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Category: Microsoft Office

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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Word: “Track changes” shows up as “Author” instead of author name

A user called in, reporting that Word’s Track changes-function tagged her as “Author”, instead of her name. I opened a remote session, and started out by confirming that everything else was working correctly, and that her name had been set as the author in the settings for Microsoft Word. Stalling for time while I researched the issue, I found that it seemed to be a problem affecting particular documents. Knowing this set me on the path to the solution, as follows:

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Excel freezes on 10 MB file

A few months ago, I had a user call in complaining that Excel would freeze and become completely unresponsive when she was working in a specific workbook. It was fairly large (10MB), but well within what the computer should have been able to handle. I opened a remote session to the computer, and started troubleshooting. My first step, as always in these cases, was to look at the event logs, which showed no relevant entries. Next, I inspected one of the files in question.

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