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Easily Collaborate on Any File Type Using Box Apps

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Two Box apps that can make your life easier

Using Box at IU along with two Box add-ins, you and your project group can work on a single file — without having to keep a local copy on your device and then sending your document around via hard copy or email.

In his article about Box, Tom Mason has extolled the merits of using Box Edit. Let’s talk about this Box App a little more. With Box Edit, you can simply open a file directly from the preview page on Box, make edits instantly, and save the new version back to Box automatically. Then, when you share your document with others, your collaborators can use Box Edit to work on the same document in the same way—without ever having to download and re-upload it! As long as you have the application on your computer, you don’t have to worry about the file type.  PSD files, presentations, images, CAD drawings, Illustrator files – any file you can edit on your computer’s desktop you can now edit without leaving Box. Install Box Edit once and it will work on all your browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (Mac).

Another app,  Box for Office, allows you to start up an Office Document such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel on your own computer–and when you choose Save As, you can save directly to your Box account without having to upload it. Once there, share it with others and they can use Box Edit to edit it.

Read the rest of “Easily Collaborate on Any File Type Using Box Apps” »

Plan Meetings and Events with Doodle

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

 

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Before you send those paper invitations, consider an electronic method.

Doodle logo

We all know that planning meetings and get-togethers with more than two people can be a nightmare. With Doodle, you can make it a snap.

What is Doodle?

Doodle is a free and very simple online tool that allows you to suggest dates and times for events or meetings in a simple table. When you have filled in all possible dates and times, you then share the web address of your suggestions with your invitees. No need for them to register. They simply visit the page, type in a name of their choice, and click check-boxes to select the times they can attend. Doodle saves all responses right there for everyone to see, and keeps track of the best date.

With Doodle Premium, you can connect calendars and send automatic reminders. Doodle is a free app for mobile devices, too!

To get started, visit Doodle.com.

Use Box Notes to Collaborate and Stay on Task

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

You may have already read Tom Mason’s article, Sharing & Group-Editing Documents in Box. If you are interested in using Box, I highly recommend that you read it! An additional feature of Box that deserves to be named in this conversation is Box Notes.

Box Notes is a simple document-creation tool available in all Box accounts. Using Box Notes, you can make notes for yourself or share ideas and allow people of your choosing to easily edit your document in real-time. Box Notes are entirely web-based and don’t require any apps to use.

In Box Notes you can work with simple text tools including inserting images and tables, using the simple editing panel:

Box Notes text editor

Plus, when you highlight text, you can add links and annotate. See the how-to tricks on Box.com.

To create a Box note, click the little pencil icon next to the New button:

New Box Notes icon

There are so many ways to use Box Notes. Examples might be: create too-do lists that you can access with any device; use the tables feature to create sign-up sheets or define group feedback spaces for groups; share a set of links; plus many more. And don’t worry; if group input goes astray, you can restore to a previous version.

Read more about Box Notes.

Adobe Connect for Online Presentations

Baby using a computerWhen it comes to Adobe Connect at IU, whether you’re starting at a beginner level (like the subject in the photo on the left) or you’re an advanced user, our recent webinar “Adobe Connect for Online Presentations” likely has some takeaways you can use.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Adobe Connect for Online Presentations.”

In this webinar, we covered:

  • Planning for a successful event
  • Creating an Adobe Connect meeting
  • Getting familiar with the Adobe Connect interface
  • Using pods and layouts effectively to strengthen your presentation
  • Managing events and content on connect.iu.edu

These links were shared during the webinar for additional information:

If you liked this webinar, you might also be interested in:

PowerPoint 2013: The Basics 
FEBRUARY 19
5:30 – 9:00
IUPUI ICTC IT121
PowerPoint 2013: Setting Up a Slide Show with Audio & Video (Webinar)
MARCH 5
5:30 – 7:30
Online

Find and register for these events.

Drop us a line in the comments! What additional questions do you have after watching the recording? What do you wish was covered that we didn’t discuss?

 

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/.

 

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:

Read the rest of “Spread one image through multiple shapes in InDesign” »

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.

Read the rest of “Use Photoshop clipping layers to create overlays and cameos” »

Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer

Sometimes in Photoshop you need to apply an adjustment layer to only the layer directly beneath. In the example below, a few shots were taken from a mobile phone with the intention to fit them together later into a panorama using Photoshop. In this case, because of changing lighting conditions between shots, the topmost layer happens to be darker:

layeredTemple1

By applying an adjustment layer to it, you can now see that the entire scene is lightened:

layeredTemple2

This is not the effect we want. What we need to do is brighten only the top layer, leaving the rest untouched.

Read the rest of “Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer” »

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