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 RGB

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

Uses

  • 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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The First 48: iOS 8

by Moez Janmohammad

iOS 8 was announced Monday, and the beta for developers went out that day. I’ve had it now for about 48 hours, and I’m pleased to say that it’s a pretty solid update, especially for the first beta seed. It’s robust, surprisingly stable, and very fast. iOS 7 was plagued with crashes and glitches in its beta stages, iOS 8 is a different animal. Of course, there are a few issues, but again, it’s the first beta and those will be ironed out.

Users who feared a complete UI overhaul like the transition from iOS 6 to iOS 7 need not worry. iOS 8 looks and feels exactly like its predecessor, albeit with a few functional changes. It was more of an “adding features” update as opposed to a “let’s make everything new” update.

Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest updates:

reply nowQuick Reply: You can now reply to text messages directly from the lock screen, or even in the notifications drawer. Just slide to the left, hit “Reply” and type away! Note that if your screen locks while you’re idly staring at the message you typed, iOS will not save a draft of it, although I’m sure that may be added in a future beta update.

The Keyboard: Since 2007, the iOS keyboard has remained largely unchanged. In iOS 7, it was given a different skin, but the same software laid underneath. Now, you get a “Quick type” bar at the top of your keyboard. It guesses, based on context, your next word and learns as you use it. It understands that the formal way you talk to your boss is different from the informal slang you may use with your friends, and suggests words depending on who you’re texting, and any previous messages you may have sent to that contact. Also, support for 3rd party keyboards is now available. Once companies like Swype and Swiftkey build their iOS version, you’ll be able to use those too.
spotlight search

Spotlight: Until now, Spotlight search was just a way to search documents, music, contacts, and other local files. Now, Spotlight has been revamped to include internet searches, restaurants near you, apps in the App Store, Wikipedia snippets, movie showtimes and even location based data in your own photos.

All in all, iOS 8 seems to be a fantastic step in the right direction for Apple, but the big test will come when all of the paired features in OS X Yosemite start working. Continuity, phone calls on your Mac, and Airdrop from OS X to iOS will push both platforms to the next level.

As with any upgrade, we strongly suggest when iOS8 becomes available in the fall that you delay upgrading for a short time. This allows OIT time to navigate any bugs that may conflict with SMU applications or services. We’ll make sure to give you the green light when our testing is complete.

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You Sent What Email?

outlookWouldn’t you know it, right after I posted my last blog “Never miss an email again“, I found myself being humbled in a conversation saying “You sent what email?”

In my prior post, I talked about setting alerts in Outlook for those critical emails that you need to respond to right away.  However, the messages that rank high in the importance category and require some phone calls or research before I can respond need a different approach. I need those types of messages to stand out in my inbox as a visual reminder of their importance, and for me it’s also a kick in the pants that I better not drop the ball on this one – especially, when it comes to prompt customer service.

How do I solve that dilemma? Conditional Formatting – that is, it’s a great solution if you are a PC user. (Sorry Mac users, it’s not available in Office 2011, but I have read there have been a lot of requests for it in the next release. Maybe you’ll see that in the future.)

conditional formatting

Notice in the above pic, you’ll see unread email in the standard blue font and then one in a bold green font.  I changed my formatting, so every time I get an email from a specific email account, it stands out with that font. You can specify conditional formatting to occur from specific individuals, when certain keywords are used, etc.

Here’s how…

1. Go to your mail, task, calendar etc. (wherever you want to add conditional formatting)

2. From the View tab,  select View Settings view settings

3. Select Conditional Formatting

4. Click Add and type the name of your rule

5. Click Font and specify the font type, size and color that you want your specified email to display

conditional formatting2

6. Click the Condition button

7. Specify the condition for your email

8. Click OK

9. Click OK

Will conditional formatting solve my problems for not missing an email again? Probably not, but between this and setting alerts, I’m hopeful it will keep me more organized and lessen my chances of eating humble pie once again!

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Webinars & Timesavers in Microsoft Office

I’m constantly looking for tips on how to work more efficiently in Microsoft. The Office suite is so powerful that I’m pretty sure we underutilize the resources at our fingertips.

If you’re struggling with the “I want to learn, but I don’t have time…” sentiment consider sharpening your skills in 15 minute bites. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled on Microsoft’s Tuesday morning webinar series and was perusing through their archives. You can join their webinars live or watch at your own convenience.

Here’s a sample of their Office Timesavers session:

You can view upcoming Office webinars here. Got your own Microsoft Office tip you’d like to share? Let us know at ittraining@smu.edu and we’ll be sure to pass it on!

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