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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.

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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.

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Setting Defaults in SIS

One of the tools available to you in the SIS is the ability to set defaults. If you normally enter data for the same Institution, Career, Program, etc. it would save you time if you did not have to enter that information for each new record. The same is true when you are searching for information. Your account in the SIS can be setup so that whenever you encounter one of the default fields, you will not have to enter the information unless you want to override the default.

  1. From the main menu, navigate to Set Up SACR > User Defaults.
  2. On the User Defaults 1 page, enter the Academic Institution code.
  3. Tab out of the field.  You will notice that the Career Group SetID and Facility Group SetID will automatically populate.
  4. Any field where the value is nearly always the same could be set as a default.
  5. Click Save.

The next time you navigate to a Search page, the Institution Code will be automatically populated with the code you have set as the default.

Manage Spotlight Indexing on Your Mac

Mac OX Spotlight search is a powerful resource, bringing you all kinds of search results in a flash. However, the downside is that it can take up precious CPU that you may need for other tasks. You can switch it off when you don’t need it and then turn it back on when you aren’t working with processor-intensive applications. Here’s how:

It’s also best to understand how Spotlight works, and how to manage and fix it. See:

What Is That Keyboard Shortcut Again?

Do you struggle to remember keyboard shortcuts? Do you tack up sticky notes with Ctrl and Alt symbols everywhere? Instead, you can go directly to, the one-stop shortcut place. is an open, wiki-style Reference Database that contains Keyboard Shortcuts for hundreds of applications– in Windows, Mac, Linus, and web applications. Boost your productivity and save yourself time. 

Flipboard: a New Way to Publish

 Flipboard brings together world news and social news in a beautiful magazine, plus it is a social media publisher as well.  It is a mobile aggregator app that works on the most common mobile platforms and Windows 8, presenting content in a format that is more pleasing to read than most apps — and in some ways even better than reading a magazine or newspaper.

First, Flipboard curates its own media by providing its own feeds for things like news, politics, technology, politics, etc., from prominent online websites such as New York Times, NPR, Financial Times, Business Insider, Huffington Post, etc. 

Second, Flipboard allows any viewers to create and curate their own magazines, adding any feeds they want.

Thus, with a multitude of topics available, not only is Flipboard a good way to find new items of interest to you, it’s an easy way to publish your own magazine — and then share it with the world, subscribe to others, and share their feeds. Anything that is online can be flipped into a Flipboard magazine. Even dabblers in social media find it fascinating to see their own twitter feed look like a magazine  with both text and photos.

You can find my own art and painting magazine, Reflections, there, too. 

Find Flipboard at the app store on your mobile device, or browse to:

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. Read the rest of “Change Fonts in Outlook 2013″ »

Carry Student ID Between SIS Components

If you access a student’s record in one component in the SIS and then navigate to another component, the student’s university ID should automatically carry over to the new component. If this does not happen, there is an easy fix.

  1. From the main menu, navigate to Set Up SACR > User Defaults.
  2. Select the User Defaults 4 tab.
  3. Click the check box beside Carry ID to turn the check mark on.
  4. Click Save.

Not every student information component allows the ID to be carried, but the majority do.

Photoshop: Dodging and burning the nondestructive way

The Dodge and Burn tool in Photoshop are older tools that refer to the photographic process of managing incoming light during the photochemical developing process, to make certain areas of the photo light or dark. Because these tools are readily available on the Photoshop toolbar it is easy to blithely use them, only to discover that we overdone the effect and have damaged pixels.

There is a nondestructive way to lighten or darken parts of an image in Photoshop using a new layer with a Blend mode. See the technique here:

Note, however, that it is not necessary to fill the layer with 50% gray because in any of the Contrast blend modes, gray IS already transparent. Thus, just add a transparent layer on top of the one you want to lighten or darken, change the blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light (these work best for me) and then paint with black or white in varying opacities over the areas you want to darken or lighten, respectively. 

Introducing Self-Paced Advanced Technical Training with Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a leading provider of video-based online training with a focus on more technically oriented topics. And as part of the Pluralsight pilot program, Indiana University students, faculty and staff across the state can enjoy free access to Pluralsight training from January 1 – March 31! This is a no-risk opportunity for you to see if Pluralsight training is right for you.

You can use Pluralsight to grow your skills in software development, Business Intelligence, database and server administration, networking and much more.

We will ask everyone who gets an account to complete a brief survey at the end of the pilot period. Please commit to responding as this will enable us to assess the interest at IU.

To request a Pluralsight account, send an email to from your IU account.

If you have questions about this service, please contact us at

Multilanguage spelling checks can bee done

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” »

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