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Fill 'er up!

FillHandleI keep learning cool things to do with the "fill handle" in Excel.

Using the fill handle
First, here's a video (6:06) that runs through using the fill handle to easily create a list of months, days of the weeks, numbers, and custom lists. (did you know you could create custom lists for auto-fill? I didn't! Now I'm thinking about all the lists that I might want to autofill again and again.... a list of our member libraries, a list of LINKcat libraries, a list of employees...)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MPguASIPz0

So handy.  For example, for days of the week just type "Mon", drag the fill handle, and there's your full week!   Here are some other fill examples:Fill Examples

Double-clicking to fill
Next, here's a short video (1:54) that shows how you can quickly copy a formula down to the end of your data with a simple double-click (this is the one that I thought was really cool, as I sometimes have 65,000 rows of data when looking at log files.  If I couldn't double-click, that would mean a lot of dragging and scrolling!)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1fRZwm1Uqc

Fixing Web Browser Printouts That Are Too Small To Read

Have you ever printed a webpage from Internet Explorer or Firefox and it came out too small to read?  Well, I have the solution for your problem. 

This solution works for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

  1. Launch browser
  2. Select the webpage you wish to print
  3. Click on File
  4. Click on Print Preview
  5. For Internet Explorer
    •  Find the Change Print Size (Alt+S) dropdown box
  6. For Firefox
    • Find the Scale (Alt+S) dropdown box
  7. Click on the down arrow
  8. Choose a larger percentage or "Shrink To Fit"
  9. Print webpage
  10. View printed page without needing a microscope

One other item to note with both Internet Explorer and Firefox.  You can use CTRL + on a webpage to make it larger, but this does nothing for changing the size when it prints.

Special thanks go out to Rob Klecker of MOO for having this problem; thus creating the idea for this post.

Learn the basics for OverDrive ebooks

Library patrons have lots of questions about using the ebooks in the Digital Download Center (aka OverDrive). Public services staff, here are answers to some of those questions!

How do the ebooks work?

We've captured the whole process on video:


If you prefer words and screen shots, read up on downloading an ebook and transferring an ebook to an ebook reader.

Do I need an ebook reader or special software to use ebooks?

The ebooks in the Digital Download Center can be used on a PC or Mac with Adobe Digital Editions, even if you do not plan to transfer them to an ebook reader. Adobe Digital Editions is a free program, separate from Adobe Reader or Acrobat, and it should be installed on your computer before you download your first ebook from the Digital Download Center. If you decide to use an ebook reader, you will also need to authorize Adobe Digital Editions with a free Adobe ID and activate the ebook reader with it too.

If I get an ebook reader, which ones work with the library's ebooks?

OverDrive maintains a list of which formats work with which ebook readers at the Device Resource Center. There is also a handy, printable cheat sheet (pdf) that shows some of the more popular supported ebook readers. Unfortunately, the Amazon Kindle is not compatible with the formats in our collection.

Can I try it on a computer at the library?

We're sorry, but currently ebooks cannot be downloaded to library patron computers.

That's a lot to remember. Can you write it all down in case I forget?

Here's another printable handout with all the steps (pdf). It has an ebook how-to guide on one side, and mobile device steps on the other in case you want to try EPUB ebooks on your Android or Apple device. It may also be helpful to write down the URL of the Digital Download Center on the handout: http://dbooks.wplc.info/.

It would be so convenient to download stuff directly to my phone. How does that work?

The OverDrive Media Console apps for Android and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch can download EPUB ebooks and MP3 audiobooks directly to the device. You can get them from the iPhone App Store, Android Market, or online from OverDrive. Unfortunately, WMA audiobooks and PDF ebooks can't be downloaded directly with these apps. Apps are also available for Blackberry and Windows Mobile, but these don't support ebooks (see the entire list of platforms and format restrictions).

Here's a video of what the app looks like (demonstrated using an iPad):


What if I need help?

For self-help, try the Help section of the Digital Download Center or our OverDrive FAQ wiki.

For support, contact your local library, or submit an online support request.

BadgerLunch - Spring 2011

Badger2 Ever wish you knew more about the various online subscriptions offered through BadgerLink? Well... you're in luck! BadgerLink will be offering a series of training webinars again this spring covering some of the many products they offer.

All sessions are online webinars, will take place on Thursdays at noon and last 30-45 minutes, and are available to all Wisconsin residents.  Each session covers one resource, database, or interface. Topics include a description of the information/learning resource, searching techniques, and helpful features.

You can find information about this spring's offerings here: http://www.badgerlink.net/BadgerLink%20Webinar%20Series%20Announcement_Spring2011.pdf.

Recordings of past BadgerLink webinars are also available on the BadgerLink site for viewing any time: http://www.badgerlink.net/training.html.

Hip To Be Square

As you may know, the SCLS Technology Team is working on a comprehensive e-commerce solution for our libraries, one that will incorporate our new Koha ILS, as well as other e-commerce services like print management and credit card payments.

However, many patrons would like to pay fines or give money to libraries now without having to write a check or carry cash--that is, they want to use a credit card.  Here are a couple of ways you can do that today:


Most of the buzz these days has been about the Square. Indeed, NPR featured the Square in a recent story.
Developed by one of the co-founders of Twitter, the Square allows anyone, individuals, businesses, or large organizations, to easily take credit card payments anytime, anywhere, using a smart phone (or iPad) and a special card reader provided free from Square. The associated fees are pretty much in line wth other credit card agreements, and as you can see from one the promotional videos, it's pretty easy to use:

Square Everywhere


 But the Square is not the only product out there:

Intuit, the folks behind Quicken and Turbo Tax, have their own solution (http://payments.intuit.com/products/basic-payment-solutions/mobile-credit-card-processing.jsp)

Fees for the Intuit solution are almost identical to the Square, though the card reader is an additional charge.  However, Intuit offers a variety of card reader options, including one that can print receipts.

Since both products are pushing not only a small business solution, but one that any individual can use (and actually I have a Square for my smart phone that I plan on using for everything from Craigslist transactions to micro-loans to cashless friends), it's worth wondering how devices like this will shape all aspects of our financial lives.

Importing Browser Bookmarks: Want your Internet Explorer Bookmarks in Firefox?

As more library staff move towards using Firefox, the need to sync bookmarks between Firefox and Internet Explorer may arise, i.e. you’ve got ‘everything’ bookmarked in IE and you’d like to pass those bookmarks to Firefox as well.  If this is of interest to you, it’ll take you all of a minute to do.

Both browsers

All you need to do is:

  1. Launch Firefox
  2. Click on File
  3. Select Import
  4. Click the Next button 2x
  5. Click the Finish button

Voila! You’ll now have a new folder in your Firefox bookmarks called “From Internet Explorer”.

Keyboard Fire Drill: aka Saving Your Work in Windows Without the Mouse

Let’s say that you have several Thunderbird emails that you’re composing plus some Microsoft Word 2007 docs that you have yet to save and your mouse dies.  It just dies.  Oh, and just to make it extra special maybe you have a Board meeting in half an hour.  You get the picture.  It would be a total bummer if you didn't know how to save your work and reboot the PC with only the keyboard in order to re-establish mouse communication.  Here’s a keyboard fire drill for when the mouse goes wonky.

Images For the fire drill, see if you can only use the keyboard.

A. Launch Task Manger:

  • Press Ctl-Alt-Del
  • Press T and you’ll be in Task Manager with the Applications tab active.

B. Save all Thunderbird emails that are in the middle of being composed:

  1. Use the keyboard arrow keys to reach a Compose… entry in the Task list and press Enter.
  2. Press Alt-F to activate the drop down menu associated with File.
  3. Press S to save that email.
  4. Press Alt-F4 to close the current Compose… window.
  5. Repeat the launch Task Manager blah, blah, blah steps until all Compose.. entries are gone.  At this point you should have saved all your Thunderbird mail that was in the process of composition.

C. Close Thunderbird:
Once you’ve saved everything, close Thunderbird by:

  1. Press Alt-F to activate the drop down menu associated with File
  2. Press X to exit.

D. Save all of your Microsoft Word 2007 docs:

  1. As before, call up Task Manager.
  2. Arrow to the first Word document and press Enter.
  3. Alt-F to activate the drop down menu associated with File
  4. S to Save or A to Save As.  If you Save As, note the save location and tab to the Save button after naming the file.
  5. Alt C to close the Word file.
  6. Repeat with Task Manager process until all Word files have been saved.

E. Close Word:
Once you’ve saved everything, close Word by

  1. Pressing Alt-F
  2. Pressing X to exit Word

Go through a similar process for all other applications that you have open.  Once you’ve saved everything of import, you can restart windows (which hopefully will re-establish mouse communication).

F. Restart Windows:

  2. Tab to the Shut Down button
  3. Use the arrow key until Restart is selected and then press Enter.

How'd your fire drill go?  Or, if this wasn't a fire drill but 'for real' and you still don't have mouse access, please call the Help Desk.

PS:  By default, all your saved Thunderbird emails (see Section B.) go into the "Drafts" folder.





Kittens. Take 2.

Just a reminder for those subscribing via email----   if we embed a video in our blog post, that video WON'T appear in the email version of the post.  In these cases, you'll need to click on the post title in the email to take you to the blog post to see the video.

Here's the link to the "Kitten Needs a Job" video for anyone who missed it (and needs to hit their daily quota of library-related CUTENESS): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN01Qaac7bc

Databases, tech info, and KITTENS

A few odds-and-ends from me this week:

Database subscriptions

Database subscription changes have been made.  It's important for your library to check and make sure:

  1. the resources to which your library subscribes are correctly listed on the "Locally-Subscribed Resources" page
  2. that access to your subscriptions works correctly.

Any problems with or questions about access to database subscriptions can be directed to Kerri.

Technology Information

There used to be Automation and Admin tech staffs, separately.  Now there's just "SCLS Technology".  We'll be attempting to pull our (non-ILS) technology information together into one location for easy access: http://www.scls.info/technology/index.html  (linked off the main www.scls.info page under "Technology").   Info already posted includes links to:

...as well as all the "standard" stuff (Library Online, email services, etc)

If there is tech info that you'd like to see posted, please let Kerri know.

Kittens and library promotion

Who wouldn't watch a library video promoting services if it featured kittens?  (thanks to Joanna for this fun link!)

Receipt Printer and DYMO LabelWriter Installations

As many of you might already know, Craig and I have been installing the offline circulation software that will be used with Koha.  If we haven't contacted your library to install the software, we will soon. 

We have also been installing EPSON receipt printer drivers for the TM-U200 model.  We will not be installing drivers for the EPSON TM-U220 printers until after Dynix has been taken down.  This is because installation of the EPSON TM-U220 driver interferes with the Generic/Text Only driver that is required for Dynix.

For those libraries that have purchased the new Star TSP100 receipt printers, you can call the Help DeskMH900438370  or PC Technicians at any time to have them installed.  Before calling, please connect the receipt printer to your PC with the USB cable provided.  You can also plug the power cable into the printer ahead of time, but please do not plug the power cable into the power outlet.  There is a software installation CD in the box that you can have ready.

Most libraries have also purchased DYMO LabelWriters.  You can call to have these installed at any time.  Like with the receipt printers, please have the DYMO connected to the PC with the USB cable that is provided.  Also have the power cable plugged into the printer and have the software CD ready. 

Just in case you're wondering, the Star receipt printers will not work with Dynix.  This means you will have two receipt printers connected to the PC until Dynix has been retired. 

Please call to have the Star printers and DYMO LabelWriters installed at least a week before the new Koha Go Live date of February 14th.  Your cooperation is appreciated and will decrease the amount of time you're on the phone during the installs.  Let me know if you have any questions.