You may not know...

File000298225618That sometimes when we need to work on a PC we'll do it in the early morning.  So you may come into work and see a PC or your PC being actively used.  When you see this don't panic; you haven't been hacked, it's just us.  We will sometimes, but not always, talk to staff to make sure this is okay to do.  So if you are the person we talk to about this issue please leave a note for the morning staff so that they know as well.  We always try our hardest to be done with the PC before your library opens.  This doesn't always work out, but if we're not done in time then we'll call your library once it opens to let you know.  We always try our hardest to keep your PCs working smoothly for you!

Mystery of the disappearing data

I remember like it was yesterday. Snowflakes were falling out of a lead gray sky to the delight or annoyance of passersby when I got the call. A voice, you know the kind that had maybe seen one too many frustrations as of late, told me that, while they appreciated the spreadsheet, they really needed the details and not just the totals. I sat back in my chair, confused. My report into the murky depths of the thing men call Koha had all the details when I sent it. What had happened? Had something happened to the report between the time I sent it and when they received it and why? Was I going to have to redo the whole thing? Most importantly, when was this attempt to make the story like the start of an old detective story going to stop?


After some investigation, it turns out the problem wasn’t some two bit crook, hardened criminal or even someone in a rubber computer gremlin mask ala Scooby Doo. The details, in fact, had been there the whole time. The problem was, well, me. Or at least the fact that I’d forgotten to expand the subtotals on the spreadsheet.

In Excel, there are some visual cues to know if your spreadsheet is using the subtotal function. To the left of your spreadsheet Excelsubtotaldata, instead of being just the normal row count, there will be a gray area with a number of + or - signs in boxes down the middle and numbers in small boxes across the top. Usually it’s 1-3 at the top but there can be more. Another hint can be the fact that the row numbers skip, though that can also just indicate rows hidden with the “hide” command.

  • If you’re seeing + signs, the subtotals are collapsed so you’re only seeing the totals. If the – signs are displaying, the subtotals are expanded to show the details.
  • You can expand or collapse individual subtotals by clicking on the individual + or – signs. Clicking on a + sign expands the subtotal to show the details as well while the - sign hides the details and only shows the subtotal.
  • You can expand or collapse the all subtotals of that level by clicking on one of the numbers in the boxes at the top of the area. Clicking on the number 1 will show only the grand total, the right most number (in this case 3) will show all of the details. The number or numbers between will show the various levels of subtotals.

In this case, I’d left the spreadsheet on level 2 so the subtotals displayed but the full details were still hidden. Oops!

Emoji blitz

Emojis4 (2)While I was traveling to ALA Midwinter, I was browsing through the Delta Sky Magazine and came across an article on how emojis are born. Being the standards-loving librarian that I am, I was fascinated to learn that emojis are approved by the Unicode Consortium and each one is assigned a unique code. This is what makes all emojis appear the same on all the different devices. Fascinating! Now I know why I am able to send my friends the emojis I win in the Disney Emoji Blitz game that I play. 

Since emojis are so ubiquitous, the article got me thinking about emojis and libraries. There is not a lot out there, but I did find this article in Library Journal that talks about library emoji (or the lack thereof). What would your library look like as an emoj?


Collaboration tool: Sharing links with Dropbox

Recently, I've been exchanging documents and links with others using Dropbox for the PLSR Project. (Dropbox is an online file storage service.) It's handy to be able to upload completed documents for fellow project members to read, but we're also frequently editing draft documents together in Google Docs, and it'd be mighty annoying to have to dig through both Dropbox and Google Docs to find all our project documents. To avoid that confusion and annoyance, Dropbox lets us upload URLs—so we put the links to our Google Docs files into Dropbox, to keep everything in the same place.

The steps to share a link in Dropbox are a nifty drag-and-drop maneuver. I made a video of my own (to show you, and to help cement the steps in my own memory). Not just for Google Docs—it works for saving links to your favorite websites, too!

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Previous TechBits coverage of Dropbox:

Tip for printing webpages

Most of the time when you try to print something from a webpage, it's as easy as hitting the Print button or selecting Print from the browser menu. But what can you do if you're trying to print information from a webpage and everything's going wrong?

Check for a Print option within the webpage itself.  

Sometimes the way that a webpage is crafted gives unexpected printing results like blank pages, extra pages, or weird formatting. Sometimes the way the webpage is crafted doesn't work well with a print management solution like Papercut. I've run into this myself when trying to print from Google Docs, Office 365, receipe websites and many others --  if I choose the browser's Print option, nothing goes right.  If I click on the menu option or icon within those sites, those websites format the thing I'm trying to print in such a way that I get the actual content instead of weirdness associated with how the web page is formatted.

Google Docs

Office 365


Food Network


Reopen closed tabs in Google Chrome

Have you ever accidentally closed a browser tab and wished you didn’t have to go into History to get back to the website? There is a handy feature in Google Chrome that allows for just that. Chrome has the ability to reopen recently closed tabs that I find to be very useful. You can reopen closed tabs in two ways: right click the title bar and select “Reopen closed tab” or you can simply use the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + T. If you have closed multiple tabs that you will like to reopen just continue to use the command.


A few Microsoft Word shortcuts

MicrosoftwordlogoI use Microsoft Word a lot in my everyday life and there are a few tips I've picked up recently. 

Nothing is more frustrating than when you’re typing away and you touch something that unintentionally moves your cursor to another part of the document. An easy shortcut to get back where you were is so simple.  Just hit the SHIFT+F5 key combination to return to where you were last in your document and continue where you left off. 

There are a lot of shortcuts that I find handy for editing.  The ones I use the most are related to selecting sections of text.  In order to select an entire paragraph, just make three rapid mouse clicks anywhere in the paragraph.  If you wish to select an entire sentence, click anywhere in the sentence while holding the Ctrl key down.

These little tricks have saved me a lot of time and there are many more out there.  Please feel free to share any Microsoft Word tips or shortcuts that you find useful in the comments section. 

Windows 10 File Explorer: Quick Access vs This PC view

In Windows 10 Microsoft changed what happens when you open File Explorer.  In the past you would see the "This PC" window.  Now you see the "Quick Access" window.  I'm so used to getting the "This PC" window that I had to find a way to change it back.

Here is the new "Quick Access window

Here is the more familiar "This PC" window

Steps to switch the view:

  1. Right Click the Window 10 start menu and click Control Panel
  2. Click File Explorer Options
  3. Select This PC from the Open File Explorer to drop-down menu
  4. OK

Phishing Quizzes


Recently, I received an email telling me that my Office 365 account had been accessed from a foreign country. Being the skeptic that I am, I hovered over the links and saw they would have taken me to a questionable site. 

Can you tell the difference between a legitimate website or email and one that's a phishing attempt?

Take the 14-question OpenDNS Phishing Quiz or 10-question SonicWall Phishing IQ Test to test your skills! Each quiz will report your result and provide explanations for the answers.

Searching with emojis

Emoji searches work on Google!



More on searching with emojis on the SearchReSearch blog: