Middlebury

Microsoft Office

Revision as of 13:56, 22 August 2008 by Harry Magotswi (talk | contribs)

Windows

Install and configuration

Microsoft Office 2003 <=||=> Microsoft Office 2007

In the computer world, change is not always a good thing. Microsoft switched from using "menus" to using "ribbons" for their new Office product and confused the sense out of me (and others too!!). Takes a while to get used to but after that it is rather nice.

Office Button

There is a magic button that is at the top left-hand corner of any Office program. it provides access to most of the things that were under the file menu Office 2003 (New, Open, Save, Print...). It also has the link to what used to options

What's With the Extra x on extension

By default, Office 2007 programs will save in an Open XML format. At a glance, it simply looks as though all they did was add an extra 'x' at the end of all the existing file extensions:

  • .doc => .docx
  • .xls => .xlsx
  • .ppt => .pptx
  • ...

In reality, the new format is incompatible with Office 2003 (more research needed as to why). To ensure compatibility on documents that you intend to work on with other computers or collaborative works, it is best to save files using the office 97-2003 format. This can be done by changing the format to the Office 97-2003 format in the dialog box at the time of saving. You may also change the default saving format from the open XML to office 97-2003 in each application. This can be done by:

  • Click on the office button
  • Select O options (where O is the name of the program you are working in)
  • Select save and for save format, select the O 97-2003 document

Word

MS Word freeze-ups

  • Due to unavailable network printer: If a network printer is configured as a default printer and the computer is connected to the internet but the printer is not available (for example, if the computer is off-campus), Word may hang when you open the Print dialog box. (Acc. some reports, may even cause Word 2003 to freeze on launching.) Solution: change default printer. PDFCreator [1]?
  • Due to unavailable mapped network drive: In MS Word, when you go to Save As..., Word tries to scan all mapped drives listed in the pulldown menu to determine whether they are available. If a mapped drive can't be reached, Word will keep trying to ping it until it finally times out and gives up - but it doesn't learn from this giving up for next time. Solution: Go to My Computer and unmap any unavailable drives - but make sure the user has a way of getting back to them again. (Shortcut on desktop?)
Application compatibility

MS Office versions don't always line up perfectly. Even if it says "MS Office Pro 2003", doesn't mean that your MS Office Pro 2003 disk will work. In many of these cases, the only fix is just to remove Office and reinstall it from scratch, making any needed modifications.

Corrupted install

Case: when you try to start Word, you get an error msg: "Word has failed to start in safe mode. Do you want to try to repair your installation?"

Reason for this is unknown. Solution is simply to click through the messages to repair / "clean" your MS Office installation; in at least some cases, you do not even need the Office install CD to do so.

File formats

MS Office 2007 uses the .docx file format by default. People should avoid saving in this format for compatibility reasons. If user needs to open a .docx file, MS Office 2007 Compatibility Pack [2] can be installed (requires MS Office to be installed). Alternatively, OpenOffice.org [3] version 3 can also view and edit .docx files, although it cannot yet save to this format.

Macros and viruses

Word documents can contain macros which are small scripts that automatically perform complex or repetitive actions in MS Word. Unfortunately macros can also have extensive control over your computer, so they can be used to write viruses. Any system that can run macros in a MS Word document, is also vulnerable to macro-based viruses. Use and run macros with care.

Excel

Formatting a list of ID numbers

When you enter in a number like 00324328 into Excel, Excel usually deletes the leading zeros because they're "not important". Sometimes those zeros are important - for example, on a list of Midd student/staff ID numbers. You can set Excel to include those leading zeros in specific cells with the following steps.

  1. Click and drag to select the area of cells that you want to show leading zeros.
  2. Right-click in the selected area and choose Format Cells.
  3. Under the Number tab, choose the Category Custom. (In this area, you specify the way you want Excel to show cells. By choosing "Custom", you are saying that you want to manually specify the format to be used.)
  4. In the Type: field, erase the default value "General" and enter in 00000000 (eight zeros). (This tells Excel that every number value in these cells should display with at least eight digits, leading zeros by default.)
  5. Click OK and verify that the fields formatted show any entered number shows leading zeros up to eight digits.

Outlook

Configuring Outlook for the Middlebury Exchange Server

Exchange Server not Found

There are times, you log onto a computer connected by a wired connection and all that, fire up outlook and after a long wait you get an error message saying that the exchange server cannot be found and it gives you the option to retry or cancel. When it is almost certain that the connection to the network if OK, computer is registered and all that, the problem might be a bad profile. I don't know why it happens, how it happens but I know one possible fix.

  • Click on Start -> settings -> control panel -> mail
  • Select profiles and remove all that are present
  • Close everything and then set up Outlook

Office for Mac

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