Open Embedded Visio Flowcharts in Word on Mac and Windows

For some reason, on a Mac using Parallels Desktop to run Word and Visio in Windows, I cannot right click on an embedded Visio flowchart to open it in Visio. Usually, when you right click on an embedded Visio chart, you get the “Visio object” option, which includes an option to “edit”. But mine doesn’t have that option!!


However, I figured out that a simple keyboard shortcut can let you open the Visio for editing.

In Word running in Windows, use alt+double click (or option+double click) to open the embedded Visio chart in Visio for editing. When you hold down the alt/option key while double clicking on the embedded flowchart, it will open in Visio. Sweet!

Simple, yet hidden!

Make an Attendee Optional in Outlook for Mac 2016

Surprisingly (or maybe not), I found it hard to figure out how to make a meeting attendee optional in Outlook. It is annoying that Microsoft chose to make the Office for Mac versions different enough from their Windows versions to cause confusion. But, in any case, here is how to make an attendee optional:

When you are creating a new meeting, hit the scheduling button at the top to bring up the schedule view.  The list of attendees will appear on the left. Click on the little arrow beside a person’s name to adjust their status between Required, Optional, or Resource. (I believe Required is default)



Not too difficult, but also not intuitive. Personally I’ve found Outlook so hard to deal with that I’ve switched to Mail, but I have found it not ideal either, and I with Calendar was integrated with Mail, as its annoying to switch between apps. If anyone has a wonderful email/calendar solution on Mac, please let me know!

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Make Hidden Apps Translucent in Mac Dock

I had no idea that you can make your dock icons transparent when you hide an app. In fact, I didn’t even know you can ‘hide’ apps….I always just either used ‘alt+tab’ to switch between apps, or minimized them.  So I learned something!

To make your hidden app icons turn translucent in the Dock, all it takes is a simple Terminal command:

defaults write showhidden -bool YES

Then, you need to restart the Dock, which you can do using

killall Dock

To reverse this setting, simple run “No” instead of yes

defaults write showhidden -bool NO

Oh, and also the keyboard shortcut for hiding an app is “cmd+H”

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Sync Notebooks on OneNote Mac

I annoyingly had a OneNote notebook I used at work on a PC, but I couldn’t get it to sync into OneNote on my Mac.

Here’s the secret – it won’t automagically appear, you have to manually open the notebook.

Click on the plus sign in the Notebook dropdown.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 7.16.47 AM

In the popup window that opens, click “Open”, then select OneDrive or wherever your Notebook is synced, and then choose the Notebook you want to open.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 7.19.04 AM

That’s it! Kind of weird why Microsoft would not just make all Notebooks sync automagically, but well, its Microsoft.