Tuesday 14 June 2016

Office Lens

I’ve got a great idea for an app. I think it will be really useful for business users. I sell my own range of hardware, but, do you know what? I’m going to ignore that and put all of the really good functionality for business users on the version that works on my competitor’s hardware.

That would never happen, right?


In my day job as IT Manager at Crittall Windows, I am constantly searching for opportunities to improve communication and collaboration between our mobile team, and their office-based colleagues. It could be to monitor progress on site, to validate payments to sub contractors, to calculate how much we should be charging the customer, or to record quality issues for technical advice.

When Microsoft brought out Office Lens I thought it would find a home in the tools used by our site team.

Office Lens is a great app which can be used as a camera, document scanner, business card scanner, and whiteboard scanner. The images created can be stored as a page in a OneNote NoteBook on OneDrive, and/or in a OneDrive folder as Jpg, PDF, Word Document or Powerpoint Slide.

As a company, We subscribe to Office 365 which provides functionality to store and share files in the cloud using OneDrive for Business. So, it is possible to upload documents and photographs/images to OneDrive for Business, and share them with our colleagues, or with people outside our business.

As Office 365 users, we made the decision to use Windows Phones to provide seamless integration between platforms. There may be more apps available for iOS and Android, but the key ones we need are available for Windows Phone.

Here’s the thing…

The Microsoft product Office Lens works better on iOS than it does on Android or Windows. Office Lens on Windows Phone, and Android is only capable of using a Microsoft Account, not an Office 365 work account, but the same app for iPhone/iPad can use Office 365.

The frustration I felt was compounded by Microsoft’s recent announcement that they will soon be reducing the size of the free cloud storage available with a Microsoft account from 15GB to 5GB, and that the bonus storage given when turning on auto upload of photographs to OneDrive would also be removed.

The official word from Microsoft is that they will release Windows and Android versions of Office Lens which will work with an Office 365 work account, but they will not give a release date.

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Friday 6 May 2016

Celebrating 90 years of Silver End

The post Celebrating 90 years of Silver End appeared first on Crittall Windows UK.

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Friday 29 April 2016

Brace Yourselves Updates Are Coming

I can’t be the only one who has suffered a degree of frustration following Microsoft’s February update to Office 2016.

Before the update, it was possible to pin files, and folders in the Open and Save As… screens. I used this for many different locations, as many are buried under levels and levels of parent folders.

For some of my users, you would think the world had ended, and life had lost all meaning for them.

So, I searched, and I searched, and I searched… Although you can still pin files, you cannot pin folders. This is a piece of functionality that someone in Microsoft decided was no longer required.

There are plenty of forums bemoaning this fact, and no one at Microsoft has come up with a work around which does not involve backing out the update. Until now…

Cue smug face…

I may have come up with a reasonable alternative…

On Windows 7 and Windows 8, in Windows Explorer, there is a section in the Navigation Pane labelled “Favourites.” In Windows 10 it is labelled “Quick Access”

If you add a location into “Favourites” or “Quick Access” you can access it with one click when you select “Browse” in Office 2016 Open or Save As… screens.

I have added a folder called “EmailReports” into my Favourites, which is on a network share 2 levels down, as can be seen from the URI below.

Adding locations into Favourites or Quick Access is quick and easy.

Navigate to the location, right click on Favourites (or Quick Access in Windows 10) in the Navigation Pane, and select Add current location to Favourites (or Quick Access in Windows 10)

(If you are using a touch screen tablet, do a long press on Favourites (or Quick Access in Windows 10) and the right click menu will appear)

Good luck, and happy pinning…

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