Friday, July 12, 2013

Part 37.1: Signatures in 2010

You gotta hand it to Microsoft. They try. Back in the day I wrote about how impossible it was to figure out where signatures lived in Outlook 2007. There were menus to open and click through to find a major feature buried six levels down.

So in 2010, which I was just upgraded to, I had to find my signature. I was in the main mail window, and started looking. I looked at every bleeding menu. Nowhere to be seen. Finally, I asked a coworker for guidance. He told me to open a new window.


If you open a new window, "signatures" is right out in the open, and easy to see and find. This is an improvement. The issue, however, is that this is counterintuitive in two manners. First, it is accessed from a completely different place as in 2007 and before. How hard would it to have a link to signatures out of the main window without opening a new message? So, you know, we can find it. Second, when I start with a new program, I want to set up my signature before I send my first message, not after. Now, I have to open a message, set up my signature, and is it in the message? No. I have to close the message and open another.

So with thousands of hours and lines of code, they have gone from having something completely buried but accessed from the main window, to something not buried at all, but accessed unintuitively from the new message window.

Progress. Maybe by 2020 they'll have signatures readily available in the main window of the program.

Or maybe we'll all be on Gmail.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Part 43: When I copy something, I should be able to paste it

I'm somewhat used to sane operating systems. In other words, I'm used to the fact that, on an Apple machine, when you copy something—be it an image, or a string of text, or what have you—if you go to paste it, it will paste.

Even if you've been doing something else for a while. Even if you pasted it and then clicked on another cell in Excel.

Which brings me to Excel: for some inconceivable reason, if you copy something in Excel and run an operation and then go to paste it—it's gone! Disappeared in to thin air. Poof!

Now, I've had this as a known problem for years. But, believe it or not, people were whining about this in 2004, and even then saying that Microsoft knew it was a bug then, and didn't seem to care. So it's been going on for more than a decade!

(There's some technical nonsense about Excel having "move and copy" but a) that seems fixable and b) I can't think of any application where a user would want to have something they copied disappear.)

What rubbish. And I'd contend that Excel is one of Microsoft's better products.