Episode 81 – Collaborative Workshops at IUB

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Indiana University: IT Training Tips Blog » Blog Archive » Episode 81 – Collaborative Workshops at IUB

On this episode, we talk about the new Collaborative Workshops at IUB!

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QR Codes: A guide for beginners

A beginners guide to qr codes graphic with two sample qr codes

Slowly but surely QR codes are starting to appear everywhere. I’ve found them on promotional flyers, advertising stickers, business cards, and even in the classroom. But I realize that a lot of my peers still don’t understand quite exactly what they are or how to use them. These funky, pixelated graphics can seem a little intimidating, but I am hoping this guide can be an easy transition into the wonderful world of QR codes.

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The best way to save your images

One of the biggest space fillers on your computer right now is probably images and movies, especially if you’re a designer. Digital images take up a lot of space all over the place–in our emails, computer memory, webpages, etc. It’s such a pain when you don’t have any more space on your devices, and absolutely everyone hates when those pesky large files take FOREVER to load. When working with digital image files there are certain file types that work better depending on what you are doing.

Small info graphic stating "Know your file types: When to use .gif, .jpeg, .png"  Read the rest of “The best way to save your images” »

Do you know someone who needs to learn to use a computer?

For those new to computing or unsure of the depth of their knowledge, Windows: Basic Computing Skills introduces basic computing terminology and concepts while showing participants how to perform basic tasks in Windows such as word processing, graphic manipulation, and surfing the Web.

This sessions will be offered at no cost to faculty, staff and students AND the general public. Anyone may attend!Computer

This workshop will be offered:
IUB Wells Library W144
1320 E 10th Street
Saturday, January 24
9am-noon

For more information and to register, go to: http://ittraining.iu.edu or call 317-274-2537

Take a break with Big Stretch Reminder for PC or Dejal Time Out for Mac

image of aerobic-dancer

Do you sit at a computer screen all day? Does this cause repetitive stress syndrome, eye strain, or mobility problems? You can combat these problems by using several free or inexpensive software applications that urge you to take breaks. You can configure them to do many things, including darkening your screen and halting your work until you tell it to postpone or skip the break.

I work on both PC and Mac, and my favorites for each platform are both free: Big Stretch Reminder for PC, and Dejal Time Out for Mac. Both of them can gently remind you to take a break on a regular basis, and are quite customizable.

 

 

Big Stretch Reminder (PC):

With Big Stretch Reminder, you can configure the time between breaks, the length of the breaks, or the time of the break. You can create your own custom reminder and choose how to be reminded, from a gentle reminder to an intrusive work stoppage. It will allow you to postpone or skip the break. There are reminders in the form of dialog boxes and audio alerts, all customizable. See http://www.monkeymatt.com/bigstretch/.

Dejal Time Out (Mac)

Time Out lets you configure two kinds of breaks: a longer break to move, stretch and relax, plus a “Micro” break which is a very brief pause of a few seconds every few minutes. You can set how long each kind of break lasts and how long between. Time outs are announced by slowly dimming the screen. You can even run an Automator workflow, AppleScript, Python script, or application at the start and/or end of each break. This would allow you to listen to music or play a video, for example, during the break. When the break is finished, the screen resumes. You can pause or skip each break. See http://www.dejal.com/timeout/.

 

Creating a Drop Box With Box

This tutorial has been written for use at Indiana University, but the methods and techniques described are applicable to anyone using the Box collaboration platform.

Box company logo -- Click to go to http://box.iu.eduAt Indiana University, we have access to considerable cloud storage space on Box (100GB at the time of this writing) for free. Couple that with Box’s ability to invite collaborators, set up upload email addresses, and create upload widgets, many instructors want to use Box as a tool for collecting assignments. Using Box, you can create a Drop Box that students and/or colleagues can use to submit files to you. This can be done one of three ways: Inviting Collaborators to a Folder, Creating an Upload Email Address, and Creating an Upload Widget, each having its own implications.

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Try out and save effects with Photoshop Layer Comps

You can save different versions of an image using the Layer Comps panel, and then choose one later. You may want to try on effects by enabling visibility, position, and appearance of specific layers of that image. A common example would be  where you want three or more versions of the same image; for example, one version may be black and white, one tinted, and one in full color.

image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

image showing visibility of two other layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel  image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

With Photoshop Layer Comps you don’t have to save three different images. Instead, as long as you save your changes in layers, you can save and compare each of these adjustments in the same image.

The beauty of Layer Comps is that when you save your document as a Photoshop document, you can always return to all your settings by returning to each of your saved Layer Comps. You may close the document and still return to all your settings later when you open the document. Layer Comps will remember some, but not all, of your modifications.

To start using Layer Comps, show the Layer Comps panel: from the Photoshop menu, choose Window -> Layer Comps.

With the Layer Comps panel in view, to save specific layer combinations, simply show and hide the layers you want in the Layers panel. With each variation, click the Create New Layer Comp button  Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 5.27.19 PM in the Layer Comps panel. The visibility of the layers will be saved just as you specified. Name each Layer Comp so you will know at a glance which set of layers will be viewed when you select them later.

Convert a frame’s shape in InDesign

If you want to try on shapes of image frames in InDesign, you don’t have to keep re-drawing frames and re-placing images.

From InDesign’s menu bar, choose Object>Convert Shape and choose the shape of your choice.

InDesign will convert your existing shape into the one you want.

image of flower stand in square frame

image of flower stand in elliptical frame

Spread one image through multiple shapes in InDesign

In Indesign, you can place a single image into several frames for a visual effect.

one image spread throughout 18 frames in InDesign

Here’s how:

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Use Photoshop clipping layers to create overlays and cameos

image_inset

In Photoshop, a clipping layer is a layer whose pixel or vector content acts as a mask for one or more layers above it. Where either pixel or vector content exists on the clipping layer, you can use the shape of the content to reveal what is on the layer above, while its transparent areas reveal what is on the layer below.

The result of the clipping action is that you don’t actually see the content of the clipping area; you are just using its shape like you would a cookie-cutter. One of the things you will do most with clipping layers is to make type or a shape look like it’s filled with a photo. You can do this over a transparent background, or over another image.

Here, we started with a simple river landscape, for which we would like to add an inset of eagles:

River image in Photoshop. One layer only at this point.

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