RedCape's Blog

Technology Tips

Free Microsoft Office Training – from Microsoft


Microsoft has some very useful training covering the most current versions of Office. Whether you want to brush up on your computer skills to learn the latest technology or need to prepare for a job interview & assessment, you’ll definitely want to check out these amazing resources for both PC and Mac.

On-Demand Training for PC and Mac

Download and learn on your own schedule!

All Microsoft Office Training for PC

Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, SharePoint, SharePoint Workspace, Visio, word and more

Access, Communicator, Excel, Live Meeting, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, SharePoint, Visio, and Word

Access, Excel, FrontPage, Outlook, and PowerPoint

All Microsoft Office for Mac Training

Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word

Making the switch from PC to Mac

Microsoft Webcasts for Office (PC)

Microsoft has a website dedicated to webcasts, podcasts and virtual labs. I applied the filters for Office and sessions that are suitable for business users.

Note: If you see the word “More”, be sure to click that link (as seen in the screenshot below) to view all the upcoming and available events (live and recorded).

Microsoft Office YouTube Channel

Another source for free training is Microsoft’s YouTube channel. They have over 500 videos and counting!

If you have a favorite resource for free training, I’d love to hear about it. I’m always on the lookout for great training!

And don’t forget to visit RedCape’s event page for our popular Tips in Minutes free webinar and other live, instructor-led training specifically for Executive and Personal Assistants.

“To the cloud!”


Have you seen this commercial?

As a small business owner managing a virtual team, I love this concept.

But how does it work? What exactly are they using to go to the cloud? Check out this recorded webinar I presented in May 2011, where we analyzed the commercial and navigated Microsoft’s cloud offering, Office 365, using real-world scenarios that demonstrate the ability of cloud computing and how it interacts with familiar tools like Microsoft Office.

Let me know what you think of the session. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, I’d love to hear about your experience moving “to the cloud.”

Oh, and of course, stay tuned for more Office 365 webinars and classes. Join our mailing list for our event schedule and Office 365 offers.


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Train the Trainer: Mistakes are gifts


Earlier this year I graduated from ColdTowne Theater’s Improv Conservatory in Austin, Texas. I’m definitely a fan of improv comedy but most importantly, I’m an advocate of improv training for professionals and teams – and especially trainers.

Improv Fantasy League Competition Aug 2010

Improv Fantasy League Competition Aug 2010

Of all the professional development training and train the trainer classes I’ve taken as a Microsoft Certified Trainer, my improv training has by far been the most valuable by:

  • becoming a better listener – instead of just hearing what students tell me, I’m more focused and engaged;
  • improving my memory – I use student experiences that have been shared with the class to reinforce learning and make it applicable to the group as a whole;
  • seeing patterns – I can combine what seems like unrelated items into logical patterns to help illustrate certain ideas;
  • being highly adaptable and flexible – projector doesn’t work? No problem. Everyone remain calm. Open your books to page 5 and begin reading the lesson while I go find another one;
  • creating a supportive environment – whether students are shy or domineering, the goal is for everyone to succeed and my improv background allows me to use each unique group dynamic to create a supportive environment where students feel confident while learning;
  • feeling comfortable in any setting – presentation-style vs. classroom style vs webinar style vs hey-let’s-have-a-class-right-here-right-now style; and
  • being more confident & engaging – I’ve become more fearless as a presenter, which in turn gives students confidence in the class and what they are learning.

BUT the most important lesson…

…I’ve learned from improv is that mistakes are gifts. It’s what makes life interesting. Think about the mistakes you’ve made in the past – big or small – that put you where you are today. What about the mistakes that happen every day, like that left turn you missed or the file you spent hours on that you forgot to save and now have to retype? During the time you took to fix the mistake you may have discovered new shortcuts in the process…in both scenarios.

We learn more when we make mistakes and what better time to make mistakes than in the classroom. Additionally, when things go wrong in class it makes for a more  interesting session for both the students and you – as long as it doesn’t make you flustered. But that’s where your improv training comes in. You’re ready for anything.

Training Tip

As part of your intro and after you’ve outlined the objectives, tell students that you encourage them to make mistakes in class. Even go as far as telling them to break the software – if you’re teaching technology, that is. Then when someone encounters something that goes wrong use that as a teaching moment. Whenever possible, have the entire class troubleshoot the issue rather than you tell them the solution.

My goal in class: Never strive for everything to be perfect because that certainly isn’t real life – at least mine anyway.

-Vickie

Interested in improv?

Many improv theaters across the country offer free Improv 101 workshops once a month. I encourage you to try one out. Read this recent blog post where a colleague of mine took a class despite almost chickening out. Can you relate to her experience? Be sure to leave a comment on her blog if you do.

If you need help finding an improv workshop near you, let me know. I’m happy to assist you.

Do you live Austin?

Check out the free Improv 101 workshop the first Monday of the month. Tell them I sent you. Oh, and let me know when you’re going. I’ll join you!!

PS. I want to give a shout out to the other schools where I studied improv: UCB New York and Four Day Weekend in Ft. Worth, TX.

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View sample Excel tips from “45 Tips in 45 Minutes” webinar


Sample Tips video - first frame

Click image to view sample tips

Connecting SharePoint 2010 lists to your InfoPath 2010 form


Joey Wiggs from the Microsoft InfoPath developer team has a great blog post here about how to connect your InfoPath form controls to a SharePoint 2010 list. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to as I develop some internal forms for RedCape and then create the curriculum for our SharePoint 2010 and Info Path 2010 courses.

Add a multi-selection list box


To give users the ability to select more than one value from a list box, use a Multiple-Selection List Box. Place the cursor in the form where you want the multi-selection list and then go to the Controls Task Pane (View > Design Tasks > Controls). Under the Repeating and Optional section, click Multiple-Selection List Box.

Configure the multi-select list box as you would a standard List Box. If you want to give users the ability to enter their own values, be sure to select Allow users to enter custom values.

Keeping Up with Gen Y – Radio Show Interview


I was extremely honored to be interviewed by Tamara Bell, the amazing host of Keeping Up with Gen Y radio show.  The episode is called “Gen Y Taking Initiative in Job Search” and this was my very first radio show interview. Check it out and let me know what you think.

For more information about the suggestions mentioned on the show, check out these resources:

And, of course, don’t forget to contact Red Cape for Microsoft Office training, prep exams and exam vouchers.



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Create a Table of Contents (TOC) in Word


If it takes you more than a minute to generate a table of contents (TOC) for even the largest, most complex documents, then you have every right to be pulling out your hair by now. I personally would be bald.

Because the TOC gets generated from the Heading styles in your document, I suspect that the reason it isn’t working is that the headings you want to pull into your TOC aren’t formatted using Word’s built-in Heading styles.

Here are the overall steps to take. You can view the tutorials listed below to get more detailed instruction. Keep in mind that this is the shortcut method. I would recommend you style the entire document rather than just the headings, but if you’re in a hurry and need the TOC generated, these three steps will do the trick. For those of you with an existing document that you’ve worked countless hours on already, then it probably should take you about an hour or less to go back and apply the Heading styles to your document before generating your TOC. If it’s taking you more than that, feel free to connect with me for help.

  1. Apply Heading 1 styles to the headings within your document. If you need subheadings included in the TOC, then you’ll need to apply Heading 2s and Heading 3s as necessary. For example, in this screen shot of a business plan TOC, the “Executive Summary”, “Company Description” and “Product or Service” are styled as Heading 1 (aka H1). The rest of the headings are styled as Heading 2 (aka H2). If I had a third level, I would have styled them within the document as Heading 3. Note: this business plan example actually has Headings 3 and 4 applied but I chose not to include them in the TOC. So you do have flexibility in how many Heading levels to include in the TOC but if you’re in a hurry today and you simply want one or two headings, then just focus on getting those styled properly in your document.
  2. Modify the Headings. The built-in formatting for the Heading styles probably doesn’t match how you originally formatted your headings. Modify the style definition once and all the headings formatted with that style will be updated appropriately.
  3. Generate your TOC. Now that your Heading 1 and possibly Heading 2 styles have been applied to the corresponding headings within your document, you can generate your TOC.

For detailed instructions about these steps, review the following tutorials from Microsoft.

PC Tutorials

Mac Tutorials

Feel free to comment below if you need any assistance. Or email me directly to receive coaching: help [at] redcapeco [dot] com.

Configure the Tab Key to Apply Multi-Level Paragraph Numbering in Word 2003


Prior to Word 2003, you could use the [Tab] key within a numbered list to “demote” items to the next level of numbering and use the [Backspace] or [Shift]+[Tab] to “promote” a paragraph to the next higher level. This feature was turned off in Word 2003 most likely to encourage the use of styles to apply your numbering format, of which I am a proponent.

However, if you want the [Tab] and [Backspace] demote/promote functionality feature turn back on, go to Tools > Autocorrect Options and make sure “Set left- and first-indent with tab and backspace” is checked.

For more information about using styles when numbering paragraphs, see Microsystem’s The Seven Laws of Word’s Outline Numbering: What to do — and not do — when using Word’s outline numbering linked to styles.

Create a Submit Button in an InfoPath Form to Email Recipients


After a user completes a form, you can create a Submit button configured to instantly send the form by email.

  1. With your form in Design view, click in the area of the form you wish to add the Submit button.
  2. Display the Controls task pane and click the Button control, which places the button in the form.
  3. Double-click the button to launch its properties. On the General tab, the default Action setting is Rules and Custom Code, which is not what we want.

  4. Change the Action drop down box to Submit.

  5. Now click the Submit Options button to launch the Submit Options dialog box.

  6. Click the Allow users to submit this form option.

  7. In the Data Connections widow, click the Add button to add a data connection.

  8. In the Data Connection Wizard, choose Create a new connection to as well as Submit Data and click Next.

  9. Choose As an e-mail message and click Next.

  10. Complete the email fields as seen in this screenshot. If you want to use a field from your form, click the corresponding Insert Formula
    [fx] button in this dialog box. For instance, if you collected the user’s email address on this form, you can include them in the cc field of the email. See step a, below.

    1. When you click the Insert Function button for the Cc: field of the email, you get the Insert Formula dialog box.

    2. In the Select a Field or Group dialog box, choose your emailAddress field you created in your form and click OK twice to get back to the Data Connection wizard.

  11. Once your email address fields, subject and introduction fields are completed, click Next.

  12. Choose Send only the active view of the form and no attachment, then click Next.

  13. You can rename the data connection or accept the default “Email Submit” name. Click Finish.

  14. Now you’re brought back to the Data Connections wizard where you see your Email Submit connection along with a preview of its properties. Click Close.

  15. To complete the setup, click the Ok button in the Button Properties dialog box.

  16. The next step is to Preview the form so that you can test your new Submit button.

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