Category Archives: Windows Environments

Simple Excel Tutorial

Over the years, I have volunteered to teach non-profit groups (such as teachers, PTO organizations, club teams, church office staff, and many more) how to use Microsoft Excel properly.  I am often asked why I volunteer my time.  First, because I like to volunteer, but more importantly, as a volunteer, I often receive data in spreadsheet format and have noticed on many occasions that the sender of the data has spent countless hours trying to format their data to look nice; either on screen or for printing.  I cringe, because I know it took HOURS, when it could have taken seconds.  I know that I will spend hours UNDOING the incorrect formatting to use the data, so I would rather teach others to do it properly the first time.  The cumulative community benefit far outweighs any fee I would normally charge for a training session.  Imagine a teacher saving hours, or the entire school staff?  or the PTO organization that now has the ability to properly track volunteers and can now share that data with the teachers.  The cost savings is invaluable.

I have created a slideshow and .pdf documents to go along with training spreadsheets (.xls) and I have used this exact same presentation for many years.  I have posted the slideshow for public use, however, if you would like any other .pdf documents or the training .xls document that accompanies the slideshow, please send me an email and I will be glad to assist.

Microsoft Excel QuickTips

This document is not intended for advanced users.  I review basic Windows functions and introduce simple formatting techniques for Excel.  If you are an intermediate/advanced user and need assistance, send me an email and I will be happy to “raise the bar” to help you achieve more with your Excel document.  There are literally hundreds of functions you can use, including macros and Visual Basic code you can create for your specific needs.

Windows Updates June 14, 2011

For the most part I always advise users to allow Windows Update to download and install updates automatically.  However, this week some of the updates may adversely affect a few users.  If you update to IE9 you must also make sure your Adobe Flash is updated to the latest version, HOWEVER, this may cause some Flash applications to NOT work as expected if they have not upgraded to the latest version of Flash.  Please check you applications prior to upgrading to IE9.  Also, if you use VMWare player, you may want to wait until the next set updates comes out.  There are many reported issues with many of these security updates causing VMWare Player to crash and even uninstall/reinstall does not correct the issue.  If VMWare Player is important to your work, wait to install these Windows Updates (ESPECIALLY if you are still using Windows XP).

After you install Windows Updates you should check to make sure your email settings are correct AND double-check your hardware settings.  There have been reports of hardware settings such as power and cooling settings changing.

As always… it’s a good idea to make a restore point and/or a BACKUP of your computer prior installing updates.

Installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

I’ve had several questions this week regarding the installation of Windows 7 Service Pack 1.  (NOTE:  BEFORE YOU INSTALL SP1 you should make a full backup of your system and create a restore point in case you need to roll back this change.)  If you have been keeping up with your regular updates, you may not notice too much of a change with the installation of Service Pack 1.  HOWEVER, there are some known issues with Remote Server Admin tools and VMWare Workstation that you should be aware of prior to installing SP1 on your system.  If you do NOT have RSAT installed, you will not be able to install it, however, if it is already installed, there are no issues and it’ll work fine.   If you run VMWare Workstation, it *MIGHT* be in your best interest to wait a bit.  While there are some workarounds there is no immediate need to install SP1 if you have been keeping up with the regular updates.  Better to be conservative and keep your environment intact.

Amended update to Outlook 2007

Recently an update to Outlook 2007 caused some issues with archiving and send/receive which was previously posted here:

Microsoft released an update to their update that addresses these issues. If you installed the original version, you need to follow the instructions here: Otherwise, you should be able to update your Outlook 2007 without experiencing the issues from the original update.

Problems with Outlook archive and search

If you use Outlook 2007 or 2010 and recently began having problems with auto-archive and search features, you are not alone, check out this article regarding the latest patches: This can help you resolve many of the issues related to auto-archive but the search feature issues are still waiting for resolution from Microsoft.  If using the Outlook search feature is a priority for you, it *might* be in your best interest to uninstall the KB2412171 patch and wait for complete resolution.