Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tracking Edits in Microsoft Word

Improve Your Collaborative Process by Tracking Changes in Microsoft Word

If you're ever working collaboratively on a document or sending it through several review cycles, you should be using the Track Changes function. Not only does it show you what changes have been made, it shows you who made them and when. You can review and approve changes individually or as a group. You can even adjust the settings to conceal the identity of the person making changes.

How to Track Changes

In Word 2007, go to the Review menu and click the Track Changes button. In Word 2003 and earlier, go to the Tools menu and select Track Changes.

Keep It Clear

The Track Changes view defaults to “Final Showing Markup”:

…which means it displays your edited text, warts and all. Every deletion and insertion is there on the page. And things can get ugly fast:

If you change the view to “Final”, you’ll see nothing but the edited text.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


Make It Anonymous          

When you mouse over edited text, it shows you the name of the editor as well as the date and time the changes were made. This is useful if you have a number of people working on a document or if you’re trying to remember the sequence in which changes were made. Here’s an example:

If there’s ever a situation in which it’s undesirable – or maybe just irrelevant – for a reader to know who has made changes to the document, you can change your settings accordingly. Here, the name of the editor has been changed from Jessica Jones to “Editor.”

To alter this setting in Word 2003 or earlier, go to the Tools menu, choose Options, then choose the User Information tab. Change the name and initials, remove Address information, and click OK. In Word 2007, go to the Office button and select Word Options (it’s all the way down at the bottom of the menu). Under the “Popular” menu is the option to “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office.” Change the name and initials and click OK.

Decide Which Changes to Keep and Which to Throw Out

At the end of the editing process, you accept changes (thereby making them permanent) or reject them (thereby reverting to the original) either one at a time or as a whole. If you look at the Final view of the document and decide it’s exactly what you want, select “Accept All Changes in Document.” If there are a few changes you agree with and many you don’t, select “Accept and Move to Next” for all the changes you like. Once you’ve accepted all the changes you want, you can simply select “Reject All Changes in Document.” That will reverse all the remaining changes.


This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the capabilities of Microsoft Office. If you haven’t upgraded, now might be the right time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Basics of Bluetooth

Bluetooth 101:
How Wireless Technology Makes Sychronizing a Snap

If you’ve bought a smartphone or wireless headset in the past few years, you’ve no doubt heard about Bluetooth -- but you might be a little fuzzy on what it is and why people are so excited about it. Here’s a quick run-down:

What it is. Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for connecting devices, set to replace cables.

How it works. It uses radio frequencies in the 2.45 GHz range to transmit information over short distances -- generally 33 feet or less.

Why it’s important. Embedded Bluetooth technology allows all sorts of devices including cell phones, headsets and earpieces, digital cameras and computers, to easily communicate with each other without cables or setup.

The background scoop. PDA-type products have increased many people’s productivity, but they’re often difficult to synchronize with computer systems. Before Bluetooth, people had to depend on cradles, cables, and a bit of luck to get their PDA to “talk” with their computers – and it meant they couldn’t synchronize unless there was a physical connection between the device and the computer. Bluetooth-enabled devices eliminate that hassle. As long as they’re within range and powered on, they are always communicating with each other. Each device sends out a signal, received by the other devices that are sending out their own signals. The devices scan all signals to see if any are addressing it. In this way, Bluetooth creates a personal area network (PAN) without requiring the user to do anything special to get the devices to speak to one another. The Bluetooth devices that have business with one another initiate their own separate PAN to create interference-free communication. 

Fun fact. Bluetooth is named after King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark, who in the 930s consolidated warring factions of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. This ability to establish peaceful communication between differing peoples is a metaphor for the ability to connect devices from differing technologies.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Small Business Summit 2008

On February 11, 2008, the Third Annual Small Business Summit 2008 takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in NYC. I have attended the first two Summits and, I promise you, this is an event you do not want to miss. Expect 400 attendees and 40 exhibitors, with speakers including small business owners, experts and executives from small business service providers such as Dell and Network Solutions.


Join hundreds of other small businesses as we all come together for the third annual Small Business Summit, where the theme is "It's Time to Reinvent Your Business." Rub elbows with those who offer cutting edge technology and business solutions. There'll be lots of time to ask your questions, see demonstrations and bring yourself up to speed to make the right decisions for your business.


Sessions include:


Marketing in a Digital World:  How Technology and New Media are Changing the Game (by Karen Quintos, Dell Inc. Vice President of Marketing for Small & Medium Business)

How to Transform Your Business in 40 Minutes

From the Trenches: Reinvention Case Studies (Led by Anita Campbell, Small Business Trends)

What You Need Now to Succeed

Technology is Not the Answer

Bounce! The Path to True Business Confidence


The full agenda is here:


I look forward to seeing you there!



Small Business Summit 2008. For small businesses, by small businesses.

February 11, 2008. 400 attendees. 40 exhibitors.

Tons of information. Lots of fun. Gallons of excitement




Tuesday, January 8, 2008

QuickTips on Combating Malware

Malware Comes to Social Media and Search Portals

Nobody ever said that malware makers weren't creative. For their latest trick, they're using banner ads on high-traffic sites like MySpace and Excite to entice people into installing adware, spyware, and so-called "scareware" -- software that, in the words of Washington Post blogger Brian Krebs, "reports false or exaggerated system security threats on the user's computer, mainly in an attempt to get them to buy even more worthless software to clean up the supposed security problems."


People who unwittingly click on malicious MySpace banner ads will get bombarded with adware, spyware, and Trojan horse programs that are difficult to detect and sometimes almost impossible to remove. Meanwhile, a security researcher found a banner ad on that redirects to a page that attempts to install the scareware program "PerformanceOptimizer."


Installing regular security updates to Explorer and popular plug-ins like QuickTime and Flash can help mitigate these problems. Of course, that requires you to be vigilant about downloading and installing security updates, which may or may not have been thoroughly tested by software makers before they were released. (Sometimes in the race to plug security holes, software providers inadvertently cause bigger problems than the ones they fix.)


Proactive maintenance offer a great alternative to the "do it yourself" approach. These services take the burden of security updates off the individual user. Every security patch is tested before it's installed, and regular sweeps for adware and spyware make sure they're removed promptly.

       No matter what protections you have in place, it's generally best not to click on anything that blinks, flashes, or gives you scary warnings that "Your computer may be infected with harmful spyware programs!!!" But if you happen to accidentally download one of these nasties, it's nice to know that the experts have your back.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

QuickTips on Productivity-Enhancing Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts Save Wrists and Time in 2008

Forget about all those resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier, or save money. Think really small. Think about little changes you can make in the way you work that will be easy to remember, easy to make into a habit, and will have a big cumulative impact on your productivity. For example, the next time you reach for your mouse to open a file or highlight a piece of text, try using a keyboard shortcut instead.


Listed below are a couple of Windows shortcuts that will increase your productivity, keep you from running through endless file menus, and spare you the annoyance of having to switch between your keyboard and mouse to access certain commands. This list contains a few old standards you're probably already familiar with, but we hope it offers a few new tricks as well:



Ctrl+S: Save

Ctrl+C: Copy

Ctrl+X: Cut

Ctrl+V: Paste

Ctrl+A: Select all

Ctrl+E: Center text

Shift+Right arrow: Highlights text one letter at a time

Ctrl+Shift+Right arrow: Highlights text one word at a time

Shift+Down arrow: Highlights text one line at a time

Ctrl+Down arrow: Skips to next paragraph

Ctrl+Up arrow: Skips to previous paragraph

F7: Spell check



Windows+E: Opens Windows Explorer (the Windows key is the one that looks like the Windows logo or a flag, and is next to the Alt key on most keyboards)

Alt+Tab: Switch between open windows

Windows+D: Show or restore desktop

F2: Rename a selected file or folder

F3: Launch Search if you're on the desktop or in a folder; launch Find if you're in a file