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Excel Tips

Please note that these tips are for Excel 2007 or 2010.  They may or may not work for earlier versions.

How to hide a row or column

  1. Select rows or columns to hide
  2. On the Home tab of the menu ribbon, choose Format in the Cells section of the ribbon
  3. Choose Hide & Unhide option
  4. Choose Hide Rows or Hide Columns

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • To hide current row, press CTRL+9
  • To hide current column, press CTRL+0

How to unhide a row or column

  1. Select rows or columns on either side of the hidden area
  2. On the Home tab of the menu ribbon, choose Format in the Cells section of the ribbon
  3. Choose Hide & Unhide option
  4. Choose Unhide Rows or Unhide Columns

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • To unhide rows in selected range, press CTRL+SHIFT+9
  • To unhide columns in selected range, press CTRL+SHIFT+0

How to enter a line break in a cell

  1. Put cursor at point you wish to start a new line
  2. Press ALT+ENTER

How to wrap text automatically

  1. Select the cells with text to wrap
  2. On the Home tab of the menu ribbon, go to the Alignment section of the ribbon
  3. Choose Wrap Text
    Note: Data in the cell wraps to fit the column width. When you change the column width, data wrapping adjusts automatically.  If all wrapped text is not visible, it may be because the row is set to a specific height.

Windows 7 tip: Snipping Tool for screen shots

Do you take a lot of screen shots? (Or maybe you would if you knew how?) Screen shot of the Snipping ToolIf so, the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 7 might be just what you need. When you see something on screen that you want to take a snapshot of, try these steps:

  1. Click the Windows 7 Start button.
  2. In the Search box type "snip" (or spell out "Snipping Tool" if you're not in a hurry). You may also find it under All Programs > Accessories.
  3. Click the arrow next to the New button, select Free-form Snip, Rectangular Snip, Window Snip, or Full-screen Snip from the list, and then select the area of your screen that you want to capture.
  4. Use the pen and/or highlighter tool to draw on the captured image.
  5. Save the image when you are done.

This tip comes from Adam Brisk's presentation "Graphics, Flyers and Design for the Library-Minded," sponsored by Nicolet Federated Library System.

Search The Skies For More Than Just Stars and Planets

Guest post by Michael Fehrenbach, SCLS intern extraordinaire!

Sputnik fell out of the sky decades ago, but since that historic landmark mankind has sent thousands of satellites in its place, performing a variety of useful functions. They’re used to calculate our position. We receive TV and radio from them. Maps are made from images collected by them.

Now, you can find where all those satellites are with the free Satellite AR app for Android devices from Analytical Graphics, Inc.

SatelliteAR offers an augmented reality (AR) experience, like Google Sky Map, to see the location of man-made satellites in the sky. There are numerous satellite categories to choose from and observe. You can look for anything, from the International Space Station and other objects potentially visible with the naked eye, to DirectTV satellites so that you can check if your dish is properly oriented. All satellite tracking data is provided by CelesTrak.com.

With the new moon this week, it is now the optimal time to hunt for satellites. The best time to look is as soon as the sky darkens after sunset. How many satellites can you find?

Wireless Charging Update

Tired of having your phone directly tethered to an outlet for charging?  Wireless charging options are about to move into the mainstream. Teathered goats

A million wireless charging spots are slated to become available within the next year and a half and most of these will be commercially available at Starbucks.  But just because it’s available, doesn’t mean it will be available to you.  There are two puzzle pieces that have to be in place in order for wireless charging to work with your phone: your phone has to have a wireless charging receiver (either built in or added on) AND the receiver has to be compatible with the charging pad. 

The possibility of charging pad compatibility issues is the result of the absence of technical standards for this technology.  Just like any technology in its infancy, a wireless charging standard has not been set.  Currently, there are at least 3 competing standards created by:

  • Power Matters Alliance (PMA)
  • Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP)
  • Wireless Power Consortium (WPC)

Click here to see a promo demo released by WPC.

Is this a technology to which you've been looking forward?

Go Back!

Crazy lampInstead of navigating your mouse to click on the browser's "back" button to go back a page...


Oh.... how did I not know about this until now? This makes my Craigslist browsing pure delight!

Web writing tip: Just give them the fish

You've probably heard the proverb, "Give a patron a resource, and you satisfy his curiosity for today; show him how to find a resource, and you teach him to learn for a lifetime."* Be careful about applying this advice to your library's website. Sometimes you should just give the patron the resource, in the form of a direct link.

Imagine a brief article for the library's homepage about a new online resource subscription. Which version do you think will entice more patrons to try it?

  1. We are pleased to offer a new resource to help answer any question you could possibly think of. Use it to find directions for any task, get a new and better job, and make the correct decision in every situation. To get started, click the "Resources" link above, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link that says "Magical Font of All Knowledge."
  2. Would you like to find directions for any task, get a new and better job, and make the correct decision in every situation? Try Magical Font of All Knowledge, a new resource that we are pleased to offer. Magical Font of All Knowledge can help answer any question you could possibly think of. Learn more.**

Blurb A is what you should teach patrons when they visit the library and say, "I'm really interested in using Magical Font of All Knowledge. Can you remind me how to find it?"

Blurb B makes the resource easy for casual website visitors to try because the links are right there. Website visitors are usually in a hurry, and they are unlikely to fish around to find resources unless they absolutely have to. Direct links increase the odds that visitors will try the resource.

* It's an old information literacy proverb, right? I'm sure that's how it went.

** Imagine all these links pointed to the authentication URL for the database. I wish it existed. Database vendors, are you listening?

Long in the tooth (and no, I'm not talking about vampires)


I can see a few on my desk, there are a number in my car and the libraries have shelves full of them.  No, it's not vampire books.  It’s the CD and it turned 30 in October.  That’s a long time for a media format and they still account for a majority of music album sales.  Considering how many other formats have come and gone during that time, it’s almost unbelievable to have a single format that long.

Originally designed for music, it didn’t take long for CDs to be adapted to data storage though it did take a while for it to become popular.  Data CDs offered a big improvement on storage space during their early days, but have since been superseded by the larger capacity of the DVD and the larger capacity and easier portability of the flash drive.  Thankfully most computer DVD players can also read CDs so you can still read your old documents.

But what about floppy disks or other old media types?  Well, you’re on borrowed time or completely out of luck in many cases.  While you can still buy them, the 3.5 inch floppy disk hasn’t come on PCs for years.  Have an even older 5.25 inch disk?  Good luck with that.  What about Zip disks?  Jazz drives?  SuperDisks? Do you even remember those?  Hope you know a tech “pack rat” or are willing to hunt around on ebay.  And that’s assuming the disk still works.

So as you raise a birthday cheer to the CD, you might want think about your own documents and copy any important documents you still need that are on one of those old formats over to something a bit newer while you still have the chance.    

According to the BBC, by 2007 more than 200 billion CDs had been sold.  I wonder if that includes all of the AOL CDs?

Most tablets get upgrades...what should you buy?


All the major tablets are getting updates plus Microsoft has now officially entered the tablet market.  Each tablet has good and bad things.  The more you read the more you know....

Tablet Reviews

...but before you read all those reviews let me bottom line it for you. Here is my personal advice as someone with a limited budget and a fair amount of tablet experience:

  • The iPad can't be beat - I have an iPad 2 and use it every day. 
  • Don't get caught up in the "upgrade hype" with Apple stuff, my iPad 2 still works great!
  • Unless you know for certain that you need more storage, get the 16GB version and save $$$.
  • You now have a choice - a big iPad or the iPad mini - Go to a store and see which one you prefer.

I will mention that the Microsoft Surface tablet intrigues me when it comes to managing tablets in a Windows environment but it's too soon to buy it as a consumer.

Proposed ebook settlement affects individuals, not libraries

This guest post is by Sara Gold of Wisconsin Library Service (WiLS), one of the managers for WPLC. Thanks, Sara!

State attorneys general ebook settlementsAttorney General J.B. Van Hollen recently announced an ebook settlement that will provide relief to eligible Wisconsin residents who purchased ebooks. Only individuals are eligible for compensation. Libraries are excluded from this settlement. The case details are as follows:

  • Three Settlements have been reached with certain publishers in an antitrust lawsuit filed by State Attorneys General about the price of ebooks.
  • The lawsuit claims there was a conspiracy involving three of the nation’s top publishers and others to fix and raise retail prices of E-books. These three publishers have agreed to settle the lawsuit. A separate lawsuit with similar claims continues against two other publishers and Apple Inc.
  • If you purchased one or more E-books from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012 that were published by any of the five Publishers (listed in Question 2 of the FAQs), you may be eligible for a partial refund of the purchase price.
  • The Settling Publishers deny they did anything wrong, but have agreed to settle to avoid the cost and risk of a trial.
  • Payments will be distributed if the Court grants final approval to the Settlements at a hearing on February 8th, 2013 and after any appeals are resolved.

A full list of FAQs and action steps for consumers can be found at: https://ebooksagsettlements.com

A longer version of this article also appears on the WPLC blog.