing your knowledge
Stay blessed :)
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Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion
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Meetings to discuss business process can waste time, and often do .  The meeting's dialog can get confusing when participants have different professional perspectives and backgrounds.  A jointly-developed process picture helps wade through the confusing dialog.
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by:JCincy
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Pictures are powerful.

But many times people believe a "digital slide" with a paragraph of tiny text equals a picture. And if they read the text to you, it is even more meaningful. Sigh.
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by:ericpete
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JCincy,

if they read the text to you

One of the things that drives me up a wall is when someone creates a PowerPoint and then, when presenting it, reads it to me. What parts of my day are not spent writing are spent reading (unless my bride has tasks that need accomplishing) so I'm pretty good at it, so having someone read to me, especially in a setting in which there's supposed to be a discussion of the issues presented in the PowerPoint, is almost insulting.

ep
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With the internet and the ease of information transference, many professional jobs can be done anywhere today.  Why should it make a difference whether an x-ray is read in India or the United States as long as the radiologist is qualified?   Outsourcing is an inevitable option for many jobs.
 
But the "inevitable option" is not just outsourcing. Computer automation is also putting a number of jobs at risk.  A recent newspaper article pinpoints this risk:
 
“In the 21st century, a 2013 paper from the University of Oxford, argued jobs are at high risk of being automated in 47% of the occupational categories into which work is customarily sorted. That includes accountancy, legal work, technical writing and a lot of other white-collar occupations.” 
 
Bad news for people in the 47% categories, but is this also a trend for other occupational categories?  Good or bad, this is the world today, and job security is a risk that shouldn't be ignored.
 
So what does the employee do?  Be Luddite-like and wage war against technology, or stick one’s head in the sand?  Pretty risky, and not very helpful.  Working harder might help, but there are a lot of employees in that line.  It is by working smarter, and honing process-related skills, that can “bullet proof” the employee from career loss. 
 
So what is working smarter and what are these process-related skills?  The good news is these skills are not industry specific, apply to all career paths, and cannot be easily “digitized”…
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by:tomfarrar
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Thanks for the comment, Jim.  It is important to get feedback like yours.  

You too, Geert, thanks for the response.
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by:tomfarrar
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Jim - Responding to your observations:

The bridge you say is weak may be, but it was my intent to bring the two together by saying the skill sets discussed crosses careers and occupations.  Generally speaking most of us employees have a hard time getting out of the educational/career box we learned in school and practiced in work.  

However, in a world ever-changing job-specific specialization won't work well.  Therefore the skills that not only cross careers, but also are in line with (in my opinion) with where technology is driving us.

If you see the bridge, then the last "catch phrases" do make sense, at least to me.  - Tom
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Lately there has been a variety of news related to U.S. employment.  Stories about worker productivity, automobile and airline unions, low employment and foreign laborers have frequented the news.  Each story has good and bad attributes we might argue over, but on the news’ frequency and importance, we would almost certainly agree.   After all, employment is important to us, and its volatile characteristics aren’t going to change anytime soon.  Now may be the time for employers and employees to prepare for future employment changes, particularly one that appears imminent. 
 
Countless news articles suggest the next big labor trend will affect U.S. corporate “white collars,” indicating the possibility/probability companies intend to move professional labor outside the states, where work can be done as effectively and efficiently as in the U.S and at one-quarter of the labor cost.   India comes to mind, China too.  Obtaining such substantial labor savings makes transferring the jobs outside the U.S. easily understandable.
 
It is not just a theoretical question.  Look at Dell and IBM.  These companies have moved white-collar jobs out of the U.S.  They are not alone.  Many oil companies in Houston have either moved in this direction or are thinking about it.  Why shouldn’t they?  Remaining competitive in a global economy makes considering this alternative a “no brainer”.
 
What can employers and employees do?  Are they doomed to hand over their jobs to other countries?  …
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by:tomfarrar
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Thanks for the comments and advice, Jim.
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This article describes how to use the Send to Mail Recipient command. The instructions apply generally to Office 2007 and later versions, but Microsoft® Word 2013 was used for the specific steps and figures.
 

What is Send to Mail Recipient?


Send to Mail Recipient is a command available in Microsoft® Word that lets you send the body of a document as an email message rather attaching the file to an email. Microsoft Outlook® should be your default email client.
 

Why Use Send to Mail Recipient?


The Send to Mail Recipient command is useful when–
 
  • you draft email that requires the formatting and editing controls available in Word.
  • you have to send a standard email to a distribution list on a regular basis (e.g.,payroll notification, fiscal year-end notification, project milestone updates) and have to re-create the email each time; or
  • you have templates for company email that you want to share with your team or department. You can create templates in Outlook® but many people find Outlook®'s Design a Form interface difficult to use. Word is accessible to a greater number of users.

The advantages of using this tool are:
 
  • use of Word formatting and editing tools;
  • ability to organize the original Word files and save them to a shared server location or a SharePoint® site for centralized access by your team members;
  • ability to easily create and share the Word files as templates; and
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by:Member_2_7967349
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I'm having a problem using this feature:
When I click Send to Mail Recipient, I then change the From option to shared mailbox.
This adds some extra lines into the body of the email - when i go to "undo" the change, it says Undo Replace Email signature.  If I click this, Word crashes.
This is reproducible - do you have any advice?
Many thanks!
Ruth
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by:C. Blaise Mitsutama
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Ruth,

I sent you a direct message response to your question because I had been off E-E for several months. I rejoined to reply to you, but there was a technical issue that prevented my commenting on this article.

I'm adding this comment so that others can see my reply.

Since I have never used "Send to Mail Recipient" with a shared mailbox, I haven't experienced the problem you describe. However, shared mailboxes cannot have separate (autonomous) accounts in Office 365, and it may be that "Send to Mail Recipient" is checking for an individual email account for the sender. When it encounters the non-conforming shared mailbox, it breaks.

So far, I haven't found a KB article or other documentation of this issue, but it's going on my "to be researched" list.

Blaise
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I recently resolved a client's Office 2013 installation problem and wanted to offer an observation that may help you with troubleshooting similar issues.

The client ordered three Dell Optiplex system units with the Windows 7 downgrade option installed. They set up a trial account for Office 365 and installed on the first PC without incident. The second PC went through the installation process but would not start any of the Office programs.

The decision was made to forgo the Office 365 and the client purchased licenses for Home and Business Office 2013. The third computer had this installed without incident. The second PC again balked. The Microsoft troubleshooting path of using the Fixit to uninstall Office and then repeating the install offered no joy. A full manual uninstall was performed. No joy. The "Something went wrong.  Sorry, we ran into a problem. Try going online for additional help." message continued to appear shortly after initiating the install, and once the install declared itself complete, none of the programs would open, and the dreaded instruction "We couldn't start your program. Please try starting it again. if it wont start, try repairing Office from "program and features" in the control panel." would appear. 

As a matter of expediency, Office 2013 Standard from a volume license …
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by:F. X. Flinn
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Done. Sorry I did not see your comment sooner.
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by:F. X. Flinn
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In this article I will provide some simple productivity hacks that will help you use Google to specifically show results from any web site (Experts-Exchange.com in my example), with minimal effort in Chrome and Firefox.

I've seen a common theme among Experts Exchange members, where a preferred method for locating solutions on the site is to use Google, rather than the native search.  However, members often go about this by typing a keyword phrase into Google and hope to find an Experts Exchange solution somewhere in the results. This generally provides a poor experience as the search result page doesn't always provide Experts Exchange solutions. This behavior is what influenced the following tutorial.

I'll show you how to:
  1. Force Google to show only Experts Exchange solutions on command, via the "Site Search" parameter.
    • This is most useful in doing one-off searches of random web sites
  2. Create a browser shortcut, so you can simply type "EE" and a "keyword phrase" into your address bar, to search the Experts Exchange web site using Google.
    • This is is a huge time saver if you regularly search a specific web site that is very content heavy (ex. Experts Exchange, Local Craigslist, forums, etc.)
In the end, you'll be able to quickly query Google for Experts Exchange answers. For example, to search for mod_rewrite on Experts Exchange, you'd simply type "ee mod_rewrite" into your browser:

firefox-ee.png
... which will yield only results from Experts-Exchange.com:

mod-rewrite-site-experts-exchange.com---
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Outline

Suppose you have some simple text based data in Excel that you would like to display as a PowerPoint presentation. Of course it would be possible to write some fairly complex VBA code that created a new slide for each line of the Excel data and added a title and bulletted text based on the data. This article shows you how how to do this with no code at all.

There are several steps that will sound complicated at first reading but it is actually quicker to do than to explain.
 

The Excel Data

The text based data needs to look like this. The first entry on each line is the title and the other entries will end up as bullets. Each new line will create a new slide.

excel1.jpgYou may have as many lines as you wish and each line may contain more points that will become bullets. Bear in mind that too many bullet points will create very busy slides.
 

Convert To PowerPoint

The first step is to save your Excel file as a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file. Do this by choosing SAVE AS and then changing the Save Type to CSV (Comma Delimited) *.csv. You will get messages that some features are not supported. Ignore these and choose to continue saving.

Once saved you need to open the csv file in WORD. To do this open WORD and choose Open then select "All Files" instead of "All Word Files".

In Word the file should look like this:

excel2.jpgIn order to make the file readable by PowerPoint you will need to replace …
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Photo Albums in PowerPoint


Photo Albums are a very useful tool in PowerPoint and allow you quickly add a large number of images. The images can be formatted in a variety of ways so that you are able to create a professional looking presentation very quickly. There is though a major problem,

In Versions 2007 and 2010 the album always has a 4:3 aspect ration. If you need a 16:10 or 16:9 ration then changing the slide size will badly distort the images making the album unusable. In 2013 the aspect ration is always 16:9.  This version can do a much better job of resizing however the result is still not perfect. This article shows a way to get albums in the aspect ratio you need with no distortion.


The Method


This example uses 2010 but 2007 is pretty well identical. First choose the INSERT > Photo Album > New Photo Album and choose just one image.

art1.jpgWhen you create the album it will be in the 4:3 aspect ratio.

Go to the Design Tab and  Page Set Up. Change the slide size to 16:9 or 16:10. You will see that the image is very distorted.

Delete the slide with the image but leave the first slide which should have only text.
 

Fix The Album


Now go back to the INSERT > Photo Album button on the ribbon but this time choose "Edit Photo Album".

art2.jpg
Choose the pictures to add including the original deleted image. You can choose any layout you wish.

When you update the album it is now in the wide screen format and the images are undistorted.
 

2013 Version

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To stay competitive, modern businesses must adapt and stay innovative, and this is increasingly only possible by working with outside talent. Managers and executives have understood the power of outsourcing for quite some time, but traditional client-contractor relationships are breaking down, looking more like partnerships, yet remaining as separate entities.

Why are these changes happening, and how will they affect the future of management, and business as a whole? Read on to find out.

1. Specialized Skills are in Short Supply

The modern business must be more innovative than ever before. But innovation requires diverse skill sets, and the problem is, those skill sets are often much bigger than those of even the largest businesses.

It’s a well-known fact that diversity of race, gender, age, and expertise is conducive to innovation. But diversity of this kind is often difficult to cultivate in-house. Even when diversity is brought in, time takes its toll, and assimilation is common.

Bringing in external talent, temporarily harnessing the power of an outside expert, is often a more effective way to spur innovation. An outsider can bring perspective that an insider cannot. Upsets of this kind have a way of opening minds and possibilities.

More pragmatically, unique talents are simply in such short supply that it’s nearly impossible to find somebody with such a talent who is willing to work for a single company. With so many businesses in need of their …
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[Webinar] How Hackers Steal Your Credentials
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[Webinar] How Hackers Steal Your Credentials

Do You Know How Hackers Steal Your Credentials? Join us and Skyport Systems to learn how hackers steal your credentials and why Active Directory must be secure to stop them. Thursday, July 13, 2017 10:00 A.M. PDT

Microsoft Office Picture Manager is not included in Office 2013. This comes as a shock to users upgrading from earlier versions of Office, such as 2007 and 2010, where Picture Manager was included as a standard application. This article explains how to install it alongside Office 2013 — at no cost!
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by:ckaren cabarroguis
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Yay! Thanks for this one! It worked for me! :)
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
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You're welcome, ckaren. And thanks back at you for letting me know that it worked for you — very glad to hear it. I see that you joined EE today — welcome to our friendly and, dare I say, knowledgeable community! Regards, Joe
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In a nutshell

Dropbox is a cloud-based data storage service which synchronizes with data files on your computers. The Dropbox folk provide 2GB of free storage but if you need more you can sign up for a 50GB or 100GB subscription account.

I prefer Dropbox over similar services because it's transparently simple to use and it employs Alpha sync—more about that below. Save the files you wish to sync in the Dropbox folder on your computer and they're immediately and automatically updated on Dropbox's servers whenever you make changes.

Switch to a different computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and your data are automatically synced as soon as you go online. This is an outstanding service and it's completely changed the way I work with data. I no longer need to mess around with synchonizing machines with SyncBack when switching between desktop, laptop or netbook and there's now no necessity to have both synched machines running simultaneously.

The full story

Because it's very easy to manage I use Dropbox for all my everyday working files—the ones that I access and/or change regularly: files like my "fridge door" action file, computer installation logs, inventory, website pages and blog files and notes. I also throw in scanned copies of important documents and photos. The nice folk at DropBox give you 2GB of free storage and it's a no-brainer to install and use.

As long as you don't get carried away with lots of big images, or video and …
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Expert Comment

by:RogerIvy
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To me the biggest negative is that you can't use your own storage. Even your most sensitive documents will reside on their servers.
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by:Alan Henderson
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The security's good enough for me.
https://www.dropbox.com/help/27

Users should bear in mind that the Dropbox data are accessible to anyone who accesses your local machine—unless you encrypt your files.
Users have been known to share their folders on the servers then complain that they're accessible to others.

"The trouble with making things foolproof is that fools are so ingenious."
An independent view:
http://www.ethicalhack3r.co.uk/security/dropbox-security/
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Microsoft Office 2010 is Microsoft's latest edition to their office productivity collection. It "promises to include rich and powerful new ways to deliver your best work".

So to start off, I have to say that I'm slightly disappointed...
That being said let me explain why. First off, when installing the new Office Suite, you're given the option to remove the older version of individual applications. Upon installation, I thought that I somehow purchased a degraded version. The interface seemed drab and dull, however I later found out that you can adjust the color scheme in the options menu. Once I changed the color scheme, things looked a little better, but not quite as nice as Office 2007. Once you get past Office's boring looks, it's not too much of a waste of money.

I did however find out that they changed the menu bar. They took out the Office logo from the top left corner and there is now a file menu. It will take some getting used to, but I think that it will work better than the previous version. The menu items have been laid out to make accessing them a little easier. Also, any changes to the visual options are updated across the suite, so that Publisher will have a similar look to it as Word.

Word now has a paste preview which is a little handy. I have noticed few other changes to word. Excel had little done to change it from what I saw. Publisher now has the Ribbon Toolbar, too bad that this wasn't available in 2007, it should have been, but it makes …
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by:ITnavigators
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Nice feedback.  Most of the big improvements in Office 2010 happen when connected to the right backend.  Simultaneous document editing only comes with SharePoint 2010.  Conversation ignoring and contact status requires Exchange 2010 and Lync (formerly Office Communication Server).  It is a very robust suite that is really aimed at the Enterprise market.  Some of those features are available in the cloud for small business and home users.

I think we tend to part ways on the ribbon.  While rather "sexy", it is an enormous decrease in productivity.  I have to quit typing and grab the mouse for darn near EVERYTHING -- even something as simple as adding a signature.  Apparently I'm just going to have to grow a third arm to be productive.  :)
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Office / Productivity

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Solutions

57

Articles & Videos

6K

Contributors

Office and productivity software is virtually any application people use to "produce" information. That includes almost any program used to create or modify a document, image, audio or video clip. However, business application suites such as Microsoft Office, which include word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs, are typically called productivity software, as contrasted with a "utility program," such as a file manager, which is used to organize files and folders on the computer. Many office- and business-oriented groups of programs are organized into suites.