Skip to Main Content

go to Indiana University Indiana University

Carol Rhodes's Archive

How to manage what syncs from Box on your local computer

Do you want some documents, such as just those files you use at the office, to remain only in your Box account but not be synced to your local computer? You can be selective about what your local Box Sync app slurps from your Box account. There are two ways to do this.

When using a browser in your account on the Web, for each folder you can right-click an options arrow located next to the Share link and choose Sync Folder to Computer or else Unsync.  This includes or excludes the entire folder for all your synced devices.

If you don’t want certain folders on a single local system, you can also delete the folder from your Box folder on that local system. Deleting a folder in your local system does not delete the same folder on Box; it will merely unsync the folder, remove it from your local system, and keep it saved on Box. However, if you want to delete this folder in both locations, you need to explicitly delete the required folder in your Box account on the Web. This behavior protects content from unintentional and accidental deletions.

A special note: This behavior only applies to folders. If you delete a file in your local system, you will automatically be deleting it from Box as well.


VoiceThread: The Least You Need to Know

VoiceThread is a new courseware tool available to IU faculty and students. It is a Web-based digital storytelling system that enables instructors and students to upload pictures or documents, record accompanying audio or video commentary, and invite others to record commentary as well.  Users can create virtual tours, post reports or presentations, comment on historically significant photographs, debate topics, and much more. VoiceThread is available through Oncourse, IU’s Leaning Management system.

An excellent overview with instructions on how to get started is available through Penn State’s Getting Started document, at (Note, IU users would log into Oncourse instead of the Penn State interface.)

In addition, here are a few Least You Need to Know documents that explain discreet VoiceThread tasks.

Sharing a VoiceThread:
Adding a comment in VoiceThread:
Creating a Presentation in VoiceThread:
Managing Identities in VoiceThread:
Playback and Publishing Options in VoiceThread

Manage Spotlight Indexing on Your Mac

Mac OX Spotlight search is a powerful resource, bringing you all kinds of search results in a flash. However, the downside is that it can take up precious CPU that you may need for other tasks. You can switch it off when you don’t need it and then turn it back on when you aren’t working with processor-intensive applications. Here’s how:

It’s also best to understand how Spotlight works, and how to manage and fix it. See:

What Is That Keyboard Shortcut Again?

Do you struggle to remember keyboard shortcuts? Do you tack up sticky notes with Ctrl and Alt symbols everywhere? Instead, you can go directly to, the one-stop shortcut place. is an open, wiki-style Reference Database that contains Keyboard Shortcuts for hundreds of applications– in Windows, Mac, Linus, and web applications. Boost your productivity and save yourself time. 

Flipboard: a New Way to Publish

 Flipboard brings together world news and social news in a beautiful magazine, plus it is a social media publisher as well.  It is a mobile aggregator app that works on the most common mobile platforms and Windows 8, presenting content in a format that is more pleasing to read than most apps — and in some ways even better than reading a magazine or newspaper.

First, Flipboard curates its own media by providing its own feeds for things like news, politics, technology, politics, etc., from prominent online websites such as New York Times, NPR, Financial Times, Business Insider, Huffington Post, etc. 

Second, Flipboard allows any viewers to create and curate their own magazines, adding any feeds they want.

Thus, with a multitude of topics available, not only is Flipboard a good way to find new items of interest to you, it’s an easy way to publish your own magazine — and then share it with the world, subscribe to others, and share their feeds. Anything that is online can be flipped into a Flipboard magazine. Even dabblers in social media find it fascinating to see their own twitter feed look like a magazine  with both text and photos.

You can find my own art and painting magazine, Reflections, there, too. 

Find Flipboard at the app store on your mobile device, or browse to:

Photoshop: Dodging and burning the nondestructive way

The Dodge and Burn tool in Photoshop are older tools that refer to the photographic process of managing incoming light during the photochemical developing process, to make certain areas of the photo light or dark. Because these tools are readily available on the Photoshop toolbar it is easy to blithely use them, only to discover that we overdone the effect and have damaged pixels.

There is a nondestructive way to lighten or darken parts of an image in Photoshop using a new layer with a Blend mode. See the technique here:

Note, however, that it is not necessary to fill the layer with 50% gray because in any of the Contrast blend modes, gray IS already transparent. Thus, just add a transparent layer on top of the one you want to lighten or darken, change the blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light (these work best for me) and then paint with black or white in varying opacities over the areas you want to darken or lighten, respectively. 

Learn more about Photoshop with Photoshop CS6 Extras webinars

If you have attended IT Training workshops in Photoshop and still want to learn more, sign up for our monthly webinars, entitled “Photoshop CS6 Extras.” These sessions are free to anyone–and the best news is, we will be posting recordings of them here.


Here is what we have so far:

Disappearing act   2/1/2013: Learn to extract one person from a group of people and make the absence look seamless. Learn how to add a new background to the image of the extracted person.

Change that foreground/background 2/22/2013: Learn four new ways to change a background–even around fine, blowing hair– and learn two new ways to add and modify a foreground item so it blends in perfectly. With Layer Comps, you can experiment with many versions of an edited image.

Create a 2001-style HAL computer – 3/22/2013: Create the whole thing: red eye and shiny surface.

Create a Spread Guide in InDesign


Ruler clipart

Have you ever tried to set a single Ruler Guide across a two-page spread in InDesign– and been frustrated in the effort?  A Ruler Guide that extends across a spread is called a Spread Guide. To create one, set the view so you can see the Pasteboard and then drag the guide out across the pasteboard instead of across the printable area. Viola–it extends all the way across the spread. If you are zoomed in, hold the Ctrl key while you drag.

To place a copy of a Ruler Guide or Spread Guide on other pages, point to the guide and right-click when you see the cursor change. In the right-click menu, choose Copy. On following pages, from the Menu bar, choose Edit, and Paste in Place.

Remember also that you can only see Ruler and Spread Guides in Normal view.


Automate Photoshop tasks–Create a Droplet or an Action

Are there tasks you find yourself doing again and again in Photoshop? To spare yourself some time and exasperation, you can create a Photoshop Droplet. The Droplet is a little application consisting of a set of Photoshop tasks that  you create and which sits on your desktop. You run the application by dragging a file on top of the Droplet icon.

Here’s how to create a Photoshop Droplet:

For more complex chores, you can also create Photoshop Actions and run them on batches of files.

First, create an Action: (This set of instructions includes some free predefined actions for optional download)

Then, run your action on a batch of files:


Create an InDesign Contact Sheet

colors grid clipart

A contact sheet is a grid of thumbnail images that may be used for a lot of things: yearbooks, calendars–anything in which you would like to post a thematic group of pictures. Adobe offers this automated function in some of its Creative Suite applications and in Lightroom.

In InDesign, creating a contact sheet is an easy process.

  1. From the Menu bar, choose File, then Place.
  2. Select multiple images by Ctrl-clicking or Shift-clicking. If you want to include captions with your images, check Create Static Captions.
  3. Click Open.
  4. On the InDesign page, start dragging. You will see a grid forming as you drag.
    – Press the arrow keys to set the number of rows and columns you want.
    – To change the spacing between frames, press Page Up or Page Down or hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) while pressing the arrow keys.
    You will see a preview result of your keypresses onscreen as you work.
  5. Release the mouse button to place the grid of images.
  6. At this point, you can replace captions and resize at will.

Get Training Tips via RSS Subscribe to Entries feed or Read Comments via RSS Subscribe to Comments feed.