Monthly Archives: June 2010

MS Office 2010 vs MS Office 2007

Microsoft is leaving no stone unturned to promote its new Office suite. Recently Microsoft announced a “technology guarantee” program that read “Sell Office 2007 today and your customer can download Office 2010 free”. The customers purchasing and activating Office Home and Student 2007, Office Standard 2007, Office Small Business 2007 and Microsoft Publisher 2007 between March 5 and September 30, 2010 will be eligible for free upgrade to a comparable version of Office 2010. However, before moving to an upgraded Microsoft Office version you would always look for advantages of installing it over the previous version. Microsoft ensures that those looking to go for an upgraded version of Office 2007 have enough reasons to support . We draw a comparison to elucidate how MS Office 2007 better’s Office 2010.

Updated Ribbon

Office 2007 made headlines with innovative ribbon menu system Office 2010 takes it to the next level with a more intuitive ribbon. It provides a new home menu system. Instead of opening up a dropdown the entire window changes color and provides the save, open, close preview and other options. The enhanced Ribbon across Office 2010 applications allows users to access commands quickly and customize tabs to personalize the experience in your working style.

The home menu system offers detailed information on modifications, authors, file size, and permission. The new print and print preview menu that definitely changes the layout most PC users are used to. The new menu by simply cleaner than that of Office 2007.

Better multimedia Editing

The clear that Microsoft upped the multimedia editing options form the last iteration. Image editing has been improved in office 2010. There are new tools for screen capture in Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010. You can even remove the backgrounds with the new Office. Now Microsoft PowerPoint has in-video editing. You might even remove backgrounds with the new Office. All this implies you can do so much more without even using Photoshop.

This features takes Office 14 to a new level. Suppose you wanna trim some parts of a video clip before presentation or you might be looking to apply professional styles to a video like reflection coupled with 3D rotation. PowerPoint 2010 now includes some powerful video editing features.

Broadcast Slideshows within PowerPoint

This is one of the most exciting new features of PowerPoint 2010. Now you can deliver live PowerPoint presentations over the web and anyone sitting in any part of the world can get connected to the web browser.
Distribute the slides as video

In PowerPoint 2010 you can convert your presentation into a video file that can be uploaded on YouTube or distributed on a portable media player such as the iPod. Moreover, the video conversion runs in the background that allows you to use PowerPoint while creating the video.

More visually enhancing

Office 2010 comes with an array of design options to help you generate better ideas. It includes new and improved picture formatting tools such as color saturation and artistic effects that allow you transform your document visuals into a work of art. Office 2010 offers new SmartArt® graphic layouts and a wide range of new pre-built Office themes to create fantabulous designs in Word.

Real time collaboration and communication

Not just the web version, the desktop version of Office 14 also sports a real time buddy list of sorts that shows what individuals are currently editing within a document. Now you can see who is online and who is working on what. This is a great revamp when compared to Office 2010.

Stronger Security Settings

Office 2010 improves upon Office 2007 with respect to author settings, restricted editing and protect mode. This stops you from accidentally editing a file you download until it is enabled.

Embed Web Videos in the Presentation

Office 2010 provides a significant advantage over Office 2007 by allowing users to embed video clips from the Internet into PowerPoint presentation. Now users can just copy and embed code from YouTube or any other video sharing site. The video can be pasted anywhere on a slide.

Quick Steps in Outlook

Microsoft Outlook includes a new Quick Steps feature in the Outlook. With Quick Steps you can create a sequence of commands and apply them to the Outlook item with just a click. For an example, you can use quick step for Send and Delete that will delete the email from your inbox after replying.
Now users can compress the long e-mail threads into a few conversations that can be categorized, filed, ignored, or cleaned up.

Built-in PDF Writer

The Office 2010 programs include a built-in PDF writer that helps you to save documents into PDF format with a click. In 2007 you had to use add-on separately but now you will have native PDF support.

Simpler Document Printing

Microsoft Word 2010 has completely revamped the print dialog. Take an instance, you can tweak printer settings like margins and preview the changes side-by-side.

Creating better data insights and visuals

Excel 2010 introduces a Sparkline feature that tracks and highlights important trends with new data analysis and visualization. The Sparklines feature allows clear and compact visual representation of data with small charts within worksheet cells. Filter and segment into PivotTable data in multiple layers using Slicers to spend more time analyzing and less time formatting.


Export MS Access Database To MySQL Database

Here are few tips (with undocumented features) to help you export huge MS Access database (production database with real data) to MySQL.

Use mdbtools utilities as described below:

mdb-tables displays the list of tables in MS Access

mdb-scheme export the MS Access schema to MySQL database. The documentation doesn’t mention that MySQL is supported. You should use the following command:

mdb-schema [-S] database mysql

You may need to replace column names if they collide with MySQL reserved keywords. few column names like GROUP, PRIMARY & CROSS.

The schema created contains drop tables. You can use grep -v to exclude them. Additionally you should add drop database followed by create database commands at the very top of the file when you are importing to a new database. This is essential because you may have to go through multiple passes. Having drop table when a table is not there creates problem as also not having them creates problem when the table has already been loaded. So I remove the drop tables and instead drop and re-create the database for each run by the process described above.

mdb-export exports MS Access tables to CSV format. What is not emphasized is that you can directly create INSERT statements instead of a CSV file. Converting it directly to SQL INSERT statements is very helpful, especially for converting data types. Use it like shown in the sample:

mdb-export -I -R’;\n’ MSAccessDatabase.mdb Table > Table.sql

Note: Replace MSAccessDatabase.mdb with the full path of your MS Access Database, Table is Table name. You can save the output in any file, I just chose Tablename.sql for convenience.

The -R’;\n’ ensures that each SQL INSERT is followed by a semicolon and then a new line.

You may need to modify this to substitute column names, if you have previously changed them while importing the schema to prevent conflict with reserved MySQL keywords.

Pre-launch Checklist Before Make Your Site Live

Sometimes we the developers, up our site live and face some problems. this is very often happen when deadline comes nearer. if we maintain a pre-launch checklist before make our site live then we may not face such problems like:

1. Error Management: check whether your site has a 404 not found page that includes links to functional pages. this may happen when you port an existing site to some major changes. so include some pages links to this page so that user can easily find the working page.

2. Valid Markup: check whether every page validate as XHTML or at least HTML. otherwise you may find several problems in different browsers and may be a real mess if you browse from mobile phone.

3. Basic Browser Test: check your site’s pages in many browser as you can. specially FF3, IE6, IE7, IE8, Safari, Google Chrome.

4. Minimal Semantic: Check whether every page has unique and relevant title, meta description and meta keywords. without this your search engine rank will suffer.

5. Control Search Engine Indexing: Check if you created a robot.txt in your webroot or not. it’s better for search engine crawler.

6. Favicon: Check whether your site have a favicon file or not. if you omit the favicon icon then each visitor to your site will add an additional 404 ’favicon.ico’ not found error message to your log files.

7. Minify JS and CSS files: Minification is the act of stripping out whitespace and comments as well as implementing other space saving techniques such as consolidating CSS statements and refactoring JavaScript variables to minimize size.

8. Consolidate JavaScript and CSS: Try to avoid inline javascript and css code.

9. Search Submission: Create a valid XML sitemap and submit your site for search engine indexing.

10. Compress Throughput: Enable gzip compression on your web server, it will greatly improve your network throughput at the cost of a negligible amount of CPU overhead. You can also make it happen using php code at top of the page.

11. Domain Distribution: Keep your external files accessed by your site like images, js, css distributed over several domains. Many browsers, by default, will not make more than two simultaneous connections to a single domain. But it will make many connections to different domains simultaneously. You can use sub-domains but it will cost a slight delay as each domain needs to be resolved before any requests can be sent to it.

12. Common URL Checks: Check if the passwords or back-end source code be accessed by simply navigating to a URL? Some common examples to check are:

Importance of Sitemaps

Presence of a sitemap will help index your web pages faster, and rank them better. With a sitemap, you needn’t submit each of your individual pages to search engines separately. In this article we will see the importance of sitemaps, and how you can add a sitemap to a blog.

Normally, Google bots crawl and index all pages on a website automatically. However, these bots can always miss some pages. The missed pages are usually standalone, without incoming links from other pages. You can find out which of your pages are actually indexed by Google with this search query: “site:the URL” (please notice there is no space next to the colon). This query will list all the pages indexed within the URL.

Importance of Sitemaps

New blogs may not get any considerable increase in traffic, even if their posts are regular. The cause may be that only the home page of the blog is indexed, and individual pages just escaped the index. Due to this, these blogs won’t get any traffic these individual pages can bring.

Dynamically updated websites should definitely have a sitemap. Search bots access newer pages for indexing through links from the already existing pages, while the indexing is happening. If any of your internal pages is standalone, it may not get indexed at all. A sitemap can help get these standalone pages indexed.

Another reason behind sitemaps is that the search bots find it difficult to crawl pages whose navigation is built using JavaScript or AJAX. Search bots are built to crawl only text links. So, by submitting a sitemap, you will make crawling and indexing of your pages easier for search engines.

Effect on Traffic and Search Engine Optimization

Lack of sitemap will not cause your site to rank lower for its optimized keywords. Without a sitemap, all indexed pages within your site will rank just as it would with a sitemap.

However, sitemap will greatly increase traffic of a site, merely due to the fact that the newer pages will be indexed far faster and show up in search queries. Also, any unindexed pages within the site will be indexed by search engines, driving traffic to those pages. The effect will be a big boom in traffic.

A blogger adds content to his site to get a steady traffic growth. Hard working bloggers may add hundreds of posts to their blogs in a year. If a hundred of these pages are not indexed by search engines, imagine the loss of traffic. He can get all those pages to the search index, by adding a sitemap.

Adding a Sitemap to Blogs

You can create a sitemap with an online sitemap builder and add it to your blog. These sitemap builders crawl a website through internal links and enlist all internal pages into an XML file.

Besides XML, you can also use HTML sitemaps, which was the traditional sitemap format. The advantage of HTML is that, you can use it with both search bots and human visitors, while XML sitemaps contain pure XML source code, which a human being may not understand. HTML sitemap is nothing but a directory page within your website, which links to all the internal pages arranged by categories.

Once the sitemap is ready, upload it to your web host and link to it from your Google Webmaster Tools interface.

If you don’t already have an account on Google Webmaster Tools, sign up and verify your blog. It provides two means for verification: Meta tag authentication and HTML file upload. Verified webmasters can add sitemap for their blogs by following the instructions given.

You can build sitemaps online with one of these websites:


Offline Sitemap Builders

If you are using an offline sitemap builder, you shouldn’t run it when you are logged into the site. Offline sitemap builders, run from your own system, can get access to your blog hosting account if you run it when you are logged in. It means, the comment deletion and post deletion links will be accessible to the program, which will index them. This will cause your important posts and comments getting deleted automatically.

Adding Sitemap to Blogger Blogs

Within Blogger blogs, you cannot upload an XML sitemap. There is no file upload feature within Blogger, unless you use self-hosted blogs. There is a good alternative to this for Blogger platform. You can use your blog’s RSS or Atom feed as sitemap. Follow these guidelines to add the feed sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.

1. Access Google Webmaster Tools with your Google account.
2. Within your website profile, click Add below Sitemap.
3. Choose the sitemap type as General Web Sitemap.
4. In the text field, complete the blog feed URL. For this, you only need to add “feeds/posts/default”.
5. If you are using feed syndication services like FeedBurner and have set it as the default feed in the blog’s feed setting, then use “feed/posts/default?rss” instead of “feeds/posts/default”.

The sitemap, once added, needs to be approved by Google before it will have an effect. Once approved, Google will periodically access the sitemap to index any unindexed pages within the site. This way, all newer pages are guaranteed to be in the Google index.


Importance of the sitemap in traffic of a website shouldn’t be underestimated. Professional websites even provide a link to their sitemap on the home page. It can be also a great alternative for users to navigate the site.