Free Office 365 for SMU Students

HigherEd_eBlast_Dean_HeaderEveryone at SMU is united behind a single goal – help prepare our students to become the best they can be. Now, there are exciting news that aim to go a long way to achieve that goal, we are providing Office 365 to every one of our students for free. This automatically updatable, subscription-based software ensures our students always have the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more for as long as they’re a student here and the program continues. According to an IDC study, students with Microsoft Office skills are better prepared for work in the professional world and we are pleased to help our students on their road to success.

• Install on up to 5 compatible PCs and Macs, plus 5 tablets (including iPad!)

• Use with OneDrive for automatic device syncing

• Gain valuable skills on the world’s most popular productivity software

• Use the same programs as the faculty to ensure full file fidelity

This offer is available to all students at SMU. To get your free Office 365, visit and follow the download instructions. If you have any trouble, view our service page or contact the IT Help Desk for assistance.

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Creating Animated GIF’s in Photoshop

by Moez Janmohammad

This brief tutorial shows you have to take a 5-10 second video and convert it to a GIF with Adobe Photoshop.

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Inside.SMU Permissions

How secure is Inside.SMU and who uses it? This webinar will show you how to utilize Inside.SMU’s permissions features for specific audiences. We will explore the differences between Site permissions, and setting up permissions at the Library and List level as opposed to individual items. We’ll also show you how to grant and test permissions to make sure they are applied correctly.

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Office Time Saver: Customize How Documents are Saved

I author a lot of documents, and when it’s time to save them, I generally need to save them on our server. In fact, 90% of my documents end up in a shared drive. Currently, when I go to save my Word document (or any other Office Doc  I’m working on), I have to navigate from the defaults Document folder and scroll to the server I want to save to.  It’s really a waste of time to do that every time you save a doc, so here’s a quick time saver tip when you generally save somewhere besides the default location.

From the Office program that you want to change the save options:

  1. Go to the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Select Save.
  4. Locate the Default local file location and find your new default folder.
  5. Click Ok.
  6. Do a happy dance around your desk. You just set up your office application to work for you more efficiently! :)

Office quick tip

Stay tuned for other quick tip Office time savers!



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Sitecore Basics Webinar

Are you new to Sitecore, SMU’s Web Content Management System? Are you a user, but you’re not using it regularly enough to remember how to use it? We can help. The Sitecore Basics class will cover everything you need to know to get started using Sitecore.

Topic Covered Include:

  • Logging in to Sitecore
  • Customizing your Toolbar
  • Creating New Pages.Uploading Media, such as PDF files and images
  • Inserting images into Pages
  • Linking to Pages and Media
  • Using Widgets
  • Staging your pages for review
  • How to preview your site
  • Making your content live

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About Wiki.SMU



Wiki.SMU is an online documentation system that allows for collaboration and shared editing of articles.


  • Instructons/ How- to articles
  • Process documentation
  • Frequently-updated documents
  • Document versioning

Benefits of using Wiki.SMU

  • Wiki documentation is available on the web, from anywhere.
  • Viewing and editing wiki pages can be restricted to certain network users and groups.
  • Information in one page can be used in other pages, making frequently-updated information easier to manage.
  • Documents are indexed and easily searchable.
  • Editing uses a simple graphical interface; pictures can be pasted directly into page.s
  • Wiki documents are versioned: changes are tracked over time.

Requesting a Wiki

Faculty and staff may request a wiki for instructional or departmental usage. The request form can be completed via the Online Support Center.

For more information on Wiki.SMU, click here. You will need to login with your SMU ID and password.

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Internet Browser Troubleshooting

By Rachel Mulry

The IT Help Desk receives reports daily from individuals having trouble using different websites. These reports seem to be growing more and more frequent and functionality within websites seems to be impacted with each browser upgrade. The following are some troubleshooting tips we use which may help you the next time an application isn’t working as expected in your browser!

1 Clear the Cache:

As you navigate sites on the internet, your browser stores various pieces of information in a temporary storage called Cache. When you visit the same page for a second time, the browser speeds up the display time by loading the pages locally from the cache instead of downloading everything again. This sometimes results in older versions of web pages being displayed, along with problems on registration and authentication pages. Clearing the cache simply forces the browser to reload the latest and greatest version of that site. Each browser will have slightly different steps for doing this. We recommend doing an internet search for “how to clear the cache for ___ (enter your browser of choice)”.

internet explorer 102 Use the Supported Browser Version:

This can be a tricky one as applications tend to vary with their supported browser list! Most applications are written to be compatible with the major browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. However, many of these have a specific version that they test and certify. If you are using an older browser version, you may need to upgrade the browser to restore functionality. Of course, this may impact functionality on another site too! So if you have an application that requires an older browser, you may need to have a second browser installed.

Compatability View Settings3 Try Compatibility Mode in Internet Explorer (IE)

IE has a few features built in that help resolve a number of browser issues. Try adding the site to the compatibility view to see if that resolves the issue. To do this, click the Tools button and then select Compatibility View Settings. Add the website to the list of sites.

Trusted Sites4 Try Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer (IE):

Another option is to add a site to the Trusted Site list. Sites under this list are subject to a less restrictive browser security policy; therefore only do this if you really trust the website! To add a site to the Trusted Site list, click ToolsInternet OptionsSecurityTrusted Sites. Click the Sites button and add the URL of the site.

5 Check for Pop-Up Blockers:

Pop-up blockers are built into the browser for a good reason!  They help prevent some malware from being installed if you happen to visit an infected website! However, some applications use pop-up windows to display information. Typically, you’ll see an icon notifying you that a pop-up window has been blocked and asking for permission to allow that window. Sometimes however, the site just seems unresponsive and no icon appears. If it is a trusted website (such as my.SMU), you should configure your browser to always allow pop-ups for that site.

6 Try a Different Browser:

It’s actually not a bad idea to have multiple browsers installed on your computer. That way, you can test a troublesome application in another browser to see if the functionality is better with the new environment. I tend to use two different browsers regularly and know which apps work best for me in each browser. With the number of application I use regularly, one browser just doesn’t seem to work properly across all of them!

If the steps listed above still do not resolve the issue, you may want to disable any add-on toolbars or features or consider resetting the browser completely. These are more extreme actions and should only be done after the other troubleshooting has failed to work. In most cases, the steps above do the trick!

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Lyris Email Lists

Have you been looking for a bulk email option that allows you to use non-SMU emails? Or maybe you want to start a conversation chain for a class? Then take a few minutes and check out this mini-webinar by Assistant Director of the IT Service Desk, Rachel Mulry. She’ll show you the in’s and out’s of requesting a Lyris list and its features.

(The video feature of the webinar comes in at about 1:09; however, the audio works from the beginning.)

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Lens Profile and Upright Corrections in Lightroom 5

by Moez Janmohammad

Lightroom has tools built in that allow users to quickly and easily correct lens distortion and vingetting in images. Lenses have distortion because the light “bends” as it enters the front glass, so when it hits the sensor of the camera, it spreads the edges just a bit. Thankfully, digital photography has allowed us to easily fix this distortion.

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SMU’s Password Reset Tool

This mini-webinar by IT Help Desk Consultant Zach Peterson show you how to enroll and use SMU’s password reset tool.


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