Keyboard shortcuts allow you to perform actions using only your keyboard that otherwise you would perform with your mouse. Many people find that using the keyboard is faster than using the mouse because their hands are already positioned above the keyboard, if they are typing in text.
The greatest obstacle to overcome in becoming proficient at using Word keyboard shortcuts is memorising them. Once you know them, though, you’ll probably find that they speed up your work flow tremendously.
Recently, a sneaky little icon appeared in my taskbar.
Did you get one, too? Microsoft are pushing the new version of their operating system – Windows 10. If you click on the icon, an advert appears that invites you to reserve a free, full copy of Windows 10. Windows 10 is advertised for sale at £99.99, but if you accept the offer now, you will get it for free.
If you want to go ahead and get Windows 10, then click on the Reserve your free upgrade button.
Afterwards, when you click on the Windows 10 icon in the taskbar, you will see a window that allows you to download the operating system software.
There are reasons why I won’t be taking advantage of the offer. This is new software that will undoubtedly contain bugs. What new software doesn’t? I would rather continue to use software that is tried and trusted, and that I know works (Windows 7 on this laptop).
Also, I object to testing software for free. Unwittingly, people who download and use Windows 10 will find bugs and report them to Microsoft so that they can then fix them. The kind of rigorous and thorough real world testing that new Windows 10 users perform would be expensive to buy. I think that big, global corporations should sort out, and pay for, their own testing.
Instead, I will wait a while and download Windows 10 when all the bugs and issues have been fixed and ironed out.
If you want to get a sneak peek at the next version of Microsoft Office, you can download the Office 2016 technical preview here. It’s not just a sneak peek that Microsoft want to give you, though. You will be unwittingly testing their prototype for them.
Microsoft are looking for Office enthusiasts to share their feedback on the new features and functionality they have developed. This means that, in return for getting early exposure to their new product, you will be submitting bug reports and feedback that Microsoft will then use to improve their software.
Be warned: we haven’t had muchsuccess in installing or using the Office 2016 preview.
According to Microsoft: “Over the past 12 months, you’ve seen us reimagine the traditional Office experience for a mobile-first, cloud-first world.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine editing documents comfortably on a mobile phone. Reading a Word document is one thing (I use an e-reader on my phone, and I doubt that reading a Word document would be much different), composing a new document on a mobile phone is quite another. The keyboard is a wonderful thing…
After seeing this new entry on my Microsoft Office downloads page:
I decided to have another attempt at installing the Office 2016 Preview. I downloaded the new (was it new) build of the preview, I followed the install instructions, but this time receieved this error:
Another gem from Microsoft. Something went wrong. The very definition of descriptive error text. And to provide a second level of detail: “Sorry, we ran into a problem”.
It’s annoying enough that Microsoft can’t get the install program right, without being confronted by useless error messages like this.
Oh well, at some point I will be able to install this damn program, I’m sure!
Of course, the Office 2016 Preview did not work on my laptop. And, of course, its presence meant that I couldn’t use my previous version of Office, Office 2013. I tried reinstalling Office 2013, but the installer didn’t like the fact that the 2016 preview was there. So I had to remove the preview.
Easier said than done.
I went down the usual route of clicking the Start button > Control Panel > Programs and Features, finding the preview and clicking Uninstall. After rebooting my machine, however, the preview was still present and Office 2013 was still missing. After the reboot, a “helpful” web page opened giving me advice about how to uninstall hard to get rid of previews!
It suggested I run the Fix It Tool, which I did, and it got rid of the preview successfully.
The hoops that we, The Users, have to jump through because of faulty software…
If you are one of the “lucky” people to download the Office 2016 Technical Preview, don’t fret about the long install times. Personally, it took me 20 minutes to complete the installation. All the while there was an MS-DOS prompt in the background and I was too scared to close it down!
Note: when installing the preview, don’t click the setup.exe program in the main folder. This is a trick. Microsoft understand the temptation to click files called install.exe and setup.exe and took full advantage of our psychological weakness. Instead, you need to open your language folder and double click on the .bat file for the product you want to install.