Well, that’s been an ‘interesting’ year for all of us <sigh> . Here’s some of the articles that have been popular with our worldwide audience over 2020.
Getting more from online video calls
With the global lockdown, Office Watch switched roles for a while and added lots of advice for online video calls. We’ve been working remotely for many, many years which we p0ut to good use in Remote Life & Work our guide to living and working from home.
Be polite and professional in Zoom and Teams calls is all about sounding clear on calls. A fancy microphone isn’t needed, sometimes all you need is headphones or earbuds.
Looking good in a call doesn’t take much. A decent shirt or blouse plus positioning your camera or device. Avoid the dreaded ‘up the nose’ look. All it takes is a pile of books or DVD boxsets. Look better in an online call – simple, easy and low-tech
A simple, cheap and fast alternative to a webcam is Turning your smartphone into a webcam – iPhone, iPad or Android
Background images are now available in Zoom and Teams. Microsoft moved quickly to improve Teams video calling when they started losing market share to Zoom.
Clever tricks with Zoom talks about virtual backgrounds in Zoom.
Virtual backgrounds add a bit of fun and interest to your call. It also stops people judging your house, your bookshelves, décor and tidiness.
Your own photos are often the best backgrounds but there are plenty online too.
PowerPoint presentations in a window not full screen went from being a niche feature to vital need with online group calls.
Office Watch for Apple
2020 saw the launch of a new Office Watch newsletter devoted to Office apps on Mac computers, iPad and iPhone.
Join Office Watch for Apple today
Among the many Apple related articles, there was a lot of interest in compatibility with the new MacOS All you need to know about Microsoft Office and Big Sur MacOS
And how to stop Office updating whenever it liked Stop Office for Mac automatic updating
Tracking COVID in Excel
Excel’s data links have been very useful this year for tracking the spread of COVID-19 and comparing how countries are faring.
We were frustrated by the media focus on raw numbers of cases or deaths instead of adjusting for population. We made a download to track COVID-19 stats in your own Excel spreadsheet which is still available. It grabs data from a reliable web source then you can choose the countries to track and see how they are coping in both whole numbers and per capita. Just Refresh All data links to see the latest stats.
Get ready for a, hopefully, better 2021 with printable calendars made in Word, Excel or PowerPoint
Symbols and characters
Throughout the year, we’ve been adding articles about typing symbols and characters that aren’t on the regular keyboard.
Easily the most sought-after symbol is Degree ° in Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Currency symbols are also much in demand:
Saving on Microsoft 365
Always popular are our tips on getting legal Microsoft 365 for the lowest price.
Other popular articles
We pointed out the limitations of Microsoft Forms and its poor integration with Excel The best ways to get Microsoft Forms results into Excel
Surprisingly popular was our in-depth explanation of Simple image overlays in Word which not only shows how to do it but why Word works that way.
Excel Sheet View is a few feature which solves a problem when collaborating on a workbook.
Excel has many options for refreshing data and recalculating sheets.
Office Read Aloud and Dictation features are now much more reliable. We devoted our end of year book to Dictation and Read Aloud in Office