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Want to Travel to Australia, Kenya, Chile? Here’s Your Chance!

“Adobe is working with Passion Passport to give six students from around the world the chance to travel to one of three of the world’s most protected natural environments.

On location, students will use Adobe Creative Cloud to capture and interpret the environment’s sights, sounds, and sensations.

Each student’s creative output will be showcased through an immersive, multimedia installation that recreates their expression of the protected landscape in an urban environment.”

**Students who are currently enrolled in a college or university, from all majors and backgrounds, are eligible. You must be 18 years of age, or older. Application deadlines are 2/23/16

Click on this link for more information:


Our Adobe representative sent this information to me yesterday, and since it is such an exciting opportunity, I wanted to share it with you. If I was a student, I would be posting my most creative videos and photos in Instagram and tagging them with #MadeThis and #PassportToCreativity right now!

Avidian’s Guide to Using Outlook

Avidian Technologies sells a product called Prophet, which is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software suite. Because Prophet works with Microsoft Outlook, Avidian offers a number of useful Outlook resources which are free to the masses. While there is some advertising included on their site, it is subtle and you are never forced to fill out any forms or give them any information.

The Ultimate Help Guide to Using Outlook provides tips and tricks for boosting productivity and streamlining tasks. It focuses on the “gold nuggets” in Outlook, or the 20 percent of features in Outlook that produce 80 percent of the most desired results.

This is a great resource for both novice and power users, and I love the website design. It is set up so that you can easily skim through the text and find exactly what you need. Step-by-step instructions are included in royal blue boxes that put me in mind of index cards, and you can also use the navigation bar on the left to move to a specific section.

Do you like to use keyboard shortcuts? In Chapter 7 of this guide you will find a table that contains many of the most common Outlook shortcuts. While this information is readily available on many other websites as well, Avidian’s infographics are so well done that you may want to hang some of them above your desk just for their aesthetic appeal!

Chapter 8 covers ways to find things faster in Outlook. Would you know how to use key words to search for all the Outlook items that arrived in your Inbox last week? What if you wanted to find all items from bobby that arrived on either 1/7/15 or 1/8/15, would you know how to combine search operators? If not, check out Chapter 8. I guarantee that you will learn something new.

Another Avidian website provides a long list of resources that should help you to solve almost any Outlook problem. There are books, blogs, tutorials, and plugins for almost every skill level and audience. Do you need a book that will help you study for a Microsoft Outlook MOS exam? Need to find a solution to a common Outlook integration problem? Want to know more about Outlook add-ins? Want to find out about the PeekYou function? Check out this website. It’s all here!

Qualtrics at IU

Qualtrics is a cloud-based survey tool that helps faculty, students, and staff build and distribute surveys, view reports, and tabulate and analyze responses. It’s functionality goes way beyond free survey building applications and yet it is still easy to use.

Qualtrics home page with heading "Need a better survey tool? Try Qualtrics now!"

If  you are affiliated with Indiana University, you can visit IUware to purchase and download a license for individual or organizational use.

If you need help using Qualtrics, check out the resources at Qualtrics University. The video tutorials are well done and easy to follow. I would suggest that beginners start with “Learn Qualtrics in 5 Steps.”

Click on the video below to get started now:

Adding GIFs to Facebook

Several months ago I spent a fair amount of time thinking about how to spice up my Facebook banner. As part of this exercise, I played around with a number of different file formats within Facebook, and I tried to get one of my self-created GIFs to load in my status bar.

That is why I got so excited this morning when I read that as of today, May 29th, 2015, GIFs will now work on Facebook!!!

Since I have not yet experimented with this new functionality, I will not attempt to describe the process for posting GIFs. Instead, I will simply provide several links to information that I have found this morning. I’m sure there will be plenty more in the days to come, but I wanted to be the first to make this announcement on the IT Training Tips blog!
Animated GIF: Smiley Faces Doing the Wave

Check out these links for more information:

Or, these, if you want to design a new Facebook banner:

Presentations: A Learning Path

Learning paths road sign.I need to create a presentation for one of my classes.  I used PowerPoint in high school, but I haven’t used the newest version. I’ve also heard that there are other good applications available for creating presentations. What courses or workshops would you recommend?

Nearly ubiquitous in universities and on corporate computers, PowerPoint is one of the most widely used presentation creation tools in the world. It has been around since 1987, and it has come a long way. Today you can add video, audio, animations, transitions, WordArt, Charts, Tables, and more. You can also co-author presentations through Windows Live and share your slide shows via the web in real time. If you’re looking for a robust, tried and true application with lots of flexibility and functionality, PowerPoint is the best bet.

If you are a Mac user, you need to know that PowerPoint is not cross-platform. While there is a Mac version, it is not exactly the same as the PC version. PowerPoint for Mac contains most of the same functionality as the PC version, but the user interface is slightly different. When selecting your training options, keep this in mind. Mac users may also want to consider using Keynote, which is a popular and easy to use alternative to PowerPoint from Apple’s iWork suite.

If you want to create a presentation that looks entirely different than the ones your classmates put together, you might want to use Prezi. This new cross-platform, cloud-based application uses a canvas instead of slides, and makes use of zooming and panning to provide interest. While prezi does not include nearly as many features as PowerPoint, it can be used to create a unique presentation. Prezi is also a good choice if you do not own (or have access to) a copy of PowerPoint. The free version of prezi provides all the features you need to create an impressive slide show.

There are currently 4 different paths that you can take to learn to create a presentation.

Read the rest of “Presentations: A Learning Path” »

Why Go Paperless?

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.

Are paperless systems really worth the time and effort that it takes to set them up?

Suzanna Kaye, professional organizer and productivity expert and host of the course called Going Paperless: Start to Finish, says yes. In the opening segment of the course, she lists the following advantages of going paperless:

  • Paperless systems provide on-the-go access. Your data is available to you whenever you have internet access.
  • Paperless systems speed up the process of finding the information you need.
  • Paperless systems take up minimal space.
  • With paperless systems, it is very easy to create back-ups of all your important data.
  • With the security available through backup and storage programs, your information has stronger and more advanced protection from prying eyes and theft, unlike a home or office filing system.
  • Unlike paper that needs to be shredded or recycled, virtual documents can be purged easily.

Suzanna goes on to give advice and best practices for going paperless. She covers topics such as backing up and maintaining information, managing passwords, creating storage policies, stopping junk mail, using Dropbox for online storage, scanning paperwork, and more.

Members of the IU community can access this useful video course for free by clicking here. If you are not a member of the IU community, you can purchase a license and then use the search feature in lynda to find the course.

Collaboratively Creating a Presentation with prezi

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.

Gone are the days when students must meet face-to-face to put together a slide show for a class. Prezi, the popular cloud-based presentation tool, provides users with an easy way to collaboratively create a presentation. This functionality is available even with the free version of the application.

When your group or team needs to create a presentation, follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure that all members of your group have a prezi account.
  2. Appoint a leader who will start the presentation and invite the other team members to collaborate on the presentation. (All steps below this one should be completed by the leader.)
  3. Log into prezi and start a new presentation.
  4. On the far right side of the top menu, click the Share button  (Share Button).
  5. Click on Share prezi…  A dialog box appears.
  6. Click the Add people field at the bottom of the dialog box.
  7. Type a group member’s prezi log-in.
  8. Confirm that Editor is displayed at the end of the Add People field.
  9. Click the blue Add button. You will see a new square appear beneath the Add people field with the collaborator’s prezi user name.
  10. Repeat steps 4 – 9 for every group member that you want to add.

Now when group members log into prezi they will see the presentation listed on their home page under “Your prezis.” If they hover their mouse over the presentation, an Edit button will appear in the top left corner of the presentation frame. When they click on this Edit button, the presentation will open in Edit view.

When multiple collaborators have the presentation open at the same time, they will all see square icons displayed over the canvas with the names of all others who have the presentation open. In addition, a slim gray task pane appears on the right side of the canvas with the number of people who have the presentation open at the very top and icons for the collaborators underneath. If you point to any of the square icons, the collaborator’s prezi username will be displayed.

prezi share view

To add more collaborators, you can click on the plus sign under the square icons on the right side of the canvas. The dialog box will appear once more and you can repeat steps 5 through 9 from above.

When a change is made to the presentation, it will immediately appear on everyone’s  screen.

If you would like to learn more about creating a presentation with prezi, consider taking the IT Training workshop called Prezi: The Basics.

Snow and Ice Challenge

This challenge is no longer active. Thanks to all who sent in their submissions!

Are you tired of winter? Is the snow and ice wearing you out? Are you cursing the groundhog and Mother Nature? Unfortunately winter is not over yet. The forecast for the next 7 days includes low temperatures and more snow.

If you want to beat the winter blues, get involved in IT Training’s Snow and Ice Challenge. Grab your camera, Smartphone, or camcorder and take a photo or video that will raise our spirits and make our readers smile.

Your entry must be original and it must be submitted by the person who captured the photo or video. But unlike many other photo or video contests, for this challenge you MUST use your favorite application to enhance, distort, or manipulate the media in some way. For example, you can use Photoshop to put clothes on your snowman or use After Effects to convert snowflakes into ice cream cones. Be creative! Have fun! Get out of your winter funk! If you manage to make us smile, we will post your photo or video on this blog.

If you’re interested but you don’t know how to edit photos and videos, consider taking a Photoshop, After Effects, or Premiere Pro workshop. Our classrooms are always warm and full of bright ideas, but if you can’t bear the thought of getting out to attend an instructor-led workshop, consider downloading workshop materials or attending online training sessions.

For more information about how to submit your photo or video, click here.


…and we have a winner! Congratulations, Andrew! This video is quite entertaining. Nice job.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a submission. Here are a few of the other entries:

Woman, Snowman, and boy


Snow Scene


Boy in snow


CIB Bldg in Snow


The End of an Era

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

Putting Icons Back on the Navigation Bar in Outlook 2013

When Microsoft was designing Outlook 2013, they wanted a clean, uncluttered look. That is supposedly why they decided to include text instead of icons on the Navigation bar.

Did you know that you can easily change the look of this Navigation bar? It is very easy to do.

  1. Click on the 3 gray dots on the right side of the bar.
  2. From the pop-up menu that appears, click  on Navigation Options

    A Navigation Options dialog box opens. We could use the menu at the top of this dialog box to change the number of Outlook folder items displayed on the Navigation bar, or we could use the options at the bottom to rearrange the order in which they are displayed, but today we are mainly interested in changing the text to icons.
  3. Click on the Compact Navigation checkbox.
  4. Click on the OK button. The look of the Navigation bar changes. While not exactly like previous versions of Outlook, it is very close.
    Navigation Bar with icons instead of text
    Would you like to bring back the folder icons that appeared in the Navigation pane in previous versions of Outlook as well?
  5. Press Ctrl+6 while viewing the Inbox and icons will appear in front of your folder list in the Navigation pane.
    icons in folder list


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