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Sort by Subtotal

If you try to sort an Excel spreadsheet that has subtotals, Excel gives you a "This removes the subtotals and sorts again..." message.  This is fine if you want to sort the underlying rows differently, but what if you want to sort by the subtotals themselves?

To do that, you need to collapse the display so only the subtotals are showing and then do a sort.  This will sort by the subtotal, but not the underlying rows. To collapse the spreadsheet so only the subtotals show, go to the subtotal levels that display on the left hand side of the spreadsheet and click the number at the top that corresponds to the subtotal level that you want to use to sort.  The number may change depending on how complex your spreadsheet is, but in general level 1 shows only the grand total and the last level on the right shows all details.  You may need to experiment to figure out which level is the one you need to use.  In this case, it's a simple subtotal so the level is 2. 


This collapses the spreadsheet so only the subtotals are showing.  When the subtotals are collapsed, you'll see a + sign in the box to the left of the subtotal instead of the - sign. 



Once everything is sorted by the subtotal, you can sort as normal.  If you want to see the details for all of the subtotals again, click on the level button on the right hand side.  In this case, it would be level 3.

Google Keep

Do you like lists? Do you like checking off lists? Do you like sharing your lists? Do you like having lists accessible on your mobile device? Do you have a Google account?

You should be using Google Keep!


I tend to usually use Google Keep for creating collaborative grocery lists with my wife, but it can be used for any myriad of lists and notes. The lists can be synced between PCs, phones, and tablets; and can be shared with other people. Check it out!

PC and laptop order form update

The SCLS PC order form has been updated to include a current Dell PC and laptop.

We are offering the Optiplex 3040 for staff and patron PCs with a starting price of $499.00. The biggest difference between the new 3040 model and the previous models is that it has 8 USB ports, 4 in the front and four in the back. The previous model had 6 USB ports in the back.The new laptop is the Dell Latitude E3570. This is a 15 inch laptop that includes the number pad on the keyboard.

The biggest difference between the old models and the new models is we are starting to offer solid state drives for and extra charge. These drives are much faster than the standard hard drives we are all used too.

Dell is in the process of moving away from the docking stations they’ve supported for the last 10 years to a new USB docking station. The price is comparable to previous docking stations at $103.00.

Ergo-what now?

The TechBits blog has had a good number of articles on ergonomic work spaces and accessories over the years, not to mention many tricks for work flow reduction. It's important tech, and often generates a lot of buzz when the subject comes up.

Here's a mind-bending wrist-twister that I don't think we've covered. Keyboards that split, tilt, fold or stand up, or even all of the above.

KeyboardsI got my first tilting, split keyboard along with my first vertical mouse, and I have to admit that I really kind of hated it to begin with. Just as my brother said when he first saw it, my initial sense was "Dude, that's just... wrong.". Well, chalk up one more thing that I initially didn't much like, yet now seems indispensable.

What could be more right than a tool that doesn't hurt to use?

Unfortunately, my first ergo-board is starting to show its age, and while shopping for potential replacements I have found that (unlike vertical mice, where competition exists and low cost options are available), there are really few major vendors in the adjustable keyboard field. As a result, while there are many product options they are generally not cheap; about $80 at the low end, and up to $300 with all the optional bells and whistles.

Maybe I'll just push my aging one a bit further, unless anyone has suggestions?

Pronounce Wisconsin

If you're not from around Wisconsin, you might find Wisconsin place names like these to be quite a mouthful:

  • Waukesha PronounceWisconsin
  • Menomonee Falls
  • Ashwaubenon
  • Mukwonago
  • Butte des Morts
  • Weyauwega

(Miwaukee Journal Sentinel video: Texans trying to pronounce WI city names)

Even if you are from around Wisconsin, you might not be able to guess a place's pronunciation based on spelling alone... you might need to hear it once or twice first to get it right. Take these, for example:

  • Muscoda
  • Barre Mills
  • Gratiot
  • Nanaweyah Ominihekan
  • Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Luckily, the website Pronounce Wisconsin can help. A collaborative effort between the Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office and MissPronouncer.comPronounce Wisconsin is an online pronouncing gazetteer of Wisconsin placenames.  Simply mouse over the map and select the county, city, village, or unincorporated community you'd like to have pronounced for you! If you have someplace specific in mind, you can type it in the search bar in the top and the site will navigate to the place on the map as well as pronounce it. 

2016 Technology Day

Tech Day 2016 - Digitization ProjectsThis year's focus for Tech Day is digitization projects!

At Tech Day on May 20th, we'll hear from Emily Pfotenhauer from WiLS about digitization, Recollection Wisconsin, and DPLA. The afternoon will feature a panel of your colleagues sharing their experiences of going through a digitization project. We'll finish up the day with an update from the SCLS Tech Team.

Full agenda and event registration can be found here.

Bite-Sized Learning

At the PLA Conference in Denver last month, I attended a lot of great sessions. As I was writing up my notes for the PLA Highlights webinar on April 19 and the WAPL Conference next week, I realized there was a common thread among them.

EggTimerTime - or the lack of time - especially when it comes to learning and staff development. And, how setting aside a few minutes a day or an hour a week is key to developing skills.

In Tech Assistance for Cutting Edge Communities, librarians from Denver Public Library and the Arapahoe Library District talked about having dedicated technology specialists in their libraries. This is really awesome but may not be possible in all libraries. One of the key ideas they talked about was "hiring great staff who are passionate about helping people" and then developing their technical skills. They offer "Tinkertime" for staff when the library is closed and build in time for staff to play and learn.

In Play Your Way to an Engaged Staff, librarians from the ImagineIF Libraries in Kalispell, Montana schedule staff for a weekly "happy hour" (or portion of an hour depending on their schedule) so they can learn something new, take a class, play with new equipment, or whatever they want to do.

Then, in Bite-Sized Staff Training with Julia Huprich from the Georgia Public Library Service, I heard about "microlearning" and was immediately intrigued. While your library may not be able to give staff an hour a week or dedicated "tinkertime", how about 5 or 10 minutes? I especially appreciated how Leah Fritsche, the director of the Deerfield Public Library, turned this around to emphasize the importance of learning anytime - what can I learn (or teach) in 5 minutes?

And, you've actually been participating in microlearning simply by reading TechBits (and Know More) regularly - woo hoo! Happy Reading and Learning!

 Photo from Pixabay

Annotating Screen Shots with Word "Shapes"

This week I had the need to annotate some screen shots. I haven't had much success with previous tools I tried.  My husband told me about the Shapes feature in Microsoft Office Word. From Word, access Shapes from the Insert tab. I used one of the Callouts which provided me with a text box where I could include as much text as I liked. The shape I selected (Line Callout 2) had a line that I could move around to any point in the screenshot--you can even make it longer or shorter. Finally, you are able to pick the thickness and color of the shape outline and you can even shade the box. From now on I will be a screen-shot editing pro!

Shapes (2)