20 December, 2010

How to Create an Outlook Forward Rule

Note: These steps were written using Outlook 2003. Though most if not all versions should support this functionality, it may take slightly different steps in different versions.

These steps will describe how to forward an email that contains a specific Subject, e.g. “the subject,” from a specific email address, e.g. "foo@foo.com," to another Outlook user, e.g. "Outlook User."

1. Within Outlook go to Tools >> Rules and Alerts…
2. Click New Rule… This will start the Rules Wizard
3. Select the “Start from a blank rule” option
4. Select “Check messages when they arrive”
5. Click Next
6. Select the two check boxes “from people or distribution list” and “with specific words in the subject.” This puts both phrases in the lower “Step 2” text box.
7. Click on the “people or distribution list” text in the lower box. This will open a new Rule Address dialog box, similar to the standard Address Book dialog box.8. In the From - > field (at the bottom of the dialog box) enter the email address "foo@foo.com" -- this is the address the email will come from. Note: ypu do not have to search for an address from your address book.
You can add multiple addresses manually, separating each with a semi-colon ( ; ). Likewise you can use the Address Book features and find email addresses to exclude.
9. Click OK. Notice how “people or distribution list” was replaced with "foo@foo.com".
10. Now, click on the “specific words” text in the lower box. This will open a new dialog box titled: Search Text.
11. Enter “the subject” in the first line and click Add. When you click Add, the text will be moved into the lower Search list box.
12. Click OK. Notice how the “specific words” text was replaced with “the subject.”13. Click Next. Notice how the upper section of the Rules Wizard has changed.
14. Click the check box next to “forward it to people or distribution list.” This adds the phrase to the end of the text in the lower section of the Rules Wizard.
15. In the lower section, click on “people or distribution list.” This once again launches the Rule Address dialog box.
16. Find "Outlook User" in the list, and double-click on his name. This will add "Outlook User" to the “Specify whom to forward messages to:” (To - >) section of the dialog box.
17. Click OK. Notice how the “people or distribution list” text was replaced with “Outlook User.”
18. Click Next. The upper section changes once again, allowing you to add any exceptions to the rule just created.
19. Do not add any exceptions, click Next, again. Again the upper portion of the Rules Wizard has changed.
20. Go to the first text box, “Step 1: Specify a name for this rule” and give it a meaningful name, such as “Forward all foo foo emails to Outlook User.”
21. Check the check box next to “Run this rule now on messages already in the ‘Inbox’.” Once finished, this will immediately check for any emails in your inbox that match the defined criteria.22. Click Finish.
This runs the new rule and returns us to the Rules and Alerts dialog box.
23. Click OK. This completes our rule definition.

Here is how you can disable this new rule.
1. Within Outlook go to Tools >> Rules and Alerts…
2. Uncheck the checkbox next to the Rule titled “Forward all foo foo emails to Outlook User.”
3. Click OK.

09 December, 2010

Displaying special characters in your HTML and JavaScript

Occasionally I have the need to display umlauts or other non-standard Latin and Kanji characters in my HTML, JavaScript, and as a URL parameter. Each form have their own rules for encoding the characters to display correctly.
  • HTML: Use the HTML name or HTML number. For example & and " for ampersand and quote, respectively.
  • JavaScript: Use the Unicode equivalent. For example \u00E4 and \u00FC to add an umlaut over an 'a' or 'u', respectively.
  • URL Parameter: Use HEX codes. For example, %20 and %2F for a space and forward slash, respectively.
Here's a great reference from ascii.cl for the necessary codes.

08 December, 2010

Office Ribbon Frustrations: Repeat Rows and/or Columns When Printing in Excel

Excel can be rather confusing. If you try a Print Preview, and then Page Setup, you are unable to set either "Rows to repeat at top" or "Columns to repeat at left". Yet you can set other Page Setup items from this dialog box.

To set your row(s) and/or column(s), you need to select Print Titles from the Page Layout ribbon. This will bring up the same dialog box, but now you can choose the row(s) and/or column(s).

04 December, 2010

Wavee -- not worth the money

Dec 17, 2010: I finally received the email to claim my gift card -- it took 7 emails to Wavee in all before this occurred. On the 7th email, a representative who had not previously responded provided all the necessary information. This was the service I expected with my first email. As far as the gift card itself, many are electronic only. I did order one that had to be mailed -- I'm still waiting for it to arrive.

Some of you may be familiar with a new service, Wavee. You bid on items of interest, $0.01 at a time. The highest bidder wins, and gets to purchase the product for the bid price. Sounds good? Well, each bid you make costs $0.75. But consider, an item that sells for $300 took in $22,500 (30000 * $0.75) -- there's 30,000 bids at $0.75 each on an item that sells for $300.

So while you spend your money to be the single winner, Wavee's raking in the dough.

You can also buy items that are up for auction. In some cases, they offer a discount based on the money already spent on your bids. I made 4 bids, $3.00, on a $25 gift card. I was offered the card for $22. Why not? I thought I'd test the service, so I bought it.

Once my credit card was charged, I was notified that I would received an email to select my gift card. It's now 8 days and several emails later, and I have still not received the "golden" email so I can get the gift card.

Since the initial registration, with 100 bids, is $75.00, I'm out nearly $100 and have nothing to show for it -- I do have 42 bid credits left. Based on my experience, I recommend you wave goodbye to Wavee.