Working with Symbols in Illustrator

Working with Symbols in Illustrator

If you’ve ever created art in Illustrator, you might find yourself using a specific collection of shapes or a small piece of art numerous times.  Whether copying and pasting your artwork, or recreating it from scratch whenever you need it, reusing art can sometimes be time consuming.  Symbols can help you save some time as you make artwork in Illustrator!

What are symbols?

Symbols, in Illustrator, are pieces of art that you can save and easily reuse as many times as needed.  Some examples of symbols that you might encounter include logos, button shapes, and small graphics that may be repeated a number of times in an Illustrator file.  Each time you add a symbol to your Illustrator document, that’s referred to as an instance of that symbol.

In Illustrator CC 2015, Adobe introduced Dynamic Symbols, which allow you to have one master shape saved as a symbol, but you can make changes to the specific instances of the symbol without changing every instance.  Plus, if you need to make changes to every instance of your symbol, you can edit the master symbol and all the changes will be made to each instance of the symbol.  You’ll still retain all the changes you made to any individual instances, which can be incredibly useful as you work.

How can they help me in Illustrator?

Symbols can help you save time, especially if you’re using a graphic a number of times in a specific document – eliminating the need to copy and paste numerous times.  Dynamic Symbols can also come in handy if you have similar graphics that need to be created, but one or two things might be different – for example, one shape may need to be different colors in different locations in your document, and this can be achieved with dynamic symbols.

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1. EPublications: Who, What, Where, How?

ePublishing, Who, What, Where, How?


EPublications: Who, What, Where, How?

If you would like to learn how to create documents using InDesign and make them into ePublications, you have come to the right place. Carol and I will be submitting articles outlining the methods of using InDesign in the creation of reflowable ePublications, aka eBooks.

What is a reflowable publication? A reflowable publication allows the reader to adjust what is on their screen by choosing type size and style, line spacing, margins, background color, and other effects.

In this series, we will show you how to make several formats of eBooks and attempt to define each process with any of the “gotchas,” and list the things that can and cannot be done. During this process, we would appreciate your feedback in the Comments space below, letting us know that you are interested and what you are experiencing with epublishing.

To begin, we would highly recommend that you become comfortable with InDesign and consider yourself an advanced beginner to power-user. If you find that you are not quite there, consider taking IT Training’s sessions entitled, InDesign CC 2015: The Basics and InDesign CC 2015: Using Page Masters for Efficient Design. These sessions are offered online. See our website for more information and for our current schedule:


Using SIS more efficiently

I was talking to a few people the other day and the subject of opening a new window in SIS was mentioned. Several people in the group had not known about the New Window feature, so I thought I’d write a quick post about it.

SIS Navigation Header with Add to Favorites and New Window highlighted.

Basically the New Window link opens a new browser window, or child window. This feature allows you to perform a task and look up information (in the new window) without leaving the original page on which you are working. It’s a good idea to save any changes in your current window before you open a new window, and its best not to have more than two windows open at once.

Another great feature in SIS is the Add to Favorites link which allows you to add your most frequently used SIS pages to the Favorites menu. This works similar to standard browser favorites or bookmarks. You can add a favorite in SIS from a search page or a data page. Once the pages are added, you no longer have to navigate through the complete menu, but instead can access and edit these pages from the Favorites menu. Note that when you use the Favorites menu to access a Favorited page, it will always take you to the search page for that particular SIS component, not the data page.

How to get access to SIS

After teaching the SIS Basics class, I often have people email me and ask, “How do I get access to SIS now?” Here are the steps to take to be granted access to the system.  I’m going to assume you have an IU username and passphrase already established.

  1. Complete the Acceptable Use Agreement form in One.IU. You will also need to complete the FERPA Tutorial, if you haven’t done so already. Access will not be granted to any system containing student data until both of these are completed.
  2. Work with your supervisor to request access through the Access Coordinator in your department. The Access Coordinator will complete the necessary online forms to grant you access to the system.  If you don’t know who the Access Coordinator is for your department, use the Lookup Access Coordinator tool to find out.
  3. Request access to DUO. DUO provides two-factor authentication for secure systems at IU which adds a second layer of security to online accounts.  DUO authentication can be done using mobile devices, telephones or dedicated hardware tokens.

For more information on this process, see the following articles:

Access Request Information:

What is DUO, and how does it work?

How do supervisors and Data Mangers establish access to institutional data and applications for individuals?

Searching and Submitting Ideas to Tableau

Idea Bubble One of the great things about Tableau is the support provided to its user community, from their extensive product support to their wide array of training resources. Another great resource they make available is the Ideas Tableau support community, a space that allows Tableau users to submit new ideas and search existing submissions. The Ideas space also provides its user community the opportunity to upvote a submission. And since submissions can be reviewed and commented on by others, it’s also a good resource to find possible existing solutions related to your idea.

Tableau makes it easy to search existing submissions. A great feature of the Ideas space is the provided Tableau visualization, allowing users to search existing ideas and view them as marks with responsive tooltips and select URL actions that open the respective idea submission. Using the text search, date, and status quick filters in the viz, you can quickly locate existing ideas submitted by the community. The space also provides a link to view all submissions, a Top Ideas visual, a Recent Ideas section, and some useful articles related to submitting ideas to Tableau.

Tableau has incorporated many of these submitted ideas in prior releases. In fact, in my prior blog post (A Quick Look at Tableau Desktop 9.2) I commented on how the enhanced functionality to move the Totals display was an Idea favorite. Check out this article to learn how submissions from the Ideas support community are evaluated for possible release. So the next time you have a great idea for Tableau, make sure to visit their Ideas community support page.

Video Captioning: DIY Method Using YouTube

Video Captioning: DIY Method Using YouTube

Recently, Peter Ermey of UITS IT Training and Tomas Gregg of IU’s Assistive Technology and Accessibility Center (or ATAC) teamed up to demonstrate and explain how to use YouTube to generate caption files that will help to make your videos be more accessible. YouTube’s auto-captioning capability can create a great starting point, from which you can perfect and export a caption file to use with videos.

View webinar recording. View the webinar recording for “Video Captioning: DIY Method with YouTube.”

In this webinar, we covered:

  • how to sync a transcript to a video to create captions in YouTube
  • how to auto-caption a video and edit captions for accuracy in YouTube
  • how to export a caption file from YouTube for use in other programs
  • how to load a video and caption file in Kaltura

To register for additional upcoming IT Training online webinars or workshops, visit

Earn a Certificate from IT Training

Illustration of ribbon on certificate.

Earning a certificate from IT Training is a great way to enhance your skills in areas like Microsoft Office, web development, and creating graphics.  You’ll take a series of related IT Training workshops designed to build your skills in applications or topics in a comprehensive way! After you’ve attended all of the workshops in a series (within a one-year period), you’ll earn your certificate.

We offer certificates in six different areas, so you’re bound to find something to meet your needs.

Office 2013 Productivity (6 workshops)

We’ll introduce you to a variety of Microsoft Office applications and demonstrate ways make them work together. You’ll learn the basic skills for day-to-day office activities from creating a spreadsheet in Excel to creating a PowerPoint presentation. The required workshops are:

1. Outlook 2013: Calendar Essentials
2. Outlook 2013: Managing Your Email
3. Word 2013: The Essentials
4. PowerPoint 2013: The Basics
5. Excel 2013: The Basics
6. Access 2013: The Basics

Read the rest of “Earn a Certificate from IT Training” »

Photoshop Books at IU Libraries

Students walk in front of University Library as they go to classes Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

Students walk in front of University Library as they go to classes Tuesday, January 8, 2013.

Photoshop, in my opinion, is one of the greatest things since sliced bread. It’s a powerful piece of software, but you can’t fully realize that power until you learn how to use it. To help you along, I’ve put together a list of Adobe Photoshop related books you can get from an IU Library. Remember, you can use Interlibrary Loan to get books that are not housed on your campus. I found the books by doing a simple search on the term “Photoshop’ in IUCAT.

I limited the results to books falling under the Subject “Adobe Photoshop” that were published within the last three years. I got 15 books, but this list includes only the titles I found to be most relevant to the IU community.

Here’s the list:

And don’t forget to take advantage of your access to no-cost workshops from IU IT Training.

You can find our Photoshop offerings here.


Spring 2016 webinars: Explore topics & register

Join IT Training for upcoming webinars

IT Training will host a variety of webinars on special topics of interest this Spring. These quick demos and discussions are designed to get you up to speed quickly on technologies you use or want to learn more about.

See a topic you’re interested in? Join us! Register today.

Using LinkedIn for Hiring* — Learn more & register
2/24/16 Wednesday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM
*Must have an IU username and passphrase to attend.

Adobe CC 2015: Exploring New Features  — Learn more & register
3/2/16 Wednesday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM

IUanyWare: An Overview  — Learn more & register
3/7/16 Monday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM

Infographics: How to Plan, Create, & Share  — Learn more & register
3/29/16 Tuesday, 10:00 – 11:00 AM

Creating Accessible Documents at IU  — Learn more & register
3/31/16 Thursday, 1:30 – 3:30 PM

CourseNetworking: An Overview  — Learn more & register
4/6/16 Wednesday, 1:30 – 2:30 PM

Mobile: How to Use Common Meeting and Communication Apps at IU (iOS)  — Learn more & register
4/21/16 Thursday, 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Mobile: How to Use Common File Sharing and Collaboration Apps at IU (iOS)  — Learn more & register
4/28/16 Thursday, 4:00 – 5:00 PM

Learn SQL and get paid

Learn SQL and get paid - promo

Attend a workshop on how to use SQL for data retrieval and earn a $25 gift card when you participate in an upcoming UITS study designed to evaluate IT Training instructional events.

Join us Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Choose one of the following sessions:

Register for 8am – noon
Register for 1 – 5pm

In this workshop, you will learn more efficient ways to retrieve data from a database. To participate, you should already know how to work with relational databases, plan to attend Access 2013: The Basics in Bloomington on March 23rd, or review Access 2013: The Basics (PDF).

Contact IT Training to learn more details