Technology Tips Video
|In This Issue
We are now into August and that means cottage time for Nancy and me. Our cottage is located on the Lake of Bays, north of Toronto, and we will get to enjoy it until mid-September. It is not a holday though, as I will be working on another eBook and getting our seminar materials ready for a busy fall.
I am pleased to announce the release of my latest eBook, entitled Microsoft Word - Part 1. This one hundred and thirty page book is chock full of tips that will help you create great documents in Word. Like my other seven eBook, it sells for $34.95 and gets you 2 CPDs.
The web store link is http://www.mcssl.com/store/alanswebstore.
For those of you who are running a bookkeeping, small accounting or consulting practice, my 20th Accounting Teachnology Seminar series will visit thirteen Canadian cities, coast to coast, this October. The day is packed with information on the technology that you use in your practice and that your clients use in their businesses.
The cost of the one day seminar is $34.95 and that gets you the seminar, plus a copy of one of my eBooks, plus 8 CPDs for the seminar and another 2 CPDs when you complete the eBook Self Study course. What a bargain. To register for a session in your area go to http://www.k2e.ca/training/accounting-technology/register.
As usual I would welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Microsoft Office 13 - A First Look (By Tommy Stephens, CPA)
Summary: On July 16, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave us a first look at at Microsoft Office 13, the latest release of Microsoft Office. You can get a sneak preview of the Customer Preview edition by downloading it from http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/en. Here are some initial comments on the new version .
In addition to releasing the Customer Preview of Office 2013, Microsoft also announced four new cloud subscription plans that provide access to Office 2013 application on up to five PCs or mobile devices. These plans provide a simpler approach to Microsoft's Office 365 service than the existing Office 365 subscriptions. The four new plans are:
- Office 365 Home Premium: Allows users to install Office 2013 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher) on up to five devices and provides an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage.
- Office 365 Small Business: Designed for small businesses of up to ten employees; each employee can install Office on up to five devices. Also provides High Definition videoconferencing.
- Office 365 ProPlus: Designed for teams of up to 25 users. Each user can install Office on up to five devices. Also includes Lync.
- Office 365 Enterprise: Adds Exchange Online to Office 365 ProPlus. Also provides SharePoint Online and Lync Online.
Though most readers would likely prefer to skip a discussion of system requirements for Office 2013, unfortunately, in this case, that would not be a smart move because there is one very specific system requirement about which you must be aware - Office 2013 will not run on Windows XP or Vista. If you have already upgraded to Windows 7 or plan to upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 prior to general availability of Office 2013, this should not present a problem; however, for all others, this means that an upgrade to a supported version of Windows is a prerequisite for successfully installing and running Office 2013.
If you are already running Office 2007 or Office 2010, you will see numerous similarities between the Office 2013 user interface and that found in your current version of Office. For example, as shown in Figure 1, both continue to deploy the Ribbon, first introduced in Office 2007.
Figure 1 - Example of Ribbon in Excel 2010 (top) and Excel 2013 (bottom)
However, Office 2013 is much more tightly connected to the Internet. For example, when saving a document, notice the prominence of the SkyDrive option shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 - Saving to SkyDrive in Office 2013
Likewise, Office 2013 uses the Internet to keep all of your personalized settings synchronized across all devices you work on. This feature, known as Roaming, means that items such as your recently used files list and templates are available on all of your devices. Office 2013 even offers a new subscription service known as Office on Demand. This service allows you to stream an Office application to a computer on which Office is not installed.
Additionally, all Office 2013 applications are "touch-friendly." As many users will no doubt want to run Office on their tablet device - including the soon-to-be-released Windows 8-powered Surface tablet from Microsoft - supporting a touch interface is a virtual necessity for long-term success of the suite.
An initial inspection of Excel 2013 reveals only minor cosmetic changes in the user interface. However, under the hood, Microsoft provides several very powerful additions to Excel 2013. For example, installing Office 2013 now automatically installs Excel's PowerPivot add-in (though you will still need to activate the add-in). Previously only available in Excel 2010, PowerPivot is a tool that allows users to create robust PivotTables from very large datasets, including multiple database datasets.
Another noteworthy addition to Excel 2013 is the addition of PowerView. PowerView, a business intelligence tool, allows users to create interactive and dynamic ad-hoc reports.
Moving Around Folders
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Summary: When you are working with multiple Excel workbooks open, moving between folders can be a painful process..Here's a shortcut that will eliminate that irritation:
Let's assume you have an Excel workbook open. You then open a second workbook in a different folder. Next you want to open a third workbook, again from a different folder.
When you click on the Open dialog box, Excel makes the assumption that you want to start from the same folder in which the first Excel file is located. Instead of having to go through the process all over again, use this tip:
- Display the first workbook.
- Press the F12 function key which will display the Save As dialog box, starting from the directory in which the workbook was originally loaded. (That is the directory you want).
- Close the Save AS dialog box by pressing the Exc key.
- Now, when you use the Open Dialog box, Excel will start in the folder you were last in. i.e. the one you want.
Adjusting Excel's Calculation Settings
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Summary: By default, Excel calculates and recalculates every time you open or save a workbook, or make a change in a cell that contains a formula. With very large workbooks, this recalc can take a considerable amount of time. Microsoft allows you to control when calculations occur. Here is how to do this.
- Click on the Formula tab on the Ribbon.
- The Calculation group has the following options:
- Calculation Options - Has the options Automatic, Automatic Except for Data Tables and Manual.
- Calculate Now - Calculates the entire workbook.
- Calculate Sheet - Calculates only the active sheet.
The calculation option under File, Options, Formulas includes the same calculation Options as the preceding list, but the Manual option allows you to turn on/off the way Excel recalculates a workbook when saving it.
Summary: You can add captions to screen shots, pictures, charts, text boxes and other graphic objects. Here is how to do this:
Word's captioning features include preset captions for Figures, Equations, or Tables. Word also handles the caption numbering for you, such as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.Here's how to add a caption:
- Right-click on the figure that you want to add a caption for.
- Click Insert Caption.
- The Caption dialog box will open.
- Click on the Label drop-down arrow.
- Select a Caption label.
- At this point you change the location of the caption below the figure.
- Click OK and Word will insert the Caption.
Adding Sounds to Your Presentation
Summary: Sound can be used to enhance your presentation and can be added from a number of different sources, including files on your computer, from the Clip Organizer, directly from a CD or record your own. Here is how to add sound from a file:
- Go to the slide where you want to add the sound.
- Click on the Insert tab.
- Click on the arrow under the Sound from the Media Clips menu.
- Click on Sound from File.
- Select the Sound file you want to run.
- Check how you want the sound to start in the slide show.
- An icon that looks like a speaker will appear on the slide.
- Move the icon to an appropriate position on the slide.
- You can preview the sound by clicking on the preview button.
Sound Options - When you click on any of the speaker icons in your presentation it will open the Sound Tools Options menu. Within the sound options menu, you can do the following:
- Change the slide show volume.
- Have the sound play continuously until it is stopped.
- Change how the sound is played.
- Hide the sound icon.
- And set the sound file size.
Embedded and Linked Sounds
You can choose to embed or link a sound into your presentation, depending on the type of sound file you want to use. Embedded sounds are contained within your presentation, and are save with it. Linked sounds are sound files that are outside your presentation.
Using linked sounds is useful because it keeps the size of your presentation down. Also, if you update the source file, the presentation is automatically updated.
By default, the maximum sound file that can be embedded is 100 KB. You can change this setting to anything up to 50,000 KB. However, the larger the embedded sound file, the larger your presentation will become. To change the maximum size, go to the Max Sound File box in the Sound Options menu.
K2 Enterprises Canada is a leading provider of professional development seminars for the Canadian accounting world. Each month we publish this free Office Tips e-mail newsletter. These tips will save you time and enhance the appearance of your Office files.
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