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Archive for the ‘Web Design’ Category

Word 2007 – Filling Up Demo Documents

Posted by workerthread on May 27, 2009


Often when I’m demonstrating things like SharePoint document libraries, I find I need to create a new Word document and quickly fill it with some placeholder text, ideally real text rather than the usual “asdadsadasdasda” that you end up typing otherwise.

For a long time I’ve used a little feature in Microsoft Word, whereby you can type =rand() and hit enter to generate some placeholder paragraphs, or =rand(paragraphs,sentences) to specify a number paragraphs and sentences.  Even though this feature has been around in Word for several versions now, most people still don’t know it exists.  One thing that has changed in Word 2007 is that the generated paragraphs are a little bit of Word 2007 help, like this sample –

On the Insert tab, the galleries include items that are designed to coordinate with the overall look of your document …

In previous versions of Word, using =rand() generated multiple paragraphs of The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog which is a pangram containing all letters of the alphabet.  Well, thanks to this post on the Microsoft Word Team blog I’ve discovered you can still use the “quick brown fox” version – you just have to use =rand.old() instead. 

The Word Team’s post also mentions another function (new to me) which can be used in Word to generate Lorem Ipsum text, using = lorem() – again, quite useful for generating placeholder text in documents, web pages and SharePoint web parts.

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Posted in Office, Training, Web Design | 1 Comment »

Tools for SharePoint UI Layout

Posted by workerthread on May 25, 2009

A while ago I wrote about Balsamiq Mockups and since then I’ve been trying it out on a couple of specification jobs.   On the Balsamiq Mockups to Go site I found this very handy set of pre-built SharePoint elements – so many thanks to Gordon MacLeod of Navantis for that.   Following a quick download of these elements It was possible to create mock-ups like this (click image for a larger view):


So definitely worth considering if you need some quick SharePoint mock-ups for a presentation or proposal.  By the way you can now link Mockups together, also useful when presenting to an audience.

I also just heard about Visio Shapes for SharePoint, basically three different collections of stencils and shapes covering SharePoint UI prototyping, architectural design and conceptual views of your SharePoint implementation.   I haven’t tried this one myself yet but looking at the screenshots on the site you get a very comprehensive set of design elements.  I plan to take a look soon – if anyone reading this has worked with this product please leave a comment and let me know – I’m keen to hear what it’s like.

Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, Web Design | Comments Off on Tools for SharePoint UI Layout

SharePoint Designer 2007 – Now a Free Download

Posted by workerthread on April 2, 2009


So the rumours about SharePoint Designer 2007 being free to download from April have turned into reality, and you can now download a free copy here.  At the bottom of the download page are three videos covering SPD and future directions.  Haven’t watched these yet but could be worth a look.

But don’t forget Peter Parker’s famous quote, which is also true for SPD – With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!

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Posted in Microsoft SharePoint, Office, Web Design | Comments Off on SharePoint Designer 2007 – Now a Free Download