Microsoft Office

Microsoft to End Support on XP, Office 2003 & 2008 in 2014

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

When purchasing software, do you ever think about the end-of-life cycle for that particular program? If you’re like everyone else, you probably don’t.

The thing is, all software has a cycle – a period of time when the company will support that particular version of the software.

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So what you purchase today won’t always be supported.

Typically software is no longer supported when there are several newer versions out, or when the software is so outdated that it no longer functions properly on newer computers, whichever comes first.

In early April, 2013, Microsoft announced its plans to phase out support for a few of their older software, a change that could leave businesses (and individuals) in the lurch.

Microsoft’s determination for phasing out software is fairly clear cut – they promise to support their products for a minimum of 10 years, with 5 years of mainstream support, and 5 years of extended support.

And next year, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft is phasing out support on a few (still) popular products:

  • Windows XP
  • Office 2003
  • Office 2008 – Mac Version – support ends April 9, 2014

So what does this change mean for businesses? Well, nothing and everything.

Of course you can continue to use your outdated products, as technically they will still work just like they did before. However, problems requiring support through Microsoft won’t be fixable, and over time you could see even bigger issues.

The larger reality is that if you’re still using these older operating systems and office products, you could probably stand for an update. Newer operating systems, though they require a small learning curve, run faster and help you produce more than their older counterparts. Additionally, newer software boasts better features, and increased security through patches, bug fixes, and software updates.

Though it would require a bit of an initial investment, upgrading your office, particularly if you are still using any of these programs, will end up saving you in the long run in time and money made back due to increased productivity.

If your business is still using these outdated software products, give us a call today. We can help you evaluate which newer versions are right for your business, and help get them implemented and installed so that you aren’t affected by this change.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you navigate through changes in your software. Email: [email protected]. Website:

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Kareoke

Image Credit: Mike Licht,

Do you make a lot of presentations in PowerPoint? Then this post is for you. Here’s a bunch of our favorite keyboard shortcuts, guaranteed to help you navigate the program more easily.

* Denotes a common program command

CTRL + B: Bold*

CTRL +C: Copy*

CTRL + I: Italic*

CTRL + E: Center Paragraph

CTRL + J: Justified Paragraph

CTRL + K: Create Hyperlink

CTRL + L: Let-Aligned Paragraph

CTRL + R: Right-Aligned Paragraph

CTRL + U: Underline*

CTRL + V: Paste*

CTRL + X: Cut*

CTRL + Z: Undo*

CTRL + Drag (the mouse): Create a copy of the selected text.

CTRL + Shift + F, then use up / down arrows to select font, press Enter when done – Change Font Size

CTRL + Shift + P: Change Point Size

CTRL + Shift + Z: Plain Text

CTRL + Shift + >: Increase Font Size

CTRL + Shift +<: Decrease Font Size

Shift + F3: Toggles selection through lower case, upper case, and initial caps

F5: Start a presentation from the beginning

F7: Spellchecker

<Number> + Enter: Go to slide <number>

PowerPoint Shortcuts to Use During Presentations

F5: Start presentation from the beginning

A or Equals Sign (=): Show / hide arrow pointer

B or Period (.): Display blank black slide / return to the presentation from a blank black slide

E: Erase on-screen annotations

H: Go to the next hidden slide.

M: Use mouse-click to advance while rehearsing

N, Enter, Page Down, Right Arrow, Down Arrow, or Spacebar (choose one): Advance to next slide / perform next animation

O: Use original timings while rehearsing

P, Page Up, Left Arrow, Up Arrow, or Backspace (choose one): Return to previous slide / perform previous animation

R: Re-record slide narration and timing

S: Stop / start automatic presentation

T: Set new timings while rehearsing

W or Comma (,): Display blank white slide / return to the presentation from a blank white slide

<Number> + Enter: Go to slide <number>

ATL + Q: Stop media playback

ALT + P: Play / pause

ALT + U: Mute

ALT + Down: Decrease volume

ALT + END: Next bookmark

ALT + HOME: Previous bookmark

ALT + Up: Increase volume

ALT + SHIFT + Page Down: Seek forward

ALT + Shift + Page Up: Seek backward

CTRL + A: Change pointer to an arrow

CTRL+E: Change pointer to an eraser

CTRL + H: Hide pointer and navigation button immediately

CTRL + M: Show / hide ink markup

CTRL + S: View the All Slides dialogue box

CTRL + T: View computer task bar

CTRL + U: Hide pointer and navigation button in 15 seconds

SHIFT + F10: Display shortcut menu

SHIFT + TAB: Go to last / previous hyperlink on slide

TAB: Go to first / next hyperlink on slide

We have posted similar articles about Excel, Outlook, and Word. Did you miss one? Follow the links below.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who wants to help you use your software more efficiently. Email: [email protected]. Website:

Microsoft Outlook Shortcut Keys

Microsoft Outlook

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

We may have written a few articles about common shortcut keys for various software, but it seems we missed Outlook. Since it is one of the more commonly used software for business email, we thought we’d take the time to share some keyboard shortcuts that will help you get around quicker, and get more out of Outlook.

Here are a few of our favorite shortcuts.

Note: * Denotes commonly used shortcuts for PC software.

  • Arrow Keys: Move throughout the navigation pane.
  • Left / Right Arrow Keys: Collapse / expand a group in the e-mail message list.
  • ALT + . (period): Opens the Address Book with the To: field selected.
  • ALT + B: Opens the Address Book with the BCC: field selected.
  • ALT + C: Select message recipients for CC: field.
  • ALT + D: Switch to Daily Calendar view.
  • ALT + E: Open the Edit drop down menu.
  • ALT + F: Open the File drop down menu.
  • ALT + K: Check names in the To:, CC:, or BCC: field against the Address Book. Note: Cursor must be in the corresponding field to check contacts.
  • ALT + L: Reply All, in an open message.
  • ALT + M: Switch to Monthly Calendar view.
  • ALT + R: Reply / Switch to Work Week Calendar view.
  • ALT + S: Sends an open message.
  • ALT + Y: Switch to Daily Calendar view.
  • ALT + F4: Close the active window.
  • CTRL + 1: Switch to Mail.
  • CTRL + 2: Switch to Calendar.
  • CTRL + 3: Switch to Contacts.
  • CTRL + 4: Switch to Tasks.
  • CTRL + 5: Switch to Notes
  • CTLR + 6: Switch to Folder list in Navigation Pane.
  • CTLR + 7: Switch to Shortcuts.
  • CTRL +A: Select all. *
  • CTRL + B: Bold selected text. *
  • CTRL + C: Copy selected text. *
  • CTRL + D: Delete an item (message, task, contact, etc.)
  • CTRL + F: Forward an item, must have a message open.
  • CTRL + J: Open a new Journal Entry for the selected item (message, task, contact, etc.)
  • CTRL + M: Send / Receive All.
  • CTRL + O: Open selected item. *
  • CTRL + P: Print selected item. Opens Print dialogue box. *
  • CTRL + Q: Mark the selected message as Read.
  • CTRL + R: Reply to selected / open message.
  • CTRL + T: Tab.
  • CTRL + U: Mark selected message as unread.
  • CTRL + V: Paste cut / copied information. *
  • CTRL + X: Cut selected information. *
  • CTRL + Y: Go to folder.
  • CTRL + , (comma): Switch to the next item. Note: must have an item open to use this command.
  • CTRL + . (period): Switch to previous item. Note: must have an item open to use this command.
  • CTRL + Shift + Tab (or F6): Switch between the Folder List and the main Outlook window.
  • CTRL + Shift + A: Open a new Appointment.
  • CTRL + Shift + B: Opens the Address Book.
  • CTRL + Shift + C: Create a new contact.
  • CTRL + Shift + E: Open a new folder.
  • CTRL + Shift + G: Flag selected message for follow up.
  • CTRL + Shift + J: Open a new Journal Entry.
  • CTRL + Shift + K: Open a new Task.
  • CTRL + Shift + L: Open a new Distribution List.
  • CTRL + Shift + M: Open a new Message.
  • CTRL + Shift + N: Open a new Note.
  • CTRL + Shift + O: Switch to the Outbox.
  • CTRL + Shift + P: Open the New Search Folder window.
  • CTRL + Shift + Q: Open a new Meeting Request.
  • CTRL + Shift + S: Open a new Discussion.
  • CTRL + Shift + U: Open a new Task Request.
  • CTRL + Shift + Y: Copy a folder.
  • Tab: Move throughout the navigation pane and reading pane in Outlook.
  • + or -: Expand or collapse a folder or selected group in the Navigation Pane.
  • F7: Spellcheck
  • F9: Send / Receive all.
  • F12: Save As.

If you want to learn shortcut keys for other software, checkout our other shortcut posts:

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who wants to help you use your technology smarter and faster. Email: [email protected]. Website: