Thursday, June 14, 2018

Creating a PowerApp with a SharePoint list as its datasource

PowerApp is a Microsoft service that lets you quickly create apps for displaying and manipulating data. In this blog post, we will be going through how to create a PowerApp for saving, viewing, and editing, info that is saved as a SharePoint list and is accessible to everyone in an organisation.

First, we will look at creating a SharePoint list from an Excel sheet.

1. Open an existing Excel sheet that you want to use for your PowerApp. Select the data in the Excel sheet and format it as a table.

2. Login to SharePoint. From the New tab, select App.

3. Search for “Spreadsheet” and click Import Spreadsheet from the search result.

4. Browse the Excel sheet you used in Step 1 and click Import.

NOTE: You might face one of these issues when trying to import the Excel sheet to SharePoint as a list.
- Error: “Specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import.”
Solutions that worked for me: add SharePoint URL to your browsers trusted sites list.
- Error: “This feature requires a browser that supports ActiveX controls.”
Solution that worked for me: as I was using Google Chrome on a Windows machine, installing the Internet Explorer (IE) tab extension on Google Chrome, then open SharePoint from the IE tab. The IE tab is not available for OSX.

You have successfully imported the Excel sheet table as a list in SharePoint.

5. We will now use this list to create a PowerApp. To do this, from your list, click on the PowerApps drop-down control, on the menu bar, and select Create form app.

A new PowerApp with the SharePoint list as datasource will be automatically generated. This PowerApp displays a list of items. You can view the item details by clicking on (>) next to each item. You can also edit the details of an item using this PowerApp.

Your PowerApp is now ready to be published so that it can be useful to everyone in the organisation.

Sabina Pokhrel

Monday, June 4, 2018

Cross-Referencing using Adobe InDesign

Documentation is sometimes the most critical part of a project. Whether it is internal, or product documentation, finding a way to automate documentation can save a lot of time, and reduce the amount of mistakes that can be made if changed manually.

At nsquared, all our software comes with an extensive user guide for customers to follow, so it’s important for us to automate as much as possible.

The following steps will show you how to create Text Anchors, and create Cross-References to these anchors to automate referencing within your document. For example, if there are references in your document, such as, “…refer to Chapter 5 on page 54”, the chapter name and page number will be automated. If the chapter moves from page 54, the reference will automatically update.

Note: This guide assumes that you have an intermediate level of experience with InDesign.

Creating Text Anchors

1. With your document open, identify the text you would like to define as Text Anchors. Typically, these Text Anchors are chapters, headings, and sub headings. For example, Chapter 5.
2. Once you have identified the Text Anchors, highlight the text.
3. Open then Hyperlinks window by going to the Window menu, Interactive > Hyperlinks.
4. With the text highlighted, click the hamburger menu icon in the top right corner of the Hyperlinks window, then click New Hyperlink Destination.
5. A pop up window will appear. From the Type dropdown, select Text Anchor.
6. Give the Text Anchor a Name. It is recommended that the name of the Text Anchor is the same as the text highlighted. This will make it easier to Cross-Reference later, which we will cover in the next section. For this example, we will call the Text Anchor Chapter 5.
7. Click OK.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 to create all the Text Anchors in your document.

Inserting Cross-References through your document

1. Now it is time to reference the Text Anchors. Click where you want to insert a reference in your document. For example, taking the example from above, “…refer to Chapter 5 on page 54”.
2. Go to the Type menu, Hyperlinks & Cross-References > Insert Cross-Reference.
3. From the Link To dropdown, select Text Anchor.
4. From the Document dropdown, make sure the document you are working on is selected.
5. From the Text Anchor dropdown, select the correct Text Anchor for this reference. For this example, we will find Chapter 5.
6. From the Format dropdown, select the format you wish. These formats can be edited further by clicking the pencil icon.
7. Click OK.
8. Repeat steps 1-7 to insert all Cross-References in your document.

Now you have automated all references throughout your document. Now, if you rename a Text-Anchor, or it has moved to a different page, all Cross-References will automatically update.

No more incorrect referencing!

Jessica Ayad