Intergrating Microsoft Office with Google Chrome

If your preferred web browser is Google Chrome, you probably already know that it integrates pretty seamlessly with other Google tools like Google Docs. But what if you are more of a Microsoft Office user than Google Docs?

Here is a Chrome extension from Microsoft that brings some nice integration with your Office documents.

As you can see, you’ll get one-click access to your Office files, whether they’re on your hard drive or in the cloud.

You can be up and running in now time. Here’s how:

  1.  Grab the Office Online extension from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Next type chrome://extensions into the address bar and scroll down until you see the listing for Office Online.
    NOTE: You can tie this to your Office 365 account, or if you don’t already have a Office Online/OneDrive account you can create one for free.
  3. If you want to upload documents to OneDrive from your hard drive using drag-and-drop, click the box that says “Allow access to file URLs.”

chromesettingsofficeonline

With this set up, dragging & dropping files into your Chrome browser will automatically upload them to Office Online for easy sharing & collaboration.

Also, when you run across Office document formats on a web page, such as Word documents or Powerpoint presentations, they will automatically open in Office Online instead of requiring you to download them, open the right Office app and then viewing them. PDF files will continue to open in Chrome’s native viewer.

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Lifehacker Packs: Must Have Apps

It is back to school time and a lot of people are getting ready. Part of that preparation might include setting up a new computer or mobile device. If you’re one of those folks you’ll definitely want to get hooked up with all the ‘must-have’ apps for better productivity, communication, media management, and more. The best way to do that is by checking out the Lifehacker Packs.

Every year, Lifehacker creates a list of their favorite, most essential applications for a variety of platforms including Windows and mobile devices. The best part is that all of these apps are totally free! So you’ll save time and money — and who doesn’t love that?!?

Lifehacker Pack For Windows

You can grab the entire pack as a 1-click installation here.

Lifehacker Pack for Mac

Lifehacker Pack for iPhone

Lifehacker Pack for Android

Lifehacker Pack for iPad

Lifehacker Pack for Android Tablets

Student Editions

If you’re a student or are looking to help one get set up for the school year, you’ll want to check out these student versions.

To check in with their always-updating directory of all the best apps, be sure to bookmark:

Free Online Meeting Options

When you work with people in other locations, there are some times when you simply must see each other’s screens.  A picture is worth 1,000 words after all. The good news is that there are a lot of really good options for this task.

If you want super fast and easy to use, give join.me a try. It is so easy, it is what I use with my Dad to help him troubleshoot his PC. I love my dad to death, but if he can use it anyone can – trust me! 😎 With join.me there isn’t any downloads for viewers, and you’ll be up and running in seconds from your desktop, to your tablet to your smart phone.

Google Hangouts are another great, free option. While it’s not as easy to get started as join.me it does have a few extra features to offer.  If you use other Google tools, this might be right up your alley. Video conversations are a snap and you’ll also have the option of joining from your tablet or phone with Hangouts too.

If you need something a bit more “corporate”, both gotomeeting and Webex have free versions that let you hold meetings with up to three connections.

GoToMeeting

https://free.gotomeeting.com/

WebEx

https://signup.webex.com/webexmeetings/US/basic/meetings-plans-basic.html

Are you already using one of these? Or maybe something else? Let me know how you use these types of tools and what tips you’ve found that work well for you.

Collecting Files via Dropbox

I love Dropbox. If you’re not familiar, we’ve talked about how Dropbox is like ‘Magic’ for Your Files. (Go ahead and check it out…we’ll wait here until you get back.)

While Dropbox made working with and sharing your files with others easy, it could be a challenge  to receive files from others. (Especially from people who are not Dropbox users themselves.)

Dropbox recently added a new feature to make collecting everything from photos, documents, and any file up to 2GB much easier. You can now request files from anyone, even if they are not a Dropbox user.

file-requests

If you’re already using Dropbox, you can see it in action by visiting https://www.dropbox.com/requests

If you’re not using Dropbox, why not give it a try?

The PowerPoint Sanity Saving Secret Everyone Should Know

Do you ever collaborate on slide decks with other authors? Many presentations at least get reviewed by someone other than yourself and usually it is painful? If you’re like most people you email copies around and have a heck of a time keeping track of everything. Who said what and when? What stays in? What gets thrown out? It can be a long and frustrating process….until now.

This week I’d like to show you a MUCH better way. The best part? You already have everything you need to make it happen for FREE!!

Keep reading for the details or click this link and try it out yourself. (Please add a slide and/or leave a comment so I know you were there!)

The key is saving your slides to a location that everyone working on can access. Enter Microsoft One Drive. One Drive is a free service from Microsoft that allows you to store and share your PowerPoint slides online. (and any other Office documents too.)

(This also works with SharePoint if you’re in an organization that has it available. One Drive is much easier though IMHO.)

One Drive keeps a central copy of your slides and records edits from multiple authors. You and your co-authors can see who is editing the presentation and where in the document they are working, and their changes get merged into your presentation.

Status Bar

Your collaborators don’t even need to have PowerPoint. They can use PowerPoint online (part of One Drive) for free. Just share the One Drive link with them and they’re off!

PPTonline

Setting Things Up

1. Upload your PowerPoint file to One Drive.

2. View your slide deck and click the “Share with People” button.

3. Choose one of the sharing options for your collaborators.

Now you’ll get a notification when someone else is editing your slides. Plus, PowerPoint’s commenting and review features make it easier for everyone involved and will help you ensure everything turns out just right.

Comments Compare

Once you’re up and running with this setup you’re free from the headaches of tracking and merging multiple slide decks. Plus you can go and do something fun with all the time you saved!s. Plus you can go and do something fun with all the time you saved!

Click here to jump into this slide deck that I created and add your own slide or leave a comment and let me know you were there! 

Kermit

Tip of the Week #437

Digital Alternatives to Business Cards

Do you have a box of printed business cards sitting around your office? When was the last time you actually used one? Over the years, I’ve had hundreds or thousands of printed cards. 99% of which never saw the light of day.

In today’s digital world, is it time to find a better alternative to paper business cards? I think so.

Here are a few ideas of things you can do with your old business cards.

What isn’t changing is the fact that you still need an easy way to share your contact information with people you meet. Here are two good digital alternatives that will get you and your contact information into the address books or the people you meet. Which is MUCH better than getting your business card into their pocket, right?!?!?

Here are two easy ways to make your move from printed cards to easy, digital information sharing.

Haystack

HaystackHaystack is super simple to set up and use. The app lets you build your own digital card by entering in your email any other details you want to share, including social network accounts if you want.

Once you’ve added your info, you can easily share your digital card with anyone via SMS text or email. The best part is you don’t have to worry about the person you’re sending it to having the right app on their end. If they don’t have the Haystack app (which they won’t), they’ll be directed to a web page where they can choose to download the card in the correct format for their device.

You can even use Haystack to automatically import the information from all the cards you get by simply taking a picture of them with your smartphone.

Haystack is a free download for both iOS and Android.

Intro (from About.me)

Aboutme-IntroAppIntro works very much like Haystack for sharing your information but doesn’t have any way for you to collect the same information from others.  One nice extra is how it ties to your free about.me personal page. Check that out if you don’t already have an online presence (You really should you know!?) Here’s mine.

What about you? Do you still prefer physical cards? Have you found another way you like better? Let us know! I’d love to hear what is working best for you.

Need Screenshots? Try This Free Chrome Extension

If you need a good way to capture what you see on your computer screen (and who doesn’t?) you should give Nimbus Screenshot a try. You have a couple of options for how you’d like to use it. I’ve got the Google Chrome browser extension that adds a quick and easy button to my browser toolbar. There are also options to install it in Firefox, Android and as a standalone app on your PC.

I deal with screenshots almost every day and have tried a lot of ways to capture the images I want. While SnagIt is still the gold standard, (well worth the $50 ) a lot of people may not want to spend the money or don’t need all those bells and whistles.

Capture images

Nimbus handles all the basics that you’d expect by allowing you to capture and entire window or any selected part of it. The feature that really caught my eye was the ability to scroll long web pages and capture the entire page into a single image. Nimbus also has a few other SnagIt-like features including annotation tools with a super useful blur tool which for any privacy considerations for your images.

Annotations

Yet another nice feature is the set of options available for what you want to do with your screenshot after you get it. Like all screenshot tools, you can save the image to your computer. Plus there are options for saving them to your Google Drive account or with a free account, to Nimbus’ own online site which lets you easily share on social media and other places. (You can see an example here.)

MyNimbus

Of course, if you’re needs are really basic you can use the old school options outlined here including the Print Screen key and the Snipping tool that is built into Windows.

If you like Nimbus and you’re curious for even more, they also have another Evernote-ish tool that looks interesting called Nimbus Note.

Tip of the Week #436