Microsoft Free eBook on Security and Privacy for Office 2010 Users

imageThese days security is on almost everyone’s mind, especially if you work in industry or for a Government agency (I work in the UK Health Service “NHS”)or even a security conscious home user.

With all the sensitive documents you may have to create be they industrial ideas or research work, at times we overlook the security aspect of a Word or Excel file, it may contain very sensitive or secret data.

So to help secure our documents Microsoft Press have released for FREE yes FREE to download the fantastic book by Mitch Tullock (a well respected Microsoft MVP in Windows Administration) on Security and Privacy for Microsoft Office 2010 Users.

“Take control—and put the built-in security and privacy features in Microsoft Office to work! Whether downloading documents, publishing a presentation, or collaborating online—this guide offers concise, how-to guidance and best practices to help protect your documents and your ideas.

• Get practical, proactive guidance for using the security and privacy management features in Office 2010 and Office 365

• Walk through everyday scenarios, and discover everyday techniques that help you take charge

• Understand common risks and learn best practices you can apply right away”

The book covers many aspects of “Why should you care” to “Encrypting a Document”, the chapters are laid out clear and simple that anyone who uses Office 2010 should be able to follow.

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The book has great images (samples above) to go along with the steps for each topic, I’m a great fan of using images to help describe a step by step guide. I think this book is a well worth download for any user of Office 2010, be you a corporate or home user.

Read the rest of the article and download the free eBook at Microsoft Press HERE

Heads-Up on end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003

WinXPOFfice2003Well with the great run that Windows XP has had in being if I’m not mistaken the longest supported Windows Operating System. Windows XP has been a superb version of Microsoft’s Windows franchise, however even thought its still loved by many end users and corporate users, its now a bit long in the cyber-tooth! and support is to end on April 8th 2014.

“It means you should take action. After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in your environment after their end of support date may expose your company to potential risks, such as:

  • Security & Compliance Risks — Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information”

Microsoft has not been quiet about the end of life (EoL) time-line for Windows XP and Office 2003 as the EoL has already been extended a few years back, so that companies could start their migration to a newer version of Windows or Office so that they could still feel confident in Microsoft still supporting these two with security updates.

So what can you do to get ready for the end of support for these two products, while this information is predominantly aimed at business users, it serves well for home end users also. Below are some links that should help you plan for this date.

End of Support Information also has a link to the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, which can help companies plan a migration.

Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals

Office 2010 5 – Minute Makeovers

Office 2010I have been reading the Microsoft Office newsletter I get each month for years and many a great tip they have from one I posted about a while back in Ribbon Hero for Office 2010 a superb way to learn about the various Office apps and what you can do with them.

The below link is a collection of quick simple tips to improve your documents from Word to Publisher.

View the videos and get the templates HERE

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 for Download

microsoft-officeOffice 2010 now has Service Pack 1 for download, while for many it should now be listed in Windows Update for download and install it may not be for all users, and I tend to try and get the full download install as I have a few PCs that have Office 2010 installed on, so this saves the waste of time downloading what is from 361mb (32bit) – 439mb (64bit) in size multiple times.

Links are below to the two versions

32bit Office 2010 Service Pack 1 HERE

64bit Office 2010 Service Pack 1 HERE

Microsoft Office 365 Formally Launched Today

Microsoft officially launch Office 365 today and what is it you may think, well its a “cloud” version of Microsoft Office, so you have Online versions Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote as well as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. The idea is at times you may not wish to buy multiple or Enterprise licences for the aforementioned packages but wish to pay as you go per user, and for as little as £4 a month per user, it may just be more cost effective for your business, but do read the links below for full pricing options.

“What is Office 365

It’s anywhere access to email, documents, contacts, and calendars so you’re always up-to-date. It’s familiar Microsoft productivity applications your team already uses. It’s business-class security and reliability. It’s IT control and efficiency delivered to fit your organization’s unique needs. And it’s an all in one pay-as-you-go service with an affordable price. But that’s just the beginning.”

With Exchange Online, you get email, calendar in a package you may already be familiar with in Outlook.


With SharePoint Online you can store and share documents with other users as well as having access to your saved documents from anywhere with a PC or Mobile phone with Internet access (I know Windows Mobile 7 phones work with this, iPhone, Android should as well and others may get compatibility at a later date).


With Microsoft Lync you can communicate via instant messaging (IM), PC-to-PC audio/video calls, with friends. colleagues and customers and clients as well as being able to hold online meetings. The presence function allows you to know what a colleague or customer/client is online or available.



Todays webcast of the Launch from Steve Ballmer HERE

Homepage of Office 365 with more information and pricing options.

Ribbon Hero 2 for Office 2010

Ribbon Hero 2Clippy’s back and for those who don’t know who Clippy is then this HERE should tell all, but this time it is more of a game come teaching aid to help users of Office 2007/2010 either show off their skills in using Office or as a training aid to those less used to the new Office Ribbon menus.

Ribbon Hero 2 005

I personally think this is a great teaching tool as well as a bit of fun. I have come across many users that say they do not like the new Ribbon menus in Office, but personally I find them very intuitive and much easier to use than a menu and sub-menu and sub sub-menu in older Office versions. If you give the new Ribbon menu a good fair test in the end many will come to like it, so this is where I think Ribbon Hero 2 will come in very handy.

Video from the Office Team


I’m giving it a go myself on Office 2010 as I may just learn something new, I do know the various packages within Office quite well but I do not know everything and with ribbon Hero 2 having 6 different skill levels starting from easy tasks to more difficult ones, I’m sure I will learn a few new tricks.

Install is very easy and below are the screenshots from the install I did.

 Ribbon Hero 2 001 Ribbon Hero 2 002 Ribbon Hero 2 004

To run the game/training open up one of the Office packages that Ribbon Hero 2 is compatible with as in my case here Excel, and click the icon as shown below

Ribbon Hero 2 013

Next you will gain the first test to try and in this case its creating a pie chart from some data, then changing the layout so the legend is at the bottom, if you can do this without having to click the Hint option then you gain bonus points.

Ribbon Hero 2 008 Ribbon Hero 2 009 Ribbon Hero 2 010

You can see your progress in the various tests in the below screen.

Ribbon Hero 2 011

Ribbon Hero 2 works with Office 2007 and 2010 and only in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote.

Give it a go, even if you know the Office applications very well, its a great timewaster as well as possibly learning something new. To be honest I would love the next version of Windows Operating System to have something like this also.

Download HERE