Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Microsoft Office Rules

Not ashamed to recommend Microsoft Office - and yes, it does work better on PCs
I'm finally learning how to use Microsoft Office.  An odd post, to be sure, considering that I have created Office documents for the entirety of my working life and that I was forced to become a bit of a power user as a managing consultant over a good part of that period.  But I was always wrangling with the peculiarities of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint in trying to bend their features to my will.  I never ventured into the land of "true" power users, cranking out macros and coding up Visual Basic customizations, but I attempted a number of hacks and workarounds to the core functionality for what I needed those applications to do in creating client-worthy documents.

But no more.  My hard drive crashed, and I am three weeks in to a laborious back-and-forth process to finally restore my personal computer to its prior incarnation.  I have too much data, and I need to consolidate.  Strange place to start in really learning Microsoft Office, but the logic is this - my data explosion and difficulty in managing content is directly related to the amount of work I do to create Microsoft Office documents.  If it is not for the tens of thousands of images that I have captured on digital cameras or the thousands of songs that I have ripped into MP3's, it is the variety of Office documents that have cluttered my hard drive for work and personal projects.

So, I decided to finally figure out how these applications really work and what they try to do in order to make my life easier - and more streamlined - in handling Office documents.  It turns out that Microsoft has a come a long way (baby!) and that the current iterations of Office 2010 applications work together better than ever.  And with a little sweat and tears, one can draw more blood from this application suite to complete the task at hand than ever before - and without a lot of the crazy workarounds.  Which ultimately is helping me organize my document libraries and figure out what I need and keep, what gets consolidated, and where the rest of my document overload goes.  I hate to admit, but Microsoft Office rules - once you understand what its rules are.
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