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Selecting only the text you need in Word

Within Word there are a number of ways to select text and some of them are:

A word Double-click it
A line of text Move the mouse pointer to the left of the line until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then click
A sentence Hold down Ctrl and click anywhere in the sentence
A paragraph Triple-click anywhere in the paragraph
Multiple paragraphs Move the mouse pointer to the left of the first paragraph until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then press and hold down the left mouse button while you drag the mouse pointer up or down
An entire document Move the mouse pointer to the left of any text until it changes to a right-pointing arrow, and then triple-click
A vertical block of text Hold down ALT while you drag the mouse pointer over the text

If you don't want to use a mouse you can use the following keyboard commands to select with:

A word Place the cursor at the beginning of the word, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW
A line of text Press HOME, and then press SHIFT+END
A sentence Hold down CTRL and click anywhere in the sentence
A paragraph Move the cursor to the beginning of the paragraph, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN ARROW
An entire document Press CTRL+A
From the beginning of a window to its end Move the cursor to the beginning of the window, and then press ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+PAGE DOWN
A vertical block of text Press CTRL+SHIFT+F8, and then use the arrow keys. Press ESC to turn off the selection mode
A word, a sentence, a paragraph, or a document Press F8 to turn on selection mode, and then press F8 once to select a word, twice to select a sentence, three times to select a paragraph, or four times to select the document. Press ESC to turn off the selection mode

For more ways to select in Word take a look at Microsoft's Select text website.

These steps will work in both Word 2003 and Word 2007.

Happy selecting!

Guest Post: Daisy, Daisy... give me your passwords do

Guest post by our very own (and soon-to-be-elsewhere -- *sniffle* ) Stef Morrill

When I was a kid, every night I slept with a ragdoll named Daisy and four stuffed mice named Tony (well, technically, they were named Tony, Antoinette, Tony Jr., and Tony Jr. Jr.).  Now that I think about it, that would make a pretty good password:  Daisy4Tonys -- it has uppercase letters, it's pretty long, and it has a number. Not too shabby.
Since it's such a great password, I think I'll use it for all of my online accounts!  It's so easy for me to remember (how can I forget Daisy? Look at that face!).

And this is where I get myself into trouble.  Even the best password shouldn't be used for multiple online accounts. Here's a great real-world example of why not:

Not too long ago, Gawker Media (a service that runs a bunch of blogs) got hacked and all of their user data, including passwords, were compromised. Not a big deal if you only used the password on this one site...it's easy enough to change, and there was no financial data for the hackers to get.  But what if you used the same password on a multitude of sites?  You're going to be doing a lot of changing to make sure all your accounts are secure!

I know what you're thinking:  "I can't keep track of all those passwords!" (well, actually, you might be thinking, "Really?  4 Tonys? Tony Jr. Jr.? How uncreative!") 

I can't keep track of them all either, which is why I use Passpack, a password manager that keeps track of them for me, and even generates super secure passwords at my request. For more information on password managers, see the "So many passwords...so little time" post from early 2010.

No time for Websites by Subject: Best Practice?

LINKS! Hardy-har. I need some advice. When I help a library plan website changes, a list of "Websites by Subject" is frequently on the wish list. A list of high-quality, authoritative sources on locally-relevant topics can be helpful for patrons; however, in many cases library staff time is too limited to actually compile and maintain such a list. I've considered potential ideas, but each one has a downside:

  • Link to a library that already maintains a comprehensive list of websites by subject. Madison Public Library has a list like this, but will it confuse patrons when a link on their hometown library's website takes them to a different library's website?
  • Copy another library's list of websites by subject and put them on the new site. Even if this weren't a copyright violation, the copied list would still need to be maintained (weeding, fixing broken links, and adding new resources). It only saves staff time for a little while. (And it is a copyright violation if you don't get permission first.)
  • Link to a resource like ipl2. Well maintained, but it lacks that local focus.
  • Don't include a list of websites by subject at all. Does this do patrons a disservice?

If there isn't a good solution to this problem, which one is the least bad? Are there alternatives I'm overlooking? Let me know in the comments!

What day is it?

2010 Printable Calendar: Big Numbers Designphoto © 2009 redstamp.com | more info (via: Wylio)
While browsing various sources of technical documentation online recently, I was amused to see some identical email messages from a particular tech community being archived and presented in several different ways by different web sites around the world. Some said the email came on 3/2, some said 2/3, and some had even other ways of expressing the message thread time stamps.

Depending on where in the world you might have been born, raised or gone to college, your idea of what constitutes a valid date stamp may vary. Is 3/2 the same as March 2nd for you, or is that really Februrary 3rd? If the community discussing a thing is truly international, this stuff can get really confusing.

Standards to the rescue!

In technology work, I am often exposed to standard measurements and procedures. Often these tech standards are coming from NIST or the ISO or comparable organizations. The dry standards these agencies produce aren't always too helpful to laypersons, but I know of one that is.

2011-03-02. That format is the international (ISO) standard for a date stamp.

How is that useful? Well, first off it is usually clear to everyone, no matter what continent they are from, that this string indicates March the 2nd of 2011, without ambiguity. So if your staff or patrons are international, it may be helpful for them if your documentation or signage uses this form.

But wait, that's not all! Tell them what they've won, Don Pardo!

It slices, it dices, it sorts your pesky files! Have you ever seen this kind of mess in some computer file folder?

Board Meeting 1/7/11.doc
Board Meeting 11/8/10.doc
Board Meeting 12/6/10.doc
Board Meeting 2/3/11.doc

The documents from the end of last year interfile with the start of this year, because your computer doesn't see those as numbers, it sees them as names. And it only gets worse the more years you have in one folder. If you desire that a name-based sorting view also align itself as a date-based sort, then you want the ISO standard in your document naming convention.

Board Meeting 2010-11-08.doc
Board Meeting 2010-12-06.doc
Board Meeting 2011-01-07.doc
Board Meeting 2011-02-03.doc

Yay, standards! Just remember that for the full benefit of this, you need to pad single digit numbers with a leading zero so that all day and month fields are consistently two-digits wide.

Books in action

I know we had a lot of posts this past week,, but I couldn't resist sharing these two very fun book-related videos.

Library Ireland Week 2011

Organizing the Bookcase

The Demise of Delicious?


A wise philosopher once said, "Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky."  (All right, it was really one of these jokers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH2w6Oxx0kQ)

But my point is, and I do have one, you can't count on things sticking around, especially when it comes to technology.  Recently, rumors have been swirling around a possible end to Delicious, the social bookmarking site, and personally, one of my favorite tools. 

It's unclear what exactly will happen to Delicious, but I'm not taking any chances with the hundreds of bookmarks I've collected over the years. 
Here's what I recommend you do, if you too are a Delicious fan:

1. Export your Delicious bookmarks to your local computer

 Exporting your Delicious bookmarks is a simple and safe way to keep a list of the bookmarks you store in Delicious.  Simply log into Delicious and go to Settings > Bookmarks > Export and click on the Export button.  Delicious will create an HTML file that any browser can open.

2. Find an alternative to Delicious

While I'm still planning in using Delicious to the bitter end (whatever that looks like), I've begun to start exploring some alternatives to Delicious.

Google Bookmarks looks like a promising contender.  Like most Google products, it works well from any computer and its Delicious to Google Inport tool worked flawlessly (https://www.google.com/bookmarks/deliciousimport)

Springpad is another interesting tool, combining bookmark organization with Evernote-like task reminder abilities.  I haven't really put this tool through its paces yet, but it looks like a great way to manage all the junk (and good stuff!) you find on the Internet.

What tools do you use to manage your bookmarks? 

Have you found any other alternatives when it comes to social bookmarking?

Just because it’s in the cloud doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider backing it up

Admittedly, I have pack rat tendencies,  “Never know when I’m going to need that….”  So with the advent of online storage (email, photos, data), it’s become really easy to become oblivious to all the stuff I’ve squirreled away ‘in the cloud’.  Cloud computing is nothing more than accessing services and storage via the Internet.  The beauty of cloud computing is that you can be mobile and have access to your ‘stuff’ as long as you have Internet access. Cloud-computing1

Over the course of time, I’ve on occasion sent email attachments and various links to my Gmail account as a kind of loose archiving technique.  Gmail’s ‘Search’ helps me find them when needed.  Over the course of time, I’ve come to expect all this ‘stuff’ will just be there.  On demand.  It might be time to reconsider.

This past Monday, Gmail instituted new (buggy) code and inadvertently wiped out the Inboxes of close to 1% of all Gmail users.  One percent is not much, but what if your Inbox was included in the one percent?  Luckily, Google was able to restore most of the Inboxes.  A similar thing happened with some Google Calendars last week as well. That said, this type of thing is not unique to Gmail.  Hotmail had a similar problem at the beginning of the year.

Data mysteriously disappearing in the cloud extends beyond email.  In February, a photographer found that 5 years of photos had disappeared from his Flickr account.  The photographer was originally told that his pictures could not be restored but after some wrangling, it did occur.

The point is that it’s quite possible to lose stuff that’s stored in the cloud.  If some of your data is irreplaceable, you may want to consider storing it in multiple locations.

OverDrive, HarperCollins, and 26 Circs

OverDrive customers received quite a shock last week, via a letter from OverDrive CEO Steve Potash (pdf). HarperCollins is changing its licensing terms for library lending. For future purchases of HarperCollins ebook titles, a library (or consortium) will not own the title in perpetuity; instead, the title may be lent 26 times, and then it must be repurchased.

Librarians have responded ("Librarian by Day" Bobbi Newman has compiled a massive list), OverDrive has responded, and now HarperCollins has responded. Changes in ebook licensing are a new challenge, and WPLC members are watching it very, very carefully.

Update 3/3/2011: WPLC has released statistics about the HarperCollins titles in our collection:

WPLC owns 459 ebook titles from Harper Collins; 821 total items
Average cost per item= $13.02
Grand Total Circs = 10,522

See: HarperCollins titles and circs (xls)