Batch Geocode Addresses Using Bing Maps API and an Excel Worksheet

One of the projects that I’m working on nowadays, required me to batch geocode almost 8,000 addresses into latitude and longitude coordinates, and then display it on a Google map, using Google’s fusion table. All my data lives in an Excel worksheet. I’m not familiar with this world of geocoding, Google Maps API, etc. but I had to find a solution in order to make this process easy.

I thought about the idea of having a macro as part of my excel worksheet, that will connect to Google Maps / Bing maps and will pull data from my worksheet, geocode it using the API and will return the latitude and longitude coordinates.

While researching the web, I found out that someone already thought about it, and created a wonderful tool, based on an Excel worksheet and Bing Maps’ API. It’s called Excel Geocoding Tool.

How to batch geocode addresses with Bing Maps and Microsoft Excel

So the process is pretty simple:

  1. Download the Excel file from the Excel Geocoding Tool website.
  2. If the file is opened in “Protected View” (yellow bar on the top of the page), click “Enable Editing”.
  3. Enable Macros:
  4. Enable macros in Excel 2013 (Office 365): File -> Options -> on the left side, choose “Trust Center” -> click on “Trust Center Settings”.
  5. Enable macros in Excel 2007,2010: Click on the Office button -> “Excel Options” -> “Trust Center” -> Trust Center Settings” -> “Macro Settings”.
  6. Under “Macro Settings” choose “Enable all macros” and check the “Trust access to the VBA project object model”.
  7. When you’re done using the Excel Geocoding Tool, don’t forget to disable the macros.
  8. In order to use the tool, you need to create a Bing Maps API key.
  9. Once you get your key, copy and paste it in the “Bing Maps Key” field:
Batch Geocode Addresses Using Bing Maps API and Excel Worksheet
Paste your API key here

Now all you have to do, is navigate to the next sheet called “Geocode”, paste your addresses in the “location” column and click “Geocode all rows”, or “Geocode selected rows”:

Don’t forget that if you get the Bing Trial API key, you’re limited to 10,000 addresses in total. If you need more, just create another account (, and get another key.

How To Extract Videos And Images From a PowerPoint Presentation File

Sometimes we embed media and objects in PowerPoint files. These files and objects could be images, videos, sounds, documents, etc. One of my colleagues had an old PowerPoint 2010 file, with a video file embedded in it. In order to reduce the final file size (when there is media embedded in a PowerPoint file, the file size increases dramatically, based on the media’s size. This include embedded images as well), he asked me to take the video clip out of the PowerPoint file and upload it to YouTube.

Honestly I had no clue how to do that. I was trying to right click on the video preview, but there were no “save as” or “export” options. Interesting.

So I researched the web, and found a beautiful trick to solve it.

Extract pictures and video clips from a PowerPoint file

By default, Windows Explorer is set to hide file extensions. In order to extract media, we first need to make sure Windows Explorer is set to show file extensions.

This is how to set Windows Explorer to show file extensions (Windows 7):

  1. Open Control Panel: Start -> Type “Control Panel” -> Enter -> Choose “Control Panel” under “Programs”.
  2. In the Control Panel, Click on “View By” and choose “Category”.
  3. Click on “Appearance and Personalization” and then click on “folder options”.
  4. Click on the “View” tab and then make sure to clear the “Hide extensions for known file types” check box.

Now that Windows Explorer is set to show file extensions, let’s go to the folder where the PowerPoint file is.

1. Right click on the file and choose “rename”.

2. Change the file extension from ppt / pptx to zip.

3. Windows will ask us “If you change a file name extension the file might become unusable. Are you sure you want to change it?“.

If you change a file name extension the file might become unusable
If you change a file name extension the file might become unusable

4. Click “Yes”.

5. Double click the new renamed file, in order to view its content.

6. Double click on the “ppt” folder and then go to the “media” folder, and here are all the images, videos and files of this PowerPoint file.

Don’t forget to rename the file extension back to ppt / pptx in the end, in order to open or edit the PowerPoint file.

Lync Error Message “This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out”

Microsoft Lync has great potential as a chat and collaboration tool, especially for busy and large offices. The problem is – I find this tool to be really buggy. It will take some time until Microsoft comes up with a decent – stable – version.

The other day, one of my colleagues had a problem with Lync. Sometimes when she tries to send a chat message on Lync, she gets the following error on the chat screen:

“This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out”

Lync - This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out - error message
Lync – This message may not have been sent to because the server timed out – error message

Usually this message shows up when the server doesn’t succeed in sending the message, due to server error or when the other user has gone offline.

The Solution

So after uninstalling Office 365 64bit and installing Office 365 32bit which didn’t solve the problem, I tried to run The Office 365 Repair feature, with no success either.

I then called Microsoft and they recommended to clear Lync’s cache.

This is how it goes:

1. Go to “C:\Users\Username\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\” and delete the specific user’s sip (Session Initiation Protocol) folder.

2. Go to “C:\Users\Username\Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\ Tracing\Delete All files. DO NOT DELETE ANY FOLDER.

3. Open the registry editor (Start + R -> type regedit -> Enter), go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\office\15.0\Lync” and delete the specific user’s expandable sip profile folder (the one that contains the user’s email address to sign in to Lync):

So far so good. Will keep you posted if it doesn’t solve the issue.


Sync issues with OneDrive (SkyDrive Pro)

Recently I migrated our office from exchange server 2003 on premises to office 365 (mid-size business plan). I used the old-safe way of exporting all the mailboxes (.pst files) and importing them into Office 365, since we have only 30 mailboxes.

In terms of file sharing, we used a mounted drive located on the server. When the migration was done, I got rid of the server, and in terms of file sharing system, I purchased a 100 GB Dropbox account, which I installed on each and every computer.

Microsoft Office 365 comes with Sharepoint and file sharing features (based on Microsoft OneDrive, used to be called “SkyDrive Pro”), which means every user gets 25 GB of personal storage. The files are hosted on the cloud, and basically accessible from every computer that’s connected to the internet, where you can also set files to be accessible offline, by syncing folders to the computer).

I chose Dropbox because I didn’t have the time to train the employees on how to use OneDrive.

Recently I decided to migrate the whole file sharing system from Dropbox to OneDrive, so I started playing around with it, and testing it, before we switch to the new system.

The problem

While everything went smoothly in the beginning, as soon as I restarted my computer, OneDrive aut0-started, and there was a yellow exclamation point on OneDrive’s icon in the taskbar and an error message saying “we ran into problems syncing”, and also Microsoft Upload Center said “upload failed”.

Checking the error log, I found this:

ICsiError: csierrOdc_ScopeIntersectionUnresolvable (0x7B)

Error code=0x80004005; Error source=Groove

The solution

To solve this problem, we have 2 options. Option 1 is the shortest and most of the time solves it pretty fast. Option 2 takes more time, so use it as a backup if option 1 fails for you.

Option 1

1. Open the Task Manager and end every Office process (MSOSYNC.EXE, GROOVE.EXE and MSOUC.EXE).

Sync issues with OneDrive - SkyDrive Pro
Sync issues with OneDrive – SkyDrive Pro

2. Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the following locations and delete everything (files & folders):



3. Go to Office 365 online, click “sync” in OneDrive, and OneDrive app should start running again and sync normally.

If this method didn’t help you, try the following option 2, and at the end repeat step 1 to 3 of option 1.

Option 2

1. Right click on OneDrive’s icon in the taskbar, and choose “stop syncing a folder”.

2. Open windows explorer, and look for the OneDrive folder (usually on the left side, under “favorites”). Right click on the folder and delete it (all the content + the folder itself).

3. Go to Internet Explorer (even if you’re not using it), and clear browsing history (Settings -> Internet Options -> “Browsing History” -> Delete).

4. Run Disk cleanup (right click on your system drive -> Properties -> Disk cleanup).

5. Repeat Option 1.

Good luck!

How To Set Outlook 2013 Calendar Reminders To Stay On Top And In Focus

Recently I migrated our company to Office 365. It was a big change, since we used to use Office 2003 that was connected to Exchange Server 2003 Onsite. One of the biggest changes about Outlook 2013, is that when the Calendar reminder window “pops up”, it usually stays “hidden” behind many other windows. It does play a sound and the window “blinks” yellow in the task bar, but if you’re concentrating on something else, it’s easy to dismiss it, and you could find yourself running late to a meeting.

The Problem

Microsoft has designed it to work that way, so that if you’re in the middle of something and don’t see the pop up window, you won’t press “Enter” by mistake, confirm the reminders and make the window disappear. Hence, when Outlook 2013 calendar reminder window pops up, it becomes hidden since there are other open windows covering it.

The Solution

One simple solution is to set a different – more noticeable – sound to the reminder window. You can do that by opening Outlook -> File -> Options -> Choose “Advanced” on the left side -> Click “Browse” and choose a different sound under the “Play Reminder Sound” field.

Of course – this simple solution won’t help you set Outlook reminders to stay on top.

The real solution here is a VBA based code (Don’t freak out, it’s pretty simple and easy to create) that pops up a customizeable message box that stays on top of every other window, and you can’t ignore it. The only con I find for this solution, is that this message box comes before the reminder window, and in order to view the reminder window, you need to click “ok” on the message box.

This guide is related to Windows 7 and Office 2013 / Office 365, althoug h I assume it will work in Windows 8 as well. So here we go:

1. First – we need to create a Digital Certificate:

How To Find And Create Digital Certificate In Office 2013:

I read on many websites that you need to click “Start” and type “Certificate” and then choose “Digital Certificate for VBA Projects”, but it will not work in Office 2013 / Windows 7.

In order to Create a Digital Certificate, we need to run the file “SELFCERT.EXE”. Here is the file location: “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15”.

When you run the file, you’ll get this window:

Office 2013 "Create Digital Certificate" window
Office 2013 “Create Digital Certificate” window

2. Name your certificate and click “OK”. “outlookreminder” for example [without the quotation marks].

3. You’ll get a message says “Succesfully created a new certificate for outlookreminder”. Click “OK”.

4. Go to Outlook, and press ALT + F11 to open the VBA Editor.

5. On the left side, you’ll see “Project 1”. Double click, it will expand and you’ll see “Microsoft Outlook Objects”. Double Click it, it will expand and you’ll see “ThisOutlookSession”. Double click it.

6. On the window on the right side, copy and paste the following code [You can always change the text ‘This is a friendly reminder…’ and the title “Attention!”]:

Private Sub Application_Reminder(ByVal Item As Object)<br /><br />If TypeOf Item Is AppointmentItem Then<br /> MsgBox "This is a friendly reminder about upcoming meeting!", vbSystemModal, "Attention!"<br /> End If<br /><br />End Sub

7. Your final window should look like this:

8. Click Save [Don’t exit yet!].

9. In order to run the macro, we need to “sign” it. To do that, go to Tools -> Digital Signature -> Click “Choose” and select the certificate name we’ve created before [I named it “outlookreminder”, remember?].

10. Click “OK”, save again and close the window.

11. Now – since this is a macro, we need to allow it in Outlook. I’ve tried to allow this macro specifically with no success. I had no choice but allowing all macros. It’s not risky in my opinion, but do it at your own risk.

12. In Outlook, Go to File -> Options -> Trust Center -> Trust Center Settings -> Macro Settings -> Check “Enable All Macros”. Click “OK”, close Outlook and open Outlook again.

13. From now on, every time there’s a calendar reminder, you’ll get a message box that will stay on top of each and every window, and trust me, you WON’T ignore it.

14. You welcome:

The Final Result
The Final Result

How To Change / Assign / Re-Assign License key On Office 365

One of the best features of Office 365, is that every machine can serve multiple users just by signing in and out. Let’s say I’m in the confrenece room in my my office, and I want to use some document / presentation located in my SkyDrive. Office 365 is installed on the computer, and all I have to do, is to open some Microsoft Office program, click on “Sign In”, put my username and password and I get access to my private SkyDrive. When I’m done, I log out and every other user (employee) can log in and get access to their files.

So that was the situation with one of our computers, until at some point, when a user tried to log in, Office said there’s a problem.

I guess Office got confused with all the users / licenses assigned to that machine, so the solution is to re-assign a license to a user to a machine. Usually when it happened, I used to uninstall Office 365, since nothing else helped in this situation, but after researching the web, I found a great – quicker solution than uninstalling Office. By the way, after uninstalling, I also used to run CCleaner, just to make sure the registry is clean and healthy.

So this is how to change / assign / re-assign license key On office 365:

Last 5 Characters Of Product Keys
Last 5 Characters Of Product Keys
  1. Run command prompt by clicking on Start -> Start typing “cmd“, right click on “cmd.exe” -> Run as administrator.
  2. If you’re using the 32bit (x86) version of Office 365, type “cd\” -> Enter -> type “cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15” -> Enter. Go to Step 4.
  3. If you’re using the 64bit (x64) version of Office 365, type “cd\” -> Enter -> type “cd C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15” -> Enter. Go to Step 4.
  4. Type “cscript ospp.vbs /dstatus” -> Enter. This command will display the status of the current licenses, by showing the last five characters of each license (see picture above).
  5. Now all we have to do is to remove all the licenses that are attached to this machine. We are going to do that by typing “cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:<last five characters of every product key from the list above>” -> Enter.
  6. Run the above command as many times as you need in order to remove all the product keys (one product at a time, not all together).
  7. Restart Windows, and after restarting Windows, try to run any Microsoft Office program, and it will ask you to sign in, in order to activate Microsoft Office 365.
  8. Done!

How to open old PowerPoint presentation files

A coworker told me he couldn’t open a couple of PowerPoint presentation files, because they are really old. He said he’s trying to open the presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 with no success. “How old are they?” I asked him. “Pretty old” he said. “Send it over” I told him.

Once I got the files, I realized they are really, really old. 1998 old. Yep.

I also tried to open them, thinking that every newer version of PowerPoint – newer than 1997 – is supposed to open older versions’ files. No luck. The files were created with Power Point 4.0 (Released 1993). When I tried to open the files, all I got was the following error:

PowerPoint can’t open the type of file represented by [filename]

PowerPoint can’t open the type of file represented by [filename]

The problem:

Newer versions of Microsoft PowerPoint (2007, 2010, 2013, Office 365) won’t support and open older versions’ files.

The solution:

This is how to open old PowerPoint presentation files in Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 365. Zamzar is a website for file conversion. It allows users to convert files without downloading a software tool, and supports over 1,000 different conversion types.

The process is pretty simple:

1. Go to

2. Select files or URL (where the file is located) to convert.

3. Choose the format to convert to (in our case – convert to ppt (1997-2003).

4. Enter your email address to receive converted files.

5. Click “convert” and wait. Within a couple of minuets (might be more than that) you’ll get an email with a link to download your converted file.

Download Office 2013 for free

The Office 2013 installation files hosted on Microsoft’s download service servers are genuine and official version, and the downloads from the server are totally free and definitely legal. It’s after all the official channel where end-users who want to try and download Office 2013 for free, get the setup installation files from.

Anyway, without a genuine and legally purchased product key, you can’t get Office 2013 activated, and Office will only run as evaluation copy for up to 60 days.

What’s inside: Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013, OneNote 2013, Outlook 2013, Publisher 2013, Access 2013, Lync 2013 and InfoPath 2013.

Links to Download Microsoft Office 2013 for free (32bit & 64bit):

Download office 2013 – 32bit (x86)


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Download office 2013 – 64bit (x64)


Arabic – العربية:

Chinese (Simplified) -中文(简体):

Chinese (Traditional) -中文(繁體):

Dutch – Nederlands:

French – Français:

German – Deutsch:

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