Monthly Archive for May, 2015

Microsoft Visio Tips: Stacking Order

Visio is used to create Flowcharts, Organisational charts and floorplans. This means there may be lots of different shapes on the screen at one time.


In Visio, shapes can be places one on top of the other on a drawing page. The order in which shapes are place one over the other is the stacking order. A selected shape can be sent to the top or bottom of the stacking order, or moved one place forward or backward in the stack.


Stacking order 1


To change the stacking order of a image you can do the following:


On the Home tab, in the Arrange group there is a Send Backward and Bring Forward button like in the picture below.

Stacking order 2



Or you can right click an image and choose the same options like in the image below.


Stacking order 3


This can be done in Microsoft Visio 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Microsoft Outlook Tips: Auto-Replies

With how busy people are getting in the working day, sometimes it’s just too hard to reply to an email. Microsoft Outlook 07/10/13 gives you the opportunity to send an automatic reply if certain “rules” are met.


The first way to do this is by using the built in “Out of Office” feature. This only works when you are connected to a Microsoft Exchange Server account. To set up your Out of Office Feature you must do the following:


  1. Click File > Automatic Replies.


If you don’t see this command, you probably don’t have an Exchange Server account.


  1. Select Send automatic replies.


  1. If you want, select the Only send during this time range check box to schedule when your out of office replies are active. If you don’t specify a start and end time, auto-replies are sent until you select the Do not send automatic replies check box.


  1. On the Inside My Organization tab, type the response that you want to send to teammates or colleagues while you are out of the office.


  1. On the Outside My Organization tab, select the Auto-reply to people outside my organization check box, and then type the response that you want to send while you are out of the office. Select whether you want replies sent to My contacts only or to Anyone outside my organization who sends you messages.



You may not be using an Exchange server account for Outlook and if this is the case the above steps will not work. The steps below are how to create an Automatic reply using rules for (formerly Hotmail), POP3 and IMAP email address.



Firstly you need to create an email template.


  1. Click Home > New Email.

Auto-Replies 1


  1. In the message body, type the message that you want to send as your automated reply.


  1. In the message window, click File > Save As.


  1. In the Save As dialog box, in the Save as type list, click Outlook Template.


  1. In the File name box, type a name for your message template, and then click Save.



Now, create a rule to automatically reply to new email messages.


  1. Click Home > Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts.


  1. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, click New Rule.


  1. Under Start from a blank rule, click Apply rules on messages I receive, and then click Next.


  1. Under Which condition(s) do you want to check?, check any criteria that you want, and then click Next. Typically, you don’t need to check any items.


  1. Under What do you want to do with the message?, check reply using a specific template.


  1. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description (click an underlined value), click a specific template.


  1. In the Select a Reply Template dialog box, in the Look In box, click User Templates in File System.


  1. Select the template that you created in the previous section or one that you have created or downloaded, and then click Open.


  1. Click Next.


  1. Check any exceptions to the auto-reply rule. It’s common not to add any exceptions.


  1. Click Next.


  1. Under Step 1: Specify a name for this rule, type a name for the auto-reply rule, and then click Finish.


Microsoft Word Tips: Saving a Document in a Different Version


If you have an older version of Microsoft e.g. 2003 and you get sent a document from a newer version i.e. 2007 you won’t be able to open the file. If you don’t want this to happen there are two things that you can do.Microsoft Word 2007 Save As



  1. You can Upgrade to the newer version if you wish
  2. Or you can ask the sender to Save It In a Older Version and then send it back



If you want them to resend the document back to you in the 2003 version here’s how they can do it



  1. Click on the Office Button then go down to Save As
  2. Move your mouse onto the arrow next to Save As
  3. Choose the same version that you need (Word 97-2003 Document)
  4. Then click on Save



The sender can then send it to you in the format you can read.


Visit our Microsoft Word Tips page for more useful Tips 🙂

Three Tips for Truly Top Managers

Welcome Mat to Forest for ManagersEvery employee has an important part to play in a business. But there’s no doubt that a company’s success still very much depends on the people at the top. The number of people entering managerial roles has increased significantly, with managers taking on a growing range of responsibilities. But while managers think about keeping their team’s skills up to date, do they recognise how management training could benefit them? After all, managing people is a complex task, only slightly less demanding than herding cats. So here are three top tips for happier managers, more motivated staff and a healthier business.


Tip one: Engage your ears.


What makes your employees turn up to work every day? No, it’s not simply boredom or the need to pay the bills. Every one of us has individual motivations, interests and values. And these lie behind your employees’ choice to work at your company and not the place down the road.


Find out what interests your people and you’ll find fresh ways to boost their performance. You don’t need any special equipment. Just your ears. They can be very powerful tools when used properly, for example to find out what people actually think about their jobs. This is valuable information – so act on it. Identify ways to support your employees’ interests, for example sports-mad staff might jump at the chance of a company footie team with time out to train. What about listening out for changes to an employee’s family situation and recognising how a little more flexibility could make a huge difference to their busy day? Acknowledge what’s important to your staff and they’ll reward you with even more commitment.



Tip two: Lead the way – but don’t shoulder the weight.


Ever heard of the conductor who played all the instruments himself? Well that’s how crazy it is to be a manager and try to do everything yourself! You’re there to lead, whether that’s an orchestra, an assembly line or a department. You need to match your talent at what you do with a gift for delegation. This will help you manage your time better, improve your organisation’s performance and win the commitment of your staff.



Tip three: Put down the welcome mat


Ok, a ‘welcome’ mat on the floor outside your office isn’t actually necessary, but you’d be amazed at the impact of a friendly ’open door’ approach to your staff. When you’re busy conducting that orchestra, it’s all too easy to see visits from employees as a distraction. And that’s when communication breaks down. Regularly remind people that you’re happy to hear about any questions or concerns they might have. See these issues as a great opportunity to show your team how much you want your company to be a good place to work. Do that and your staff will help make your organisation even more successful.



Learn more great management secrets on our course What Good Managers Do: the First 100 days.