Speaking at SharePoint Saturday St. Louis next Saturday, Jan 19

SharePoint Saturday St. Louis is fast-approaching and is one of my favorite SPS events. This year it will be held at the new Microsoft center. You won’t want to miss it!

I’ll be speaking about one of my favorite topics – building a modern intranet:

Building the Intranet of the Future: Using SharePoint to Empower Collaboration

Automation, organization, incredible search capabilities and user interactivity; all things your organization can have in choosing to build an intranet with SharePoint. We’ll discuss avoiding File Dump 2.0 by exploring best practices in internal communications and collaboration via intranets. We’ll also cover rethinking forms and minimizing busy work by utilizing automation capabilities via workflow and designing intuitive navigation.

Hope to see you there!

Save InfoPath files as PDF

Unlike most office products, InfoPath doesn’t have a convenient “Save as PDF” option. Working with InfoPath forms can, in some ways, feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole when it comes to sharing/preserving.

You have two realistic options for converting these files before seeking a vendor solution. Neither are “bulk conversion” options.

Save a snapshot

In InfoPath 2013 you can go to File –> Save a snapshot. Unfortunately, you can’t modify a lot of settings or page layout options so depending on your form’s formatting/template, it may not fit nicely on a page.

Export to Web and open in browser or Word to print to PDF

To get the formatting options we can instead go to File –> Share –> To Web. This allows us to send the file to someone else in a format they can view (.mht file types will open like a web page in users’ browsers where they can print the form themselves).

You could also open the “web page” in Word to make formatting changes first.

Best Practices in SharePoint Migration webinar series summary

Novigo Solutions recently sponsored LSPUG by presenting a webinar series on SharePoint migration best practices.

Part 1: On-prem to on-prem migrations

Mohamed Ubaid presented Part 1 of the 2-part webinar series.

In this first session, you will get an introduction on how you can migrate your SharePoint On-Prem Farm from one domain to another. Often this scenario comes up during mergers, de-mergers, acquisitions and it is very important to make sure users are able to access SharePoint during and after the migration. What you will learn

  1. Pre-requisites before you start your AD and SharePoint Domain Migration
  2. Best practices to setup your new SharePoint Farm in new Domain
  3. Migrating users in SharePoint from old domain to new domain
  4. Best practices, Do’s and Dont’s during your Migration

Part 1 Tweeted Highlights

Part 2: On-prem to online migrations

Akdas Asif presented Part 2 of the 2-part webinar series.

In this session, you will get an introduction on how migration works with SharePoint On-Prem and how you can migrate effortlessly to SharePoint Online. We will discuss the native migration approaches for SharePoint On-Prem, and how tools like Sharegate or SharePoint Migration Tool from Microsoft can help migrate your content to SharePoint Online. What you will learn:

  1. The basics of SharePoint Migration (2010 to 2013 to 2016 to SPO)
  2. How tools like Sharegate or SharePoint Migration Tool from Microsoft work
  3. Best practices, Do’s and Dont’s during your Migration

Part 2 Tweeted Highlights

Sponsor #LSPUG

You can hold your own webinar or series of webinars for our group by sponsoring LSPUG.

Content and script editor web parts missing in SharePoint

Missing two of your favorite web parts? Don’t fret.

Make sure the site collection feature “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” is activated

Make sure the site feature “SharePoint Server Publishing” is activated

Still not there? Check “Settings” in the admin center to see if custom scripts are allowed on personal and self-service created sites (allow both). This can take up to 24 hours to take effect.

If you can’t wait (and you’re using SharePoint Online), use PowerShell to make the change immediately, changing my site details to your own

$adminUPN="nate@sharepointlibrarian.com"
$orgName="sharepointlibrarian"
$UserCredential = Get-Credential -UserName $adminUPN -Message "Enter password"
Connect-SPOService -URL https://sharepointlibrarian-admin.sharepoint.com -Credential $userCredential
Set-SPOsite https://sharepointlibrarian.sharepoint.com -DenyAddAndCustomizePages 0

Repeat the last line for each site on which you need to quickly activate this setting. For example, I would run it again on https://sharepointlibrarian1.sharepoint.com/sites/AnotherSite

Your web parts should have now returned! Good luck.

“We’ve run into a problem with your Office 365 subscription” solution

I recently moved from one tenant to another and even though I’d signed out of my client Office applications and signed in with my new tenant, I was still getting this error message when opening any Office app.

“We’ve run into a problem with your Office 365 subscription, and we need your help to fix it.”

“Go to My Account” wasn’t an option, as that account no longer existed. “Remind Me Later” only delays the inevitable temper tantrum you know must be coming.

Thankfully, there were two great posts out there that helped me solve this by removing the product keys associated with the de-activated license via command prompt. Just two notes before you begin:

  1. Make sure you run PS/Command prompt as administrator (right-click command prompt, run as administrator).
  2. Your path to the OSPP.VBS file might be different than what’s in their posts. For example, mine was actually located here: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 “plugged in, not charging”

Alas, I reached a day where I thought I was done with my Surface. It powered on when plugged in just fine but was at 0% battery and would, of course, instantly shut off when disconnected from AC power. When I hovered over the battery indicator in the task bar, it told me it was “plugged in, not charging.” The nerve!

After some troubleshooting and trying:

  • Making sure devices, particularly under “Batteries”, were all updated
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling power related devices via Device manager
  • Running anti-virus checks
  • Installing latest Windows updates

I found out that if I plugged my surface dock into the surface “upside down” it worked fine and charged as usual. So, long story short, if your Surface isn’t charging just try connecting the power source in the opposite direction.

Also, once it “remembers how to charge itself,” you can reverse this and put the charger in the normal direction (just double-check that it still says charging). Think of it as a quick “refresh” of the surface power connector.

How to set up a green screen for videos

I recently started exploring using green screen for videos. I’m not the greatest by any means and I still have a lot to learn, but I love how it transforms the quality of my videos and makes them more personal. Here’s an example of a recent attempt:

If you’re interested in giving it a go, here’s how you can set up your own green screen “studio” and what I used for mine:

Green Screen

Frame for green screen

2x LED Lights + Stands

Then for software I use XSplit Broadcaster (I bought the lifetime license, because I’m all about those one-time expenses as opposed to subscription/variable models). Currently, they’re offering 55% off the lifetime license. I use it for more than green screens, as it allows for live YouTube broadcasting and scene switching as well.

XSplit has two chroma key options. Regular and legacy:

XSplit allows you to record locally, so I set up a scene with my “green screen” camera layer on top of the background (PowerPoint monitor screen capture) and add any other layers and begin recording. I could also live-stream like this if I wished.

Next I’ll be working on finding the right balance of chroma key settings and lighting to make my green screen recordings as clear and fluid as possible. I might also look into getting more lights, but your own needs will depend on your room and available natural lighting.

Good luck in your own adventures!

Which Office 365 app are you?

Take the following quiz to find out which Office 365 app fits your personality.

As of January 9th, 23% of respondents get SharePoint, and 22% get Flow, while only 3% get the core Office apps (Productivity Suite)!

Sharing my ABCs at the Kansas City Office 365 User Group Jan 14, 2019

If you’re in the Kansas City area, register for the Jan 14th KC O365 User Group meeting. They meet at Water One (10747 Renner Boulevard in Lenexa). I’ll be giving away a signed copy of my book in a drawing, and selling additional copies (also signed) for $10 (cash or card).


Can’t make it in person?  Register for the live webinar!

[gotowebinar-reg key=”2302658119965440781″]

Splitting an Excel column by delimiter

You’re bound to run into an excel sheet where differing data types are joined together in a single column. For example in the following data dates are combined with event names making it impossible to filter or sort by either date or event. By using Excel’s “Text to Columns” feature, we can separate these two distinct data points.

As long as you have a consistent delimiter (in my case, the pipe character “|”) or a pre-determined fixed width, you can easily move the text following the delimiting character (or exceeding the specified width) to the adjacent column (which I’ve inserted in advance to prevent overwriting existing data in the original second column).

  1. Select column or cells you’re splitting
  2. Select the “Data tab” then “Text to Columns”
  3. Choose to split by “delimiter.” Click next.
  4. If your delimiter isn’t an option, enter it as I’ve done (max 1 character) in the “Other” space. Click next.
  5. You can choose to change data formats here, so I’ve made my new first column date format for example. You can always change column data types later as well.
  6. Finish

Now you can sort and filter correctly on the values you separated.