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Independent Experts. Real World Answers.

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    Do you have questions about SharePoint? Want to learn more about the recently launched SharePoint 2010? By popular request, SharePoint MVPs from around the world are participating in a live chat event about SharePoint. These Q&A events are a great opportunity to tap into the vast knowledge of these industry professionals who are regarded as the best in their field.

    Please join us on Wednesday, June 23rd between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM PDT. Learn more and add these chats to your calendar by visiting the MSDN event page http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/chats/default.aspx


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    Watch Lori Brownell, Microsoft General Manager of Product Quality and Support, share helpful tips about how to keep your computer running smoothly. 

    Brownell appeared on news channel Q13, a local station for Microsoft's headquarters, on June 22.

    During the interview, she recommended a solution in Microsoft Answers provided by  MVP Malke Routh aka Malkeleah. Routh suggested the following eight reasons your computer may be running slow and how to fix them:

    1. Computer hasn't been maintained - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Maintenance
    2. Computer is infected with malware - http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware
    3. Hard drive is too full. Remove unnecessary stuff, uninstall unused programs. Don't forget to back up! http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Backing_Up
    4. Flaky third-party software. Toolbars and add-ons are particular culprits in this area. Uninstall toolbars (Google, Yahoo, ISP-branded, etc.) and look carefully at what add-ons are in use in your browser(s).
    5. Computer has too many unnecessary programs/processes running in the background. Manage your Startup:
    For XP - How to Troubleshoot By Using the Msconfig Utility in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/?id=310560 The free Autoruns program is very useful for managing your Startup - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx
    For Vista/Windows7 - Start Orb>Search box>type: msconfig and when it appears in the Results box above, right-click and choose "Run as Administrator". Autoruns is also very useful.
    6. User is running a bloated/invasive antivirus program such as ones from Norton and McAfee. Replace with a better program. I recommend either NOD32 (commercial) or Avast (free). Avira is also good but the free version has an unpleasant nag screen (Google for instructions as to how to disable this). User may also be running more than one real-time antivirus/firewall/security program.
    7. User has installed new programs that are processor and/or memory-intensive (Photoshop, AutoCAD, Mathmatica or the like) and doesn't have the necessary hardware power.
    8. Hard drive is failing and is in PIO Mode. This is very dramatically slow (like being back in 1985). See Hans-Georg Michna's information here - http://winhlp.com/?q=node/10 In addition to the above, also see http://miekiemoes.blogspot.com/2008/02/help-my-computer-is-slow.html

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    The following is a Guest Post by MVP Eric Legault

    Calendaring has long been one of Outlook's greatest strengths. Millions of users organize their hectic jobs and lives using Appointment items and Meeting Requests to keep track of important events with many kinds of people and groups. However, managing all of these dates and schedules is a continual challenge. Outlook has always provided ways to open other people's calendars in a corporate environment. Starting with Outlook 2007, new features were added to share your Calendar to other users over the Internet, organize your Calendars into groups in the Navigation Pane, and to view multiple Calendars using Side-By-Side and Overlay modes.

    Although it's now far easier to view multiple Calendars, going back and forth from viewing a single Calendar to a changing set of Calendar groups was a challenge. Now Outlook 2010 gives us Calendar Groups. Creating a new group is easy - simply click the Calendar Groups drop down in the Manage Calendar tab on the Home ribbon and select "Create New Calendar Group":

    clip_image002

    Figure 1 - Creating a new Calendar Group

    The Address Book dialog will then be displayed and ask you to choose the users whose Calendars you want displayed in that group.

    Note that these groups differ from organizing multiple Calendars under a unique heading that we were used to in Outlook 2007. The key change is that we can now select the group to automatically display all Calendars in that group alongside the Calendar we are currently viewing. So if you are looking at your own Calendar, and want to add the Calendars for the Marketing team to your view, click the check box next to the Marketing group to quickly display all three Calendars side-by-side:

    clip_image004

    Figure 2 - Selecting Calendar Groups

    Going back to viewing just your own Calendar is as simple as clearing the check box for the Marketing group!

    If you want to create a new Calendar Group from Calendars you are already looking at, simply click the Calendar Groups drop down in the Manage Calendar tab on the Home ribbon and select "Save as New Calendar Group”. The active Calendars will now be added to their very own group in the Navigation Pane.

    What’s even better for viewing multiple Calendars in Outlook 2010 is the new Schedule View. Using overlays is fine, but sometimes the details from many Calendars all mashed together with different colors can be a little disconcerting. The Schedule View keeps all Calendar details separate in their own lane, so you can more easily see at a glance who is available (or off on a much needed vacation!):

    clip_image006

    Figure 3 - Schedule View

    About the Author:

    Eric Legault, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Outlook since 2003, is the founder of Collaborative Innovations, a Micro ISV and consulting services provider specializing on Microsoft messaging and collaboration solutions.  Eric has over 14 years of experience in the computer industry, and has focused his energies developing solutions based on Microsoft application platforms such as Microsoft Office (especially Outlook), SharePoint and Exchange.  He holds certifications as a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for Messaging & Collaboration, SharePoint Infrastructure, WSS 3.0 Application Development and MOSS 2007 Application Development.  Eric has also published articles in MSDN, Office Online, Windows IT Pro magazine and various online technology newsletters, edited books on Outlook, SharePoint and Access,  and maintains a blog on Outlook programming and SharePoint technologies. His current focus is on developing custom Outlook Add-Ins to integrate line of business applications or enhance collaboration processes and workflows. Eric is also engaged with technical communities as a co-founder of the Winnipeg SharePoint User Group and via speaking engagements at conferences around the globe.


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    The following is a guest post by Microsoft’s Gaby Lieuw and MVP Gill Cleeren

    ASP/ASP.NET MVP Gill Cleeren organized the fourth edition of the Community Day event on June 24th in Utopolis, Mechelen. This is an annual Belgian community event – and was entire day dedicated to Microsoft technologies. This year, it was back bigger than ever – there were not only more sessions featuring more MVPs than last year’s event, but there are also more local user groups supporting the event including: AZUG, BESUG, BIWUG, IT-Talks, Pro-Exchange, SCUG, SQLUG, ACCB.net/VBIB, Visug, WinSec, XNA-BUG, CLUG, DotNetHub, and MyTIC.

    As always, Community Day remained a free networking and knowledge sharing event organized by the community for the community. Over 400 IT Pros and developers registered. With so many new releases from Microsoft, the theme of Community Day 2010 was naturally 2010: a new wave of products and technologies. The majority of this year’s sessions were dedicated to Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight 4, Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, OCSR2 and the list goes on.

    Alongside Gill, 12 Belgian MVPs conducted sessions throughout the day, including Kim  Oppalfens, Joris  Poelmans, Brecht  Kets, Johan  Delimon, Kurt  Claeys, Paul  Loonen, Alexandre  Verkinderen, Tom  Decaluwe, Pieter  Gheysens, Kenny  Buntinx, Maarten  Balliauw and Serge Luca.


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    Tune in this Saturday at 8 a.m. CT to hear Microsoft MVP Joe Schurman, from Spring, Texas, on Houston's KPRC-AM’s weekend show, The BusinessMakers.

    BusinessMakers host Russ Capper will discuss the Microsoft MVP Award Program with Shurman, and more.

    Check it out by visiting the KPRC-AM’s website and clicking on the “Listen Live” icon. The interview will also be posted on the BusinessMakers website here.


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    ASP.NET MVP Renato Haddad is also an Office enthusiast. So much so, that he authored two books: Create Smart Spreadsheets with Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Advanced, and A Deep Dive in Access 2007.

    More recently, Renato produced 96 videos about Office. On Monday, all of his videos were published to the official Office.com website here.

    The videos are in Portuguese.

    From Office.com:

     

    Renato Haddad (www.renatohaddad.com) é MVP, MCT, MCPD e MCTS, palestrante em eventos da Microsoft em diversos países, ministra treinamentos e desenvolve softwares com o VS.NET 2008/2010, ASP.NET 3.5/4, MS-Office 2007/2010, LINQ, Entity Framework, Reporting Services e Windows Mobile.

    Renato que é autor de 12 livros entre eles o "Crie Planilhas Inteligentes com o MS-Excel 2003 Avançado" e "Um Mergulho no Access 2007" – criou esta série de demonstrações sobre o uso de Office 2007 (Access, Excel, PowerPoint e Word) que ilustram de maneira simples funcionalidades e recursos dos aplicativos. Confira os videos abaixo.


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    Do you have questions about SharePoint? Want to learn more about the recently launched SharePoint 2010?  By popular request, SharePoint MVPs from around the world are participating in a live chat event about SharePoint. These Q&A events are a great opportunity to tap into the vast knowledge of these industry professionals who are regarded as the best in their field.

    Please join us on Wednesday July 21st at 9am PDT to chat with MVPs from around the world.

     

    Learn more and add these chats to your calendar by visiting the MSDN event page http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/chats/default.aspx


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    Our 10 Days for Office 2010 series, where we featured blog posts about Office 2010 written by MVPs, was so popular that we wanted to give MVPs more opportunities to contribute to the MVP Award Program blog. Periodically we will feature blog posts written by MVPs so they have one more place to share their passion and expertise with the community. We hope over time, to feature posts about a variety of subject matters and expertise.

    The post below is one such post.

    by: Bill Raymond

    Title: Microsoft Project MVP & VP Solutions at Pcubed

    Work: www.pcubed.com

    Blog: www.projectnation.net

    The No-confusion Timeline Report

    As a Project Manager, it has always been a struggle to communicate a clear time line to my key sponsors, stakeholders and even to the project team.

    Even as a Project Manager it can be difficult to read a Gantt chart once it goes beyond 50 lines or so. Granted, you get comfortable with the plan after a while and no how to traverse a detailed project plan but even the people on your project team may not fully understand all the intricacies.

    In previous versions of Microsoft Project, I would spend a lot of time plotting out massive prints of the project plan, creating a breakdown structure and then spend hours every week or two copying data to Excel or Visio to format the output for mass consumption.

    Earlier versions of Microsoft Project had some nice features to copy certain levels of a schedule to PowerPoint and provide some visual reports for Excel but clearly communicating the time line was still problematic.

    The challenge Microsoft faced was a way to change a graphic that looks like this:

    GanttView

     

    Into something more appealing that highlights the key activities and milestones we are working towards. With the new Time line View in Microsoft Project 2010 Professional, life just became much easier. Now, you can easily add any tasks to a visually appealing report that is easily output to e-mail, PowerPoint or for large-scale color printing.

    TimelineView

     

    The Time line View graphic shown above is an output of a project with more than 80 tasks. It visually represents key dates and milestones that the entire project team and all stakeholders agreed to track. The color coding and placement of the text are easily formatted and can even be manipulated further from within other Office products.


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    Turkish MVPs have been busy providing localized content for the Turkish speaking communities. Two major firsts were delivered recently. The Turkish Visual Studio 2010 Pro Language Pack was released for download, and a Turkish Visual Studio 2010 wiki was published to the MSDN Library. MVPs collaborated with Microsoft's Turkish subsidiary  and Bilkent University in Ankara.

     


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    MVP Michael Neel helped plan this year's CodeStock in Knoxville, TN. Michael Neal told the MVP Award Program Blog, "I started off by patterning CodeStock after DevLink and CodeMash, two other great community led events in the Heartland," he explained. "John Kellar has also been a great help since he shared his years of experience running the Little Rock Tech Expo and now DevLink."

    Former MVP and current Microsoft Employee Rachel Appel was the keynote speaker, "We ran a Woman in Technology theme this year," Neel explained. "For the record, I wanted Rachel to Keynote before I decided on the Woman in Technology theme. It was the result of looking around and trying to find another technology conference that has had a female keynote speaker. I realized I couldn't find one!"

    Rachel's keynote focused on community. Neel told the MVP Award Program Blog, "Rachel kept the spirit alive by talking about community in her keynote, and then she brought up members of the community to share specific stories," he said.

    Michael Neel took video footage throughout CodeStock and produced the short video below.

    CodeStock 2010 from Michael Neel on Vimeo.


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    MVPsJason Kergosien and Caleb Jenkins are scheduled to speak during OpenCamp in Addison, Texas August 27 - 29, 2010.

    According to organizers:

     

    OpenCamp is dedicated to the concept of removing both real and artificial barriers and bringing together webmasters and web developers, bloggers, podcasters, and social media enthusiasts, regardless of the tools they use, the medium in which they provide content, or the topics upon which they focus. OpenCamp is a community for everyone involved in Web content creation.

    In addition to the educational aspects of these events, one of the main benefits of attending is the ability to meet and network with like-minded individuals. While a newspaper reporter blogging on the WordPress platform may not be intimately familiar with the exact methods of a marketing manager blogging on the Drupal platform, these individuals will certainly feel a bond based on their commonality of purpose, a fact which points to a systematic shortcoming of the single-CMS event approach.

     

    MVP Jason Kergosien,CEO and lead architect of Ingen Systems, will speak about Social Communities in DNN. MVP Caleb Jenkins, founder and Principal Mentor at Proaction Mentors, will discuss ".Net on the Cheap (Free and OSS resources from the Redmond Giant.)"


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    As the anticipation begins to rise for the upcoming 2011 MVP Summit, we want to inform and encourage you to participate in some incredible ways to give back to the community. GeekGive is an MVP operated Non-Profit organization that is passionate about community outreach. Some of you may be familiar with GeekGive and have already had the chance to participate previously with the GeekGive project at Tech·Ed 2010. In association with Habitat for humanity, GeekGive and MVPs were able to help rebuild New Orleans!

    On Saturday, February 26th, 2011, GeekGive is teaming up with Northwest Harvest to help combat hunger in the Seattle area. By signing up for this special opportunity, you are helping local Seattle families, network with MVPs, and build long lasting relationships. MVPs are already signing up and we want you encourage you to help!

    If you are interested in finding out more about GeekGive and to sign up for this event please visit the GeekGive website.


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    We are very excited to hear that MVP Manu Zacharia, an Enterprise Security MVP from India, was recognized by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium  - (ISC)². Manu was presented with the prestigious Asia Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements Award! (ISC)² has nearly 70,000 certified members worldwide and is known for being the not-for-profit global leader in educating and certifying information security professionals.

    Manu was honored and accompanied by other outstanding honorees at the fourth annual Asia-Pacific Information Security Leadership Achievements (ISLA) dinner and ceremony gala on July 26, 2010. He was presented this award because of his outstanding leadership among security professionals. Congratulations to Manu!


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    Congratulations to MVP Arnie Rowland, who was re awarded with the MVP Award for his outstanding contributions to the SQL Server and .NET communities! One of the benefits of the MVP Award program is having access to great Microsoft technologies. Arnie has decided to go beyond the benefits, and give back to the community in a big way.

    With the launch of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework, the MVP Award Program was able to provide Developer MVPs with access to Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN activation cards. These activation cards were given out to the community, at the discretion of the MVP. Arnie Rowland was creative with this opportunity, while also providing an avenue for the community to give back.

    Last year, Arnie gave his subscriptions to people who committed themselves to 100 hours of volunteering to develop software for non-profits. A stellar idea!

    From Ramblings of a Harried Technogeek:

    This year, I will be seeking proposals from unemployed (or under-employed) developers that would use the tools to improve their skills with .NET, SQL Server, and Windows 7 Phone. The proposals should be for a project for a non-profit -either a new project or an upgrade to an existing project. In addition to the Microsoft MDSN Ultimate subscription, Pluralsight will provide a three month subscription to the training content available in their On-Demand!™ .NET Training Library, O'Reilly Press will provide three (3) books of the winner's choice, APress will provide three books(3) of the winner's choice, ComponentOne will provide Studio Enterprise components and tools, DevExpress will provide a one year subscription for DXperience Enterprise w/CodeRush, RedGate will provide a license for ANTS Performance Profiler, and Quest Software will provide a license for Toad® for SQL Server.

    The idea is to provide the recipient access to all of the tools needed to improve his/her skills, an opportunity to gain practical experience, the potential to earn a recommendation and/or referral –and to positively contribute to society as a form of 'give-back'. No free lunch, just sweat equity –the kind that makes us all feel good for the effort.

    Arnie challenges other MVPS to find a qualifying project that they feel would benefit from this opportunity.


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Diane Poremsky as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Diane Poremsky is an Office MVP who has been involved in Office and Windows technology and development for more than 10 years and has been an MVP since 1999. She is the author of numerous books, magazine articles, and she currently publishes Exchange Messaging Outlook for Slipstick.com, a weekly newsletter covering Outlook and Exchange issues.

    While you can use flags and color categories to highlight important messages, you can make the messages stand out more by using conditional formatting to color the text displayed in the message list, as seen in Figure 1. 

    Figure 1: Conditional formatting view on Message list (left)

    In previous versions of Outlook, the Organize pane was used to create simple formatting rules and you could edit the view to create more complicated rules. In Outlook 2010, you need to make the conditional formatting rules yourself as the Organize pane was removed.

    Although it’s a bit more work to create the conditional formatting rules now, I feel its better for users, as many users had no idea that Organize created the formatting rules in the current view. When they changed views or moved items to other folders, the coloring was lost and they had no idea why the colors disappeared. Now users will know where the formatting rules are stored and will know they can create rules using different criteria, instead of limiting themselves to creating conditional formatting rules based only on the sender's or recipient's name.

    Conditional formatting works with any folder type and view, except Icon view (used with Notes); however, color categories take precedence so conditional formatting rules won't apply to categorized calendar items in the Calendar view.

    To create a conditional formatting rule for the current folder only, you'll customize the current view using the Advanced View Settings dialog. There are several methods you can use to open this dialog in Outlook 2010; the easiest is to switch to the View tab, then click the View Settings button. You could also click on the field names at the top of the message list and select View Settings from the menu.

    After you open the Advanced View Settings dialog, click the Conditional Formatting button, and then click Add to create your formatting rules.

    1. Enter a title for your Conditional formatting rule.

    2. Click Fonts and select a new font and font attributes (if desired) and a color.

    3. Click Condition and create the filter for your rule.

     Figure 2: Conditional Formatting Dialog (right)

    That's all there is to it. It's just a couple more steps than using Organizer and you have more conditions to choose from.

    When you move messages to a new folder or change views, the conditional formatting may disappear if the same view is not used on the folder. If you want to use the conditional formatting in other folders, you have two choices: make a new custom view by copying the current view or open Manage Views and select the view by name and edit it, then apply the view to the other folders.

    Tip: Filter rules are tied together using the AND operator. A single rule From Mary OR To Mark is not possible unless you enable the QueryBuilder. For help with the QueryBuilder, see Using Outlook's QueryBuilder and OL: How to Use the Query Builder for View Filters and Advanced Searches .


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    Headed up by passionate Zune Marques Lyons, MVPs in the Los Angeles area recently joined forces for an MSMVP event. Marques teamed up with his local Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo, where he and fellow MVPs spent the day offering demos, presentations, and even some great giveaways throughout the day!

    Participating MVPs represented multiple Microsoft technologies including Xbox, Zune, and SQL Server. The broadly-scoped event was a huge success! Marques is planning on hosting another MSMVP event in San Diego, CA, in October 2010.

    Marques told the MVP Award Program Blog:

    "All of the attendees had a great time--(some even asked me if this was something that had been going on monthly for a while). Everyone enjoyed talking SQL Server (you heard me!), Zune and XBOX 360 with the MVPs and the giveaway prizes were a big hit."

    DPE Lynn Langit agreed.

    "The MVPs did a GREAT job conceiving of and promoting of this event--(good use of a custom Facebook event page as well). This is a very effective model for small MVP events; showcasing specific products at local MS stores." !

    We look forward to hearing about the future success of these MSMVP events!


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    Microsoft loves engaging with MVPs—and that’s never been clearer as we look at all the ways the company is interacting with the MVP community. Last fiscal year, which ended in June, Microsoft hosted more product group interactions (PGIs) than ever with MVPs. It seems MVPs appreciated the increased opportunities, because attendance for the events jumped up by over 45%.

    That’s just the beginning, according to Microsoft’s group product manager of Community Interaction and Feedback, COS, Mike Hickman: “Product groups see the value in these interactions, which is why last year they increased their investment in PGIs to the highest level in the history of the program and they’re planning even more in the coming year.”

    This fiscal year, in July alone, 315 MVPs participated in 18 Microsoft PGIs. Of the approximately 90 areas of technical expertise in which MVPs are awarded, an impressive 20 were covered in July’s PGIs.

    PGIs offer MVPs the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of Microsoft’s product developments and its future direction, which supports their leadership in technical communities.

    “MVPs are technical experts who deploy and experience our products in the real world,” explained Hickman. “When we’re talking to them, we know we’re hearing from a highly credible part of our community. And when they influence our products, they’re helping make them more relevant for themselves and their communities. ”

    PGIs are just one of the ways MVPs are offered a close connection with Microsoft. Keep watching this blog in the next week or two as we highlight this year’s upcoming regional community events and the 2011 MVP Global Summit—and the many ways Microsoft is reaching out to the highly regarded MVP community.


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    Seven-year MVP veteran Mark Dunn was recently interviewed on Atlanta Business Radio in Atlanta, Georgia. Mark spoke about his experience with the MVP Award Program and provided listeners with a high level view of who MVPs are and how they impact the community.

    Dunn started out as a programmer and, passionate about sharing information, he became active in user groups, investing into the community and helping wherever he could. He found himself moving towards training, and eventually started his company, Dunn Training. He remains heavily involved with the Atlanta .Net User Group, while also sponsoring Code Camps in the Atlanta area.

    In the interview, Dunn describes the positive ways being an MVP has affected him and his business: “If you ever have a problem, nothing beats being able to  get in touch with one of the product teams.”  

    He also highlighted how his feedback is valued within the various Microsoft product groups. “You couldn’t ask for any better perk than speaking to the people at Microsoft who build the products.”  But one of his favorite experiences as an MVP is being invited to attend the MVP Global Summit and connecting with the members of his community: "The thing I like most about it is meeting a wide variety of MVPs from all over the world,” he explained.

     

     

     

     


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    The 2011 MVP Global Summit kicks-off on February 28 and already there’s a buzz in the air. Plans are well underway for another world-class event. Product groups are actively planning their deep dive sessions with MVPs, where they offer them advance looks at many of Microsoft’s latest technology developments.

    Mike Fosmire, who at the 2010 MVP Summit was an MVP lead and now is a business group lead, said,

    “Every day I see the amazing contributions MVPs make around the world, but there’s nothing quite like having the opportunity to meet face to face with these great folks and getting to know them personally. Additionally, it’s an amazing experience to see them meet their peer MVPs—people they’ve interacted with online for years—in person, sometimes for the first time.”

    MVP Global Summit is truly a high point in a year of ongoing interactions between MVPs and Microsoft. Some MVPs and their Microsoft relationship managers travel half way around the globe to attend. Why? One big reason is to be with their community. MVPs share their successes, latest ideas, and war stories with others who understand their passion for technology and making a difference in the community.

    And of course they come for the deep technical content—which is on track to be more robust than ever. “Each year we host the MVP Global Summit, it gets a little better,” explained Paulette Suddarth, Microsoft Global Events Marketing Manager, MVP Award Program. “MVPs have told us that a four day event is a big time commitment, so this year we’re packing all the content into three highly productive days. We’re doing that by scaling back the keynote speeches—with an important exception. Steve Ballmer is a big fan of MVPS and he’ll be back this year to welcome them to campus.”

    “We’ll be focusing more on deep dive sessions—which MVPs tell us are the most valuable,” continued Suddarth. “As well as networking opportunities.  Everyone who can make it can look forward to a great welcome reception and memorable evening events. But that’s all I’m saying right now. We want to keep some surprises.”


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    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by MVP Doug Robbins as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Office and SharePoint 2010" series. Doug Robbins is a long-standing Word MVP.

    Customizing the Ribbon

    When office 2007 hit the street, many experienced users of the Office products bemoaned the fact that it was no longer possible to customize the Ribbon via the user interface in the way that it had been possible to modify the menus and create custom toolbars in earlier versions of the software.

    Well, they heard you!

    In Office 2010, simple customization of the Ribbon is now an easy task. If you right click on the Ribbon, you will see the item "Customize the Ribbon". (See below)


    Left clicking on this item takes you to the Ribbon Customization dialog. (See below)


     
    The above dialog can also be accessed by clicking on the File button and then on Options and then on Customize Ribbon.

    Now, When I am working in Word, I always have the Apply Styles dialog (Ctrl+Shift+s) displayed and I hardly ever use the Styles section of the Home tab of the Ribbon, so I can expand the Home item in the Customize Ribbon dialog and select the Styles item and if I want to, remove it completely, I can click on the remove button and it will be removed from the Ribbon. (See below)

    I do however often use the Page Setup feature, and it would save a mouse-click (there and back) if I had that on the Home tab of the Ribbon. That can be done by expanding the Page Layout item in the Customize Ribbon dialog and the click on the Page Setup item and drag it into the position where I would like it in the Home tab group. (See below)


     

    After making these changes, I now have a Ribbon with the Font, Paragraph and Page Setup groups all on the Home tab of the ribbon, just where I want them. (See below)

    Another feature that I often use and would like to have right on the Ribbon itself is the Paste Special facility, which is by default, buried under the Paste item in the Clipboard section of the Home tab of the Ribbon.

     

    While I can access that item in the commands list of the Customize Ribbon dialog, if I select that item and in the commands list and select the Clipboard item of the Home tab and click Add, I receive the following message:

     

    So I need to add a custom group to the Ribbon by clicking on the New group button and then I can use the Rename button to change the name from New Group to Past (the word "Custom" that appears in the dialog, does not appear on the Ribbon itself) and then I am able to add the Paste Special item to the custom group by either selecting it and the custom group and using the Add button, or by clicking on it and dragging it onto the custom group.

    This then gives me a new group named Paste on the Home tab that contains Paste Special.


     
    Office 2010 however, makes simple customizations dead easy!


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