Archive for the ‘Office’ Category


77-882 Excel 2010

by admin ·

You work as a Sales Assistant at All users in the Sales department run Microsoft Office 2010.
You currently have Excel 2010 open and are working on a new workbook. You want to open an
existing workbook that is saved in your Documents folder.
Which two of the following methods could you use to open an existing workbook? Choose two.

A. Click the File tab and select Open.
B. Click the Office Button and select Open.
C. Use the Ctrl + E keyboard shortcut.
D. Use the Ctrl + O keyboard shortcut.
E. Use the Ctrl + N keyboard shortcut.

Answer: A,D


You are employed as a financial administrator at You are using Microsoft Office Excel
2010 to create a financial report ready for a meeting with senior management.
You want to print a table from your financial report.
Which combination of the following steps will print the table without printing the rest of the
worksheet? Choose three.

A. Select the worksheet that contains the table.
B. Select the table.
C. Click the File tab button > Print.
D. Click the File tab > Print > Print Preview.
E. Select Print Active Sheet in the Print Settings section.
F. Select Print Selected Table in the Print Settings section.
G. Select Print Selection in the Print Settings section.

Answer: B,C,F


You are employed as a financial administrator at You are using Microsoft Office Excel
2010 to create a financial report.
The first worksheet in the financial report contains sales figures for each Sales person for the first
quarter of the year. The second worksheet contains sales figures for each Sales person for the
second quarter of the year. The third worksheet contains formulas that pull data from the sales
figures on the first and second worksheets.
You want to view all three worksheets simultaneously so you can see how the totals on the third
worksheet are affected by changes to the figures in the first two worksheets. You currently have
the workbook open in Excel.
Which combination of the following steps would enable you to view all three worksheets side-byside?
Choose two.

A. Use the File tab > Open function to open two more copies of the workbook.
B. Navigate to the View tab and use the New Window function to open two more copies of the
C. Open two more copies of Excel 2010 and open two more copies of the workbook.
D. Use the Save As function to save two more copies of the workbook with different names.
E. Resize the Excel windows to display all three copies of the workbook side-by-side.
F. Use the Arrange All > Arrange Vertical function to display all three copies of the workbook sideby-

Answer: B,F


You work as the Sales Manager at You are using Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to create
a workbook.
The workbook will be used to track deployments of the company’s product to customers. The
workbook will be updated by members of the deployment team and by other users in the Sales
department. You save the workbook and share it.
One month later, you modify the workbook by adding a formula to a cell in one of the worksheets.
The formula pulls data from other worksheets in the workbook. The formula does not work as
expected. You suspect that the some of the data in the workbook is invalid.
You select some cells and want to validate the data. You navigate to the Data tab but the Data
Validation option is unavailable.
What do you need to do before you can configure data validation rules?

A. You need to inspect the workbook.
B. You need to disable the sharing.
C. You need to disable protection on the workbook.
D. You need to disable encryption on the workbook.

Answer: B


You work as the Sales Manager at You are using Microsoft Office Excel 2010 to edit a
Sales report.
The workbook contains twelve worksheets named January through December. Each worksheet
contains a sales table listing the names of the Sales staff and the values of their sales for that
month. The format and layout of the table is identical on each worksheet.
You add another worksheet named Totals and Analysis to the Sales report workbook. You want to
create formulas in the Totals and Analysis worksheet that use references to sales values from the
tables on the other worksheets.
What type of cell reference is used to refer to the same cells on multiple worksheets within a

A. A Tiered Cell Reference.
B. A 3-D Cell Reference.
C. A Multi-Cell Reference.
D. A Relative Cell Reference.

Answer: B


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Microsoft rolls out Delve information and people discovery tool for Office 365

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Microsoft has begun a months-long rollout of Delve, the first Office 365 application that taps into the suite’s Office Graph machine learning capabilities and maps connections between co-workers, documents and information.

Delve, announced in March with the code-name Oslo, is designed to automatically surface colleagues, files and data that are more relevant and important to users’ work.

Delve renders these connections via a very visual card-based interface, and bases its output on an analysis of a number of signals and elements from each individual user, such as Exchange Online email message exchanges, OneDrive for Business stored content, SharePoint Online collaboration activity and Yammer enterprise social networking interactions.
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In the coming months, Delve will also be able to take into account email attachments, OneNote content and Lync Online IM and audio/video communications. The goal is to make work processes more intuitive to engage with and easier to navigate by highlighting for employees the data and connections they should prioritize. At least in theory, that should help employees focus on their most important tasks, colleagues and documents.

Microsoft plans to release more applications like Delve that leverage the Office Graph machine learning features and make Office 365 better at “understanding” each employee’s work process and customizing the user experience accordingly.

Delve is available to customers subscribing to Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3 and E4 plans; Education A2, A3 and A4 plans; and Government G1, G3 and G4 plans. Microsoft will roll it out first to subscribers of these plans that have signed up to get Office 365 upgrades ahead of everyone else, the so-called First Release option, and later to those in the Standard Release schedule. The company expects to finish this phase of the rollout by early 2015, Microsoft said on Monday.

In January 2015, Microsoft will begin to roll out Delve to subscribers to Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business.

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13 useful add-ons for Microsoft Excel and Word 2013

by admin ·

For some reason, Microsoft has taken to calling the mini-programs that you can install into their Office applications “apps.” Functionally, though, most of these are similar to web browser add-ons — in the sense that they add to or enhance the feature set of the main program. Here are the most useful ones for the latest versions of Excel and Word.

Britannica Researcher for Word 2013
This official app provides access to the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. With it, you can search through over 80,000 article entries in the Britannica library, and view their respective images. You can even insert these images, and citations and references, into your document.





Bubbles for Excel 2013
This app takes selected data in your spreadsheet and represents it in a chart as bubbles — the size and color of each is based on the number of times a certain value appears. Data from two tables can be “bubbled” so you can compare their differences with this whimsical model.

Gliffy Diagrams for Word 2013
If you don’t have Visio, here’s an alternative. This toolset lets you design flowcharts, mind maps, organizational charts, and other diagrams. Paid options are available offering extras like larger storage space in the cloud, and more shape libraries. But you can still use the app for free to create an unlimited number of graphics.



Gauge for Excel 2013

This app is exactly what its name implies — a chart graphic that displays what looks like a gauge. Imagine embedding a virtual tire pressure gauge into your spreadsheet to get a reading on whether sets of values are “too low” or “too high.”

Geographic Heat Map for Excel 2013

A model that takes selected values in your spreadsheet that are based on location and generates a map showing their ranges for corresponding regions of it in various colors. The current version features a map of the United States.

Lucidchart for Word 2013

Like Gliffy Diagrams, Lucidchart is another option for easily and quickly making flowcharts and other such process diagrams within Word 2013. It’s a free service that also offers paid plans where you get additional features that include larger online storage and more shape libraries.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary for Excel 2013 and Word 2013

Microsoft offers its own Bing-branded dictionary app for Office 2013, but an appealing alternative is by one of the respected names in the dictionary biz. With the official Merriam-Webster app installed, you can right-click on a word and choose “Define,” and a definition entry for it will appear in a panel to the right of the Excel 2013 or Word 2013 application window.


Mini Calendar and Date Picker for Excel 2013

This app lets you embed a mini calendar into your spreadsheet that will make it easier for you or others to select a date to enter into the spreadsheet. The calendar can be customized to highlight specific dates, given different theme colors, or resized.

Radial Bar Chart for Excel 2013

Another colorful chart generator by the author of Geographic Heat Map, this model takes your spreadsheet’s selected values and creates what is essentially a horizontal bar chart that is curved into a circular rainbow graphic.


TaskIt for Word 2013

TaskIt is a basic to-do list app that runs alongside Word 2013. Just enter into its textbox a simple description for a task you need to do, adding more one-by-one to build a list of them. Then click the checkmark box beside each task after you actually complete it.


WordCalc for Word 2013

Here’s a tool that could be helpful if you are going over math formulas in documents. You can select a mathematical expression in a document or manually enter one into this app’s textbox, and its answer/resulting value will be shown.

WordCloud for Word 2013

This app turns your text document into a tech-marketing and typography cliche: a “word cloud” where certain words that the app determines are most significant are displayed larger than others. Supposedly, if you put your document online, these words are latched onto the most by search engines and used as keywords.

Suite of Excel 2013 feature enhancements by Tyrant Ventures

Tyrant Ventures has developed five apps that add new functionality to Excel 2013, so we grouped them into one. Together they can help ease editing and re-formatting spreadsheets that may not have been created originally on Excel 2013. The suite includes Change Case, which lets you easily change the letters in selected cells to app caps, lower case or proper case.

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Office 365 email conks out twice within a week

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Office 365 email conks out twice within a week
Antivirus issue, infrastructure failures to blame

Microsoft’s Office 365 service has suffered two email outages within a week of each other that affected some customers in North and South America that stemmed from different causes but ended in the same result: failed email delivery.

The first outage Nov. 8 stemmed from an overwhelmed antivirus engine and the subsequent backup that caused the service degradation. The second on Nov. 13 resulted from the failure of unspecified network elements, routine maintenance and increased load that combined to degrade service, according to the Office 365 blog posted by Rajesh Jha, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office division.

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He didn’t say how many customers were affected or where they were located other than somewhere on the two continents. Both outages affected just Office 365 Exchange Online mail services.

Affected customers are entitled to a service credit. Jha apologizes and promises a post mortem on the outages as well as an update on how the Office 365 service level agreement was affected.

The Nov. 8 incident started when an antivirus engine bogged down as it processed emails that the engine determined carried a particular virus. That delay processing emails led to retries that further bottlenecked email flow including legitimate emails, he says.

The issue was resolved by intercepting the tainted messages and quarantining them directly.

To head off similar problems down the line, the company has set a lower threshold for diverting problem emails and implementing faster remediation tools. It is also adding unspecified safeguards that automate remediation of this type of problem, Jha says.

The second incident Nov. 13 started with some scheduled maintenance that required shifting some of the load out of those data centers undergoing maintenance. During this work unspecified network elements failed but sent no alerts of their failure, he says. And finally the entire infrastructure was handling more traffic from new customers, all of which resulted in some customers being unable to access email services.

Traffic for affected users was shifted to healthy data centers while the issues were dealt with.

Jha says the company is in the midst of increasing capacity and is automating how equipment failures are handled to speed up recovery time.

In addition, the company is reviewing its processes to head off future outages.

“As I’ve said before,” Jha blogs, “all of us in the Office 365 team and at Microsoft appreciate the serious responsibility we have as a service provider to you, and we know that any issue with the service is a disruption to your business – that’s not acceptable. I want to assure you that we are investing the time and resources required to ensure we are living up to your – and our own – expectations for a quality service experience every day.”

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Microsoft re-releases Office for Mac 2011 upgrade after fixing bugs

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Five days after yanking SP2 from its auto-update servers, Microsoft reissues patched version

Computerworld – Microsoft yesterday re-released Office for Mac 2011 Service Pack 2 (SP2) after fixing a bug that wormed into the original update.

Last Friday, three days after it first issued Office for Mac 2011 SP2, Microsoft yanked the upgrade from its automatic update service when it acknowledged a bug had corrupted the Outlook database on some machines.
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In a post on the Office for Mac blog yesterday, Microsoft said the revised SP2 “fixes a number of issues,” including the database corruption problem.

While SP2 offered improvements for several applications in the suite, most targeted the Outlook email client bundled with the upper-end retail edition, Home and Business, as well as the academic and enterprise versions.

The new SP2 will repair any databases corrupted by the original upgrade, said Microsoft in a support document, which also spelled out tips for migrating AppleScript and Autocorrect lists to new folder destinations.

Although Microsoft’s support forums do not yet include messages from users who have applied the SP2 re-release, customers have not been shy about commenting on last week’s gaffe.

“I’m really upset with this SP2 update,” said someone identified as “ggruda” in a message added to a long support thread Tuesday. “Who has the time to go through all the BS to get their database rebuilt and get Outlook running again? I’m looking for an alternative.”

All Office for Mac 2011 users will be offered the revised SP2, including those who had downloaded the original April 12 version.

Microsoft has been forced to yank, then re-release, updates before. The most embarrassing blunders in recent years were in February 2010 when it stopped serving a security update to Windows XP PCs that were crashing with the notorious “Blue Screen of Death,” and two years earlier, when Microsoft shut down an update for Windows Vista that crippled systems with endless reboots.

Office for Mac 2011 debuted in October 2010, and is available in two editions for the general public, as well as others for academic and enterprise customers.
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Microsoft MB6-285 Q & A / Study Guide

by admin ·

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How can you view total invoiced amount on a customer for a specific time interval?

A. Run the report CRM/Reports/Sales Management/Internal account statement
B. Select CRM, Inquiries, Statistics
C. On the Business relations form, click Update financial on the Financials tab, and view
the field Total invoiced
D. Open Management statistics, Business relation category, select the Specific Customer
radio button, and select the respective customer

Answer: D

Using the TAPI interface you receive a telephone call. How do you register this in the
CRM module?

A. I create a new record on the Phone calls tab in either the Contact person or Business relations form
B. I create a new note document called, for example, Incoming phone calls and register
the call by creating a note of this type in the Business relations form
C. I need to register the Business relation and/or contact person in order to have the
registered on my business relation
D. The phone call is registered automatically

Answer: D

You have received a text file containing a range of possible leads which you wish to
import into the Business relations form, it also contains several contact persons for each

A. You have to select which contact persons you need to import
B. You have to enter the contact persons through the MS Excel import wizard
C. You create a number of record groups and enter each contact person with a different
record group in the File format definition
D. You are limited to a maximum of three contact persons for each business relations

Answer: C

When a contact person leaves one of your customers:

A. Create a note in the memo field on the contact person
B. Replace the former contact person with the new contact person
C. Mark the contact person as inactive
D. Delete the contact person from the system

Answer: C

To view all quotations for a specific prospect, you:

A. Enter the Management statistics form, select category Business relation and view the quotation
B. Open the Quotations form, select a quotation for the prospect, and click the Business relations button
C. Open the Workbook tab Quotations and filter for the specific prospect
D. Open the Business relations form, select the prospect, and click the Quotations button

Answer: D

To send a document from Axapta’s document handling to an Axapta e-mail group you:

A. Drop the file into your e-mail program
B. Attach the document through the E-mail distribution form
C. Save the document separately and attach it manually to the e-mail
D. Click the E-mail group button in Axapta

Answer: D

Which of the following business relation types can be imported?

A. Competitors
B. Customers, vendors and prospects
C. Customers and vendors
D. Prospects

Answer: B

From where can you NOT see the Return of investment (ROI) for a given campaign?

A. In the Management statistics form
B. In the Business relations form
C. In the Campaign form
D. In the Projects form

Answer: B

How can you make sure that your employees in your call center follow a consistent questioning technique?

A. Create a Questionnaire and attach it to the call list
B. Add a detailed media description to the campaign
C. Detail the questioning technique in the Encyclopedia
D. Attach a Microsoft Word document to the call list with specific questions on it using Document Handling

Answer: A

How do you synchronize the contact persons from one business relation in Axapta to MS Outlook

A. You have to synchronize all the contacts
B. Open the menu item Periodic, MS Outlook synchronization, Synchronize contact
person to Outlook, and select Business relation contacts
C. Select the import field on the individual contact persons in the Contact persons form and select Synchronize
D. Select the business relation in the Business relation form and click the Synchronize button

Answer: B

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Why Microsoft’s vision of the future will really happen

by admin ·

Two videos from Microsoft show the future of technology. Here’s why I think they’re dead-on

Computerworld – Microsoft released a video in 2008 and another one this week that together predict the sleek, wireless, connected gadgets we’ll all enjoy by the year 2019.

Called Productivity Future Vision and Future Vision 2019, the videos fascinate in the way that science fiction does. But what’s even more interesting is that this vision will almost certainly come true.


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Microsoft’s videos depict their vision of the future. Use the “Next” button to advance between the two videos.

When you see them, you may be surprised by my conclusion. Will technology really move that fast?

Just remember how quickly things moved in the past 10 years.

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as a multitouch consumer device — no iPhone, Android phone or anything even remotely like it. The original iPod was brand new, and there was no iTunes store for buying music. There was no Xbox, no YouTube, no Flickr, no Reddit. Google was just a search engine. Gmail, Maps, Docs, Calendar, Voice, Talk, Reader and many other Google services didn’t exist.

Facebook? Ha! Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school, and even MySpace was still years away.

In fact, virtually every aspect of today’s consumer electronics scene was nonexistent or even beyond imagining 10 years ago. Almost everything Apple sells right now — the iPad, iPhone, Siri, Apple TV, iMac, MacBook Air and other products, would have seemed like science fiction in 2001.

When most people imagine the future of technology, they envision better versions of what they’ve already got. But changing technology will sweep away almost all the products and services we use today.

Microsoft’s videos brilliantly capture what is likely to replace them.
Where did these videos come from?

Office Labs is one of Microsoft’s in-house think tanks. The initiative comes up with working concepts, some of which can be downloaded and experimented with (you need to be running Microsoft Office). Some of them are created by employees in their own time (similar to Google’s 20% time projects).

Many of the Office Labs concepts would require technologies and computing power that aren’t available yet. So the researchers create special-effects-laden videos and demos to communicate ideas. Microsoft also maintains an “Envisioning Lab” where close business partners can see and discuss the prototypes on display.
What to look for in the videos

In Microsoft’s vision of the future, connected computers and displays are built into everyday objects.

A woman’s eyeglasses whisper real-time translations of a foreign language in her ear. A coffee cup shows the drink’s temperature and has a display that indicates how high the liquid is inside. An electronic newspaper is as thin and flexible as actual paper, but it functions like a wireless connected multitouch text-and-video e-reader.

“Monitors” in the video are often depicted as clear smart glass. Call ’em “Microsoft Windows.” What the heck.

A businessman uses a clear-glass display that is straight-up Minority Report, controlled with both touchscreen and “wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care” gestures. Both display and touch-input devices look like regular clear glass until they come to life with gestures. In some scenes, touch gestures become in-air gestures, as they extend beyond the screen.

On-screen buttons, dials and other controls appear as needed for the task at hand, then vanish when no longer required.

A clear-glass stylus is also used in one scene, suggesting a role for a pen.

Keyboards are depicted, both the onscreen and physical variety. But there’s a lot less typing in this future, as Siri-like voice assistance and dictation replaces most typing.

See-through glass displays, of course, are perfect for augmented reality. A mobile version is held up to a green plant, which is visible through the clear glass. But then the device recognizes the species, and throws information about it on the screen.

The window of a taxi turns into an augmented reality screen, pointing out to the passenger the building where her meeting is to take place the next day.

Other displays aren’t clear, but appealingly opaque. In many cases, surfaces that used to hold analog information tools themselves replace the tools. For example, instead of a whiteboard mounted on a wall — a standard feature in today’s conference rooms — the wall of the future is the whiteboard — computerized and connected, of course. Instead of a tablet on a table, the table is the tablet.


Five Outlook Nightmares (and How to Fix Them)

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You use Microsoft Outlook to manage your email, your appointments, your contacts, and your to-do lists. In other words, you use it to manage your work life. So when this program doesn’t behave the way it’s supposed to, you have a nightmare.


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3. In the wizard, select Import from another program or file and click Next.

4. For the file type, for Outlook 2007, select Personal Folder File (.pst). For 2010, choose Outlook Data File (.pst).

5. On the wizards next page, click the Browse button and find the backed-up Outlook folder. Select the appropriate file (probably Outlook or Outlook.pst).

6. As you go through the rest of the wizard, select Personal Folders, make sure Include subfolders is checked, and click Finish to start importing your backed-up data.

Your Outlook Data Set Is Too Big and Cumbersome

If Outlook is slowing down, its probably time to shrink your Outlook.pst data file. By default Outlook 2007 can handle a 20GB data file, and Outlook 2010 can manage a 50GB one. You can increase those size limits–but frankly, youll get better performance by decreasing the size of the actual file.

The previous tip described how to find and open the folder containing the file. Do so to check its current size, and to see how the size changes as you follow the suggestions below.

Start by compacting the file, which removes empty space. In Outlook 2007, select File, Data File Management. Select outlook.pst, and then click Settings. Click Compact Now. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab, and then select Info in the left pane. Click Account Settings, and Account Settings again. In the Account Settings dialog box, click the Data Files tab. Select the file and click Settings, Compact Now.

If that doesnt shrink the file sufficiently, try archiving, which moves old messages and appointments to another .pst tile (the default is archive.pst). You first need to reach the AutoArchive dialog box. In Outlook 2007, select Tools, Options. Click the Other tab, and then the AutoArchive button. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab, and then choose Options in the left pane. In the Outlook Options dialog box’s left pane, click Advanced. Click the AutoArchive Settings button.

Once there, youll find plenty of options for what to archive.

You can also start archiving now, rather than waiting for the next time it happens automatically. In Outlook 2007, select File, Archive. In 2010, click the File tab and select Info. Click the Cleanup Tools button, then Archive.

The program has other tools for cleaning up email. In Outlook 2007, select Tools, Mailbox Cleanup to find them. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab and select Info. Click the Cleanup Tools button, then Mailbox Cleanup.

After youve done everything you can to archive and clean up your data, your Outlook.pst file will remain the same size–but it will have considerably more blank space. Compact it again to reap the benefits of your cleaning job.


5 ways to make your keyboard easier to use

by IT Trainer ·

How to use a keyboard might seem academic, but there’s more to typing than just tapping the keys. For most people, the keyboard is the primary computer input and control device—that’s why it’s important to leverage the features and shortcuts that keyboards offer. Read on for tips to maximize ease of use, comfort, and efficiency.
1. Get to know your keyboard

Whether your keyboard is just out of the box or it has seen years of use, it may have features you don’t know about. Take a moment to review the literature that came with your keyboard, visit the manufacturer’s product website, and familiarize yourself with the layout of the keys. Knowing your keyboard’s capabilities and limitations—and where to find time-saving keys—can make it easier to use and can even increase your productivity.
2. Customize keyboard settings

After you’re familiar with your keyboard, customizing just a few basic settings can further improve your efficiency and accuracy. For instance, you can adjust:

The pause before a character starts repeating.

The speed at which characters repeat, which can help you avoid typing errors.

The rate at which the cursor blinks, which can enhance its visibility.

You can make these changes right now:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

3. Take shortcuts

Even if you’re a genius with the mouse, keyboard shortcuts can still save you time. They’re called shortcuts for a reason—they reduce multiple clicks to a single combination of keys, like hitting a chord on a piano. They also economize hand and arm motion.

Using keyboard shortcuts for the things you do all the time, like saving or closing files, can make computing much easier and faster. So whether you want to work more easily and efficiently in Internet Explorer, streamline your Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 experience, or key international characters into your emails, you’ll find scores of shortcuts to speed you on your way. The table below offers only a few common standard-keyboard shortcuts, many of which work across Office applications—from Outlook to Access, from Visio to PowerPoint, from Word to Excel. You can find a more complete list of built-in keyboard shortcuts for a particular application by searching in Help for keyboard shortcuts. You can even peruse keyboard-shortcut lists:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

Press this

To do this


Open Help


Check the spelling of titles or words in any Office application with the Spelling & Grammar checker

Windows logo keyWindows logo key

Open the Start menu


Quit a program


Switch between open programs or windows


Open a new (blank) document


Select all content in a document, window, or text box


Save the current file or document (works in most programs)


Copy the selection


Cut the selection


Paste the selection


Print a document or webpage


Undo an action


Redo an action


Find text in a document


Find and replace text in a document


Boldface text


Italicize text


Underline text


Go to a page, line, or bookmark in a document

Windows logo key Windows logo key +F1

Display Windows Help and Support


Cancel the current task

Application key Application key

Open a menu of commands related to a selection in a program (equivalent to right-clicking the selection)
4. Make it easier to press multiple keys

If pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del seems an acrobatic feat, you can set up Sticky Keys. The Sticky Keys feature lets you hit shortcut keys one at a time rather than all at once. You can even set Sticky Keys to make a noise so you know it’s working.
All together now

You can set up Sticky Keys:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

(Tip: In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Sticky Keys has a keyboard shortcut—press Shift five times in a row.)
5. Find a comfortable keyboard

Keyboards come in many shapes and sizes, and the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard your coworker swears by might feel downright awkward compared to the Comfort Curve 2000 you covet. Keyboards come in a variety of colors and key styles, too, not to mention with and without wires. And some keyboards are definitely louder than others. All Microsoft keyboards are carefully designed to balance form and function with comfort. Test drive a keyboard or two to find the right one for you.

Although using the right keyboard can really make a difference, ergonomics also play a key role when it comes to typing comfortably.
Tips for using your keyboard ergonomically

It is essential to use good ergonomic practices to help prevent or reduce soreness or injury to your wrists, hands, and arms. It is particularly important if you’re in front of your computer for long periods.

Here are some ergonomic tips for a safer, more comfortable computer session:

Position your keyboard at elbow level, with your upper arms relaxed at your sides.

Center your keyboard in front of you. If it has a numeric keypad, use the Spacebar as the centering point.

While typing, use a light touch and keep your wrists straight.

When you’re not typing, relax your arms and hands.

Take a short break every 15 to 20 minutes.

Type with your hands and wrists floating above the keyboard, so that you can use your whole arm to reach for distant keys instead of stretching your fingers.

Avoid resting your palms or wrists on any surface while typing. If your keyboard has a palm rest, use it only during breaks from typing.

How you use the keyboard is up to you. But by taking the time to adjust a few settings and to follow the guidelines above, typing on it can become easier, faster, and even safer.


IT jobs: Winners and losers in the cloud era

by admin ·

We survey the cloud’s effects on nine classes of IT jobs: Architects and sys admins win, middle managers and tech specialists lose — what about you?

Winners: System administrators Other than architects, the jobs undergoing the greatest change as cloud encompasses the data center are those involving hands-on system administration.


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Architects may design and tune cloud infrastructures, but system administrators do the detailed work of spreading workloads across servers, virtual servers, and data centers, assigning CPU cycles, memory, storage, and other resources as needed to keep performance high.

“If you don’t change job descriptions so sys admins aren’t restricted to one silo — because the applications and VMs in an internal cloud aren’t restricted, either — you’re letting the potential gain in efficiency for IT people go to waste,” says Forrester analyst Dines. “You can’t get the most out of a cloud infrastructure if your admins are still suck in older ways of doing things.”

At VMware, for example, Egan thought it made more sense to distribute IT staffers to individual business units according to the amount of IT resources used by that unit. Rather than working in the data center and being responsible for supporting a business unit, they’re located in and responsible to IT managers within that business unit — feeling and being treated as a part of the business-unit team rather than as support from outside the department, Egan says.

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But cutting the absolute connection between system administration and physical hardware doesn’t eliminate the need to maintain the hardware, consultant Olds notes. “You have to have people handling the hardware itself or the networks, but a lot of the things we used to do have gone away,” Olds says. “You don’t usually have someone sitting and rebuilding a server for hours or days. If a server goes bad, you pull the card out of the chassis, throw it away and slot in another. Or you close out the VM and provision another. Then you go on to the next thing. It’s a far higher level of efficiency.”

Winners: Front-line IT managers Lower-level IT supervisors and managers will also have to make major changes to their responsibilities and daily routines under cloud infrastructures — and for the same reasons that apply to sys admins, consultant Cramm says: If all the system administrators are responsible for processes running in portions of the cloud distributed throughout the company, it makes no sense to have their direct supervisors locked in the old silos.

IT gains from loosening organizational structures so that people are assigned to support specific business functions or business units, rather than to a specific server, says James Staten, a cloud computing and infrastructure analyst at Forrester Research. Most companies moving into cloud or virtual computing for the first time don’t appreciate how restrictive organizational silos can be in slowing or stopping a migration, even if the only problem is the need to continually make ad hoc decisions about who is responsible for which workloads or Web services, he adds.

The result of the cloud for IT supervisors is a role similar to the one they have today but in a far larger environment — one that could encompass the whole enterprise rather than just one facility.