Tech Tips

Protect Your Data, Protect Your Business

Thursday, 22 February 2018 00:00

Looking for quick tips to optimize your Microsoft Outlook experience? Check out this article that includes all you need to know to get the most out of Microsoft Outlook.

Outlook Tips and Tricks

With over a billion users worldwide, Microsoft Outlook is the preferred email program for business owners. Though other email programs have some of the same features, no single one of them addresses the everyday needs of business professionals better than Outlook.

In spite of its popularity and its versatility, many users are not getting the full range of benefits Microsoft Outlook has to offer.

This program provides a rich array of valuable features. It allows users to sort, filter and categorize all emails. In addition, there are numerous other email shortcuts that can save users time and reduce their daily frustration. Below, we discuss some of the biggest time-savers. Please note that these shortcuts are based on Outlook 2010, but most will work on later versions, as well as earlier ones.

Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts

Thursday, 11 January 2018 00:00

Ransomware is now a household name, and there’s no going back. Even though cybercriminals have been using ransomware for years now, it wasn’t until the global WannaCry attack that awareness reached critical mass.

Doctors and nurses went to work as usual last May in the UK’s Central Manchester University Hospital, but when they went to turn on their computers, all computer systems began crashing. Messages began to pop up on their computer screens demanding $300 in Bitcoin in exchange for restored access – the WannaCry ransomware had struck.

Targeted Manchester hospitals claimed that no patient info was compromised, but they did have to suspend services. The BBC reported that other hospitals in London, Nottingham, Hertfordshire, and Blackburn had also been attacked and that some phone systems went down for a period of time. Doctors and nurses were forced to use pens and paper to keep track of patient information. Once medical organizations across the UK had realized what was happening, some of them disconnected from servers at the National Health Service to try and avoid being attacked.

Exploiting Microsoft’s Operating System

Monday, 01 January 2018 00:00

Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.

Multiple Backup Copies
Monday, 20 November 2017 00:00

There’s no denying that email contacts are the modern-day equivalent of the traditional address book. For modern businesses, digital contacts are a company’s lifeline. They provide the means of connecting with clients, collaborating with team members and communicating important information to employees. Without an organized approach to setting up and maintaining these digital address books, communication lines can be broken and business productivity can take a hit.

Microsoft Outlook Contacts

A huge number of modern professionals use Microsoft Outlook to send and receive business mail. Whether businesses are using server versions like Exchange or cloud-hosted versions with an Office 365 subscription, developing streamlined procedures for setting up and managing Outlook contacts will save your business time and hassle.

Today’s Rolodex: Using Outlook Contact Lists to Streamline Business Communication  

The contact list feature in Outlook has a variety of streamlining tools to make business communication easier than ever. For instance, with an organized contact list, new emails can be addressed simply by typing the person’s name or selecting it from your contact list. Additionally, if you’re detailed when building your contact list, you can add other personal info like mailing addresses and phone numbers. This allows businesses to use Outlook as their easy-to-manage and scalable ‘digital Rolodex’.

Thursday, 16 November 2017 00:00

Every business has some sort of system for reserving company equipment and booking rooms for company meetings and events. However, these systems are usually disorganized and leave employees groaning. Whether the system involves an on-paper sign out sheet or basic word-of-mouth reserve requests, an unorganized approach can lead to wasted business hours and miscommunications over company resources and office space.


Resources Equipment Outlook 2016

Often, employers are looking for a better and easier way for team members to access equipment or book office space for important meetings or training events. Like with other areas of business optimization, many business owners are looking to technology to help streamline these processes to drive productivity and increased management capacity.

Bye-Bye Booking Nightmares: Setting Up Room Mailboxes for Meeting Optimization

In Microsoft Outlook, a room mailbox is a resource mailbox that can be assigned to a specific physical location in a company’s office. This could include presentation spaces like auditoriums, conference and meeting rooms or rooms designated for training and employee education.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 00:00

These Microsoft Word shortcuts will save your fingers and your time with quick keyboard tricks and little-known Microsoft Office secrets.  

Microsoft Word Tips

Whether you own an Apple or IBM product, chances are you will use Microsoft Word at home, at work, or at your friend’s house.  While the program is fairly intuitive for new users to learn quickly, the following tips, tricks, and shortcuts will make you look like a professional.  If you are a pro who has been using Microsoft Word since its first iteration, Word 1.0, was released in 1981 for Xenix and MS-DOS users, the following thirteen shortcuts will save you time and finger cramps while operating the most recent versions of Microsoft Office’s Word program.

  • Quick Keyboard Shortcuts– Word has a plethora of easy keyboard commands built into its capabilities.  Memorizing a few which you use often can save you lots of time and frustration while working in the program.  A few to get you started to include:
    • Copy: Ctrl + c
    • Paste: Ctrl + v
    • Cut: Ctrl + x
    • Select a Sentence: Ctrl + Click
    • Subscript: Ctrl +
    • Superscript: Ctrl + Shift +
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 00:00

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool, and using a few shortcuts and tips can make your work move faster.  Today we’ll look at a few Excel tools to improve your experience in working with data.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for analyzing data, and using a few shortcuts and tips can make your work move faster.  Today we’ll look at a few Excel tools to improve your experience in working with data.

ADJUSTING CELL SIZES is almost always necessary when working with data that has been imported from other sources.  The very top left box above the first row and to the left of the first column is called the crux.  Clicking in the crux selects the entire worksheet.  Hover your mouse between rows or between columns until it changes to bi-directional arrows, then double-click.  All the rows and all the columns will auto size to fit the contents of the rows and columns.

FREEZE PANES allow you to keep certain data visible when scrolling through large worksheets. In the View tab, click on the icon labeled “Freeze Panes.”  You can custom select which cells to freeze, but since labels are normally across the top row and in the first column, those will be the most useful items.

Friday, 27 October 2017 00:00

New PowerPoint 2016 features add dynamic effects, more design options, and professional results to presentations.  

Powerpoint New Features

Recently, Microsoft has upped its game when it comes to PowerPoint.  With the introduction of several powerful new tools, PowerPoint now puts more control and flexibility into the hands of users.

It began with the launch of Designer, Morph, and Zoom, three tools introduced in Office 2016. Now, Microsoft has enhanced Designer with additional features that save time and result in more professional, stylized presentations.

Designer, Morph, and Zoom are available as premium features for Office 265 subscribers.

PowerPoint Designer

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 00:00

Want to become an Excel rock star?  These tips will provide you with the knowledge you need to master this powerful productivity tool and become the go-to Excel expert in your office.  

Microsoft Excel

There are people in this world who are able to make spreadsheets practically sing:  creating complicated charts and analysis without breaking a sweat and in only a few moments (or so it seems).  And then there’s everyone else, struggling through creating basic formulas after trial and error but not truly understanding the power of the tool.  Fortunately, Excel is relatively straightforward to use and there are plenty of websites offering tips and tricks to help improve your skills.  This roundup will help you take your Excel skills from lackluster to power user in just a few minutes.

Quick Navigation

If you’re unfamiliar with Excel’s navigation idiosyncrasies, you may find yourself surprised that hitting Enter when you’re typing doesn’t necessarily do the same thing each time depending on where you are in the document and the other actions you’ve been performing.  Once you gain comfort with the platform, this will become much more intuitive.  Until then, here’s a quick cheat sheet showing some common Excel keyboard commands:

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 00:00

Find great Microsoft Word 2016 tips for better collaboration, text management and photo treatment to get the most out of the program. 

Microsoft Word

Are you looking to leverage all of the best features in the latest release of the popular word processing program Microsoft Word?  Here is a closer look at a few tips and tricks to get the most out of the application.

Customize Your Ribbon. The Ribbon gives you fast access to the functions, processes, and actions most frequently used.  You can customize this tool to create the layout and tools you want to use.  It’s easy to do.  Go to the File tab and click on Options.  Click on Customize Ribbon and select what you want, where you want it.

Collaboration Made Simple. One of the most powerful features of Word 2016 is the ease in which you can collaborate.  Here are just a few ways to make shared work easier.  Note:  These features require files to be saved in either OneDrive or SharePoint.

Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

Microsoft Word is an incredibly powerful tool for office productivity, but you’re probably not using all of these fabulous time-saving features.  Get the scoop!  

Microsoft Word

There are few software packages that are as pervasive in a variety of different industries as the Microsoft Office productivity suite that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access.  The ability to quickly and easily edit, share and distribute documents is a massive draw for organizations, schools, and students, but few people fully master these powerful programs. Most people use only a small percentage of the tools that are available, which is unfortunate. There are significant productivity gains available to anyone who takes the time to dig deep and master the capabilities of these full-featured programs.  Ready to shave some time off your document editing or processing tasks?

Keyboard Shortcuts

Thursday, 19 October 2017 23:10

It's not hard to make QuickBooks fail, break, and refuse to work as reliably as it should. Here are a few common mistakes that can send it off the rails.

After years of constantly having to resolve issues with QuickBooks, I realized that the cause of most problems lay with end users or the system administrator in charge of the QuickBooks deployment. So I thought it would be helpful to list 10 common mistakes that lead to major QuickBooks headaches. With this list in hand, you should be able to avoid the pitfalls and enjoy a smooth experience with one of the most widely used financial applications available.

1: Keeping the app open

Saturday, 14 February 2015 01:59

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is used when you set up an on-premises multi-function printer, scanner, fax, or line of business (LOB) application that needs to send email. If some or all of your mailboxes are in Office 365, there are a few options available: SMTP relay, client SMTP submission, or Direct Send.

Tuesday, 03 February 2015 19:13

Disable MS Office 2013 Start Screen & Always Open Blank Documents

MS Office 2013 is without argument the most polished face the productivity suit has ever had, to date. It’s an obvious outcome of it being around for years and being improved upon. That said, I don’t always like the new start screen in Office 2013 which stalls the actual program being launched. I use Word quite often and I’m still in the habit of launching it from the taskbar and immediately being able to start typing or at times, pasting text. The start screen is often an unnecessary extra step for me and at times very annoying. For anyone in the same boat, there is a simple solution to this problem and that is to disable the start screen. It’s an option that can be exercised on a per-app basis for the Office Suit and is very easily reversible.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 15:07

Applies to: Outlook 2013

You can allow your calendar to be seen by others with Exchange. They have to open your calendar on their computers, however to see this. Learn how at "Open a shared calendar," in the next section.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:51

Applies to: Outlook 2013

You can open a shared calendar and view others entries. First, they must share the calendar with you through Exchange.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:47

Applies to: Outlook 2013

A public folder is a folder present in Outlook 2010 to share files with others. The information in the folder can be accessed by selected users or by all users present under same mail client. The level of privilege to use the public folder will be provided to users by the owner of the public folder. The public folder in Outlook 2010 can contain anything like calendars items, messages or contacts. Using outlook, you can share contacts, tasks calendars and you can even share files. By sharing the files, you can centralize the information in the file. The information in the files can be discussed and final output file can be shared through this public folder option. Once the permission is granted, then adding a public folder in Outlook 2010 is an easy task.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:44

Applies to: Outlook 2013, Exchange 2007 - 2013

Outlook has two types of views, a global views that is available to all folders of a specific types and a folder-only view that is visible when you view only that folder. The global views (all folders) are stored in the default data files while the 'this folder only' views are stored in the folder. If you open a second .pst file in your profile, only the 'this folder only' views stored in it are accessible.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:29

Applies to: Outlook 2013

You can't find out the Forms command until we show Developer tab in Outlook 2010 and 2013. Therefore, we will guide you through the process to show the Developer Tab on the Ribbon:

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:26

Applies to: Office 365

A disclaimer is text that's automatically added to e-mail messages. Disclaimers are typically used to provide legal information, warnings about unknown or unverified senders, or for other reasons as determined by an organization.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 20:09

Not many people bother to maintain their computers free of dust nor do they consider the importance of keeping a clean computer.  The main factor in a clean computer is the benefit it provides. Computers have many little areas where dust can easily accumulate. Leaving the dust intact, can be a hazard to your computer. With the accumulated dust, the air flow is greatly reduced which will eventually lead to excessive heat. This heat has the potential to damage your computer's hardware. Taking a simple 15 minute task, such a cleaning/dusting, and putting it into practice can prolong the life of your computer by reducing the chances of hardware failure.

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 00:00

In days gone by, screen resolution (also called display resolution) wasn’t much of an issue. Windows came with a few preset options, and to get higher resolution or more colors (or both) you would install a driver for your video card. As time went on, you could choose better video cards and better monitors as well. Today we have lots of options when it comes to displays, their quality and the supported resolutions. In this article I would like to take you through a bit of history and explain all the important concepts.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 00:00


Do you have groups of contacts whom you keep sending emails and meeting requests? And do you re-type each mail address every time you wish to do so? Now, if you’re using MS Outlook 2010 as your email client and still doing the same thing, you are missing something really cool.

Outlook allows you to create Distribution Lists which are nothing but subsets of your contacts or customized groups as you may call them. So, next time you have a group of people to send frequent mails to, create a distribution list like one explained below.

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 00:00

In today’s technologically driven business marketplace one of most often overlooked points of vulnerability to your business and personal security is the strength or weakness of the passwords that you define for usage when logging into: your computer network, email provider, online banking, accounting or payroll applications. To underestimate the importance of strong passwords is to leave the door wide open to identity theft and corporate piracy. Your passwords must be a robust combination of all the characters that are available, must be unique for different applications and must not be a word commonly found in any dictionaries, in any language.

Monday, 13 February 2012 00:00

Email is an important and necessary part of your business. It provides an economical and instant means of communicating with staff, customers, and vendors – that’s both simple to use and enables increased efficiency. An email policy is required to protect this necessary business tool.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012 00:00

By Marte Brengle

I don’t think there’s anyone who’s never needed help with Windows. Since the DOS days, Microsoft has included Help in all its software. Luckily for us, the Help included in Windows 7 seems to be more versatile than ever. Let’s discover how it works, how to make it even better and use it to get information on how to work with Windows programs or to get help in solving problems.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 00:00

By Tina Sieber

Does running your laptop on AC power damage the battery? Should you remove the battery to increase its lifetime? If you own a laptop, these questions have probably crossed your mind before. The short answer to both questions is: most likely yes. Curious to learn why? Continue reading for all the juicy details.

To support my arguments and recommendations made at the end of this article, I have to provide some background information. So let’s start with the basics…

Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:00


Do you want to search a file on your computer but don’t remember the name of it? But if you remember the dates before and after the file was created or modified, then you can find it easily using a simple syntax in Windows 7 and Vista. In Windows XP you can use the Search Companion to search for files created or modified between two given dates. This tutorial will focus on Windows 7 and Windows Vista only.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011 00:00


During the winter months, there are always more dead computers coming into our shop for repair. This is in direct correlation with the use of electric space heaters near computers, which is quite common. After all, to keep your entire home or office a bit cooler and then to run a small space heater near your computer work area is an effective way to save some money on heat.


Friday, 11 November 2011 00:00


Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? Ever been hacked? Here’s the first in a series of critical information to help you arm yourself against the surprisingly frightening world of hackers, phishers, and cybercriminals.


Friday, 05 August 2011 00:00


Even if you’re not much of a keyboard ninja, there are certain shortcuts that simply seem ridiculous not to know: Ctrl+V springs to mind as an obvious example. But even uber-geeks will agree that much of the time it really is a lot easier for the average user to just grab the mouse.

To this user, many shortcuts exist purely to confuse. Even the word-by-word Ctrl+Backspace combination seems mind boggling. Windows 7, however, provides us with some seriously useful shortcuts that just might seep into the keyboard vernacular of the mom-and-pop user. Here are seven (see what we’ve done there) of the most useful.


Tuesday, 02 August 2011 00:00


Insecure Wi-Fi is the easiest way for people to access your home network, leech your internet, and cause you serious headaches with more malicious behavior. Read on as we show you how to secure your home Wi-Fi network.


Monday, 16 May 2011 00:00

Users should be aware of potential email scams, fake antivirus, and phishing attacks regarding the Mississippi flooding disaster. Email scams may contain links or attachments that may direct users to phishing or malicious websites. Fake antivirus attacks may come in the form of pop-ups that flash security warnings and ask the user for credit card information. Phishing emails and websites requesting donations for bogus charitable organizations commonly appear after these types of natural disasters.


Friday, 18 March 2011 00:00


When I saw this I just needed to share.  I thought this was one of the coolest tips I had ever seen in awhile.  I have always hated logging on to RWW then selecting my workstation and connection.  I also have dual monitors and it has been great to be able to work from home exactly the way I work in the office.  It makes life easier and I can have a sick day and still be able to stay caught up at work.


Friday, 18 March 2011 00:00


It has been reported that even professional security researchers have been hacked. Poor password management has surpassed lack of antivirus protection as the biggest security concern.  Don’t let bad passwords cripple your business.  One bad, repetitive password can lead to someone hacking into many accounts.  ComTech recommends differentiating passwords between accounts, especially social vs. sensitive ones such as online banking. It seems obvious that passwords should be somewhat complex, but in reality we have seen the word "password" used!   


Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:00


In the past, US-CERT has received reports of an increased number of phishing scams and malware campaigns that take advantage of the United States tax season. Due to the upcoming tax deadline, US-CERT reminds users to remain cautious when receiving unsolicited email that could be part of a potential phishing scam or malware campaign. 

These phishing scams and malware campaigns may include, but are not limited to, the following:


Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:00


The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults. The nature of these sites introduces security risks, so you should take certain precautions.


Tuesday, 04 January 2011 00:00


We continue our series about the taskbar with a tutorial about the notification area. Although the notification area is present in the Windows graphical user interface since Windows 95, never before had it been so easy to customize as it is in Windows 7. This article shows you several tricks about configuring it and transforming it into something more appropriate to your needs. I will show: how to locate the notification area, control the display behavior of notification icons, turn on or off system icons, restore the default behavior of the notification area, set the notification icons to be always displayed, and change the position of individual notification icons.


Saturday, 04 December 2010 00:00


One of the things we noticed about some Windows 7 users is that they do not use the Shut down button from the Start Menu to shut down their computers.  They use the power button from the computer case instead. If you are such a user, you might want to change the default behavior of the Shut down button from the Start Menu into something else, which you are likely to use in a reasonably frequent manner: Log Off, Lock, Restart, Sleep or Switch User. This tutorial will show how.


Friday, 19 November 2010 00:00


Wish the program and shortcut icons on your desktop were a little bigger so you could see them better? Or want to make them a little smaller so you can fit more in? There’s no need to click through a bunch of windows to get to the right dialog box and then try to guess how the numbers correspond to the actual size. Here’s all you have to do to increase or decrease the size of those icons:


Microsoft Office 365


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