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Archive for February, 2012

Join Us For lynda.com Day Wednesday Feb 29th(IUB) and Thursday March 1st(IUPUI)

Join us at lynda.com day in Bloomington (Feb. 29th) or IUPUI (Mar. 1) and learn how to maximize your lynda eLearning experience! Take advantage of the opportunity to:

  • Attend a workshop that will teach you how you can integrate lynda.com content into your academic course delivery
  • Learn how you can get the most out of your personal lynda learning experience
  • Speak with lynda.com’s usability experts about your favorite features and areas you think can be improved
  • Learn about key features and best practices for using lynda’s online training library

Lynda.com representatives will be available to speak with at the following times and locations:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 29, Noon – 5pm in the Wells Library lobby (IU Bloomington)
  • Thursday, Mar. 1, 9am – Noon in the Campus Center lobby (IUPUI)

As part of these events, IU faculty and IT Training staff will present a special session titled Integrate lynda.com Content into your Academic Course. You will learn why you might want to integrate lynda.com content into your academic course and get ideas for a number of different ways you can do it. Additionally, lynda representative Jen Jortner will be presenting Tips and Tricks for Using lynda.com online and in-person at IUPUI. Take this session to learn how you can get the most out of your lynda.com learning experience.

Registration for both sessions is free. You can read descriptions, dates and times of these sessions and register online!

Questions? Contact us!

Check out our lynda.com offerings here.

it2go Episode 35 – Excel Subtotals

On this week’s episode we’re discussing Excel Subtotals and get more than a little off topic. Enjoy the irreverent episode.

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

Windows 7: How to Invert Your Mouse’s Scroll Wheel

In the last year or so, I’ve become increasingly dependent on my tablet for day-to-day computing. I’m finding that I rarely need a full desktop computer, but when I’m in the office, that’s what’s most convenient. Everywhere else, however, I have my tablet in my bag and can pull it out for anything from taking notes in a meeting, to grocery shopping, to entertaining myself or friends, to writing, email, and reading. One of the design philosophies in tablet OS design deals with scrolling the content instead of scrolling the viewport. What I mean is this, if I want to scroll down a page on my tablet (or phone), I push the page upwards, I don’t drag the device’s screen down.

If you were to put your hand on your screen, grab the document/page/file you’re viewing, and try to push it down to see the content below. It simply won’t work.

Here’s a more real-world example: Imagine that you can’t move your eyes; they are permanently fixed viewing a specific location on your desk. When you grab a piece of paper on your desk and move your hand downward, the page moves down, changing your focus to an area higher up on the page. If you move the page up, your focus changes to a location further down the page.

This is how tablet scrolling is designed.

This is something that I’ve found myself having trouble with lately on my desktop computer. I browse to a web page, open an email, edit a document, and I find myself pushing my mouse wheel upwards to scroll down a page rather than rolling it downward. Apple’s Mac OS X Lion has inverted the scroll direction, making for a more uniform experience across a myriad of different devices.

I began thinking, “I wonder if I can do that with my Windows 7 machine in the office.” Turns out, it can be done, and it takes changing a registry value in several places.

Here’s how I did it:

Read the rest of “Windows 7: How to Invert Your Mouse’s Scroll Wheel” »

Excel 2010: How to Find Those Special Cells

Have you ever wondered how to find specific cells in a worksheet, such as blank cells or those cells that contain formula errors? Recently someone wanted to know if there is a way to find all cells in a worksheet that had validation rules applied. One of Excel’s “best kept secrets” is the command on the Home tab of the Ribbon under Find & Select called Go to Special…

As you can see, this dialog box offers many options for finding cells in a data range on a worksheet.  For example, if you want to find the data validation rules that are applied in a worksheet, all you have to do is Click the radio button for Data validation and Click OK.  By choosing “All,” all cells will be highlighted that have validation rules applied. If you Click “Same,” then only those cells that have the same validation rules applied as the currently selected cell will be highlighted.

Other commonly used options you may want to find and highlight in a worksheet are: various types of formulas (including errors), blanks, Current region (or entire list), Current array (active cell must be contained in the array), Conditional Formats, or Visible cells only. Note that the Visible cells only option is useful if you have hidden rows or columns in the worksheet and you want to copy and paste only visible cells.  The option of Last cell will find the last cell in the worksheet that contains data or formatting. To find out more about using Precedents and Dependents, you may want to read the blog article entitled: Excel 2010: Using Formula Auditing Tools.

Excel 2010: Using Formula Auditing Tools

Have you ever inherited an Excel workbook that is so complex it seems just a maze of text and numbers? If so, the tools in the Formula Auditing group of the Formulas tab on the Excel Ribbon might be the getting-acquainted “social” you need to make that workbook your new best friend.

Formula Auditing Group of Tools
One first approach might be to use the Show Formulas tool. It will tell which cells contain values that were entered and which are the result of some calculation. Below, on the left, is a sheet in the default view; and, on the right, is the same sheet after clicking the Show Formulas button:

Cells showing their formulas

Formulas displayed in cells

Read the rest of “Excel 2010: Using Formula Auditing Tools” »

it2go Episode 34 – Access Mailing Labels

On this week’s episode, we’re teaching a small section of Access: Reports, discussing creating Mailing Labels. This is a new segment so let us know what you think!

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

Add Multiple Page Sizes to One InDesign Document

If you’re familiar with InDesign and the Pages panel, you should already be aware as to how to add pages and even work with Master Pages so that you can carry designs throughout your document. But sometimes you have a document that may need different page sizes. Up until recently, the only way to do this would be to create different InDesign documents and then combine them together in a book, or perhaps some other way that I have never thought of. However, with InDesign CS5 and later, you can actually adjust your InDesign page sizes (much like creating Master pages) inside the Pages panel. It’s really quite simple. Let’s take a look at how that is made possible.

Read the rest of “Add Multiple Page Sizes to One InDesign Document” »

it2go Episode 33 – InDesign Paragraph Styles

In this week’s episode, we’re trying something new. We’re going to teach you a short section from one of our workshops: InDesign: Creating a Poster. We’ve got a few more tutorials like this lined up for the next couple of weeks on the podcast, so let us know what you think!

The podcast is at the link below.

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

Running Python Scripts from Notepad++

While there is nothing wrong with writing and executing python code in IDLE, python’s bundled integrated development environment, sometimes you might prefer to write in a more standard editor. This article demonstrates how to set up Notepad++ to load and run your python document into the python interpreter with the flick of a custom keystroke.

NOTE: This article is designed to complement the Python: The Basics course offered by IT Training at IU, but serves as an independent resource as well.

NOTE 2: This article is directed toward Windows users.

From the Run menu on the menu bar in Notepad++ click “Run…”

Image of run command window

1. Copy and paste the following command into the field:

cmd /K D:\Python26\python.exe -i -c “execfile(‘$(FULL_CURRENT_PATH)’)”

2. You could just click “Run” at this point, but we anticipate we’re probably going to be using this command many times in the process of creating our python files, so we will save it to a shortcut instead.

Let’s briefly look over the components of the command above:

  • cmd launches the command line
  • /K is a flag or “option” that tells the command line to run the text following it, as well as to keep the command line window open after it is complete
  • D:\Python26\python.exe runs the python interpreter
  • -i is the option that puts the command line into the “interactive mode” of python after the code is run, which will make the workflow resemble IDLE better.
  • -c is the option that allows you to run the python code in double quotes immediately following the option flags.
  • “execfile(‘$(FULL_CURRENT_PATH)’)” is the python function that loads and runs the python file you are editing, while $FULL_CURRENT_PATH is Notepad++’s way of passing the file path of the file you were editing when you ran this command.

A new window should appear:

Window naming shortcut and assigning a shortcut

1. Call the command name anything you like, preferably something relevant like “Run in Python,” as seen in the image.
2. Choose any modifier key that you want to be part of the keystroke, and then select from the drop-down list to assign a hotkey. For example, you can choose ‘F6′ to be the key that runs the command from the previous window.
3. Hit ‘OK’

You’ll be taken back to the previous window, at which point you can either hit “Run” to test the command now, or hit “Cancel” to test it later with the keystroke you assigned it. You’re all set! Try the keystroke you just created to make sure everything works.

If you get an error finding the file stating that “there is no such file or directory,” then you may have incurred a strange but common problem associated with executing code this way. The problem occurs when any of the directories in the file path, as well as the file name itself, start with the following lower-case letters: a, b, f, n, r, t, v, or x. The reason behind this seems to be that these are reserved Microsoft escape sequences that get triggered when the file path string is being sent from Notepad++ because it finds something like ‘\a’, ‘\b’, etc.
If you didn’t quite understand why the bug occurs, then just remember that if you are going to be using lower-case letters in your folder names and file name, avoid the specific letters mentioned above.

If it worked, then great! It is now stored in the Notepad++ program to be used again whenever. However, if you are running into the folder/filename problem mentioned above and you find yourself in the position where it would be difficult or impossible to rename files and folders, because of your username, your workplace settings, or what-have-you, then read on to the next part of the article.

Creating a virtual drive to control your file paths

If your file path is causing you grief over getting this Notepad++ shortcut to work, or you simply want to organize your workflow to access your project files more quickly, then you can point a virtual drive directly to the folder containing your project files. In order to do this, we will create a simple “batch file” to script the assignment.

First, copy the path to your project folder:

Image of how to get the directory path

Open your project folder in Windows Explorer (Windows’ built-in file browser), and click to the right of the directory path in the address bar. Then perform the Ctrl + ‘C’ keystroke to copy the path.

Open notepad and type

subst P: “<pasted file path>”

  • “subst” meaning “substitute” is the command that assigns a drive letter to a virtual drive that perfectly mirrors any directory on your physical data drive (hard drive or solid state drive).
  • “P:” is the letter you wish to assign your virtual drive. You can choose any letter, just make sure it is not the same as the letter assigned to an existing drive you have on your computer. “P” in this case denotes “Python” to remind us the purpose of the virtual drive.
  • “<pasted file path>” is the file path you should paste in that you copied in the step above. Be sure to put the path in double quotes.

Save the file and give it any name along with a “.bat” file extension, eg, “mapPythonDrive.bat” or something similarly relevant. You may save this wherever you like, including your desktop for convenience.

Find the file on your drive, and double-click it. If necessary, click “Yes” to the User Account Control dialog box that may appear. The script will execute, and you are now done!

To confirm it worked, hold the Windows key and press ‘E’ to open up your drive listings, and you should see a new ‘P’ drive (or whatever letter you chose). Go inside, run your python file in Notepad++, and try the F6 shortcut again; this time the Notepad++ run command should work if it didn’t before.

NOTE: Keep in mind that this drive is virtual and mirrors the actual file directory on your physical drive. This means that if you save your work or create new files in this ‘P’ directory, it will also automatically save to your project directory on your physical drive. This also applies to deleting files. If you delete a file in the virtual drive, it will delete it off your hard drive or solid state drive as well.

The one problem with this fix is that every time you restart your computer, the virtual drive will disappear and you’ll have to run the batch file you created again. You could have the batch file in a convenient location, like the desktop, to run whenever you need to, or you can have the batch file run automatically every time you start Windows.

Running your custom batch file automatically when Windows starts

Let’s say you are planning on working with your python project files frequently on your computer. To avoid having to run your new batch file every time you restart Windows, you can have the file automatically run when Windows starts.

To do this, first make a shortcut for the batch file by right-clicking it and click “Create Shortcut.” Copy the shortcut, by clicking on it and hitting Ctrl + ‘C.’

Then, hit the Windows key to bring up the start menu. Click “All Programs” and locate the “Startup” folder in your programs directory. Right-click the Startup folder and click “Open.” Paste the copied shortcut for your batch file in the Startup folder.

Once you’ve done that, you’re all set! Any shortcut that is in the Startup folder will run every time Windows starts. Now when you restart Windows, your ‘P’ drive should appear, ready for you to access your project files.

Good luck!

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