Monthly Archives: February 2014

Short URLs

Tech Tips for Tuesday

Often you have a web resource you’d like to share with your students — a Google document, a web page, a PDF — that has an unwieldy URL. There are several web sites that will shorten your URL and give you a unique address that is easy to type and easy to write on a whiteboard. Although Google and Bitly provide excellent URL shortening services, these are blocked within PSUSD. Instead, use TinyURL, which is unblocked.
Find the URL you want to use, and copy it to your clipboard. Go to http://www.tinyurl.com, and paste the long URL into the “Enter a long URL” field. Click the “Make TinyURL!” button. You will get an abbreviated URL which you can copy or write on a whiteboard.
For further convenience, omit the protocol part of the URL (“http://”) and just start with the “www” part of the URL.
It probably goes without saying, but for this and all URLs, double check them in a browser — inside the district network, if you can — before you commit them to print.
2013.13
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Search and Replace Options in Word

Tech Tips for Tuesday

You have a Word document in front of you which desperately needs some editing. The author has written about string instruments and a musician named Viola, and this author can’t spell. To make matters worse, there is a lot of French sprinkled in for effect.
One troublesome sentence among many: “Voila Vanderhoff switched from bass vile to voila and voila! — the violent vilinists stopped reviolting!” You want to fix these errors throughout the document without breaking the occasional correctly spelled word.
Microsoft Word and Excel have the power to pick delicately through specific strings of characters when doing global edits. Press Ctl-H (the standard Search-and-Replace shortcut), and look at the options.
Match case: fix Viola’s name only, without touching any lowercase words.
Use wildcards: type “vilinist*” (with an asterisk) in the Find field to fix plural and singular words in one search
Find whole words only: fix “reviolting” without breaking “violent”
You can also include the space character in “bass vile” in your Find, to leave all the correct uses of “vile” intact. Likewise,including the exclamation mark in your search for “voila!” will allow you to include the missing accent mark without breaking all the correct spellings of the musical instrument viola and the musician Viola.
Et voilà!
2013.12

Switching Between Tasks in Windows and Chrome

Tech Tips for Tuesday

Working in Word but need to switch to Chrome to check for Facebook notifi… I mean, so you can enter grades in Synergy?
 
When you have multiple tasks running and you want to switch to a new one, you don’t need to grab the mouse, move it to the bottom of the screen, wait for the task bar to appear, and click on the task’s icon. It’s faster to keep both hands on the keyboard. Windows users, just hold the Alt key down with your left thumb and scroll through your current tasks by tapping the Tab key. Release both keys when you reach the task you want. (Mac users substitute the Apple key for the Alt key.)
 
Likewise, you can switch between tabs in Chrome using the Ctl-Tab key sequence. (This works in the Chrome browser on all operating systems.) Whether switching tasks or tabs, you can reverse the order of the scrolling by holding down the Shift key as you go.
2013.11

Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

Tech Tips for Tuesday

Chromebook users, there are dozens of keyboard shortcuts available for you, and they’re all collected in convenient overlays.
 
Press Ctl+Alt+? (hold down the Ctl key and the Alt key and the ? key, and then release all keys) to see a map of shortcuts. In addition to this first layer of shortcuts, you can see others by pressing the Ctl key or the Alt key. To exit the shortcuts maps, press the Esc key.
2013.10