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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Maneuvering Around Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a video communication and collaboration platform that your organization can use to great success, but it helps to have a couple of pointers so you can make the most out of the software. Here are five ways you can maximize the value you get out of your Microsoft Teams software.

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Using Your Voice to Type in Microsoft Word

Typing on your keyboard is something that you do every day, but sometimes you just don’t want to do it. You can give your hands a break and use Microsoft Word’s dictation feature; this lets you use your voice to write in the software. Let’s go over how you might use the feature on a desktop, web browser, or mobile device.

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Microsoft Implementing Price Hike to Services

Microsoft has planned an increase in the price of its software offerings Microsoft 365 and Office 365, and make no mistake, it will impact your business in some way whether you are ready or not. We are writing this blog to share information that you might find important about this price increase so you can plan to get the most out of your software moving forward.

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Microsoft is Sending Mixed Signals About Remote Work

Have your opinions of remote work changed at all over the past year and a half, or do you still want your employees to return to the office in full force? Many major companies, despite initially advocating for remote work, are sending mixed signals on the topic, including Microsoft. What can we learn from the experiences of these companies?

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Vulnerabilities Found Inside Azure-Linked Managed Database Service

It’s not unheard of for some threats to remain undiscovered for months or even years, as is the case with a particularly nasty one in the Microsoft Azure database system. This exploit, discovered by cloud security provider Wiz, is built into Cosmos DB, Microsoft Azure’s managed database service. Let’s take a look at the exploit and see what we can learn from it.

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Everything You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 End of Life

With Microsoft announcing that the Windows 11 release is right around the corner, most users will be looking to upgrade to hardware that supports it. This is a topic for another day. As we approach the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is gearing up to retire one of its most controversial (and ultimately innovative) operating systems to date, Windows 8.1. Today, we thought we’d talk a little bit about the mixed bag Windows 8.1 is and how it will be important to move off of the software by January 2023.

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Is Your PC Ready for Windows 11?

Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, the latest in its line of PC operating systems, as well as detailed its system requirements. Will your business be upgrading to Windows 11 when the time comes? We think a lot of it will depend on its current IT infrastructure and whether or not you meet the minimum requirements right out the gate. Let’s dive into the details and what you need to know about Windows 11.

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Three Useful Tips for Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most utilized platforms in business today because it delivers the results that organizations need. Unfortunately for some of these businesses, their employees may not be as proficient with Word as they need to be. Today, we thought we would provide a few quick tips about using Microsoft Word that you can share. Let’s take a look:

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A Major Update to Windows 10 Is On the Horizon

Back in 2015, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, meaning that we should not expect Windows 11 anytime soon. Still, a major update to the Windows 10 operating system has been confirmed to be on its way. What’s coming with this next update to Windows 10, and what does it mean for your business?

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HAFNIUM Attacks Target Most Microsoft Exchange Servers

The recent discovery of four flaws in Microsoft’s Exchange Server software came too late to prevent a rash of stolen emails, but that doesn’t mean you need to remain vulnerable to this attack. Let’s go over the story so far, and how you can help protect your business.

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Be Sure to Update Your Microsoft Passwords

The new year is upon us and after the debacle that 2020 was, it is extremely welcome. If you are like us, you have a new set of goals that you’ve created for yourself and are probably looking to improve your professional and personal well-being. One way to do that is to ensure that your accounts are secure. Today, we will be going through how to update your password with Microsoft.

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Taking a Short Look at Windows 10’s Action Center

Windows 10 has been out for almost five years. Now I ask you, have you ever used the Windows 10 Action Center? If the answer is yes, good for you. If the answer is no, it is time to talk about the almost hidden part of Windows 10, and tell you how you can use it to your advantage.

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Tip of the Week: Activate Microsoft’s Two-Step Verification

Nowadays a lot of accounts give you the option to set up two-step authorization; and, most of the time you probably should. The security and privacy benefits that your business can gain are substantial. Today, we’ll describe how to enable what Microsoft calls two-step verification. 

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Tip of the Week: Useful OneDrive Features

Microsoft has a well-developed reputation for creating software that enables users to achieve their work objectives, especially in the business setting. Here, we’re diving into a few capabilities of one such software title, OneDrive, to review some of the features that a user might want to take advantage of.

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What is Windows 10’s Timeline?

Microsoft Windows has been a staple of personal computing for almost 35 years. When Microsoft retires their Windows 7 OS in a couple of weeks, they will be left with only two PC OSs functional: Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Today, we will take a look at the Windows 10 OS and when to expect Microsoft to release a new operating system.

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The Security Risks of Using Workarounds to Get iMessage to Work on a PC

If you use an iPhone, iPad, or any other Apple device, you’ve probably used iMessage. iMessage is the popular built-in messaging app. It’s Apple’s version of the text message, but it’s packed with great features that iPhone users have grown very fond of. We looked around online for ways to access your iMessage in Windows, but only found workarounds that compromise your security.

We’re going to discuss these workarounds, but we highly recommend you do NOT attempt them. These are two of the most common procedures people have come up with to try to get iMessage to work on a Windows 10 PC, but both put you at a security risk.

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You Probably Aren’t Getting the Most Out of Office 365

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who works on a computer who hasn’t used at least one of the applications in Microsoft Office. Office has been a staple for professionals, students, and home users for decades. Over the last few years, Microsoft has reinvented how businesses can collaboratively use Office to improve productivity, security, and adhere to compliances.

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Microsoft Does Some Patching Off Schedule

To keep your business’ network free from threats, and to keep your software working effectively, patching the software it uses is extremely important. The reason is that the threat landscape is always evolving. Recently, Microsoft announced that they have released an emergency out-of-band security update to fix two security issues, an atypical act for the software giant. 

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Is Microsoft 365 an Option for Your Business

Microsoft offers solutions that have a proven history of being assets when businesses adopt them - but like most any solution, what may fit well for one, may not fit well for all. Here, we’ll consider one of Microsoft offerings to help you determine if it is the right solution for your needs and requirements.

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Azure Platforms Are Increasingly Providing Value

Microsoft is best known for its operating system and productivity software, but these days one part of its company is growing faster than any other: its Azure cloud platform. Let’s take a look at the Azure cloud, some features that businesses use it for, and how it can fit into your IT strategy.

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Locking Down Your Network with Active Directory

Active Directory is a feature of most Windows Server operating systems. In other words, if your organization has a Windows server, you most likely have Active Directory. Active Directory essentially dishes out access permissions to your users as they are logged in to the network.

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What’s New in Office 2019

Microsoft Office is the most utilized productivity suite in the world; and, there are several reasons why. One of the most cited is that they routinely update the applications with new and innovative features. Office 2019 has been out for just under a year and today, we’ll talk about the biggest improvements Microsoft has made within their signature productivity suite. 

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The End of OneNote as You Know It, Part 2

Microsoft is effectively ditching OneNote 2016 in favor of the OneNote application bundled with Windows 10. The note-taking app will still be supported until October 2020, with extended support offered after that, but Microsoft will no longer be adding additional features to it, and is instead putting all of their efforts into making the version bundled with Windows 10 the definitive version. Here are some details to keep in mind when making the switch between these two solutions.

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Tip of the Week: Access Windows 10 Safe Mode for PC Troubleshooting

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_safe_mode_400.jpgSafe Mode has long been a troubleshooting method for Windows operating systems, but Windows 10 has done away with the classic method of booting up in Safe Mode. Instead of simply pressing F8 during Windows startup, you now have to go into your settings and manually configure your computer to do so. Here’s how it’s done.

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Tip of the Week: Using Microsoft Word to Edit a PDF Document

In case you’re looking for a nice alternative PDF file-editing software, the most recent version of Microsoft Word can do so. Since the investment for Adobe Acrobat isn’t for everyone, you can instead turn to the tried-and-true all-purpose word processing software to edit your PDF files.

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Tip of the Week: Extremely Useful Word Tips

Microsoft Word is one of those computer applications that has so many tricks hidden in it that you constantly have opportunities to show off how much you’ve learned. These skills could make or break your job performance under the right conditions, and if you know how to use them efficiently, they can help you save your job if it’s in peril.

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Tip of the Week: Change Your Tools in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a major player in modern word processing programs, and it’s largely due to the many tools and capabilities that are important for users. You can use various techniques to adjust Word so that you can get the most use out of it. This week’s tip is dedicated to these techniques.

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Why Microsoft 365 is a Solid Option for Businesses

Microsoft 365 has been on the market for a while now, and we thought it would be a good time to go into the different tiers of the platform to give you an idea of what it is, why it is useful, and how your business fits into the latest cloud platform offered by Microsoft. Let’s start with what it is.

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SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 is Done For

Two of Microsoft’s most popular relational database management systems, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will be losing support on July 9, 2019. If your business continues to use one of these titles for its database management, you are running out of time before you need to upgrade. Today, we’ll take a brief look at what the software is used for and what options are open to you going forward.

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Google Docs Finally Adding Microsoft Office Support

Businesses generally have to make an important choice about which brand of productivity software they will implement for day-to-day operations. Two of the heavy hitters in today’s business environment are Google and Microsoft utilizing their respective productivity solutions. While the choice of which service to work with seems exclusive, Google is making strides to break down this barrier and allow certain file types to be edited in Google Drive.

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SQL Server 2008 R2 Has Reached the End of the Line

Technology doesn’t last forever, and this is especially true for software solutions. Granted, software is a little easier to upgrade than hardware, as they can be administered patches and updates remotely, but what happens after that support ends? Well, it turns out that the widely used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be reaching their end of support date soon, meaning businesses will need a plan in place to overcome these challenges.

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Tip of the Week: Formatting Shortcuts for Excel

Microsoft Excel has a lot of moving parts… assuming you know how to move them, of course. For this week’s tip, we’re going over a few shortcuts to help you make the best use of some of these parts.

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This is What Happens When Your Office 365 Subscription Lapses

Subscription-based solutions are quite popular these days, and Microsoft Office 365 is perhaps one of the most important ones on the market. However, the services provided by Office 365 are contingent upon successfully renewing the subscription, making it critical that the user understands how this process works. Any user that fails to renew the subscription loses access to it, so we want to make sure you understand what happens when your subscription expires so as to avoid software access issues.

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Where Are They Now: Clippy

b2ap3_thumbnail_clippy400.jpgIt looks like you're trying to read a blog letter. Would you like help with that? If Microsoft's animated Office assistant Clippy were here, he would undoubtedly be on the corner of the page distracting you from getting anything done. The last time we saw Clippy was in 2003. What has Clippy been up these past ten years?

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Tip of the Week: Match Word to Your Style

Microsoft Word’s massive cache of options and its relative ease of use are two of its defining characteristics. This presents organizations and users alike with a large set of different ways they can set up the word processor. Today, we will take you through Word, providing tips on how to change these settings so that you can get the most out of it.

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Microsoft Word, an Odyssey

Microsoft Word has been one of the most utilized software titles in the history of personal computing. Despite heavy competition, millions of people use it every day as their daily word processor. Today, we’ll take a look at the history of Microsoft Word, and how it has come to become such a powerful and popular software title.

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You Better Upgrade Windows 8.1...or Else!

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_eight_point_one_400.jpgWell, that didn't take long. Eight months ago Microsoft released Windows 8.1 and now they're sounding the alarm that users better comply and install the latest updates or lose security support from Microsoft. What makes this news peculiar is that it took 12 years for Microsoft to reach the same verdict with its popular Windows XP operating system. What gives, Microsoft?

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Microsoft 365 or Office 365: What Product Is Right for Your Business?

As we’re sure you already know, Microsoft has become a juggernaut in the increasingly competitive business world with its countless solutions for organizations both small and large. With so many options, it can be tricky to figure out the right solution for your business. Thankfully, you don’t have to go about it alone. We’ll help you understand the difference between Microsoft’s Office 365 and Microsoft 365 solution… and yes, they are different.

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Bing Offers Malware and Filth

With a meager market share that is one-third the size of Google’s, one would think that Bing would be trying to keep controversy away from a user’s search results. However, the Microsoft search engine has recently encountered a few notable PR disasters that may be enough to convince some not to use it - especially if it leads to a security breach.

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Tip of the Week: How OneNote Helps Your Project Management

Microsoft OneNote is an extremely useful application in the professional setting, with plenty of features and capabilities to assist in keeping you and your employees organized. These features are actually comprehensive enough that OneNote could feasibly serve as your project management tool. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how.

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Tip of the Week: How to Calculate Basic Math Problems Using Microsoft Word

You know Microsoft Word as the great word processor that your business relies on to compose documents of all kinds. However, Microsoft Word is much more flexible and versatile than you might think. Did you know that you can perform simple calculations in your Microsoft Word document in a quick and efficient way?

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Tip of the Week: Did You Know About These Windows Features?

Does your business use Windows 10? If so, there are all sorts of hidden tips and tricks that can help you gain even more value from your workstations that are running Windows 10. Here are a few of these secrets and how they can help your staff save time.

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Tip of the Week: 3 More Useful Microsoft Word Features

Microsoft Word has long since established itself as the primary word processing software in the business world, but even some power users don’t necessarily know about all of the hidden features that exist in it. Here are three of the best Word capabilities that you’ll be sure to use next time you’re in a pinch.

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Tip of the Week: Cortana Can Help You Cheer On Your Team

It’s football season once again, and this year, we want to show you how to set up Cortana to follow your favorite teams--football or otherwise. It’s actually easier than you might think! Before we begin, remember that this only works on devices that have Cortana, so it will likely need to be set up on your Windows PC.

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Is the New, Stripped-Down Version of Windows 10 Practical for SMBs?

Google Chromebooks run a streamlined version of the Chrome OS to offer users a relatively decent browsing experience, despite the device’s limitations. But what if Microsoft created a similar operating system? Well, they did just that with Windows 10 S, which is designed to be used with less processing power than the current operating system.

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Windows Ink Adds An Extra Dimension To Your Business Computing

Your technology is a gateway to productivity, and Microsoft has managed to put together a great way to use it with their latest operating system. In Windows 10, you can use Windows Ink to doodle or take notes on your screen while using a Microsoft application like Word, PowerPoint, or OneNote.

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3 SharePoint Considerations Businesses Should Have

Businesses are always looking for a way to make their projects more successful. While many organizations have found success by integrating Microsoft SharePoint project collaboration software, some have found it to be a giant headache to manage, or even completely unnecessary. No matter where your business falls on this spectrum, there are some best practices in utilizing SharePoint to get the most out of the platform. Here are three considerations your team should make when you settle on SharePoint for project collaboration.

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Understanding the Importance of .Net Framework

If you’re a habitual user of the Microsoft Windows operating system, there’s a relatively good chance that you’ve been prompted to install something called “.NET framework.” Pronounced “dot-net,” this framework is most commonly used for Windows. In this blog, we’ll go over what a software framework is and is for, as well as examine what makes .NET stand out.

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Windows 8 - An OS for Every Occasion

windows 8 dashboard

Windows 8? Doesn't it feel like Windows 7 just came out? Windows 7 isn't being replaced anytime soon; the latest operating system by Microsoft hasn't even been out for two years, but that doesn't mean Microsoft isn't cooking up their next incarnation. Microsoft has always kept small businesses in mind as well as the residential consumer, so will Windows 8 stick with the same trend?

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What's New in Windows 8

windows 8 dashboard

There's a lot of buzz around Windows 8 for technology lovers, and for good reason. Microsoft is making it's next operating system dramatically different than previous incantations, and it sounds like we'll be seeing a lot of this OS in the future on a lot of different platforms, ranging from desktops and notebooks to tablets, and possibly even more.

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What Office 365 Can Do for Oneonta Small Businesses

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At the beginning of the month, Microsoft officially launched Office 365. What makes this Office different from the other Office suites that Microsoft has released is that Office 365 doesn't run on your computer, it runs on a cloud server. All of your data is stored securely in the cloud on Microsoft's servers. This is great for smaller Oneonta businesses that need to access their files from anywhere but don't currently have the infrastructure in-house to make it happen.

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Tutorial: Master the Art of the Mail Merge, Part 2

laptop mail

Last time we spoke about creating your contact list in Excel when performing a mail merge. Of course, you can also use your Outlook contacts, and if you are running any sort of CRM software it is pretty likely it exports its own spreadsheet that can be used in a mail merge. Let's go over how to perform a mail merge now that you have your list.

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Tutorial: Master the Art of the Mail Merge, Part 1

excel screenshot

Want to send out a large number of documents that are almost the same aside from a few specific areas? One example would be a letter to all of your existing clients about a new product or service, but you want each letter to address the recipient's name and company. This looks like a job for the mail merge!

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Top Ten Keyboard Shortcuts To Get Things Done

typing on keyboardMicrosoft Office and Windows 7 provide many keyboard shortcuts that can improve your ability to multitask and get things accomplished quickly. Most of these shortcuts will work in previous versions, like Windows XP, Vista and the Microsoft Server Operating Systems as well. Give them a try, and the next time your tech comes by, be sure to show off your new skills.

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Taking Microsoft OneNote With You

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Recently we mentioned Evernote as a great note taking app that is supported across multiple operating systems and mobile devices. We compared it to Microsoft OneNote as a lighter alternative that is easy to set up and sync across a plethora of devices. However, diehard fans of OneNote probably don't want to make a switch to a whole other platform. Today we're going to talk about ways to mobilize your OneNote notebooks as well as some other features that are exclusive to OneNote that you might not know about.

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Speed Things Up in Outlook 2010 with Quick Steps

outlook 2010

Like any Microsoft product, Outlook 2010 has a lot of neat features that get stepped over. One of these is the Quick Step box, which is found along the top on the Home tab in Outlook 2010. Utilizing Quick Steps can shorten the time it takes you to manage your inbox.

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Quick Tips - Master the Windows 7 Taskbar

windows 7 icon

Want to look like a PC Pro and get more done faster? With these simple tips, you'll have the skills to impress your co-workers with a few keystrokes. The Windows 7 Taskbar is the menu bar that stretches along (typically) the bottom of your screen. These are some lesser-known productivity tips to streamline your Windows 7 experience.

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Mobile Computing Cage Match

multiple laptops

Busy business owners don't always have time to be technically savvy. Sure, you can pick things up pretty quickly, but when it comes down to the latest technology, you simply don't have the time to sit down and do the research. Walking down any electronics aisle you are likely to be bombarded by choices. Remember when it used to be simple? (Wait, it was never simple!) Let's classify some of the modern devices out there for mobility geared towards someone just like you.

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Microsoft Word Basics: Line and Paragraph Spacing

microsoft logoKnowing how to adjust the line and paragraph spacing in Word can be very handy. Modifying these settings can really impact the presentation of your document and keep it from looking too cluttered. After reading this short tutorial you won't have any trouble adjusting these settings to your needs.

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Microsoft Rises to the Surface

microsoft surface tablet

June 18 marked a banner day for Microsoft as they unveiled their long-awaited tablet 'Surface'. Microsoft is hoping that the productive compatibility of Surface will make successful bid to unseat Apple's iPad as long reigning tablet-supreme.

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Microsoft Office 365 - Your Office in the Clouds

microsoft office logo

Microsoft Office still holds a very strong position in the small business world despite some serious competition from Google, who boasts having their software package hosted online.  The latest incarnation of the Microsoft Office suite, named Office 365, is designed to rival Google's offering. Today we're going to talk about Microsoft's hosted productivity software and see what the pros and cons are for small businesses.

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Microsoft Office 2013 Sneak Peak

microsoft office iconMicrosoft has released a preview of their highly anticipated Microsoft Office 2013, with features meant to coincide with their release of Windows 8 set to be released this fall. Like Windows 8, Office 2013 was designed to accommodate the needs of not only individuals but businesses, as well.

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Manage your Views in Outlook 2010 for Better Organization

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Email is a huge part of day-to-day business, and it can take a lot of time out of your day to manage it. Fortunately, Outlook has a lot of great features that will help you manage your inbox and effectively handle your email as efficiently as possible.

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Is the World Ready for Windows 8?

windows 8 dashboardWe've seen a pattern over the years as Microsoft releases operating systems where every other operating system is great, while the releases in between are somewhat lacking. Windows 98 was pretty solid, as was XP, however the middle-child Windows ME? Not so much. This kind of progression is usually reserved for Star Trek films. What does this mean for Windows 8, the successor of the great Windows 7?

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How to Create Amazing Document Templates with Microsoft Word Part 2

definition of the word SolutionLast time we talked about ways to standardize your Microsoft Word documents so the look and feel remains consistent throughout the document and between multiple documents. Today we are going to look at a more advanced trick that will let you take predefined content and data and allow yourself to pick and choose when you use it in a document.

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How to Create Amazing Document Templates with Microsoft Word Part 1

docx file iconDo your documents look a little bland? Representing your brand is important whenever you do any corresponding, whether you are just using letter heads or creating custom documentation or project proposals. Microsoft Word makes it simple to standardize the look of your documents so your brand can shine through no matter what type of document you are creating.

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Getting Excited for Windows 8

 

windows 8 dashboard

At Directive, we always look forward to checking out new gadgets and software, and since Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is so fresh and unique compared with previous iterations, we are interested to see how it will impact businesses.

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Dress up your next PowerPoint with SmartArt

SmartArt icon

PowerPoint has been, for a long time, the staple of presentation software. The last few incarnations of Microsoft PowerPoint (especially 2007 and 2010) have some great tools to spiffy up your presentations quickly and easily.

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Displaying Data Charts in PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office Apps

Marketing ROI graph

Last time we went over how to dress up your PowerPoint presentations with SmartArt, a feature in many Microsoft Office applications. Today we're going to be showing you how to create charts to display various types of data in PowerPoint, but like before, these will work much the same in other Office products such as Microsoft Word.

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Collaborate and Share Notes with Microsoft OneNote

multiple people looking at printed out graphsIf you use Microsoft OneNote for jotting down quick meeting notes, phone calls, and personal memos, you've probably had information you needed to share with other co-workers in your OneNote Notebook. This quick walk-through will show you how to set up a Shared Notebook that others can access and modify.

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At Long Last: Android Users get OneNote Mobile

android alien and OneNote logoFans of Microsoft's note taking application can now use OneNote on iOS devices, Windows Phone 7 Smartphones, and at long last, Android devices. Up until now, Android users have been left in the dark for synchronizing and managing their notes through an official OneNote app.

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5 Steps Toward Making Documents Presentable with Microsoft Word

microsoft office icon

Plenty of Upstate New York businesses use the Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools. From Office 2007 and on, Microsoft has made it extremely easy to dress up your documents and presentations. These tricks will typically work with most Office products, from Word to Power Point, even Outlook; although in some apps the options might be in different places. Today's tutorial will focus on Microsoft Word.

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4 Benefits of Server Virtualization

business servers

Virtualization isn't new for small businesses, some companies have been enjoying the benefits of server virtualization for many years. However, the concept is new to other growing organizations. Virtualization allows you to consolidate the number of servers you have in your company using one of several virtualization packages. Let's take a look at a few major reasons to consider server virtualization.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review

b2ap3_thumbnail_surface400.jpgMicrosoft is well known for their software, but manufacturing tablet computers is a new venture for the tech giant. It's been almost a year since Microsoft's signature tablet the Surface Pro was released, and now the second generation of Surface, the Surface Pro 2, is available. Here's an overview on how the new tablet stacks up.

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New Software Precisely Predicts Your Future Location

b2ap3_thumbnail_location400.jpgBeing able to see the future is something that most people, meaning not everyone, would love to do. It would either provide comfort, or cause panic based on the results of such an inquiry. While some claim being able to look around the curve of time and space is theoretically possible, this new software doesn't use that approach. There is a new software, known as Far Out, doesn't use this approach.

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Reminder: Windows 10 Free Upgrade Period Ends July 29th

b2ap3_thumbnail_upgrade_today_400.jpgIt’s been over two years since Microsoft officially cut the cord on Windows XP. As the most popular Windows operating system at the time, it was a huge blow to both businesses and consumers alike. Thankfully, a migration to Windows 10 isn’t nearly as difficult as one from XP. What lessons can be learned from Windows XP’s end of life event that can be applied to upgrading to Windows 10?

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4 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Office 365 Business Premium

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_office_365_400.jpgMicrosoft Office 365 offers many different solutions that allow your employees to be able to do their jobs, keep everything organized, and communicate efficiently. Although, it can be tricky to select a good Office 365 plan for your business. To help streamline operations, the Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium edition offers a versatile selection that can meet any needs your business may encounter.

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41 Microsoft Software Titles Reached Their End of Extend Support or End of Life - In April Alone!

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_eol_400.jpgYou don’t need us to tell you that Microsoft has an extensive library of software products aimed at all kinds of businesses. But, of course, nothing good can last forever, and old solutions eventually give way to more versatile or efficient versions. When this happens, Microsoft stops supporting older software in order to provide better features and experiences to users of more recent versions.

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Sneaky: Some Microsoft Users are Reporting Unwanted Upgrades to Windows 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_updates_400.jpgWindows 10, the latest operating system in Microsoft’s repertoire, has several business-friendly features that can potentially improve your organization’s workflow. However, many users are reporting that Windows 10 is installing on their devices automatically without their consent. If this is true, and your organization’s software is upgraded without your consent, you could be facing a big issue.

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Windows 8 Users Will No Longer Receive Patches and Security Updates

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8_done_400.jpgIf you’re one of the unfortunate souls still using Windows 8 (as opposed to 8.1) on your business’s workstations, you should consider upgrading, and as soon as possible. Microsoft has cut off support for its infant operating system, so if you want patches, security updates, and just a better overall operating system, upgrading to Windows 8.1 or 10 is an ideal solution to this dilemma.

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Finally, Microsoft Cuts the Cord on Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_ie_end_of_support_400.jpgInternet-users rejoice all over the world, for just last week, Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10, will no longer be supported by Microsoft. That’s right; no more patches or security updates for good old IE. This makes continuing to use older versions of Windows a cause for concern. Perhaps this is for the best, but in light of this news, users of IE will want to either update to IE 11, or switch to a new browser.

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It May Take a While For Windows 10 to Overtake Windows 7

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_now_400.jpgThe hype is still strong for Windows 10, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great operating system that has the potential to change the way your business performs its daily duties. However, the monthly desktop operating system usage statistics released by NetMarketShare hint that Windows 10 adoption is starting to slow down and that many users are simply opting to keep using Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. What gives?

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Will the Surface Book Be Microsoft’s “MacBook Killer?” [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_surface_book_400.jpgOne of the most storied competitions in the technology industry comes from Apple vs Microsoft. For the past 35 years, they went back and forth by offering consumers their own twist on similar technologies. The latest chapter in this story comes from Microsoft’s new Surface Book, which aims to compete directly with Apple’s MacBook Pro.

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What’s New With Microsoft Office 2016?

b2ap3_thumbnail_office_2016_400.jpgJust months after releasing their newest operating system, Windows 10, Microsoft is now updating the world’s most popular productivity software. Office 2016 makes several improvements over the Office 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the other applications that businesses from all over the world rely on to stay productive. The software, which focuses on making productivity and cooperation possible, has gotten a substantial upgrade in collaborative features.

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Windows 10 Is Here - Everything Your Business Needs to Know

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10.pngMicrosoft’s latest PC operating system arrived with fanfare yesterday, and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews so far, but is it ready for your business? Let’s take it for a spin and find out.

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US Navy to Pay Microsoft $9 Million to Keep Windows XP Going

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_navy_windows_xp_400.jpgWith Windows 10 to be launched on July 29th, all thoughts are drifting toward the inevitable upgrade to Microsoft’s brand-new operating system. However, we’d like to take a moment to travel back in time to last spring, when Windows XP expired. Remember how we warned that your business would need to shell out big bucks for custom support if you want to keep running Windows XP? It turns out that there are some who just can’t let go of the expired OS; including the US Navy.

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Should You Upgrade to Windows 10 On Launch Day?

b2ap3_thumbnail_this_is_windows_10_400.jpgWho’s excited about the release of Windows 10 on July 29th? We sure are! After all, Microsoft’s new OS provides features and improvements that have many users planning on upgrading as soon as possible. However, as cool as Windows 10 looks to be, we don’t recommend that businesses blindly upgrade.

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How Windows Tablets Can Enhance Your Business, Part I

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8.1_tablet_400.jpgSmartphones and tablets are the new norm. Most professionals have begun to utilize mobile devices to accomplish tasks when they are away from their work PC. Not to say that these devices offer all that much in the way of productivity. Sure, there are plenty of software titles either ported over from the PC or developed directly for the mobile environment, but sometimes these titles don’t offer the functionality, or they take up too many of the device’s resources to be of much use. With these variables to consider, manufacturers are searching for the best way to deliver devices with enhanced productivity capabilities, right out of the box. One of these manufacturers is Microsoft.

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Despite Windows 10’s Approach, Windows 7 is Still Going Strong

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_7_still_works_400.jpgWith Windows 10 on the horizon, you would think that users would flock toward Microsoft’s newest OS, Windows 8.1. However, this simply hasn’t been the case. If anything, Windows 7 has grown more popular while Windows 8 and 8.1’s sales have plateaued.

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Will Microsoft’s New Office App Sway Dethrone PowerPoint?

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_sway_400.jpgMicrosoft’s latest Office application, MS Sway, is looking to make some big changes to the way professionals display presentations. Designed as a cross-platform content aggregation tool, Sway is capable of creating and sharing dynamic web-based presentations that are just bold enough to catch the eye. How is Microsoft Sway looking to change the way businesses present information?

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Windows Server 2003’s End of Support Date is Fast-Approaching

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_server_2003_400.jpgLast year, Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP’s support. Now, one year later, Windows Server 2003 is scheduled to meet its demise. If your servers are still running Windows Server 2003 as their operating system, it’s important to upgrade before the end of support date of July 14th. Otherwise, you could be running a server operating system without necessary patches and security updates.

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Microsoft PowerPoint is Useful, but Not In the Courtroom

b2ap3_thumbnail_powerpoint_no_courts_400.jpgWe all know Microsoft PowerPoint as a great presentation tool which can help you drive information home to the audience. Naturally, this makes it a great medium for use in more than one type of professional environment. It can be used for webinars, lectures, and even the courtrooms; but is a legal trial really a place for a slideshow?

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Tip of the Week: How to Go Back in Microsoft Word

b2ap3_thumbnail_ms_word_400.jpgWhen working on a project, it can be helpful to retrace your steps. This is especially true when using Microsoft Word. To help you find where you were last at in Word, Microsoft has a Go Back command that’s not very well known. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to use it.

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Windows Server 2003 End of Support Date is Fast Approaching

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_03_end_of_support_400.jpgTechnology has come a long way since 2003. It seems like just yesterday that Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP, and in just a few short months, they’ll be dropping support for Windows Server 2003, as well. If your business is one of the many still utilizing this server operating system, you’ll want to make sure that you upgrade away from it before July 14th, 2015. Otherwise, you’ll be running without security patches or updates.

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How to Prevent Your Computers from Inflating Your Electricity Bill

b2ap3_thumbnail_computer_electricity_costs_400.jpgTechnology is getting more powerful, but have you considered where all of that power comes from? Not many people actually take the time to understand how much energy their PC or workstation is using, but this could potentially be increasing your operating costs higher than they need to. Try taking the time to calculate your PC’s energy usage to get a feel for what your workstation is costing your business and the environment.

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Will You Make Microsoft’s Spartan Your Default Web-browsing Warrior?

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_400_20150119-134447_1.jpgIn addition to Microsoft’s upcoming new operating system, Windows 10, the software company has released that there is a new web browser in production. This new browser, code-named “Spartan,” is expected to have similar functionality to Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome, and will be released alongside Windows 10.

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How to Prevent Email Spam

b2ap3_thumbnail_prevent_spam_400.jpgWhile email offers several great benefits to those willing to deal with it, the most popular method of communicating in the office has its flaws. One of the most crippling is spam, which can ruin your inbox and your productivity. The unfortunate truth is that even the most diligent workers get hit with spam, but that doesn’t mean that your business’s productivity needs to suffer from it.

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Tip of the Week: How to Find a Missing File

b2ap3_thumbnail_find_a_file_400.jpgWe all have forgetful moments when we misplace things like our car keys and wallet. Sometimes, we can even forget basic things like where we saved an important computer file. Thankfully, Windows understands these moments of forgetfulness and they’ve made it relatively easy for users to find what they’re searching for.

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Microsoft Fixes Vulnerability Going All the Way Back to Windows 95

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulverability_fixed_400.jpgWell, better late than never.
This is to be said of Microsoft after they recently patched a security flaw that’s come with every generation of its operating systems going all the way back to Windows 95.

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PowerPoint Rangers Lead the Way!

b2ap3_thumbnail_powerpoint_rangers_400.jpgOne would assume that being an officer in the military would require the ferociousness of a warrior and the mental fortitude to make split-second life-saving decisions on the battlefield. Surprisingly, in today’s modern military, there’s one skill that’s valued above the ability to fight: Microsoft PowerPoint proficiency.

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