Sometimes a column heading in Excel seems about a mile wider than any of the entries below it in the column. In the graphic below, the Column D heading, Years With Company is 18 characters wide while all the entries below it will be only one or two characters. In many such cases the goal is to keep the column as narrow as possible. Let’s look at some techniques for positioning the text – using word wrap and alignment.
Archive for the 'Basic Skills' Category
Apple has made a lot of changes to the behavior of their keyboard shortcuts over the last several operating systems. In the days before Exposé, things were pretty straightforward; the function keys worked the same regardless of how the operating system was configured.
Today, with Mission Control and Exposé, things aren’t so easy. Apple keyboards now have fancy little icons on some of the F-keys, and by default, they don’t function like a windows F-key. This can be confusing and it makes it difficult for us to keep our materials accurate for Macintosh systems.
Are you stuck in a world dominated by a mouse and clicking around a screen? Have you ever wanted to be more of a “Keyboard Junkie?”
Today, I’m going to introduce you to several keyboard shortcuts that will make your life easier while working in Windows. These keyboard shortcuts are tricks that I have been trying to pass along to participants in my workshops over the years, but now they’re written down in one place for easy reference.
I’m not going to be discussing specific applications, but rather universal shortcuts. I’ve also included some web browser short cuts toward the end that will make your life easier.
Let’s start by taking a tour of the common keys that will be used throughout this post:
Above, you’ll see several keys pointed out and numbered. The numbers correspond with the list below.
- Escape (Esc)
- Function Keys (F#)
- Control (Ctrl)
- Windows Key (Win)
- Home Group
- Arrow Keys
- Option Menu
The only keys that are discussed in this post that are not labeled on the above image are the letter keys.
A few years ago I made the decision to stop grading papers. This might come as a bit of a surprise to my Spanish students, as they still have to do homework and write research papers. What I really did was come to the conclusion that I was done with paper. I was spending way too much time trying to keep track of who had turned in which assignment, when they turned it in, whether or not I had handed it back or recorded the grade… and let’s face it, handwriting skills are not universally emphasized anymore. (Frankly, that goes for me, too – my poor students have had trouble for years deciphering my scrawl). I was done with it all. I went digital.
I became a very heavy user of Oncourse’s Assignments tool, in all of its incarnations. The current version, called Assignments 2, has several features that have made my transition to purely digital assignments much easier. (more…)
Oncourse’s Tests & Surveys Beta tool lets instructors change a wide variety of settings in the assessments they create. Students should pay attention to these options too, as different settings might change their test-taking strategies.
Under Settings, faculty can specify delivery dates for their assessments, including whether or not to accept late submissions. In addition they can add a time limit, and add feedback (for specific responses, or for the assessment as a whole). They can even allow students to respond anonymously, or choose to hide students’ names from the person grading a test (such as a course assistant). Two settings in particular can be exploited for pedagogical purposes: Assessment Organization and Mark for Review.
Before starting my job with IT Training, I had my personal and professional calendar organized using a Palm Pilot m125. I bought it for myself in 2001, and have been using it for everything since then. Since replacements were cheap and easy to find on eBay, and I had my data synced with my office computer, I saw no immediate reason to change. The fact that I didn’t need to share my calendar with anyone made a big difference.
Here at IT Training, we use Microsoft Outlook and the Exchange server to share calendar information. I decided to try importing my Palm Pilot calendar into Outlook – and much to my surprise, it actually worked. However, in a way it worked too well. I wasn’t necessarily pleased to see every last activity in my life for the past 10 years show up in Outlook! Ok, I thought, I wouldn’t mind holding on to this information (you never know when it might come in handy) – but I’d prefer to keep it private. The question became: Can I make multiple items “private” at the same time, or am I stuck opening each and every one and making them private in turn? I just couldn’t commit to doing this 5000 times in a row. There had to be an easier way. (more…)
By default, the rulers in PowerPoint display measurement in inches. The same is true of the other Microsoft Office applications. If you prefer to view and work with metric units, this setting can be changed from within Microsoft Word and Excel (via Options > Advanced > Display) but not from within PowerPoint.
Uh-oh, the notorious “Windows detected a hard disk problem” error. What now? This article will show you steps you can take to make a proper decision about the problem. These steps can be taken for almost any suspected hard disk problem whether or not you’ve gotten this error.
I have always liked Sony computers, and because they have performed so well for me, I have advised other members of my family to purchase computers from the Sony Vaio line. These systems usually last forever, and they are great for video editing and working with multimedia.
Unfortunately, older Vaios almost always have a partitioned hard drive, and the C drive may not be large enough to handle all the automatic updates and patches that accompany much of the newer software on the market. It can be very frustrating if you have lots of hard drive space left on your D drive, but you can’t defrag your system or do a system restore because you don’t have enough space on your C drive.
A number of forums advise users to delete unused applications and files from the C drive or to move them to the D drive. This doesn’t always solve the problem, though, since many updates will automatically be installed on the C drive, so it fills up again before you know it.
There are a number of ways to fix this problem. Since I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or effort on these older machines, I recently did a little research to find the quickest and easiest way possible to resolve this issue. Since I know there must be others out there who would love to keep that old computer running for just a little while longer, I decided to share this information.
This is how I fixed the problem in less than an hour.
- I found a free download of Partition Magic 8 on the web. If you can’t find a free version, keep searching. There are some out there. I found mine by searching YouTube.
- I downloaded this software to the machine I wanted to fix. The serial number that was needed to activate the program was included in a folder called “Documentation and Serial” in my download, but I didn’t realize this until later. Instead, I Googled the terms “serial number for Partition Magic” and found a posting that provided a serial number, and it worked.
- I opened the newly installed program and used the option “Redistribute free space” which is located in the Pick a Task panel on the left side of the screen.
- When prompted, I indicated which two drives I wanted to include when redistributing the free space (C and D).
- I let the program do its magic. It took about 15 or 20 minutes to finish the task, and now the Sony Vaio has enough free space on the C drive to handle all of the pesky updates and patches that are thrown at it.