Category Archives: Microsoft

Find highlighted text in a Word document

We’re all bombarded with documents and emails and other reading material every day, and some of it contains information we’d actually like to remember and make use of. I often download the free Microsoft books, especially the free downloadable SharePoint books, and each book may be hundreds of pages. I’m grateful for all the good free training, but I have struggled a bit on what’s the best way to keep up with it all – especially to remember those essential nuggets of information I want to refer to again.

I’ve tried writing notes by hand into a paper notebook, but that takes much too long – and then there’s the issue of being able to find what I need. As they say, you can’t grep a dead tree! I have tried creating separate documents or Evernote notes with lists or my own summaries, and that works for smaller topics such as lists of database permissions needed or installation checklists, but sometimes the fact or table is best left in place so that the context can also be seen later – just as it would in a paper book. Lately I have started highlighting these books and whitepapers directly in Microsoft Word, and it is a lot faster than trying to re-type or put things into my own words to keep separate notes.  It also alleviates the problem of trying to find those separate notes I took!

If you highlight a downloaded book, be sure to save your changes often to be sure you get to keep the highlights you have made. Then, in Word 2010, if you want to go back and read all your highlighted text (or save it to a new document) you can just go to FindAdvanced Find –  then click More to expose the Format section. Under Format select Highlight.

From here you can use Find Next to move from one highlighted section to the next highlighted section, if you just want to read all the highlighted sections of the book for a refresher. Or instead of Find Next you can use Find InMain Document to select all of the highlighted text. Then if you want to you can copy and paste that highlighted text to a new document to have a nice little summary document.

Of course in the Review tab, Word also includes Comments you can insert into the document, sort of like you’d put a Post-It note along the margins of a paper book, and those have their own built-in Previous and Next functions.

Free SharePoint books downloadable from Technet

Technet is really a goldmine of totally free information about Microsoft products, including SharePoint, but sometimes we find ourselves searching the internet and reading article after article and wishing we had a way to organize SharePoint information so we could put our hands on it when we need it. Well actually Technet has FREE downloadable books which are also currently sold in print on Amazon for up to $66 each, so if you like free books or if you prefer to have a downloaded book and be able to use search to locate what you want (after all, you can’t grep dead trees, right) then the Technet Downloadable content for SharePoint Server 2010 is for you. There are lots of good downloadable books from getting started with SharePoint to planning guides, to all kinds of specific needs such as business continuity management, governance, profile synchronization, and of course the one we really want to see, the deployment guide.

There are also poster-sized technical SharePoint diagrams which can be downloaded in vsd, pdf, or xps format, on a variety of subjects covered by Technet articles. Each poster has links to the articles that go with it, so while you’re looking at a poster of planning services or search architecture, you can read the Technet articles that go with the poster.

If there’s a book or two you find yourself referring to often or wanting to really sit down and read, you may prefer to order SharePoint books from Amazon, but I’m really glad these books are available on demand, too. I like knowing I can just open something on my laptop and search for that pesky problem I know I saw somewhere in there…

You can download the books in a nice variety of formats including epub and mobi, so you should never be lacking for some poolside or beach reading. Pictured is the download form for the deployment guide:

SharePoint Backup Failed

Object SharePoint_Config failed in event OnBackup. For more information, see the spbackup.log or sprestore.log file located in the backup directory.
SqlException: Cannot open backup device ….. Operating system error 5(Access is denied.).
BACKUP DATABASE is terminating abnormally.

(Between the word “device” and “Operating” was the path to my backup folder and the actual backup file. I left those out of the message above so that those searching for the error message can find it).

Every time I set up SharePoint backup on a new SharePoint server, I always create a backup folder and share it, then give permissions to the SharePoint account that is used to run the backup from Central Admin, but I always forget one thing. So just in case you forgot it too, or for next time I forget it, here it is: The SQL Server service account must also have read/write control permissions to the backup share.  Remember, it’s also a SQL database backup, so the SQL Server service account is trying to write to this folder.  For more information, check out this Technet article.

Log in as a different Windows account to SQL Server Management Studio

There are times when you’ll need to use Windows authentication to get to SQL Server Management Studio, but the Windows login is not the one you’re currently logged into your computer with.  Perhaps you’re a consultant or IT worker and you have logins in several different domains.  Or if you’re working with an application or enterprise system like SharePoint, you may be using several different service accounts to do the configuration, and one or more of those AD accounts may have SQL permissions that your personal login does not.  It’s crazy to be working “blind,” so you need to get into SQL and see those databases or query them sometimes.

You can try to log into a computer using those accounts, but the quick and easy way is to just use a command line run as that user to open SSMS.  If you use this once, then take the extra ten seconds and make yourself a shortcut, because I guarantee it will come up more than once.  Smile  I have three different shortcuts on my desktop, two for my own account on other domains, and one for the SharePoint install service on my own domain.  Note – the below commands are what I use to get to my own SSMS for SQL Server 2008 R2. Obviously check and adjust to the path of your own SQL installation.

Logging into SQL as an AD account in a different domain:

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /netonly /user:[domain name]\[username] "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe"


Logging into SQL as an AD account in your own domain:

C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:[domain name]\[username] "C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\Ssms.exe"

(So in other words, remove the /netonly if you’re using a Windows account in your own domain).


In either case, you’ll have a cmd.exe window pop up and you’ll be prompted,

Enter the password for [your domain here]\[the username]:

Simply enter the password for the account you’re using and hit Enter.


At that point, if you’ve entered the correct password, SQL Server Management Studio should open.  Select the server you want and be sure to select Windows Authentication.  Now you should be logged into SQL using the AD account that has the SQL permissions you need to do your task.

Installing SharePoint Server 2010 – free video!

This video by Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP, MCT, shows how to install and configure SharePoint Server 2010, including creating your first Site Collection.

<a href=';from=mscomSTC&#038;VideoID=6cf453d2-5943-480c-b747-332fa09ed23a&#038;src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Installing SharePoint Server 2010' >Video: Installing SharePoint Server 2010</a>

How to find the Report Data tab in SSRS after closing it

Today I was rocking along in SSRS 2008R2 and then absent mindedly closed the Report Data tab by clicking the x at the top corner!  When I go to the View menu, I do NOT have the choice of Report Data.

no Report Data

Never fear. I’ve found a few ways to get it back. 

One way is to use the key combination Ctrl-Alt-D    But that may not do anything unless you first either double click on the name of the report ([reportname].rdl) in Solution Explorer or simply click on the Design surface where you’re creating the report. 

report in progress

In fact, clicking on the report in progress itself may bring Report Data back to the old View menu immediately!

report data

If all else fails and you can’t seem to get Report Data to reappear, you can always reset your windows to the way Nature intended them.

reset windows

One or more parameters required to run the report has not been specified

I wrote a report in SSRS 2008 R2 last week and published it to a reports library on SharePoint 2010 (SharePoint-integrated Reporting Services).  The report worked well, but then the users decided they didn’t want a couple of the parameters.   I got back into BIDS and removed the two parameters from every place they occurred, then I tested the report.  It worked fine.  It worked fine locally, that is, but once I deployed it to SharePoint I found it would not work on the server.   The error message was, “One or more parameters required to run the report has not been specified.”  The things I did next, I thought I’d list for you, because they might just take care of the problem if this happens to you. 

1. Go to the report in BIDS, right-click,  and select View Code. There, searching for the word parameter, you may see a left-over reference to the parameters you removed.  You can also go to the place you store your SSRS project and inspect the XML for the .rdl and .rsd (dataset) files by opening them in WordPad.

2. Making sure you have the .rdl file safely on your own machine and in your BIDS, go to the SharePoint server and delete the report from the report library before deploying it from BIDS again.  I did that, but it did no good at all.

3. FINALLY I tried deploying the report and its datasources and datasets to a new test site on the SharePoint server and the report worked fine.  So then I went back to my original site and deleted the datasets that went with this report (they were not needed for other reports, just this one).  Then I re-deployed them along with the report and it worked fine on the server. 


What was my problem then?  The problem was the one or more of my datasets must have had references to the deleted parameters, although I really didn’t think they’d ever used the parameters.  I did have the properties of that project in BIDS set so that Overwrite Datasets is True, but I guess since all I did was deploy the report itself the datasets weren’t overwritten because I didn’t specify that they be re-deployed.  Moral of the story – redeploy your datasets as well as the report itself if you do some major surgery in SSRS!

Check out free SharePoint webinars for expert help on specific topics

I get a lot of emails from vendors urging me to register for various upcoming SharePoint webinars, but much of the time those webinars are created to highlight the 3rd party vendor’s product that they believe will enhance my use of SharePoint. I’m sure many of those products and webinars are real treasures, but for the purposes of SharePoint training I’ll try to select webinars that will illustrate best practices for SharePoint itself. This post will start with just a couple of links for you, but I’ll continue to add to it as I find good sources.

Tech·Ed North America 2011 SharePoint sessions. What could be a better resource than SharePoint training sessions fresh from last week’s Tech·Ed North America?! Even if your company didn’t send you to Tech·Ed, you can benefit from these Microsoft experts without spending a penny. Just click to watch any video, no registration required.

The free section from has a lot of pre-recorded webcasts that you can click to watch without having to register. Of course you will have links on the site you can click to subscribe in order to get their premium content, but there are plenty of free videos on a variety of SharePoint training topics, including comments.