Tag Archives: word

Productivity on the iPad

You only have to wait a few more days, my impatient friends. Your iPad will soon arrive, and you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content. In order to help keep you occupied, I have found a few videos that showcase some of the features and apps built in to the device. Productivity is important, and many nay-sayers are adamant that the iPad won’t be usable for any type of work. How wrong they are.

Keynote is a very powerful presentation application, and was built from the ground up specifically for the iPad. You can create beautiful presentations from photos, charts and animations. You can use a template to create a new presentation, or bring in an existing document from your Mac or from PowerPoint. The large disply on the iPad will give you a good view of whatever you’re working on.

Pages is a word processor made for the mobile device. It can create newsletters, reports and other documents with a few flicks of a finger. When you rotate the iPad, your page fills the screen. Pages tracks what you type, so it can suggest words, correct your spelling, and insert punctuation automatically. It can even tell when you’re creating a list, and format it for you while you’re typing.

Numbers is the spreadsheet application from iWork that you’re already used to, and it’s powerful on the iPad. It’s easy to work with tables, charts and graphics on a canvas that you can use just by touching. You can again use one of the preset templates to get started, or import an Excel spreadsheet from Microsoft Office.

Who says you can’t be productive on an iPad? These built-in applications would suggest otherwise. While the iPad may not be suitable to be your “main” computer, I think it will do nicely when you’re on the go and need to get some work done.

Playing Tetris Eases Stress

It’s no secret that I am a Tetris fanatic. That is pretty much the only game I play and truly enjoy. Forget the fact that the game is addictive. Researchers at Oxford University have suggested that playing Tetris can assist in the treatment of post-traumatic stress.

According to the research, playing Tetris after a shocking event can help reduce the number of horrific flashbacks that a person may have. According to Dr. Emily Holmes, memories become permanent six hours after trauma. She feels that playing Tetris will interfere with the process of memories being kept by people’s brains. She further speculates that in the future, Tetris could be used to help people who are suffering after accidents or during wars.

I am grateful that I have never suffered a severely traumatic experience. However, I still maintain that playing Tetris is good for keeping my stress levels down.

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Microsoft Office 2010 Comparison Screencast


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I recently asked all of you to submit your screencasts to me for review. The best of the best will be chosen to be featured here, in my various channels and outlets. This provides content of a different perspective for our community, and gives you new exposure for your work! Jack has submitted another excellent screencast, this time showing us a nice comparison between different versions of Microsoft Office.

Jack wanted to show us some of the differences between Office 2007 and Office 2010. One of the biggest changes is that Office 2010 now fully supports 64-bit operating systems. Also, Web Applications (allowing you to co-author documents across the web in real-time) have finally been implemented in the newest release, as well. Office 2010 also includes a redesigned Office button, as well as a nice backstage experience.

Differences in Word include the search function. In Office 2010, it shows up in a navigation pane, instead of a small window. Also in Office 2010, you have a paste preview, letting you see what you’re going to paste BEFORE you actually paste it. There are also enhanced picture editing tools. There are new options for working with text, including changing plain text into Word Art, or using shapes and styles.

The differences in Excel include graphs in single cells, instead of only within sheets like in Office 2007. Formatting tools have also been ehanced and upgraded.

There are also many interesting and excellent differences found within Outlook, Publisher and other Office applications. Thanks, Jack, for this sneak peak at what we can expect when we grab Office 2010 for ourselves!

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Microsoft Office 2010 Screencast


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Recently I threw down the gauntlet, asking all of you to submit your best screencasts. I plan to highlight the best of the best here in my channel, and help promote yours. Jack has sent a few in to us now, and they’re fantastic. This one gives you a quick (but excellent!) overview of Microsoft Office 2010.

Jack started off by letting us know that Office 2010 is only available at this time for developers and technical reviewers. Included features include support for 64-bit, enhanced Office button that leads to a back room of sorts, and web applications for Word and Excel.

The enhanced UI includes a minimizer to give you more work space. This hides the toolbar until you click the button again. The new Office button leads you to a backstage experience where you can edit, save, print or share your documents.

New features in Word 2010 include an improved search function. It opens in a new pane that won’t cover up your document. Other new features include a paste preview, which is very nice. Others include improved picture editing capabilities and more text effects.

Some things new in Publisher 2010 now have pages show up in the side window pane, instead of at the bottom. Powerpoint features include new animations and a video editing capability. Excel doesn’t have too many new features, but it does have a few nice improvements.

Outlook 2010 has a new conversation view, that allows you to group conversations, and even clean them up… allowing you to focus on the most important feature.

Jack did a great job with his screencast. Don’t worry if yours wasn’t chosen to be featured today, though. We’ve received a lot of excellent submissions. We’re still going through them all, and plan to upload one per day (when videos are normally uploaded).

Remember, you need to upload your screencast video to Geeks, and then send me an email with a link to your video, a short description, and of course – tell me where we can find you on YouTube (or wherever you want to be found online).

Keep those submissions coming!

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How to Edit Text Documents on the Web


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I have yet to find a text editor that is the one to beat all the rest. None of them are perfect, so I try them all. On OS X, there really aren’t many I’m impressed with. However, there’s another option – on the Web!

ecoder is an open-source, web-based text editor. It includes a file browser, file uploader, and tabbed system to allow multiple files to be edited at the same time. Keyboard short-cuts lend it the feel of a locally installed application.

All of your basic text-editing commands are available. But what makes it so unique is that it has syntax highlighting. You’ll see the different colors as soon as you input your document. This makes it much easier for you to do what needs to be done. It’ll help you detect any mistakes in your code if there are any.

You might be working away from your own computer, and need access to check your code. Why not just flip open a browser, throw your file in there, and carry on about your work? Check out ecoder the next time you need to edit a document.

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How to Convert PDF Files


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Oh, PDF you are so beautiful there in my viewer, but I cannot edit you! I have to convert you somehow to a format that I can edit. Or I can head over to a new website that I came across last night! On Convert PDF to Word, I don’t have to sign up for anything – and I don’t have to pay anything, either!

It’s quite simple, really. Just browse to your PDF file, and open it. Then click the “convert and download” button. And uhm… you’re done. Seriously! No, I mean it! It’s done for you!

There are a few other conversion services available on this website, as well. You’ll find:

  • PDF to Word
  • PDF to Text
  • PDF to Image
  • PDF to HTML
  • Text to PDF

All of them are simple to use, and absolutely free. The next time you need to edit a PDF, just head over to Convert PDF to Word. Within moments, you’ll have a text file that you can work with. Things like this just make our lives simpler, and make me happy.

Let me know of other cool and free services you find that help people get things done.

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Starting a Catchphrase

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‘E Ya Later’ is how I end nearly every video I do. I started using it years ago, because I wanted a catchphrase of my own. I’m not even sure where and how I came up with it… but it stuck. Have you ever wanted to start your own word or phrase? These tips sent in by a reader should help.

  • Invent a random word or saying that no one understands. A string of gibberish words will attract more attention than you can imagine. My own school started saying “Baaaaaaaaadd Weeeeeek” to symbolize that you don’t agree with a teacher. No one knows who started it, and yet it sticks.
  • Use your word or phrase often. This is how you can succeed in having others hear and remember what you’ve made up.
  • Before using it, figure out how to use your word. Do you want it to be a noun, a verb or another little gem of grammar that our English teachers make us learn? If you fail this step, you won’t be able to control how your word or saying is used.
  • Remember that you are the reason this word or phrase was started. Don’t let others forget where it came from, but don’t be obnoxious about it, or you’ll end up getting a swirly. We all know how often that happens to us Geeks anyway.
  • Remember…. it’s just a saying. It doesn’t mean anything, unless you give it a specific meaning. You can have fun with it, and declare that your new word or saying just stands for “omg this is dumb” or even “Whoa this is totally cool”.

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Microsoft Office Windows Installer Problem


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Poor Big John Midland. Every time he launches a Microsoft Office application the Windows Installer box comes up. Uninstalling and re-installing hasn’t helped the issue. Luckily, I have a very good idea what the problem is.

Most likely, a third party extension is causing this trouble. I asked John what version of Winows and Office he runs. He’s using Vista and Office 07. Both are still relatively new programs, and still have some bugs in them. He doesn’t recall installing anything new that would hook into Office. But that is probably the trouble here. I advised John to go through Microsoft Word and Outlook both to check active addins. Disable them one by one, and see if any of them fixes the problem. If not, then he needs to go through his programs, and uninstall or disable (one at a time again) any programs… such as Adobe Acrobat Professional… which tie into Office. I’d bet the farm that he will track down the problem through this method of madness.

John is a regular chatter on our >http://live.pirillo.com/ channel. If you’ve had this problem, and have suggestions for him, come by and talk with him!

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Finally, the Office 2007 Ribbon Rocks!

I wasn’t sure if I’d be sold on the Office 2007 Ribbon interface. It’s different – almost too different. I know they said it was supposed to increase productivity, but to me it just increased screen clutter. Today, I heard that the Office 2007 Ribbon [is] To Be Tweaked:

The Ribbon, a new top-of-the-window feature in most of the suite’s applications — including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — takes up too much space, say many beta users and reviewers . In response, the next Office 2007 update, a so-called Technical Refresh (TR), will include changes to the Ribbon. Although an undocumented – or at least unpublicized – Ctrl-F1 key combination has “collapsed” the Ribbon since the very first beta to provide more viewing and working space for documents, Microsoft program manger Jensen Harris has outlined new ways that the feature will be called in future versions.

YES! By doing this, they’ve made the Ribbon UI truly digestable. Taking the Minimized Ribbon to the Max – watch the video to see what I mean. They’re really moving the ideas of menus forward, and I really wish the rest of Windows (and Microsoft) software would follow suit. Collapsing the Ribbon was an AWESOME idea. Now, as far as charging for Office betas is concerned – that was pure stupid.