Tag Archives: Efficiency

Configuring Out of Office Reply for a Shared Mailbox

Do you manage a shared mailbox in Microsoft Outlook?

Now that it’s Christmas and you may be thinking about switching on Automatic Replies (Out of Office), doing so for a shared mailbox can be a real battle. Christmas is all about The Good News and there’s good news here too: there is an easy way to do this.

The easiest way to switch on Automatic Replies (Out of Office) for a shared mailbox is to do so through Outlook Web App.

This is actually pretty quick and straight forward, so don’t be put off by all the steps in the instructions below. Just forge on!

  1. Log in to Outlook Web App (OWA)
    – by following these steps
    – or by clicking this link

Now you are logged in to OWA, all you need to do is access the shared mailbox and switch on Out of Office.

2. Access the shared mailbox
Click your name in the upper-right corner of the OWA window
(a dialogue box appears titled Open Other Mailbox)
    –
Enter the name of the shared mailbox you’d like to add the Out of Office reply to, then click Open (the shared mailbox opens)

3. Switch on Out of Office
Click options in the upper-right corner (just below where your name was before you opened the shared mailbox)
Click set automatic replies
Set up your Automatic Reply, ensuring you consider replies to senders inside the organisation and outside the organisation
(to get started, click the radio button titled Send automatic replies)
– you can set an automatic start and end date/time if required
Click Save in the lower-right corner (it has a green tick next to it).
When you are finished, click sign out  in the upper-right corner.

If you have a Tech Tip suggestion, please let me know.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Computer or Device Misbehaving? Restart!

Yes, it’s boring advice, I know. But more and more these days I find that the solution to weird things happening on my computer or phone or tablet – things just not working right – is to restart.

Switch it off, count to 20*, and switch it back on.

(*Some devices hold their memory for a few seconds, so count to 20 while it’s switched off, and practice some mindfulness while you’re at it.)

Thanks to Shannon Miller for this Tech Tip suggestion!
If you have one, please let me know.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Excel – Add Cells While Ignoring Hidden Cells

This is a way to add up the contents of cells, while ignoring hidden cells, eg, if you’ve filtered a list, and need to add up the contents of a column of visible cells. (Because just using SUM would not work because it would also include the hidden cells.)

 So, to do this…

Say that you want to add the numbers in cells A1, A2, A3 and A4. You can do so with the formula =sum (A1:A4). However, you only want to use that formula if those cells are not hidden (to hide and unhide rows and columns, go to Home | Cells | Format | Hide & Unhide).

Instead, (in this example) use the formula =SUBTOTAL(109, A1:A4).

The SUBTOTAL function can add, subtract or average numbers, among other calculations. The first argument tells SUBTOTAL what kind of calculation to perform. 9 means sum. 109 means “sum, but ignore hidden cells”. The following arguments are the cells, ranges or numbers to sum. So this formula is like =sum (A1:A4), but any hidden cells in that range are ignored.

Thanks to Able Owl Excel tips for this one.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Excel – Quickly Find the Last Entry in a Column

If you need to find the last entry in a column of data in Excel, you can spend a lot of time scrolling – especially if there are hundreds or thousands of rows.

Good news – there is a shortcut.

Ctrl+Down Arrow

Click any cell in the column you wish to get to the bottom of, press Ctrl+Down arrow, and Excel will scroll down the column until it finds a blank cell, then stops just above it, displaying that cell as the Active cell.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

How to Spot a Phishing Scam

How to spot a phishing scam

Cyber-criminals are targeting the University, and you, right now. They are trying to trick you into revealing passwords, clicking links, buying things, giving away personal information, altering the behaviour of the device you use, and a lot more. If you are thinking “it can’t happen to me”, or “why would they bother with me?”, consider this. Cyber-criminals are using you as a stepping stone to the things that are valuable to them. Most of these scam emails are being intercepted by your personal SPAM filter, and in the case of your UC email, the University’s PreciseMail SPAM filter. But some could still get through to your inbox.

So, what is a phishing email?

A phishing email is an email that encourages you to take a specific action. That action leads to a compromise of your security or the University’s security. It could use you to become part of a criminal chain of events.

What can be particularly confusing about a phishing email is that it can even appear to come from someone you know and trust.

Tips to help you spot a phishing email

– Strange requests. Would the person you think the email is from really ask you to do that?

– The sender’s email address seems odd or contains an odd ending. For example, the email address is strangename.firstname.lastname@canterbury.ac.nz,
or firstname.lastname@hotmail.com instead of firstname.lastname@canterbury.ac.nz

– The message contains a mismatched URL (link to click). Even if a URL/link in an email appears to be perfectly valid. However, if you hover your mouse over the top of the URL/link, you should see the actual hyperlinked address. If the hyperlinked address is different from the address that is displayed, the message is probably fraudulent or malicious, and you should not click it.

– The message contains poor spelling and grammar.

– You didn’t initiate the action.

– The message asks for personal information.

– You’re asked to spend money or send money.

– Something just doesn’t look right. Be suspicious.

What should you do?

– Think before you click! Does the email fit any of the “red flags” listed above?

– Never give out personal information – as a general rule, you should never share personal or financially sensitive information over the internet. Most phishing emails will direct you to pages where entries for financial or personal information are required.

– Make it a habit to check the address of the website and the email address of the sender. A secure website always starts with https. Does the sender’s email address seem odd?

– Be skeptical, not curious. If in doubt, don’t!

– Most of all, rely on common sense. You can’t win a contest you didn’t enter. Your bank won’t contact you using an email address you never registered. Microsoft did not “remotely detect a virus on your PC.” These are all warning signs, think before you click, and never give out your password or financial info unless you’re properly signed into your account.

Have you also read our Tech Tip: Cyber security: yes, lock your doors