In my current role I have a slightly wider scope than “just” SharePoint and Yammer. I am now troubleshooting and advising about the other Office 365 tools as well, so I need to expand my skills and knowledge rapidly to stay a few steps ahead of my audience 🙂 .
The other day one of my colleagues asked if there is an easier way to create the photo albums he needs to make as part of his role. The organization I work for occasionally rents out parts of their buildings or hires space from others. In those cases, my colleague takes pictures of the buildings to document their current state. The pictures are collated into an album which has to be signed off by both parties at the start of the rental agreement.
What is the current method?
Take pictures with smartphone
Send pictures to work email (in batches to avoid too large attachments)
File pictures from each email in OneDrive on laptop (Attachments folder)
Create project folder in OneDrive
Transfer pictures to project folder
Remove pictures from phone
Creating the album
Open a new PowerPoint presentation
Make cover slide
Insert pictures from OneDrive into PowerPoint
Arrange pictures on slides
Add end slide (usually, with the dates, names and signatures)
Save PowerPoint as PDF
Well, I thought that I (or rather, Office 365) could make things easier for him. I confirmed he had the OneDrive app on his phone, so I came up with…
The new method
Getting pictures with the OneDrive app
Create project folder in the OneDrive app
Open the folder
3. Take pictures with the + button top right or the diaphragm button at the bottom (make sure you set it to “Photo”) 4. Pictures will be saved in the folder
Creating the album in the OneDrive Client
Create a picture of the cover and end slides
Add to project folder of pictures, making sure that cover and end slide are the first and last items (generally, adding an A and a Z in front of the respective names will do the trick)
Select all images in the folder, click “Share” > “Print”
4. In the screen that pops up, select “Microsoft Print to PDF” as the printer and determine a layout (generally 2 or 4 to a page)
You can only create the album in the OneDrive Client – the Online and App versions do not have this functionality. In fact, this is Windows functionality and not limited to OneDrive.
You can use a “blank image” just before the last image to make the number even and have a better print result.
You can change the orientation of the pictures/album by clicking “Options” in the pop up screen and then “Printer Properties”.
Unfortunately you can only use one display for the whole series. It would have been nice if you could decide to make theboth cover and end slides a full page in the series, and provide the pictures in e.g. 4 on a page. This is clearly a limitation of this way of working.
My colleague was especially happy with the camera options of the OneDrive app, which he was not aware of before. Just after taking a few pictures he realized that this will be a big time-saver. The second part, creating the album with the OneDrive Client instead of PowerPoint, felt like a bigger change in practice, but he was willing to try it.
As usual, this is nothing fancy. It is just trying to match a need with existing functionality. And it makes me happy when I succeed. 🙂
Recently someone reported an issue with Following. Whenever he wanted to follow a site or a document, he got this message:
I did a screenshare with him to find out what exactly he was doing. Sometimes seeing someone’s screen or actions provide you with a clue, but he did the correct things and there was nothing weird in his screen either.
I asked my more technical colleague and he came up with something good. Do you know where Followed Sites (or Followed Documents) are stored?
Follow a site and then click on the confirmation popup that appears.
I ended up on a page with “yourname/my.sharepoint.com/personal/” in the URLand this is…
I replaced the last bit of the URL, to the right of the tenant name, with _layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx?view=14
I saw the Site Contents of my OneDrive, with the Social List at the bottom.
When clicking the ellipses next to the Social List and clicking Settings, I ended up in the list, which has several content types and a ton of columns.
I asked the user to give me Full Control to his OneDrive, as this is out of my normal support scope so I do not have admin access.
I compared the Social List of the user with my own.
It appeared that his Social List missed two columns: File Type Prog ID and Server URL prog ID.
Also, on his Delve profile, any hints of his OneDrive were missing in his profile card. I looked at the Delve profile of unknown colleagues and there is always a mention of “[person name] ‘s OneDrive” even when no files are shared.
(I can not show that as I am the only person in my tenant)
I searched on the internet and found mentions about being unable to follow sites but the problems (one user, some users, all users), causes (the application pool account has no access to the database, security updates, a setting not configured correctly) and solutions were very mixed and I could not find anything about those ProgID’s.
Well, uh…this is beyond my scope and a different team supports OneDrive, so I have assigned the incident to another team. SharePoint Holmes failed…:(
But although I have not managed to solve this, I have spent some enjoyable time digging into new territory and learning something new.
Which issues have you found with Following Sites and how have you solved them?
About SharePoint Holmes:
Part of my role is solving user issues. Sometimes they are so common that I have a standard response, but sometimes I need to do some sleuthing to understand and solve it. As many of my readers are in a similar position, I thought I’d introduce SharePoint Holmes, SharePoint investigator, who will go through a few cases while working out loud.
Detective image courtesy of 422737 on Pixabay Drums image courtesy of posterize at FreeDigitalPhotos.net