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OneNote for Windows updated

There’s a new version of OneNote for Windows 8 out today with some ‘new’ features that help it catch up ‘real’ OneNote for PC or Mac

At this stage let’s be clear, we’re talking about the OneNote app for Windows 8 in Modern/Metro style that’s been such an underwhelming ‘success’ with customers. The OneNote Windows Store app is possibly the only reason for some people to try the Modern interface.

We like the OneNote app, especially the innovative radial menu that takes a little time but is worth getting used to. But the unquestioning hype about ‘new’ features is hard to stomach.


Yes, the idea of a Microsoft Office program being able to print is considered a big deal. Microsoft should really be apologizing that it’s taken them about two years to add this essential feature.

The Print option is on the right-hand Charms menu under Devices.

Or swipe up from the bottom of the page or right-click on the page and tap ‘Print Page’. The familiar Ctrl + P shortcut also works.

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Office for iPhone v1.2 secrecy

Quietly, ever so quietly, Microsoft released a new version of Office for iPhone.

Version 1.2 was pushed out on 14 August 2014 to a complete silence from Microsoft. No blog post, no Knowledge Base article … nothing … not a sausage or even a sausage app.

The only thing we know about the update are two words. The only words that the Office Mobile team seems to know:

‘Bug fixes’

There was a time when a Microsoft staffer would be sacked for using the ‘B’ word in public. Now they happily use it and expect customers to be satisfied with that word alone.

This is the second time Office for iPhone has a 'two word' update and Microsoft refused to answer a direct question about "bug fixes and stability improvements" in Office for iPad.

Say what you like about updates to Office for Windows … and we’ve said plenty over 18 years of .. but at least its developers post information about bugs. Sure, they often do it only after the bug has been fixed, but at least there’s some information in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

... click here to read more at ...

Hanx Writer and Office for iPad

All the talk in iPad land is about Hanx Writer; a typewriter app for Apple iPad. Hanx Writer is a pleasant novelty app. It looks and sounds like a typewriter.

Having spent a lot of time delving into Office for iPad for our popular book, we could not resist a look at this retro newcomer and how it might work with Microsoft’s 21st Century apps.

For those of you are too young or don’t remember, typewriters were devices for imprinting ink on flat sheets of dried wood pulp. In olden days we used typewriters while waiting for word processors to be invented.

Naturally, there’s only one font (this is a typewriter, not an IBM ‘Golf Ball’ Electric typewriter) with sound and animation as you type.

One acknowledgment of modern word-processing is ‘Modern Delete’ which defaults on. With this option OFF, pressing the Delete key will backspace and overtype x just like we did for most of the 20th Century. There’s also ‘Show Cursor’, another option not available on a real typewriter.

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Windows 8.1 update disappoints

Oh dear, for all the hype, rumor and promise of the Windows 8.1 update, it turned out to be a damp squib. The feature additions were not as interesting as Microsoft strategic leaking led us to expect. When the August 2014 updates were finally released, the download had to be withdrawn after a few days because of bugs!

At the time of writing, the August 2014 updates had been suspended from manual downloads, pending investigation of bugs in the patches. However the buggy patches are still being pushed out via Windows Update so customers are still being knowingly given the ‘Blue Screen of Death’ by Microsoft. Not a great showing from Microsoft at all.

When you do get the August 2014 updates and they don’t crash your computer, the ‘new features’ aren’t particularly interesting. Unless you’re Russian, the updates are minor or are additional API’s that require work from hardware and software developers to make them useful for customers.

... click here to read more at ...

Adding the Ruble to Office

Part of the Windows 8.1 August 2014 update is the addition of the new Russian Ruble currency symbol.

All Microsoft will say about this change is “This feature adds new Ruble currency support for input and rendering.” with no details about the symbol or where to find it. So we’ve done that work for them <sigh>.

Back in December 2013, the Russian government approved a change in the Ruble currency sign to this:

This symbol was added to the Unicode v7 character set and given the code 20BD (U+20BD).

The August 2014 Update to Windows 8.1 adds this symbol, as you can see in the Microsoft Office; Insert | Symbol dialog:

Unfortunately, Microsoft neglected to add the name of the Symbol which makes it harder to find in the Windows Character Map accessory (which has a name search feature).

In Office the clumsy shortcut for the Ruble symbol is 20BD then Alt + X.

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Why PivotTables get confused and how to fix them

Time and again we’ve heard from people who try PivotTables and only get nonsense tables. That’s understandable since Microsoft’s hype about PivotTable ignores the basics that we’ll cover in this article.

You’ve probably seen a Microsoft demonstration of PivotTables where it looks sooooo easy. They have a long list, click a couple of buttons and presto! a nice PivotTable all done. Of course, those demos are well rehearsed with carefully selected examples but more than that, there’s a deeper secret.

All the source data for the demo has been carefully checked and tidied up before a PivotTable even gets a chance at it.

That’s it … it’s that simple. PivotTables are only as good as the information you put into it. More often than you might think, that information needs a little ‘massaging’ before it’s ready for the PivotTable treatment. The Excel defaults, in particular ‘General’ cell formatting, can confuse PivotTables.

Of course, what you need to fix depends on your individual list but here’s some things to look for.

... click here to read more at ...

PivotTables: selecting and changing data sources

Thanks for the great feedback from our article on PivotTables. One concern some of you have is about adding or removing source data after the PivotTable has been created.

That’s understandable because the original PivotTable releases where unclear and curiously sensitive about the data ranges used. Happily, there are many options now available and the data source is easier to change.

A typical reader email said simply  "I'm not sure how to update the next month's data".

Really it’s just a matter of adding more rows to the original list and making sure all the rows are included in the PivotTable data range.

The direct option is to change PivotTable Tools | Analyze | Data | Change Data Source which lists the explicit data range the PivotTable is using. Change that and the PivotTable will change accordingly.

Sidebar: Note above the vital Refresh button. PivotTable’s do NOT update automatically when original data changes, so remember to click that button to keep the PivotTable in sync with the source information.

... click here to read more at ...

What has the Smartphone ever done for us?

The Guardian has an interesting article “From cameras to keycards, everyday devices killed off by the smartphone”.

It could read like a scene from Life of Brian titled:

“What have smartphones ever done for us?”

Well, aside from mobile phones, landlines, pay phones, cameras, Walkman, Dictaphones, cheap computers, portable TV’s, pocket calculators, watches, alarm clocks, and sat navs … what have smartphones done for us?

says Office Watch: “also Video cameras, Post It note reminders, diaries, Rolodex, timetables, translator, portable radio, newspapers, magazines, compass, torch, mirror, conversion tables, stopwatch, magnifying glass, ruler, spirit level, ebook reader, file storage, Office document viewer and editor (if desperate)

OK … aside from those 32 things … what have smartphones ever done for us?”

... click here to read more at ...

Where is Microsoft on email encryption?

Yahoo is going to join Google is supporting not just email encryption but the same type of email encryption.

Sadly we’ll have to wait until sometime in 2015 for Yahoo to release their version of OpenPGP.

That’s good news … but where is Microsoft?

For all their talk about security, Microsoft is being notable for not joining this move.

Outlook has support for encrypted email but it’s clumsy and hard to use. We’ve noted before that Gpg4Win for Outlook should work with the Google/Yahoo initiative. OpenPGP isn’t perfect but it’s the best candidate for an accepted standard.

Microsoft’s main push in email encryption is to re-brand their existing Information Rights Management and Azure service as Office 365 Message Encryption and sell it as a way to generate more money. That’s a limited and proprietary offering and no substitute for proper email encryption.

... click here to read more at ...

The Old Alt + X trick

Inserting Symbols into Word documents is a pain, go up to the ribbon Insert | Symbols | Symbol at the very least … or you can use a trick from the 20th century to keep your fingers on the keyboard.

Type in the hexadecimal Unicode value of the symbol you want, then press Alt + X – the value will be changed to the Symbol automatically.


No one expects you to remember all the hex codes, after all there are over 40,000 of them in Unicode. Just remember the ones you need to most.

The British Pound Sterling symbol £ isn’t on a lot of keyboards even in the former colonies but if you need it, just type A3 then Alt + X.

Here’s a few common Alt + X shortcuts plus others we are often asked about with their shortcuts that are baked into Office itself.

... click here to read more at ...

How to Email direct to cloud storage and services

Some programs let you email documents directly – here’s now. click here for more ...
Free updates now available: Office for iPad and Windows 8.1

Updates now available free for our popular Windows 8.1 and Office for iPad ebooks. click here for more ...
Word – Insert Symbol wish list

The Insert | Symbol feature in Office is overdue for an overhaul. click here for more ...
Office is 25 years old

Microsoft celebrates 25 years of the software suite. click here for more ...
Some Excel worksheets should not be shared

A bad example of Excel and document sharing online. click here for more ...
Caught! how Microsoft tricks you and the media

The latest Office for iPad announcement is misleading and accurate at the same time. click here for more ...
How you can update Office for iPad: The Complete Guide

Only days after the v1.1 app updates, we’ve revised the matching ebook. click here for more ...
Extra goodies in Office for iPad

More good stuff added to Office for iPad click here for more ...
Simple and useful PivotTables

A simple, practical and non-scary example of how Excel PivotTables can work for you. click here for more ...
Microsoft’s commitment to Office beyond Windows

Microsoft confirms Office across devices, including Android. click here for more ...
Which character code is that?

Word: how to find the character code used for a particular letter or symbols. click here for more ...
How Word’s grammar check can let you down

A funny example of how you can't trust the spelling and grammar checks in Word. click here for more ...
One Terabyte of OneDrive is here

Microsoft delivers 1,000GB for Office 365 users. click here for more ...
What is Microsoft Delve?

What is Delve and what does it mean for Microsoft Office? click here for more ...
Use the latest Unicode symbols in Office

How can you get the new Unicode symbols in Office documents? click here for more ...
More characters for Unicode

Unicode adds more characters to an already large list. click here for more ...
Get a wireless second screen

Miracast gives you a wireless external screen for PowerPoint and a lot more. click here for more ...
Office update status page

Microsoft makes a ‘one stop’ page for the latest Office update details. click here for more ...
Mending an Inkjet printer

A guide to getting more life and value from your printer. click here for more ...
Free Office ebooks from Microsoft

Plenty of free ebooks about Office 2013, Office 2010, Office 365 and more. click here for more ...
Surface mini is dead but Office for Android nears birth

A smaller Surface machine isn’t coming soon but Office for Android surely is. click here for more ...
More Microsoft encryption promises

Do the latest Microsoft data encryption promises mean much? click here for more ...
How to bypass the ‘Right to Forget’

Finding web pages some people don’t want you to see. click here for more ...
Clearer table formatting than Microsoft auto-format

Some great tips on table formatting. click here for more ...
Office 365 outages – the incomplete post-mortem

Microsoft doesn’t see the main problem as they apologizes & explain the Lync and Exchange outages. click here for more ...
Office Mix updates

Updates to Office Mix – a new way to make PowerPoint interactive. click here for more ...
Google supports Office documents properly

QuickOffice is no more but Google improves MS Office document support click here for more ...
Touch features in Office 2013

Office 2013 has some clever tricks when you touch the screen. click here for more ...
Office for Mac 2011 update

Another update to Office 2011 for Mac, mostly Outlook 2011. click here for more ...
Office 365 outage mystery

Email services for Office 365 and Exchange Online should now be resumed but Microsoft handled it really badly. click here for more ...

Office News Wire

Free Office extra for the blind and visually impaired

Screen reader software now available for Office 2010 and Office 2013 users. click here for more ...
Paste in Microsoft Word

Demystifying the many paste options in Word. click here for more ...
Office 15 starts external testing

The Office 15 Technical Preview has begun. click here for more ...
Online Cloud-Based File Repair Service for Corrupted Microsoft Office Files

Innovative Online Data Recovery Technology Allows Users to Repair Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access Files from Web Browsers Faster Than Ever click here for more ...
SSD's - some tips

If you want to take the plunge to Solid State Drives, here are some comments from our experience. click here for more ...
Low use of Bitlocker

Why the low use of Bitlocker when it can secure your private documents and emails? click here for more ...
Office 2010: the real startup guide

Things you should know that Microsoft won’t tell you: saving money, installing, configuring and using Office 2010. click here for more ...
Office 2010 licence terms

A full copy of the licence terms (aka MSLT formerly EULA) for Office 2010. click here for more ...
Microsoft Office 2010 Retail Pricing Comparison Chart

This is a direct copy of the Office 2010 pricing as presented by Microsoft with all the footnotes described as a 'more detailed guide'. click here for more ...
Microsoft Office 2010 Reaches Beta, Bringing Productivity Gains to the PC, Phone and Browser

Q&A: Kurt DelBene, senior vice president of the Office Business Productivity Group at Microsoft, discusses what is new in the public beta and what developers can expect from the upcoming release of Office 2010 and related products. click here for more ...

New & Popular
» OneNote for Windows updated
» Office for iPhone v1.2 secrecy
» Hanx Writer and Office for iPad
» Windows 8.1 update disappoints
» Adding the Ruble to Office
» Why PivotTables get confused and how to fix them

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Office Watch is definitely not affiliated with Microsoft - and that's just one reason why we are so useful to Microsoft Office users around the world J (Erko).