tip : get the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint and Excel for FREE, legally

If you are looking for a FREE (and legal) version of the latest version of MS Office, you just might be in luck :

Microsoft is offering the newest version of MS Office for FREE to students and staff of schools and universities that have licensed MS Office.

This program has run in the US since 2013 under the moniker “Student Advantage”, and is now available in the Netherlands also.

What you get is a FREE one year license to Microsoft’s online cloud service “Office 365”, in the “Pro Plus”-version, including FREE downloads of the latest versions of Office to be installed on maximum 5 Macs or PCs and on maximum 5 Android or iOS devices (like iPhones and iPads).

These latest versions are Office 2011 for Mac and Office 2013 for Windows, both including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Skype and OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud-drive formerly known as SkyDrive).

In the Netherlands, these FREE versions are available for two specific groups :

1- (parents of) students of the primary schools [“basisschoolleerlingen” in Dutch] https://www.surfspot.nl/officeleerling

2- students of (some) higher education [“Hogescholen en Universiteiten” in Dutch] https://www.surfspot.nl/officestudent

The procedure to get this (nearly) FREE software, is quite complex, but it’s well worth the hassle :

– first you need an account at Surfspot.nl (the website for educational discounts)

– then, you need to ‘buy’ the FREE version of Office 365 Pro Plus

– with that, you’ll get a voucher (which might take several days due to popular demand)

– using that voucher, you can activate Office 365 at Microsoft, and you will get FREE download-links to the latest versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Skype, OneDrive, etc.

–  those apps you can install on maximum 5 Macs or PCs and 5 iOS or Android devices

 

…as mentioned : it’s a hassle, but it’s well worth it !

Enjoy !

😉

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fixed : PowerPoint presentation too large for eMail

Question :

I just made a beautiful PowerPoint presentation which I want to eMail to my friend. When I tried to eMail it, that seemed to work okay at first, but a few moments later I got an error message saying that the eMail could not be sent.

How can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

eMail providers have set a limit to the attachments’ file size per eMail to prevent cluttering the eMail traffic and flooding the recipient’s eMail inbox. For most providers this limit is set to about 5MB of attached files per eMail message. Some providers have expanded this limit to 10MB, and providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! even allow you to attach up to 25MB of files to each eMail.

But if your PowerPoint presentation is even larger than 25MB (which might easily occur if you have done your best to make it a beautiful presentation), you will probably do the recipient  a pleasure if you send a smaller file, especially if they are planning on viewing it on a mobile device. The easiest way to ‘shrink’ the size of a presentation is to convert it into a PDF-file. (a PDF-file is even more versatile than a PowerPoint-presentation, as it also can be viewed by people that don’t have PowerPoint software installed)

To convert your PowerPoint-presentation into a PDF-file, do this :

In MacOSX :

– open your presentation in PowerPoint

– then go to “File” in the upper menu bar and select “Print” from the pulldown menu that appears

– in the “Print” menu that appears, adjust everything as desired, then click on the “PDF” button (bottom left)

– in the pulldown menu that appears, choose “Mail PDF” and a new eMail message will be made for you including your Presentation as an attachment

…or you can choose “Save as PDF…” to first save the PDF-version of your presentation to your Mac so you can attach it to any eMail later on

Note : the above procedure also works in other OSX programs like Word, Excel, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.

For Windows users, the general idea is similar but slightly different :

http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/powerpoint-help/save-as-pdf-HA010064992.aspx

If the standard conversion of your PowerPoint into a PDF still turns up with a PDF-file that is too large to eMail, you can adjust the conversion settings, as described here :

How to create even smaller PDFs in OSX

You might also want to try the “Reduce File Size” that is in the “File”-tab of each Office 2011 application (so in Word, PowerPoint and Excel). This option will only reduce the size of the pictures inside the document. The smallest this option can reduce to is 96ppi a.k.a. “Best for sending in e-mail”. This is an interesting option, but converting to PDF usually leads to even more file size reduction.

And if the recipient insists on getting the original PowerPoint-file, you could do as a lot of professionals do, and send your presentation trough the FREE WeTransfer service :

http://www.wetransfer.com

that’s it !

enjoy !

😉

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fixed : hashtags making text unreadable in Excel

Question :

Somebody sent me an Excel spreadsheet in which some of the data is unreadable since it has been replaced by text consisting of hashtag signs only…

I’ve seen this happening before, and the remedy used to be just to broaden the column, since all number that are too large to fit their cell width are automatically made unreadable…

However, in this case, if I broaden the column width, some of the hashtag text will turned into readable numbers, but other hashtag text will remain, no matter how wide I make the column…

What is wrong ?

And how can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

This seems to be a problem with Excel for Windows files that are opened in Excel for Mac (possibly more specifically with data copied or converted from another application into Excel on a Windows-PC). So PC-users will not be warned on forehand that their Excel output is not suited for use on Macs…

Fixing it turns out to be rather simple (but annoying) :

• open the file in Excel for Mac

• select the cells that are effected (or preferably even the entire column), then go to “Format” in the top menu bar

• from the dropdown-menu that appears, select “Cells…” and a window entitled “Format Cells” will open

• make sure the “Number”-tab is selected and make sure that you select “Number” or “General” from the list (make sure that it is something else than what was previously selected ; anything seems to be okay, as long as it is not “Accounting”)

• no return to your spreadsheet to check if the hashtag texts have disappeared (if not : try again)

That’s it !

Enjoy !

😉

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