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Archive for the ‘Microsoft Office 2010’ Category

Getting Started with Office 2010

For anyone who is contemplating upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010 there are some excellent training resources to let you see what’s new. 

Training Resources:

You could also download the FREE TRIAL :

What’s new in Project 2010?

Here’s an overview of Microsoft Project 2010 from Microsoft’s website where you will find further details

Microsoft Project 2010 has a shiny new interface, but that’s not all. Under the hood, it contains powerful new scheduling, task management, and view improvements that give you greater control over how you manage and present your projects.

The new version of Project Web Access also has a new look and many new features to help you collaborate with your team.

What’s new in Project 2010

Improved interface

Project 2010 introduces several features to dramatically enhance how you see and work with your project.

Introducing the ribbon

When you first start Project 2010, you may be surprised by what you see. The menus and toolbars have been replaced with the ribbon, which helps you quickly find the commands that you need to complete a task. Commands are organized in logical groups that are collected together under tabs.

Project ribbon

For Project 2010, all tabs and groups on the ribbon are fully customizable. If your organization has features unique to its business, you can group them on their own ribbon tab.

Welcome to the Backstage

Click the File tab and you are in the Backstage, a one-stop graphical destination for managing your project files. The Backstage contains the same basic commands available on the File menu in earlier versions of Microsoft Project to open, save, and print project files. Project Professional 2010 users can also use the Backstage to manage their Project Server connections, and to check out and publish projects.

Project Backstage.

The Options command that was on the Tools menu has been moved into the Backstage. This command opens the Project Options dialog box, where you can enter, review, or change preferences controlling how Microsoft Project works and appears.

Find commands quickly

The most commonly used commands can now be found with one click — one right-click, that is. When you right-click any item in a view, such as bar, table cell, or chart, a mini-toolbar with a list of commonly used commands is displayed. When you’re in a hurry, this is one way of using project that will pay you back in time saved.

Mini toolbar graphic

New viewing options

New viewing features have also been added to help you understand with greater clarity how your team is performing and where they are overallocated. Project can also help you and others in your organization see the big picture (and potentially major resource problems) with the Timeline view.

The team planner

Project Professional 2010 users now have the team planner, a resource scheduling view that lets you interact with your schedule in a way that hasn’t been possible before in earlier versions of Project. With the Team Planner view you can see at a glance what your team members are working on and move tasks from one person to another. You can also view and assign unassigned work, view overallocations, and see task names as well as resource names — all in one efficient view. Managing your task and resources has never been so easy. For example, if a resource is overallocated, all you need to do is drag a task from one resource to another, and the overallocation disappears.

Team Planner graphic

Fig. 1  A task that is behind schedule. This task could be dragged to Tom or Cheryl, who aren’t doing any work.
Fig. 2  A task that is on schedule.
Fig. 3  Tasks that are currently unassigned. These could be dragged to Tom or Cheryl, who aren’t doing any work.

The timeline

Project 2010 includes a timeline view that is automatically displayed above other views, showing a concise overview of the entire schedule. You can add tasks to the timeline and even print it for an attractive summary report of the entire project. Or you can paste it into an e-mail for an instant report with no fuss.

TImeline graphic

Easier view customization

Manipulating views has often been challenging in Project. No longer. Take a look at the new ways you can orchestrate how your project is presented and controlled.

Add new columns quickly

Adding new columns to Project is greatly simplified. Simply click the Add New Column heading at the right end of the sheet portion of a view, and type or select the name of a column. An existing column can also be quickly renamed by clicking on its title and typing a different column name. Customizing a column has never been so easy.

Add column graphic

The zoom slider

Project 2010 lets you quickly zoom the timephased part of a view using a zoom slider in the status bar. Simply move the slider to the right to move zoom in (show shorter time intervals, such as days or hours) on your schedule and to the left to zoom out (show longer intervals, such as weeks or months). The zoom slider works in the Gantt Chart, network diagram, and calendar views, as well as in all graph views.


User-controlled scheduling

Project 2010 has several scheduling enhancements to improve your control over your schedule. You can also create initial task lists in Microsoft Excel or Word and paste them into Project without having to reformat them.

Manual scheduling

Project 2010 introduces a major shift in how projects are scheduled. Changes to factors such as task dependencies (task dependencies: A relationship between two linked tasks; linked by a dependency between their finish and start dates. There are four kinds of task dependencies: Finish-to-start [FS], Start-to-start [SS], Finish-to-finish [FF], and Start-to-finish [SF].) and the project calendar (calendar: The scheduling mechanism that determines working time for resources and tasks. Project uses four types of calendars: the base calendar, project calendar, resource calendar, and task calendar.) no longer automatically adjust task dates when a task is manually scheduled.

You can place a manually scheduled task placed anywhere in your schedule, and Project won’t move it.

Project managers who are accustomed to automatic scheduling with past versions of Project can turn the new manually scheduling feature off for specific tasks or the entire project. Some projects, especially complicated ones, may require Project’s powerful scheduling engine to take care of scheduling for you.

Inactive tasks

With Microsoft Project Professional 2010, you can make tasks inactive and still retain them in the project. Inactive tasks often have critical information (such as actuals and cost information) that can be valuable for archival purposes.

Top-down summary tasks

Project managers are no longer restricted to creating subtasks and then rolling them up into summary tasks. For Project 2010, you can create summary tasks first, and they can have dates that don’t exactly match the roll-up dates of the subtasks.

At the beginning of the planning phase, project managers may only have some high-level information on key deliverables (deliverable: A tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) and major milestones (milestone: A reference point marking a major event in a project and used to monitor the project’s progress. Any task with zero duration is automatically displayed as a milestone; you can also mark any other task of any duration as a milestone.) of their projects. Using Project, you can divide projects into high-level phases (phase: A group of related tasks that completes a major step in a project.) based on the overall timeline and budget (budget: The estimated cost of a project that you establish in Project with your baseline plan.). This means that dates for individual work items do not necessarily need to line up exactly with dates for the high-level phases.

Project version comparison

The compare versions feature in Project 2010 now includes Gantt bars and graphical images to help you more clearly see how one version of a project differs from another version.

Easier collaboration

Projects don’t exist well in isolation from other people in your organization. Project has improved ways in which you can share project information.

Improvements in collaboration through SharePoint list synchronization

Project Professional 2010 users can export project files to a SharePoint list, which provides a quick and simple way for a project manager to share status or create reports that can be viewed across the organization. You don’t need Project Web App to sync with a SharePoint list.

Enhanced copy and paste

You wouldn’t think that collaboration could increase through something as simple and ancient as copying and pasting Project information. With this new functionality, you can now copy and paste content to and from Office programs and Project 2010 and keep its formatting, outline levels, and column headers.

With two clicks of the mouse, you can generate an instant report and copy it to most Office programs.

Backwards compatibility

Project 2010 is compatible with previous versions of Microsoft Project.

You can create files in Project 2007 or earlier and then open and edit them in Project 2010 in a reduced-functionality mode. In addition, you can create files in Project 2010 and then convert them to the Project 2007 or Project 2000-2003 file formats. Either way, you don’t need a converter!

 Note   Features unique to Project 2010, such as manually-scheduled tasks and top-down summary tasks, may not appear as expected when viewed with earlier versions of Project.

Microsoft Office 2010 is launched

Office 2010 has been launched and is available as a trial download.  I like the fact that it looks like Office 2007 (so no major upgrade path) but it contains several excellent new features. 

I have been reviewing the Beta version for a few months so you’ll find some Posts if you select the Category “Microsoft Office 2010” on this Blog. 

Edit AND enhance photos in Word or PowerPoint® 2010
Put more visual impact into your documents or presentations with easy-to-use photo-editing tools that let you crop, control brightness AND contrast, sharpen or soften, AND add artistic visual effects without leaving Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010.

Access, edit, AND share from virtually anywhere with Office Web Apps
Get things done when you’re away from the office. Create documents in Office 2010 desktop applications, then easily post them online to Windows Live® SkyDrive™ to access, view, AND edit with Office Web Apps from virtually anywhere you have Internet access.*

Organize all of your information in a single place in OneNote® 2010
Create a digital notebook in OneNote 2010 to capture AND share text, images, video, audio — all your thoughts, ideas, AND important information in a single, easy-to-access location.

Analyze finances easily at home AND at work with Excel® 2010
Use Sparklines in Excel 2010 to create mini-charts that make it easy to highlight trends in expenses at a glance. Use Slicers to dynamically segment AND filter PivotTable® data to display precisely what you need, AND improved Conditional Formatting to highlight specific items in your data set with just a few clicks.

Take control of email conversations with Outlook® 2010
Track AND manage your email easily with Conversation View in Outlook 2010, a feature that lets you condense, categorize, AND even ignore lengthy email exchanges with a single click.

Customize your email AND simplify communication in Outlook 2010
Use Quick Steps in Outlook 2010 to create AND save custom multi-step tasks that you can execute with a single click, including: Delete AND reply, move to specific folder, create a new email to your team, AND more.

To find out even more / download the Trial version, visit the Microsoft website

Office 2010: OneNote 2010

Another snippet from Microsoft …
  Microsoft Office
Keep project information at your fingertips. Discover a smarter way to organize your ideas with Microsoft OneNote 2010.
Whether you’re tackling a school, household, or work project, or just want one easy place to keep information important to you, Microsoft OneNote 2010 is a great way to keep all of your notes organized and bring your ideas to life.
A richer note-taking experience
OneNote 2010 provides you with a single convenient place to collect ideas, pictures, tables, sketches, videos, audio files, or Web links you need for a project.
Screenshot: Microsoft OneNote 2010
Find what you’re looking for faster
Forget flipping through pages of papers to track down that one stat, quote, price, or bit of information you need. With OneNote 2010, you can search all of your notes by keyword, or by tags that you can attach to content.
Screenshot: Search all of your notes in Microsoft OneNote 2010
Capture an idea, without losing focus
Have an inspiration for your project, but don’t want to get sidetracked from what you’re already working on? You can jot down a quick linked note in OneNote 2010 while working in other Office applications.
To take a closer look at all the new features in OneNote 2010, be sure to check out Getting Started: What’s New in OneNote 2010?
Screenshot: linked note in OneNote 2010
Microsoft Office

For further details:

Microsoft Project 2010: Preparing for Launch

Here’s a short extract from an excellent article written by Bill Raymond (Microsoft Project MVP) which I highly recommend.

Bill Raymond, author
Bill Raymond, Microsoft Project MVP, is a consultant with Pcubed. He’s also an amateur photographer and diehard Nikonian and publishes the popular project management blog, Project Nation.


“Beginning on May 12, 2010, the rules of project management will change. Before Microsoft Project 2010 officially appears, older versions of Microsoft Project are still enforcing strict and formal compliance to project management standards, and we hold project managers accountable to own and deliver on a project schedule that is near perfection without exception. We expect our experienced team leads in Microsoft Project Server to follow a path already laid out for them in a schedule; making critical changes is considered taboo without the project manager entering the changes for them.

With Microsoft Project 2010 much of this formality will now be optional.

Wait! Don’t worry! It’s OK! For you purists and sticklers for detail, the features and functions you need won’t go away. For people who have abandoned Microsoft Project for Excel and PowerPoint, it’s time for a second-look at this very powerful project management tool.

In evaluating Microsoft Project 2010, it’ll be important to know the significant new changes to adopt them effectively. This guide is intended to help you better understand what you need to do to prepare yourself and your organization.

What’s New

At the top of this article I made a bold statement that the rules will change and Excel users should take notice — so let’s look at one of the most significant new changes in the Desktop version of Project 2010.

Manual scheduling is essentially an Excel-like approach to setting up your plan without having to know all the details. Where Project would modify dates and change your schedule “for you” with a very powerful scheduling engine, you can now turn that off for tasks.

Figure 1. Schedules don’t have to be perfect from the outset. Tasks can be manually scheduled where dates aren’t defined.”

Raymond Figure 1

As I said, this is just short extract … to read the full article click here to visit the MPUG website.

PowerPoint 2010 + Slide:ology

 Slide:ology – The Art and Science of creating great presentations

written by Nancy Duarte is an ideal companion for PowerPoint 2010’s features.  If only people would read this book and apply the skills using PowerPoint 2007 or PowerPoint 2010 none of us would have to sit through badly designed presentations again!

Chapter 1: Creating a New Slide Ideaology

“If a slide contains more than 75 words, it has become a document. … Presentations with 50 or more words per slide serve as a teleprompter. … True presentations focus on the presenter and the visionary ideas and concepts they want to communicate.  The slides reinforce the content visually rather than create distraction”.

“The audience will either read your slides or listen to you.  They will not do both.  So, ask yourself this: is it more important that they listen, or more effective if they read?”

“Remember, presentations and audiences may vary, but one important fact remains constant; the audience didn’t come to see you; they came to see what you can do for them.”

Chapter 2: Creating Ideas, not slides

“The best place to start is not with a computer.  A paper and pencil will do nicely.  … It’s been an easy trap to fall into, launching presentation applications to prepare content.  In reality, the best creative process requires stepping away from technology and relying on the same tools of expresion that you grew up with – pens, pencils and crayons. … The goal is to generate ideas … lots of ideas.”

“Take the time and spend the creative energy because the payoff will be a presentation that people not only remember, but one that inspires them to action.”

“When generating ideas, one idea per sticky [Post-It] note … Don’t be stingy with the sticky notes”.

Chapter 3: Creating Diagrams

Abstract Concept shapes: Flow / Structure / Cluster / Radiate

Realistic Concept shapes: Pictorial / Display Data

Several of the shapes created by Duarte and her team can be achieved using PowerPoint’s SmartArt.

Chapter 4: Displaying Data

“clarity … Data slides are not really about the data.  They are about the meaning of the data. … Begin by asking yourself, ‘What would I like them to remember about this data’? … Keep in mind that the purpose of slides is not to show all the data, but to communicate conclusions and insights.”

Keep charts clear / simple and avoid visual distractions.

Chapter 5: Thinking Like a Designer

“To succeed as a presenter, you must think like a designer. … Every decision a designer makes is intentional.  Reason and logic underpin the placement of visual elements.”

“Effective slide design hinges on mastery of three things: arrangement, visual elements, and movement.”

Chapter 6: Arranging Elements

“Contrast … Flow … Hierarchy …Unity … Promixity … Whitespace”

Chapter 7: Using Visual Elements: Background, Colour and Text

“Consistency….  Choose element styles and stick with them. … Backgrounds should never compete with content.”

Chapter 8: Using Visual Elements: Images

“Take custom photos to help drive the message home.”

Chapter 9: Creating Movement

“It’s tempting to make everything buzz like a fly or swoosh like a rocket.  Don’t do it. … If animation is incorporated without purpose or meaning, the audience’s attention is turned away from the presenter and toward the movement.  It’s inevitable.”

Chapter 10: Governing with Templates

“When more than one person generates presentations for an organisation, a well-built template … is a must.”

Chapter 11: Interacting with Slides

“Constrain the text… Letting go of slides-as-crutch is a process that requires time, patience, and practice.  Possibly the biggest issue facing presenters is that they don’t take the time to rehearse.  … Great presenters connect with their audience, speak naturally, and allow the slides to enhance their story.”

“Next time you give a presentation, consider a different approach – look at your content through the eyes of the audience.”


Video: Watch Author Nancy Duarte Talk About Slide:ology

Slide:ology is one of those must-own, must-read books.  I highly recommend that you should buy a copy and refer to it before you start work on your next PowerPoint presentation.

Office 2010: PowerPoint pictures

 Here’s another Tip from Microsoft about Office 2o10 (Beta).

” The new picture and video editing tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 can help turn your next presentation into a real crowd-pleaser. You can quickly crop, add effects, or correct colors in your images without any additional photo-editing software. And adding cool special effects like fades, reflections, or 3-D rotation to embedded video clips is a great way to wow a crowd.

“Take a seat in the director’s chair.
It’s easy to give your presentation more cinematic quality with some eye-catching video.
1. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and Video on the far right.
  Screenshot: Add video in Microsoft Office 2010 PowerPoint
2. Choose From File.
3. Click through the menu to insert your video, and select the commands in the View Tools tab of the Ribbon to Trim, Bookmark, Fade in, or Loop your video.”
Pictures speak a thousand words.
The picture-editing tools in PowerPoint 2010 can turn your presentation
into a work of art:
1. Insert a picture onto a slide, using the Insert tab on the Ribbon.
2. When the picture is inserted, the Picture Tools tab displays all of
the editing options available. If you already have a picture on your
slide, double-click it to display the Picture Tools tab.
  Screenshot: Artistic Effects in Microsoft Office 2010 PowerPoint
3. Click Artistic Effects to preview more than 20 effects to apply to
your photo right away.