Thursday, August 6, 2015

Capture notes and info from whiteboards and more with Office Lens

The other day, one of our student workers and I were in a meeting and he was taking notes "old school" on paper. When we were done, he wanted to share his notes with me, so he took out his phone and took a picture. I was concerned since it was a horrible angle and the light from the window was reflecting on the paper. The picture of the notes he sent was auto corrected, angle adjusted and perfectly readable. WHAT?! I had to know what it was. He told me Office Lens. Best of all, it's free. There it is. My favorite adjective:  FREE. Tell me more.
Office Lens from Microsoft is available for free for Windows phoneiOS andAndroid. It will allows you to take a picture of a photo, document or whiteboard and then save it where you want. When taking the picture, it will work to frame the subject as you move. When you have the subject framed, take the picture. It's not perfect, but I've found it far better than others. After taking the photo, you have the opportunity to crop even more if needed. When you're ready, click the Save icon at the bottom. You'll be asked to name the image and where you'd like to save it. You can save it on your phone, or if you want to save it in OneNote or OneDrive you'll need to sign into your Microsoft account if this is the first time.
I love the option to save to OneNote since I use OneNote for taking notes in meetings and at conferences. I often take a picture of a flip chart or presentation slide since a picture is better than retyping everything. I used to send pictures to OneNote on my phone, but the angle or lighting can be weird and make it hard to read. Office Lens does a great job with the lighting and angle. Also, OneNote has the option to make the text in an image searchable. Just right-click the image in OneNote and click Make Text in Image Searchable. SWEET!
Now for the big questions, "How can I use this in training?" Easy answer. If you ever do brainstorming sessions or group breakouts, you can use Office Lens to capture the information quickly without retyping everything. HUGE time-saver. Plus, it's so easy to share from your phone or tablet.
Below are two photos. The first is the picture I took from my phone's camera. The second I took from the same distance, same lighting and same angle using Office Lens. Notice the lighting and angle adjustment to make it more readable? Yeah, it's pretty nice.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.

But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!'
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

List of all sheets in an Excel workbook

I love when tips work in Windows and on the Mac. Here's one that has been around for many versions, but still a favorite of mine. Right-click any of the worksheet navigational arrows (bottom-left) and a list of all sheets are listed. Simply click the one you want and you'll activate that worksheet. Much easier than clicking the Next or Previous arrow a bunch to find the sheet you need.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Windows!

Interface Manager is the code name and is considered as the final name, but Windows prevails because it best describes the boxes or computing “windows” that are fundamental to the new system. Windows is announced in 1983, but it takes a while to develop. Skeptics called it “vaporware.”
The fully-packaged Windows 1.0

On November 20, 1985, two years after the initial announcement, Microsoft ships Windows 1.0. Now, rather than typing MS‑DOS commands, you just move a mouse to point and click your way through screens, or “windows.” Bill Gates says, “It is unique software designed for the serious PC user…” 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Access!

Microsoft released Access version 1.0 on 13 November 1992. Access 1.1 was released in May 1993 to improve compatibility with other Microsoft products and to include the Access Basic programming language.
I started using Access with version 2.0. It is a tough program to use as it borders between end-user and programmer. Both users can use it at different levels, which makes it great.
I giggle every time I have a question that I know Access can do, but I don't know how to make it work. I ask a programmer friend of mine, and the first thing they have me do is switch to SQL view to work. I say, "that's great, but how can I use the GUI instead?" Their response is, "I don't know." Two users, two very different experiences with the same product.

Monday, October 28, 2013

PivotTables in Excel 2013

I love PivotTables. They are an easy way to take the data you have and manipulate in such a variety of ways to get the results you want. Today I am being efficient and sharing a wonderful post from the Excel Blog all about PivotTables. Seriously, I can't do any better than this... Practical PivotCharts in Excel.