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Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category

Real-time Collaborative Editing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

 

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

When multiple individuals provide their separate contributions to a single document, this is termed as collaborative editing. Having the ability to allow more than one person to update the same document is often as essential as it is advantageous. Until recently, collaborative editing of Word, Excel or PowerPoint files had a major restriction in that only one person could work on a single file at a time; otherwise, it was necessary to keep multiple versions of the file and reconcile them all into a single file. This restriction can be a bottleneck since only one person may edit the file at a time, additional effort is needed for version control and coordination between contributors, and reconciling between multiple files requires additional effort and increases the risk for missed updates.

Collaborative editing technology, however, has matured significantly over the past few years through the use of cloud storage services. By leveraging cloud technologies, collaborators now have access to a number of tools that help streamline collaborative editing. Of specific interest to Office users, synchronous or real-time collaborative editing is now possible, which allows several people to work on a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file at the same time. Let’s take a brief look at this real-time collaborative editing provided by Google and Microsoft. Before we start, please note that Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage services are not supported by IU and are not suitable for storing or sharing institutional data. However, this information may be of use for personal projects.

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Animated emoticons take over Lync

Recently, my copy of Lync 2013 updated itself into something called Skype for Business. Many of the functions I use with Lync have remained exactly the same, but there are some notable differences. For one, in my task bar, my Lync icon now appears with the Skype S:

Skype for Business icon

Interestingly, the program itself still says “Microsoft Lync (Lync)” at the top. (Don’t ask me why they feel the need to repeat it.) If you’d like to learn more about the changes, you can visit the Discover Skype for Business site here.

The change I find most distracting, however, is the addition of the Skype emoticons. Or perhaps I should call them emoji? (I’ve consulted this article from the Guardian to try to understand how to use the terms, but I’m still not quite sure: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/06/difference-between-emoji-and-emoticons-explained).

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Creating a Research Poster: A Learning Path

Learning paths road sign.I need to assemble a research poster – how do I get started, and what programs can I use to make a poster?  And how do I make graphs to display my data?

With programs like InDesign, Illustrator, and Microsoft Publisher, with a little help from Microsoft Excel, you can create an eye-catching poster to showcase your research project.  Illustrator and Excel can be used to create attractive graphs to display any data you wish to share, and you can pull everything together in InDesign or Publisher and lay out the contents of your poster.  Before you start building your poster, there are a few steps you can take to help get things rolling.

Photograph of a pad of paper, with a rough design for a poster sketched out on it.Having a general idea of how your poster will look will help you get started – think about how things will be laid out on the page, what colors you’ll be using, and what fonts you’ll be using for your poster.  A rough sketch of what you want your poster to look like when it’s finished may be helpful, and you can use that as a road map of where things should end up on your poster.  Make notes about the colors you might want to use, and fonts you might want to use for headings and body text – when you start building your poster, you’ll have everything you need planned out already and can focus on laying things out.  You’ll also want to make sure to collect any images you want to include, the data you want to present, and the text of your poster in one location before you start working.  Once you have those items together, the following learning paths will help you create your poster.

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Looking for Group – edit the size of objects in PowerPoint

I’m trying to compare two pictures of the same area taken at two different times – but not being a great photographer, I was not standing in exactly the same spot both times, so I’m having to crop and zoom like crazy to get the before and after shots to match.

Let’s look at an example using two shots (one taken by Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0; the other from http://www.metrodcpohtography.com) of the Jefferson Memorial in my home town, Washington, D.C. In this case I have both pictures in a PowerPoint slide, side by side:

Screenshot of two pictures of different sizes, side-by-side, of the Jefferson Memorial.Once I get them sized relatively, though, I might realize that I want them both to be bigger on the canvas. Fine, except if I’ve finally sized them both perfectly compared to each other, and I try to make one larger, I’ll have to make all of those minute adjustments all over again… or I would, if I didn’t make use of the group tool!

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Presentation Do’s and Don’ts

Clipart of man with a bright idea.Click here for a recording of IT Training’s “Creating an Effective Presentation” by Kim Murday and Denise Brown for the January IUWIT (IU Women in Information Technology) meeting.

In this talk, we covered things like:

  • Use of fonts, colors & backgrounds
  • When to use “bells & whistles”
  • How and when to use graphics, and where to find them
  • Other tips for presenters

For a PDF version of our PowerPoint slides, click HERE.

Do you remember a particular presentation that went really well . . . or really badly?

Share your stories in the comment section!

The End of an Era

It is a sad month for Microsoft Office users. Click here to find out why.

it2go – Episode 77 – Andy’s IT Training Career

On this week’s episode, we’re talking about Andy’s career with IT Training as we bid him a fond farewell.

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

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Need training for your class? Request it!

It can be hard to teach effectively if your students don’t have the basic technology skills they need.

Did you know that IT Training can provide workshops specifically for your class? All you need to do is ask. Most of our workshops are available for special request, which means we can teach your class (or any group of 10 or more IU faculty/staff/students) either in our classroom, online, or in another location that will accommodate your group. How much does it cost? Nothing!

Just go to http://ittraining.iu.edu/request/ at least 3 weeks ahead of time, and start by choosing your desired workshop from the drop-down list. Options include Microsoft Office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access; Adobe software like Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver; Web skills like page design and HTML/CSS; and much, much more. We can even help your students create ePortfolios in Oncourse, or get them oriented to our new learning management system, Canvas.

If your class or group needs a training workshop, request it and we’ll offer it just for you.

 

Allowing Multiple Filters in Pivot Tables

While working on metrics for our web site, I discovered that by default you are only allowed to apply one filter per field when using a Pivot Table. So if you try to apply a second filter, the first filter will be removed. In good news, you can change the PivotTable Options and allow more than one filter to be applied to the same field.

Here is a video I found that shows specifically how to do this:

Jen

Word: Removing unneeded line break after a table

Found a really great tip the other day over at Penn State. Unfortunately the page is now giving me a 404 error, so I’m reproducing the tip here.

Have you ever added a table to a the end of Word document and ended with an extra page that you couldn’t get rid of? The problem is that when you add a table at the end of a Word document, Word automatically adds paragraph mark after a table.

Most of time this paragraph doesn’t cause a problem, but sometimes there isn’t room for the paragraph at the end of the document and you end up with an extra blank page.

To get rid of the extra page:

  1. Open the document.
  2. If necessary, go to the Home tab on the ribbon.
  3. Turn on the formatting codes by clicking the Show/Hide Button. See Figure 1.

    Image showing the location of the Show/Hide button on the Home tab of Word.

    Figure 1

  4. Find and select the extra paragraph mark.
  5. To open the Font properties dialog box, click the dialog box launcher. See Figure 2.

    image showing location of the font dialog box launcher

    Figure 2

  6. In the Effect section of the Font dialog box, select the Hidden checkbox. See Figure 3.

    Image showing the Fonts dialog box with the Effects Hidden option location highlighted

    Figure 3

  7. Click OK to accept the changes.When you look at the page, it appears the extra space is still there.
  8. Turn off the formatting codes by clicking the Show/Hide button again.

You now should see the document without the extra page.

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