8 Tutorials on Making Selections in Photoshop

Peacock being selected in Photoshop.

Making selections is a skill that all would-be Photoshop experts must master. It’s also something that can be accomplished using many different tools and techniques. This post points you to some tutorials illustrating various ways to make selections in Photoshop. The tool or set of tools you use to make selections depends on the image you’re working with and what you want to accomplish. You can really open up creative avenues by being adept at lots of different selection techniques.  And remember, to get good at anything, you have to practice!

Read the rest of “8 Tutorials on Making Selections in Photoshop” »

Getting Started with Web Hosting Services

Person coding on a computer.

Photo by Tirza van Dijk.

One of the questions that I get when teaching people how to code for the web is “How do I publish a web page?” The answer to this question isn’t as complicated as people think. In this post, I will explain the options for hosting a web page for folks at Indiana University. I will spend most of the post discussing how to host a page that is not affiliated with the university. Let’s get started!

Read the rest of “Getting Started with Web Hosting Services” »

IT Training Certificate Series–Updated

Illustration of certificate ribbon.

Earning a certificate from IT Training is a great way to enhance your skills in areas like Microsoft Office, web development, and creating graphics.   Office 2016 is here, so we’ve updated some of the series workshops (note major changes to the Access series). The process is the same. You take a series of related IT Training workshops designed to build your skills in applications or topics in a comprehensive way! After you’ve attended all of the workshops in a series (within a one-year period), you’ll earn your certificate.

We offer certificates in five different areas, so you’re bound to find something to meet your needs.

Office 2016 Productivity (6 workshops)

We’ll introduce you to a variety of Microsoft Office applications and demonstrate ways make them work together. You’ll learn the basic skills for day-to-day office activities from creating a spreadsheet in Excel to creating a PowerPoint presentation. The required workshops are:

1. Outlook 2016: Managing Your Email
2. Outlook 2016: Calendar Essentials
3. Word 2016: The Basics
4. PowerPoint 2016: The Basics
5. Excel 2016: The Basics
6. Access 2016: The Basics

Read the rest of “IT Training Certificate Series–Updated” »

Cross-Platform Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2016

The good news for MacOS users is that support for cross-platform keyboard shortcuts in Office 2016 has dramatically improved; potential downsides include the cross-platform shortcuts are PC-centric, and may interfere with some default Mac OS key assignments you may be accustomed to using (e.g., switching between desktops, or Show Desktop). You can also make the Ribbon appear more like the Windows one by enabling the Group Titles*, which can make finding a particular tool easier, particularly if you are using our workshop materials in self-study mode.

To enable the Control key shortcuts for Office 2016 for Mac, the process is simple, but the labeling is less-helpful than many might wish. To enable the cross-platform shortcuts, Click System Preferences… -> Click Keyboard -> Click the Shortcuts tab, and then Click the “All controls” radio button. Closing the window will keep your changes.

When enabling the cross-platform keyboard shortcuts, the dialog box will look like:
System Preferences Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box, with All controls radio button selected
Read the rest of “Cross-Platform Keyboard Shortcuts in Office 2016” »

Use Twitter as a Learning Tool

Twitter logo

Depending on how you use it, Twitter can be an incredible time-waster or a useful resource.  Because you’re reading this blog, I assume you’re interested in learning about technology. Why not use Twitter as a tool to further your learning?

In this post, you’ll find a curated list of Twitter accounts that regularly share links to technology news, tips, tricks, and tutorials. Once you’ve chosen some accounts to follow, it’s a good idea to create Twitter lists so you can easily find the type of information that you need. Here are a few tweeters organized by category.  Read the rest of “Use Twitter as a Learning Tool” »

Some Quick Facts about IT Training at IU


What is IT Training at IU? Maybe you’ve heard of us, but do you really know what we’re all about? This post answers our most frequently asked questions.

Who can attend IT Training workshops and events?

IU students, faculty, and staff can attend IT Training workshops at no cost. Faculty and staff with official retiree status may also attend free of charge. Non-IU participants can register for workshops for a nominal fee. If you’re not affiliated with IU, you must create a guest account before registering for a workshop. Paying participants receive a 10% discount when registering for all workshops in a Certificate Series at once.

What are my training options?

We offer instructor-led workshops on more than 80 beginning to advanced computing and information technology topics. You can attend in-person at IU Bloomington or IUPUI, or online anywhere you have an Internet connection. If you prefer to learn on your own, you can download our workshop materials or watch webinar and tutorial recordings. You can also take advantage of IU’s partnerships with Pluralsight, Skillsoft, and Microsoft eLearning. Find the complete list of training options here.

Can I earn a certificate from IT Training?

IT Training offers several certificate and certification options including the IT Training Certificate Series. Earning a certificate shows your boss or potential employer that you have taken steps to bolster your technology skills. Enrolling in a certificate series also helps you learn a topic in a comprehensive way.

How do I register for a workshop or Certificate Series?

You can register online for individual workshops, register online for a Certificate Series, or contact us so we can register you for the workshop or series you want.

What can I expect in an IT Training workshop?

In-person workshops happen in our IUB or IUPUI classrooms and range from 50 minutes to three hours long.  As a participant, you’ll be provided with step-by-step materials and a computer. You’ll perform tasks as the instructor demonstrates. If you need help, raise your hand, and the classroom assistant will come and work with you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions! Online workshops operate on the same model. See the Preparing for IT Training online events page for hardware and software requirements and instructions.

What is the difference between an online workshop and webinar?

You’ll use your web browser to participate in both types of presentations, but there are differences. In online workshops, participants complete hands-on exercises. Webinars are usually shorter than workshops and feature demonstration and lecture only. You can ask questions and make comments in both types of presentations.

What accommodation does IT Training provide for those with accessibility issues?

All of our classrooms are accessible to persons using wheelchairs, and we can provide assistance for those with disabilities. Advance notice is important, so contact us if you have a need.

Those are just some of the things you need to know about IT Training. Comment on this post if you have a question that wasn’t addressed here.


Creating Research Posters: Importing the Modules Into Your Canvas Course

Note: This blog article was written by IT Training’s newest professional staff member, Peter Ermey!

For many undergraduate and graduate students involved in research projects, finding ways to present their work clearly and professionally is a high priority. Since opportunities to present at academic conferences or in classrooms are often limited, many students create research posters that summarize their key findings in a succinct and visually appealing way.

If you are interested in learning more about how to create a research poster, IT Training has created the Creating Research Posters video series explaining the entire process from the initial set up of the file, to adding content such as text and images, to printing. The series also provides helpful design tips and best practices for working with fonts, graphics, and the layout. Additionally, because many users have a specific program they prefer to work in, the Creating Research Poster series is available for three different applications: PowerPoint, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Accessing the Creating Research Poster series is easy. You can import the entire video series for each application by importing the Module you want from the Canvas Commons into one of your Canvas sites or downloading it straight to your desktop.

  1. Enter the Canvas site you wish to import the module into.
  2. From the “Home” page of the site, click on the “Import from Commons” button on the top right side of the screen. This will take you to the Canvas Commons homepage.Screenshot of the Canvas interface, with the Import from Commons button outlined with a red rectangle.
  3. Search for “Creating Research Posters in Powerpoint”, “Creating Research Posters in Illustrator”, or “Creating Research Posters in InDesign”.
  4. Click on the icon for the module you wish to import.
    The Commons search results, showing the Creating Research Posters in PowerPoint module.
  5. In the “Import to Canvas” box on the right side of the screen, click the checkbox for the course(s) you want to import the Module into. Then, click on the green “Import into Course” button.
    The Import Into Canvas option.
  6. The Module will be imported into your Canvas site, though the process may take several minutes or longer. When the Module appears, it will be available in the Modules tool in your Canvas course.

Creating Research Posters

A research poster about cats playing video games, with the text Creating Research Posters superimposed over the bottom of the image.Have you ever had to make a research poster, but weren’t sure where to start?  Ever wondered how to put together a poster in a specific design program so it prints nicely?  This video series is for you!  Creating Research Posters is a Canvas course that’s open to everyone to view, and will be especially helpful if you need to make a research poster for an academic class, conference presentation, or any other reason.  If you’ve never made a research poster before, this course will help you learn design principles used in making an effective poster.  You’ll also learn how to set up a file for optimal poster making in the design program of your choice, and how to make sure it prints correctly on a plotter!  We’ve also collected some resources for effective poster design, as well as examples of good and bad poster designs, to help inspire you as you design.  Watch the whole series for your chosen design program, or just watch the part you need!

Check out the Creating Research Posters course here!

New to IU? Check out these 5 Knowledge Base Documents

If you need to know something about using technology at IU, the Knowledge Base (KB) should be your first stop. The KB is a searchable repository of information about technology at IU and beyond. Just go to kb.iu.edu and enter a search term, or check the menu for a topic that interests you.

Screenshot of the kb.iu.edu website header, with the caption "Answers to questions about IT at IU."

I’ve put together a list KB documents that should answer some of your technology questions. After all, why ask your roommate when you can consult an authoritative source? Read this post even if you’ve been at IU for years. Technology changes all the time. You need to keep up!

1) At IU, which mobile apps should I use to access IU services?

Just about everyone these days has at least one mobile Internet device, and it’s a safe bet you’ll want to use yours to access IU’s technology services. This document points you to instructions for accessing popular IU services on your smartphone or tablet.

2) About IU Secure wireless

A device not connected to the Internet isn’t very useful. This doc contains links to instructions for connecting your devices to the IU Secure wireless network. It covers Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, and Windows Phone. There’s also a link to a document about troubleshooting your wireless connection.

3) Printing at IU

Years ago, information scientist, Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster envisioned us living in a “paperless society.” So far, that hasn’t happened. While you should try to avoid wasting paper, sometimes you are required to do some printing. You may be able to turn in your assignments online, but a lot of instructors prefer not to grade papers on their computer screens. This KB document points to information about where to print, how to print, your printing allotment, and more.  Also, check out these IT Training Tips Blog posts about going paperless.

4) How do I download and install software from IUware?

I hope you know about IUware. In case you don’t, IUware is a software distribution service for Indiana University students, faculty, and staff.  It offers a wide variety of software packages at no charge, including products from Adobe and Microsoft. This document is helpful if you’re not quite sure how to download and install your software. It also outlines the differences between installing software on Windows and Mac systems.

5) Best practices for computer security

Keeping your computer secure is vital in this age of data breaches. You’ll want to protect your computer from viruses, and in doing so, you help protect the IU network. This document is packed with advice and best practices for keeping your computer secure. Read it to learn about the principle of least privilege (PoLP), the importance of updating your software, and a lot more.

The KB is amazing! It even has information about transportation on and off campus, using the library catalog, and paying your bursar bill. When in doubt, ask the KB.

Start Building your Tech Skills Now

IT Training Workshops/Webinars August and September

Life at IU is easier when you’re tech savvy. That’s where IT Training comes in. We’re offering workshops and webinars in August and September, so you can start taking advantage of the tech resources available to you before the semester gets too hectic. Here’s what we’ve got in store:

Essential Resources

Tech for Collaboration and Learning

Software at IU


You can view the schedule for these workshops and webinars here. Most of them are held online, and a few are in our classrooms at IUB or IUPUI. If you’re ready for more, browse our training schedule by date and plan a semester’s worth of tech learning! And to really fine-tune your skills, enroll in one or more of our certificate series.


If you have questions, comment on this post or contact us. Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Have a great semester!