PowerPoint 2016 – a change in Guides

I noticed this improvement to guides in PowerPoint 2016 the other day.

If you apply your guides while in Master View, you can’t inadvertently move them while in Normal View. This is great! And consistent with the way objects behave between normal and master views.

By the way – guides applied in Normal View, can still be moved around in normal view. Like I said – consistent!

A handy coupon app

Those foot long cash register receipts drive me crazy (I’m looking at you PetSmart), and it’s even worse when you have to save them for a month or more to take advantage of the coupon printed on them.

I’ve recently come across an app  – SnipSnap, that addresses this problem. You take a picture of the coupon and it reads the barcode and saves the coupon details. My bulging wallet is going to get some relief.

A couple of caveats, the app is prone to sudden crashes when deleting coupons. Also, it is finicky about the light conditions and quality of the receipt, so try to photograph as unwrinkled a receipt as possible. Even so, it is worth a try.

Updates to the Prairie Rose School Division Calendar

I keep a google version of the Prairie Rose School Division school calendar. This is for my own use, and is not maintained by Prairie Rose. However, you are welcome to subscribe to it. Having a subscription calendar certainly makes life easier!

Prairie Rose has published their school calendar until June 2019.

If you are interested in my previous posts about calendar sharing you can check them out here:

 

 

Highlighting the Current Year

Here is a version of a spreadsheet that I’ve been using for a couple of years to track and plan capital purchases. A number of people review this spreadsheet and I want to make it as easy as possible for them to read the spreadsheet. You’ll notice that the Budget year is highlighted in green and items being purchased in that year are highlighted as well. This is accomplished with our friend conditional formatting and the following spreadsheet functions:

  • ADDRESS
  • ROW
  • COLUMN
  • MATCH
  • INDIRECT
  • ISBLANK
Spreadsheet with automatic highlighting
Capital Budget Spreadsheet – note the row and column (year) highlights

This spreadsheet makes use of a helper column of formulas. Rows where the value equals TRUE are highlighted.

The Helper column holds formulas
The Helper column holds formulas

Cells give a value of TRUE when there is a value for that row in the Budget Year selected in cell A1. You can see that 2017 has been selected as the Budget Year and that rows 9 and 20 have a value for that year and are highlighted as a result.

This is the formula that returns the value

=ISBLANK(INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(),MATCH($A$1,$F$2:$AU$2,0)+5,3,TRUE)))=FALSE

Working from the interior of the formula outward.

MATCH($A$1,$F$2:$AU$2,0)

This looks for a match between the value in A1 and the Budget year headings which start in cell F2 and go to AU2 (the year 2033, which is incredibly optimistic – but that is another story). MATCH returns the number of the first item in that array of cells that matches the value in A1. This is why even though there are two columns for every year (a Budget column and an Actual column) MATCH will only return the Budget column, as it is the first value to match.

So the result of MATCH($A$1,$F$2:$AU$2,0) is 9

However, if I actually want to capture the column I need to to add 5 to compensate for the fact I have 5 columns (A-E) before column F and the year headings begin.  This is why I’m adding 5 in the formula.

MATCH($A$1,$F$2:$AU$2,0)+5 =14

In the next step I use ADDRESS and ROW to capture the address of the cell I’m testing.

ADDRESS(ROW(),14,3,TRUE))

ROW() captures the value of the row of the cell where the formula is written. If the formula is in A3, then row() returns 3.

ADDRESS turns the cell address of the referenced cell (not its’ contents). In our example; ADDRESS(3,14,3,TRUE)=”$N3″

The ISBLANK function in the next step has a bit of a hiccup with that “$N3” string, so we use INDIRECT to convert that string to something ISBLANK can understand.

Finally, ISBLANK is used to test if there is a value in the referenced cell or not. If there is nothing in the cell ISBLANK = TRUE.

If ISBLANK = TRUE, then the last portion of the formula looks like this: TRUE does not equal FALSE, so the result of the formula in cell A3 is FALSE.

I could have put that formula into the conditional formatting dialogue – but for clarity and ease of working I choose to make the helper column instead.

In the conditional formatting dialogue I’ve used the following formula =$A3=TRUE

I’m using a simpler version of the formula in the conditional formatting dialogue to highlight the year.

=MATCH($A1,$F$2:$AU$2,0)+5=COLUMN()

In this case I find the column number of the year and test to see if it matches the column number of the current cell. If it does then the cell receives a green highlight fill.

Cell A1 uses Data Validation to offer the user a nice drop-down list of years.

PowerPoint – Making a Mask

Creating a mask effect in PowerPoint is easy, once you’ve located the Shape Combine command. You can add this command to the Ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar.

Below, you see it being added to my toolbar.Adding the Shape Combine Command to the Toolbar

Adding the Shape Combine Command to the Toolbar, alternately look for the Combine Shapes command as more options are available.The command will not be active until there are two shapes selected. Below, I’ve created a blue rectangle and a red oval. The oval shape will be cut out from the rectangle.Blue rectangle with red oval positioned for the cut out.

Blue rectangle with red oval positioned for the cut out.You may prefer to add the Combine Shapes command instead. More options are available as you can see below.

Select the shapes you wish to combine.
Both shapes are selected, so the Combine Shapes button is active

The result of the Shape Combine command, a rectangle with an oval “hole: in the center.The result of the Combine Shapes Command

The result of the Combine Shapes CommandOnce the mask is created, you can dress it up. Below, I’ve changed the fill to an image of a leafy forest floor.The forest floor has a hole in it.

The forest floor has a hole in it.Now I can layer whatever image I wish (in this case a frog) under the mask. You can animate the layer underneath the mask. Can you image a wheel of creatures rotating into the viewpoint in the center of the mask? That would be great for a talk about ecology!

Can you spot the frog?
Can you spot the frog?

 

Add a Google Calendar to a Facebook Page

 

Adding a public Google Calendar is a great way to present activities in an easily shared fashion.

To add a Google Calendar to your Facebook Page, you will first need a Facebook Page (not a personal profile page) and a Google (Gmail) account.

Create the Google Calendar

Make a public calendar. This can be an existing calendar or one created for this purpose.

Make the Calendar Public

After the calendar has been created, click on the drop-down arrow beside the calendar name and choose Calendar Settings. The Calendar Details page will open.

Click the Share this Calendar link.

The checkbox turning on Public Access
Making a Google Calendar Public

 

Enable the Make this calendar public checkbox.

Click the Save button.

The calendar view will be displayed.

Customize the Calendar HTML Code

Return to the calendar’s details page.

Click on the drop-down arrow beside the calendar name and choose Calendar Settings. The Calendar Details page will open:

finding the HTML to display the Google Calendar
Locate the Embed this Calendar section

Scroll down the page and find the Embed This Calendar section.

Click on the Customize the color, size, and other options link.
A new window or tab will open, the Google Embeddable Calendar Helper:

Google Embeddable Calendar Helper
Google Embeddable Calendar Helper

 A preview of your calendar is visible. You can change the title, default view and other elements of the calendar. The view will update to show you what your calendar will look like when the changes are applied. If you do make changes, be sure to press the UPDATE HTML button to ensure those changes are reflected in the HTML.

Be prepared to copy and paste the HTML code. However, do not do so yet.

Add the iFrames Tab app to your Facebook Page

From your Facebook page go to https://www.facebook.com/StaticHtmlThunderpenny/

Click the Use App link on the left hand side of the page.

The Static HTML: iframe tabs page will appear:

view of Thunderpenny app installation page
Static HTML: iframe tabs, Add Static HTML to a Page

Click the Add Static HTML to a Page button.

The Add Page Tab window will open:

Add Page Tab dialog box
Choose your Facebook Page to add the Page Tab too.

Click on the drop-down Facebook Pages Button and select your Facebook Page.

Click the Add Page Tab button.

You will be routed to the Set Up Tab view. Click the Set Up Tab button.

Follow the instructions in the index.html area

Copy the HTML code that you customized previously for your Google calendar into the index.html area.
Replace the instructions with your code (or the instructions will appear along with your calendar).

The Static HTML customization window.
The Static HTML window. Paste your calendar code here.

Click the Save & Publish button.

Name the Tab

From your Facebook Page, select Settings.

Finding the App Settings after installation
Return to Settings to Name the Tab

Click on the Apps category on the left.

Apps that have been added will be listed on the right.

From the Static HTML: iframe tabs app section, click on the Edit Settings link.

The Edit Static HTML: iframe tabs Settings dialog box will appear:

The Edit Static HTML: iframe tabs Settings dialog box
The Edit Static HTML: iframe tabs Settings dialog box

Enter the name of your calendar in the Custom Tab Name: text box.

Click the Save button.

Click the OK button.

You can also add an image that will appear beside the link on the right hand side of your page.

Additional Ideas

Now the App code has been connected to your Facebook page, additional tabs can be added. Any piece of embeddable HTML code can be used. For example; on-line catalog search code. To add additional tabs, return to the page Settings and select Apps.

Click the Go to App link for the Static HTML: iframe tabs app.

The app will walk you through creating an additional tab.

Woobox has an app called Tweet Feed for Pages, which will embed your Twitter feed into a tab on your page. The concept is similar to embedding a Google Calendar. Woobox’s app will walk you through the process of adding the tab.

Where Am I?

A fairly regular occurrence when you do a lot of driving; you find something during your drive that should be reported (roadkill, accidents, debris, etc.). If you are on a rural road, the GPS coordinates would be ideal. But, since you are a sensible person you don’t want to take your hands off the steering wheel to fiddle with your phone.

I have a solution for iOS  phones (mostly – it still will require one touch of the screen).

The solution is to use Siri and ask the question “Where am I?”

Response to question by Siri
Siri shows a map of my location

Now unfortunately, Siri doesn’t store this information, and once your screen turns off it will disappear. However, if you touch the map, the information will be transferred to the maps app. The maps app will hold the information until you are ready to deal with it.

The result of question "where am I"
The saved map

Now when you can pull over you can use either the option to Share My Location or Mark My Location.

Selecting Share My Location brings up your share sheet.

The share sheet
You can share your location in a number of ways.
Additional options are displayed as you pull the panel higher.
Additional options are displayed as you pull the panel higher.

You can also  pull the panel a little higher up over the map, for more information.  Like the GPS coordinates or contact options.

You can use the Mark My Location to do exactly that on the map. A red pin will display on the map, and the option to Edit the location appears.

Marked location options
Once you’ve marked the location, you can edit it.

If you choose to edit the location, a satellite view of the location opens, and you can drag and drop the pin.

Editing the location
Editing a location

Marked locations remain in the map app for later reference.

 

Outlook – Retrieve Dismissed Reminders

Some days, your biggest enemy is yourself.  Have you ever hit that “Dismiss All” button, or accidentally dismissed a reminder you wanted to keep?

Reminder Dialog box with highlighted Dismiss All button
Oops! I hit the Dismiss All button!

Here’s how to find that reminder, so that you can reset it.

Use the search, but instead of searching by topic, type in modified:<date>

Highlighted Search bar
Use the Search bar in the calendar view
Close up of search entry
Close up of search entry

Use the date when you accidentally dismissed those reminders (causing the modification). Your view will automatically switch into the Search Tools view. If you have multiple calendars you want to search (as I do) make sure the All Calendar Items button is pressed.

Closeup of the Search Tools view
Closeup of the Search Tools view

It will show you all the reminders you’ve modified.

In fact, you don’t need to be too precise about dates. Here’s an example, where only the name of the month was typed in.

Still works!

Search by the month name if you don't know what date.
Search by the month name if you don’t know what date.

You can then reopen the item and reset the reminder.

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