Showing posts with label MicrosoftOutlook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MicrosoftOutlook. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Head Shrinking in Outlook... (As in using the new Outlook 2013 SP1 Compact Header Display...)

Office Blogs - Compact message header in Outlook 2013

We are excited to announce that we’ve taken all the feedback we’ve received and used it to design a compact version of the email message header in Outlook 2013. The new message header gives you control over the header information you see, so that you can concentrate on what matters most: the content of the message. We really like it, and we think you will too.

Expanded or collapsed? You decide.

We’ve made it incredibly simple. You can decide which view of the message header you like. Do you want to show the traditional header? Or do you want to focus on message content and get rid of excess chrome? You can switch between displays with just a click.


  • Is that all it does? ...
  • Sometimes my reading pane is really, narrow. What happens then? ...
  • How do I see all the To and Cc information? ...
  • Continue to stay connected with the people that matter most. ...


Q. When will compact message header in Outlook 2013 be available?

A. Compact message header in Outlook 2013 is available as part of last month’s updates for Office 365 subscribers as well as Office 2013 Service Pack 1.

This is another of those things you might not ever see unless your shown or told about it. I have a Mostly love-Little Hate relationship with Outlook 2013, but while this doesn't tip the balance either way, it is kind of cool, especially on my 13" notebook display where every pixel counts.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Third Party Office Library or OpenXML?

CodePlex - Aspose for OpenXML

The Open XML SDK for Office simplifies the task of manipulating Open XML packages and the underlying Open XML schema elements within a package. The classes in the Open XML SDK encapsulate many common tasks that developers perform on Open XML packages, so that you can perform complex operations with lines of code.

Using the classes in the Open XML SDK 2.5 is simple. When you have installed the Open XML SDK 2.5, open your existing project or application in Visual Studio, or create a new project or application. Then, in your project or application, add references to the following components:

  • DocumentFormat.OpenXml
  • WindowsBase
To add a reference in a Microsoft Visual Studio project
  • In Solution Explorer, right-click References and then click Add Reference. If the References node is not visible, click Project and then click Show All Files.
  • In the Add Reference dialog box, click .NET.
  • In the Component Name column, select the components (scroll if you need to), and then click OK.

This project covers the following topics:

What is the use of Aspose .NET Products?

Aspose are file format experts and provide APIs and components for various file formats including MS Office, OpenOffice, PDF and Image formats. These APIs are available on a number of development platforms including .NET frameworks – the .NET frameworks starting from version 2.0 are supported. If you are a .NET developer, you can use Aspose’s native .NET APIs in your .NET applications to process various file formats in just a few lines of codes. All the Aspose APIs don’t have any dependency over any other engine. For example, you don’t need to have MS Office installed on the server to process MS Office files. Below is a list of products we support for .NET developers:


I've mentioned OpenXML in the past and that it's cool that you can use it to get all the deep deep data in Office *x files? Then you've also heard me say what a pain it can be if you're used to a more traditional Office Object Model. It's a completely different way of thinking about your documents... And doing that hurts my brain. So I go out of my way to find libraries that make it easier. One such, that we've bought in my day job, is Aspose. If you've read any MS dev mag, you've seen the ads for them.

I ran across this and sure, it's sales-ware, still it's useful to OpenXML dev's does a good job of showing the differences between the two approaches...

OpenXML SDK Word Processing Code Snippets - Create a word processing document


IMHO, if you can, use a third party library, free or commercial. OpenXML might get the job done and it is free, but the time you spend on it isn't (And remember, friends don't let friend Office interop!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Office/Exchange File Format,Specification and Protocol Documentation refreshed

Microsoft Office File Formats Documentation

The Microsoft Office file formats documentation provides detailed technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary file formats.

The documentation includes a set of companion overview and reference documents that supplement the technical specifications with conceptual background, overviews of file format relationships and interactions, and technical reference information.

Date Published:



File name:
File size:

70.8 MB


137 KB


356 KB


419 KB


19.1 MB


485 KB


139 KB


840 KB


23.3 MB


1.6 MB


2.8 MB


766 KB


5.9 MB


1.4 MB


5.9 MB


3.1 MB


3.5 MB


6.3 MB


2.9 MB


1.1 MB


23.3 MB


5.7 MB


599 KB


3.8 MB


41.5 MB


41.1 MB

Microsoft Office Protocol Documentation

The Office protocol documentation provides detailed technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary protocols (including extensions to industry-standard or other published protocols) that are implemented and used in Microsoft Office client programs to interoperate or communicate with Microsoft products.

The documentation includes a set of companion overview and reference documents that supplement the technical specifications with conceptual background, overviews of inter-protocol relationships and interactions, and technical reference information.

Date Published:



File name:
File size:

59.4 MB


147 KB


2.5 MB


916 KB


1,009 KB

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Standards Support

This documentation provides detailed support information for the Open Document Format (ODF) and Open XML (ECMA-376 and ISO/IEC-29500) file formats implemented in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Date Published:



File name:
File size:

38.8 MB


140 KB


11.1 MB


3.3 MB


2.4 MB

Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook Standards Documentation

The Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook standards documentation describes how Exchange and Outlook support industry messaging standards and Requests for Comments (RFCs) documents about iCalendar, Internet Message Access Protocol – Version 4 (IMAP4), and Post Office Protocol – Version 3 (POP3).


Date Published:



File name:
File size:

4.0 MB


143 KB


668 KB


710 KB


2.3 MB

That's some lite reading for the coming holidays... :)


Related Past Post XRef:
Microsoft Format and Specification Documentation 0712 Refresh (Think Office 2013 CP update). Oh and some SharePoint Doc's too
Microsoft Format and Specification Documentation Refresh ("Significantly changed technical content") [Updated: Includes updates for Office 15 Technical Preview ]
Microsoft Office File Formats and Microsoft Office Protocols Documentation Refreshed
Microsoft Office File Formats and Protocols documentation updated for Office 2010 (Think “Now with added ‘X’ flavor… DocX, PptX, XlsX, etc”)

Microsoft Open Specifications Poster

XAML Language Specification (as in the in the full XAML, WPF and Silverlight XAML Specs)

"Microsoft SQL Server Data Portability Documentation"

MS-PST file format specification released. Yep, the full and complete specification for Outlook PST’s is now just a download away.
Microsoft Office (DOC, XLS, PPT) Binary File Format Specifications Released – We’re talking the full technical specification… (The [MS-DOC].pdf alone is 553 pages of very dense specification information)
DOC, XLS and PPT Binary File Format Specifications Released (plus WMF, Windows Compound File [aka OLE 2.0 Structured Storage] and Ink Serialized Format Specifications and Translator to XML news)

Pst... Storing PST's on a network share? Still a no-no...

Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links

This article contains guidance on the limitations of using of personal folders (.pst) files over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) link. Note that .pst files are not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment.


The Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0 team created .pst files in order to let users maintain a copy of their messages on their local computers. The .pst files also serve as a message store for users who do not have access to a Microsoft Exchange Server computer (for example, POP3 or IMAP email users). 

However, .pst files are not intended as an enterprise network solution. Although it is possible to specify a network directory or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path as a storage location for a .pst file, network usage is not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment. 

A .pst file is a file-access-driven method of message storage. File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file.
This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN and LAN links use network-access-driven methods. These are commands that the operating system provides to send data to, or receive from, another networked computer. If there is a remote .pst file (over a network link), Outlook tries to use the file commands to read from the file or write to the file. However, the operating system must then send those commands over the network because the file is not located on the local computer. This creates lots of overhead and increases the time that is required to read and write to the file. Additionally, the use of a .pst file over a network connection may result in a corrupted .pst file if the connection degrades or fails.

For more information about issues that you may experience with network storage devices or with servers that host shares, visit the following Microsoft website:

Other behaviors of .pst files over WAN and LAN links

  • All operations take longer.
  • Write operations can take approximately four times longer than read operations.
  • Outlook has slower performance than the Exchange Client.

Because of these behaviors, Offline Folders (.ost) files and Personal Address Book (.pab) files on a network share that are accessed remotely are also unsupported configurations.


What to consider when you store .pst files

When you store .pst files, shares may stop responding. This behavior may cause several client-side problems, such as causing Outlook to stop responding or freezing desktops on client computers. Queuing in the Server service work queues is what causes this temporary condition. The Server service uses work items, such as a request to extend a .pst file, to handle I/O requests that come in over the network. These work items are queued in the Server service work queues. From there, they are handled by the Server service worker threads. The work items are allocated from a kernel resource that is called the nonpaged pool (NPP). The Server service sends these I/O requests to the disk subsystem. If, for reasons that are mentioned earlier, the disk subsystem does not respond in time, the incoming I/O requests are queued by using work items in the server work queues. Because these work items are allocated from the NPP, this resource eventually runs out. Running out of NPP causes systems to eventually stop responding and to log event ID 2019.

If you troubleshoot this issue, you can usually find evidence of a problem in Poolmon and Perfmon captures. For example, you may see the LSwn pool tag allocation climb in a Poolmon trace. These allocations are made by the Srv.sys program. The size of the allocation is configurable by using the SizReqBuf registry value. One allocation is made for each work item that is used by the Server service. When you use Perfmon to troubleshoot this issue, you see a steady decrease in the "Available Work Items" counter. If "Available Work Items" reaches zero, clients may be unable to access files. You may also experience event ID 2019 errors if the problem is LSwn allocations (NPP depletion). Another tag that indicates .pst file issues is the MmSt tag. This tag represents the Mm section object prototype PTEs, a memory management-related structure that is used for mapped files. (This is the pool tag that is used to map the operating system memory that is used to track shared files.) MmSt issues frequently manifest as paged pool depletion (Event ID 2020).


That said, there is ONE scenario that is supported;

Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010 hosted remotely by using Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) configuration

Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010 functionality is supported when networked .pst or .ost files are used under the following conditions: 
  • A high bandwidth/low latency network connection is used.
  • There is single client access per file (one Outlook client per .pst or .ost).
  • Either Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) or Windows Server 2008 R2 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is used to run Outlook remotely.


In general, network share hosting of PST's is "bad" and the long you have them open, the more likely your going to jack them up. Also the impact on your file servers is pretty killer... BTW, this isn't new, there's guidance going back a decade that this is "bad."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Working Office Remote (No that kind of remote...). The new Windows Phone app and Office Add-in that lets you remote control PowerPoint/Word/Excel

Office News - Introducing Office Remote

Today we're excited to announce Office Remote, a new app from Microsoft Research that turns your Windows Phone 8 into a smart remote allowing you to interact with Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365 documents on your PC. The app gives you the ability to control Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from across the room, so you can walk around freely during presentations.  To learn more about how the Office Remote app came to be, go to the Inside Microsoft Research Blog and then check out the Windows Phone Store to download and give Office Remote a try!

Inside Microsoft Research - Advance Your Presentation with Your Phone


Making a business presentation can be daunting. Interaction with the audience might require you to change the flow of your presentation by jumping to a different section in your PowerPoint presentation. Or you might want to show supporting evidence in an Excel or Word document. Either you’ve faced these challenges or you’ve seen somebody else address them, but you know the drill.

With Office Remote, a collaboration between Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Office engineering team, you can manage such modern presentation flows from the palm of your hand.


This all can be yours, starting Nov. 18, when the app becomes available for download from the Windows Phone Store. All you need is a Windows Phone 8 device, Office 2013 (all versions except Office 2013 RT), a Bluetooth-enabled PC, and the installation of a desktop add-in for Office Remote on your PC, available on the download site. Once thus equipped, all you need for a flawless presentation is to open the Office document you want to project, pick up your phone, and begin your pitch.


Indeed, the app, operated via convenient, touch-based control, takes full advantage of existing projectors, large-screen televisions, and Lync-meeting connections. Your Windows devices talk to each other to make things easier for you. As a result, you can show what you want when you want.
In addition, these intelligently connected devices enable you to present one experience on your PC while simultaneously controlling what you’re presenting from your phone.
Van Hoof mentioned the highlights of the Office Remote capabilities above, but those are not the only scenarios the app enables. Consider:

  • PowerPoint: Large, easily accessible buttons on the phone enable you to start a presentation, advance slides forward or backward, view thumbnails and jump to a particular slide, access speaker cues while viewing the presentation time and the progress of slides, and deliver accurate, non-shaky direction with the on-screen laser pointer.
  • Excel: Simple gestures enable jumping not just between spreadsheets and graphs, but also among any named objects. Spreadsheets can be changed with a mere finger swipe, and navigation is available through rows or columns. In addition, you can use PivotTables or filters and change zoom levels, all with an Office Remote-equipped phone.
  • Word: Zoom control is available in this application, as well, and Word docs can be scrolled by screen or by line.

The research component of this project, by Edge and John Ransier, technical program manager, enables deeper understanding of real-world presentation practices. Such work fits squarely into Edge’s research vision.


Office Remote represents just the first deep exploration in the productivity space into the realm of what Bill Buxton of Microsoft Research refers to as a “diverse society of devices,” where you use not only the right device for the task at hand, but, potentially, also use multiple devices together to make it easier to achieve your goals.
With the app ready for download, now it’s your turn to refine the process. Users can provide feedback on the website, which also includes a forum to provide answers to users’ questions. Let your voice be heard, and help make the presentation process better than ever.

For me, this just worked. It was pretty awesome paging through my deck via my phone. And seeing being able to see my slide thumbnails on the phone too was cool. This might become the cool dude presentation tool...

Now, I want to see an easy for guys like me toolkit to help us build this kind of functionality into my Desktop and Modern apps.