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Simplify your tech life – Tip 1: Pilot

5 Tips to simplify your tech life

Overwhelmed by all of your technology and apps/applications, but still want to move forward and not become a fuddy duddy? (“Fuddy duddy” is the technical term for someone who has given up on new technologies and is angered or baffled by the influx of new tech. Don’t fact check that.)

I will post my five tips as a Friday series, starting today and ending when I run out of tips, to help you try to walk this line.

Tip 1 PilotFirst up? Tip #1 is Pilot.

Try new things, but chart your territory first. Treat it like a pilot. Be prepared to evaluate new software or hardware, knowing it is on a trial basis. This allows you the freedom to evaluate objectively without such a hardline commitment that you must add something new to your “stuff”—physically and mentally.

Maybe you’re piloting something to meet a need in your professional or personal life, or maybe you just want to try something new. Either way, this post will provide you some suggestions for your pilot period.

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How to use Google like a pro

How to be a Google Search Pro

I would assume almost everyone reading this knows how to “Google,” but can you use Google to search like a Google pro? Today I’m going to share a few googling tips that will change the way you search, optimize what you find, and maximize the usability you get from the content you searched for. You can thank me later, because I’m totally going to save your day.

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How to organize your files


I’m sure this isn’t going to be the most advanced tip you have ever came across, but this new way of organization changed the way I manage my files. Today I’m going to show you how you can Photoshop, paint, PowerPoint, or whatever your favorite software is for creating simple block graphics in order to make your very own custom background.

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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, 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.

Read the rest of “Poll Your Audience — No Clickers Needed” »

Multilanguage spelling checks can bee done

Image of the Language group in the ribbon of Microsoft Word.As a sometime language teacher, the ability to spell and grammar check my work in Microsoft Word is critical. But if you’re unlucky enough to be typing in the non-default language on your computer, particularly when the tool to automatically detect language is (a) turned off or (b) just not getting it, such as when you are writing a paper in one language but citing a work in another, you may end up fighting constant multi-colored squiggles, or Word’s usually “helpful” auto-correct features. This can significantly slow you down as you constantly fight with the program.

The key, then, is knowing how to help Word figure out which spell check dictionary it should be using at any given point in your text. Thankfully, it’s not terribly hard. Read the rest of “Multilanguage spelling checks can bee done” »

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: 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.

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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


Get Connected 2012

For some of us, a computer is everything. It’s your repository for every major achievement of your life, your gateway to much larger world for news and interacting with friends and family, some next door and some on the other side of the world.  It’s your amazing tool for being productive when deadlines approach or your escape when you just need to laugh or unwind.

Without the Internet, your computer is a typewriter at best and a paperweight at worst.  You need to protect this amazing asset, but how?  You need to be on the network to figure out how to protect yourself from the network.  What do you do?  You need to Get Connected.

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Excel 2010: How to Find Those Special Cells

Have you ever wondered how to find specific cells in a worksheet, such as blank cells or those cells that contain formula errors? Recently someone wanted to know if there is a way to find all cells in a worksheet that had validation rules applied. One of Excel’s “best kept secrets” is the command on the Home tab of the Ribbon under Find & Select called Go to Special…

As you can see, this dialog box offers many options for finding cells in a data range on a worksheet.  For example, if you want to find the data validation rules that are applied in a worksheet, all you have to do is Click the radio button for Data validation and Click OK.  By choosing “All,” all cells will be highlighted that have validation rules applied. If you Click “Same,” then only those cells that have the same validation rules applied as the currently selected cell will be highlighted.

Other commonly used options you may want to find and highlight in a worksheet are: various types of formulas (including errors), blanks, Current region (or entire list), Current array (active cell must be contained in the array), Conditional Formats, or Visible cells only. Note that the Visible cells only option is useful if you have hidden rows or columns in the worksheet and you want to copy and paste only visible cells.  The option of Last cell will find the last cell in the worksheet that contains data or formatting. To find out more about using Precedents and Dependents, you may want to read the blog article entitled: Excel 2010: Using Formula Auditing Tools.

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