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TECHNOLOGY Q&A
No comment  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
October 2013

Q: My Excel workbook contains numerous comments explaining the source of selected values in my report, and I want to include these comments on the printed report. I have tried both of the Page Setup options that enable me to print the comments either “as displayed on sheet” or “at end of report” as footnotes. Unfortunately, printing the comments as displayed on the worksheet hides the underlying data. However, printing the comments at the end of the report as footnotes does not work for me either because those footnotes reference cell addresses, but I can’t tell which cell is which on the printed report. Am I missing something?

A: You are on the right track. You just need to make one small setting adjustment. Before printing your workbook, visit the Page Setup dialog box (by selecting the Page Layout tab and clicking the down arrow button located in the bottom-right corner of the Page Setup group). In the Page Setup dialog box, select the Sheet tab; check the box labeled Row and column headings; in the Comments dropdown list, select at end of sheet; and then click OK. Thereafter, your printed reports will include a wraparound grid of column and row references that will enable you to match the footnote comments to the corresponding values in the report, as pictured below.

 


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Playing around  
By J. Carlton Collins
October 2013

Q: I am in the process of updating a Word 2003 document containing videos that were inserted as embedded objects. Previously, these videos appeared in a video window and when double-clicked played in place within Word 2003. However, in subsequent editions of Word, these embedded videos appear as a file icon and, when the icons are double-clicked, Word launches the Windows video player and plays those videos separately from my Word document. I like the old way better; is there a way to make embedded videos play from within the later editions of Word as they did in Word 2003?

A: I like the Word 2003 method better, too, but when Microsoft redesigned Office 2007, it integrated the Windows video player because this method provides more video controls. The good news is that in Word 2013, Microsoft has brought back this older functionality to a large degree by allowing videos to play in a floating player atop the Word 2013 document.

To use this functionality, insert a video into your Word 2013 document from the Insert tab by selecting Online Video from the Media group, and then search for your online video as pictured below. (To find the YouTube option pictured in the example below, you may first need to click the YouTube icon located in the bottom of the dialog box.)

Once they are inserted into Word 2013, online videos appear as pictured below, similar to the appearance portrayed in Word 2003.

 

In addition, when clicked, the embedded videos play in a floating window as pictured below. While the video does not play in place within the Word 2013 document, the action is much closer to that of Word 2003 in that the Word 2013 document remains grayed-out in the background as the video plays atop the document. You can open an example Word 2013 document with an embedded video at carltoncollins.com/video.docx, but remember, the functionality described is available only in Word 2013.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Norton's new management  
By J. Carlton Collins
October 2013

Q: We use Norton anti-virus software on multiple computers in our offices, and we have been happy with its ability to protect our computers. However, we find the process of renewing our Norton licenses confusing because clicking Norton’s renewal button links users to a Norton sales webpage that prompts them to create a new account and purchase new products. On several occasions, employees who thought they were renewing their license ended up unknowingly purchasing new Norton editions and leaving our company saddled with unused product licenses. Can you recommend a solution for better managing our anti-virus licenses?

A: In early 2013, Norton quietly released a new license management solution, which is available at manage.norton.com. The portal enables you to view all of your purchased Norton licenses at a glance, view the devices on which your licenses are installed, manage automatic renewal settings, deactivate licenses, and reinstall Norton products on other computers. The site also allows you to view your order history, edit your billing information, and upgrade the products you use.

 

I, too, have previously found this company’s renewal process a little confusing, and I have also unintentionally purchased additional licenses when I intended to renew an existing license. I am happy to report that the new portal has helped me better manage our firm’s anti-virus licenses, and perhaps it will help solve your license management issues.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Pain in the spam  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
October 2013

Q: I have my Outlook junk rules set to Low, but Outlook keeps sending important email messages to my junk folder anyway. Short of disabling my junk rules completely, what can I do to prevent this from happening?

A: I, too, find Outlook’s junk rules a bit ambitious, even at the lowest setting. I suggest you fine-tune your junk rule settings, as follows:

Adjust default junk settings. From Outlook’s Home tab, select Junk (from the Delete group), Junk E-mail Options. On the Safe Senders tab, check the two boxes labeled Also trust e-mail from my Contacts and Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List.

 

Set up contacts. Each time you communicate with a new person, take a moment to set him or her up as a contact because Outlook will treat all messages from your contacts as safe messages (based upon the setting adjustment made in step 1). To quickly add a contact, open the sender’s email message, right-click on his or her email address, and then select Add to Outlook Contacts from the pop-up menu. Include any additional contact information you wish, and then click Save and Close.

Add Safe Senders. Next, visit your Junk E-mail folder and right-click on email messages that are not junk. Then, from the pop-up menu, select Junk, Never Block Sender. Repeat this process for each sender you wish to add to your Safe Senders list. (Tip: Instead of adding susan@irs.gov (for example), click the Add button and add @irs.gov to the Safe Senders list; that way all of your email messages from that particular domain name will be treated as safe messages.)

 

Move messages to your inbox (optional). To move messages from your junk folder to your Inbox, right-click on the email message and from the pop-up menu, select Not Junk. (This step is sometimes necessary because hyperlinks are not activated and thus will not work for email messages read from the junk folder. In addition, HTML formatting is removed from email messages read from the junk folder.)

Over time, these adjustments should help ensure the majority of emails are properly treated as safe messages.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
CPAs think big  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
October 2013

Q: I see many new Windows 8 tablet PCs and touchscreen ultrabooks hitting the market, but most of them are fairly small. I am currently shopping for a larger Windows 8 touchscreen ultrabook (with a fast solid-state drive) that is big enough to easily read, and with a keyboard large enough to easily use, but I can’t seem to find one. The ones I have found are either too small or don’t include a touchscreen. Can you point me to some decent options?

A: I agree that many of today’s newer Windows 8-based mobile devices are too small to be fully functional. From my talks with manufacturers, it appears that many of their designers have modeled their new devices on the size of the Apple iPad. While a smaller mobile device with 10- to 14-inch screens may be adequate for checking email, reading, accessing webpages, and viewing photos and movies, this size device often falls short of meeting the typical CPA’s needs for data creation such as preparing large worksheets, running accounting systems, and preparing tax returns.

However, some manufacturers do offer 15-inch and larger touchscreen ultrabooks, three examples of which are listed below.

  1. Asus Notebook—(Up to 17.3-inch display) (priced from approximately $450 to $1,850).
  2. HP EliteBook—(Up to 17.3-inch display) (priced from approximately $1,420 to $5,100).
  3. Sony Vaio E Series—(Up to 15.5-inch display) (priced from approximately $580 to $1,400).

Like you, I find these larger devices are easier to work with, but they do weigh a little more and consume battery power a bit faster.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Office 2013 is so touchy  
By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
October 2013

Q: I recently purchased a touchscreen ultrabook with Office 2013 installed, and I would like to learn more about operating Word 2013 using the touch controls. Can you send me to a list of Office 2013’s touchscreen controls?

A: Microsoft offers the Office Touch Guide at tinyurl.com/kcatd39. It includes instructional videos for using Office 2013’s touch controls. Presented below are a few of Word 2013’s touch-enabling features to help you get started.

Touch Mode. Touch Mode spaces the menu buttons farther apart on the screen so they are easier to tap with your finger. You can turn Touch Mode on by tapping the Touch Mode button (or the Touch/Mouse Mode button) on your Quick Access toolbar.

 

(If the Touch/Mouse Mode button does not appear on your Quick Access toolbar, you can add it by following the steps outlined in the January 2011 Technology Q&A item “I Command You,” page 63.)

Increase text size. To make text and objects bigger and easier to read on smaller touch-enabled devices, swipe from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Charms Bar, tap Search, tap Settings, enter the phrase Display into the Search box, and then select Display from the search results. In the resulting Display dialog box, tap either Medium – 125% or Larger – 150%.

Zoom in and out. Hold your finger and thumb against the screen and spread your finger and thumb apart to zoom in, or pinch them together to zoom out.

Document scrolling. To scroll a document, press one finger against the screen and slide it in the direction opposite of that you wish to scroll.

Display virtual keyboard. To display the virtual keyboard (as seen below), click the keyboard icon located near the bottom-right portion of the screen. To close the virtual keyboard, click the X in the upper-right corner of the keyboard.

 


Read Mode. Office’s new Read Mode displays your document in full screen (as shown below), with each page arranged by columns so it can be more easily read on smaller touch-enabled devices.

 

To minimize screen clutter, most of Word’s ribbons and menus are hidden in Read Mode. To navigate the document, swipe with your finger to turn pages (or tap the left or right page arrows); double-tap on objects (or double-click with your mouse) to zoom in on tables, charts, and images; or double-tap on the document to display a pop-up menu with options for highlighting, inking, or adding comments. To close Read Mode, from the View menu select Edit Document.

Selection handles. To select text (so that you can copy, delete, move, or format that text), tap your finger on document text to display two selection handles, then tap the handles and drag them to highlight the beginning and ending points of your desired selection, as pictured below.
 

 

Select multiple objects. To select multiple objects in Word 2013 using touch, tap one object to select it, then hold your finger on that object while tapping additional objects (this may require two hands). Once the objects are selected, you can drag the group to resize or reposition by sliding your finger across the page similar to using your mouse.


TECHNOLOGY Q&A
Excel reader challenge  
By J. Carlton Collins
October 2013

In the August 2013 JofA, I challenged readers to solve an Excel problem in which a preformatted report fetched an ever-changing last row of data. We received well over 200 solutions from a group of Excel-savvy CPAs. Though each solution was different, all of them worked properly and employed a wide range of creative and imaginative approaches to solving the problem. In summary, the readers employed eight basic approaches, with VLOOKUP being the most popular approach (used by 31.3% of the respondents), followed by the INDEX approach (used by 29.3% of the respondents). The approaches I identified (and their frequency of use) are summarized in the chart below.

 

The solutions submitted showcase the ingenuity and industriousness of this column’s readership, and while everyone who submitted an entry deserves recognition, I identified the solutions submitted by Michael Inouye, Laura Douglas, Larry Moseley, Robert Loudon, Trisha Allen, Brian Carle, and Benjamin Brenner as being especially noteworthy because they were efficiently written, contained clever formulas, and taught me things about Excel that I did not previously know. To view a more detailed summary of the submitted solutions, and to download more than 70 of these solutions (including the solutions from the seven individuals mentioned above), visit tinyurl.com/n56bphh.

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.


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