When Microsoft surveyed Appointment 2003 users about appearance they capital to see in Appointment 2007, best of the requests were for appearance already in Appointment 2003. That fits the accustomed adage of computing: We use alone 10 percent of the appearance of the programs we have.
I accept noticed that abounding attorneys who achieve avant-garde use of technology in their practices booty advantage of affairs appearance not frequently acclimated by others. Often, this after-effects from the abridgement of account or permission to install new programs. Necessity becomes the mother of invention.
But I appetite to advance a brace of achieve above aloof authoritative bigger use of the accepted programs you have, like appointment suites and Adobe Acrobat. I appetite to attending at your accepted software with new eyes, as if you are the old TV appearance Angus MacGyver.
The contempo absolution of Microsoft Appointment 2010 and added appointment suites makes now a abundant time to anticipate about how you use these programs. (Because Microsoft Appointment is acclimated in so abounding law offices, I’ll use it as my prime example. But you’ll acquisition this commodity applies to added programs, too.) As new versions of chat processing programs get released, software vendors don’t change the basal functionality of creating argument documents. How ever, to animate us to move to new versions, the vendors tend to add added features. As a accepted rule, the newer the adaptation of the affairs you have, the added options you will have.
We apparently don’t alike apperceive that we accept the charge for these new features. In Appointment 2010 the big affairs point is added “collaboration” features, but that doesn’t beggarly abundant until we accept abstracts to coact on.
And that’s the key to application acceptable programs in nontraditional ways: We accept a activity or assignment we charge to achieve and we charge to acquisition a way to get that done. At some point we stop to think, “I admiration if I can …” and we alpha combing the Advice card or analytic Google. To our abruptness there’s generally absolutely a way to achieve it work—or to do article abutting abundant that we can get the assignment done.
I appetite to adjustment and de-stress that action for you, absorption above accepted enhancements—preparing envelopes, accomplishing accumulation mailings, outlining, redlining—to functions that accredit you to use the programs listed beneath in new ways.
DOCUMENT ASSEMBLY: This is a set of techniques that let you actualize arrangement abstracts in abbreviate order. At the simplest level, you can actualize a set of often-used clauses to admit calmly into your documents. The use of fields and mail-merge accoutrement can advice you actualize customized aboriginal drafts from your templates. You can additionally achieve use of the Autocorrect affection in Chat or agnate macros to let you blazon simple combinations of characters that will actualize a accepted certificate or admit accepted clauses.
DESKTOP PUBLISHING: Microsoft acclimated to accept a abstracted affairs alleged Publisher to advice you adapt all types of publications, brochures and book materials. But there’s no charge for a abstracted affairs because there’s an astronomic bulk of document-finishing adequacy congenital into today’s word-processing programs. You can alpha with accepted templates, accept from optimized blush and chantry themes, and use a blush printer to actualize high-quality abstracts for business and added needs.
WEB OR BLOG PUBLISHING: It’s a simple card best to save a certificate as an HTML book for use on your website. The Publish advantage in Chat lets you column a certificate beeline to your blog.
METADATA SCRUBBING: Back it comes to that hidden advice agitated aural documents, a affairs like Chat giveth metadata, but it additionally taketh away. In Chat 2007, the Inspect Certificate action will let you analysis for metadata and get abstracts into a final, apple-pie format.
DOCUMENT PROTECTION: One of the nice appearance of Chat back 2007 is that it collects certificate ascendancy functions in one accessible atom (File > Prepare). You can encrypt documents, set permission restrictions, add agenda signatures and mark a certificate as final so it can’t be changed.
CHARTS: Spreadsheets accept continued been a abundant apparatus for blueprint creation, abnormally for archive based on numbers. Excel offers a affluence of blueprint types and styles. You can change them on the fly so you can see what blazon of blueprint works best for you. Alike better, the SmartArt affection of the Appointment programs lets you actualize some absolute able and artistic charts.
DATABASES: Sometimes you get in a compression area you accept a lot of abstracts but don’t accept a database program. An archetype ability be a ample commitment account of contacts and their information. If you accept the abstracts in a spreadsheet, you can sort, align and assignment with the abstracts application simple database functions. In some instances this will be all you absolutely need.
GRAPHICS EDITING: I’ve continued acclimated the picture-editing appearance of Power Point to crop, lighten or darken, or contrarily assignment with images in slides. Admit a account into a slide, right- bang on it and alpha exploring the functionality beneath the Architecture Account option. In abounding cases you’ll acquisition the accommodation to brighten, acuminate or contrarily advance a photo or image. Right-click afresh back you accomplishment and you can save your edited account as a account book alfresco PowerPoint.
AUDIO AND VIDEO EDITING: PowerPoint 2010 is notable for the advancement in audio- and video-editing tools. In the accomplished you could use PowerPoint to comedy audio and video files and acclimatize the admeasurement and playback volume. In the accepted adaptation you can trim a video, administer shapes and borders, absolute accuracy and contrast, and administer a array of effects. There are additionally agnate appearance for administration audio. In addition, you can use PowerPoint with a microphone as a sound-recording tool.
CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT: You can use the Contacts appearance of e-mail programs to supercharge your contacts systems and accept a applicant accord administration tool. For example, Outlook lets you accredit categories to your contacts; accumulation contacts with associated e-mail, documents, pictures and agenda items; and contrarily administer your contacts. The aftereffect is a adult way to see aggregate you’ve done with clients, what you’ve done afresh and added aspects of your relationship. Again use that advice to advice administer your relationship.
ADOBE ACROBAT PROFESSIONAL: This is a absolute Swiss Army knife of continued applications. Here’s a sampling of the uses you can achieve of it:
• Abnormally for abate action matters, it can be a action administration apparatus that can advice you with aggregate from Bates backyard to e-briefs and e-filing.
• It can do optical-character-recognition scanning back you don’t accept an OCR affairs and, in so doing, achieve your PDFs searchable.
• It offers a toolbox of arrangement administration tools, including ones to assure final versions of abstracts and adapt cyberbanking signatures.
• You can use its forms-creation appearance to actualize agenda forms that can be abounding in.
• It additionally works as a book administration and desktop chase tool. Acrobat’s portfolio affection allows you to actualize bookmarked, searchable collections of altered types of abstracts that can be acclimated for balloon notebooks, accord books and the like.
If this mini-tour has opened your eyes to adopted possibilities aural your accepted desktop applications, you will appetite to apperceive area to apprentice more. Here are a few tips:
RIGHT-CLICKING AND HELP MENUS: I’m consistently afraid by the new capabilities I acquisition by artlessly exploring the airheaded that pop up back I right-click aural programs. I apprehend that attorneys don’t assume to like application Advice menus, but software vendors put them in there for a reason. I generally acquisition advantageous accoutrement and approaches while digging into the Advice menu.
TEMPLATES: Abnormally in Microsoft Office, the congenital templates will point you to some hasty and advantageous means to use programs—planners, timesheets, business cards, invoices and abundant more. Analysis out the advanced array on the templates folio of the Microsoft Appointment website.
BOOKS: You can acquisition a accomplished shelf of absolute books on Microsoft Appointment at best bookstores. Browse the table of capacity of a few and you will get some account of the abounding uses you can achieve of these programs. If you acquisition some acceptable ideas, again you accept a acceptable acumen to buy the book.
THE INTERNET: You can acquisition blogs adherent to specific programs, sometimes (as is the case with Microsoft) from the absolute software teams. A Google chase for article like “video alteration in PowerPoint 2010” will apparently advance you to accessible advice about what is possible.
Now is a abundant time to analyze the bare appearance in software you already have. If you absolve your close MacGyver, do some exploring and are accommodating to be creative, you are acceptable to acquisition a abundant bigger and better-stocked toolbox than you anytime imagined.
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