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Category: Microsoft Office

Calculating percentage change in Excel

If you do a lot of work in Excel, odds are you’ve needed to calculate a percentage change. Luckily, Excel does this for you quite readily if you simply apply a basic formula of (New Value - Old Value)/Old Value. There is, however, a pitfall that you’ll not get the values you expect if the cell where you’re entering the value is not set to percentage formatting. Hence, here’s a step to step way to make the calculation:

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Outlook: Mail merge

I have previously written about one of my many responsibilities; contacting users whose login credentials have shown up in breach lists. While the pertinent results of the breach files are delivered to me in a flat file, I use Excel’s Text to Columns feature to separate logins (usually email addresses) from the password. While this might take a little fiddling with the delimiters, it is worth it to ensure that you have a good basis on which to work.

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Outlook: Offline Mode

From time to time, I need to run Outlook in Offline Mode. This is usually the case when I want to ensure that a mail merge has worked successfully. It is also a good option to reduce data usage when on mobile networks. Going to Offline Mode is straight forward. In Outlook, go to the Send/Receive tab, and then click “Work Offline”:

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Excel: Text to Columns

I work a lot with text files containing data which is, to some degree or another, structured. Whether a breach file from a published breach, or the result of a powershell query such as Get-ADUser, Get-ADComputer, or Get-ADDirectReports, I need to separate the data into columns so that I can work with it. This is where the Text to Columns feature in Excel comes in handy.

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MS Office: Pin items

Many companies, my employer included, uses spreadsheets on a more or less consistent basis in order to track such things as vacation planning and KPI reporting. For me, as an employee, keeping track of these spreadsheets can, from time to time, be a bit annoying. Much to my surprise, at some point in the past few years, Microsoft added a pin item feature to MS Office.

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Farewell Bear, hello … OneNote?

In December of 2016, I discovered Bear Writer. At the time, I had been using a number of different solutions for note-taking and organisation, none of which had really done the trick for me. That all changed with Bear. Arriving to critical acclaim, Bear is certainly a very pretty app, and its iCloud sync feature has served me well enough. There has just been one issue; it is only available on Apple devices.

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Outlook: Not all folders are synced

Shared email boxes are a useful tool for departments needing to have a single point of contact, but whose needs do not extend so far as to need a CRM or ticket management tool. I’ve talked before about how to add them to Outlook, in which I noted that I usually uncheck the box for downloading shared folders to avoid downloading what tends to be a huge mail box, which will lock up Outlook. Another reason to do so, is that a locally cached mail box often does not display all mails and folders, a complaing I see from time to time. It has been my experience that most users leave the settings in their default state, so today, I thought I’d tell you how to disable that retroactively:

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