26 January 2015

Fetch Excel Values From Other Files

Excel iconMy mother Kate has written today's blog post. She had an Excel problem and could not find the solution online, so she asked me for a demo. And of course I obey when my mother requests something!

I know that my demo helped her, and I hope more people will find it useful. You can find it below and in the Tips section.

Linked Excel files
When I analyzed an Excel file with statistics, I understood that we would get better information if we fetched data from another file. But it was necessary that this data was updated in the statistics file each time it was updated in the source file, so I could not just copy and paste the value.
Kate Kalmstrom image
I tried to write a formula, but I could not get it right. Therefore I asked Peter for help, and I was surprised when he showed me that I did not have to write a formula at all! It was actually very easy to fetch the information I wanted from another file, and now I have seen that it gets updated too.

Side by side
To put two open files side by side in Windows 8, you just have to press the Windows key and place one file to the right with the right arrow key and the other to the left with the left arrow key. Windows 8 logotype It is not necessary to have the files side by side when you to tell Excel to fetch data from one file to another, but it makes it easier to see what you are doing.

Let Excel do the work
Thanks to the capacity of Excel it is very easy to link data from a different file than the current one. Select the cell where you want to place the value and write the equal sign in the formula bar, to tell Excel to calculate. Then click on the cell in the other file that you want to fetch – and Excel creates the correct formula for you!
Excel recommended charts

Excel tutorials
"If I cannot do it, there must be more people out there who need help." This was my thought when I asked Peter to make the video for me like a demo.

Now the demo on how to make Excel fetch data from another Excel file is published with a step by step instruction in the Tips section, as one of many tutorials on various aspects of Excel: formulas, charts, use with SharePoint and more.

Kate Kalmström
Documentation Manager Business Solution

23 January 2015

Office 365 News and Changes

Office 365 logotype Office 365 is constantly enhanced, but around the turn of the year there have been more changes than usual. Here are my comments to news and removals.

Start button
The most eye catching new feature is something that Microsoft calls "app launcher" in the top left corner. Here users can reach all services that are available to them via one single icon.

There were many protests when the Windows start button that was removed in Windows 8 Now it is back again, in a new form. It will be included in Windows 10 (more about that in a later post), and the app launcher is basically the same thing, even if it is modernized and possible to customize.

SharePoint kanban card

Office 365 Video
Another new feature is the Office 365 Video, which I have not yet had an opportunity to test. It will make it easier to add videos to Office 365 and give features like ability to handle large amounts of videos, search, categorization, statistics and publishing in multiple formats for different devices.

As you might have seen Microsoft has been quietly removing Tags and Notes and My Tasks from SharePoint online in the last few months. This is of course a bit depressing news, especially since these features were recently drummed up as reasons to move to SharePoint 2010 or 2013. (If you miss My Tasks, have a look at the article where I show how to add a web part that shows "my open tasks".)

Better options in the pipeline?
However, there is hope and promise in these shut-downs. Think of what happened with Search a few years ago. First we had many different products and offerings depending on your license level and which products you purchased. FAST was sold as a separate product, requiring its own server. Microsoft Search Server (Express) was another product that was sometimes used.

All those search features were killed off and then replaced by the new search features in Office 365 and SharePoint 2013, which I am very enthusiastic about. As you might have seen I have started a series of tutorials on the SharePoint 2013 Search in the Tips section.

I hope the now removed Tags and Notes and My Tasks will be replaced with something better, in the same way as the earlier SharePoint search engines.

Yammer disappears?
I believe that we will see the same thing happen with Yammer in the next few months. Ever since Microsoft bought that platform it has been clear that a new integrated social platform will come.

Removing the old features is a way of paving the road for the new things to come. Regretfully I don't have any inside information about the new features, yet - but I am hopeful, and I will certainly blog about them as soon as I know something more!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

21 January 2015

SharePoint Kanban Board With Swim Lanes And Zoom

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotype Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V3 has been released! The new version has several enhancements, like a possibility to use swim lanes, a zoom and an instant search feature that begins searching as soon as you start writing. There are also additional ways to move tasks within or between phases and lanes.

Swim Lanes
SharePoint kanban card Several subscribers have asked for swim lanes in Kanban Task Manager, to get a possibility to group tasks and get a better overview.

The new version therefore creates a Lanes list at activation on a site, Enter your own values in the list, and the lanes will be shown on the kanban board.

If you don't want to use swim lanes, don't add any items to the Lanes list. Then no lanes will be shown on your kanban board.

Move tasks with keys or finger
Drag Kanban Task Manager tasks with a finger Right from the first release Kanban Task Manager has given a possibility to drag and drop tasks with the mouse.
In version 3 you can also use keys (Ctrl + arrow) to move tasks within or between phases and lanes, and if you have a touch screen you can drag the tasks with a finger.

In version 3 of Kanban Task Manager you can zoom in an out on the kanban board, by dragging a bar to the left to see details and to the right to see more tasks.

You may also use the same method as you normally use with web pages: Ctrl + the plus or minus key.

This new zoom is one more way of viewing the tasks in the best way. There is also the filtering – by project, responsible, priority and a custom value – and the details pane, which shows more of the task text at the bottom of the screen.
Instant search, responsive design and high performance
Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint V3 also has an instant search, that suggests hits as you are writing, and the design is responsive so that the kanban board adapts well to different screen sizes.

The developers have also enhanced the performance, so that Kanban Task Manager now responds quicker on all controls.

Add images and links
Earlier you could format the text in the description field of the Kanban Task Manager tasks,and now the default setting also lets users add images, tables, links and videos in that field.

SharePoint kanban cardThis enhanced rich text is useful for the task description, but to have a clean look and a good overview of the tasks on the kanban board, we have chosen to give the kanban cards a fixed design.

Therefore the formatting cannot be seen on the kanban cards. Links are clickable directly on the cards, but other formatting is only visible when you open the task.

Upgrade upgrade iconFree upgrades are included in all Subscriptions, so we recommend current users to upgrade their installations. Just replace the file and reactivate Kanban Task Manager, and then you can continue working with your tasks.

Try it download iconIf you have not yet tried Kanban Task Manager, you are welcome to evaluate the solution for 30 days without any obligations.

We give support during the evaluation period as well as when you start a subscription. That is the least we can do when you spend valuable time on evaluating our SharePoint Solution!

Update of Outlook versions
Kanban Task Manager for Outlook logoThere are two Outlook versions of Kanban Task Manager, one for workgroups and one for single users.

Soon we will release updates of these versions too, with the same enhancements as we have given Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint. I will come back to you about that!

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions