Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.
Skype have released some toolbars that link into both Office and Outlook so that you can make calls directly from those programs.
If you make long distance calls and especially overseas calls then it’s worth looking at VOIP (Voice over IP) as a way to save costs.
A lot of the marketing hype (particularly in North America) surrounds replacing your landline phone with a VOIP system instead. There are problems with that approach and not just the altered access to emergency services that gets so much media coverage.
A more prudent approach is keep your landline phone for local calls and have a separate VOIP connection through your broadband link, or maintain a mobile/wireless phone that you can use at home as well as when traveling. You can use the VOIP option to take advantage of the cheaper rates on long distance calls and free calls between users of the same VOIP system whilst retaining the landline or mobile for local calls etc.
The current market leader in VOIP is Skype which is now part of the eBay / Paypal conglomerate, though there are plenty of other players and options in this developing field.
Skype have released some toolbars that link into both Office and Outlook so that you can make calls directly from those programs. Both seem to work pretty well, they are free but will require a Skype account to operate.
Skype Office Toolbar
This is an add-on for Office 2000, Office XP and Office 2003.
It lets you link from phone numbers and names in Office documents to Skype services. You can call a number, instant message a contact or send an email through Skype Contacts (the instant messaging service).
A phone number can be converted into a ‘Skype link’ so you can later click on the link to start a phone call.
Download from here.
Skype Email toolbar
This add-on comes in three different flavors, for Outlook, Outlook Express (version 6 only) and Thunderbird for Windows.
As with the Skype Office toolbar you can call Skype names and phone numbers that appear in emails. The Skype instant messaging status of the contact is shown in a message pane.
Finally, you can add a ‘Skype Button’ so people can click on that button to call you. It’s perhaps convenient, but also a useful marketing tool for Skype.
Download from here.
Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.