[Samba] OW #10.07 - Taking AIM to Outlook

OFFICE Watch wow-robot at woodyswatch.com
Mon Feb 28 19:43:13 GMT 2005

                 --==>> OFFICE WATCH <<==--
    The Microsoft Office newsletter from Woody's Watch.
Your independent source for MS Office advice and news since 1996
                28 February 2005	Vol 10 No 7
New! "The Desktop Search Handbook" - http://shop.woodyswatch.com/dsh/

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1. Taking AIM to Outlook
2. Switching to Mac?
3. Winzip Companion for Outlook
4. Eighth Star rises
5. Shortcut of the week
6. Keep OW Alive and Free

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Slowly, ever so slowly the Instant Messaging companies are getting together and AOL inched partly down that path with a new tool to link Outlook contacts with the AOL Instant Messenger aka AIM.

The tool called AIM Sync by Intellsync is available in public beta free from http://www.aimatwork.com/sync/index.html .

You need to have AIM 5.9 plus the communication tools pack already installed plus, naturally, an AIM account.  It only works with Outlook 2002 (XP) or 2003.

AIM Sync will try to match your existing Outlook contacts with AIM 'Buddies' using screen names or mobile phone numbers.   This is done each week or on request.

Once a Contact is linked to a Buddy then the online status of that person shows up in Outlook, much in the same way that Windows Messenger contacts can show up at present.  You can click on the contact, an email address etc and start a chat with them.

There's a good overview of the tool starting at http://www.aimatwork.com/sync/datasheet.html


Document production and workflow management for professional offices - bcdDocuments is a comprehensive package for reducing drudgery, increasingefficiency and accuracy for firms making documents repetitively for clients using MS Word templates. http://www.beldingcd.com   MS Word is the document engine.

The SQL Tester is an interactive Query Tool (add-in) for retrieving data and displaying it on the screen in an ad hoc basis from almost all kinds of databases. The output can be placed in worksheets and can generate code to workbooks VBA-projects - http://www.xldennis.com/SQLTester.htm

Finding your way through all those old documents and worksheets was a horrible task until the fantastic new and free tools for all Office users; Google, MSN, Yahoo, Copernic and Microsoft.  They all have their pros and cons - choosing one isn't easy - so we've written:

                The Desktop Search Handbook
                   an Office Watch guide

Which products search not just Word and Excel documents but other formats like WordPerfect and Quattro Pro.  Which ones can find documents inside compressed ZIP files?  How can you search Microsoft OneNote files even though Microsoft's own products  don't support it?

This is the Woody's Watch teams first ebook - over 65 pages of in-depth and original info and how to's on the major desktop search products.  Searchable text and color images throughout - naturally.

* All new and expanded content
    Over 65 pages
    NO advertising
    Immediate delivery

* In depth reviews and how to for the major Desktop Search products
    o Copernic Desktop
    o Google Desktop Search
    o Lookout for Outlook
    o MSN Toolbar Suite
    o Yahoo Desktop (aka X1)

* Simple guide to making desktop searching work even better for you.
    o Effective indexing
    o Simple searching and beyond.
    o Tips on how to effectively index audio, video, OneNote, web caches and PDF's.
    o Search Command Reference

Even if you have a Desktop Search program The Desktop Search Handbook has tips on how to get the most from these new tools and details on any add-ons that are available.

Not only do you get the ebook but you also get FREE updates / new editions as they are released during 2005.  We'll update the book as new and revised Desktop Search programs are released.

Value for only US$14.95 but great value for Woody's Watch subscribers who pay just US$9.95 - our gift to those of you who have supported us over the years.  We have options to pay in Canadian dollars, Sterling, Euro, Yen and Aussie dollars too.

Check it out at http://shop.woodyswatch.com/dsh/  not only do we think you'll get a lot from the book and free updates -- but buying The Desktop Search Handbook is a practical way to support Woody's Watch as a free and independent newsletters.

NEW! There's now a special diskette edition available via Amazon USA - so you can add a copy of the Desktop Search Handbook to your regular Amazon shopping cart.

Here's a list of Outlook add-ins that can save time and improve your
  * Attachment Save - automatically saves attachments to a Windows folder
  * Contact Duplicates Eliminator - easily remove duplicate contacts
  * Add Email Address - automatically add people you reply to as contacts
  * Plus 27 other Outlook add-ins

Having used a Powerbook from Apple for the last six months in tandem with my trusty IBM Thinkpad X31. I have to face the question - do I switch over to the Mac alone?

The Powerbook is a nice looking machine and while the Mac interface takes a bit of getting used to, the multimedia support in the Apple product is wonderful.  Watching a movie on a Powerbook is bound to turn heads on a flight.

But there are limitations - most frustratingly for me the single button mouse. I miss the extra functions hiding behind that right-mouse click.

And despite everything you've heard, the Mac OS isn't perfect - I'd had the OS crash on me several times.  Perhaps less than Windows XP and the crashes are handled slightly more elegantly - but nonetheless the Mac OS can and does fall over.

Mac OS X comes with Internet connection sharing between the in-built Ethernet and wireless connections which is a nice way to share a single connection on the road and works much better than the Windows equivalent.

Microsoft Office for Mac is a nice product, like the Mac itself there are differences that will annoy you at first.  For example Excel for Max uses inline cell formula editing which is more cramped than the formula bar in Excel for Windows.  Entourage is the Outlook equivalent for Macintosh but it's sufficiently different to be considered a separate product and the compatibility with Outlook looks better on paper than in reality - especially if you want to connect to an Exchange Server mailbox.

All this is prompted by Walt Mossberg's recent article http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20050217.html which echoes my thoughts in most respects.  As a long time Windows user I'm not inclined to migrate to the Mac - better the devil I know.

However the Mac is certainly a more compelling option for less ingrained computer users and especially anyone joining the ranks of the computer literate.  And the Apple Stores Genius Bars are a great source of help and reassurance for the newcomer http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/27/technology/circuits/27appl.html?oref=login


Share Outlook calendar with everyone in your Office
Use Outlook to share calendars with your colleagues, but don't spend a fortune doing it! OfficeCalendar is the solution you've been searching for; a simple application to share Outlook calendar and contacts. Easy to install and use, and highly affordable -- download a free trial version at http://www.officecalendar.com/officewatch.asp.

The best known makers of compression tools, Winzip has now released a small companion program to work directly with Microsoft Outlook.

WinZip Companion for Outlook saves you the trouble of creating a compressed file then attaching it to an email.  Instead you just attach the files directly to an email message and when it comes time to send, the Companion will compress the selected attachments into a single smaller file for dispatch.

It works quite seamlessly, in fact after installation we initially wondered if the product was present at all (in a new email look under the Tools menu for the configuration options.

You can compress attachments automatically, never or on request.  There's also an option to encrypt the ZIP file and a minimum size of attachment to bother compressing.  The default list of attachment extensions is mostly a list of compression formats, with the notable exception of RAR.

You might want to consider adding to this list other compressed formats like GIF and JPG images or WMA and MP3 music which rarely benefit from additional compression.

Naturally the receiver must be able to handle ZIP files to read the contents but that's rarely a problem these days.  However if you choose one of the AES encryption options then the receiver will need a specially compatible file viewer like Winzip 9.0.

WinZip Companion for Outlook costs US$19 and there is a 45 free trial download.  http://www.winzip.com/prodpagewzcou.htm

It works with Outlook 2002 and 2003 - also Outlook 2000 but the latter only if do not use MS Word as your email editor (aka WordMail).

OFFICE 2003 TIMESAVING TECHNIQUES FOR DUMMIES Woody's book is available now - click here for a list of online booksellers http://www.woodyswatch.com/l.asp?0764567616  or try our new online store http://shop.woodyswatch.com

Version 8 of MS Office wannabe, Star Office has now been released as a public beta.  If you'd like to try it out starting at http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/beta/

Naturally Star Office support Microsoft Office document formats as well as the XML based WordML and SpreadsheetML formats and password protected Word and Excel docs.

One of the highlights of Star Office is the native support for saving to PDF format with hyperlinks and table of contents - something that Office users have to pay extra for.

If you're into creating forms then Star Office v8 supports the W3C standard XForms.

Looking through the 'whats new' document will give MS Office users a sense of d‚j
 vu - for example StarOffice Writer now has nested tables, a Format Paintbrush, hidden text attribute, word count in selections, which Word users have enjoyed for years.

That's not to say that Star Office is bad - we'd love to see a healthy and competitive Office suite market - but Star Office won't be any serious competitor to Microsoft.  However if your needs and budget are modest then it is worth keeping in mind that you don't have to fork out many dollars when a decent word processor, spreadsheet, presenter and database is available for free.

Star Office is a cross-platform product with versions for Solaris, Linux and Windows - but not strangely Mac.

Moving around Access forms can be easier if you remember some shortcuts.

I often have to change the same field in multiple records, you can jump between records in a form while keeping the cursor in the same field using the Ctrl + Page options.

Move to next record    Ctrl+PageDown
Move to previous record   Ctrl + PageUp

If you like the no-nonsense style you see in this newsletter - the straight scoop, whether Microsoft likes it or not, dished out in a way that won't put you to sleep - get one of Woody Leonhards  books!

"Office 2003 Timesaving Techniques for Dummies" , Wiley

"Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 2003" with Ed Bott, Que

"Windows XP Timesaving Techniques For Dummies", Wiley

"Windows XP All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies, 2nd Edition", Wiley

"Special Edition Using Microsoft Office XP" with Ed Bott, Que

"Special Edition Using Microsoft Office 2000" with Ed Bott, Que

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Copyright 2005 by Peter Deegan. All rights reserved. ISSN 1328-1674.

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