Office and productivity

Excel 2013: Create Professional-Looking Spreadsheets, Faster

posted  Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:15  
Ginny Mies
Written on: 
March 12, 2013

Whether you're a novice or an advanced user, you'll find many of Excel 2013's new features useful at your nonprofit, foundation, charity, or library. The changes between Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 are subtle, so your staff should have no problem transitioning into the new version. Most of Excel 2013's updates are designed to make crunching numbers and analyzing data faster and easier.

Eligible nonprofits, charities, foundations, and libraries can now request Office Standard and Professional editions through the Microsoft Software Donation Program at TechSoup. To learn more about the new Office, read TechSoup's Microsoft Office: What Your Organization Should Know.

Updated Look

Like the rest of the new Office suite, Excel 2013 has undergone a light, minimalist makeover. With less clutter, it is easier to find the menus and tools you need to get started on your projects. If you're working in a spreadsheet for a long period of time, your eyes can sometimes get fatigued from looking at endless columns of data. Excel relieves this with subtle animations that make it easier to track your cursor between cells.

When you start up Excel, you'll see a new landing page with your most recently opened projects as well as a variety of templates to choose from (you'll find similar landing pages in other programs in the new Office). If you aren't sure how to format a fundraiser budget or where to start to make a volunteer calendar, Excel's expansive library of templates can get you started on the right track.

Built to Help You Save Time

Flash Fill is a handy new feature that can help you reformat and rearrange your data. Excel will learn and remember your data entry patterns and auto-complete the remaining data with no formulas or macros required. One way Flash Fill can be of assistance is if you have to import a large chunk of data into another spreadsheet.

Flash Fill can predict your data entry — before you type it.

For example, say you need to copy and paste volunteer names into a spreadsheet from a list. You prefer to have the last name and first name in separate cells, however, so you can list the volunteers alphabetically. When you start typing the last names into a separate column, Excel will recognize this pattern and automatically fill in the rest of the data. To see Flash Fill in action, watch a replay of our webinar Take a Tour of the New Microsoft Office, which includes a demo of this feature.

Visualize Your Data

A number of new, useful tools will appeal to Excel novices and advanced users alike. The new Quick Analysis function helps you convert your data into a chart, table, or Sparklines (small graphs that you can show alongside your data. See our article on How to Use Sparklines in Excel 2010 to see examples.) To do this, you select the cells you wish to analyze and click the Quick Analysis button that appears to the bottom right. You can preview different visual formats for your data (like a pie chart, bar graph, and so on) so you can swiftly choose the best format.


Excel's Recommend Chart feature helps you pick the best format for your data.

If you already know that you want a chart to illustrate your data, you can jump to the Recommended Charts tool by selecting it from the Insert tab on the Ribbon (click Insert > Recommended Charts). You'll see different charting options that might work for your project, such as pie, line, and bar charts.

A small, but useful enhancement in Excel 2013 is chart animation. When you adjust data associated with a chart, Excel will animate the change to show how the new numbers affect the overall graphic.

The Recommended Chart feature can help you discover new ways of visually presenting your data.

Recommended PivotTable is another new feature you'll find under the Insert tab. The PivotTable feature lets you create an interactive table that automatically extracts, organizes, and summarizes your data (for more on Pivot Tables in Excel 2010, read TechSoup Canada's Data Analysis Is for Everyone! A Short Intro to Pivot Tables). When you select a group of cells, you can see a preview of how your data would look in a variety of tables using different pivots.

Sharing and Collaboration

As with the rest of the new Office suite, it is easier to share and collaborate in Excel with your colleagues. Your workbooks are saved to SkyDrive (Microsoft's cloud-based storage service) or SharePoint by default. SkyDrive will even save your place in a spreadsheet so when you come back it, you'll be in the cell you were previously working on — even if you're accessing it from a different device. You can also save workbooks to your computer if you prefer to save files locally. Want to share a particularly interesting chart or graph with your audience? Excel 2013 lets you share selected portions of your spreadsheets on your social networking pages directly from the application.

You can also show off your charts in a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint 2013 lets you insert Excel charts (as well as tables and graphs) into a slide without losing any of their formatting or functionality.


The new features in Excel 2013 can help anybody create professional-looking charts, spreadsheets, and tables — regardless of their skill level. If your staff is already comfortable working in earlier versions of Excel, they should have no trouble getting started. 

Just In: Donated Licenses of Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits!

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 25/09/2012 - 11:03  

Increase productivity, reduce costs, and simplify your NGO’s IT management with Microsoft Office 365. Available through Microsoft to qualifying organizations, Office 365 provides you and your staff with web-based access to Office applications and your documents from anywhere. Visit Microsoft Website for details Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits

Office 2016 is here!

Thu, 01/10/2015 - 09:54 - Anonymous

What's New in Office for Windows

Simplified sharing: Quickly and easily invite others to review or edit your document using the new Share button located on the Ribbon in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel doc.  With better integration in Office 2016, you can get more information and have more interactivity while working within documents.  Integration with Skype for Business incorporates instant messaging or live calls.


Real-time typing in Word: You can see where others are working and what they are typing as they type it in the Word desktop application. Just save a document to OneDrive for Business and invite your colleagues to join you in a simultaneous authoring session.



 Data analysis in Excel: New analysis capabilities are built into Excel, including one-click forecasting, so you can pull, map, analyze and visualize your data faster.



 Insights: Powered by Bing, this feature brings you contextual information from the web right into your Office experience when using Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint


 Data loss protection: IT admins can centrally create, manage, and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. End users will see policy tips or sharing restrictions when the apps detect a potential policy violation.


Are You Ready for Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits?

BigTech Software Donations
Written on: 
September 11, 2013

Find out if your organization can benefit from moving to Office in the cloud  

Is your staff spread across several locations? Do you have a limited budget for IT support like installations and upgrades? Are your staff and volunteers requesting to work from personal devices, such as their smartphones or tablets? Your nonprofit or charity might be ready to migrate to the cloud. But you might also have some trepidation about going completely online, especially if you're working with sensitive information. Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits allows you to have both: the full capabilities and secure environment of installed software with the collaborative, anywhere availability of the cloud.

Eligible nonprofits and charities can now receive donated and newly discounted versions of Office 365 tailored especially toward nonprofits. And because nonprofits come in different sizes and have diverse technology needs, there are four plans to choose from. 

Benefits of Office 365

Office 365 deepens the word processing, data analysis, communication, and productivity features of Office that your staff is already familiar with. Here are some of its key benefits: 

• Office Web Apps. You're on your way home from the office and realize that you forgot to update an important document. What do you do? With Office Web Apps, you can open, view, and edit documents right from your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on your home computer. Your staff can use Office Web Apps on their own devices, giving them the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they need to.

 Hosted email. With Microsoft Exchange Online, you can access your email, shared calendars, and contacts from your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet without having to set up a VPN or remote access to your office. Office 365 provides each user with 25 GB of mailbox storage with attachments of up to 25 MB each.

• Document sharing. Easily share documents with your colleagues with SharePoint Online, which is like an online document repository in the cloud. You can even edit documents simultaneously with others, saving you precious time.

• High-definition collaboration. Microsoft Lync Online is an all-in-one tool for video calls, web conferencing, instant messaging, and voice calls. With high-definition (HD) video conferencing, you can meet and collaborate with out-of-office staff and volunteers. Lync Online includes a real-time note-taking feature so you can keep track of ideas and notes from your meetings.  

• Security and privacy. Along with built-in spam and malware protection for email, Office 365 also lets you add security to mobile devices. Your IT staff can manage and customize your organization's security options in a single console (a web-based admin center).  If your organization deals with sensitive information, your data will be protected in the cloud. Office 365 is compliant with industry standards including HIPAA, FISMA, BAA, and others.

• Support 24/7. Don't have on-call IT staff? Office 365 provides 24/7 professional-level support for issues ranging from critical to mild (depending on the plan your organization has). 

Choosing the Right Plan

Nonprofits and charities vary in staffing and technical needs, so there isn't a "one-size-fits-all" Office 365 plan. There are two free donated plans: 

• Office 365 Small Business for Nonprofits

• Office 365 Enterprise E1 for Nonprofits 

The free donated plans do not include the full installed version of Office (which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). To supplement these free Office 365 plans, you can request the latest version of Office through TechSoup. 

Eligible organizations can also upgrade to the discounted paid plans, which offer the desktop Office apps. With these plans, your staff can use Office apps on up to five devices per user. 

The Small Business plans are designed for smaller nonprofits with 1-10 users and no on-site IT staff. The Small Business Premium actually has a limit of 25 users. The Enterprise versions, on the other hand, are designed for organizations of all sizes that are running a server-client network, like Windows Server.

 Migration and Maintenance

Office 365 is designed to make IT tasks as simple as possible so you can focus on your organization's mission. For nonprofits without IT staff, the Office 365 admin portal lets accidental techies configure settings and customize services according to their staff's needs. Visit for detailed Office 365 migration support. 

How to Get Office 365

To find out if your organization is eligible to receive donated and discounted versions of Office 365, visit the Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits site.

Nonprofit and non-governmental organizations must be recognized as charitable organizations in their respective countries in order to be eligible for Microsoft Nonprofit Programs. Eligible organizations will operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit the local community that could include, but is not limited to

• Providing relief to the poor

• Advancing education

• Improving social welfare

• Preserving culture

• Preserving or restoring the environment

• Promoting human rights

• Establishment of civil society 

Just In:- Donated Licenses of Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits!

Written on: 
September 10, 2013

Increase productivity, reduce costs, and simplify your NGO’s IT management with Microsoft Office 365. Available through Microsoft to qualifying organizations, Office 365 provides you and your staff with web-based access to Office applications and your documents from anywhere. Visit Microsoft website for details 



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