Office 2016 for Mac is Coming!

Mac users seem to have been forgotten by Microsoft Office developers since the last version was released in 2010. However, the folks in Redmond have finally announced that a new version of Office is on the way! Office 2016 is rumored to be released sometime this fall, and should also become available in our Office 365 offerings at that time, as well. Check out some of the features and improvements that will be coming in the new version thanks to some early screenshots from Microsoft:

Office-2016-for-Mac-1-1024x588One of the biggest additions to Office is deep integration with Microsoft’s cloud services, including SMU’s OneDrive service! Now your files can be accessible from anywhere without the difficult setup that was required in Office 2011.

Office-2016-for-Mac-5-1024x600If you would like to use Outlook as your e-mail client but never liked the look and feel of the Mac version, the new version of Outlook for Mac mimics the look and feel of the Windows version, so you no longer have to learn how to use multiple interfaces if you use both PC and Mac.

Office-2016-for-Mac-3-1024x600Excel is greatly improved as well, not only looking more like the Windows version but also providing better compatibility with functions from the Windows version. There will also be more analytical functions available, as well.

Office-2016-for-Mac-4-1024x600

As for PowerPoint, it also sports a whole new look and the addition of a “control center” for your presentation that can display your notes, upcoming slides, and the current slide on your laptop’s screen while only the current slide is projected to your audience.

And the best part about the new Office for Mac, the feature we’ve all been craving…OneNote for Mac! The beloved note-taking software that has graced Office for Windows for years finally makes its Mac debut. This is an excellent addition for any digital note-taking addicts.

 

Office 2016 for Mac has been released to a select few so far for testing purposes, but should be released to the public, along with Office 365 users, later this year.

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The New Apple Watch

By: Kristina Harris

With the launch of Apple Watch pre-sales, we decided to put together a table to compare and contrast the new technology and two of its biggest competitors, Google’s Android Wear Gear Live and Samsung’s Gear S.

Click below to see an enlarged image:

smart watch chartThings to consider

  • Apple Watches have music playback, but without a headphone jack, Bluetooth headphones must be used.
  • There are 38 different ways to customize the Apple Watch while for Samsung’s Gear S, you can only choose between white and black.
  • “Digital Touch”, which includes features such as sending your heartbeat and hand-drawn sketches to other smartwatch users, is exclusive to the Apple Watch.
  • The Apple Watch has 8GB of storage compared to the Gear S and Gear Live’s 4GB, but only 2GB and 75MB of storage is able to be used.
  • While the Apple Watch has great reviews so far, the biggest complaint is the battery life, with 18 hours being the least amount of time of life amongst all smartwatches.
  • If you noticed the $17,000 price tag on the Apple Watch, don’t fret. This is only for the version that comes with the 18-Karat Yellow Gold Case and a Gold Buckle.

After hours of research, here is my advice. Apple gives its products well-needed improvements as the months go on. If you do not want to be stuck in the early adopter phase, wait for them to fix the kinks that new technology inevitably has, or even wait until the next version. Many critics said the interface is comparatively difficult to use, so if you are newly interested in giving smartwatches a go, you might start off with a more established product like the Pebble to see if a smartwatch meets your lifestyle needs. If you’re absolutely loving it, consider the admittedly charming Apple Watch or one of its competitors. One thing is for sure: this is one device that does not deserve to be abandoned in the back of your junk drawer.

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Adios Internet Explorer

Windows-10-Spartan-Browser-to-Integrate-Cortana-Feature-for-More-User-Friendly-ExperienceBy: Shayan Gaziani

In August of 1995 Microsoft released their first version of Internet Explorer (IE). A revolutionary feat at the time, eleven generations later IE has fallen behind rivals (such as Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox) in terms of speed, ingenuity, and modernism.

A solemn farewell.

Twenty years later, Microsoft is pulling the plug.  As noted by The Verge, the company revealed IE’s fate this past January. While the browser will still exist, function, and be available for download, maintenance will soon cease. Earlier this month at Microsoft Convergence, the company’s marketing chief Chris Capossela revealed plans for the future.

“We’re right now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10,” said Capossela. “We’ll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we’ll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing.”

Moving on.

Project Spartan is set to be officially released along with Windows 10 later this year. According to a blog post by the IE team, “Spartan provides a more interoperable, reliable, and discoverable experience with advanced features including the ability to annotate on web pages, a distraction-free reading experience, and integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster.”

Information for this post was provided by The Verge here and here.
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How to Report SPAM and Phishing at SMU

Email-client-applicationBy George Finney

The University receives over 300 million SPAM and Phishing messages ever year. Although majority are stopped, some messages will slip through our filters and arrive in your inbox. If you would like to report spam which has reached your SMU inbox, please forward a copy of the message as an attachment to spam@smu.edu. Please note that only messages which are sent as an attachment can be analyzed, as this method keeps the email header intact. This allows OIT to send pertinent data on to our anti-spam vendor, who will use it to influence the sender’s reputation score. To forward a message as an attachment, please use one of the following methods:

  • In Webmail, right-click the message and select Send As Attachment.
  • In Microsoft Outlook, select the message (single-click) and press the combination Ctrl-Alt-f on your keyboard.
Posted in Security Awareness, Tech Tips | Leave a comment

Save Your Voice for the Presentation

By: Shayan Gaziani

PPT Blog Post Image 2

Imagine this Scenario:

You walk into class prepared to deliver a paramount presentation. You’ve spent hours rehearsing every aspect from timing to delivery. You’ve spent days, if not weeks, preparing the file, compiling countless amounts of slides, graphics, links, and embedded objects.

Approaching the classroom computer, you plug in your thumb drive and open the presentation file. You steady yourself, take a gulp of air, start the presenter view and – notice that every single piece of image, audio, and video is gone. Blank. Nada.

Arguably one of the most venerated of presentation software, Microsoft’s PowerPoint provides a robust, feature-rich, and professional aid to presenters across a variety of disciplines and environments. From the boardroom to the classroom, PowerPoint has proven its usefulness and importance as a de facto method to revolutionizing the way we deliver speeches, presentations, assignments, etc.

But what if it doesn’t Work?

One common, yet egregious, issue with PowerPoint, especially in versions pre-dating 2013, is media and custom fonts not displaying correctly when a presentation file is transferred to another computer. The seemingly logical approach is to download images, sounds, and videos to your computer and simply insert them into a presentation. When you save and transfer the file, everything should clone and transfer as is, right?

Not exactly.

PowerPoint is big on trying to keep file sizes small and compressed, and one of the ways it does that is by linking media objects in a presentation. Remember that video you inserted into PowerPoint? It’s not really in the presentation file – rather a link to it is that PowerPoint then pulls when presenting.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this. Most PowerPoint versions include an option called Package for CD (On Mac, the issue can be circumvented by simply saving as a PowerPoint Show [.ppsx] format – you won’t get the viewer mentioned below, though). The feature allows the creator to compile all of the resources that PowerPoint has used to create the presentation (including your media), and create a packaged folder, including a mobile version of PowerPoint, called PowerPoint viewer, to ensure your presentation can run on a computer that does not have PowerPoint Installed. The Package for CD option allows you to create a presentation CD, or simply save the packaged files on a drive.

The Fix.

The steps to accomplish this are fairly simple, as provided by Microsoft. Go ahead and give it a try – it may just save your grade.

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Locker.SMU Personal Storage Must Be Moved Prior to May 15

Deadline Extended to May 15Locker-hits-the-road2

Don’t forget your Locker.SMU personal folder must be emptied prior to May 15.

Personal Locker.SMU Storage

We are in the process of decommissioning the Locker.SMU file storage service. We are focusing our efforts during the first part of 2015 on clearing out personal folders. Please login to Locker.SMU and retrieve any files that you may wish to keep. Instructions for migrating the data stored in those folders are located at http://www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/Projects/lockerdecommission/migration.

There are many file sharing and storage options available for you depending on your needs.  OIT provides Microsoft OneDrive for Business for all faculty, staff and students. Please note, this storage option is only available to you while you are an active employee or student. Once you leave, retire or graduate, that service will no longer be available and the files contained in those folders will be lost. For more information on using One Drive, visit office.smu.edu.

Organizational Locker.SMU Storage

At this time, we are still identifying the appropriate service for organizational file storage and sharing. Do not migrate those folders or files yet. OneDrive is not a suitable solution for departmental storage.

For additional information visit http://www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/Projects/lockerdecommission.

If you have any questions, please contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-4357.

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Using RSS Readers to Keep Track of Your Favorite Blogs

SplitShire_IMG_9970By Amber Clark

Back in the dark ages, before Twitter and Tumblr, there were blogs. Individuals tired of going from one blog to another to read all their news, jokes and view cute pictures of cats, created a centralized place where one could read all their blogs while only going to one website, or RSS Reader. Blog engines such as Blogger, and later WordPress, provided authors with a way to distribute their blogs in Rich Site Summary (RSS) to be integrated into an RSS Reader

The gold standard of RSS readers (and my personal favorite) was Google Reader. There I could add blogs’ RSS feeds as I found them and categorize them for later when I was looking for specific information.

As with all things on the Internet, good things don’t last. After the advent of Twitter and the growing popularity of microblogging, Google announced it was decommissioning Google Reader. Many devoted users were upset and signed petitions, others saw an opening in the marketplace and started building their own, many with the ability to integrate not just RSS feeds but also Twitter and Tumblr.

There are now numerous RSS or Blog Readers. Here are a few you might want to give a try:

Bloglovin- Is a place where you can read all your blogs in one place. You can categorize the blogs you add and integrate social media including Facebook. Bloglovin will also make suggestions for other sites based off websites you have added. In addition to integrated apps for phones and tablets, there is also a Bloglovin button you can add to your browser toolbar to make it that much easier to add sites to Bloglovin.

Newsblur- is another news and rss reader with its own social media components. It also has apps for iOS and Android.

Google Chrome RSS Feed Reader plugin- Google Chrome has an RSS Feed Reader broswer plugin that allows you to access and manage your RSS feeds from Google Chrome. It also has a feature to alert you when a website you are visiting has RSS feeds.

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Take Advantage of Free Technology Training at SMU

IT Training here at SMU has a number of resources available for Faculty, Staff and Students, and it’s all for free! The place to begin is on the OIT webpage, SMU.edu/OIT. You can navigate to the IT Training homepage through the blue navigation bar at the top of the screen. Once you arrive, you’ll see a number of different tabs.training tabs

my.SMU: this tab has links to dozens of tutorials for the SMU community for both administrative and self-service purposes. But remember, if you need security access to a page, your manager will need to request it. For more detailed instructions, click here.

Other Systems: This tab contains links to online trainings for SMU Financials. These are available anytime for a refresher; however, if you need job related security, your Financial Officer will need to open a Help Desk ticket. Instructions can be found on this tab.

IT Workshops: Each semester IT Training offers a variety of webinar and in-person workshops. On this tab, we keep all of our past training guides, as well as recordings of past webinars. Make sure to check this page out if you’re looking for help with Adobe, Microsoft Office, or Sitecore.IT Workshops tab

Additional Resources: This tab contains a link to a number of online training resources outside of the University, including: Blackboard/Courses.SMU; Inside.SMU; Lynda.com; Mactopia; Microsoft; and statistical training.

IT Training MenuFinally, under the IT Training dropdown, you can find links to information about the Fondren Library West computer classrooms and semester workshops. All IT Training workshops are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. They usually send out a newsletter announcement at the beginning of each semester. So, keep an eye out for emails coming from ittraining@smu.edu!

These spring webinars still have room for you!

Outlook Productivity Webinar, Wednesday, Feb 4, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Register

Up and Running with Microsoft OneDrive Webinar, Thursday, April 9, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Register

MediaArchive.SMU Webinar, Thursday, April 16, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Register

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Adobe Makes Lightroom Available for Android

lr-mobile-marquee

“This is not just a way to get photos from place to place. It lets you maintain your workflow on the mobile device. It can be a tremendous time saver and productivity tool for making edits on the go.”

-Shared Mangalick, senior product manager for photography at Adobe

According to TechNewsWorld, Adobe is expanding their market by now offering a mobile version of Lightroom for Android devices. Last year they released the app for iOS mobile devices. It does not provide the full functionality of the desktop version; however, it allows users to save changes to their photos and sync them back to their desktop.

For more information Lightroom for mobile devices, visit Adobe’s website.

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What to Do when PowerPoint’s Presenter View Won’t Play Nice

The Presenter View option allows PowerPoint users to show the audience the slide show while giving the presenter a view of upcoming slides, a timer, notes to yourself, and other handy tools. (If you haven’t yet, be sure to give it a try.)

powerpoint-2013-presenter-view

The problem is that every now and then Presenter View doesn’t happen, and the laptop screen only shows the slides. Most people don’t memorize where these controls are, so in this situation users are often forced to press on without the use of Presenter View. Since this little headache pops up from time to time, it pays to know how to set this option.

For Windows PC Users:use presenter view At the top of the PowerPoint screen are a series of tabs. Click on the one that says Slide Show. In the ribbon’s Monitors section, you will see a check box next to the words Use Presenter View. Check this box and Presenter View will start up when you begin the slideshow.

ppt2011-presenter-viewMac Users: Click on the Slide Show tab and look for a section titled Setting for Two Displays. Click on the icon that says Presenter View, and then start your presentation again.

Mac users may also need to be sure that their laptop is not set to mirror the displays. To do this, click on the Apple icon in the top-left of the desktop, then click on System and choose Display. Click on the Arrangement tab at the top of that screen and be sure that the check box next to Mirror Displays is unchecked.

swap screens ppt2013Lastly, if the Presenter View shows up on the wrong monitor simply click on the Display Settings button at the top of the Presenter Tools page and select Swap Presenter View and Slide Show.

Of course, Classroom Support is always available to help with this. Call us at 214-768-8888, and we’ll be glad to set it up for you.

Posted in Classroom Support, Microsoft, PowerPoint, Tech Tips | Leave a comment