Alicia is proud to announce the publication of her first book:
You know Word…but do you KNOW Word?
This is not a book about how to use Word. Lots of people have already written about that.
This is a book about how to USE Word. How to bend it to your will. How to be creative with its tools to achieve exactly the look you want. How to do what you already do, but in half the steps.
These 220 Tips and Tricks will save you precious time and money. We guarantee ROI on your $14.99.
This multi-touch book is specifically made to be viewed on an iPad, with interactive picture galleries.
See a Preview! Buy it now!
Future editions will be available for regular e-book readers. Coming Soon!
Every few weeks I record a demonstration of me doing something practical on my computer. Usually it’s something I had to do myself, then decided other people might like to see it for themselves.
Please note that most of these tips are geared for the Macintosh. Some of them will work on PCs, too. If you’re a PC person thinking about hiring us, at least these tips will give you a sense of our style.
Click here to view my YouTube videos.
Click here to watch my training videos on Lynda.com.
Click here to watch my courses and “skill snacks” on Skillfeed.com.
Apples to Apples vs Apples to Oranges? Just drink the Kool-Aid!
I often get asked, “Why should I use Apple Mail instead of Outlook for Mac 2011, or gmail.com web mail?
The number one reason is INTEGRATION. Apple Mail is so well integrated with the Mac OSX operating system, and other Apple applications, that you lose a lot of cool features and productivity opportunities.
A second compelling reason to switch from Outlook for Mac to Apple Mail is bugs in the software. In the last month I’ve had two different Outlook for Mac 2011 users call me because they lost data with in Outlook.
Here is a list of features that are integrated between Apple applications: Mail, Calendar, Contacts, iPhoto, Safari and more:
- Mail to iPhoto – when you receive an email with photo attachments in the message, click the Details link in the header, and the header will expand (this is a 1-time setup). Click the down arrow on the right side of the Save button. Select Add to iPhoto in that drop-down menu. It will automatically import your attached images into your iPhoto library.
- Mail to Contacts – To add someone’s email address to Contacts, float your cursor over their name in the header of the email until it turns blue. Click the white arrow on the right side and select Add to Contacts in the drop-down menu. You will get the option to Create a New Contact or Add to an Existing Contact.
- Mail Data Detectors – Inside of email messages, any piece of data that’s related to a different application will have what is called a Data Detector. Addresses can be added directly to your contacts. Websites can be opened in Safari. Phone numbers can be added to Contacts. Dates and times can be added to the Calendar by clicking the date and time within the message. To take advantage of this feature, place your mouse over the information and it will be outlined with a dotted line. Click the down arrow and select the appropriate option from the drop-down menu.
- Contacts to Calendar – If you use the Birthday field in Contacts, the dates will automatically show up on your calendar with the person’s age in the title of the event! In the Calendar menu, select Preferences. At the bottom of the General tab, check Show Birthdays calendar. (Learn how to add Birthdays to Contacts here).
- The new Share button was introduced in Mountain Lion 10.7. It can be found in Safari, iPhoto, and even Finder windows. The Share button gives you access to sending content through email, iMessages, and even Facebook and Twitter. You can also share photos and videos through Vimeo and Flickr.
- Safari to Mail – Click the Share button and then choose Email. Once the email is created, choose from the drop-down whether it is in Reader mode, a PDF, a link, or the entire webpage with graphics included.
Gmail users often tell me that they like using gmail.com’s web application. I can’t guarantee that in five years, Google and Apple’s technology will still be compatible. But I can guarantee that Apple technology will always work with Apple technology, so the time to make the conversion is now, while it’s seamless!
If you’re going to give Apple thousands of dollars for hardware, why not leverage their free services? Just drink the Kool-Aid! Don’t limit yourself and miss out on all these cool features.
FYI, I wrote this entire article using the dictation feature on my iPhone 4S. I spoke all of this information into my Evernote app so that I could edit and refine it later.
Someone left us this review on the Intuit Proadvisor website. I have no idea who, so thank you, whoever you are! “Alicia is an amazing, confident, and very patient teacher. She has helped our business a lot. We did not know what we did not know, but Alicia showed us shortcuts, useful reports, and how to make the most of QuickBooks. She has even helped us out in emergencies on short notice, but we still use her services for ongoing training as well.
I would recommend working with Alicia over going to a QuickBooks workshop any day. She can tell you exactly what you need to know for your business and QuickBooks. It is a very fast and efficient way to learn. We highly recommend her.”
In March, Jamie went to the MacTech BootCamp II in Seattle, WA and earned his Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Accreditation. This is a brand new accreditation from Microsoft, and the conference attendees were the first in the country to have the opportunity to earn it.
In combination with his Microsoft Office 2011 certification in Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook, this new accreditation makes Royalwise Solutions one of the first and only Portland-based companies to be certified to train and support all available versions of Office on both PC and Mac.
What is Office 365?
Jamie here. With my new Office for Mac 2011 Accreditation, I got the lowdown on the new Office 365 product and the changes being implemented concerning licensing for Office for Mac 2011. Microsoft won’t be releasing the next Office for Mac until 2014. They are trying to drive people to use their new Office 365 product instead, and after comparing the options, I have grown to believe it is the best option for a majority of Home Users.
The biggest change in new Office for Mac 2011 licenses is that you can no longer purchase a 3-pack. The new rule is one license for one Mac computer. It is not transferrable, and only available on-line, meaning no more discs. You can purchase a back-up disc for an additional fee.
Office for Mac 2011 Pricing:
- Home & Student is $139.99 per license
- Home & Office is $219.99 per license
*no option for a bulk discount
Office 365 is Microsoft’s new subscription-based structure which runs a neat and tidy $99 a year for Office 365 Home Premium, or $79 a year if you qualify for an Education Discount. This subscription guarantees free upgrades. The license allows you to run Office 365 on up to 5 PCs or Macs, and provides 20 GBs of SkyDrive storage, Microsoft’s new cloud-based online storage solution.
The subscription also gives you access to the new Office on Demand service, which provides full web-based versions of Office applications to Internet-connected PCs running Windows 7 or 8. They even throw in 60 minutes of Skype World Minutes a month to sweeten the pot.
If you are looking for a Office 365 solution for your business, the options depend on the size of your business. The business subscription includes such features as document sharing through SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint Team Sites, creating and editing documents directly on the web, HD Video conferencing, public websites, and the ever popular Social Integration so colleges can follow documents and you can integrate directly with Facebook. Follow this link to compare business plan features and pricing options: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx
In the end, Office 365 is a cost-effective solution if you have more than one computer, since you won’t ever have to upgrade all the machines ever again.
Turning on Dictation
Did you know that OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to draft emails and write documents? You don’t even need to type them anymore!
Dictation is your Mac’s latest feature, allowing you to say what you want to write. Your voice is sent up to Apple’s servers, translated into written text, and then added to your page.
To get started, first make sure that Dictation is turned on. Go into System Preferences > Dictation & Speech. Click on the Dictation tab at the top if it’s not already there. Verify that Dictation is on. Close the System Preferences pane when done.
Open up a blank email or word processing document. Press the Function (fn) key twice (it’s in the bottom left corner of your laptop keyboard, or in the “6-pack” on your extended iMac keyboard).
A tiny little square with a microphone appears. Dictate what you want to say in 30 to 40 second snippets. You’ll see your voice register with the purple microphone. Click Done, and in a few seconds your text will appear. You may have to correct any words it didn’t understand, but Dictation will learn your voice over time and increase accuracy.
To add punctuation, you need to say each mark. For a capital letter, say “cap”. For a comma, say “comma.” For an apostrophe s, say, “apostrophe s.” To go to the next line, say “new line.” To start a new paragraph, say, “new paragraph.”
You can even say “smiley” to insert an emoticon!
Click here for a list of Dictation commands directly from Apple.
To see a video of Alicia writing a message using Dictation, click here.
By Alicia Katz Pollock via TidBITS.com:
Most people don’t realize that Time Machine backs up their Dropbox folder by default. This is either a nice secondary backup of key information, or a waste of precious hard drive space for files that are already being duplicated to the Dropbox Web site.
“My initial inquiry to Alicia regarding Excel training was responded to promptly, and she answered all of my initial questions in detail over the phone. I hired her for a 3 hours session to tutor me in Excel. It truly exceeded my expectations. Her depth of knowledge, teaching style and patience made it worth every penny. I had initially considered signing up for a virtual class (with as many as 20 other students at the same time), but am very glad I did not. Alicia has just the right passion and background to help you in Excel (as well as the entire Microsoft Office Suite).” ~Mark F.
A few years ago, I was helping a client upgrade her Mac running OSX 10.5 Leopard, but she couldn’t remember her administrative password. Because she had an older computer, I couldn’t boot into OSX’s Recovery Disk and reset it from there – I had to go so far as to create a new Root User account and administer her account from there.
A few weeks ago, I was working on the same issue for a senior citizen and was overjoyed to make use of a feature introduced in OSX 10.7 Lion: Allow User to Reset Password Using Apple ID.
When you attempt to reset an administrative password, it asks for that current password. If you’ve forgotten it, which may be why you wanted to reset it in the first place, this is no help at all. With this new option, after your third attempt, you will be given an opportunity to log in using your Apple ID and password in order to make the change.
The good news is that if you’ve also forgotten your Apple ID password, you can reset that at http://iforgot.apple.com.
If you have an aging parent using a Mac, this new option may become quite handy.
Apple’s new Sandboxing ensures that you can’t install software from vendors that are not on their “approved” list. For many users that’s just fine, but power users need software not sold in the Apple Store, or from small independent developers.
You can change your computer’s default settings by going into System Preferences > Security & Privacy, clicking the lock, and changing the “Allow applications downloaded from:” radio button.
But if you don’t want to change your default, and still have the power to install any software any time, all you have to do is hold down the Control key, and click Open off the shortcut list. This bypasses the installation preference. Considering that well-respected software like FileMaker still falls into this trap, Control-Open is a handy way of staying secure without limiting the usability of your computer.