Thursday, April 29, 2010

Part 39: Really? I can't use commas to separate email addresses?

So we recently upgraded our server. In addition to a bizarre method to change default printer preferences (which may well be the printer driver's fault so I won't document it here—yet), there's been a subtle change in our how Outlook works. Or, of course, doesn't work.

Let's say I want to email two people. In Gmail, I'd type in their addresses separated by commas, say, ",". I'd write my message, hit "send" and go on my merry way. And that's how it used to work in Outlook. But not anymore. If I go to send an email in outlook, I can't write it to ",". Oh, no-siree-bob. If I do something that intuitive, I get an error message:

Wait, what? I can't separate email addresses with a comma? And, smartypants, since you obviously know what I was doing (i.e. that I was separating emails with commas) why can't you just make the goddamn change for yourself!

Oh, yes, Windows = productivity.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Part 38: Word/Outlook integration

While we're knocking Outlook, what's the deal with the integration of Word and Outlook? Sometimes, I'm typing away in Outlook and get a message that Word needs to close, and since Outlook uses Word to edit applications, Word's crashing has rendered Outlook braindead, so carry on.

Also, it's so very well integrated that when I was editing my signature, I had a section which was 10 point Verdana italic, which refused to show in 10 point font in the actual email. Oh, yes, Word works so well I want to use it all the time!

Part 37: Can Outlook signatures be any harder to find?

So work decided that we should all have standardized signatures and can we all change them. Fine, whatever, I should be able to find out where to change signatures, right? They're a pretty generic part of email, so it's not like Outlook will hide the signature in an incoherent menu which is impossible to find. In a just and loving world, it would be on a main menu. Now, of course, Windows won't show me the whole menu if I haven't used it recently (thanks), but even if I have to expand the menus, I bet I can find it, right?


Now, in Gmail, where I don't even use a signature, I can find the signature setting easily. I click on settings, then, oh, hey, look! It's right there! Right on the main front screen! One click! Easy.

In Outlook? Oh, boy. I had to look it up on the Interwebs. First, I go to the tools menu. There, I select options. Now, leaving beside the fact that options shouldn't be under a tools menu (since an option isn't a tool) or should be called something out, I am presented with a mess of tabs and interfaces. I got to this without the web. But I didn't see "signature" on any of the tabs, so I kept going.

Had I clicked through all the tabs, I would have found that the mail format tab contains the signature dialogue. I have no idea what all the other functions Outlook has which are so very important, but the signature dialogue is in an not-at-all-obvious place, and is much further down the information tree than it should be. Then again, other than save and print, is there anything you can do without three menus and a dialogue box in Windows?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Part 36: Restart, restart, restart

I was out of the office for a couple of weeks and, apparently, Windows took it upon itself to download some update. And now that it has done so, it prompts me, every 15 minutes to restart. But it gives me 15 minutes to say no. What I really want to do is go about my business today, and restart at the end of the day when I shut down my computer. But "restart later" simply resets the clock.

Please, Windows, why can't you give me a "restart at my own goddamn convenience" button?!