The Blog of BenU's Technical Trainer
http://www.ben.edu/IT/BUTechTrainer/blog-posts.cfm - 07/03/15 03:20:49 - 11/09/11 09:11:28
Concerned About that Shortened Link in Your Tweet?
Sites like Bit.ly offer a great service by allowing shortened links in emails, web pages and, of course, Twitter.
You just knew, though, that hackers would start using it to hide the URLs of mal-ware infected sites or for other dubious purposes.
Take solace, though, in the fact that you can see the final link location of a bit.ly shortened link without actually running the risk of visiting the site.
When you get a bit.ly link - such as bit.ly/xbMKWR - simply copy and paste the link into your browser window and, before you hit <Enter>, add a plus sign to the end so it looks like bit.ly/xbMKWR+. Now hit enter and you will go to the Bit.ly site instead and see the full link address. At this point, you can decide for yourself if you want to visit the site.March 14, 2012 Tags:
Common Excel Formulas
Looking for the correct syntax for common formulas in Excel? Look no further:
Syntax Description =SUM(A1:A6) Adds up the cells from cells A1 through A6
=SUM(A6-A4) Subtracts A4 from A6
=AVERAGE(A1:A2) Calculates the average between cells A1 & A2
=IF(A2>B2, "True", "False")
Compares two cells and returns "True" if A2 is greater than B2.
Rounds up A2 to the specified number of decimal places (0)
=UPPER(A2) Changes the text in A2 to UPPER CASE
=LOWER(A2) Changes the text in A2 to lower case
=PROPER(A2) Changes the text in A2 to Proper Case
=CONCATENATE(A2," ",B2) Concatenates (strings together) cells such as a first name and last name
Displays just the last four characters from A2. For example, if A2 holds a Social Security Number, =CONCATENATE("***-**-",RIGHT(A2,4)) would show ***-**-1234
=TRIM(A2) Removes leading or trailing spaces from A2. But, if A2 has two words in it, the space between the two words is left intact.
Shows the value of cell A2 that's on "Worksheet 2" - use this to bring the value from a cell on another worksheet in the same file.
=TODAY() Inserts today's date
For more helpful hints, check out Examples of Commonly Used Formulas from Microsoft.
December 20, 2011
Get Into the RSS Habit
I love blogs - not just writing my own (which is more of a headache at times than a pleasure), but reading what other people have to say. Whether it's a blog for the learning and training industry, a food blog, or just something quirky and funny, blogs have become an important part of my daily routine. Not just for the mental break but also for learning what my colleagues are doing and trying.
What I don't want to do, however, is spend time loading web site after web site to read everything. I use the RSS feed from all of the blogs I follow and load the content into Outlook.
November 7, 2011
- Find a blog you like. Don't know where to start? Think of a topic you like (I love food) and just do a Google search for "Top Food Blogs".
- Visit the blog and look for the RSS icon:
- Right-click on the icon and select Copy Link Location.
- Open Outlook and find the RSS Feeds folder.
- Right-click on the folder and select Add New RSS Feed...
- Pres <Ctrl>V to paste the link that you copied in step 3 and click OK.
- Repeat for every blog you find that you want to read on a regualr basis. Every time one of your blogs adds a new post, the new content will automatically be brought into Outlook.
Tags: Outlook, RSS, Links, Readers, MS Office
Photos Too Big? Resize Them - DPI is Irrelevant!
Quite often you will hear someone say that images online need to be 72 DPI. There are a lot of (mostly inappropriate) ways of dismissing such silliness.
DPI, or Dots Per Inch, is a printing term that tells the printer how many dots, or pixels, to squeeze into one inch of space. For displaying on-screen, DPI has no relevance. What does matter is the pixel count.
For example, if you have a picture that is 1200 pixels wide and 900 pixels high, you would be able to print it as 4"x3" picture if you set the DPI to 300 (1200 pixels ÷ 300 pixels per inch = 4" and 900 pixels ÷ 300 pixels per inch = 3"). If you set the DPI to 150, then you could make a print that is 8"x6". At 600 DPI, the print would be 2"x1½"
But that's printing and you want to display the images in your web page, right?
Step one, ignore DPI.
What you need to do is change that pixel count. Most LCD monitors today display images at 96 PPI (pixels per inch). So when you import that 1200x900 image, it's going to be really, really large.
Using some image editing program (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Photo Paint, GIMP...) you want to resize the image and change the picture to something like 600 pixels x 450 pixels. When displaying images online, your resolution (the number of pixels displayed in an inch) is set for you and is pretty much standard at 96.
So, when you need to make an image suitable for online use, ignore DPI and, in whichever program you're using, find out how to resize the image.November 7, 2011
Tags: photos, images, resizing, DPI, resolution, Photoshop, GIMP, PPI, digital photography
Really iOS? Really? Why Your iPhone isn't Syncing with Your Outlook Calendar
Have an iPhone or iPad and it's not syncing with your Outlook calendar? You're not alone!
Some of the people on campus noticed that their (our) calendars were not always syncing with Outlook like they should be. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't.
Believe it or not, that's not a bug (it's a poor and lazy programming issue but that's a different rant). When your iPhone or iPad (let's just call it your idevice) tries to sync with Outlook, it sends your login ID and your password. The sync problem exists because, as far as the idevice is concerned, it's sending the wrong user id.
In my case, my user ID that I entered into my iPhone was rdomaschuk. According to Outlook, however, my real ID us RDomaschuk (notice the capitalization?). As far as the idevice is concerned, rdomaschuk and RDomaschuk are two completely different people (and no, this doesn't impact email syncing, just the calendar).
To fix this, first go into Outlook and press <Ctrl><Shift>B to bring up the directory. Find yourself in the directory and look at your user ID and note how it is capitalized. Then, go into the email settings on your idevice (Settings > Mail, Calendar, Contacts) and, under your BenU email settings, ensure that your user ID has the same capitalization.
Once you change it, it could take a few minutes to resync.November 4, 2011
Tags: iphone,ipad,settings, outlook, active directory,syncing,email,iOS,Apple
iPhone 4S and iOS 5 - Battery Life Issue
If you are someone who recently bought the iPhone 4S and upgraded to iOS5, there are two very important things to be aware of:
- I am insanely jealous. I have the 3GS and am not eligible for an upgrade yet. My jealousy exists at such a level that a small part of me doesn't want to share the second piece of news. But, since that is not the Benedictine way, you also need to know...
- That Apple has confirmed reports that some users are experiencing diminished battery life and having to recharge their phone far more frequently. If you are experiencing this, Apple is planning a software upgrade to resolve this in the next couple of weeks. Since I'm writing this on November 3, expect the update by the third week of November.
Click here for a more in-depth article on the issue and Apple's response.November 3, 2011
Tags: iPhone, Apple, iOS, iPad, new media, tablets, smart phones
New Training Videos Coming
Just want to give you all a head's up to watch this site in the next couple of weeks. I'm about to launch some training videos: short (5 minutes or less) snippets of video to show you how to perform specific, and easy, tasks in your favorite software.
As always, if there is a video you'd like to see created and added, I am a short email away!November 14, 2011
Converting Emails to Tasks and Events
If you receive an email and you want to convert it to a task or to a calendar entry, simply click and drag the email to the Calendar or Tasks box in the To Do bar (or to their Navigation Panes)September 6, 2011
Tags: Acrobat, Adobe, Global Settings, Options, Settings, Workspace
When Your Inbox Runs Out of Space
Here at Benedictine University, every person is allotted 40 MB of space on the Exchange (mail) server. That total includes not just your inbox, but your sent mail, deleted items, any RSS feeds you subscribe to, and any new sub-folders that you created.
That 40 MB of space disappears quickly! I had only been working here a little less than two weeks when that happened to me.
Here’s how to fix that if it’s happened to you and how to avoid it in the future:
- Open Outlook and go to File > Data File Management…
- Under the Data Files tab, click Add…
- Make sure Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) is highlighted and click OK.
- Navigate to your “H” drive (remember, never store files on your C drive!) and click OK.
You’ll have created your own set of Personal Folders which will be visible in Outlook. Now you can keep your emails and other items organized by dragging them to your Personal Folders. Not only does this free up your allotted space on the Exchange Server but, because it’s now on the H drive, it gets backed up daily.
Some other helpful suggestions to stay below your 40MB limit:
September 6, 2011
- Clean out your Sent mail folder on a regular basis. If you really need to keep a copy of your sent mail, get into the habit of adding yourself to the BCC field and then moving the email from your inbox to your Personal Folders.
- To check the amount of space you are currently using on the Exchange Server, in Outlook go to Tools > Mailbox Cleanup… and click the first button, View Mailbox Size.
- Allow Outlook to auto-archive messages older than 30 days. You can change those settings in Tools > Options… and under the Other tab.
- If you use a graphic as part of your email signature, make sure you use a smaller sized image.
- If you do keep emails in your inbox and you have a graphic in your email signature, go to Tools > Options… and under the Mail Format tab, click on the Signatures button. Make sure “None” is selected in the Replies/forwards: drop down menu (it’s in the upper-right corner).
How to Share Your Outlook Calendar
For a myriad of reasons, you may want to share your calendar with other people and, in Outlook, that’s a very easy thing to do.
If you want to let specific people view your calendar:
- In Outlook, open up your calendar
- Click Share My Calendar in the left-hand navigation pane (Outlook 2007) or click on the Folder tab and then Share my Calendar (in Outlook 2010).
- In the message window that appears, enter the names of the people with whom you want to share your calendar. They will be able to view but not make changes to your calendar.
If you want to let everyone see your calendar:
September 6, 2011
- In Outlook, open up your calendar
- Click Calendar Permissions in the left-hand navigation pane (Outlook 2007) or click on the Folder tab and then Calendar Permissions (in Outlook 2010).
- In the calendar Properties window that appears, you can add specific people and grant them various levels of permission from viewing, editing, and adding events to your calendar. You can also let everyone see your calendar by editing the permissions for “Anonymous”
Tags: Calendar, Calender, Outlook, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2010, Settings
How to Refer to Another Cell in Excel
Forgive the whole “cell in Excel” bad rhyming for a moment…
Here’s a common scenario in Excel: you have a cell that contains the result of an equation (like the total sum from a range of cells) and you want to use that result in another cell. Just type an equal sign and the original cell’s address in the cell you want to use the number in.
For example, if you want cell ‘H4′ to import the content of cell ‘C6′, select H4 and type =C6 This way, if the result in C6 ever changes, H4 is automatically updated.
But what if that cell you want to refer to is on a different worksheet (but in the same file)? Not a problem! Just add the name of the worksheet in front of the cell along with an exclamation mark. So, if C6 is on Sheet1 and H4 is on Sheet2, go to sheet 2 and put select cell H4 and type =Sheet1!C6
Is the cell in a different Excel file? If so enter the file name in square brackets first: [filename.xls]Sheet2!A4September 6, 2011
Tags: Cells, Excel, Office, Office 2007, Office 2010, Tasks, Worksheets
Need to Secure Your PDF?
One of the features of Adobe Acrobat is the ability to restrict who can open, view, print, and change a PDF that your department sends out.
Before you begin: you do need to have Adobe Acrobat (either the Standard or Professional version) and not the free Acrobat Reader.
Okay, with that said, open the PDF you want to secure and go to File > Properties.
Click on the Security tab and set the Security Method drop down menu to Password Security.
Near the bottom of the dialog box, check the Restrict editing and printing of the document box, enter a password that would be required to make any changes to the document later on (which you won’t share with anyone, right?) and, under the Changes Allowed drop down menu, choose one of the 5 options:
- None – users can’t make any changes, copy any text, or anything. This is the most secure option. If the PDF is a form that you want people to fill in, you don’t want this option (otherwise they can’t fill it in)!
- Inserting, deleting, and rotating pages – users can’t do anything other than, well, insert delete or rotate any of the pages.
- Filling in form fields… – users can’t do anything except to fill in the fields on your PDF form. This is the option to choose if you are asking people to submit a form.
- Commenting, filling in form fields… – just like the previous option that allows people to fill in the forms, this option also allows people to insert comments on the form (using the Advanced Editing tools)
- Any except extracting pages – user can do anything except extract (remove) a page. This would allow them to manipulate your PDF but would prevent them from creating their own PDF using pages from your file.
Once you’ve made your choice, click OK. You’ll get a message saying that (to paraphrase) Adobe has done as good a job as they can making it secure but bad people with too much time on their hands might still be able to get around your security. Click OK again.
Finally, you’ll get a message saying that you need to save the document before the security takes effect. Once you save the document, you’ll know that your PDF is secure because, at the top along the title bar, it will say [Secured].September 6, 2011
Tags: Acrobat, Adobe, Global Settings, Options, PDF, Security, Settings
Loading a PDF on Your iPad from the Web
Easy. I like easy. You like easy, right?
First, this assumes that you’ve already installed the iBooks app on your iPad.
On any web page that has a link to open a PDF, click on the link and you’ll see a button that says open the PDF in iBooks. Tap the button. The PDF opens in iBooks and you’re done! The PDF is now part of your iBooks library.
September 6, 2011
Tags: Acrobat, Adobe, iPad, iPhone, Mobile, Mobile Device, PDF, Smart Phone
ICE Contact and iPhone PasscodeAs most of you know by now, you should have an I.C.E. (in case of emergency) contact in your phone. In the unfortunate case of an emergency, first-responders can easily and quickly find out who they should contact. These days, paramedics, police, fire fighters... all know to look in your phone for that I.C.E. entry.
However, from an IT perspective, we strongly urge everyone to use a passcode on their phones so that, if the phone is lost, your personal information and data is (relatively) safe. Of course, if you have a passcode, then the emergency personnel can't get into your phone, right?
What to do, what to do...
I came up with a clever idea that lets you have both an I.C.E. entry and a passcode. Using Photoshop (or your favorite image-editing program) create a 320x480 pixel image of your emergency contact info and make that your Lock Screen background.
Then emergency personnel can get your contact information without actually having to get into your phone. Here is what mine looks like:
December 7, 2011
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