Day 1 of ” The Cloud Experience “

So we are off!  Today was the first day I was going to be interacting with my Office residing in the ether, and actually it was a good day for that as I was in my office the ENTIRE day.  Probably the first time in months… Here were my initial experiences:

We are approaching our winter round of NEWA's MAP testing.  with that in mind, I needed to begin building a schedule for testing lab assignments.  I fired up Zoho Sheet, and then quickly decided NOT to re-invent the wheel.  I opened my network drive, got my fall round schedule and went to upload it into Sheet to begin making the necessary changes… The easy thing would have simply been to open the spreadsheet from my network and make changes… However, that would NOT be in keeping with my "Cloud-Time" goals…  So, I looked to import my file into Sheet… MMmmm nope… while Zoho can export to .xlsx (Office 2007 format, it cannot import the .xlsx (or .docx or .pptx)… well that caused me to have to launck Excel 2007 and then "save as" into Excel 97-2003 format. (Easily done, but a bit annoying, time consuming, and defeated the purpose of trying NOT to use Office 2007…  I guess I could not have been lazy and simply re-created the simple schedule, but where is the fun in that… If I am going to work at something, I might as well learn from it.

Ok, file converted, here we go … import… nope… original still on the network, and the import keeps crashing… OK… copy to desktop and import! Woohoo imported successfully! Import Completed, time to edit… well sort of… Hmm I have 4 cells merged in one area and want to do that in another… can't figure that out… 10 minutes of looking and still no idea, (nope no easy help button either). Can't figure it out… [scratch head] well maybe I can copy and paste the one that is already merged. Bingo done! [mental note: got to figure out how to merge cells].

Editing.  Overall editing the sheet was SIMPLE almost all functions and editing work very similarly to Excel.  With even a few added bonuses when you highlight and right click.  (ex. I was able to resize all row heights with a single click…  I could even add 40 rows with a click if I wanted too).

image Schedule finished, now how to get it to all of the different folks who will have classes testing.  In the past I have either attached the sheet to an email, or copied and pasted it right into an email… However, with Zoho, I simply "published" the sheet (nothing private or sensitive here) and popped the link out to all of the users.  One click and they can view it… Additionally, as I update the sheet it will change for them dynamically 🙂 pretty cool. 

The only frustration I did have publishing was Zoho refused to use the updated name for the publish after I renamed the sheet… additionally, because I have a business account at Zoho as well often when i went to publish the sheet it picked up the /corporate/ publish instead of the /public/ link format.  Unpublishing and re-publishing corrected each time, but there is little bug there Raju.  imageOn the positive side, while I was publishing and unpublishing I did discover the "Merge Cells" button!  Woohoo… 

All in all, keeping with the education tradition, I would give the experience today a B+.  Which in my book is quite good.  I remember the first time I used Excel 2007, it took me 20 minutes to locate the "Find" function (little binoculars if you are wondering), and then I resorted to using the "help" in Office to pin it down.  Heehee…

See you tomorrow!

~Scott

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