Sunday, February 15, 2015

Turning Horizontal Visio Swimlanes into Vertical Ones

In one ocassion, a friend at work called me because she had a problem with Microsoft Visio, she was trying to draw a process flowchat but using swimlanes, this was not a problem until she realized that it would be better to use vertical swimlanes instead of horizontal ones.

But, when she tried to drag a vertical one it just put together to the previous swimlanes created before.

To avoid creating a new visio document and lost your work just go to 'Cross-Functional Flowchart' ribbon and select 'Orientation' and 'Vertical'.

And it's done, now you can work with vertical swimlanes or if you like it you can turn them back to horizontal ones.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Looking for Installation Folder of ClickOnce Applications

If you are using ClickOnce applications then you have to know that they are not installed in the common "Program Files" folder, due to the arquitecture that this Microsoft technology has, that's the reason because you don't find the program folder when you need to locate it.

First at all, it's necessary to set Windows to show hidden folders, otherwise you won't be able to find the application folder, so you can get this by going to "Control Panel", "Folder Options" in "Appearance" section. In the window that appears just go to "View" tab and pick the "Show hidden files, folders and drives" option.

Now, you must navigate through the folders to reach the common one that is used by Windows to store this type of applications, consider that Windows creates a random name for this repository.

Looking inside you'll notice that the names of the folders have some part of the application name in them, with many numbers and letters.

Well, you found the application folder, congratulations.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Making Queries to Compare Dates in SQL Server

It's time to share a little tech knowledge!, when you are working with databases, SQL Server specifically, it's a good practice to keep in some tables records that could be used as auditing information, for this purpose you need to save date of the performed operation necessarily.

However, when the audit comes, you open your database to make a query against it but you think at that moment whether you should use <,>,= operators or you could write the date as is or you must use it as text and so on.

Well, too much thinking, the answer is to use the "between" keyword and putting date as text including time as shown.

select * from Scheme.OperationAudit where AuditDate between '07/01/2013 00:00' and '08/14/2013 23:59' order by AuditDate asc

Remember that date format depends of format used by the server, this is easy to know by using 13, yes, put 13 first in the date and if the query shows error then the month is not first (because there are just 12 months).

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Avoiding Conversation Mode in Outlook

One time ago I'd been using Lotus Notes in the office, but we moved to Outlook, which I consider is much better that the other tool, however I looked into the web version and I found something that for me is very annoying.

When you select a mail you have to display the conversation tree, and when you see it you don't understand very well what this is about (at least I can't), I know that the tree show the conversation flow but I still can't get it.

Fortunately, If you want to get back to the old-style mail you have to click on "Conversations by Date" that is located in the right superior corner and select "Off" under the "Conversations" label.

After doing so you will have your mail as usual.

I think that it's interesting the conversation view of mails but as I don't get used to it, I don't wan to use it.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Resizing Images Without Distortion

I work a lot with PowerPoint and this tool is perfect when you want to make a presentation because it's very useful to put images inside with ease. But many times when you copy an image an paste it in a slide it's not in the ideal size.

Then you try to resize the image to get it ready for the presentation, for example, I copy this image, a print screen.

After that this image is pasted in the presentation.

If you try to resize this image in PowerPoint you will realize that this application gives you free control about it, so if you are not careful with your movements you can distort the image.

Ok, to avoid this it's better to not have much control of the image so you need to lock the ratio aspect. To reach this just right-click on the image and select "Size and Position...".

And click on "Lock aspect ratio".

Once you set that value you will notice that you can resize the image but maintaining the ratio between height and width and keeping the good aspect of the image.

This is absolutely useful, fixing images size sometimes can drive you crazy and even more when you have many images to resize, as a shortcut you can avoid navigating into the menu by just keeping "Shift" key pressed while resizing.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Creating a Quick Survey with Lync

In these days when we have more ways to communicate each other, an instant messaging application is very useful to get in contact with many persons. In this situation Microsoft Lync helps us to create a group chat, but sometimes we need just a closed answer rather than an open opinion of the participants of this chat.

This is the moment when Lync gives us a feature that allows us to create a poll to obtain a simple answer, to do so when you have a group chat get into "Share" option, inside of it click in "New Poll".

A window will appear to complete the title, question and options to show, click on "Create".

Immediately the poll will be created and showed to all the participants of the chat, they will be able to respond the poll.

You will see in real time how the answers are marked in the poll until you decide the end of it.

In this way you will have the answers of all the participants of the chat about an specific topic.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Obtaining All the Information of Computers

When we buy a computer this one is ready to be used so we don't have to worry about having the network card, mouse or touchpad ready, to mention a few examples.

However, what happens if you need or have to format your computer? Well, you can use your Windows disk to make a new installation and get the disk formatted. But you will notice that after this process some of your devices won't work correctly. When this happens it's probably because you don't have the required drivers of your devices.

What a problem! how can I fix that? Very simple, I'll introduce you a tool named HWiNFO, install it and execute it with an account with admin privileges, this application allows you to choice the type of report it's going to generate.

After that, you will be in front of a summary of your system, you can review it but for this post just click on "Close".

Once you close the system summary you'll see a window like this, giving you all the information of each component of you computer, here is where you have to navigate to find the characteristics of the devices that are not working (brand and model for example).

With this information you can search on the internet the appropiate driver for you device, when I have to do this I prefer to go to the driver's manufacturer site for being the most reliable source. Remember that having the correct drivers will help you to harness all their functionality.