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Microsoft Office Updates

Microsoft Office 2013

 

Microsoft Office has changed. It's not just that Office 2013 gets the Windows 8 treatment, with a touch-friendly interface and a sparser look, as well as new features in every application. Office is also going to the cloud, with subscription pricing, on-demand installation and automatic syncing of settings and documents you save in the cloud – if you want to pay for it that way.
As usual, there are multiple versions of Office 2013, but this time around the different editions are not just about whether you're using them at home or in a business or which applications are included.

You can download the Office programs temporarily on another PC if you're away from your usual PC (even if it already has another version of Office installed). So if you have a document on a USB drive or on SkyDrive that you need to edit on another PC, and using the Office Web Apps from SkyDrive doesn't provide of the features you need (like seeing revision marks in a tracked document you're collaborating on), you can use Office on Demand to get the full version of Word in just a few minutes.
You manage all this from the revamped Office.com and there's a link to your account there in the ribbon of all the Office applications. (To activate the Skype minutes you have to link your account to the Microsoft account you're using for Office 365, which can be done on the Office.com site.)

Office 365 Small Business Premium includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Publisher and Lync. The annual $149.99 subscription lets you run them on up to five PCs or Macs at once (again, you can use Office on Demand to download Office to any PC you're using temporarily, and you get regular updates and new features).
You can host online meetings with audio and HD video conferencing in Lync and run a public website on SharePoint, plus you get Exchange with a 25GB mailbox for each user and SkyDrive Plus storage on SharePoint.
That gives you 10GB of secure cloud storage with an extra 500MB for each user, but you can choose how the storage is allocated between users and you can control how they use it – like forcing them to encrypt confidential documents.
Office 365 ProPlus (short for Professional Plus), is aimed at midsize businesses (10-250 employees) and includes the same desktop Office software as Small Business Premium. But it also has tools for business intelligence, consistency checking to Excel and automated deployment, as well as more options for the SharePoint, Lync and Exchange Online services.
Office 365 Enterprise has the full Office 2013 set of features in the desktop software and SharePoint, Lync and Exchange Online services, like archiving, legal hold, Data Loss Prevention and rights management to protect confidential information.

 

The Good

Office 2013 is about more than a new interface. From little touches such as animating calculations as they change to new tools that help you get the Excel chart that shows what's important in your data, from in-place replies in Outlook to change tracking and commenting in Word that doesn't make your document look like a battlefield, the desktop apps get worthy new features.
We like the new tools for designing presentations in PowerPoint. We like the new presenter tools even more. Whether you create presentations or just sit through them, PowerPoint 2013 should make your life better.
If you switch PCs often, you'll love the fast streaming install and seeing your recent documents on every PC. And we're looking forward to getting more new features through Office 365 instead of waiting three years for neat new features that you might want without paying for an upgrade (or spend the time updating every PC in the office).

 

The Bad

Sometimes cleaning up for the Windows 8 look means dumbing down. Advanced features such as Split View and Autocorrect are now harder to use, which is a step backwards not forwards, and strangely at odds with the clear and simple way other powerful features such as Pivot Charts are exposed.
The newer your PC and the higher your screen resolution the more you will like the new interface. If you have an older PC with a low resolution screen, you'll have to minimise more of the interface to see the same amount of your document.

 

Find the full article here.

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Be Sure to Secure Your Online Purchases!

 

Online Shopping

With the recent boom in online shopping, more and more people are choosing to shop from the comfort of their own homes during the holiday season. If you are planning on doing any online shopping, be sure to follow these guidelines to ensure you don't get scammed...or worse!

1. Always check for "HTTPS"

Not all webpages are equally secure. Before entering any personal or payment information, make sure to look up at your browser bar. The URL should start with HTTPS, not HTTP. That one letter on the end, S, is the difference between a secure site and an unsecured site.

A secondary thing to look for is the small lock icon in your address bar. This lock indicates that you have an SSL (secure sockets layer) connection. The icon is standard for most popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

On mobile devices, the address bar is tinier and easier to overlook. Do a little pinch-and-zoom to locate the S before sharing your payment information.

2. Watch your WiFi

Shopping from mobile devices means an increased chance you'll be on an unfamiliar WiFi network.

"Only window shop on public WiFi," recommends Derek Halliday, lead security product manager at Lookout, a mobile security company.

Avoid entering your credit card number or other private information when you're on an unsecured, public WiFi connection where people could snoop. Wait until you are back at home or work.

3. Beware of phishing, SMiShing and other scams

By now most people know to keep an eye out for phishing scams -- e-mails disguised as legitimate companies or organizations that ask for payment or password information. But every now and then, one comes along that looks incredibly convincing. To be safe, copy and paste all links into a fresh browser window instead of clicking on the hyperlink, check the originating email address and when in doubt, contact the company to verify the e-mail.

SMiShing (a lovely portmanteau of "SMS" and "Phishing") has taken off recently, catching people off-guard who don't expect to receive this type of spam as a text message. Earlier this year, scammers sent texts telling people they had won a $1,000 gift card from Walmart. The texts linked to a page that asked for credit card information to cover the cost of shipping the prize.

As a general rule, legitimate companies will never ask for your private information over email or text message, including payment information, usernames, passwords, mother's maiden name or social security number.

 

Get the full list of tips here (source)

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Happy New Year! It's a great time to organize your files!

Happy New Year!

The tips in this article can help you learn how to better manage and organize computer files. After you’ve decided on a strategy for organizing and managing files and folders, we bet you’ll see improved time management skills and increased productivity.

Use these tips to help with organizing your computer files.

  1. Use Documents. For many reasons, it's smart to take advantage of the Documents feature, which is called Documents in Windows 7 and in Windows Vista and is called My Documents in Windows XP. In Windows 7, the Documents feature is actually a virtual library. Learn more about working with librariesLibraries are a flexible way to organize your files in Windows 7 without moving them into one location.

  2. Adopt consistent methods for file and folder naming.

  3. Keep names short. Even though you can use long file names in Windows, you should not necessarily do so. Long file names can be harder to read.

  4. Separate ongoing and completed work. To keep the Documents folder from becoming too unwieldy, use it only for files you're actively working on. As a result, you can reduce the number of files you need to search through and the amount of data you need to back up.

  5. Store like with like. Restricting folders to a single document type (or predominantly one type) makes it easier for you to find files. For example, with all of your graphics in a single folder—or in a single library in Windows 7—it's easy to use the slide show feature in Windows Explorer to find the right picture for your newsletter.

  6. Avoid large folder structures. If you need to put so many subfolders in a folder that you can't see all of them at a glance, consider creating an alphabetic menu.
    Alphabetized folders can help you stay organized.

  7. Use shortcuts and shortcut links instead of multiple copies. If you need to get to the same file from multiple locations, don't create copies of the file. Create shortcuts to it instead. Shortcuts are links to files or programs and are represented by icons with an arrow in the lower-left corner. To create a shortcut, right-click the file and then click Create Shortcut.

  8. Quickly get to the items you use every day. Jump Lists, a fun new feature in Windows 7, are lists of recently opened items, such as files, folders, or websites that are organized by the program that you use to open them.

  9. Consider storing documents online. You can also keep documents your company’s Microsoft SharePoint 2010 site or on Windows Live SkyDrive so that you can easily access them from outside the office, share them, and edit them online by using Office Web Apps.

Learn more about working with folders:

 

For this and more tips, check out the complete article at:
http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/productivity/files.aspx

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Clean-up your Outlook auto-complete list from Machado Consulting

MS Outlook 2010 If you're like most of our clients, you use Microsoft Outlook. One great feature that Microsoft implemented some time ago is auto-complete lists. You may not know what an auto-complete list is but if you create a new email message then you probably have used them in the past. An auto-complete list is the feature that allows you to start typing in the to field and magically the email addresses of recently used addresses self-populate. Then you just select the one that you want to use, pretty easy right? Well after a long time, these start to get cluttered and if friends change emails you could end up bouncing back as undeliverable or worse you could send an email to the wrong person.

In previous versions of Outlook such as 2003 and 2007 you would have to start to type the address and then using only the keyboard, arrow down and then hit the delete key, great if you know that but most people do not know that. With Outlook 2010, Microsoft implemented a small “x” add the end of the address and now you can select the “x” with the mouse and that would delete the stored email address from the auto-complete list. Pretty handy I must say.

Machado Consulting is a Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) company in Worcester, MA that provides more than IT support to small and medium size businesses. Machado Consulting was founded on the idea that great, quality IT support should be available not just for the Fortune 500 companies, but for all companies. For IT support in Worcester please contact Machado Consulting.

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