USEFUL PLUGINS FOR MICROSOFT OFFICE
The Microsoft Office suite has dominated office applications for years. While this is partly due to aggressive marketing on by Microsoft, it is easy to make the argument that this is the most versatile office suite available. But there is always room for improvement. There are tons of third party plugins available to boost the productivity of the office suite.
What follows is a list of my favorite plugins for MS Office. I have added links to the manufactures’ home page for each category, so you can simply click the plugin title to get more information about each of these programs.
My Writer Tools
Office Tabs If you are like me, at any given moment you have several working documents open in word or excel. Managing these can often be a pain. Office tabs solves this problem by adding a tab for each open document. Switching between documents is simple and organized. An added feature I’m fond of is the ability to save all documents with a single click. There is both a free version and a paid version with extra features.
My Writer Tools I use this tool a lot when editing documents. This is actually a suite of tools for writers that is implemented through the task bar on MS Office. Included are:
- Lighten Up Finds overly long sentences. Very useful for novel writers!
- Format Fixer Find and fix formatting problems. I am notorious for adding too many spaces between sentences; this tool fixes every spacing error with one click.
- Ly Remover Want to improve the readability of your work? Get rid of the unnecessary –ly ending on many adverbs.
- Jargon Buster Find and fix some of the most common misused jargon.
- Cliché Cleaver We are all guilty of using clichés. This tool will find the most common clichés in your document.
There are other features included, but these are the most used. My Writer Tools is a paid program; as of the time of writing, it sells for $19.95. There is also an editor’s version which has more features; it sells for $29.99.
UBitMenu Many people do not like the interface of the 2007+ Microsoft Office. While I personally like the tabbed interface, I do want to point out there are several plugins that will add a classic drop down menu to Microsoft Office. UBitMenu is one of those, and as an added bonus, its free for personal use.
After installing UBitMenu, you'll see a new tab next to Home: the aptly named Menu. Click it and you'll find File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, and all the rest of those long-lost drop-downs. Even better, UBitMenu retains most of Office's newer features, like the more robust Save As submenu. You get the best of both worlds.
Send Personally Do you ever have the need to send an email to a long distribution list but don’t want the recipients to see who else the email was sent to? Send personally does just that. This is a plugin for MS Outlook that sends a personal email to each individual on a distribution list. It will also automatically personalize each email. This is also a paid program, with a price of $24.00.
Google Cloud Connect Do you have a need to collaborate with others in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint? You can share, backup, and simultaneously edit documents via Google Cloud storage. The best part is that this is a free application!
Save as PDF This one is right from Microsoft. Microsoft Office 2007 can’t save documents in PDF format without this little plugin. And of course, it is free!
I hope you have enjoyed this hub. Know of other MS Office plugins? Let me know about it in the comment section below.