Contact Lists in Office 365

Have you ever wanted to send the same email out to a specific group of people? If it's a small group of people you can just enter all of their email addresses in your email. But if it is a large group of people entering all those email addresses is a chore. If you have to email these people more than once then it is a really big chore. You're thinking there must be an easier way to do this with today's modern technology. Well I'm going to tell you a way to do it using Outlook in Office 365.

In Outlook in Office 365 there are two ways to do this. One is to use a Group, which is a "powerful and productive platform that brings together conversations and calendar from Outlook, files from SharePoint, tasks from Planner, and a shared OneNote notebook into a single collaboration space." If you just want to send an email then using a Group is a little overkill. Don't get me wrong, it can be used to just send out emails. The second way, and much simpler I think, is to use a Contact List, which is just "a collection of email addresses."

So let me take you through the steps to create your very own contact list:

A. Log into your Outlook account
B. Go to the People page by either
     1. Click on the Office 365 app launcher icon, sometimes called the 'waffle' icon, in the upper left corner of the page

                       App_Launcher_Icon

     2. Click the "All apps" link
     3. Click the People icon

                   People_App_Icon
    or
     1. Click People button at the lower left corner of the page

                      People_Icon

C. Click on the down arrow next to "New"

New_Contact_List

D. Click on "Contact List"
E. Enter a name for your list
F. Start adding the email addresses of the people you want in your list
G. When you are done adding email addresses, click the Save button at the upper left corner of the page

That's it, easy right? Now the next time you want to email these people all you have to do is type the name of your list in the To field.

"Like" an email in Office 365

Thumbsup2Did you know that you can "Like" an email message in Office 365? Until a coworker commented on it recently, I hadn't even noticed this feature!

Why would you want to "Like" an email? 

Microsoft says,"Instead of typing a text email message to reply with your support for or satisfaction about an email you received, express yourself by clicking the Like button. You can also see who else likes an email message by hovering over the Like button." Another coworker shared that in his other job, staff uses this to express agreement rather than sending an email.

O365_like

You can find all the details about this feature here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/like-an-email-message-in-outlook-on-the-web-cfd919a9-7c3e-40ed-a6e6-aabd7d2d2acb

Convert web pages to PDF for printing/saving in Chrome and Firefox

Some time ago I came across a handy extension available for Chrome and Firefox called Print Friendly & PDF. You can use this extension to generate PDF files from web pages that can be used to either print or save the web page as a PDF file. However, I have noticed that the extension doesn't work exactly the same in both browsers. 

Pdf-chromeFor example, when converting the scls.info home page in Chrome, the extension only picked up the one visible slide at the time that I did the conversion.

Pdf-firefoxI then switched to Firefox, and found that in Firefox, the extension captured all of the slides in the slideshow in one PDF file. 

You can find these extensions in Chrome by going to the upper-right hand corner menu and going to More Tools>Extensions, and then searching the Chrome Web Store. In Firefox, go to the upper right-hand corner menu and choose Add-ons.

Given that the extension works differently in different browsers, I think it's a good rule of thumb to keep your options open when using browsers. If something doesn't look right or work well in one browser, try another browser.

Help low-income households get affordable internet access

Internet2The Internet Discount Finder, created by the Wisconsin Public Services Commission, can help low-income households find discounted internet service.  Discounts are as deep as 80%. Schools and public libraries can play a critical role in promoting the Internet Discount Finder, to help all of their students and library users get internet access at home

I totally missed the original post about the scheduled call-in sessions with information about this tool, but luckily I saw it publicized again on the WVLS blog (Thanks, Jamie!). The session on the 26th is already done, but there is a second session coming up on August 2nd from 1-2pm.

You can find all the details including call-in info and a link to the DPI presentation in the WVLS blog post: https://www.wvls.org/help-low-income-households-get-affordable-internet-access/

Fake News?

You're scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed and you see a link to a news story that sounds far-fetched and is getting everyone riled up. Is it true? How can you tell?

The International Federation of Library Associatiations and Institutions (IFLA) made an infographic with eight simple steps (based on FactCheck.org's 2016 article, How to Spot Fake News) to help determine the verifiability of a given news article. This infographic is free for everyone to download, print, translate, and share. You can find links to the infographic in English and many other languages here: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174

(Did you notice that librarians get a shout-out under the "Ask the Experts" section?  Woohoo!)

Some of the fact-checking websites that I use regularly include Snopes.com and Politifact.com

Do you get questions from patrons about evaluating the accuracy and truthfulness of news and other articles? What fact-checking sites do you recommend? What resources do you share in library training classes?

 

How_to_Spot_Fake_News

 

Google My Business

GoogleMyBusinessHow do people find information about your library? I bet you think a lot about what you put on your website, but have you thought about the accuracy of information when people try to look up your library from a mobile device and Google steps in with results?

I find that I often rely on the Google listing for a business, rather than navigating to the business' website and trying to find information there (especially for hours, address, directions, phone number, and reviews).

Google My Business is a free listing service created by Google in 2014, and your library most likely already has a GMB page. It's an excellent idea to 1) claim it if you haven't already, and 2) verify/update the information on it. Information that administrators can add/edit includes library hours, description of your library, map pin/location, URL, phone number, organization type, and photographs. The built-in analytics can give you a good idea of how patrons found the listing, and what actions they took (did they call you? did they click over to your website?).

This Computers In Libraries article, "How to Create a Google My Business Page" covers why and how to take control of your Google My Business page and is definitely worth a read! 

Word's Disappearing Ribbon Trick

Have you ever been using Word and wished for more vertical space? Or maybe, like what happened here and at one other library where all that was showing up in the Word window was the menu bar and the user was wondering: Where's the ribbon?

This post will help you answer these questions. In Word there is an option to hide the ribbon or unhide the ribbon by using Ctrl F1. This keyboard command works for both Word 2010 (if you have Windows 8) and Word 2013 (if you have Windows 10).

If you prefer using the mouse then the location of the clickable caret (looks like an upside down V) varies depending on which version of Word you have.

For Word 2010

In the upper right-hand corner of a Word window, directly to the left of the question mark inside a blue circle is the caret you click on to either hide the ribbon or show the ribbon. If it is hidden then the caret points down and if the ribbon is visible then the caret points up.

Word_Ribbon_04

 

For Word 2013

In the upper right-hand corner of a Word window, directly to the right of the word "Editing" is the caret you click on to hide the ribbon.

Word_Ribbon_01

If it is hidden to show it again you need to click on the icon directly to the right of the question mark in the upper right-hand corner.

Word_Ribbon_02

It will show you three options: Auto-hide Ribbon, Show Tabs and Show Tabs and Commands. In order to show the ribbon again you will need to click on the Show Tabs and Commands option.

Word_Ribbon_03

 

Converting Old into New

New_year_father_timeIf you've been using computers as long as I have you're bound to have some old files laying around. The problem with these old files is that unless you still have the software you used to create them with you can no longer open or edit them. How sad! Well cheer up! I'm here to tell you how to convert those old files into new files. Back in 2009 Craig wrote a TechBits article about this and I thought it might be time to talk about it again. Just in case you or a patron has an old file that they really need to work with.

There is a website called Zamzar that offers a free online file conversion service. They can convert lots of old file formats into newer file formats so that they can be worked on using currently available software. Once you go to their website the conversion steps are as follows:

  1. Select the files you need to convert
  2. Select the file format you wish to convert to
  3. Enter the email address at which you wish receive the converted files
  4. Click the convert button on the screen

The files you chose are then uploaded to their server, converted, and then emailed to you. Simple as can be and it only takes a few minutes.

Display formulas in Excel

Ever need to look through the formulas on a spreadsheet?  Maybe you need to update them, maybe you're trying to fix a problem or maybe you just want to know what's going on.  Sure you can go through and click on each cell to show the formula but did you know you can set Excel to show the formulas instead of the values in the regular display?

Select the Formulas tab and click on the Show Formulas option.  Now, instead of showing the results, Excel will display the formulas themselves for the entire spreadsheet.  Since the formulas are often longer than the results, the columns may also automatically resize to be able to display the formulas. 

Showformula

When you're done, just click on Show Formulas again and the spreadsheet will go back to showing the results.  It will also automatically resize the columns back to their original settings. 

Using Instagram Photo Editing and Filters without posting the photo online

Instagram-icon

I have tried a lot of apps for editing photos.  I found Instagram very easy to use and liked the variety in filtering options.  I wanted a way to save the edited photos without having to post all of them to my account.  After some research, I found a clever way to do this.

Here’s How:

  1. Open Instagram and visit your profile
  2. Tap the gear icon on iOS (or the three dots on Android) to go to Options
  3. Scroll down and toggle on Save Original Photos
  4. Turn on Airplane Mode on your device
  5. Open the photo in Instagram and edit as usual
  6. Once you’ve finished, skip adding a caption or other info and tap Share
  7. The post will fail (because you have turned on airplane mode)
  8. You will get a failed notification that you may close out of
  9. The photo will now be saved to your camera roll
  10. Turn off Airplane Mode and use the photo however you like