Better Copy And Pasting In Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular and useful programs for businesses. With a wide variety of features, you can create a nearly limitless number of different documents. There are so many features that even long-term users still come across new ones all the time. A good example of this is the Spike.

What is the Spike?

If you have worked in the restaurant industry or worked in offices that use older systems, you are likely familiar with what a spike is. It is literally a spike that is used to hold paper that you have finished with but want to keep hold of, perhaps to collate or check through later. Think of chefs spiking orders once the food is left the kitchen or a secretary spiking an invoice that’s been paid.

Much like this physical tool, the Spike in Word allows users to essentially hold different items together until they need to be used. This feature is similar to the standard ‘copy’ that we are all used to. The main difference is that the Spike can store information and content from different sources of your document, not just the last part you copied.

Say for example you have a 10-page sales report and want to create an executive summary. Instead of copying and pasting the main points from each section one at a time, you can copy each section to the Spike and then paste all of them at once.

How this feature works

You can add content to the Spike by simply highlighting it and pressing Ctrl + F3. This will cut the text you have highlighted and place it onto the Spike. From there, go and select the other content you would like to use.

Once you have all of the content spiked, you can paste it by:

  1. Clicking the mouse cursor where you would like to place the content. You can do this in your existing document or in a new document.
  2. Pressing Ctrl + Shift + F3.

This will take all of the content you have cut to the Spike, paste it into the document and erase all of the content saved in the Spike. If you want to keep the content stored in the Spike and still paste it, you can do so by:

  1. Clicking the mouse cursor where you would like to place the content. You can do this in your existing document, a new document or another open document.
  2. Typing spike.
  3. Hitting F3.

This will put the content into your document while keeping a copy of it in the Spike. Be warned however, when using the Spike, your content will be cut from the source document. If you are staying within the same document, we recommend that you copy the content you would like to post into a new document and paste it there. Then, Spike it from there.

Viewing what you have spiked

If you forget what you have spiked, you can view what is stored there by:

  1. Clicking on the Insert tab.
  2. Clicking Quick Parts.
  3. Selecting AutoText from the drop down menu.
  4. Clicking on Spike.

As long as you don’t click Insert or anything else, you should be able to see the content.

If you are looking to learn more about using Word or any other Office program, talk to us today.

5 Signs You Need An MSP

Technology is an integral part of any business, regardless of the industry or company size. A common problem many business owners and managers run across though is that managing technology can be increasingly tough. One option available to companies is to partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) who can help manage your business technology needs by offering budget-friendly solutions.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

In the IT industry, a Managed Service Provider is a company that offers small to medium businesses the ability to outsource the management of their day-to-day technology and IT needs.

In other words, an MSP is essentially your IT department. If something technology-related breaks, they help fix it. If you need an app devised or want to upgrade hardware and software or take a look into virtualization, they can often help in these complex areas. Many of these organizations act as your business partner to help increase the effectiveness of your business operations and achieve your overall goals.

Do I need an MSP?

While there are a wide variety of IT partners out there, you might be unsure as to whether you actually want or need to work with one. To help make the decision easier, we have come up with a list of five signs that your business could benefit from outsourcing your IT management to an MSP.

1. You don’t have a dedicated IT department or staff 

A commonality many small businesses have is that employees often wear more than one hat. The problem with this is that those who are not necessarily IT experts (but are perhaps more tech savvy than others) are tapped to look after the company’s IT needs. Businesses can suffer from gaps in knowledge of the latest IT developments. It is also a challenge to balance IT needs while also running a business and remaining productive.

While for some small businesses having a knowledgeable tech person look after the IT on top of their main job works, the chances are high that they aren’t planning for a future in IT and may not be able to carry out complicated upgrades or even ensure that your systems are secure beyond the current environment. This can undoubtedly lead to increased problems in the future, which are likely not going to be fixed.

Instead of hiring a full-time IT staff member, you could look into using an MSP who can offer the same services, but at a fraction of the cost. This allows your employees to focus on their main roles, while also allowing you to rest easy knowing that your IT demands are being adequately taken care of.

2. You have continuous tech problems

At first glance, many of the systems we use on a daily basis are relatively simple. That is, they are simple when they are working. But when systems break down, business owners and managers quickly come to realize that the technology utilized in their businesses and the systems that support it are not only complex, but are becomingly increasingly so.

Complexity aside, all technology will eventually break. When it does, you need to factor into your budget resources to make replacements and repairs. If the technology incorporated into your business is constantly experiencing problems, there is a good chance this is having a negative impact on profits and productivity.

By partnering with a quality MSP that looks after your technology, you can be assured that a team of experts are running your technology and systems efficiently and that you are able to meet IT demands and scale to meet future needs. Decreased maintenance and replacement costs can help improve your overall productivity and even profits.

3. The people looking after IT are overwhelmed

Any growing business needs technology to be able to scale to meet and support growth. This often overwhelms even the most seasoned IT professionals. Even if your business has a dedicated IT role or team, there is a chance that they can become overwhelmed.

When the pressure is on, important issues may not be addressed and corners may be cut in order to meet current demands. This can lead to increased costs and problem issues down the road, resulting in an even more overwhelmed technology department.

The great thing about quality IT partners is that you often don’t have to outsource all of your IT needs to them. If, for example, you have an employee who is a whizz with building computers but does not have the time to oversee the whole of your technology needs, then outsourcing some functions can free up their skills or allow them to work more effectively in their main roles.

4. Your IT budget is unpredictable

The cost of technology is ever changing. Some months you may have to replace a computer, while others may see a new server needed or a security issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. Because of this, actually budgeting for technology is incredibly hard, especially for small businesses.

Most IT partners offer their services on a flat-fee, monthly basis. This makes it easy for companies to budget for technology. The upside to this is that while your budget is predictable, overall costs and overheads are often reduced because your systems are kept in better working order and will last longer.

5. You have trouble prioritizing your IT needs

It can sometimes seem like a new system is needed on a near monthly basis. From servers to email systems; computers to mobile devices; your business will almost always require ongoing technology. The problem many businesses face is that they simply are not equipped with the skills and the knowhow to recognize what their IT priorities should be.

Do you update a server or look for a new email solution first? And in what order do you need to implement updates? It is not always obvious what the answers to these questions are, especially when everything seems urgent. If you outsource the management of your technology, the companies you partner with can take the time to get to know your company’s needs and demands and prioritize. This will make your organization more efficient and better able to reach business goals.

If you are struggling with technology in your business, contact us today to see how as your IT partner, we can work with you to ensure that your technology is working for you.

Tech Tip: How to Set Up Cloud Computing in a Law Office

Attorneys have been hearing about cloud and it’s popularity for a few years now, but there are still many questions out there about its viability and longevity. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top questions we hear from attorneys about cloud computing and provide answers to the most common concerns firms seem to have with the cloud. Look at this FAQ as a questionnaire for any cloud computing solution you may be considering, keeping in mind that the answers won’t be the same across the board. The answers below are what you should hear from an IT/cloud computing vendor based on best practices for a cloud platform.

Question:  What if my Internet connection goes down for an extended period of time?

To ensure connectivity, get a second Internet connection (maybe a cheaper DSL or Cable) and set up a fail-over on your firewall. If your main connection goes down, the firewall will automatically direct traffic to the secondary connection so that your firm won’t be down. Another thing to remember is that even in the worst scenario where your building’s power is completely shut down, you and your staff can access your network from anywhere via a 3G wireless connection, at home, or even the local coffee shop. Since your network is not housed in your building, your downtime will be minimized.

What about security? Isn’t there a big risk of someone accessing my data if it’s in the cloud?

Security seems to be everyone’s primary concern. When choosing a cloud computing solution, be sure that the vendor only uses enterprise-level products to guard your data and that your network will be housed in a SAS 70 Type II data center. These data centers actually provide you with security measures your firm traditionally would not have been able to afford, including 24/7 video surveillance, 24/7 physical security, biometric scans to enter the building, dual power grids plus multiple diesel generators in case of a power outage, 10+ super high-speed Internet connections, etc. Think of each one as the “Fort Knox” of data centers.

Furthermore, it is important to verify that your data is not simply floating around the Internet. You should choose a solution that offers a private cloud, meaning your network is built in a specific data center and you have the option to have dedicated servers allocated for your firm. Top cloud computing vendors also all typically use the power of Citrix, which is used by more than 98% of all fortune 500 companies. Citrix allows the vendor to deliver the business applications and data to you as an image (much like a window pane) of what is happening on your server and not on the local computer. The only data that is being sent over the Internet are your keystrokes and mouse commands, which are fully encrypted as well. This ensures that you not only get great performance and responsiveness, but that your data stays centralized in the datacenter.

Bottom line is that moving your network to the cloud could result in a much more secure environment than you have today. If a natural disaster or theft were to wipe out all of the servers and computers in your office, you could simply log in from anywhere and continue working. And because all of the data actually resides in the datacenter, no data would be lost or placed in the wrong hands.

What if the vendor goes out of business? How do I get my data back?

Your data should always be yours. An honest and trustworthy cloud computing vendor should never own any of your data, nor should it mine data for any purpose as some other public providers have been known to do. You should have full control of the data and have the ability to download all of your files and folders if you wish.

In case you later decide to move your network back onsite or to another provider, be sure initially that your vendor promises to provide you with a full copy of your servers so they can be loaded onto hardware of your choice. That way, you won’t need to rebuild your network from scratch.

Do I have to purchase new hardware (servers, workstations, etc.) to move to the cloud?

No! That’s one of the great benefits of cloud computing. It allows you to use older workstations, laptops, and servers because the computing power is in the cloud. Not only does that allow you to keep and use hardware longer, but it allows you to buy less expensive workstations and laptops because you do not need the stronger computing power required to work only on local devices.

The idea of accessing my work anywhere from any device sounds great, but frankly I don’t like the idea of all my employees having that type of access. Can I control who gets certain programs and files?

Absolutely. Your cloud vendor should be able to control permissions the same way you control them on your network today. Just like an onsite network, in the cloud you can set up who gets which programs and what access they have to certain files and folders based on your firm’s requirements. You also have the ability to determine access from each device and location. For example, you may have an employee or a group of employees that you only want to grant access from the office. You may also want to grant access based on the time of day, so if you have hourly employees, you can set what times they can log in.

Of course with any new technology, there are numerous questions, and each firm has different needs and requirements to address before they feel comfortable with cloud computing. A cloud-computing vendor can help you maximize productivity and provide security for your clients.