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Quick way to create background color in Photoshop

Ever want to put a color in the background layer of you Photoshop file? It is so simple.
1. Click on the foreground color in the toolbox.

Graphic of Photoshop's foreground and background tool on the toolbox





2. Choose the color of the background desired by clicking in the large area on the menu. That color will appear under the word new:

Color Picker menu in Photoshop


3. Click OK in the menu.
4. Hold down the Alt key (Option on a Mac) and hit the Backspace key.
5. The background is filled with that color.
6. If the background color on the toolbox is what you prefer, hold down the Control key (Command on the Mac) and hit the Backspace key.

Just saved you lots of time, right?

Changing the size of your PowerPoint slides

There are times when the screen size for the destination of your presentation needs to be adjusted. How DO you change the slide size?

From the ribbon in PowerPoint 2013, simply select the Design tab. On the very right side of the ribbon, you will see a Slide Size button. Clicking on the two options that show when this button is selected will give you two standard settings. A third option is Custom Slide Size. Selecting this option allows you to make your slides any size you need.

PPT graphic

In PowerPoint 2010, this option is in a different place, but not difficult to find. Again, on the Design tab, look to the very left. There you will see a Page Setup button in the Page Setup group. Activating this option opens a menu with the same options as mentioned above.

PPT graphic

Lines in Word

Ever try to type a line horizontally across a page? If you go too far, it wraps to the next line. If you don’t go far enough, it doesn’t look correct with the text on the page. Word can create lines that will fit perfectly from margin to margin. If you decide to change the margins, the line updates automatically. And the line moves with your text!

For a variety of line styles, try these options:

  1. Type three or more hyphens.
  2. Try typing three or more underscores (_).
  3. Another options is three equal signs (=).
  4. How about three asterisks (*)?
  5. Now try three number signs (#).
  6. Hmmm, I wonder what three tildas would do.
This is a fun feature. You can try other options on the keyboard to see what you get.
Also, if you are trying to get rid of the line:
  1. If you are trying right after you have put it in, simply do an undo (Control + z).
  2. If the document has been saved or the line just will not delete, put you cursor in the text above the line, go to the Home tab, to the Paragraph group, to the borders button and choose No Border.

Modifying the “AutoCorrect” in Word

Word’s autocorrect feature attempts to make our lives easier by viewing the words that we type and deciding whether we did it correctly based on dictionaries and styles programmed into it.

For example, Word will automatically capitalize the first letter of a sentence and the days of the week.

If a common word is incorrectly typed into Word, it will be corrected automatically, i.e. if I type begni, Word will change it to “begin” as soon as I hit a trigger (space bar, period, comma, etc.)

However, if it is not a common word, but Word “thinks” that it has been typed incorrectly as it is not in its dictionary, a red squiggly line will appear instead, i.e.  Currency: british ponud sterling

There are times when we do not Word making these corrections. These behaviors are sometimes modifiable but we can always disable them.

Let’s see how this works. I mistype a word:  “infromal.” Word will change this to the correct form, i.e. informal. Whenever Word makes a change, you will find that rolling your cursor over the changed word will reveal a blue box under the first couple of letters. Pulling your cursor down over the box will reveal a lightning bolt and clicking on the black arrow will reveal more options in a fly-out menu.


This menu will always show the same options in the same order. Those options are to CHANGE BACK, STOP, and CONTROL the auto feature applied here.

CHANGE BACK: Word will undo the correction and you are ready to move on.

STOP: Choosing the second option would tell Word will not make this correction again. This affects the current document and all future documents in your copy of Word.

From this point, if you want the word to be corrected, you will need to recognize it and do it manually.

CONTROL AUTOCORRECT OPTIONS: This option takes you into the inside options of Word where you will find a plethora of options that can modify and stop Word from doing helpful and annoying things.

This modal menu has five tabs:

AUTOCORRECT: Displays options like “Capitalize first letter of table cells”. Deselecting the check mark in front of this option will stop Word from capitalizing the first letter of a table cell and so on. The bottom of this tab is similar to “find and replace”. If there is a word that you always mistype, you can enter the manner that you mistype this word in the Replace field. Then enter the correct version of the word, phrase or sentence into the With field.

AUTOFORMAT: Contains interesting options for things like changing straight quotes to smart “quotes” and making ordinal numbers superscript. 1st

AUTOFORMAT AS YOU TYPE: Will correct these same options if you type them incorrectly.

MATH AUTOCORRECT: Supplies math symbols with an assigned keyboard definition.

ACTIONS: Provides additional actions through the right-click option.

Taking advantage of these options will give you power to get the results that you want.


3 InDesign Shortcuts

1. In Word, we switch from Print Preview to Normal or Web Layout View by clicking on icons. In InDesign, when you would like to see how your document looks without the margins, column guides, etc. showing, there is an easy way to accomplish this.


Looking for Templates in Word?

Do you need a calendar for 2013. Or maybe stationery for that Christmas letter that needs to get out soon. Word contains many templates that are easy to use.
To get to the templates, from the File tab, simply click on NEW:

File Menu from Word


Fun with Design in Photoshop


"IDEAS" We have the best!

When designing a logo or any kind of project, you may want to have several options to choose from or to work with. To that end, let’s see how to easily update our basic shapes with varying fonts or styles.


Showing Motion Using the Blend Tool in Illustrator

This little tool can do big things in showing motion on paper!

First, create an object:


Modifying Shapes with the Pen Tool

Let’s begin by drawing a triangle.

In the tools panel on the left side of the screen, press and hold on the rectangle tool. Illustrator has a unique feature that allows you to “tear off” a menu and have it open while you work. As you are holding down your left-mouse button, glide your cursor to the right until it is on the small bar with the black triangle. When you let go of your mouse button, this is what you will see:











Customize Your Tabs in Word

Do you work with tabs? This is what you have been waiting for! When you have to line up text in a columnar format and the default tabs do not do the trick for you, this is the answer.

Now, the helpful secret here is that the file we will are using was typed so that there is a tab between each piece of information we would like in a column. The tab mark is indicated here by the horizontally pointing arrow.

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