Top 10 posts of 2019 on

In keeping with a tradition I started last year, I’m sharing the top 10 posts of 2019. Blogging is one of my favorite ways to share with the community (and, admittedly, document things I might forget otherwise). It’s been a pleasure and privilege to have this platform – thank you for reading.

The following includes the ‘Top 10’ most popular posts by views published in 2019:

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 “plugged in, not charging”
Alas, I reached a day where I thought I was done with my Surface. It powered on when plugged in
Read more.
Open a SharePoint Library in Windows Explorer and save it to Quick Access
If you can’t sync a library, or prefer not to, you can pin the web location of a SharePoint form, media,
Read more.
“Unable to connect” error when accessing SQL database in Power BI Desktop
When attempting to access a SQL server/database in Power BI, you might get the following error message: Unable to connect
Read more.
Add a new OneNote notebook to a SharePoint site
If your SharePoint site doesn’t currently have a notebook (most likely stored by default in “Site Assets”), you can add
Read more.
MS-100 & MS-101 Exam Study Guides
Update 10/14/2019: My MS-101 exam guide is now available for pre-order. Also, the courses previously listed below are no longer
Read more.
Flow now supports multiple condition controls for advanced if/then scenarios within a single step
Say goodbye to nested if/then statements in Flow taking up fourteen monitor widths. Flow now supports nested if/then statements all
Read more.
Add a print button to SharePoint list items
One of my more popular requests is an easier way to print list items (either to PDF or paper). Using
Read more.
Power BI refresh error “could not load file or assembly…provided impersonation level is invalid”
Short version Run Power BI Desktop as administrator before opening the report. Explanation/Scenario Recently, when opening a report from Power
Read more.
Export SharePoint group membership names and email addresses to Excel
Before we start, if you’re just wanting to email all members of the group you can “select all” then choose
Read more.
Add or subtract hours from date/time values in Power BI using M formula in Power Query Editor
Previously, I shared how to transform date/time values in Power BI using DAX. But I’m working on building more using
Read more.

Interested in more? Check out the archives for all previous posts:

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Microsoft Delve blogs to be retired; Existing Delve blogs to be deleted in 2020

Thanks to a tweet by Tim Milan of Omaha, I heard today that Microsoft Delve blogs are to be deleted in a few months.

Milan’s news came from Office 365 Premier Support in response to a ticket he’d submitted. The email is as follows:

Click to enlarge

Delve was first announced alongside the Office Graph in 2014 at SharePoint Conference. Even though it’s only been out for a little over five years, the retirement of Delve in general has been a topic of speculation for nearly two years now (and perhaps longer for others). Some have wondered whether to invest time learning and promoting the app anymore, and perhaps this news will help guide those decisions.

Important dates:

The following points are taken from the email body seen above.

  • Beginning December 18th, 2019, tenants can no longer create new Delve blogs.
  • Beginning January 18th, 2020, you can no longer create new posts in existing blogs
  • Beginning April 17th, 2020, existing Delve blogs will be deleted and removed from Delve profiles.

What now?

If you read this post and asked yourself, “What’s a Delve blog?” don’t worry about it. It was a convenient feature that allowed your average user to create and maintain a blog they could share in the organization.

If you read this post and realized you have hundreds of user and group blogs out there to manage and just a few months to figure it out, you have some choices to consider.

The email shown earlier in this post suggests creating communication sites and adding News, Yammer, and Stream web parts for engagement but this isn’t a good plan for all blogs as not all users can create sites for themselves. Even those that can create sites may find site creation and management a bit too complex or too large of a scope compared to running a simple blog.

You could consider creating WordPress or Blogger sites and migrating your posts there. Unfortunately, there is no RSS feed for Delve blogs to export. You’d be manually copying and pasting (or recreating) posts.

You might consider disabling Delve if you’d like to prevent users from beginning something that’ll be removed soon. You can do this through the SharePoint admin center for all users (see directions here). Keep in mind this disables more than just blog creation – read the description before proceeding.

Click to enlarge

No matter what you choose, there’s no easy way forward. I would suggest getting your users involved in saving (print to PDF or copy/paste) posts of importance so that they can be posted as documents elsewhere, or recreated at a later time in another space.

Ready, set, change management!

How to set up a green screen for videos

I recently started exploring using green screen for videos. I’m not the greatest by any means and I still have a lot to learn, but I love how it transforms the quality of my videos and makes them more personal. Here’s an example of a recent attempt:

If you’re interested in giving it a go, here’s how you can set up your own green screen “studio” and what I used for mine:

Green Screen

Frame for green screen

2x LED Lights + Stands

Then for software I use XSplit Broadcaster (I bought the lifetime license, because I’m all about those one-time expenses as opposed to subscription/variable models). Currently, they’re offering 55% off the lifetime license. I use it for more than green screens, as it allows for live YouTube broadcasting and scene switching as well.

XSplit has two chroma key options. Regular and legacy:

XSplit allows you to record locally, so I set up a scene with my “green screen” camera layer on top of the background (PowerPoint monitor screen capture) and add any other layers and begin recording. I could also live-stream like this if I wished.

Next I’ll be working on finding the right balance of chroma key settings and lighting to make my green screen recordings as clear and fluid as possible. I might also look into getting more lights, but your own needs will depend on your room and available natural lighting.

Good luck in your own adventures!

Bon voyage, 2018: Reflections, goals, and gratitude


Goals for 2019

  • Become an MCSE or M365 Expert
  • Write another book
  • Keep speaking, blogging, and sharing
  • TBD


Thank you to LMH Health, my colleagues and community change-makers, for welcoming me to your organization and believing in what we can achieve collectively. I’m fueled by your energy.

Thank you to the six SharePoint Saturday organizing committees who provided me with the opportunity this past year to share my passion with your communities.

Thank you to Brenda Hough at Emporia State University for inviting me to speak at my alma mater about my journey.

Thank you to Max Fritz, Mack Sigman, Melissa Hubbard, April Dunnam, Tara Saylor, Starla Jones, Mike Broadwell, Jason Dozier, Yang Yang, Sharon Weaver, Rebekah Ellingson, Chris Heeter and Alicia Backlund for sharing your time with the Lawrence SharePoint User Group and providing premium content for our attendees and viewers. And thank you to the attendees – we do it for you, and are inspired by your desire to continue learning, sharing, and growing.

Finally, thank you to all of my readers, viewers, friends, and advocates. May this new year provide you with rich opportunities, hope, healing, and love.

Top 10 posts of 2018 on

Thank you, friends, for making 2018 my best blogging year yet. I enjoy sharing what I learn along the way, and am glad to know it’s being found useful.

The following includes the ‘Top 10’ most popular posts by views published in 2018:

Solution: “We’re sorry. We can’t open {file} because we found a problem with its contents.”
When using SharePoint Designer workflows to automatically create documents from a template you might run into an error message: “We’re
Read more.
Customize styles/formatting of SharePoint list column header rows
Note: This post applies to on-premise/server lists or O365 lists set to “classic” view. This will not work on modern
Read more.
How to resolve SharePoint list view threshold error: “The view cannot be displayed because it exceeds the list view threshold…”
SharePoint lists have a default limit of 5,000 items per view. But lists can contain 30 million items (just not
Read more.
How to create a SharePoint Governance Plan (includes template)
What is governance? The Burton Group says “Governance uses people, process, technology, and policies to define a service, resolve ambiguity,
Read more.
Using today’s date and/or current time in calculated columns and list view filters
I previously shared how to create a “Today” column in SharePoint that would always be up-to-date even if list items
Read more.
Embedding Power BI Report Server (PBIRS) reports in SharePoint
If you’re on-premises and looking to embed a Power BI Report Server report in SharePoint, you’ll find it’s not as
Read more.
How to create a powerful date table or DateKey in Power BI
DateKeys are essential for relative time measures. In “manage relationships” you tie the ‘DateKey' to a date field in each
Read more.
View and share Power BI Report Server (PBIRS) reports full screen
The O365 Power BI Service has an easy “expand” icon on reports to make them full screen whereas Power BI
Read more.
Intro to conditional formatting & rules/validation when customizing SharePoint new item forms with PowerApps in Office 365
This is my intro to conditional formatting & rules/validation when customizing SharePoint new item forms with PowerApps in Office365. The
Read more.
Show last modified date for a SharePoint list without using code
How to display last modified date for a bulk-updated list in SharePoint without using code.
Read more.

Want more? Check out the archives for all previous posts: