Use Outlook To Send Status Reports

There should be an image here!If you provide status reports for the tasks assigned to you then this feature of Outlook may be right up your alley. Did you know that you can use Outlook to send status reports? And I don’t mean creating a new email and attaching a document containing your status report.

Outlook can actually generate a status report to an email message. Here’s how to do it in Outlook 2007:

  1. Within Outlook, open the task for which you want to send a status report.
  2. On the Task tab, in the Manage Task group, click Send Status Report.
  3. Enter recipient names in the To, Cc, and Bcc boxes. If the task was assigned to you, the names of people on the update list are automatically added.
  4. Add any other information you want in the email message.
  5. Click Send.

The message contains the start and due date of the task, the status, % complete, and actual hours works. A simple and efficient way of providing others with status updates on your tasks.

[Photo above by Jeremy Keith / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Disable Add-Ins In Outlook

There should be an image here!One of the things you should know about add-ins is that they slow down an application. For example, if you have several Internet Explorer add-ins, they can drastically slow down the start up time of your browsers.

The same thing applies to Outlook. Outlook add-ins can make the application load time very slow (and Outlook isn’t all that fast to begin with). If you find that Outlook takes an unusually long time to start up, you should take a look at the add-ins currently installed and disable those that you don’t need.

To disable an add-in in Outlook:

  1. Within Outlook, click Tools and then click Trust Center.
  2. From the Trust Center window, click Add-ins.
  3. Click the Go button beside Com Add-ins.
  4. From the window that appears, you can disable any add-in that you aren’t using by clearing the check box beside it.
  5. Click OK.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Office 2011 For The Mac Brings Outlook To The Apple Platform

imageToday marks the release of Office 2011 for the Mac, as described in the official release notice. And in a new feature twist, the software is also available for download to BizSpark (startup program) MSDN subscribers as of this morning. Typically Mac-based software has not been made available there, so this is a pretty cool change.

It’s available to people with membership at the following programs and levels:

  • VS Pro with MSDN Premium (Empower)
  • VS Premium with MSDN (MPN)
  • VS Pro with MSDN Premium (MPN)
  • BizSpark Admin
  • BizSpark
  • VS Ultimate with MSDN (VL)
  • VS Premium with MSDN (VL)
  • VS Premium with MSDN (Retail)
  • VS Ultimate with MSDN (Retail)
  • VS Ultimate with MSDN (MPN)

Of course, use is governed by your subscription license limitations and terms of use, so make sure you know what those are.

Why Office 2011 for the Mac?

There are a few reasons why you might be interested in Office 2011 on the Mac, but for me the number one reason is the brand new Outlook 2011. No more Entourage software, now we get the actual Outlook experience, which is enough for me to upgrade with no other changes in the suite. Add in all the other changes, and it’s a pretty slick new version.

Mac user? Are you going to get Office 2011?

To read more about this sort of thing, converting HD DVDs to Blu-ray, exchanging water-damaged iPhones, network security, Easter eggs, or whatever else Greg Hughes feels like talking about, you should drop by his blog. He may not update daily, but the wait’s always worth it!

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Enable/Disable Add-Ins In Outlook 2007

There should be an image here!There are various add-ins available for Outlook 2007. Add-ins are supplemental programs that add additional features to the application. Add-ins are available through Microsoft and various third-party vendors.

Once you install add-ins, you can enable or disable them using the Trust Center. To access the Trust Center in Outlook 2007:

  1. Within Outlook, click Trust Center from the Tools menu.
  2. Select Add-Ins from the list of options. The list of add-ins currently installed appears.
  3. To manage an add-in, select the add-in type from the Manage box and click Go.
  4. Select or clear the check box for the add-in that you want to enable or disable.
  5. Click OK.

[Photo above by Ian Muttoo / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Disable Add-Ins In Outlook

There should be an image here!One of the things you should know about add-ins is that they slow down an application. For example, if you have several Internet Explorer add-ins, they can drastically slow down the start up time of your browsers.

The same thing applies to Outlook. Outlook add-ins can make the application load time very slow (and Outlook isn’t all that fast to begin with). If you find that Outlook takes an unusually long time to start up, you should take a look at the add-ins currently installed and disable those that you don’t need.

To disable an add-in in Outlook:

  1. Within Outlook, click Tools and then click Trust Center.
  2. From the Trust Center window, click Add-ins.
  3. Click the Go button beside Com Add-ins.
  4. From the window that appears, you can disable any add-in that you aren’t using by clearing the check box beside it.
  5. Click OK.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Manage Emails From Unknown Senders

You can create a rule in Outlook that will move messages unknown senders to a specific folder. In other words, any messages from senders who are not in your address book are moved into the folder you specify.

You can create rules in Outlook for many different things. One popular use for Outlook rules is for filtering incoming email messages. With this in mind, why not create a rule that will keep all email messages from unknown senders out of your inbox. Instead, Outlook automatically moves such messages into a separate folder.

If you want to filter mail from unknown senders, your first step is to create a new folder, by right clicking your Inbox from the Folder List and selecting New Folder. Type in a descriptive name for the folder and click OK.

Now you are ready to create the Outlook rule. To create a new rule to filter mail from unknown senders into the new folder:

  1. Within Outlook, click the Rules Wizard from the Tools menu.
  2. Click the New button. Select Start from a blank rule.
  3. Highlight Check message when they arrive and click Next.
  4. From the list of conditions, place a check beside On this machine only. Click Next.
  5. Under the heading What do you want to do with the message, click Move it to the specified folder.
  6. Click Specified in the Rule Description box. Select the folder you want in which you want to move the messages. Click OK. Click Next.
  7. From the list of exceptions, select Except if sender is in specified Address Book.
  8. Click Specified in the Rule Description box. Select the Outlook Address Book, click Add, and click Next.
  9. Type in a name for the rule and click Finish.

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Office 2010 Upgrade Options

There should be an image here!If you’re thinking about upgrading to Office 2010, you have a few different upgrade options from which to choose. The option you choose will impact how your user and computer settings, including documents, get migrated to the new version of Office.

There are basically three upgrade options. The first option is to perform an in-place upgrade where your current Office 2007 installation is upgraded to Office 2010. Your user and computer settings are migrated during the installation.

Your second option is to perform an uninstall upgrade where your earlier version of Office is uninstalled prior to upgrading to Office 2010. With this option, user and computer settings are migrated during the first use of each Office 2010 application.

Finally, your third option is to perform a new operating system upgrade where a new version of the operating system, such as Windows 7, is installed followed by an upgrade to Office 2010. With a new operating system upgrade, user and computer settings are migrated using the User State Migration Tool (USMT).

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Find Related Messages In Outlook 2007

There should be an image here!Searching for all messages related to a specific conversation? You can do a manual search although it will likely take you several minutes at a minimum. Another option is to use the Related messages options. When you use the Related messages option, Outlook searches for all messages (received, sent, drafts, etc.) related to the conversation.

To use the Related messages option, right click a message within Outlook, point to Find All and click Related Messages. The Advanced Find dialog box opens and searches you Inbox, Sent folder, and Drafts folder for any messages related to the one you selected.

[Photo above by Pete Reed / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Office 2010 Upgrade Options

There should be an image here!If you’re thinking about upgrading to Office 2010, you have a few different upgrade options from which to choose. The option you choose will impact how your user and computer settings, including documents, get migrated to the new version of Office.

There are basically three upgrade options. The first option is to perform an in-place upgrade where your current Office 2007 installation is upgraded to Office 2010. Your user and computer settings are migrated during the installation.

Your second option is to perform an uninstall upgrade where your earlier version of Office is uninstalled prior to upgrading to Office 2010. With this option, user and computer settings are migrated during the first use of each Office 2010 application.

Finally, your third option is to perform a new operating system upgrade where a new version of the operating system, such as Windows 7, is installed followed by an upgrade to Office 2010. With a new operating system upgrade, user and computer settings are migrated using the User State Migration Tool (USMT).

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Office 2010 Deployment Options

There should be an image here!If you’re looking to deploy Office 2010, you have several options from which to choose. In fact, there are five different deployment options:

  • Network Share — Create a network installation point and copy the contents of the Office CD onto a network share.
  • Group Policy Startup Scripts — Assign computer startup scripts through group policy to deploy Office.
  • Managed Deployment — Use management tools such as Microsoft System Center Essentials and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manger.
  • Application Virtualization — Applications are not installed on computers. Rather, users run Office 2010 applications on their computers using Microsoft Application Virtualization.
  • Presentation Virtualization — Use Terminal Services to allow users to run Office 2010 applications from the computers.

Not sure which deployment option to choose? See Deployment Options for Microsoft Office 2010 for in-depth information about each deployment option.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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What Is The Office Customization Tool?

There should be an image here!The Office Customization Tool (OCT) is the tool primarily used by administrators to customize the installation of Office 2010 (or Office 2007). The tool is included in the volume license versions of Office 2007 and 2010.

Note: you can easily find out whether an installation of Office 2010 is a volume licensed version by checking for the Admin folder on the installation disk. If the Admin folder is present, the installation is a volume license version.

The Office Customization Tool lets you create or modify a customization file (.msp). The file contains the Office customizations that are applied during the installation of Office. In a nutshell, the setup program looks for the customization file in the Updates folder during the installation and applies the customizations found within the file. In addition, you can use a customization file to alter an existing installation of Office. For example, you can use a customization file to remove specific Office features currently installed on a user’s computer.

To find out how to use the Office Customization Tool, visit this site.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Arrange Files From The Insert Window In Outlook

There should be an image here!When you insert a file into an email message in Outlook, the Insert File window appears where you can browse to and select the specific file you want to attach. The files that appear within a folder are typically not sorted in any particular fashion. If a folder contains many files, finding the one you want to attach may become frustrating.

Fortunately, you can arrange the list of files from right within the Insert File window. Arranging the files by name puts them in alphabetical order which might make it easier to find the one you’re looking for. To sort the files, right click on a blank area in the Insert file window, choose Arrange Icons By and select Name.

[Photo above by Pete Reed / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Add Comments To A Message In Outlook 2007

There should be an image here!Outlook 2007 lets you add comments to HTML or RTF email. The comments feature in Outlook basically works the same as it does in Word. When you add a comment, Outlook highlights the selected text, includes a balloon with your comment, along with your initial.

To add comments to a message:

  1. Open the appropriate message.
  2. Click Other Actions and click Edit Message.
  3. Select the word or phrase to which you want to add a comment.
  4. Press Ctrl+Alt+M and type in your comment.
  5. Repeat step 4 to include additional comments.

When you reply to the message, after inserting your comments, they will be included in the message.

[Photo above by Pete Reed / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Schedule View In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!You’ve probably noticed that I’m exploring the latest version of Office — Office 2010. I’m definitely not disappointed as I’m finding all kinds of handy features not available in previous versions. One of the features of Outlook 2010 that I really like is the Schedule View, which is a new layout that displays multiple calendars at the same time. To open Schedule View in 2010, open the Calendar and click the Schedule View button.

This is where it gets really good! Schedule View is designed to make scheduling meetings with co-workers much easier. If you and your co-workers have Microsoft Exchange Server accounts, a Team Calendar option appears when you’re in Schedule View. The Team Calendar has calendars for your manager, direct reports, and peers. You can likely see how useful it would be to see your co-workers’ calendars when you’re trying to schedule meetings with them.

Just one of the new features of Outlook 2010 that I plan to take full advantage of — stay tuned for more!

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Schedule View In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!You’ve probably noticed that I’m exploring the latest version of Office — Office 2010. I’m definitely not disappointed as I’m finding all kinds of handy features not available in previous versions. One of the features of Outlook 2010 that I really like is the Schedule View, which is a new layout that displays multiple calendars at the same time. To open Schedule View in 2010, open the Calendar and click the Schedule View button.

This is where it gets really good! Schedule View is designed to make scheduling meetings with co-workers much easier. If you and your co-workers have Microsoft Exchange Server accounts, a Team Calendar option appears when you’re in Schedule View. The Team Calendar has calendars for your manager, direct reports, and peers. You can likely see how useful it would be to see your co-workers’ calendars when you’re trying to schedule meetings with them.

Just one of the new features of Outlook 2010 that I plan to take full advantage of — stay tuned for more!

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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