Find Yourself Hating Microsoft Office?

Find yourself hating Microsoft Office?

The Haters are not the only ones hating Microsoft Office

 Why is there so much hatred for Microsoft Office? Apparently, it’s the ribbons. Those bloated features laid out under countless tabs you find in Word, Excel, Powerpoint or Access. But there are people on the Internet that are better at expressing this deep seated hostility better than myself.  Let’s hand over the soap box to them shall we?

Here are some catchy headers I found while doing an Internet search:

Hate the Microsoft Office Ribbon? You may not be alone.

Why the Microsoft Office Ribbon is still rubbish?

Is it normal to hate Microsoft Word as much as I’m starting to?

The next one is my favorite.

Oh the horror! Why is Microsoft pushing the hated Windows Ribbon for Office:Mac?

How to get users to hate your product more: make popular functions disappear.

Luaan writes in May of 2016, “ctrl-insert no longer works as “copy to clipboard” in your application? Too bad, you just lost all those old-school MS-DOS users. F2 no longer saves the file? No button to save the current document? No quick way to open a “Find and Replace” dialog?”

Of course, there are people who have a knack of accepting the dreary.

Heather Schwedel of Slate magazine wrote, “The normal way to feel about Microsoft Word, I’ve gathered, is somewhere on a spectrum from muted tolerance to outright hatred. “‘I don’t think you’re allowed to like Word,” Paul Ford, the writer and founder of the software company Postlight told me. “It doesn’t matter what my opinion is. It’s like asking what is my opinion of thunder or what is my opinion of weather? It’s just part of our existence now.”

Increasing the number of distractions (remember Clippy?), Microsoft last year acquired Linkedln for the express purpose of coercing social media interactions as a way to keep you from actually working.

To hone in the point, let’s go to My version of Word, a relatively recent one, is not that different from the original, born in software’s Pleistocene epoch. It isn’t networked to my friends, family and professional contacts, and that’s the point. Writing on Word may be the only time I spend on my computer in which I can keep the endless distractions in the networked world out of sight.”

So for those of you who hate using Word or Excel especially; we have risen up to the challenge and say to all of you, “Hate them less with QuikBots for Excel or QuikBots for Word.

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Beta Test QuikBots for Word

Beta Test QuikBots for Word

Sign Up to Beta Test Quikbots For Word and Find Out How to Get the Launched App for Free

We are finally in beta test for QuikBots for Word. Now is your chance to have a say about our newest app before it goes on the market. Download and install QFW into your Word program and test the bejeezies out of it. You know, put it through its paces and at the end give us your feedback so we can tweak, toss it in the trash or add anything that you think should be included. As a thank you, see below how you can get the launched QFW version for free.

As I was journaling our progress to beta test fruition in my past posts, two important facts stood out:

Fact#1: There is an ever growing number of people that use Word.

Fact#2: There’s also a growing number of people that hate the darn thing.

Why? Mostly because of the amount of time to search, click and execute features that are buried among the ones that never get looked at twice.  In such posts as Hate Word for its AutoFormat? and Easily see Format Marks in Word,  I wanted to show how QFW makes working in Word a healthier relationship.

But before we know for sure that QuikBots for Word can be claimed as the best app since honey and jam toast, we ask you to take it out for a spin and give us your invaluable feedback with a one minute survey. And if you return the survey between the time you download the software and before the end of the two week trial period, you will get the finished QuikBots for Word for FREE. A 39.99 value. Go now to our QuikBots for Word beta page at AXbean.com or click here. So what are you waiting for?

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Say Hello to QuikBots for Word

Revealing QuikBots for WordIntroducing our newest member: QuikBots for Word

We are finishing up assembling the QuikBots for Word ribbon. There was extensive thought into placement of each feature for accessibility and function. To show all the highlights with each one of the icons and to better illustrate the ribbon, I’ve taken the liberty of breaking it up in pieces to showcase what each section can do.

When putting together QFW, we grouped together similar action functions. Starting with the Document section below, you can see different ways to save your documents that don’t involve clicking off the page with the File menu, whether creating a new document, saving a document under a new name or simply doing straightforward printing.

Revealing QuikBots for Word
Document section

The other thing we had in mind, as we did with QuikBots for Excel, was simplicity in action, a direct line to functions by executing commands with minimum clicks. For instance, what takes a couple of clicks to do a Select All in Word, only takes one in QFW, as you can see in the Text section below:

QuikBots for Word
Text section

With the third part of QFW, the Formatting section was born, There were a lot of questions about how to stop Word’s AutoFormatting from automatically formatting. Having the freedom to type up a list without the confines of hidden markers shouldn’t take a process of clicks to get it turned off. So we came up with a simple solution, Off or On.

Revealing QuikBots for Word
Formatting section

Among the many tabs and functions in the Microsoft Word program there was one hidden Easter Egg, the Repeat command, that not many people know about. We put it into QFW because using Copy and Paste over and over wouldn’t cut it if you need to repeat an action that might include blank spaces. With QFW, it’s easier to find the Repeat button, currently setting up shop in the Actions section. No bunny required.

revealing QuikBots for Word
Actions section

The Language section is where the Spelling and Grammar check, the Word Count and the thesaurus is all in one place. Not under a Review tab or where I first went to look for them in the Reference tab because, silly me, I thought that’s where reference books like thesauruses would be.

Revealing QuikBots for Word
Language section

The last two items in the ribbon are the Online Help link for all troubleshooting solutions and a link to the AXbean website .

The next thing we will be doing is setting up a two week Beta Test drive. It helps with any changes or fixes that need to be done and plus, humble pie doesn’t taste that bad, really. Want to be a Beta Tester for QuikBots for Word? Keep an eye out in the next few days to sign up.

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Construction of QuikBots for Word

Putting the finishing touches on QuikBots for Word

Now that we got all the features of QuikBots for Word to one click functionality, it’s down to organizing them in a user-friendly ribbon, or what I call, the Long Bar Across The Top Of The Screen (LBATTOTS) that will hold all the necessary commands.

The first part of the LBATTOTS (or ribbon) that we created is the Document section. These icons will contain important commands pertaining to your documents’ future. These will be:

  • The Save, which will allow you to save that paper before the dog gets ideas.
  • The Save As, which renames the same document with perhaps with some uncertain changes in it without losing the original document. Great for the non-committal.
  • The New icon lets you start over with a blank page, and Open will send you directly to Backstage, which is Microsoft’s term for the place where you can see past documents and also the file menus.
  • QuikPrint is great when you just want to immediately print the whole document without those pesky printing questions.

Talking about Backstage, with New, Save As and QuikPrint, you don’t have to leave your document and go to the Backstage page to do these commands, avoiding unnecessary clicking back and forth.

The last feature in the Document section is Template, which is one of the cool features in QuikBots for Word. It allows you to save documents directly to a template folder for future use. You’re probably wondering what’s so special about that. Well, let me tell you, to save a document that you want to reuse as a template the old fashioned Word way will take numerous clicks of the mouse to track down that elusive Template folder. And who has time for that? Below is a very sketchy illustration of the Document part of the LBATTOTS:

Construction of QuikBots for Word

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Hate Word for its AutoFormat?

Hate Word for its AutoFormat?

We discovered people hate Autoformat in Word, so QuikBots makes it easier to handle

When we were coming up with what people would like to see in the new QuikBots for Word the one thing that came up near the top of the list was being able to turn off Autoformatting. The process to do one simple act became an act of endless clicking. The amount of screens to go through then having to unclick numerous boxes is really overkill. So while we are in the development stage, we were able to create a toggle, essentially an off or on switch. You click on Format, it drops down with two options, not a million.  Below is what it will look like when the ribbon is all finished.

Hate Word for its AutoFormat?
New QuikBots for Word

A pretty simple click that will make working in Word a little bit less hair pulling and give you more freedom to type where you want to type. If you notice alongside the Format toggle is the Caps Format , which gives you fast access to capitalize any which way.  There’s also Text Size, which gives basic choices of small, medium or large fonts. And Align Text is a cool feature that allows you to move text left, right or center.

I’ll be talking about more features in the next post, so stay tuned.

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Easily see Format Marks in Word

QuikBots for Word's Reveal button showing format marks
The now working QuikBots for Word’s Reveal button

Got QuikBots’ Reveal button to work in Word where Format Marks are easier to spot

As I mentioned in my last post, Working on Making Word Easier to Use, the QuikBots for Word development stage has revealed some hiccups.

One feature that was giving us trouble was the Reveal button that when you clicked on it, shows all the format marks. The purpose behind creating Reveal in the brainstorming room was to have an eye-catching way for you to immediately spot in a Word document every Paragraph (or if you want to wow someone, the pilcrow), Space and Tab mark. In Microsoft Word, these format marks are the same color as the text, which could cause you to overlook a tab or some extra spacing between words while looking through a document. We set about creating the Reveal feature to make the format marks in red for more visibility. In the development phase, as I wrote in Working on making Word Easier to Use, the Paragraph and the Space marks were showing up in the required red tone. But for some reason the tab symbol of an arrow was going rogue. No changing colors for that one.

After a long research process of figuring out why and doing endless trials and errors, the aha moment was when the Tab got turned into a basic graphic symbol of an arrow. That was the only way it would behave like the others. And along with going through the laborious task of making all the format marks show up in red was the unintentional discovery of being able to make the Space and Tab marks show up larger as well.

QuikBots for Word's Reveal button showing format marks
Comparison between Word and QuikBots for Word’s Reveal feature

 

In the next post, I will continue to bring you more innovative features that will be included in QuikBots for Word. So stick around.

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Working on Making Word Easier to Use

Working on making Word easier to use
QuikBots for Word “Reveal” button

In development stage on QuikBots for Word and working out the kinks

We’re getting closer to beta testing QuikBots for Word. In this stage it’s a back and forth between excitement and nail biting.  All the features that are included are mostly working like a charm but there are a few kinks to hammer out.

One of them that is currently giving us some sweat equity is a command that will allow a user to click on the QuikBots Reveal button and automatically see the Paragraph, Spacing and Tabs symbols in red (, · ,) . This will allow these formatting marks to stand out from the text, as opposed to regular Word, where they are the same color as the text. So the problem is the Tab symbol, it doesn’t want to change color. Right now we are throwing darts to see if any solution can make the Tab behave.

The other situation we came across when we don’t thoroughly think things through is when a user no longer wants to see the formatting marks.  Right now it’s between getting the same Reveal button to be an On and Off switch or creating a second Off button.  In the next post, I’ll let you know how it works out.

I do want you to see a few of QuikBots buttons that are pretty cool features that avoid extra clicking while you’re working in Word. I’m talking about when you click the File Tab to do a Save As, create a New document or Open a file that will temporarily cause your document page to disappear. But we ask, why leave your document to do any of these actions? In the QuikBots ribbon you will have these same functions right there where you’re working.

Hope you like what you see so far, I’ll be posting more new innovating QuikBots for Word features before heading to beta testing.

Working on making Word easier to use

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean and creators of QuikBots for Microsoft Office. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When they’re not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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New QuikBots for Word project

New QuikBots for Word Project

Sneak peek into QuikBots for Word: A faster way to get your documents written up and done.

Back from hiatus! Unfortunately not from a month long self discovery trip through Europe, but hammering away on my laptop helping Robert with our newest addition, QuikBots for Word. As we did for QuikBots for Excel, we spent quite a bit of time researching what people use the most when working in Microsoft Word, what they hate about the program, and what features they would use if the feature was easier to use.

Unlike the ribbons in Word where each one is crowded with an endless amount of features, there will be only one ribbon. The other thing we did was create new icons that are easier to see and more straightforward at what each of them do. We ended up with 28 commands that you can easily access while you are working in Word. Just as in QuikBots for Excel, included are the commands that mouses get the most workout when there is cutting, copying and pasting to do. Below is a comparison between QuikBots’ buttons compared to Word’s buttons You can see the improvements we made:

New QuikBots for Word Project
Comparison between QuikBots and Microsoft Word

When we were looking into Word commands that people despised the most, Auto Formatting won hands down. Working on a document that tells you where you can type can be a hair puller.  Where’s the freedom to put a header or a sentence or a bullet point where you want it? Does freedom look like searching endlessly online with the other 3 million like minded people to turn the annoying thing off? No! This what we came up with:

New QuikBots for Word Project
No more searching to turn off Auto Formatting

In future posts I will give more juicy tidbits about the features and progress of QuikBots for Word, so keep checking back for the latest.

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean, a guiding light to all things Microsoft Access and Excel. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Repost from May: Is Excel scaring off potential users?

Is Excel scaring off potential users?

Who has the time to see Excel’s strengths?

When Microsoft was creating Excel, they wanted it to be used as a statistical and forecasting tool, but at the same time be user friendly with its vast amount of features and tools for spreadsheet customization. How well did it work? Just look at the vast amount of Excel questions and training courses being offered online. By providing a million combinations to generate a spreadsheet in unlimited formats, it gave a large amount of budding users a big reason to stay away from ever using it.

The question is why are they apprehensive? For the few people who willingly use and explore the many offerings in Excel or Access on a daily basis, it’s inconceivable. Using a horoscope metaphor, users of Microsoft Excel are known to be problem solvers, curious, and very patient. However, the majority of people are end users. The “quickly find what button to click to get this task done, so I can finish and move on to the big pile of paperwork” users.

In the long run, Excel with its multitude of tricks to make spreadsheets easier to create and also provide insightful reports, is still a time consuming learning piece of software. And that is the critical problem, “the long run”. Most software programs that are popular have few bells and whistles, but in the short run they can be installed and quickly learned.

Even though Excel can be beneficial for any company, most businesses are looking at it as a commitment that they don’t have time for. In a fast paced digital world where acquiring skills is a luxury in learning, applications have to be simplified and easy to digest. Being in the latter group, I want to find a way to convert “end users,” since I can relate to the need to get things done in a flash. In the near future, with Robert on the task and me being the guinea pig, we’re testing a new way to get people to use Excel without the groan.

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert, are owners of AXbean, a guiding light to all things Microsoft Access and Excel. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.

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Repost from June: App plug-in makes Excel a cinch to use

AXbean QuickBots will make you excel In Excel

AXbean QuickBots app
Yeah, he’s retro, He’s QuickBot

As we are getting ever so closer to finishing up tweaking and testing QuikBots for Word, let’s look back at the introduction of our first baby: QuikBots for Excel.

Regular readers of this blog know abundantly clear how I feel about working in Microsoft Excel. If you need a refresher, there’s my post, Making Excel Less Annoying. So my number one complaint as I work in a spreadsheet is locating my usual day-to-day function commands fast and easy, which of course is neither. You see, I’m a simple person with simple needs. And I simply want things done now.

A good ranting example is to quickly split first and last names that are in one cell and separate them into two cells. Easy peezie, right?

No, child.

lost

Take my hand as we journey through the land of “Where Is It?” Clicking each tab to find the one elusive command gets more time consuming as I scan each ribbon with all the numerous functions, but not the one I’m looking for. Click on Page Layout. Makes sense that it will be there.

Nope.

And not under the Home tab or the Insert tab. Clicking on The Data tab. Ding Ding Ding! Where the nonsensical Text to Column is located. Home free? Click it and more menus.

Argh! So out of sheer annoyance, QuickBots was born. A plug-in application that easily sits along the other Excel tabs. Click on the QuickBots tab and you will see in one ribbon the most popular and most used Excel functions. With clear, no mystery, straight to the point icons. And the best part which gets me all giddy inside is all the functions are one click. One Click, People. My heart’s a-flutter. Remember the split I wanted to do with the first and last names list from earlier in the post with all those steps? Now let’s see how many steps it takes to do the same function with QuickBots.

Step One: Select the cell or cells you want to split the names into individual cells.

Step Two: Click on the icon that says Text Split. You’re done. Oh yeah. Sweet. See a side by side comparison below to get the full effect.

As I was saying in the beginning, we are getting close to putting this puppy on the market, but a with any software development there needs to be some real world testing. If you would like to be one of the first to take QuickBots for a free spin and see how it makes your Excel experience easy peezie, email us to be included in a exclusive group of Beta Testers. Before it becomes worldwide.

Before Quickbots:

Before1

 

After Quickbots:

After1

 

RobandDeb

Debbie Wallis and her husband Robert are owners of AXbean, a guiding light to all things Microsoft Access and Excel. They reside in the central valley area of Sacramento, California between agriculture and government central. When not working, you can see them running about outside, exploring shops, chowing down at all kinds of eateries and whenever possible, being more curious than a cat. Find out more at AXbean.com.