Tip o’ the Week #22: Sync SharePoint data into Outlook

This week’s tip comes from a reader: over to Microsoft UK’s Rob Orwin…

clip_image001In order to help my forecasting, I synchronise the appropriate documents to my Outlook so that when I send and receive they are automatically updated.

To do this I simply:

1) Go to the SharePoint site where the documents are held

2) Click, “Actions”

3) Click Connect To Outlook – As per screenshot

4) The spreadsheets magically appear in my outlook folder, cunningly named TPAM ISV as per screenshot

5) Whenever I hit “Send & Receive” I get the latest version

Net result: This means that when I’ve no access to SharePoint, I can quickly get the latest, synchronized copy of the forecast spreadsheet and have up to date info at my fingertips giving my notably more time to work on my excuses …

clip_image004Rob’s highlighted a great way of taking SharePoint files offline, which not only makes them available when you’re not connected, but also speeds up opening them if they’re big files… since you’ve already got them on your machine, in Outlook’s data files. The one downside is that they’re read only if using SharePoint 2007 – thought SharePoint 2010 gives the ability to do bi-directional…

There are other areas of integration that you might be aware of, too… like taking a SharePoint calendar or contacts list, and exposing it in Outlook – but this time, you can can edit the data in Outlook and it flows back to the SharePoint 2007 site…

Tip o’ the Week #20: Outlook date cleverness

Here’s a quick Outlook tip that some long term users may know but might have forgotten. Ever since the first very of Outlook was released more than 14 years ago, it’s had a surprising capability to handle dates using natural language descriptions.

Whenever Outlook prompts you to enter a date (and allows you to type a date in rather than have to choose from a calendar), you can give it dates that are relative to today, eg “yesterday”, “tomorrow”, “Friday” etc.

Eg – for a date field in a new calendar invite or a “do not send email before” field, you could simply put “tomorrow” and it will figure out the literal date for you. There are plenty of others too, eg:


… (which would change the reminder in the above dialog from the coming Friday to the next one after that).

There are hosts of others – “in 3 days”, “6 months”, “third Wednesday”, “Chrismas eve” etc etc.
See how many you can spot…

Technorati Tags: ,

Tip o’ the Week #19: Navigating multi-sheet Excel workbooks

clip_image002Here’s a quick tip for Excel junkies. If you are using workbooks with many sheets, or where tab names are long, it can take a fair bit of scrolling around at the bottom of the Excel window.

If you right-click on the navigation buttons shown to the left of the tabs/sheets, Excel will throw up a list of all the sheets, and you can jump to the appropriate one with a single click.

Here’s a particularly large sales spreadsheet, for one:


Technorati Tags: ,,

Tip o’ the Week #18: Resizing pictures in email

Here’s a simple tip that most people probably know, but I wasn’t all that sure it would behave the way it does, without proving it through trying it out. If you’ve been adding pictures to email (either by Inserting from the new ribbon in Outlook 2010, or by pasting in an image, maybe one captured from the screen), it’s sometimes possible to end up with a huge message.clip_image002

The tip is, if you add your image, then click the “Save” icon in the top left of the mail (which drops a copy in your Drafts email folder), you can then see the size of the message by looking at its properties: open the message up, and look on the File menu/backstage…

The above was from an image added to an email from a SharePoint site storing pictures from an event, and the picture was large – 2,736×3,648 pixels in fact. Now rather than trying to resize such a huge picture in a paint program, just let Outlook do the work by resizing it in-situ. In this example, I simply clicked the image, then dragged the top-left corner of the image down-and-right, since the picture was way too big to even fit on one screen.


After only 3 resizing drags, the image is now much less wieldy:


(take a bow, Ana Rosales and Shaun Frohlich, pictured… they were playing the part of the blushing bride and the proud father-of-the-bride in a murder-mystery game).

Saving and re-inspecting the size, still shows up as 4Mb but after sending, I can see it shrunk rather dramatically…


Technorati Tags: ,