Thursday, February 26, 2009

The QuickPart formerly known as AutoText

Outlook 2007

Image by Paul Watson via Flickr

Client called today – she wanted her AutoText, formerly in Outlook 2003, to be available in Outlook 2007. Hmmm. I was puzzled. I had already copied her NORMAL.DOT over to where Word 2007 expects it to be. I don’t normally use AutoText in Outlook, so I had a close look. Outlook 2007 does have QuickParts since Word is inseparable from Outlook in Office 2007. But the QuickParts button isn’t really healthy. It does not appear to pull down a gallery (or maybe I haven’t defined enough clips there) and there is no Organize subcommand. All it does is allow you to Save a Selection to QuickParts (assuming you are in the body of the email and have selected a chunk of stuff).

Turns out, when Word is the servant of Outlook, the AutoText is taken from a Word Template called NormalEmail.DOTM rather than the classic NORMAL.DOT when Word is its own master. So, you manage the AutoText clips using Word, then copy the whole file and replace NormalEmail.DOTM.

How to get to the folders for all this? The nest of folders are:


for, NormalEmail.dotm

%appdata%\Microsoft\Document Building Blocks\1033\ for

Building Blocks.dotx

See Serdar Yegulalp’s article for more details. Incidentally Sue Mosher links to the seminal document Reading and Editing E-Mail in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, an 840k Word document (not docx, not pdf, fellas, it’s a classic .doc). She’s written Microsoft Outlook 2007 Programming: Jumpstart for Power Users and Administrators

By the way, did I tell you the Word Ribbon when enslaved by Outlook is grossly mishmashed? Why else would someone put the Zoom command in the Format Tab (and of course suppress the cool zoom slider that is at the bottom right of the Word window?

From Drop Box

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pressing Enter, Enter

I was having a vigorous discussion with a peer on the architecture of Microsoft Word 2007 and how I had been slapped on the wrists in the mists of the 1990s when I pressed Enter, Enter to start another paragraph in Word/DOS. Said peer had not heard of that guideline and had pressed Enter, Enter all his life.

I knew I had seen a classic article about encouraging people not to press Enter, Enter. Did a web search and up pops Shauna Kelly’s article.

Note: Word 2007 default Normal Style in new documents off default normal template (the template you use when you are not using a template) has inter paragraph spacing as encouraged by Shauna and I. Word previous versions, don’t.

Are you an Enter, Enter person?

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Microsoft Project for “non pros”

Microsoft Project 2000, showing a Gantt chart

Image via Wikipedia

Gerhard told me about the combination view / split view for the Gantt Chart. We demonstrate and coach people on it all the time. It’s a must-have view when assigning Resources to Tasks. It is less modal than the Task Information Dialog and workflow is smoother than popping the dialog up every few minutes. Someone in Microsoft thinks it’s for “Pros”. Have look at the tutorial video. Soon, you’ll be managing Views “like a Pro”. I wonder what the other people who use Microsoft Project are called. “Amateurs?” “Kids?”

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Styles in Excel

A good article about Excel Styles with sample VBA code to better manage them. Too few (I think I am the only one I know who regularly uses them) Excel users understand and use them to advantage. Office 2007 with the new Styles Gallery in the Ribbon should aid discoverability but the feature has to be gospelised.

Pointy Haired Dilbert has some unusual Excel workbooks

He's got a web query demo for stock monitoring as well as a twitter client in VBA.

Lots to check out.