Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Converting .docx, .xlsx and .pptx

Much of the world has not migration to Office 2007. You can of course set the default save format in Office 2007 to .doc, .xls, .ppt or you can explicitly specify the file format at File > Save time, but sometimes, here you are, on a machine with no Office 2007 and you need to open these new files.

  1. The Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack will endow Microsoft Office 2003 with the ability to handle these new files. Free download from Microsoft Downloads website. Note: Microsoft Office not even needed.
  2. Native Winds of Montana have a .docx to .rtf convertor.
  3. Open Office 3.0 has the ability to read Microsoft Office 2007 files.
  4. Zamzar is an online service that can convert these files
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Microsoft Project (2007) favourite topics

Microsoft Project is an interesting program. It isn’t a general program like Word or Excel, it’s aimed at creating a project, managing a project.

Task Duration vs Work vs Units calculation

When you assign and edit assignments of Resources to a Project Task, MSP’s calculation engine recalculates an answer for that task. The calculation is based on this formula:

Task Duration = Work / Units

The equation is based on these three factors. Project will calculate one factor if you change the other two.

By Default (Tools > Options), MSP sets the Tasks you create as Fixed Units. However, you can make set any Task to calculate in the following way:

  • Fixed Units
  • Fixed Work
  • Fixed Duration

One more feature is Effort Driven Scheduling – this is the default in MSP. If you assign or remove people, MSP keeps the total Work fixed. Sometimes you want to add a more people because the Work has been underestimated – in this case, you remove the tick to on Effort Driven Scheduling for that Task.

Durations by the way, come in two types. A simple number for the working duration of the task where assigned people take a break when the weekend comes on their calendar and Elapsed Duration when the task extends into the weekend even though it is non working time for the resources. See this MSP 2007 Help webpage



Linking Tasks and Types of Links

The four Link Types are:

  • FS e.g. Dig Concrete and Pour Concrete
  • SS e.g. Pour Concrete and Level Concrete
  • FF e.g. Add wiring and Inspect Electrics
  • SF e.g. Truss Delivery and Assemble Roof

See diagrams and videos in this MSP 2007 Help webpage.

Copying Calendars and other stuff

Like Microsoft Word, MSP has a Tools > Organizer dialog. This can be used to copy Calendars and other items across MSP files.

Assigning Costs

  • Variable costs caused by use of a Resource are ride on the assignment of the Resource to the Task.
  • Fixed costs are assigned directly to the Task itself.
  • Material costs are assigned by use of the Resource (remember to type  the unit e.g. litres in the Material Label field)


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Sunday, December 14, 2008


Been a bit busy the past few weeks. I'm having Access 2007 crash too often on my Tosh notebook (dual core, 3Gb RAM, Vista) - it doesn't crash during VBA coding or designing the Form - moving controls, setting properties etc... It doesn't close when you save the Form. It does crash when you close the Form after Saving. Done the Allen Browne things - turned off Object Name Tracking, Decompile etc.. but still having the problem.

I removed all the Add-Ins (a few from Office Labs, one from P. Schmidt) but no joy. So I'm re-installing the Office Labs stuff.

I spot from the the RSS featured on this blog's sidebar that there are some really Wow! Powerpoint effects in templates - so grabbing those from Also, if you are not connected to the Internet, you can't get the updated Office 2007 Help files. You can download them on another machine and run the setup on the disconnected machine.