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Enhancing information rights management in Word, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 10:00

Finding the balance between protection and productivity is critical to any organization. With the increased distribution of data, organizations need sensitive data to be born protected. This is why we invest in Azure Rights Management to help you protect information in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Information rights management (IRM) is now supported everywhere in Office Mobile as we are pleased to announce that we are extending Azure Rights Management to the Word, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps for Android. You are now able to open, read and review rights-protected emails and Office documents on any device—whether it runs Windows, Mac, iOS or Android.

Other upcoming enhancements

We are hard at work building several other new features and enhancements to make the IRM experience even better for Office 365 subscribers in future updates.

These planned updates include:

  • Document tracking and revocation with Azure Rights Management Premium—Azure Rights Management Premium users will be able to track usage of and revoke access to documents that were protected with rights management services (RMS). We’ll deliver this first for Office for Windows, followed by Office for Mac and Office Mobile for iOS.
  • Single sign-on and multiple accounts in Office 2016 for Mac—We are making changes to support single sign-on in Office 2016 for Mac, which means you won’t need to sign in again to view an RMS-protected document if you’re already signed in. This will work for any Office 365 account that you’re signed in to—even if you have more than one account. We’re also removing the limitation where you have to view an RMS-protected document first before you are able to protect new documents with RMS.
  • Improved user experience in Office 2016 for Windows—We’re making targeted improvements to our error-handling and authentication mechanisms to make reading and authoring RMS-protected documents and emails more seamless. If you are unable to read RMS-protected content because, for example, you aren’t signed in to Office or you don’t have permission to read the content with any of your signed-in accounts, we will clearly explain why and offer options to resolve the issue.
  • Open legacy file formats—The Office apps for Windows Universal and Android will support opening RMS-protected documents that were saved in legacy formats, like .xls, .doc, and .ppt. Office apps for iPhone and iPad already support this.

Visit the Azure Rights Management website and read the product documentation to learn more. If you already use Azure Rights Management, make sure you update your Android devices with the latest versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint today so you get all the new functionality we have released.

The post Enhancing information rights management in Word, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps appeared first on Office Blogs.

Learning Tools for OneNote supports more languages and themes and is now generally available

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 09:00

Today, we are moving Learning Tools for OneNote out of preview (announced in January) and into general availability (English only). Learning Tools for OneNote was initially released as a customer preview back in January of 2016. The concept came from an internal Microsoft “Hackathon,” where a group of people who were passionate about inclusively got together to design tools to help people with learning differences. The result was a set of tools that ultimately help all people. The Hackathon project won the grand prize, and the prototype was built into a product and released earlier this year.

Since the initial release, we’ve been amazed and humbled by the positive reaction from students, teachers and many others from around the world. We’ve seen press reviews such as Jordan Shapiro’s in Forbes, “Learning Tools For Microsoft OneNote May Be One Of The Most Disruptive Education Technologies Yet,” and the Dyslexic Advantage Community named Learning Tools a “Top Dyslexia App of 2016.”

More importantly, we’ve seen the results and impact from people who have been using Learning Tools. We’ve seen reading speeds dramatically increase, as seen in this video with Special Education teacher Lauren Pittman. We’ve heard stories of dyslexic students who insist that they only want to read materials using Learning Tools and a teenager with learning differences express a passion and desire to read for the first time in his life. We’ve seen Learning Tools being used by emerging first-grade readers in Florida, as seen in this video. A teacher in Macedonia uses Learning Tools to teach English to her young students. English Languages Learners (ELLs) have also been using Learning Tools widely. We believe Learning Tools speaks directly to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person on the planet to achieve more.

New improvements for Learning Tools

In addition to the general availability of Learning Tools for OneNote, we’ve added a new set of capabilities, including:

  • Localized user interface—Localization of the Learning Tools toolbar in over 35 languages.
  • Dictation—Four new dictation languages (Spanish, French, German and Italian).
  • Color themes—Now includes new yellow, green, blue and pink, which have been specifically designed and tuned based on research.
  • Switching reader languages—Improved the ease of switching between text-to-speech languages in the immersive reader.
  • Multiple language support—Ability to read back multiple languages on one page, such as English, Spanish and French on the same page.
  • Speech controls—Simplification of speech controls and a new menu for all of them.
  • Easy download—Easy instructions to download more text-to-speech languages. This will depend on your Windows version.

Localization of the Learning Tools toolbar in over 35 languages.

Dictation—Four new dictation languages (Spanish, French, German and Italian).

Color themes—Now includes new yellow, green, blue and pink.

Simplified audio and speech controls, improved ease of switching between text-to-speech voices and easy instructions to download more text-to-speech voices.

We hope that you enjoy these new improvements for the new school year! You can download the Learning Tools General Availability at www.onenote.com/learningtools, or if you already have it, you will see an update button appear within the add-in (see below). More details can be found in our Getting Started help article. Send any feedback to LearningTools@onenote.uservoice.com, or reach out on Twitter: @OneNoteEDU.

And don’t forget: Office 365 Education, including OneNote and Learning Tools, is free for students and teachers! Get yours at Office.com/education.

—The OneNote team

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Episode 101 with Simon Jäeger on becoming an evangelist—Office 365 Developer Podcast

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 09:00

In episode 101 of the Office 365 Developer Podcast, Richard diZerega and Andrew Coates talk with Simon Jäeger about his journey becoming an evangelist for Office 365 Development.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP101_SimonJaeger.mp3

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates Show notes

Got questions or comments about the show? Join the O365 Dev Podcast on the Office 365 Technical Network. The podcast RSS is available on iTunes or search for it at “Office 365 Developer Podcast” or add directly with the RSS feeds.feedburner.com/Office365DeveloperPodcast.

About Simon Jäeger

Simon Jäeger is a part of the evangelism group at Microsoft that builds world-class software and delivers great developer engagements. He works on helping strategic partners and customers to succeed on the Microsoft platform. As a Technical Evangelist for Office 365, his role is very multifaceted. Encompassing everything from architectural guidance, hands-on assistance to deep technical investments. Throughout the years he has been coding for many projects for the Microsoft platform. His primary focus is within extensibility for Office, Office 365 REST APIs and parts of Azure. Simon leads talks and blogs at simonjaeger.com about cloud architecture and application development. His intention is to help anyone to realize their ideas with the help of the Microsoft stack. On current computer, console or mobile devices and the next generation of products in the connected age of technology.

About the hosts

Richard is a software engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) group, where he helps developers and software vendors maximize their use of Microsoft cloud services in Office 365 and Azure. Richard has spent a good portion of the last decade architecting Office-centric solutions, many that span Microsoft’s diverse technology portfolio. He is a passionate technology evangelist and a frequent speaker at worldwide conferences, trainings and events. Richard is highly active in the Office 365 community, popular blogger at aka.ms/richdizz and can be found on Twitter at @richdizz. Richard is born, raised and based in Dallas, TX, but works on a worldwide team based in Redmond. Richard is an avid builder of things (BoT), musician and lightning-fast runner.

A Civil Engineer by training and a software developer by profession, Andrew Coates has been a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft since early 2004, teaching, learning and sharing coding techniques. During that time, he’s focused on .Net development on the desktop, in the cloud, on the web, on mobile devices and most recently for Office. Andrew has a number of apps in various stores and generally has far too much fun doing his job to honestly be able to call it work. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two almost-grown-up children.

Useful links

The post Episode 101 with Simon Jäeger on becoming an evangelist—Office 365 Developer Podcast appeared first on Office Blogs.

7 simple calendar tricks that will level-up your team’s productivity

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 09:00

What’s the secret to maximizing productivity and efficiency? There’s no single silver bullet, but one sure-fire way to make gains is with calendar tricks that will keep you organized and focused. From scheduling “no meeting” time blocks to integrating mobile so you never miss a meeting—the art of calendar optimization is crucial.

Here are seven simple calendar tricks you can use to bring your productivity to the next level:

  1. Schedule “no meeting” time blocks—Instead of multitasking, set aside time without interruptions. “When people multitask, often they do multiple things badly,” says David Sanbonmatsu, University of Utah professor of Psychology. “A lot of times, the people who multitask the most are the worst at it…it’s individuals who lack impulse control.” (From Forbes.)
  1. Set out-of-office (OOO) time—Identify blocks of time on your calendar as “unavailable,” “not working” or “OOO” if you’re not working a certain day or are traveling.

Pro hack: If you have a regular non-work appointment or commute time when you’re unavailable, schedule it as recurring OOO time. To do this in Outlook, just open the meeting you want to set as recurring and on the Meeting tab (in the Options group), click Recurrence. Select your desired frequency, set options for the frequency and click OK.

  1. Connect your calendar on your mobile—It happens to everyone: You’re not on your laptop and a meeting runs late, you forget when and where your next meeting is and you end up shuffling in with a flurry of apologies five minutes after the next meeting begins. Integrate your calendar on your mobile device to stay up-to-date on all your meetings.
  1. Install buffer time—Whenever possible, schedule an extra 10 minutes on either side of every meeting, so that you have enough time to clean up from the current meeting and then prepare and set up for the next meeting. This will also help you avoid the feeling of “running” from meeting to meeting.
  1. Schedule breaks—When you’re completing tasks like a do-it-all, it’s easy to plow through and work till you’re fried. “Getting up for a few minutes and getting our blood flowing and some more oxygen to the brain is a necessary piece of the work day,” according to the Huffington Post’s Healthy Living team. Schedule breaks into your calendar to avoid burnout and boost creativity and let your calendar reminders hold you accountable.
  1. Set check-in reminders—As major deadlines approach, schedule check-ins with reminders for benchmarks along the way. This avoids end-of-project stress and ensures you’re checking off tasks before they’ve passed. Include team members on your calendar reminders to encourage team check-ins as well.
  1. Integrate business contacts—Simplify inviting business contacts by integrating your calendar with your contact list.

Pro hack: You can add a contact from an email message in Office 365. Open the message so that the person’s name is shown in one of these lines: From, To, Cc or Bcc. Right-click the appropriate name and click Add to Outlook Contacts. A new window opens, where you can fill in the details you want and then OK when done.

Use your calendar to stay on top of your day by optimizing organization and ultimately making you more productive. For more productivity tips learn how to work smarter in the cloud. To ensure you and your team are more connected get the eBook: “Collaborate, Anytime, Anywhere.

The post 7 simple calendar tricks that will level-up your team’s productivity appeared first on Office Blogs.

Is your company’s data secure?

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 09:00

Keeping data secure is pivotal to the success of all organizations. Office 365 Enterprise E5 Plan is Microsoft’s most secure productivity solution ever—offering industry-leading security and compliance features. Microsoft’s cybersecurity intelligence and machine learning capabilities help protect against unknown malware and detect anomalies quickly to allow a rapid response.

In addition, Office 365 meets many industry and regulatory requirements and helps organizations respond to legal issues with machine learning that quickly identifies relevant content for eDiscovery.

Organizations improve visibility and control with Office 365. Administrators can set control policies, discover “shadow” IT, control data access and gain critical insights into threats.

Download this infographic to see how Office 365 helps organizations stay ahead of the threats of tomorrow.

The post Is your company’s data secure? appeared first on Office Blogs.

Announcing monthly educator “#OneNoteQ TweetMeets” in partnership with OneNote Central

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 07:49

Today, the OneNote Education team (@OneNoteEDU) and our partners are pleased to announce monthly “#OneNoteQ TweetMeets” for educators. These monthly events will include our incredible community of MIE Experts (#MIEExpert), Partner Product Experts (including @OneNoteC) and our Microsoft in Education engineering team.

#OneNoteQ TweetMeets will be hosted on the first Tuesday of every month beginning August 2. TweetMeets will be held live on Twitter in close partnership with OneNote Central (@OneNoteC) at 10 a.m. PDT and again at 4 p.m. PDT.

Marjolein Hoekstra, OneNote expert behind the independent OneNote Central channel on Twitter (@OneNoteC) and initiator of the OneNote Community Notebook, will collaborate with our OneNoteEDU social team to capture educator questions, provide input for TweetMeet agendas and help guide the conversation. Marjolein will also help to recap the #OneNoteQ TweetMeets in a Docs.com Collection after each monthly event.

The Microsoft in Education team is consistently amazed by the expertise, knowledge and insights our partners and educators have for our products. These events are just one way we want to connect, engage and amplify our most powerful users in our effort to empower every student on the planet to achieve more.

What are #OneNoteQ TweetMeets?

#OneNoteQ TweetMeets are monthly Twitter events to discuss any questions that you—as educators—may have about using OneNote in the classroom. One week prior to each event you can submit your questions. Your questions will help guide our team from @OneNoteEDU, @OneNoteC, MIE Expert teachers and Microsoft in Education engineers in their preparations. We will select a dozen questions to discuss during the events. When time allows, each session will have an open Q&A at the end.

When are #OneNoteQ TweetMeets held?

#OneNoteQ TweetMeets are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. PDT and 4 p.m. PDT.

For the August 2 events you can check your local time here:

Click this link to add the event series to your calendar (ics).

How can I follow the TweetMeet?

You can follow #OneNoteQ in your Twitter client. If you use TweetDeck, simply click the looking glass icon on the top left, enter #OneNoteQ as your search query and add the column. The column will automatically refresh when new tweets tagged with #OneNoteQ arrive.

Where do I submit my questions?

One week before a #OneNoteQ TweetMeet is held, you can start submitting questions by filling out a survey created in Microsoft Forms—the new survey tool for Office 365 in Education currently in preview. Every month we’ll announce new surveys on our social media channels.

Visit #OneNoteQ TweetMeet survey to complete this week’s survey or just complete it below:

How can I participate and which hashtags should I use?

During the actual #OneNoteQ TweetMeet you can contribute by tweeting, liking tweets or retweeting.

You can use the #OneNoteQ, #MSFTEdu or #MIEExpert Twitter hashtags.

What happens after the TweetMeet?

Shortly after the TweetMeet, Marjolein will capture the #OneNoteQ tweet history, recap the questions and answers from the event and bundle all of these with links to relevant resources. In addition, all of the information will be added to a Docs.com Collection and the link to the Collection will be shared through our social media channels.

What if I can’t attend a TweetMeet?

Check the upcoming Docs.com Collection that will be updated with all relevant information. This should allow you to quickly inform yourself about the topics of the TweetMeet.

Who and what should I be following on Twitter?

Consider following these Twitter accounts and hashtags:

  • @Microsoft_EDU—Official account for Microsoft in Education.
  • @OneNoteEDU—Official account for Microsoft OneNote in Education.
  • @MTholfsen—Account for Mike Tholfsen, OneNote in Education program manager.
  • @OneNoteC—OneNote Central, Marjolein Hoekstra’s account where she posts OneNote news, tips and resources.
  • #OneNote—Hashtag many people use in their tweets about OneNote.
  • #MIEExpert—Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts hashtag.
  • #MSFTEdu—Microsoft in Education hashtag.

You can also email your ideas and feedback about this initiative to onenoteedu@microsoft.com.

And don’t forget: Office 365 Education is free for students and teachers! Get yours at Office.com/education.

—Lindsay Bayne, senior product marketing manager for the Microsoft in Education Marketing team and Marjolein Hoekstra of the OneNote Central @OneNoteC Twitter channel.

About Marjolein Hoekstra

My first steps with OneNote started six years ago when I needed a new home for my digital notes. The following years, OneNote’s organizational features helped me greatly during my university studies in Chinese language and culture. I started using OneNote for different purposes, resulting in multiple personal knowledge bases. Before too long I also found myself making notes about tips and tricks on effectively using the OneNote program itself.

Passionate about the product, I soon decided to set up OneNote Central @OneNoteC, a dedicated Twitter account where I could share all those tips, resources and news bytes with the OneNote community. This initiative clearly caught on and Microsoft awarded me as an MVP. OneNote Central has come to complement my work as a OneNote trainer and allows me to connect daily with many power users. Your stories on how OneNote makes you thrive are a true inspiration. I now look forward to engaging with you even more as Microsoft Partner Product Expert.

The post Announcing monthly educator “#OneNoteQ TweetMeets” in partnership with OneNote Central appeared first on Office Blogs.

Register for “From Demo to Action: Tips from everyday users” on Modern Workplace

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 09:00

Finding the right tools to improve productivity and communication in your company can be a challenge—but what about implementation?

Register now for the next episode of Modern Workplace, From Demo to Action: Tips from everyday users,” airing August 9 at 8 a.m. PDT / 3 p.m. GMT to see the best user tips from season two in action. Also, learn how innovations in Office 365 and Office 2016 are helping organizations stay secure, communicate more effectively and get things done.

Our featured guests are technology leaders with extensive experience in helping customers maximize the powerful tools provided by Microsoft.

  • Brad Rappell, CEO at CloudFirst
  • Tony Safoian, CEO and president at SADA Systems
  • Eric Sugar, president at ProServeIT

Register now to get exclusive whitepapers and eBooks. Visit www.modernworkplace.com to watch the latest webcast, “Digital Politics: New technology in motion.”

The post Register for “From Demo to Action: Tips from everyday users” on Modern Workplace appeared first on Office Blogs.

Kelly Services—putting nearly one million people to work every year, one great hire at a time

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 09:00
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Read the Office 365 case study and Skype for Business case study for an in-depth look at the Kelly Services digital transformation.

Today’s post about Office 365 was written by Timothy Kroeger, manager of global messaging and collaboration services at Kelly Services.

Kelly Services was founded in Detroit in 1946 by William Russell Kelly to help the fast-growing auto industry find trained secretarial staff. We’ve evolved in the last 70 years into a global organization that identifies and employs a vast array of talent, including engineers, teachers, software developers and other professionals.

We take a lot of pride in what we do, and we like to say that we succeed one hire at a time. To succeed consistently and quickly, we must be able to communicate and share information immediately—in a café, a car or a customer location.

We were one of the first companies in the world to use Microsoft Office 365, starting with Microsoft Exchange Online for email, then OneDrive for Business for document sharing and SharePoint Online for collaboration. Moving email to the cloud back in 2009 was quite daring, but we recognized the value of using cloud services to help dispersed teams work together more efficiently. With a totally digital workplace, we’re able to respond to customers in seconds or minutes, not hours or days, which is critical to maintaining our competitive edge.

The beauty of our move to the cloud from a competitive perspective is that we’ve outsourced a considerable amount of development to Microsoft. We focus on staffing, and Microsoft provides us with great productivity software to support our efforts. And the pace of innovation pouring out of Microsoft through Office 365 is quite impressive.

In the last year, we’ve added Cloud PBX and PSTN Calling, new features in Skype for Business Online, to integrate telephony into our Office 365 suite. Employees no longer chase down voicemails left on an office phone. We’ve given them each a phone number that follows them wherever they go. And we’ve empowered them to set up their own call management rules, which puts them in the driver’s seat and takes a huge administrative burden off my staff. With these features, the company is able to respond to customers faster and win business.

We see lots of opportunity to use Skype Meeting Broadcast, in conjunction with Office 365 Video, for town hall meetings with up to 10,000 participants from all over the world. Skype Meeting Broadcast provides far better audio quality and a much easier interface than other web conferencing solutions that cannot scale this large. It also allows viewers to watch in real time, pause or start whenever they want, which is critical for attendees in different time zones.

We’re using Office Delve to find information quickly. For example, when preparing to work with a new customer in a particular field, rather than starting from scratch, our executive coaches use Delve to search for up-to-date industry research and briefing documents that a colleague in another location may already have developed. We also use Delve Analytics to gain insight into how we’re using our time—our most valuable resource—so that we can be more efficient and effective.

Email is perhaps the most critical application at Kelly, and Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection gives us even greater protection against the rising tide of malware threats, especially targeting our executive and financial staffs.

The constant innovation coming from Microsoft is great for Kelly, because with every new service, we get higher productivity and new ways to engage our customers, at nearly no cost to us. Since using Office 365, my team’s role has changed dramatically. We’re much more engaged with the business, solving problems, empowering employees to use these tools, and supporting the company on its continuous journey of transformation.

—Timothy Kroeger

The post Kelly Services—
putting nearly one million people to work every year, one great hire at a time
appeared first on Office Blogs.

Take a systematic approach to security and information protection with Office 365

Wed, 07/27/2016 - 08:59

Today’s post was written by Brenda Carter, principal content developer for Office 365 enterprise adoption.

Microsoft provides the most comprehensive set of identity and information protection capabilities for customers. However, the breadth of capabilities can be daunting. We get a lot of requests for help determining which features to implement and where to start—especially with Office 365.

Today, we’re pleased to share two new resources designed to help you take a systematic approach to security and information protection. These were developed in partnership with our cybersecurity consulting team. I’ve learned a great deal by working with this team to create content to support our customers in adopting Microsoft cloud services, including Office 365. But you don’t have to hire this team to take advantage of their experience working one-on-one with customers across many industries. The basic concepts that drive an Office 365 security engagement are published in two visual resources.

Cloud security for enterprise architects

The first resource is a set of posters that provides an overview of what IT architects need to know about security in Microsoft cloud services and platforms.

This set of posters includes a graphic summarizing the areas of security ownership for both Microsoft and our customers:

This mini-poster set details the work in each of these categories and includes links to resources with more information about each responsibility. When you look at the work that is accomplished for integration with Office 365 (SaaS columns), you can see that you’ve completed work that also applies to PaaS, IaaS and on-premises workloads. If you want help with this work, the last page in this poster-set includes information about engaging our cybersecurity consulting team.

Below are several download options for these posters:

 PDF |  Visio |  Docs.com 

Help for Office 365

The second resource is a poster that helps you plan your information protection strategy based on the needs of your organization.

This poster highlights the methodical approach to information security recommended by our cybersecurity team:

Many large organizations categorize data into five or more levels or groups to determine which controls to apply. Our cybersecurity consulting team recommends three groups as a starting point. I’ve also observed enterprise organizations recently consolidating to fewer groups to simplify information protection.

This can be as simple as the following example:

  • Level 1—Minimum standard for all data.
  • Level 2—Sensitive data, apply targeted controls to this data.
  • Level 3—High value assets (HVAs), apply the strongest protection to this data.

The recommended approach is to start by implementing controls for a minimum standard and work up to the HVAs. This approach allows you to gain experience with basic features before applying more complex features. However, if you hire our consulting team, their first priority will be to secure your HVAs no matter where this data resides. If your deployment of Office 365 already includes HVAs, start with this category.

Below are several download options for this poster:

 PDFVisioDocs.com

For more information about implementing these capabilities, see: Plan for Office 365 security and information protection capabilities.

More resources

Get more in-depth resources that describe identity, security, storage, networking and hybrid solution for the IT industry’s most comprehensive cloud solution at aka.ms/CloudArchitecture.

—Brenda Carter

The post Take a systematic approach to security and information protection with Office 365 appeared first on Office Blogs.

Outlook helps you focus on what matters to you

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 06:00

We are being inundated with more information, more communication and more email vying for our attention. It is more critical than ever to have tools that help us cut through the noise and focus on what matters most. Today, Outlook is expanding the availability of two new experiences to do just that—Focused Inbox and @mentions.

These new experiences add to several recently released features, all aimed at helping you take control of your mailbox. In December, Outlook began automatically adding events from your email to your calendar. And last month we added simplified summary cards in your inbox and calendar for travel reservations and package deliveries. Combined, these features help deliver on Outlook’s core mission: Keeping you connected, focused and on top of what matters.

Focused Inbox—focus on the emails that matter most

For many, the inbox is the command center for their day. It’s the way to keep track of what is going on and what needs to get done. Outlook’s Focused Inbox makes this process easier by helping you focus on the emails that matter most to you. It separates your inbox into two tabs—Focused and Other. Emails that matter most to you are in the Focused tab, while the rest remain easily accessible—but out of the way in the Other tab. You’ll be informed about email flowing to Other, and you can switch between tabs at any time to take a quick look.

You’re in control

Focused Inbox is not meant to take control of your mail, but rather work with you to prioritize what is important to you. What lands in your Focused Inbox is determined by an understanding of the people you interact with often, and the content of the email itself (e.g., newsletters, machine generated mail, etc.). If you need to fine tune your Focused Inbox, just use the “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other” options.

What this means for Clutter

Focused Inbox is a refinement and improvement of a previous feature called Clutter. Clutter’s purpose was also to help you focus on the most important items in your inbox, but it did so by moving “Other” email to a separate folder. Focused Inbox makes it easier for you to stay on top of incoming email without having to visit another folder.

As Focused Inbox rolls out, we’ll stop moving messages to the Clutter folder. See the “Frequently asked questions” below for more details on how this will work.

Rollout of Focused Inbox

Focused Inbox was first released on Outlook for iOS and Android and is being used daily by tens of millions of users. Now, it is coming to all versions of Outlook to give you one consistent view of the important items in your inbox. It begins rolling out this week for users of the new Outlook.com and will soon start rolling out for Office 365 customers in our First Release program in early September. Office 365 admins will have mailbox and tenant level control of the feature to stage the rollout in a manner that works best for their organization.

@mentions—get someone’s attention and focus your own

@mentions make collaborating on email fast and easy. Simply type the @ symbol anywhere in the body of your email and start typing to pick the person you want to address. Once you pick the person you want to address their name is highlighted in the message in blue, helping them know they are being asked to take an action in your message. In addition, if the person isn’t part of the email conversation already, they will be automatically added to the To… line so they receive a copy of your email.

@mention someone by typing the @ symbol, followed by their name in the body of your email.

Focus on what needs your attention

In addition to helping you get other people’s attention, @mentions also helps you be aware of what you’ve been asked to do. Outlook adds an @ symbol in the message list for the messages you’ve been mentioned in, so you can see at a glance which emails require your action before you open them. Outlook also includes a filter so you can sort to see only the messages where you’ve been mentioned. Once you’ve opened the email, the blue highlighting of your name in the body of the email helps you quickly find where you’ve been mentioned.

Pro tip—For messages where you’ve been mentioned, Outlook also updates the preview text of the message. Instead of a preview of the first words of the email, Outlook shows you a preview of the text immediately following your mention.

The @ symbol appears in the message list for emails in which you’ve been @mentioned.

Rollout of @mentions

@mentions is already available in Outlook on the web. Today, @mentions is available for Office Insiders using Outlook 2016 for Windows and Mac and is coming soon for Outlook for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile.

Let us know what you think!

If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, you can try these new features today by signing up for the Office Insider program. If you have any feedback on these features or new ideas, please share them with us at Outlook.UserVoice.com. Stay tuned for more to come!

—The Outlook team

Frequently asked questions

Q. When will I see the Focused Inbox feature in my version of Outlook?

A. Focused Inbox was first released on Outlook for iOS and Android. All versions of Outlook that receive updates will soon become Focused Inbox capable, including Outlook 2016 for Windows and Mac as well as Outlook on the web and Windows 10. Users will begin seeing the feature turn on once their Office 365 or Outlook.com mailbox is enabled for Focused Inbox. Mailboxes on the new Outlook.com will begin becoming Focused Inbox enabled this week, and will continue over the coming months. Office 365 users in the First Release program will become Focused Inbox enabled in early September. Regular Office 365 mailboxes will follow after First Release availability.

Q. What will the experience be for users of Clutter moving to the Focused Inbox?

A. Active Clutter users will have to opt-in to Focused Inbox and will be able to do so from an in-app prompt in Outlook. After they opt-in, they will no longer receive less important email in the “Clutter” folder. Instead, email will be split between the Focused and Other tabs in their inbox. The same machine learned algorithm that moved items to the Clutter folder now powers Focused Inbox, meaning that any emails that were set to move to Clutter will now be moved to Other.

Read this help article for more details on the prompts users will see and how to turn Focused Inbox on and off.

Q. Can I keep using Clutter instead of Focused Inbox?

A. You can keep using the existing Clutter experience through the transition. However, after the transition period, Clutter will be completely replaced by Focused Inbox.

Q. If I turned off Clutter, will I still be able to try Focused Inbox?

A. Yes, you’ll receive a prompt to try the Focused Inbox when your mailbox is ready.

Q. What controls will I have available as an IT admin for controlling this rollout in my organization?

A. Office 365 admins can manage the rollout of Focused Inbox for their users with tenant and mailbox level controls using PowerShell. More details for admins will become available in August via the Office 365 Message Center, prior to Office 365 First Release customers being enabled for Focused Inbox in September.

Q. I’m using Focused Inbox already on Outlook for iOS or Android; does anything change for me?

A. Nothing will change in Outlook for iOS and Android. As our other Outlook apps are updated to include Focused Inbox, you will now see the same set of items in both the Focused Inbox and Other across all your Outlook clients.

Q. Is it possible to turn off Focused Inbox?

A. You can turn Focused Inbox off or on at any time from any version of Outlook. However, we hear from our Outlook for iOS and Android users that they love Focused Inbox, and we hope you give it a try as it rolls out to all of our other Outlook clients.

Q. What email accounts will @mentions work for?

A. The sender features of @mentions will be available to all—regardless of the type of mailbox or email service you are using in Outlook. The recipient features of @mentions (message list improvements, blue highlighting in reading pane) are only available for recipients using Outlook with Office 365 or the new Outlook.com accounts. We will add support for the recipient features of @mentions in Outlook when connected to other emails account (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo) later this year.

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New to Office 365 in July—new intelligent services Researcher and Editor in Word, Outlook Focused Inbox for desktop and Zoom in PowerPoint

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 06:00

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

This month, we are releasing a new set of cloud-powered intelligent services in Office apps designed to save you time and produce better results. These features help you improve your writing in Word, deliver dynamic presentations in PowerPoint and prioritize the emails that matter most to you in Outlook.

Introducing Researcher: accessing credible sources and cited content just got easier

Researcher is a new service in Word that helps you find and incorporate reliable sources and content for your paper in fewer steps. Right within your Word document you can explore material related to your topic and add it—and its properly-formatted citation—in one click. Researcher uses the Bing Knowledge Graph to pull in the appropriate content from the web and provide structured, safe and credible information.

We’ll continue expanding Researcher’s body of reference materials to also include sources like national science and health centers, well-known encyclopedias, history databases and more. We’ll also soon bring Researcher to mobile devices so you can start creating a quick outline for that term paper no matter where you are or what device you’re using. Researcher is available today for Office 365 subscribers using Word 2016 on Windows desktops.

Introducing Editor—your new digital writing assistant

While Researcher helps you start a paper, Editor assists you with the finishing touches by providing an advanced proofing and editing service. Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing—mixed with input from our own team of linguists—Editor makes suggestions to help you improve your writing. Initially, it will help you simplify and streamline written communications by flagging unclear phrases or complex words, such as recommending “most” in place of “the majority of.”

Editor will start with writing style suggestions to improve clarity, and expand over time.

As a cloud-based service, Editor will get better with time. This fall, it will expand upon Word’s current spelling and grammar tools to inform you why words or phrases may not be accurate—teaching at the same time it is correcting. In the same release, Editor will overhaul Word’s visual proofing cues so you can distinguish at a glance between edits for spelling (red squiggle), grammar (blue double underline) or writing style (gold dotted line). Stay tuned for these and other updates to Editor.

Editor will provide context on why certain words or phrases may be incorrect.

Focus on what matters in Outlook with Focused Inbox and @mentions

Two updates to Outlook this month help you work smarter and take control of your email. Customers love using Focused Inbox in Outlook on iOS and Android. Now we’re rolling it out to Outlook on Windows, Mac and Outlook on the web. Focused Inbox helps you focus on the emails that matter most to you, as it automatically separates your inbox into two tabs. Emails that matter most to you are in the “Focused” tab, while the rest remain easily accessible—but out of the way in the “Other” tab. As you move email in or out of your Focused Inbox, Outlook’s intelligence learns from your behavior to become even more tailored to your priorities going forward.

This release on desktops and web means you now have one, consistent view of the important items in your inbox across all your devices. Read today’s Outlook blog for more details on Focused Inbox, including timelines and what to expect if you currently use Clutter.

We’re also bringing @mentions to Outlook on Windows and Mac for Office 365 subscribers, making it easy to identify emails that need your attention, as well as flag actions for others. To flag someone, just type the @ symbol in the body of the email and pick the desired person. Their name will automatically be highlighted in the email and their email address automatically added to the To: line. If you are mentioned, the @ symbol will show up in Outlook, and you can filter to quickly find all emails where you are mentioned. Within the emails, your name is highlighted in blue, helping you find where you’ve been flagged. @mentions are available today for Office Insiders using Outlook 2016 on Windows and Mac. They’re already available in Outlook on the web and are coming soon for Outlook for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile. Read more in today’s Outlook blog.

It’s easy to scan for emails you’re mentioned in with the @ symbol in the message list and an inbox filter.

The continued evolution of PowerPoint—introducing Zoom

In November, we introduced PowerPoint Designer and Morph, helping anyone create polished slides and captivating motion with just a few clicks. Today, we’re excited to introduce Zoom, which lets you easily create interactive, non-linear presentations. Captivate your audience with smooth, effortless navigation in and out of any slide or section, starting from a single interactive summary slide. Present your slides in whatever order makes sense based on your audience, without exiting slide show mode and interrupting the flow. Office Insiders using PowerPoint 2016 on Windows desktops can now incorporate Zoom in three easy ways to build summary slides, depending on the depth of content and your use of sections. For example, a Summary Zoom for a presentation that has dedicated sections, or a Slide Zoom for a deck that has a few slides.

We’ll continue building more intelligence into Office apps, as well as expanding the capabilities announced today. Read about additional Office 365 updates this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. Thanks for your continued feedback and support!

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

The post New to Office 365 in July—new intelligent services Researcher and Editor in Word, Outlook Focused Inbox for desktop and Zoom in PowerPoint appeared first on Office Blogs.

July 2016 updates for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 09:00

Excel 2016 includes a powerful new set of features based on Power Query technology, which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities and can be accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.

Today, we are pleased to announce 12 new data transformation and connectivity features that have been requested by many customers. These updates are available as part of an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, find out how to get these latest updates. If you have Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, you can also take advantage of these updates by downloading the latest Power Query for Excel add-in.

These updates include the following new or improved data connectivity and transformation features:

  • New SAP HANA connector.
  • New SharePoint Folder connector.
  • New Online Services connectors category.
  • Improved DB2 connector, now leveraging the Microsoft driver for IBM DB2.
  • Improved Text/CSV connector, now exposing editable settings in the preview dialog.
  • Improved relational database connectors, now including Schema information as a part of the Navigation hierarchy.
  • Data Source Settings enhancements, including “Change Source” capability.
  • Advanced Filter Rows dialog mode within the Query Editor.
  • Inline Input controls for Function invocation within the Query Editor.
  • Support for reordering Query Steps within the Query Editor by using drag and drop gestures.
  • Date picker support for input Date values in Filter Rows and Conditional Columns dialogs.
  • New context menu entry to create new queries from the Queries pane within the Query Editor.
New SAP HANA connector

In this update, we added a new connector to allow users to import data from SAP HANA databases. The new connector can be found under Data > New Query > Database category, or from the Query Editor window.

New SharePoint Folder connector

Available under Data > New Query > File category, the new SharePoint Folder connector enables users to import data from multiple files within a SharePoint folder, similar to how the existing Folder connector enables users to import and combine multiple files from a filesystem folder.

New Online Services connectors category

With this update, we added a new category that includes all available connectors for Online Services in Excel. The new category is available under Data > New Query > Online Services or from the Query Editor window.

Improved DB2 connector, now leveraging the Microsoft driver for IBM DB2

In this release, we improved the IBM DB2 connector to provide users the choice to leverage the Microsoft driver for IBM DB2, which is also automatically included in the Excel/Power Query installation.

Within the IBM DB2 connector dialog, users can now select which driver to use under Advanced options.

Improved Text/CSV connector, now exposing editable settings in the preview dialog

In this update, we improved the Text and CSV connectors so users can configure basic import settings from within the preview dialog. These import settings include:

  • File Origin.
  • Delimiter.
  • Detect Data Type (strategies include: Base on top 200 rows, Base on entire dataset or No data type detection).

Based on user choices, the preview in this dialog automatically updates. Users can then decide whether to directly load the data or edit first to apply additional data transformations.

Improved relational database connectors, now including Schema information as a part of the Navigation hierarchy

In this update, we enhanced the database connectors to expose an option that allows users to include Schema information as part of the Navigation hierarchy. This option is available under the Advanced option in all database connector dialogs, such as the SQL Server Database dialog below:

Data Source Settings enhancements, including “Change Source” capability

Users can now easily update the location of a data source for all queries connected to that data source within a single Excel workbook. Before this update, users had to update the data source location for each of the queries connected to the source. The new solution allows users to do this in a single step.

Within the Data Source Settings dialog (Data > New Query > Data Source Settings), there is a new Current Workbook scope option, which allows users to limit the list of displayed data sources to only those that are used in the current file. From this view, the users can modify credentials, privacy levels and other settings for that data source, or use the Change Source option to modify the location for that data source.

Advanced Filter Rows dialog mode within the Query Editor

We’re introducing a new mode in the Filter Rows dialog within the Query Editor. This new mode allows users to add multiple filter clauses within a single Filter Rows step (before this update, only 1–2 clauses were allowed) and also combine filter clauses based on multiple columns (before, all clauses were applied to a single column).

Inline Input controls for Function invocation within the Query Editor

We improved the inline preview for functions within the Query Editor dialog to allow input values for function invocation. This new Enter Parameters section in the inline function preview is available for both “out of the box” functions (M Engine functions) as well as user-defined functions.

Support for reordering Query Steps within the Query Editor by using drag and drop gestures

We now support reordering of Query Steps within the Query Editor by using drag and drop gestures. This can be done for each query via the Applied Steps section in the Query Editor.

Date picker support for input Date values in Filter Rows and Conditional Columns dialogs

In this update, users can now leverage a Date picker control to provide input Date values in the Filter Rows and Conditional Columns dialogs.

New context menu entry to create new queries from the Queries pane within the Query Editor

You can now add a new query in the Queries pane within the Query Editor when you right-click in the background of the pane or in a query group node. This allows a more intuitive experience for adding new queries when working in the Query Editor pane. Also, when you right-click a query group, the new query is added to the selected group.

How do I get started?

Excel 2016 provides a powerful set of capabilities for fast, easy data gathering and shaping, which is available under the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon. Updates outlined in this blog are available as part of an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, find out how to get these latest updates. If you have Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, you can take advantage of these updates by downloading the latest Power Query for Excel add-in.

—The Excel team

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Modern SharePoint lists are here—including integration with Microsoft Flow and PowerApps

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 09:00

Earlier this year, we unveiled a new cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint, which included innovations that empower people, teams and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device. Today, we’re pleased to announce the rollout of modern SharePoint lists to SharePoint Online, along with one-click integration of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. These enhancements will begin rolling out to Office 365 First Release customers the first week in August 2016.

What’s new with modern SharePoint lists

Modern SharePoint lists provide a powerful way for people to collaborate on structured data directly from their team site to help teams organize content—such as investment account onboarding details, field service requests or even softball team T-shirt sizes. Over ten million custom lists are already in use across Office 365.

Now, we’re delivering a modern list experience that looks great and is responsive, accessible and easy to use on any device. The modern SharePoint list experience will be automatically available to all existing classic SharePoint Online lists.

With modern SharePoint lists you can:

  • Improve ease of use by empowering users to add columns to lists and sort, filter and group data in place.
  • Elevate data quality by viewing and editing all item details in the information panel without leaving the list.
  • Improve productivity by bulk editing list items with Quick Edit.
  • Automate simple business processes with versions, approvals and alerts.
  • Enrich static information with rich data types including people, images and managed metadata tags.

Modern SharePoint lists in the information panel.

In addition, modern SharePoint lists look great on the SharePoint mobile app—making every location and every device a first-class component of business processes.

Editing list items in SharePoint mobile browser.

Modern and classic SharePoint list experience

Almost all SharePoint classic lists will automatically inherit the new modern SharePoint list interface. Modern SharePoint lists support the themes, navigation and custom buttons that were created in classic mode. We monitor the compatibility of customizations every time a user visits a list. If we see a compatibility blocker—like an unsupported browser or JSLink customizations—the list automatically reverts to the classic experience. Users can choose to revert to the classic experience at any time, and administrators can configure classic experience as default at the list, site, site collection or tenant level. And rest assured—we have no plans to remove classic mode anytime soon. Classic mode supports your customizations today and tomorrow. Looking forward, we’re going to continue to develop rich customization scenarios for modern experiences along with the SharePoint Framework.

Integrating PowerApps and Microsoft Flow

Customers regularly exchange data between SharePoint lists and other systems to support business processes. These scenarios become more powerful with deep integration of Microsoft Flow with SharePoint modern lists. Flow automates workflow and data exchange between SharePoint and a variety of Microsoft and third-party services. Now, you can create and launch Flows directly from a SharePoint list and store and modify that data within SharePoint.

With PowerApps, you can connect, create and share business apps on any device in minutes. You can build efficient mobile forms and apps directly from a SharePoint list, without needing to write code. PowerApps and Flow share a common connector framework that allows you to weave in dozens of data sources on-premises and in the cloud, including Exchange, SQL, Dynamics, Salesforce, Google, Mail Chimp, Twitter, Wunderlist and more.

Building a PowerApp from a modern SharePoint list.

Set up a new Flow from SharePoint.

Automatically build a new Flow from SharePoint.

Flow and PowerApps are both currently in public preview.

To learn more about PowerApps and Flow integration, watch this video:

What’s next?

The initial rollout of modern SharePoint lists to First Release customers will be in early August 2016. After that, we will add PowerApps and Flow to the command bar. With Office 365 groups all receiving full team sites soon, even more users than ever will have access to our business app tools. We will have even more to show at Microsoft Ignite this fall in Atlanta.

Early preview of modern SharePoint lists

We recognize that customers want to validate these modern SharePoint list experiences for potential impact to users, training, customizations, or third-party solutions. Starting today, we are providing an early preview of the modern SharePoint list experience ahead of First Release and we look forward to your feedback.

See the Office 365 Network for details about how to enable early preview of modern lists.

—Chris McNulty, senior product manager for the SharePoint team

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Office 365 news roundup

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 13:25

At the annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) last week, Microsoft partners from every part of the globe heard about our newest innovations and how they can use Office 365 to transform their customers’ businesses while building their own. One of the highlights at WPC was when Facebook CIO Tim Campos took the stage to explain why his fast-growing company is using Office 365 to enhance productivity, collaboration and mobility for its global workforce.

One of the great things about WPC and the other conferences that Microsoft hosts throughout the year is that they bring together a community of like-minded people who want to learn more about Office 365 and our other products. Yet, as valuable as those conferences are, they are not the only good way for you to engage with your peers on issues related to Office 365. We recently announced the public preview of the Office 365 Network, an online community where IT pros, technical experts, product enthusiasts and Office 365 customers can come together to share information and best practices.

Three other announcements also underscore the value of keeping up-to-date on Office 365 news. Earlier this week, we announced the preview of Microsoft Stream, a new business video service that makes it easier to access and discover video content inside your organization and to integrate video with business workflows. Microsoft Stream builds upon the success of Office 365 Video and eventually the two experiences will converge. Meanwhile, Office 365 Video won’t change. In addition, we extended the Office 365 Data Loss Prevention Policy Tips to OneDrive mobile apps for Android, iOS and Universal Windows, which will let organizations empower their employees to work anywhere, at any time, while helping to protect their content. Further, we introduced a new Office 365 service called Microsoft Bookings to help make appointment scheduling simpler and more efficient for you, your staff and your customers. Bookings allows customers to schedule time with your business directly online and make self-service changes, while providing you a centralized booking calendar for a complete view of upcoming appointments.

As we keep improving Office 365 with updates, enhancements and new features, we will also continue to offer multiple opportunities for you to learn more and share information about the service.

Below is a roundup of some key news items from the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

CSC elevates workplace agility, cultivates new market opportunities with Office 365—Discover why CSC, an IT services company, is using Office 365 to redesign its global workplace into a flexible, connected and mobile environment.

Why Facebook is betting on Office 365 and the Microsoft Cloud—Learn how Facebook is using Office 365 to help its global workforce connect and collaborate more securely and efficiently.

Discovery Communications embraces Office 365 to foster creative culture of innovation—Find out how a leading entertainment company is using Office 365 to promote collaboration and unleash creativity.

Guardian Industries—connect, collaborate and innovate from anywhere—Discover how this global company is using Office 365 to “out-innovate” the competition.

Kennametal saves more than $750,000 annually with move to Skype for Business Online—Learn how Kennametal saved money while expanding capabilities by switching from traditional telephony to Skype for Business Online.

Momentum, opportunity highlight Microsoft Office 365 messaging at WPC—At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July, partners learned how they can profit by integrating Office 365 into other solutions and building their own custom offerings on top.

Back on top: Microsoft owns the modern office again—Find out how Microsoft’s mobile-first, cloud-first, multiplatform approach has made Office 365 the king of productivity apps.

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Automatic albums, improved search, Pokémon and more updates to the OneDrive photos experience

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 09:00

Photos are one of the most popular and most important file types that our users save to OneDrive. We’ve been working on improving the OneDrive photos experience across the web and in our mobile apps.

Here’s a look at new features we are rolling out:

Automatic albums

You upload photos to OneDrive so you can easily find and relive memories—whether from another device or by sharing them with friends and family. With automatic albums, this experience is now even easier.

OneDrive detects whenever you take a few photos in a short period of time, in a particular location. The highest quality photos are then selected and put into an album. You are even notified when they’re ready to view and share on OneDrive.com, in our mobile apps or via the Windows 10 Photos app. In addition, to celebrate all of the fun stuff you do over the weekend, on Monday morning albums from your weekend photos are automatically created.

On this day…

On OneDrive.com, you’ll also see the new “On this day” view in your All photos page. We love discovering photos we’ve taken in the past, and this view updates every day with images you have taken over the years on that same day. It’s a great way to relive birthdays or anniversaries or to remember old family vacations.

Improved search

You can now search directly from the All photos view too. This includes finding photos that have been tagged (such as “cat” or “sunset”) or photos from a specific location (try your last vacation). You can even search using emojis. These searches also work in the OneDrive mobile apps.

Photo folders

We listened to your feedback and now have a dedicated view for your folders that have a lot of photos in them. The new photos view includes a hero image, larger thumbnails and a revised menu to help you quickly create an album or share photos.

Updated app experience

In addition to giving the photos view in our mobile apps a little bit of a facelift, we worked closely with the Windows team to improve the experience in the Windows 10 Photos app. Now, when you sign in to Windows 10 with your Microsoft account, all of your OneDrive photos show up—including albums that were created for you automatically by OneDrive! You can even upload local albums to OneDrive so that those albums roam with you and are available across all your devices.

Poké detector

And finally, we know that the Pokémon* craze has captured everyone’s attention. A lot of players take screenshots of their captured Pokémon to show off to their friends—both digitally and in person. We had to make it easier for you to find all your Pokémon screenshots, so we went to work and partnered with Microsoft Research to bring a Pokémon detector to OneDrive.

When you have the OneDrive app on your phone and camera upload is turned on, the screenshots you take from the game are automatically saved to OneDrive and 150 Pokémon are identified for your searching and viewing pleasure. You can also search for your favorite Pokémon by name.

—Douglas Pearce, group program manager for the OneDrive team

*POKÉMON is a trademark of Nintendo Co., Ltd., Nintendo of America, Inc. or their affiliated entities. Neither Microsoft nor OneDrive are affiliated with Nintendo.

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Take your teamwork to the next level with Office 365 and Windows 10

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 11:00

Test drive Office 365 and Windows 10 from the comfort of your own office.

An online immersion session is not your typical online event. These 90-minute interactive sessions start with an online roundtable discussing your business challenges and then launch into a live environment in the cloud. A skilled facilitator guides you through simulated business scenarios that are customized to your interests.

We will send you a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology, so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges in a collaborative, fun environment.

Online immersion sessions help you discover how to:

  • Keep information secure while being productive—Make it easier to work securely and maintain compliance without inhibiting your workflow.
  • Capture, review and share notes from anywhere—Boost your team’s productivity by sharing documents and collaborating in real time.
  • Use social tools to find experts and answers—Break down barriers between departments to share knowledge quickly.
  • Quickly visualize and analyze complex data—Zero in on the data and insights you need without having to involve a BI expert.
  • Co-author and share content quickly—Access and edit documents even while others are editing and reviewing them—all at the same time.

Expect to leave the session with enough time-saving skills to more than offset your time investment within a few short days.

Each session is only open to 20 participants. Reserve your seat now and learn how you can be more productive anywhere, anytime with Office 365.

Sessions are held every Wednesday at 10 a.m. PT and 12 p.m. PT. Register now!

 

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3 urgent truths about cloud computing in a mobile world in 2016

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 09:00

In a constantly evolving world transformed by cloud, social and mobile technologies, companies are focused on strategic platforms for streamlining processes, reaching customers and expanding sales. Cloud computing has been—and will continue to be—a big player in the game, impacting every aspect of our business processes. Global spending on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is expected to reach $16.5 billion this year, while the global Software as a Service (SaaS) market is projected to grow to $67 billion by 2018. So what lies ahead for 2016 and beyond? Here are three facts you should know about cloud computing:

  1. Going hybrid is not just for cars—Companies looking for enterprise cloud solutions no longer want to be forced to choose between their datacenter and the cloud. Businesses require a flexible IT infrastructure that can scale on demand. A hybrid cloud solution offers both. With a private cloud in a company’s datacenter, it can be more agile and manage resources more effectively. Given this fact, it’s no surprise that private cloud adoption increased from 63 percent to 77 percent, driving hybrid cloud adoption up from 58 percent to 71 percent year-over-year. This has allowed companies to take advantage of service providers that offer cloud storage, backup and recovery options with increased efficiency and reduced cost.
  2. Internet of Things (IoT) = cloud-based services—From vehicles and security systems, to refrigerators and washing machines, every “thing” is now connected. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2018, there will be 22 billion IoT devices installed, driving the development of over 200,000 new apps and services. This has produced a new generation of platforms, which will eventually all communicate via the cloud. From pre-configured solutions that accelerate IoT projects, to the ability to connect devices to efficiently manage multiple assets with expandable scalability, to gathering valuable IoT data and capturing insights that integrate with existing business systems—there are a wealth of possibilities when it comes to using cloud-based services to jumpstart and manage IoT offerings.
  3. There’s a native app for that—Experts estimate cloud apps will account for a whopping 90 percent of worldwide mobile data traffic by 2019. That means time savings and efficiency are the name of the game when it comes to the application development process. With cloud-native apps reducing overall development time by 11.6 percent, many companies are choosing cloud-development strategies to streamline processes and boost collaboration. Growing alongside this trend are cloud app containers. They’ve emerged as an attractive way for developers to quickly and efficiently build and deploy these “born-in-the cloud” applications. By using containers, developers and IT professionals can deploy applications from a workstation to a server in mere seconds. And they can select from Windows Server containers, Linux containers and Hyper-V containers—both in the cloud and on-premises.

There’s no question—the cloud has been a game changer. With innovative security measures and a better understanding of cloud computing, more and more companies are relying heavily on cloud-based apps and platforms to boost customer demand strategies. Today’s cloud provides layers of security features and operational best practices, not to mention enterprise-grade user and admin controls to further secure an environment, beckoning companies to take advantage of a holistic, agile platform that is also secure.

Related content

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Sway accessibility milestones

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 09:00

The Microsoft mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and we on the Sway team take this mission to heart.

We built the Sway app to make it easy to bring in content from multiple sources, so you can convey a richer story with photos, videos and other multimedia. Our built-in design engine instantly puts your creations into cohesive layouts and designs, so you don’t have to spend hours on formatting. And our digital format makes it easy to share your Sway with a link and ensures that it adapts to different screens.

On top of these, we’ve been working on several features to help users with vision, mobility and cognitive impairments use Sway in their personal and work lives. All of the following enhancements are now available on the Sway web and Windows apps.

Accessibility Checker

We’re excited to launch the Accessibility Checker to help authors:

  • Identify images or videos with missing alternative text.
  • Review and update all alternative text.
  • Review and update all non-descriptive hyperlinks.

The Accessibility Checker opens up to the left of the Storyline area, so you won’t have to switch back and forth while composing your Sway and checking its accessibility.

Sway will automatically use existing alt text when you import images from Word, PowerPoint, PDF and online sources. It will also use file names as alt text when you upload photos from your local drive.

Keyboard enhancements

Everything that you can do with a mouse or with touch, you can now do with a keyboard.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use Ctrl+F6 to move among different areas in Sway, such as the menu bar, the left side pane, the Storyline area and the Preview mode.
  2. Click the tab or the arrow keys to move across a given area.
  3. Press Enter when you find the function you need.

The boxed outline in the example below helps you find your keyboard’s current focus:

You can refer to this handy list of keyboard shortcuts for Sway.

High Contrast mode

We also made a number of enhancements for users who work in High Contrast mode, including:

  • Icons are converted into glyphs to make symbols and text clearer.
  • Borders are bolded to help identify different sections in Sway.
  • Dotted outlines pinpoint your keyboard’s current focus.

Here is how Sway looks in the improved High Contrast mode:

Accessibility View

We’ve reached out to several people to ensure that we keep improving the Sway Accessibility View for our users. Today, it enables a variety of helpful functions, including:

  • It enables assistive technology to access all of your Sway’s content and provide you with jump locations.
  • It changes your Sway’s color scheme to black and white to provide you with higher contrast.
  • It switches Sway to vertical scrolling to make it easier for you to navigate your Sway with assistive technology or with a keyboard.

We’d love to learn more about how we could further improve this view on our Sway UserVoice page.

Storyline expansion

Additionally, we’ve heard from users that you want to be able to see more of your content when creating a Sway. As such, we’ve enabled the ability to expand the Storyline area (and hide the Preview mode), so you can have a more focused and maximized authoring canvas:

Find

To help authors quickly move around and find things in Sway, we’ve added the ability to search for content in the Storyline area. Simply navigate to the search icon at the top of your Storyline, input your keywords and press Enter.

Viewers can also access this feature by switching to Accessibility View and clicking Find.

Assistive technology (including screen readers)

Finally, Sway is now aligned with the accessibility standards of WAI-ARIA, so you should have an overall improved experience when using your favorite assistive technology with the app.

We would love to hear more of your suggestions on how we can improve Sway’s accessibility. Please send us your thoughts on our UserVoice page.

For more resources on Sway accessibility, please refer to the following guides: Sway accessibility, Sway Windows app for Office 365 VPAT and Sway web app for Office 365 VPAT.

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OneNote July roundup

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 09:00

This month the OneNote team is pleased to release new capabilities to enhance inking, clipping content from the web and working with others. We have a lot of great things to share with you, so let’s dive right in.

Inking with OneNote

Ink effects—Sometimes a simple color isn’t enough to get your idea across. Now you can jazz up your notes and drawings with new ink effects like rainbow, galaxy, gold and silver to make anything you write more unique and even more fun. We were inspired to create these new ink effects in response to requests we heard from students when we visited their classrooms. During beta testing, we were pleased to see the smiles brought to everyone’s faces—young and old alike. Ink effects are now available for Office 365 subscribers in OneNote on Windows 10.

Inking in OneNote for Mac—Today, we’re launching ink in OneNote for Mac for the first time, bringing to life one of our top user requests. Now you can write, draw and highlight with tools on the new Draw tab using your mouse or trackpad. You can also use your third-party drawing tablet or display that uses a pen or stylus to write, draw and erase –just like pen and paper. And we’ve added lined pages and grids as a background option to help keep your new handwriting and drawings neat and tidy. If you’re a big fan of drawing and writing with ink, OneNote works great with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil as well. These new tools for Mac let you express yourself in a whole new way, as you think with ink.  Get OneNote for Mac in the Mac app store today.

OneNote Web Clipper

Our OneNote Web Clipper is better than ever. We have a number of new features on our Web Clipper for Chrome, Safari, and IE to give you more control over your screen clippings before you send it into OneNote.

Preview—Ever wonder exactly what was about to show up in OneNote once you clipped? Problem solved! Now all clipping modes—full page, region, article, recipe and product—provide a preview so what you see is what you get.

YouTube and Vimeo support—You can now clip videos from YouTube and Vimeo pages into OneNote.

Highlight text—When you clip an article, product or recipe you can highlight sections of text, and those highlights will be saved to OneNote.

Clip multiple regions in one go—Clip multiple regions of a webpage and save them all in a single OneNote page.

Use your own title—Change the title of your page in the preview window before sending it to OneNote.

Articles your way—Change the font size and type in your article to improve readability before you even clip it to OneNote.

Update to the latest version to see all the new features or download the extension at www.onenote.com/clipper.

Sharing Notifications Email service

Never miss an important notebook edit again. For consumers using a Microsoft account, our newly improved sharing notifications means you’ll receive an email letting you know that someone has made a change to your shared OneNote notebook—helping you stay on the same page.

Users now will receive a maximum of five emails a day from the Sharing Notification Email service.  Each email includes changes from all of your notebooks. The cadence of emails may change as we continue to improve our services. To manage your notification settings, visit www.onenote.com/sharenotificationsettings.

It’s been a big month here at OneNote, thanks for taking the time to read up on everything new you can do. One last thing, in the next few weeks, we’ll launch our new OneNote importer tool for Mac to help even more people import with confidence.  

—Scott Shapiro, product marketing manager for the OneNote team

We always want to hear your feedback, so make comments below or follow these links.

The post OneNote July roundup appeared first on Office Blogs.

Episode 100 with Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper on Future of SharePoint—Office 365 Developer Podcast

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 09:00

In episode 100 of the Office 365 Developer Podcast, Richard diZerega and Andrew Coates are joined by Jeff Teper, the Corporate Vice President of SharePoint and OneDrive. They discuss Jeff’s long and influential history with SharePoint and the future of the platform. Former host Jeremy Thake also makes a surprise appearance.

http://officeblogspodcastswest.blob.core.windows.net/podcasts/EP100_JeffTeper.mp3

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates

Got questions or comments about the show? Join the O365 Dev Podcast on the Office 365 Technical Network. The podcast RSS is available on iTunes or search for it at “Office 365 Developer Podcast” or add directly with the RSS feeds.feedburner.com/Office365DeveloperPodcast.

About Jeff Teper

Jeff Teper leads the OneDrive and SharePoint team, which serves hundreds of millions of users and 80 percent of organizations. Jeff joined Microsoft in 1992 to lead corporate developer evangelism for Windows NT. He then served as a group pProgram manager in Microsoft’s Internet Business Unit. In 1998, he led the creation of SharePoint Portal Server, which became one of Microsoft’s fastest-growing businesses exceeding $2 billion in revenues. Jeff next served as corporate vice president for Program Management across Office 365 Services and Servers, which is the foundation of Microsoft’s enterprise cloud leadership. He then led Corporate Strategy supporting Satya Nadella and Amy Hood on Microsoft’s mobile-first/cloud-first transformation and acquisitions. Prior to joining Microsoft, Jeff was vice president for software development for an investment firm in New York. Jeff  holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree in information systems and finance from New York University where he was class valedictorian.

About the hosts

Richard is a software engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) group, where he helps developers and software vendors maximize their use of Microsoft cloud services in Office 365 and Azure. Richard has spent a good portion of the last decade architecting Office-centric solutions, many that span Microsoft’s diverse technology portfolio. He is a passionate technology evangelist and a frequent speaker at worldwide conferences, trainings and events. Richard is highly active in the Office 365 community, popular blogger at aka.ms/richdizz and can be found on Twitter at @richdizz. Richard is born, raised and based in Dallas, TX, but works on a worldwide team based in Redmond. Richard is an avid builder of things (BoT), musician and lightning-fast runner.

A Civil Engineer by training and a software developer by profession, Andrew Coates has been a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft since early 2004, teaching, learning and sharing coding techniques. During that time, he’s focused on .Net development on the desktop, in the cloud, on the web, on mobile devices and most recently for Office. Andrew has a number of apps in various stores and generally has far too much fun doing his job to honestly be able to call it work. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two almost-grown-up children.

Useful links

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