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Microsoft Office 2010

How to convert your handwriting into a font

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014


Remember that feeling after the school summer holidays, when you’d sit down at your desk, pick up your pen and… nothing. Six weeks of kicking a football around the park meant your handwriting would regress to the level of a toddler with no thumbs, and it would take days to get the muscle memory back.

Well, if you’re anything like me, that’s now a permanent condition. I write lists with a pen, I address envelopes with a pen, I sign my name with a pen — for everything else, there’s Word. So when I stumbled across a site that turns handwriting into fonts I figured it was a no-brainer: a way to further reduce the amount of time I have to spend scrawling illegibly.


Why Mozilla needs to pick a new fight

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Firefox logo

One of my very first gigs when I started at PC Pro in 2007 was to interview Tristan Nitot, the president of Mozilla Europe. He was an affable chap, full of engaging answers to questions he’d no doubt heard a hundred times before. The interview practically wrote itself – though for the sake of appearances I held the pen.

Safari for Windows had just been released and I asked Tristan what he thought of it. “I want Safari to have a significant market share. We want choice, we want innovation, as a company that’s what we stand for,” he told me.


I cannot uninstall Microsoft Office 2010

Friday, October 8th, 2010

microsoft office 2010

The press release said that a survey of 600 sales, marketing and IT professionals from companies in the UK, France and Germany had revealed millions of pounds were being wasted every year on unused applications. Actually, it said millions of Euros but I knew what it meant. Actually, at first I didn’t know what it meant as my thoughts turned to smartphones and while I appreciate that the iPhone, BlackBerry and assorted Android devices are doing well, I wasn’t swallowing a survey which reckoned that business were wasting millions every year on apps they don’t even use.

Then I read the document again, and everything became clearer. This was a story about data governance rather than Angry Birds in the office, and don’t even get me started about that one or the wife will kill me. According to Informatica, the outfit that provided me with the research data, some 81% of those IT professionals questioned said their corporate networks were hosting unused applications and data. Which isn’t really any surprise at all, is it? I’ve just looked at my own corporate network and it’s full of applications that sounded like a good idea at the time but turned out to be a waste of money as they are never used. Microsoft Office 2010, for example.


The Open University and the black economy

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Frustrated computer user

September 18th was the final delivery deadline for a variety of course dissertations at the Open University. How do I know this, you ask? Old Cassidy must be well past the time when he thinks anyone’s got anything to teach him, surely?

I know it because in the preceding ten days I somehow got the mark of Cain when it came to friends and acquaintances with dying laptops. They all had to be fixed in time for the traditional all-night panic-fuelled scribble-fest on the 17th, and no, I could not take the machine away. The note of panic in the various emails, tweets, texts and wheedling phone calls was nothing short of a full-blown emotional assault. Castle Wolfenstein is, by comparison, a warm-up.

I suspect that most PC Pro readers and contributors are wily enough to steer clear of this kind of situation. There comes a point when there is no longer any shame in simply playing dumb when asked to repair a computer, or terrifying the hormonal supplicant by threatening to “fix” their laptop with a copy of Knoppix.


Office Web Apps: which type of documents are supported

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

SkyDrive Microsoft announced its Web Apps today, and indeed we provided a full review based on several months’ experience using them. One question it’s worth answering separately, though, is exactly which type of documents are supported by each web app. So here goes.


How to add week numbers in Microsoft Outlook 2010

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Calendar with week numbers I didn’t realise until recently that week numbers are a bit of a European obsession, which is why US-created software such as Microsoft Office tends to ignore them.

You had to jump through three or four hoops in Office 2003 and Office 2007 to add them (clicking Tools | Options | Calendar Options and then tickboxing “Show week numbers in the Month View and Date Navigator”), but fortunately Outlook 2010 makes it much easier.

Or at least, easier to explain. So, here are the three steps you need to add week numbers in Outlook 2010.


Office 2010 Beta – 32-bit or 64-bit – The Choice is Clear

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and this is the first time that a 64-bit version of Office has been available. 64-bit processing brings some advantages but are they outweighed by the disadvantages of being on the bleeding edge of technology?

If you’re running 64-bit Windows Vista or Windows 7 (or Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2), you can choose whether to the install 64-bit version of Office 2010 beta. (It is not compatible with 64-bit Windows XP.)

The advantages of the 64-bit version are that it lets you use additional memory installed on your computer – for example Excel 2010 workbooks can be bigger than 2GB. Project 2010 can work with very large projects consisting of many sub-projects. You also get enhanced security through Data Execution Prevention (DEP) by default.

But, not many people will actually need Excel Workbooks bigger than 2GB. If you ever made one, you could not store it in SharePoint – 2GB is SharePoint’s limit for any file – and you could not share it with anyone who wasn’t running 64-bit Office 2010 because they wouldn’t be able to open it.

Access databases with their code removed (split data & code in separate files) can’t be shared between 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office and any VBA code may not be compatible between 32-bit and 64-bit versions, particularly where the code declares API calls to Windows or uses the new LongLong or LongPtr data types introduced in the 64-bit version.

Graphic elements may render more slowly in the 64-bit version of Office because 64-bit CPUs may lack MMX support for multimedia and communications.

The biggest problem by far is that ActiveX controls Add-Ins and COM DLLs written for 32-bit Office will not work with the new 64-bit version. Microsoft are due to release a new VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) runtime which will bridge this gap for DLLs and Add-Ins written using VSTO but it isn’t available yet. Other manufacturers will have to test, possibly change, and re-issue their DLLs and Add-Ins in 64-bit versions to get them to work.

There are yet more problems if you try to work with web based solutions that use ActiveX controls. For instance SharePoint uses an ActiveX control to render SharePoint lists in Datasheet View. This view is not supported if you install the 64-bit version of Office 2010.

All in all, the 64-bit version of Office is useful to very few people and has many limitations. The vast majority of people will be much better off sticking to the 32-bit version.

Tabbed documents: how to make Office 2010 great

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Office 2010

Online-overlord Barry Collins has been fiddling with the Office 2010 beta for the last couple of days, and his reaction to it has been terrifying. Barry greets technology in only two states: the apoplectic fury of a man for whom every hollow promise is the death knell of another dream, and the rapture of somebody who’s just discovered that Nirvana’s a theme park with a £35 admission price.

What terrifies me is that he’s greeted Office 2010 with an almighty ‘meh’. There’s been bafflement and a few half-hearted jokes, but not once has the office fallen still at the ominous ticking of the Barry bomb which sits at the core of his being.


Outlook 2010 People Pane – does it spell death to Xobni

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Completely new in Outlook 2010 Beta is the People Pane. This appears below the Reading pane in the main window and in all the individual item windows. It shows thumbnail images, one for every person (or email address) associated with the item and lets you quickly access other items which are also associated with that person/address.

The contents shown in the People Pane are derived from the Windows Search index which is kept up to date as new items are created or arrive via email. When you first install Office 2010 Beta all your existing Outlook items must be re-indexed so don’t expect the People Pane to spring to life immediately but once indexing is complete all the other emails, attachments and meetings known for a person are just a click away. (more…)

Microsoft Outlook 2010 screenshots

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Home tab inbox viewThere’s little doubt that Outlook is the most physically changed of all the applications: in particular, Outlook 2010 now has the Ribbon properly integrated into its interface. Here, we take a quick-fire tour of the new-look.







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