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"Like" an email in Office 365

Thumbsup2Did you know that you can "Like" an email message in Office 365? Until a coworker commented on it recently, I hadn't even noticed this feature!

Why would you want to "Like" an email? 

Microsoft says,"Instead of typing a text email message to reply with your support for or satisfaction about an email you received, express yourself by clicking the Like button. You can also see who else likes an email message by hovering over the Like button." Another coworker shared that in his other job, staff uses this to express agreement rather than sending an email.


You can find all the details about this feature here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/like-an-email-message-in-outlook-on-the-web-cfd919a9-7c3e-40ed-a6e6-aabd7d2d2acb

Brief guide to buttons that clear formatting

Noticing unwanted formatting differences in the text on your website, email, Excel, or Word document (where one line looks good, but another is a hair bigger or smaller)? Many times there is a little button intended to fix it! Just highlight/select the text in edit mode, click the button—voila, wonky formatting gone. Here's a guide to what to look for in some common tools:

Microsoft Word & Office 365 (same icon!)

Microsoft Word & Office 365 use an icon with a pink eraser scrubbing out an uppercase A

Excel (specialized format clearing options in a drop-down)

Excel's icon shows a pink eraser next to the word Clear, with a drop down menu


Gmail's button looks like an italicized uppercase T with a small subscript x

Drupal websites - CKEditor toolbar

The CKEditor toolbar button used on many Drupal websites has a button with an italicized uppercase T with a small subscript x


IMLS Library Search & Compare BETA

Want to compare your library with other libraries in your state or other states? If so, check-out the Library Search & Compare beta website from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): https://www.imls.gov/labs/search-compare/.

I was interested in comparing just libraries in Wisconsin, so I limited my search by State = WI and then selected Compare Libraries. 2018-08-13_1201

You can also limit your results by total circulation, revenue, staff, and/or service area population ranges (max/min), and even further refine your results by variables related to topics listed in a drop-down menu. 2018-08-13_1203
The dataset can be downloaded to a .csv at anytime.  Try it and be sure to send feedback if you have ideas on how to make the site better. (For example, I recommended that library size, square footage, be included.)

Convert web pages to PDF for printing/saving in Chrome and Firefox

Some time ago I came across a handy extension available for Chrome and Firefox called Print Friendly & PDF. You can use this extension to generate PDF files from web pages that can be used to either print or save the web page as a PDF file. However, I have noticed that the extension doesn't work exactly the same in both browsers. 

Pdf-chromeFor example, when converting the scls.info home page in Chrome, the extension only picked up the one visible slide at the time that I did the conversion.

Pdf-firefoxI then switched to Firefox, and found that in Firefox, the extension captured all of the slides in the slideshow in one PDF file. 

You can find these extensions in Chrome by going to the upper-right hand corner menu and going to More Tools>Extensions, and then searching the Chrome Web Store. In Firefox, go to the upper right-hand corner menu and choose Add-ons.

Given that the extension works differently in different browsers, I think it's a good rule of thumb to keep your options open when using browsers. If something doesn't look right or work well in one browser, try another browser.

Create custom maps: mapchart.net

Recently I was looking into map graphics for a network monitoring project I was working on. What I needed was a simple, minimalistic map of Wisconsin counties that SCLS serves. Combing through maps online, I found a fair amount but they were of low image quality and proved difficult to work with.  During my search I found a useful website that was exactly what I was looking for. That website is mapchart.net.

When you go to mapchart.net you are met with a plethora of different options for creating your own custom map. The top banner of the page shows a number of dropdown menus for various map templates to begin with. These include world, continents, and others. The United States menu allows you to choose state, county, or congressional district maps. Choosing one of these options will bring you to the map where it is broken down by whichever criteria was chosen. Here is where you can begin to customize the map and you have a number of different options available.

One of the more useful features is color coding. Users can color code portions of the map depending on the kind of map that was chosen. For instance, I chose the county US map and we can see all counties and fill selected counties from a palette of 135 colors. This would be great for visualizing statistics, etc. You can also isolate a state, multiple states, change border options, customize a legend, and recolor the background.

Once you have customized the map you can generate a preview. From here you are able to download the map as a high-resolution PNG image. With all of these features, what is the best aspect of mapchart.net? It is completely free. You are able to use and embed the maps created royalty free.

I highly recommend using mapchart.net if you need a map for your next project.

(The image used is the SCLS network ‘weathermap’ that I created for monitoring purposes.)


Shushing/un-shushing text messages from individual contacts: iPhone and Android

A friend, who’s an iPhone user, recently said that she no longer hears a sound when receiving text messages from me. Messages from others do have a sound. The only ‘clue’ was that there was a half moon shape beside my name. That made me curious on how to toggle text message sounds on and off for an individual on both the iPhone and Android.   Shush image


How to Mute

  1. Launch the “Messages” app
  2. Swipe left on the conversation that you'd like to mute
  3. Tap Hide Alerts
  4. You should now see a half moon icon next to the conversation that you've silenced.

How to Unmute

  1. Launch the “Messages” app
  2. Swipe left on the conversation that you'd like to unmute
  3. Tap Show Alerts
  4. The half moon icon should now be gone for that specific contact


How to Mute

  1. Tap the “Messages” icon
  2. Select the conversation
  3. Tap the “Menu” icon (a string of 3 vertical dots)
  4. Select “Mute conversation”
  5. You should now see a speaker icon with an ‘x’ in front of the conversation that you’ve silenced.

How to Unmute

  1. Tap the “Messages” icon
  2. Select the conversation
  3. Tap the “Menu” icon (a string of 3 vertical dots)
  4. Select “Unmute conversation”
  5. Both the speaker icon and the ‘x’ in front it should now be gone.

Note: different versions of software may be a little different to navigate than what is suggested.

Good luck!