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Donna K. Jones's Archive

Daily Chuckle

…heard a good one on the way to work this morning, and I thought others might enjoy it, too.

Why didn’t they call iPhone chargers “apple juice?”   
 

Poll Your Audience – No Clickers Needed

Last October, at the Statewide IT Conference in Bloomington, Brad Wheeler, one of the best presenters that I have ever had the privilege of watching, took questions from the crowd via Smartphone. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but yesterday, when I saw an advertisement for a new cloud-based application called sli.do, I wondered if that was what Brad had used during his presentation.

I decided to check out this application to see if it might be useful for the trainers in our department.

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Happy Birthday, World Wide Web!

Looking for something to celebrate today? If so, you’re in luck, because today is the 25th birthday of the world wide web.

Birthday Cake
 

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Help! I Can’t See the Unread Mail Envelope Icon on the Taskbar!

NCT submitted this comment on the blog article titled Change Fonts in Outlook 2013:

“Help! I cannot see the unread mail envelope on the taskbar, and I have come
to rely on that. Is there a way to change the appearance of the icon so
that it stands out more?”

NCT is referring to the first icon shown on the taskbar below:

mail_icon

This envelope icon appears when you receive a new message in Outlook 2013, but as you can see in the image above, it is not easy to see. The light orange color of the image doesn’t show up well on the transparent taskbar.

While there is no easy way to change the look of the icon itself, you can customize your taskbar so that the icon will stand out better. To customize the look of the taskbar when running Windows 7, follow these directions:

  1. Click on the Start Orb.
  2. Point to Control panel.
  3. Click on Personalization.
  4. At the bottom of the new window, you see:
    icons at bottom of Personalization windowClick on the Window Color icon.
  5. A new menu appears:
    Window Color and Appearance window
  6. Click on the color swatch that you prefer. One of the darker colors will provide the most contrast.
  7. Press and drag the Color intensity slider all the way to the right.
  8. Click on the Save changes button.
  9. Preview the results in the bottom right corner of your screen:

darker_colored_taskbar

If you aren’t happy with the way the taskbar now looks, repeat these steps and choose a different color. You can also expand the “Show color mixer” section, and experiment with the hue, saturation, and brightness of the window elements.

Weather Information in Outlook 2013

Did you know that you can get weather information directly from Outlook? If you are using Outlook 2013, simply open the Calendar view and look just to the left of the search box. You will see the name of a city, and the forecasted temperatures in that city for the next 3 days.

outlook weather info

If you are not in the city listed, click on the drop-down arrow next to the city name and change it.

drop-down menu for selecting city

If you want additional information about the weather, hover your mouse over any of the days shown and a pop-up will appear, displaying wind speed, humidity, and precipitation.

weather pop-up

Change Fonts in Outlook 2013

If you have read any of my other Outlook articles, you probably know that I receive a large number of messages each day, and I frequently have to refer back to messages that I have sent or received in the past. I use all of the features that are included in Outlook, and I don’t know how I would get by without this fantastic organizational tool.

Usually I am able to adapt to any changes in new versions of the Microsoft Office applications without any problem. I hardly ever go into the settings and customize the basic look of the interface or the menus. Outlook 2013 has been the exception. I started using it soon after it was released, and I was okay with all of the changes except one. The look of the message lists has been drastically altered, and I DON’T like it! When I try to search my Inbox for a specific message, it actually hurts my eyes.

Here is what a message list looks like in Outlook 2010:

Example of an Outlook message list from Outlook 2010

This is an example of a message list from Outlook 2013:

Inbox showing message list from Outlook 2013

NOTE: These screenshots may appear to be blurry, because they have been resized to fit this blog. If you would like to see a larger, clearer version of either of these images, simply click on the one you wish to view.

As you can see, in Outlook 2010, the text is darker and cleaner. In the 2013 version, the main text in an unread message is light blue, and the first line of the message is gray. After you read the message, the main text changes to a dark gray. This design scheme may be pretty, and it may match the look and feel of the new interface, but it is definitely not easier to read!

If you are like me and yearn for the days when you could actually see the messages in your Inbox, follow the directions below. While it isn’t possible to make the text look exactly like it did in previous versions, we can change the settings so that it is a little easier on the eyes. (more…)

Can’t Uninstall Office 2013

IT Training will be teaching Microsoft Office 2013 workshops this fall, and we are anxious to begin telling the IU community about the new features that are available in this version of the popular suite. If you are planning on taking some of our free workshops or webinars, you might want to download and install the software from IUware. Remember, Indiana University faculty, staff, and students may download most of the software available from IUware for free.

If you decide to download and install Office 2013, I would encourage you to download the 32-bit package, even if you are planning on running it on a 64-bit system. Earlier in the summer I installed the 64-bit suite on a laptop running Windows 7, and I was very unhappy with the results. Every time I tried to use Outlook, Word, or PowerPoint, the application would freeze and/or crash. After discussing this issue with the Support team here at IU, and reading multiple forums and Microsoft Help articles, I uninstalled the 64-bit version and installed the 32-bit version instead. After that, I didn’t have any problems.

I have left out an important part of the story. When I first tried to uninstall Office 2013, I was unable to do so. While in the Control Panel, I selected Microsoft Office 2013, clicked on the Uninstall link at the top of the window, and waited. Nothing happened. I tried again. Nothing happened. I probably even tried a third and fourth time before I realized that this was simply not going to work.

After a little digging, I found the solution on this Microsoft Support page:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2739501. I downloaded the Fix it tool that they provided, and then I was able to uninstall Office 2013 from the Control Panel just as I normally would.

Hopefully this article will save you some time if you decide that you want to uninstall the package.

Need a Free Video Conversion Application?

A few weeks ago I was getting ready for a business trip and I knew that I was going to be on a plane for many hours. I wanted to use that time to review some training videos that my department had created with Adobe Connect. The videos were .flv’s and I wanted to convert them so that I could view them on my Kindle and/or Samsung smartphone.

While I could’ve used Adobe Media Encoder had I been working on my own computer, I was working on my son’s computer and he didn’t have a converter installed. Since I didn’t want to buy an application, I did a search for a free video converter. After reading the reviews for Freemake, I decided to give it a try.

After downloading from Freemake’s website, I opened the program for the first time.

Freemake Video Converter User Interface

There was no learning curve at all for this application. You simply open it up and begin using it.  Click on the appropriate blue button from the top menu to begin importing the file you wish to convert, and then when the file shows up in the middle pane, you click on the button at the bottom of the window that lists your desired format or device. An Output parameters dialog box appears, which allows you to change the preset configurations if you wish. If not, you simply click on the Convert button and then sit back and wait.

According to the publisher’s description, you can convert from/to 250+ formats. You can also convert and upload content directly to YouTube or Facebook.

I have used this application several times now, converting videos for use on several different devices. So far I have been very pleased. All of the videos I have converted have been playable and the quality has been adequate for the selected device. The application has never frozen or crashed during the conversion process, and the conversion time was similar to what I have experienced with other, more expensive applications. In my opinion, this is a nice little app that is worth having.

Have you used this application? Do you like it? Do you have other free conversion software that you prefer? If so, leave me a comment below.

 

 

What is Your Favorite Android App?

Several months ago I finally broke down and purchased a smart phone. I was out of town and my GPS stopped working, and I decided to take the plunge. Instead of buying another Garmin, I would buy a smart phone that included a navigation app.

Even though I am usually an “early adopter” and pride myself on keeping up with all the new devices on the market, I had never liked the idea that while you can do so many things on a smart phone, typically the phones are so small that you can’t really see what you are doing. When the sales person showed me the Samsung Galaxy Note II, I knew that this large mobile phone was perfect for me.

I have been using my Samsung now for approximately 3 months and I absolutely love it. I don’t know how I ever got along without it. No, it’s not a trendy iPhone, but the screen is large enough (5.5″) that I can actually read the email in my Inbox. I can follow the directions on my navigation app, read and edit important documents, and I even have enough screen space that I can surf the web and actually SEE what is there.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is an Android device and so there are multitudes of apps available for use with it. As I mentioned earlier, I love the Navigation app and I use it all the time. The Samsung “Speak your destination” feature is fantastic, and it allows me to press a button, tell my smartphone where I want to go, and immediately see the route on my screen.

Since I don’t have time to explore the many applications that are available for my new phone, I thought it would be fun to put this topic out there so that you, the followers of our blog, could chime in and tell us about your favorite Android apps. Got one that you really like? Let us know. Add your comments below.

Samsung Smart Phone

Adding a Second Inbox in Outlook 2010

One of the great things about Outlook is that Microsoft recognizes that users may need to access, read, and even manage others’ calendars, messages, and task lists. In our IT Training Outlook workshops, we cover a number of different ways that users can access, share, and manage multiple calendars, but because most users tend to want to maintain control of their own Inbox, we don’t do as much with the sharing of email. There are times, however, when this may be necessary.

Let’s say that you are an administrative assistant and you need to be able to open your own personal Inbox and your organization’s Inbox, too, and you need to be able to switch back and forth between the two very quickly. In situations such as this, you could add a second Outlook profile to your computer, but then you would still have to open each account separately. A better option may be to add a second Inbox to your Outlook account.

To do this, follow the directions below:

  1. Open the first Outlook account.

    Open account

  2. Click on the File tab to move to Backstage view.

    File tab

  3. Look on the left side of the screen, and verify that the Info button is selected.

    Info button

  4. From the middle panel, click on the Account Settings button. A drop-down menu appears.

    account settings from drop-down menu

  5. From the drop-down menu, click on Account Settings… An Account Settings dialog box opens.

    type the name

  6. Click to select the name of the first Outlook account.

    S_name_of_acc_6

  7. Click on the Change… link that is located just under the tabs. A Change Account dialog box appears.

    Change link

  8. Click on the More Settings… button in the bottom right corner. A Microsoft Exchange dialog box opens.

    More settings button

  9. At the top of the dialog box, select the Advanced tab. Directly underneath the tabs, you see a section that will allow you to open additional mailboxes.

    Advanced tab

  10. To continue, click on the Add button. An Add Mailbox dialog box appears.

    Add Button

  11. Type in the name of the additional mailbox, and click the OK button.

    type_name_11

  12. The new mailbox should now be listed in the Mailboxes field at the top of the Microsoft Exchange dialog box.

    Name is listed

  13. Click the OK button.
  14. Click the Next button in the bottom right corner of the Change Account dialog box. You see a congratulations message in the Change Account dialog box.

    Congratulations

  15. To continue, click the Finish button.
  16. Click the Close button. The newly added Inbox should now be listed at the bottom of your folders list. You can easily move back and forth between the two by selecting the appropriate folder from the list.

    move_backnforth_16

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