(C) 2009 - 2018 by Mourad Louha · All rights reserved

I am currently testing Drupal, a very mature and flexible content management system. Drupal is currently available in the stable version 6.19, which should be used for production systems. Drupal 7, which is currently in beta 3, brings a lot of new features and is definitely worth a test.

In preparation for moving my websites to Drupal, I had already installed some Drupal 6.x test systems on my 1&1 (German Internet Provider) dedicated managed server. The installation is not quite trivial on their servers, but you can find some good tutorials for Drupal 6 on the web. Yesterday I tried to install Drupal 7 on my server and I was about to despair if I had not found the following tip related to Piwik, a PHP web analysis software.

Drupal Installation

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Mostafa Ashour Ashour is a program manager for Microsoft Maren, a new transliteration tool that allows users to communicate in traditional Arabic while typing on a Roman alphabet keyboard. This Tool can be download on the egyptian section of the Microsoft Site. This link is provided at the end of this article. As I have relatively large number of visitors to my site from arab countries (especially my article NETWORKDAYS.INTL() and WORKDAY.INTL() in Excel 2010), I though it may be a good idea to write about this tool. After downlading the tool, we can run the setup application.

Please note that some of the following screenshots were made on my German system,
I hope it would be clear what is meaned.

Microsoft Maren

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This website offers some free multiyear calendar templates since mid-2012. The templates are quite popular and have been actually downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Recently, Damian Strojec provided a Polish translation of the multiyear calendar template, which also contains the most popular Polish holidays. Thank you very much, Damian!

Excel Calendar Polish

I added the Polish version to the table on the corresponding section for the multiyear calendar templates of the download page.

I recently released version 1.50 of my free online Excel Formula Translator. The translator can be used to translate both single Excel Formulas and combined complex formulas. For example the formula =PROPER(MID(A1;FIND(“.”;A1)+1;FIND(“@”;A1)-FIND(“.”;A1)-1)) to extract the first and last name from an e-Mail address is translated to =NOMPROPRE(STXT(A1;TROUVE(“.”;A1)+1;TROUVE(“@”;A1)-TROUVE(“.”;A1)-1)) in French.

MSDN actually provides 43 language packs for Microsoft Office 2010, which I downloaded and installed in a virtual machine. I then compared the Excel functions, the Excel error codes and the arguments of some specific functions to the English version. And I have found 32 languages which have differences and included these languages in the translator.

Excel Formula Translator

However, in some languages the differences are minimal. For example, the only difference I found in the Japanese language pack is the DOLLAR() function which was replaced by YEN(). Another example is Thai, where the only difference is the argument “System” for the INFO() function. So, for these languages, the translator will in most cases return the same result as for English.

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Sometimes, I also use PHP for implementing features for my websites. A very interesting and professional managed open source class library for reading and writing Excel documents in PHP is the “PHPExcel” project which can be found on CodePlex.


For using the libraries, you may have at least PHP 5.2.0 installed on your server. The extensions “php_zip”, “php_xml” and “php_gd2” may also be active; however the first one is only needed if you would like to create documents in the XLSX format. The class library also contains function for reading and writing Excel documents in the older XLS binary file format. A detailed English description about the project can be found on its website.

The sister projects “PHPPowerPoint” and “PHPWord” are relatively new and also partially managed by the same developers of “PHPExcel”. In the following, the links to the different projects:

This article has also been published on the German Version of the Excel Ticker blog.

Microsoft offers for several Office versions the administrative tempates, which especially allows system administrators to maintain and configure various settings and options for Microsoft Office in a very convenient way. The templates are can be downloaded for free at the Microsoft Download Center.

So, everyone can use them, for example at home or in the small office. However, if you use them, please do this very carefully. Most settings are explained in the templates and also accessible using the Office interface. However, some of them are only accessible (excepted some uncomfortable registry hacks) via the administrative templates and you should know what you are doing before changing these values. Added on 23/04/2010: at the time, I wrote this article, Office 2010 was still beta. So it is possible that some statements in this article may not apply to the final version of Office 2010.

In this article, I will explain how to use the administrative templates on a local computer and show some sample settings for Office 2007 and Office 2010. If I got some spare time, I will report about more settings for the Office applications in further posts. First, we have to download the adminstrative templates for each Office version and install them. This can be done by just executing the downloaded file, which unpacks the templates to a folder you can choose. The following image shows a screenshot for the folder structure after unpacking the files:

Administrative Templates

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