Office Trainertage 2014 in Lucerne

I just spent a couple of interesting days at the Office Trainertage (training for Office trainers) in Lucerne, Switzerland, hosted by Kuhn Informatik AG. I’d heard about this event, but never had the opportunity to experience it.

Over five days, in three tracks, an amazing amount of information was made available to the participants on topics covering the entire spectrum of Office, including what’s new in Office 2013 and 365.

Residents from six countries attended: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. And Bill Jelen as guest speaker for Excel from the United States. So sessions and discussions during breaks and meals were multi-lingual!

As I was a speaker, I wasn’t able to sit in on many sessions. But from what I was hearing during the discussions, the quality was without exception high and, by the glazed eyes as people were departing, provided almost more information than could be absorbed.

Based on preview content the organisers had seen from the forthcoming 4th edition of the Word Programmierung Handbuch, I was asked to introduce interested participants to working with the Office Open XML file formats.

The all-day session covered the zip package structure, terminology, manual editing, the problems of working with the files using VBA and an introduction to using the Open XML SDK. In essence, a shortened version of the 150 pages of new material on the topic in the book. It was exhausting, but fun and educational for all involved, including me, as comments and feedback during the day broadened the information base I had prepared.

It was an amazing, if exhausting, experience and I’m happy to have had the opportunity. My only regret is that the new book wasn’t off the press in time to have on-hand – missed it by only a couple of days!

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