Loving the ‘Like’ Button

www.office.com/setup Blogs: Any social network user will tell you, the more “Likes” your post gets, the better. But in practice, I’ve seen that a “Like” can mean more than simply liking what an update has to say. As an avid user of the “Like” button, I was curious to learn more about how other people use it on Yammer. So last week, I created a survey and posted it to the Yammer Customer Network (YCN). The feedback was lively, and the results indicated that Yammer users intuitively choose the “Like” button to quickly convey a variety of messages.

As it turns out, there are many different uses of a “Like,” and each has a direct benefit to you and your network. I’ve broken down the major examples as ranked below, and encourage you to try using “Like” in a new way:

1. “Like” to show your approval, appreciation, or agreement.

95% of the users surveyed hit “Like” when they genuinely like someone’s post. Clicking the “Like” button is an efficient and easy way to participate when you’re busy, as Workflow Expert Lori Koncz explains, “‘Like’ is acceptance, appreciation, and applause all in one click.” This can be particularly powerful when a leader uses “Like” to show that they are engaged with their employees and recognize contributions across their organization.

2. “Like” messages that you’ve been @mentioned or cc’d on to notify the poster that you’ve have seen the message.

This creates a quick feedback loop, without a string of emails that just say, “Got it” or “You’re welcome.”

3. “Like” new users posts for positive reinforcement.

Lisa Vanderlip, Communications Specialist for the Canadian Cancer Society, told us, “As my network’s community manager, I encourage ‘Likes’ as they let the poster know that they have had an impact. Nothing worse than posting and then all you hear is crickets [nothing].” “Likes” are one of the best ways to boost employee engagement in a new network and build momentum during a network or a group launch.

4. As a new user, “Like” posts to get your feet wet.

“Likes” are a low-stakes way for new users to get comfortable with working out loud. And, by liking coworkers’ posts, these shy users are building connections with others and supporting their network.

5. “Like” to recognize useful content outside of your immediate team or division.

Yammer encourages us to work out in the open, and the “Like” button is a simple way for colleagues to show appreciation for useful content, discussions, and collaborative effort across the organization. Being “Liked” shows that people outside your own immediate team care about what you are working on.

How to “Like” a message you dislike.

Sometimes there’s just a negative posts or bad news, and responding with “Like” may feel inappropriate, but it’s important to show you’re engaged. Speaking from personal experience, I believe most people understand that your “Like” conveys support and acknowledgment, not that you’re actually pleased that your coworker is “sick as a dog.” If you’re still concerned that clicking “Like” will send the wrong message, you can “Like” someone else’s uplifting response in the thread, or simply write a personal reply of your own conveying how you feel about this topic or issue.

Regardless of how you use “Like,” share your personal experiences with us in the comments below! If you’re interesting in starting a discussion in your network about the different and creative ways people use “Like,” please reach out to me for details on the survey I posted to the YCN.

Original Post: https://blogs.office.com/2013/08/08/loving-button/

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San José and Microsoft announce city’s selection of Office 365, Windows Azure and StorSimple for over 5,000 employees

www.office.com/setup Blogs: Today, we are pleased to share that the City of San José has selected Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Windows Azure and StorSimple to expand the productivity potential of its more than 5,000 city employees, reduce operational costs, and deliver improved services to over 984,000 residents in the Capital of Silicon Valley.

To learn more about today’s news and how San José will use these products to streamline their business, please read the official press release on the Microsoft Customer Spotlight page.

Original Post: https://blogs.office.com/2013/07/15/san-jose-and-microsoft-announce-citys-selection-of-office-365-windows-azure-and-storsimple-for-over-5000-employees/

Check out the new OneNote for iPad, iPhone and Android

www.office.com/setup Blogs: OneNote has long been a favorite place to track what’s important in life–jot down ideas, plan a trip, keep a shopping list, check to-dos, and share with family or coworkers.  You told us you wanted OneNote on all your devices, so we delivered OneNote for Windows desktop, Windows store, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android, and the OneNote Web App all in sync via SkyDrive.

We’re committed to giving you a great experience on whatever device you have!  You’ve also given us feedback on new capabilities you want and we’re constantly working to improve it based on your input.


New OneNote Apps for iPad, iPhone and Android.

Today, we are proud to announce major updates of OneNote for iPhone, iPad and Android. We internally call them our version 2 apps, (after all they’re twice as good as version 1).  We know you’re going to love them. These apps are based on an almost entirely new code base that delivers a full-powered OneNote experience across each device with more reliable sync that “just works.”  Our re-engineering investment also enables us to continue making improvements more quickly moving forward.

So what does this mean for you? Let’s check it out…

Same Note, same look…everywhere

You’ve asked for rich editing and a consistent experience across devices – something no one has delivered to date – until now!  With the new OneNote updates all formatting looks exactly the same across devices – this includes text formatting, tables with shading and borders, layout and so on. Hyperlinks and note tags are consistently supported. Even ink from your Windows tablet is shown on iOS and Android now. In short, your notes look the same, all the time, on all devices.  Below is a comparison of what you see in the new OneNote for iPad compared to the previous version – what a difference!


The new versions of OneNote show your notes exactly as you expect with rich formatting.

Style it your way

OneNote for iPad now has the Office Ribbon UI that makes it easy to design and layout your notes exactly as you want.  You have access to the rich formatting you know and love from the other Office apps — text formatting including font, size color, style, bold, italic, underline, strike through, highlighting and paragraph formatting such as bullets, numbering, indent, and alignment. You can insert and edit tables. You can edit hyperlinks. You can create check lists and tag your notes with a variety of options…it’s all there!


The new Ribbon UI on the iPad make it easy to format and edit your notes.

Share with others

We heard loud and clear that our business users needed the ability to sync work notebooks with Office 365 and SharePoint, and that’s now live in the new apps!  As always, the apps sync great with SkyDrive, but we’ve made that simpler and more reliable, too.  OneNote also now lets multiple people edit a note at the same time and see other peoples changes simultaneously (unlike most note taking apps in which you’ll lose what you wrote if anyone else edits the note at the same time).


SkyDrive and SharePoint (on premises, and Office 365 SkyDrive Pro) are supported.

Finally, I’m happy to share that these apps are currently available for free with no limit on the number of notes you can create – another great update from the prior version.  With OneNote, you can take notes while you’re offline, sync without limits and collaborate with others — unlike some note taking applications which charge for these capabilities.

You can get all of the OneNote apps from http://www.onenote.com/, or you can directly download OneNote for iPad or OneNote for iPhone from the Apple App Store and OneNote for Android on Google Play today.

We hope you enjoy the newest OneNote apps and keep your comments, feedback and ratings coming to help make the future OneNote even better.

— David Rasmussen, Principal Group Program Manager (on behalf of the whole OneNote team who worked hard to bring you this)

For more on OneNote updates, check out:

OneNote for iPad and iPhone update

OneNote for Android update

Update to the OneNote Windows Store app now available

OneNote Web App now supports viewing and editing of password-protected sections

Original Post: https://blogs.office.com/2013/07/01/check-out-the-new-onenote-for-ipad-iphone-and-android/


Adding rich data labels to charts in Excel 2013

www.office.com/setup Blogs: Storytelling is a powerful communication tool, and data is essential for many decision-making tasks. Together, they can be data visualization at its best: the science and art of transforming your data so that the most important points shine through. Sometimes a basic chart will do the trick.  But to make your visual message really pop, it’s often handy to add data and text to your chart. The rich data label capabilities in Excel 2013 give you tools to create visuals that tell the story behind the data with maximum impact.

The basics of data labels

To illustrate some of the features and uses of data labels, let’s first look at simple chart.


This clustered column chart shows the sales (revenue) of drinks and snacks from a neighborhood lemonade stand during one week. If I want to turn on basic data labels on the blue data series (Drinks), there are a few ways to do that.  One familiar and simple way is just single click on any data value (or column, in this example) to select the entire data series that it belongs to.


Above, I have clicked all of the blue columns. Once the series is selected, I can right-click any column to pull up the context menu, then click the Add Data Labels entry.


When I click Add Data Labels, I get the following result.


To reposition any single data label, all I have to do is double-click the data label I want to move, then drag it to the desired position on the chart. Here, I have selected only the Tue value of the blue Drinks series.


Once selected, I can drag that label wherever I want it on the chart. If I drag the label far from its default location, a leader line appears by default to show what data point the data label is associated with.


Basic formatting of data labels is simple to achieve by using the Font section of the Home tab on the Excel ribbon.


Use the Formatting Task pane for advanced options

If you wish to go beyond basic text formatting and text box fills, many more formatting options are available on the Formatting Task pane. Though there are several ways to open the Formatting Task pane, the easiest is to double-click the data labels themselves. Here, I have double-clicked one of the data labels for the blue Drinks series.


In the Formatting Task Pane, you can customize the way the data labels appear, change their size and alignment, change their text properties, and even add another data series for them to include. See Format and customize Excel 2013 charts quickly with the new Formatting Task pane for more discussion about the Formatting Task Pane in general.

Text in data labels

Often, the real story doesn’t lie in all the numbers in the chart, but it’s hidden in a few key data points. Let’s reapproach our example with that in mind.

First, I’ll delete the data labels that I already put in place. To delete all the data labels for a given series, click once on any data label in the series, and this will select them all.  If you press the delete key on your keyboard, all the data labels from that series will disappear from your chart. To delete any single data label, follow the same procedure, except click twice (and not too fast) on the individual data label you wish to delete.

Below, I have inserted just one data label and moved it to a roomy place in the chart. Next, I want to type custom text into the data label box to help tell the story behind the data.


To make it easier to place an insertion point in the data label, I have found that it helps to zoom in on the chart. You can do this by adjusting the zoom control on the bottom right corner of Excel’s chrome.


Then, select the value in the data label and hit the right-arrow key on your keyboard.


The story behind the data in our example is that the temperature increased significantly on Wednesday and that appeared to help drive up business at the lemonade stand. So I type some text to emphasize that point while still leaving the data label intact.


Linked data embedded in data labels

Excel 2013 also lets you put numbers from your spreadsheet into your data labels – that is, numbers that are not directly associated with the data point.  Here is a quick example. Let’s say that I want to add a further annotation about the temperature on Wednesday and I want to include a data value with that annotation. Here’s how I would do it:

First, I select my data label and I type some additional text to give context to the new number I’m about to add to the data label. Then, I right-click the data label to pull up the context menu. Note the Insert Data Label Field menu item.


When I click Insert Data Label Field, Excel 2013 opens a dialog that gives me a few options to choose from. I want to pull in a data value that is calculated on my worksheet, so I select Choose Cell.


The Choose Cell option opens a familiar type of dialog that allows me to go back into my worksheet and select the cell with the value that will be shown in my data label. In this example, I select a cell that contains the value that shows how many days it has been since the temperature was this warm (26 days, in this case).


When I click OK, the value from the cell I selected (D39, here) appears in my data label. To finish it off, I type the rest of my statement and end up with a very rich data label.


Data label callouts

The data labels up to this point have used numbers and text for emphasis. Putting a data label into a shape can add another type of visual emphasis. To add a data label in a shape, select the data point of interest, then right-click it to pull up the context menu. Click Add Data Label, then click Add Data Callout.  The result is that your data label will appear in a graphical callout.  In this case, the category Thr for the particular data label is automatically added to the callout too.



In the image below, I clicked inside the data callout, backspaced over the Thr entry, and then typed a bit of information that explains what is behind this anomalous data point.


If you want to change the shape of a data callout, you can do so by right-clicking the data label to pull up the context menu, or by selecting the data label, then clicking Change Shape in the Format tab in the ribbon.


In this case, let’s say that for the Snacks value on Thursday, I don’t really want to show the value in the data label, but I’d like to make my point with something a bit more whimsical. For this, I turn to the rich formatting options in the Formatting Task pane we talked about earlier. Below, I have double-clicked the data label to pull up the Formatting Task pane for the data label.

Then, I clicked the Fill and Line symbol:fill and line symbol www.office.com/setup

I then selected Picture or Texture Fill, and clicked on Online.


Let’s say that on Thursday the lemonade stand ran out of donuts, which were the main selling item in the snacks section. I can search Office Art on the web for an image of a donut to serve as the background in my data label.


I pick an image from the results, and it’s automatically inserted into the background of my data label.



We’re almost there. The donut image is good, but it’s too small to convey the message. Also, I want to use a text comment instead of showing the data value for this point. So I re-size the data point’s bounding box, select the data value, and replace it with some clarifying text.  I can adjust the text color and font size using the Font controls on the Home tab in the ribbon.


Tell us what you think

In this article, we used data labels with text, images, and shapes to help reveal the story behind the data. This example only scratches the surface of the many things you can do with data labels in Excel 2013. Have fun exploring and storytelling, and let us know in the comments how you’re putting data labels to work for you!

Original Post: https://blogs.office.com/2013/06/21/adding-rich-data-labels-to-charts-in-excel-2013/

Plug in to unplug

www.office.com/setup Blogs: Recently, more people are trying to unplug, and they’re chronicling their experiences for the rest of us. Paul Miller of The Verge spent a whole year without the internet, Mashable‘s Vignesh Ramachandran just attended a tech-free summer camp for adults called The Digital Detox, and we’re inspired by Fast Company’s #unplug series.

We can relate.

Information overload is real, and it’s important to #unplug for creativity and sanity. Stated, we also realize most people don’t always have the luxury of doing so, and that includes most of us at Microsoft.  One of our dev teams even built an internal app, called Focus Time, to shut off electronic distractions.  The app, which was downloaded internally thousands of times, switches Outlook to offline mode and sets Lync to “Do Not Disturb,” so we can work without electronic distractions.

For those who can’t escape to a tech-free summer camp, here are some tips on how to put your technology to work for you – stopping it from distracting you and helping you harness it as a force for good.

  • Pick the right tools for your tasks. E-mail is perfect for one-to-one or small group communications, but for collaboration or broader conversations at Microsoft, we turn to Yammer to eliminate silos and ensure the right people are always in the know. And, when something is highly urgent and we haven’t heard back in mail, we hit the Lync call button to talk things out face to face(s).
  • Go ahead, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. We’re not kidding. In Microsoft Lync, you can change your presence to show availability as being green for “available,” yellow for “away,” red for “busy,” and when you’re in a crunch, there’s no shame in putting your presence on “do not disturb.” Like a mind shield, this will block people from sending you Lync messages, route calls straight to voice mail and prevent Outlook email reminders from popping up in the corner of your screen.
  • Press the e-mail mute button. There’s no penalty for throwing someone on the cc: line, so e-mail sometimes gets out of control (though I want a feature like this to “thank” the people who add me). With the new Outlook, you can manage the madness by simply clicking Ignore. Those strings of conversation that never seem to end are kept out of your inbox without anyone noticing.
  • It’s OK to tune out sometimes. When you really need creativity to strike or you’re under a hard deadline, Outlook comes with a handy “off” switch. Simply select “Work Offline,” and you’re free from incoming e-mail for a while. Coupled with “Do Not Disturb” in Lync, you can create a virtual cone of silence.

We thought it was only appropriate to close this post with our favorite “cone of silence” scene from the remake of Get Smart. Case in point- technology can help and hurt, but we think you’ll be able to find some peace of mind with these tips. What are your secrets to sanity? Talk back to @Office about what helps you #unplug.

Original Post: https://blogs.office.com/2013/06/24/plug-in-to-unplug/