The “new Outlook” in Outlook O365 looks a lot like personal Outlook online now

When you log into your Outlook online at work next time, you might be prompted to try the “new” Outlook. Here’s what you’ll see if you venture forth.

The first thing I noticed is how the original O365 Outlook looked like this:

But the new Outlook (when toggled on) resembles personal accounts (live.com, hotmail.com, etc.). Notice the change in the left pane, the top nav, and the “new message” and search bar locations.

I love this consistency across experiences and feel this will help users adjust more easily, recognizing a familiar layout across their personal and work accounts.

Two features highlighted in the “welcome tour” once activated include improved search and scheduling (including assistant ability of identifying available times).

The integration of your groups is still there, and you can easily drag your messages to your groups to share with relevant teams (very helpful in reducing data loss or “recovery” that occurs when employees leave a company and a lot of content still lives in their inbox).

Updated share link options for SharePoint files

You may have already seen some new options when sharing links to files in SharePoint (and OneDrive). Here’s what’s available in my tenant today:

If you use the “Anyone with the link” option (for anonymous access) you can choose a date on which the link will expire and access will no longer be granted via that link.

You can block people from downloading only if you uncheck “Allow editing” for the link types that support it.

Your basic options are to allow anonymous users (with or without an expiration date) to:

  • Edit & Download
  • View & Download
  • View Only

You can also easily share with people only in your tenant, even if they don’t have prior access, and choose whether they can edit, view and download, or just view.

People with existing access is useful just to Skype/Teams someone a quick link to get to the file. Their pre-existing permissions apply.

Finally, “Specific People” can allow you to share with external users but they must use the address you share with, as they’ll be sent a verification code to validate their identity. This adds a layer of security to otherwise anonymous share links.

Note: You may not be prompted to enter your email address if opened directly. But if the email is forwarded, user will be asked to verify email before they’re able to send a code.

“Notify your team” option when you upload files to SharePoint

A newer feature in SharePoint allows you the option to “Notify your team” after a new file is uploaded. Your upload process is the same, but then your “upload complete” dialog now has an additional option:

When you select “Notify your team” you’re presented with options like sharing with SharePoint groups, or just individuals manually entered.

When finished, click “Notify” and the intended recipients receive a link that only works for them when logged in.

If you attempt to share with someone not in your tenant, you will receive an error as you can only notify people with existing access.

For these external users, you can instead separately share via the usual “Share” dialog when a file is selected. Here you’ll also find a newer feature that allows for blocking downloads if the “Allow editing” box is unchecked. This would prevent people making edits offline and creating multiple versions in silos.

Preserve Excel hyperlinks when saving as PDF

If you have hyperlinks in your excel files and need to save your file as a PDF, you’ve probably run into the error in which your hyperlinks in the PDF output are inactive.

To be able to maintain hyperlinks you will need Adobe Acrobat. If you don’t have it, please skip down to the bottom of this post to the “Don’t have Adobe Acrobat?” section.

If you do have Adobe, it’s quite simple unless you’re using the HYPERLINK() formula (see below). Just use the Acrobat add-in to save as Adobe PDF.

File –> Save as Adobe PDF –> Convert to PDF. You can also use the Acrobat tab in the ribbon and click “Create PDF”.

Using HYPERLINK() formula

If you’re using the hyperlink formula, as seen below, we’ll need to do some manipulation to our sheet first. Printing to PDF will require that your hyperlinks are properly written before conversion (http… or https…).

To get just the hyperlinks from our formula, we can copy values from Excel and paste into Word, then copy from Word and paste back into Excel (keeping source formatting).

Paste into blank Word document, then copy all values (not the whole table, just the column)
Back in Excel, select the original column values, and paste the new values copied from Word in their place

Now when you save as Adobe PDF, your links will remain active:

Don’t have Adobe Acrobat?

Save the Excel Sheet as a web page and links will work. This isn’t ideal but in a pinch will save you some stress.

Improve the look of the likert rating question type in SharePoint surveys

You want your surveys to be easy to complete because chances are they’re optional in the first place. If you’re using a likert rating question type, the look of the entire survey can get out of hand pretty quickly.

A likert rating question type with no styling applied other than site styles

Just by adding alternating row shading and giving the options some more room to breathe, we zap the anxiety right out of the question and give the question a more polished look. Just two tiny changes make a big difference.

  1. Click “Respond to Survey” to open the newform.aspx page
  2. Edit page
  3. Add a web part
  4. Under Media & Content choose either Content Editor or Script Editor (your preference)
    1. Content Editor: Create a .css file in your Site Assets named something like form-alt-row-shading.css and reference its path in the web part’s properties. For the file’s content, copy and paste the script below.
    2. Script Editor: Click “Edit Snippet” then copy and paste the script below directly into the dialog that appears
  5. Save and check it out!
<style>
.ms-formbody tr:nth-child(even) {
background-color: #ffffff;
}
th.ms-gridT1 {
width:310px;
}
</style>

You could modify the css file further, adjusting the question itself, the option headers, etc. by using F12 and selecting each element to find its class label, then adding it to your css file with its modified styling within the brackets. But just these two adjustments alone give you options on a single line (not breaking lines) and easy visibility with alternating row options.

Export SharePoint group membership names and email addresses to Excel

Before we start, if you’re just wanting to email all members of the group you can “select all” then choose “E-Mail Users” from the action menu when viewing the group membership within SharePoint. This opens an Outlook window with all the addresses pre-populated.

But, if you still need an excel sheet of membership for another purpose (perhaps to format a sign-in sheet, generate documents with mail merge, share the list with others, etc.) follow these steps:

  1. With the group open in SharePoint, copy the URL and note the ID number at the end of the URL
  2. Open a new excel workbook
  3. From the “Data” tab, select “New Query” –> “From Other Sources” –> “From OData Feed
  4. Paste the group URL in the prompt but delete everything after the site address and replace with the following, replacing “6” with your group’s ID from step 1
    /_api/Web/SiteGroups/GetByID(6)/Users
  5. Click “Edit” once the group loads so we can choose which columns to keep/delete
  6. Ctrl+click the column headers you want to keep
  7. Right-click a header of a column you’re keeping and select “Remove Other Columns”
  8. Close and Load
  9. You should now see your group membership and email addresses (and any other fields you kept). Save this somewhere and, if updates are made in the future, just click “Refresh all” to bring in new members and remove old.

Limited edition “SharePoint Champion” vinyl stickers

A recent project for my own champions spurred interest from others. I wanted stickers that read “SharePoint Champion” to share with my governance committee members who also happen to be my champions/advocates in the organization.

I don’t sell a lot of physical products on my site because managing inventory and shipping can become a job in itself. But I’m passionate about champions programs and helping people become empowered to advocate for improved productivity and everyday collaboration so I’m adding this limited edition sticker to my offerings. Once the 500 are gone, they’re gone.

So grab a handful, treat your champions to some computer-swag, and carry onward.

United States: Coupon code 25FREESHIP grants 25% off and free shipping on sticker orders of $25 or more

International: Coupon INTL50FREESHIP grants 25% off and free shipping on sticker orders of $50 or more

SharePoint Champion Sticker

$1.00

In stock on March 8, 2019. Order now to reserve yours.
Size: 4″ wide, 1.69″ tall

310 in stock

SKU: sharepoint-champion-sticker Category: Tag:

Description

These individually die-cut sticker singles are made of a durable, high quality white vinyl. There are only 500 being made (no re-orders or back-orders) so get yours while they’re available.

Use coupon code 25FREESHIP on orders of $25 or more to get 25% off your stickers and free shipping in the U.S.

Premium members save an additional 10% on all items.

In stock on March 8, 2019. Order now to reserve yours.
Size: 4″ wide, 1.69″ tall

Additional information

Weight .2 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × .1 × 5 in

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Use the Flow recurrence trigger to run flows only on weekdays

Running a flow on every weekday or certain weekdays

Rather than using Flow’s recurrence trigger with a frequency of “days” combined with switch cases/conditions, you can actually just use the “Week” frequency time unit and select days from a drop-down with no further effort required.

For weekdays, just select Monday-Friday. Or if you just want MWF, you could do that as well.

A techie way to do it

The alternative is to initialize a variable such as

@and(greater(dayOfWeek(utcNow()),0),less(dayOfWeek(utcNow()),7))

with a switch case to determine if today’s date is, in fact, between 0 (Sunday) and 7 (Saturday).

Compare today’s date with holiday calendar

So that being said, the limitation of using the “Week” frequency for weekdays might be if you want to prevent it from running on holidays when nobody is in the office even if it is, in fact, a Monday. In that case, you could add a condition that checks to see if @utcNow() matches items from a SharePoint list (holiday calendar?).

  1. Initialize variable (integer) value 0
  2. Get items from SP list (calendar)
    1. You could add an ODATA filter in the Get items step to only filter to items with Start times greater than today
  3. Apply to each –> IF utcNow()=SP item, THEN increment variable by 1, ELSE nothing
    1. Use the expression builder to formatDateTime both dates to be sure they match when being compared
  4. IF variable is greater than 0, do nothing (don’t run), else run the rest of the Flow

Improve your navigation and design with free and easy Unicode symbols to complement links

It doesn’t have to cost anything to improve your user experience and make links look more like, well, links. We’re accustomed to a modern navigation experience driven not just by underlined text anymore but by visual cues. We rely on iconography and buttons to get us more quickly from A to B.

So if you can’t (or don’t want to) install an icon library like Font Awesome, and if you’re not using a web part that has the built-in Office UI Fabric icons (such as the Quick Links web part), why not stick to the basics and use Unicode characters? While limited, you still have some great options for quick wins.

Note: These characters appear slightly different in different browsers or when used with pre-existing themes. For example, when writing this post they’re black-and-white, but when published, my styles are applied which give them color. They may also look different on a mobile device than they do on desktop.

Compart has a great listing of all the Unicode symbols you can search and filter. Here are a few examples I selected that could be useful:

☎ Directory
♻ Recycle vs Trash FAQ
♬ Fall Concert Details
☂ Inclement weather procedures
⛱ Vacation Requests
⛟  Track a Delivery
☃ Winter Sale

How to use Unicode characters on your site

Example used in the left navigation

To use Unicode characters, you can either:

  • Copy and paste the actual symbol -OR-
  • In your html, wrap the four-digit number in &#x and ; as follows

&#x2665;

Here are many more icons, some of which might have purpose in your organization. You can also download this excel file for easier viewing/customizing.

2600

25A0 260E 25AE
2601 25A1 260F 25AF
2602 25A2

2610 21C9
2603 25A3 2611 21CA
2604 25A4 2612 25B2
2605 25A5 2613 25B3
2606 25A6 2614 25B4
2607 25A7 2615 25B5
25A8 2616 25B6 21CF
2609 25A9 2617 25B7
260A 25AA 2618 25B8
260B 25AB 2619 25B9
260C 25AC 261A 25BA
260D 25AD 261B 25BB
2678 23F6 2686 21D5
2679 23F7 2687

2190
267A 23F8 2688 2191
267B 23F9 2689 2192
267C 23FA 268A 2193
267D 2390 2194 21DA
267E 2391 2195 21DB
267F 2392 2196 21DC

2680 2197 21DD 269C
2681 2394 2198 21DE
2682 2396

2690 2199
2683 2397 2691 219A
2684 2398 2692 219B
2685 2399 2693 219C
26CC 26CF 26D2 26D5
26CD

26D0 26D3 26D6
26DA 26DE 2.60E+02 2.60E+05
21EE 2315 21F4 21F5
262A 25CA

2640 25D8
262B 25CB 2641 25D9
25CC 2642

2650 25EE
25CD 2643 2651 25EF
262E 25CE 2644 2652
262F 25CF 2645 2653
2638

25D0 2646 2654
2639 25D1 2647 2655
25D2 2648 2656 23C4
263B 25D3 2649 2.50E+08
263C 25D4 264A 2.50E+09
263D 25D5 264B 2.50E+10
263E 25D6 264C 25EA
263F 25D7 264D 25EB
21AB

26B0 21B9 26F2
26A3 21AC 26B1 21BA
26A4 21AD 26B2 21BB
26A5 21AE 26B3 26F5
26A6 21AF 26B4 26F6

21B0 26B5 26F7 26C3
21B1 26B6 26F8 26C4
21B2 26B7 26F9 26C5
26B8 26FA 26C6 2672
21B4 26B9 26FB 26C7
26AC 21B5 26BA 26FC
26AD 21B6 26BB 21C4
26AE 21B7 26BC 21C5
26AF 21B8 26BD 21C6
2.60E+03 2.60E+09 26EB 26EF
2.60E+04 2.60E+10 26ED

26F0
2.10E+09 21F3 21FC 21FD
21F2

235F 23F4 23F5
21C7 261C 25BC

2670
21C8 261D 25BD 2671
261E 25BE 262C 231B
261F 25BF 262D 2673
21CB

2620

25C0 26C8
21CC 2621 25C1 26FD
21CD 2622 25C2 26FE
21CE 2623 25C3

26FF
2624 25C4 263A 26EC

21D0 2625 25C5 26DB
21D1 2626 25C6 21FE
21D2 2627 25C7 26D1
21D3 2628 25C8 2319
21D4 2629 25C9 231A
2694 219D 26A2 21F9
21D6 2695 219E 21FA
21D7 2696 219F 2674
21D8 2697

21A0 26C9
21D9 2698 21A1 26CA
2699 21A2 26A7 2.60E+08
269A 21A3 26A8 2.60E+06
269B 21A4 26A9 2.60E+07
21A5 26AA 21B3 21FF
269D 21A6 26AB 26D4
21DF 269E 21A7 21F6

2.10E+01 269F 21A8 21F7
2.10E+02

26A0 21A9 21F8
2.10E+03 26A1 21AA 2.10E+07
26D8 26DC 26DF 2.10E+08
26D9 26DD

2.60E+01 21FB
26EA 26EE 26F1 2675
21EF

21F0 21F1 2676
264E 25EC 265C 2677
264F 25ED 265D 26CE
265E 2.10E+06 2.10E+04 26CB
265F 23CD 2.10E+05 26D7

23C0 2668 23CE

2660
23C1 2669 23CF 2661
23C2 21ED 2.10E+10 2662
23C3 266B 21EA 2663
2664 21EB 21EC 2665
2657 23C5 266C 2666
2658 23C6 2316 2667
2659 23C7 2317 266A
265A 23C8 266E 26BF
265B 23C9 2318

26C0
26BE 26F4 26C2 266D
26F3 26C1 266F

Introducing my new OneNote 101 7-day email course

I’m excited to share my first-ever email course with everyone. I enjoyed building the course and I’m confident there’s something new and exciting in it for everyone. And when you’re done, in the final email on the 7th day, you’ll receive a link to claim a Credly achievement credential for having completed the course.

Enjoy!

OneNote 101: 7-day email course

$10.00

This email course delivers a healthy serving of OneNote each day, for seven days. Topics include tags, Outlook, audio, files, version comparisons, and more (see below full listing).


Upon completion, subscribers receive a
Credly badge acknowledging their participation.

Category: Tags: ,

Description

This email course delivers a healthy serving of OneNote each day, for seven days. Topics include:

  • Flavors of OneNote (multiple devices, multiple versions)
  • Audio tips and tricks
  • Working with files in OneNote
  • Image magic in OneNote, like searching text within images
  • Keyboard shortcuts to maximize your effiency
  • OneNote + Outlook
  • Tags and Tag reports (summary pages)


Upon completion, subscribers receive a
Credly badge acknowledging their participation.

Requirements:

  • Includes GIFs and relies on images to demonstrate tips so must support HTML message formats
  • Must allow emails from MailChimp (check spam/junk if you don’t get your first email within 24 hours of signing up)

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