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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” »

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.

See https://support.box.com/hc/en-us/articles/200852677-Box-Sync-4-0-Release-Notes#unsyncondelete

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  http://ittraining.psu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/7689/2013/12/VoiceThread_GS_010220141.pdf. (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:
http://ittraining.iu.edu/scripts/oncourse/pdfcreator/sourcePDF/voicethread_sharing.pdf
 
Adding a comment in VoiceThread:
http://ittraining.iu.edu/scripts/oncourse/pdfcreator/sourcePDF/voicethread_commenting.pdf
 
Creating a Presentation in VoiceThread:
http://ittraining.iu.edu/scripts/oncourse/pdfcreator/sourcePDF/voicethread_creating_presentation.pdf
 
Managing Identities in VoiceThread:
http://ittraining.iu.edu/scripts/oncourse/pdfcreator/sourcePDF/voicethread_managing_identity.pdf
 
Playback and Publishing Options in VoiceThread
http://ittraining.iu.edu/scripts/oncourse/pdfcreator/sourcePDF/voicethread_playback_publishing_options.pdf
 

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: http://www.mikesel.info/disable-spotlight/

It’s also best to understand how Spotlight works, and how to manage and fix it. See: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/how-to-fix-spotlight-indexing-in-os-x

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