Thomas Duff

Thomas Duff (aka “Duffbert”) works as a “regular employee” for a large health insurance company in the Pacific Northwest, and has 20+ years of experience working with and developing applications with collaborative technologies such as Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Notes. He brings a unique perspective to technology, one that focuses on practical hands-on skills for regular business people. Using regular language and a fair amount of humor, he works closely with business customers, translating their needs and ideas into technology solutions, filtering them from the “techno-speak” that often creates barriers between business and IT areas. He enjoys reading and writing about technology (both articles and books), and he’s been known to show up on stage as a speaker for various conferences if the organizers aren’t careful.

  • Sharing a PowerPoint Presentation to a Meeting from PowerPoint

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 23, 2017

    Did you know you share a PowerPoint to a Skype for Business Meeting that is in progress? It’s pretty simple...

  • Show In Groups in your Outlook Inbox

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 20, 2017

    If you have a backlog of email in your inbox, it can be difficult to quickly judge how old things are. You can help fix that by using the Show In Groups feature in your Outlook Inbox view.

  • Creating a PDF file from Word

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 17, 2017

    This is for those old-timers like me who remember when you had to have the expensive version of Adobe to create PDF files (or you'd install free PDF print drivers to get around that). Microsoft has solved that problem, and now you can save a Word document directly to a PDF format.

  • Monitoring Skype for Business Group Chats with Ego Feed

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 16, 2017

    I'm part of four different Group Chats in Skype for Business that are important to my role and function. But a couple of the chats are high traffic and don't often directly pertain to what I'm doing. To keep up on those chats, I rely on the Ego Feed entry. Ego Feed can be set to only show me things that have certain keywords.

  • Changing your Privacy Relationship in Skype for Business

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 13, 2017

    I stumbled across the Privacy Relationship settings in Skype for Business yesterday, and I found some interesting options that I thought I'd share with you today.

  • Dragging and dropping attachments to an Outlook email

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 12, 2017

    Did you know you can drag and drop attachments to and from emails? This is one of those things that I probably knew, but I never use the feature as I'm so used to using menu options.

  • Opening new windows in OneNote

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 11, 2017

    There have been times when I've needed to have two different areas of OneNote open at the same time, and this tip has been a lifesaver in terms of getting everything to display properly.

  • How to create a hyperlink that will open a new pre-populated email

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 03, 2017

    Most of the time when you click on a link in a web page, you go to another web page. But occasionally, the link opens a new email pre-populated with an address (and often a subject line and text in the body of the email). Would you like to know how to make those types of links?

  • Turning off the entry/exit chime in Skype for Business

    Thomas Duff ON Jan 03, 2017

    You know when you're in a Skype for Business meeting, and every time someone enters or exits the call you hear the Skype chime? It's useful when you're getting ready to meet, but it can be distracting once the meeting is underway. Using the information below, you can turn the chime off during a call if you're a presenter.

  • Hiding the "Currently Presenting" bar in Skype for Business

    Thomas Duff ON Dec 16, 2016

    Being able to share my screen during Skype for Business calls is a feature that I couldn't live without in my work life. However, there are times when the Currently Presenting bar at the top of the screen blocks out information that I need to be sharing. Here's how you can hide the Currently Presenting bar, as well as how you can make it reappear again.

  • Paste options in Microsoft Office

    Thomas Duff ON Dec 13, 2016

    Each Microsoft Office program (such as Outlook, Word, Excel, etc., as well as many other non-Microsoft programs) offers a variety of options when you paste content. This tip looks at Keep Source Formatting, Merge Formatting, and Keep Text Only.

  • Editing an email to add your own notes

    Thomas Duff ON Dec 12, 2016

    If you're like me, you have a few emails (or a lot) that are in your Inbox as you're working it like a To Do list. You need all the information that's in a particular email, but you also need to add a couple of notes, details, or attachments to keep everything in one place. You can edit an existing email message without sending it to anyone.

  • Centering text and objects on a page in Word

    Thomas Duff ON Dec 09, 2016

    I'm sure I'm not the only person who has struggled with trying to center information on a page in Word. I've spent too much time trying to add enough line feeds and tabs to get that effect. Had I known about this particular formatting option, my life would have been much easier.

  • Spice up your writing with the Word Thesaurus

    Thomas Duff ON Dec 06, 2016

    There are times when I end up using the same word over and over. I want to find another similar word to keep things readable, but I end up drawing a complete blank. It's at times like that when I really love the Thesaurus feature in Word.

  • Change up your email view columns in Outlook

    Thomas Duff ON Dec 05, 2016

    Most of us use Outlook as it installs "out of the box" when it comes to what we see in our Inbox and other folders. But there's a lot more information that can be displayed, and you can find that information in the View > Add Columns option.