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Discounts on Office 2013 purchase

We’ve said it for years, when it comes to buying Microsoft Office never, ever, pay retail. There’s always discounts available for the same software and license.

Sadly and probably deliberately there’s few discounts available for buying Office 2013, as opposed to renting or ‘subscribing’ to Office 365.

Office 2013: the real startup guide has a chapter devoted to the Office 2013 buying/rental options and how to save money getting Office 2013.

If you hunt around you can save a few shekels on Office 2013. As usual, we used Amazon US as our main guide since their prices are consistently cheaper and, in this case, have a post-purchase credit offer not available elsewhere.  We also checked Best Buy who had almost full retail prices.  The 'official' Microsoft Store, as usual, had the worst prices charging full retail down to the cent.

PC Download vs PC Key Card

Amazon has two purchase options:

... click here to read more at ...

Using Conversations in Outlook

Outlook Conversation view is a different way to arrange your email. It groups messages with (usually) the same subject together making it easier to follow an email thread. Conversations also makes better use of valuable screen real estate.

When Microsoft first showed the Outlook Conversations feature in Outlook 2010 it looked quite ordinary and we avoided it. Conversations view is also available in more recent releases of Outlook Web Access (Exchange Server). But we’ve recently given the Outlook 2013 version a try and we’re a convert!

To change to conversation view, right-click on the Inbox header and choose ‘Show as Conversations’. Make sure that Date order is selected.

In a regular, dated ordered, Inbox messages appear in the order received. That means emails on the same topic are scattered down the list.

In Conversation view, they are all grouped together with the most recently received message deciding its place in the Inbox list.

... click here to read more at ...

OneDrive for Business alters files has a worrying report on OneDrive for Business which appears to change the uploaded files. Microsoft seems to be adding information to customers uploaded files. We can’t find anywhere that discloses that and the reasons for it aren’t clear either.

When you upload a file to cloud storage you’d expect the copy you have and the copy on the cloud store to be exactly the same. No differences at all. As we’ll see, that doesn’t happen with OneDrive for Business.

The report only applies to OneDrive for Business (the new name for SkyDrive Pro). OneDrive, as used by most individuals seems unaffected. Office-Watch hasn’t been able to independently verify the report.

It seems that Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents uploaded to OneDrive for Business grew in size by around 8kb. That might not seem like much but there should not be ANY size difference.

... click here to read more at ...

About Outlook Conversations

In the Outlook world a conversation is a series of emails with the same subject line or conversation ID. It’s as simple as that. In the past these were called email ‘threads’.

Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 can group messages by conversation or thread.

For most people the conversation is based on the subject line. A conversation ID is a hidden property of Exchange Server 2010 and later messages. Conversations between people on the same Exchange Server system, the hidden Conversation ID message property should override the subject line.

RE: or FW: at the start of a subject line doesn’t matter so all these subject lines are considered one conversation:

The last two are the German equivalents of RE and FW – other language variants are also accepted by Outlook.

Any change to the subject, beyond the ones Outlook is programmed for, means the message won’t be part of the same conversation. The following messages will NOT be part of the above conversation:

... click here to read more at ...

Keep using your device on the plane

European airline, Easyjet has introduced unrestricted handheld device use. You can use your phone, tablet, ebook reader anytime while on the plane, as long as it’s in ‘Flight Mode’ (i.e all wireless communications off; Wifi, mobile and Bluetooth).

An interesting move ... hopefully other airlines will follow suit.

Mind you ... even on the same airline, the device rule is enforced erratically, especially when it comes to ebook readers. Most commonly crew can ignore ebook readers but will insist on phones and tablets being shut down. A color/backlit screen seems to be the point of difference for cabin crew. The current device rules differ between airlines and are applied differently by individual crew.

The problem with letting people continue to use devices constantly is that they are less likely to remember to switch into flight mode. At present, I suspect most people switch to Flight Mode when turning off before take-off. Happily the risk from an online device seems to be very low.

... click here to read more at ...

Questionable Outlook holidays

The US Holidays list in Outlook 2013 adds some unexpected and non-holiday items to your calendar – the full list is below. There were some surprising entries in the list supplied by Microsoft.

Administrative Professionals Day

There’s no doubt that Administrative Professionals, Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and Secretaries deserve recognition. However “Administrative Professionals Day” is the rebadged ‘Secretaries Day” with its own registered trademark. It’s not a holiday but there it is added to your Outlook calendar:

Why has Microsoft decided to add this particular faux holiday?

The same ‘holiday’ is celebrated in other countries like Australia, but isn’t in the Australian holidays list.

Groundhog Day

Another surprising entry but at least Groundhog Day (2nd February) has a longer history going back at least 200 years.

“Day after Thanksgiving”

Isn’t an official holiday. Though the Friday is often taken as an extra day to give people a 4 day break so it makes sense to add it. It’s also the major shopping day; ‘Black Friday’.

... click here to read more at ...

Office 365 Personal arrives

Microsoft has now released Office 365 Personal, a lower cost rental option for Office software.

The ‘Personal’ subscription/rental option costs US$6.99 per month (US$69.99 a year) plus any state taxes. For that you get:

Microsoft mentions other ‘benefits’ of Office 365 packages like:

That’s quite misleading. The Office mobile apps for smartphones where made free for home use in late March. Office Online is available to anyone with a free OneDrive account and anyone can install the OneDrive Windows or Mac software for offline syncing of data (Windows 8.1 has included).

... click here to read more at ...

Excel Online – changing date format

The default date format in Excel has always been a mystery to newcomers and its stranger in Excel Online (the new name for Excel Web Apps).

To change the default date format for display and date entry for Excel Online, go to your Microsoft account:

Reopen the Excel worksheet and the date cells should change their look.

... click here to read more at ...

Office Online update

Office Online – the new name for the Office Web Apps – has received an update. Here’s a quick look at some of the new features.

All the updates should be available now or in the next few days as Microsoft global servers are updated. Go to or and login with your Microsoft account to access these browser versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Word Online

The focus here is on comments. Now comments appear in edit mode via a right-hand pane similar to Word 2013.

Documents can now be downloaded in PDF format. That makes it easier to download then print from a wider range of computers even if the device doesn’t have Office installed.

Footnotes and endnotes can be added inline. Tables are rendered better, especially with merged and missing cells.

List making is now more like Word software. If you start typing below an existing list, the new line will be added to the list automatically. A right-click menu includes familiar options like Continue Numbering, Set Numbering Value (set a different start value) and Start New List.

... click here to read more at ...

Deleting Holidays

When you add holidays to Outlook, sometimes you can end up with duplicate entries because Outlook isn’t smart enough to detect simple duplications in the calendar.

Here’s an example of triplication of holiday items in the Outlook Calendar.  It's easy to do given Outlook's poor holidays support.

Removing the duplicates is easy, in fact there are at least three ways to do it.

Go to the Calendar, switch to List view. This is useful view to keep in mind for various purposes because you can group and sort calendar items in ways not available in standard calendar views.

Arrange by Category

Choose ‘Arrange by Category’

Minimize other categories and scroll down to the Holidays category. Sort the list by Start by clicking on that column. That will put duplicate entries next to each other.

Click on the duplicates and delete.

... click here to read more at ...

Office Online in Google Chrome

A smart move by Microsoft, but not a big deal. click here for more ...
Windows 8.1 Update – secret changes list?

Microsoft is keeping ‘good’ secrets from customers – why? click here for more ...
Missing Easter from Outlook

Put Easter and other public holidays back into Outlook click here for more ...
Ignore or Mute emails in Outlook

How to get rid of an email conversation or thread. click here for more ...
Get Office 2003 Service Pack 3 now

Best to get the Service Pack now. click here for more ...
Get your Word for Windows source code

Microsoft’s gift to history click here for more ...
Windows Phone 8.1 out now

What's in Windows Phone 8.1? click here for more ...
Drop Dropbox – why? when they’re all just as bad?

The Drop Dropbox campaign is poorly aimed. click here for more ... and HeartBleed

Just to reassure you … has no problem from the HeartBleed bug. click here for more ...
Outlook email basics and beyond

Outlook tricks you may not have considered for New, Reply, Reply All, Forward and Resend. click here for more ...
Office for iPad: The Complete Guide

click here for more ...
Mobile device limit for Office 365 Home

An Office 365 Home package now allows five tablet app installs - though you'd not know it. click here for more ...
What to do about Office 2003

Some advice on what to do about Office 2003 and Windows XP on the 8 April expiry. click here for more ...
Office 2010 SP2 adds a bug

Sometimes Office Service Packs add bugs as well as fixing them. click here for more ...
Excel for iPad - a tour

The features in Excel for iPad. click here for more ...
Word for iPad - a tour

A quick look over the Word for iPad features, click here for more ...
Excel for iPad - Formula Keyboard

A close look at the new Formula Keyboard in Excel for iPad. click here for more ...
Office for iPad - the preview look

A preview of Office for iPad. click here for more ...
OneNote for iPad updated

Also updated today ... OneNote for iPad click here for more ...
Office for iPhone and Android now free for home use

Non-business users can edit Office documents on their iPhone or Android phone for free. click here for more ...
Microsoft Store offer - bring an iPad, get a year of Office

We predict crowds at Microsoft Stores tomorrow. click here for more ...
Microsoft wins ad complaint over Google privacy

Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ campaign gets partial endorsement. click here for more ...
Microsoft can read your Office documents, legally

If Microsoft can read email, they can read your Office documents too. click here for more ...
No password protection in Office apps

You can secure cloud documents with a password but Microsoft makes them hard to use. click here for more ...
Sharing a document – email vs OneDrive?

Which way is best? Share a document by email or cloud? click here for more ...
Quick and Dirty document sharing

Sharing a document with Office 2013 and OneDrive click here for more ...
Office for iPad – next week?

Does it matter if there’s an Office for iPad? Only if it's a decent app that works properly. click here for more ...
Microsoft reads private email on Hotmail/

When Microsoft feels the need, they read cloud emails. click here for more ...
5 mistakes made comparing Office 365 and Office 2013

Beware of 'experts' to toe the Microsoft party line on Office 365 vs. Office 2013. click here for more ...
Difference between ‘Pickup where you left off’ and ‘Shift + F5’.

Word 2013’s ‘Pickup where you left off’ is different from the Shift+F5 shortcut. click here for more ...

Office News Wire

Free Office extra for the blind and visually impaired

Screen reader software now available for Office 2010 and Office 2013 users. click here for more ...
Paste in Microsoft Word

Demystifying the many paste options in Word. click here for more ...
Office 15 starts external testing

The Office 15 Technical Preview has begun. click here for more ...
Online Cloud-Based File Repair Service for Corrupted Microsoft Office Files

Innovative Online Data Recovery Technology Allows Users to Repair Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access Files from Web Browsers Faster Than Ever click here for more ...
SSD's - some tips

If you want to take the plunge to Solid State Drives, here are some comments from our experience. click here for more ...
Low use of Bitlocker

Why the low use of Bitlocker when it can secure your private documents and emails? click here for more ...
Office 2010: the real startup guide

Things you should know that Microsoft won’t tell you: saving money, installing, configuring and using Office 2010. click here for more ...
Office 2010 licence terms

A full copy of the licence terms (aka MSLT formerly EULA) for Office 2010. click here for more ...
Microsoft Office 2010 Retail Pricing Comparison Chart

This is a direct copy of the Office 2010 pricing as presented by Microsoft with all the footnotes described as a 'more detailed guide'. click here for more ...
Microsoft Office 2010 Reaches Beta, Bringing Productivity Gains to the PC, Phone and Browser

Q&A: Kurt DelBene, senior vice president of the Office Business Productivity Group at Microsoft, discusses what is new in the public beta and what developers can expect from the upcoming release of Office 2010 and related products. click here for more ...

New & Popular
» Discounts on Office 2013 purchase
» Using Conversations in Outlook
» OneDrive for Business alters files
» About Outlook Conversations
» Keep using your device on the plane
» Questionable Outlook holidays

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