Add a signature to your email in Outlook 2013

So you (or your IT people) have just installed Outlook 2013 at work and you need to set up your email signature?  Well it is pretty easy, just follow these steps…

  1. Click on “file”
  2. Click on “options”
  3. In the left hand column of the “Outlook options” dialog box, click on “Mail”
  4. Click on the “Signatures…” button which is the third one down on the right hand side – this will open the “Signatures and Stationery” dialog box
  5. Click “New” to create your new signature.  You can either copy and paste your old signature from a previous email you have sent, or create a new one from scratch.
  6. Once you are happy with your signature, click “Save”

Did you know that you can also tell outlook whether to include your signature or not on new messages, replies and forwards?  Just set your default signature from the drop down boxes on the right hand side of the “Signatures and Stationery” box.

’til next time!

Turn off (or on) email notifications in Outlook 2013

Don’t you hate that annoying email pop up whenever you get an email in Outlook 2013?  Well there is an easy way to turn it off.  All you have to do is:

  1. Click on “File”
  2. Click on “Options”
  3. From the Outlook Options dialog box that appears, click on “Mail” in the left hand column
  4. Look for the section called “Message Arrival”.  If you want to turn all notifications off, including sound, the mouse pointer turning into an envelope, the envelope icon in the task bar and the pesky desktop alert, simply untick the options you don’t want.
  5. Click “OK”

Simple as that!  If you want to turn them back on simply repeat the process, but tick the notifications you want!  If you are using Outlook 2010 the process is very similar

’till next time

Building an add-in for Microsoft Office

Soon I will be publishing a series of articles on The New Paperclip which dive a bit deeper into extending the functionality of Microsoft Office.  Probably a scary thought for most of you, but I have found that if we want to extract that extra 10-50% more out of Office there comes a time where you need to start coding.

In particular I am going to focus on building high value add-ins for Microsoft Office.

Now when it comes to writing an add-in, there are a couple of ways to go about it.

1) Roll your own

If you are confident C#  or VB coder there is nothing stopping you from cracking open Visual Studio, downloading Visual Studio Tools for Office and giving it your best shot.  I must admit I tried this at first, and had some success.

But that success was time consuming, and when I wanted to build an add-in that was backwards compatible with Outlook 2007 (which has that horrible combination of ribbon and command bar), Office 2003/XP and beyond it became VERY time consuming.

So I decided to use an alternative.

2) Use Add-in-Express

Before I share my experience with Add-in-Express… here is what the brochure says!

Add-in Express for Office and .NET is the only all-in-one platform that includes all the features you may expect for your Microsoft Office extensions such as Office COM add-ins, smart tags, Excel XLLs, RTD servers and Automation add-ins (UDFs). It fully supports Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, 2008 and 2005 and makes it very comfortable for developing application-level extensions for all available Office versions from 2000 to 2010.”

What that means for people new to Office Development is that Add-in-Express makes it easy to quickly extend the functionality of Microsoft Office, irrespective of what version you are running.  And after spending about a month using the tool to build some add-ins myself, I have to agree.  For someone who is exploring Office Development for the first time, taking the painful parts of COM out of the picture meant that I could focus on the features and functionality I wanted to build, and not spend hours pulling my hair out!

For example, being able to access all the key events in Office without having to write event handlers accelerated development time.  Sure, it may only seem like a small thing, but as any developer knows, anything that saves you time, and takes the pain of troubleshooting away is a good thing!

Anyways – if you are interested in developing your own Office Add-in, make sure you subscribe and check back in the next few weeks for more content about my development experiences – and some examples that will get your Office Development journey started.

‘till next time!
TNP Winking smile

Get Office 2007 Help, Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials on Twitter!

Are you a member of the Twitterverse?  If you use the micro-blogging service called Twitter, you can how get your favorite productivity articles on Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint… in fact the entire Microsoft Office 2007 suite directly in your Twitter feed.

All you have to do is follow @TheNewPaperclip.

I will be on there regularly so if you have any questions or suggestions for articles you can post them to Twitter as well!

‘till next time!

Turn On or Off New Email Notifications in Outlook 2007

Some people like them… some people hate them.  That’s right, we are talking about new email notifications.  It doesn’t matter what you call them… the popup thing in the bottom right hand corner… the envelope down the bottom beside the time… the toast… some people love them, and some people hate them.

How to turn on or off email notifications in Outlook 2007

  1. In the menu, click on Tools, then Options.
  2. On the preferences tab, in the E-mail section, click on the “E-mail Options…” button
  3. Click on the “Advanced E-mail Options…” button
  4. Look for the “When new items arrive in my Inbox” area…
  5. Tick or untick all the notifications you want to receive.

Turn on or off new email notifications in Outlook 2007 -

Note that there are four notifications that Outlook can give you when you receive an email in your Inbox

  • Play a sound <- click here to learn how to turn the sound off or back on
  • Briefly change the mouse cursor
  • Show an envelope icon in the notification area
  • Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only)

From the Advanced E-mail Options window, you can control each of these as you wish.  Now you wont get distracted by email when you want to be productive… or you know how to turn the notifications back on if you don’t feel like doing any work!

’till next time