Editor’s Note: Backstage Technicians are here to help and in this ongoing series, they’ll offer me their favorite tips and provide answers to some of the most common service related questions they hear at both the call center and in Sony Stores.
Whether it’s to send e-mails to friends and teammates, presenting slide decks and tracking finances, most of use Microsoft Office on a daily basis. Taking a peak at my taskbar as I write this post, I can tell you that I have at least one instance of each app open. Sound familiar?
But what inspired me to write this post was the realization that I may not be using the full potential of this powerful software. So I set out to learn just what I might be missing out on and what I discovered is that there are tons of cool plug-ins and simple shortcuts that when used together, can be a huge time saver.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite tips and shortcuts I recently uncovered:
Tweet & update Facebook from Outlook 2010
For some this might be overkill but for me, these two simple social networking plugins have transformed Outlook into a one-stop shop for communication, news and networking. I can update my Facebook status, view news feeds or send out tweets right from Outlook while I crank out e-mails without needing to switch back and forth between sites or separate applications. Having everything in one place has made it simple for me to stay in touch and respond faster.
*Social networking Outlook plug-in runner-up: Xobni (that’s inbox spelled backwards).
12 Must-Know Shortcuts
There are countless hotkeys and shortcuts programmed into Windows® 7 and Microsoft Office aimed at helping you move as quickly and efficiently through your workflow as possible. Though there are too many to list in this post, the following 10 are my absolute favorite and by learning them over the past few days, I’ve dramatically increased the speed in which I move through various tasks.
Have a favorite that’s not listed here? Be sure to share it with everyone in the comments section below. You can also check out Windows® 7 OS hotkeys in a previous post I wrote here .
Embed YouTube Videos in your PowerPoint Presentations
I build a lot of slide decks that leverage video and in the past I’ve always had to awkwardly toggle between a website/player and my slides mid-presentation – it always threw my rhythm off. That’s why one of my favorite new features is the ability in PowerPoint 2010 to simply and quickly embed online videos from YouTube and other providers right into your slide deck. Here’s how:
Use OneNote 2010 to take custom screen shots
If you’re not using OneNote 2010 – do it now! It’s my absolute favorite Microsoft Office app. Why? Because it makes easy work of capturing and organizing notes from every random thought, ad hoc conversation, lecture and meeting I encounter. Plus it’s fully integrated into the rest of the Office 2010 suite: mark a bullet from your meeting notes as a to-do and it syncs with Outlook. It will even automatically sync specific notes to individual slides, docs, etc. for future reference.
That said, my favorite feature is how easy OneNote makes it to grab custom screen shots. There’s a number of different ways to do this via Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Word or even Windows® 7 but the following – I’ve found – is by far the fastest and easiest.
With OneNote running in your system tray, simply hit Start+S. A dialog box will appear asking where to save your clipping – to the clipboard or a specific note. I select the clipboard and select “do not show this message again” so it becomes the default.
Once complete, I can hit Start+S at any time to grab a custom screen shot, then hit CTRL+V to add/paste the image into the specific application I’m working in. It’s quick, easy and saves me the step of having to use an editing tool to crop out what I don’t need from a full screen shot.
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