The Big Sweep

Gothic CraigMy favorite job in high school was working at a fast-food restaurant one town over from where I lived. During my first week on the job, the manager handed me a broom and told me to sweep the lobby, which he considered to be everything in front of the counter. I really didn’t want to sweep up the whole restaurant so I handed the broom back to my manager and explained that I hadn’t been trained to sweep yet, which is not at all true, but it worked, I got out of sweeping the floor…once.


I noticed Office 365 now has a sweep feature and I wondered what it might be used for, here's what I found out. The sweep feature is part of a suite of tools Outlook implemented to help organize your inbox, which I could really use some help with so I tried it and thought this is the kind of sweeping I could get behind.


Sweeping your inbox is really easy too. Highlight a message in your inbox and click the sweep tab above in the toolbar. A window will appear giving you several options of what to do with the message. I’ve been mostly using the first option of “Move all messages from the Inbox folder”, this moves all the messages only from that particular sender, then choose where you want that message and all previous messages from that sender put. You can also choose to have all future messages from that sender put in a folder automatically.

 

Update: These days I enjoy sweeping my floors. As a matter of fact, I have a different broom for almost every room in my house and two just for the garage.

Web Browser Terminology

If you've used web browsers for any length of time you've heard the terms cache and cookies. Just what exactly are these and are they the same thing? Well, I'm here to explain these terms for you.

CookiesCookies
No, I'm not talking about Chinese fortune cookies or chocolate chip cookies. I'm talking about the small files that your browser saves on your computer that contain information that the website you're visiting uses to enhance your experience. Every time you visit a website your browser looks for the cookie associated with that website and sends it to the website's server telling it what you did the last time you were there. Cookies will sometimes track information like how frequently you visit, what times of the day you visit, what you've clicked on, and other information that is used to customize your visit. So essentially, cookies are used to store different information about you, the user. Cookies also have an expiration date so they will expire after some time period.

CashCache
This is pronounced just like the word for legal tender. When you visit a website your browser saves on your computer a copy of the HTML pages and images that you view. This is done for your benefit to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and to make the website load quicker the next time you visit. So essentially, cache is used to store information about the website. Cache does not expire and is only removed if you manually remove it. To remove your cache you can follow these steps:

  1. Open any browser
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Del
  3. Select cache
  4. Click the appropriate button at the bottom of the window to delete or clear

Offload apps to quickly free up storage on your Apple device

Apple_logoIf you’re like me, automatic updates to your Apple device are appreciated.  It’s one less thing for me to have to remember or worry about.  However, it has become more of a chore for me because my device storage is always too full.  I then have to choose individual files to delete to make room for the latest upgrade, which is often very time-consuming.  There are more long term solutions such as deleting unused apps and uploading files that take up a large amount of space to a cloud storage service (i.e. photos, videos).  

Offloading your files is an option that I find extremely useful and saves me a lot of time.  It allows you to temporarily disable an app without deleting the settings.  They will remain on your device’s home screen, but you will need to tap to re-download in order to use it.  You can do this by going to your device’s storage list, tap the app you wish you offload, and select Offload App.

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You can also set up the automatic removal of apps you don't use often. Simply go to Settings > General > Device Storage > Offload Unused Apps and tap Enable.

 

Changing where your downloads are saved

Download
Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay

Many browsers are configured by default to download items to a "Downloads" folder, but what if you want your downloads to end up somewhere else?

Instead of having an extra step of moving the items from the Downloads folder to wherever you want them to go, it is possible to configure your browser to either 1) download them to a different location by default, or 2) ask you where to put each download.  Because I download items that need to go to many different locations, I've opted for the the 2nd option.

Here's how to adjust this setting in your browsers:

Firefox

  1. In the Firefox "Options"
  2. Search for "download" in the search box at the top
  3. This should bring up a "Downloads" section where you can 1) specify exactly where you want to save files, or 2) have Firefox "Always ask you where to save files"

Download-FF

Chrome

  1. In the Chrome "Settings"
  2. Search for "download" in the search box at the top
  3. This should bring up a "Downloads" section where you can 1) change the location where downloaded files are saved, or 2) have Firefox "Ask where to save each file before downloading"

Download-Chrome

Edge

  1. In the Chrome "Settings"
  2. Scroll down to the "Downloads" section
  3. You can 1) choose where to save downloads, or 2) have Edge "Ask me what to do with each download"

Download-Edge

Easy screen shots in Firefox

The Wisconsin State Law Library had a great tech tip a few weeks back about taking easy screenshots in Firefox. I hadn't realized that Firefox had a built-in way to take screenshots of browser content, so this was great news! (and good timing, given our recent ILS migration)

FF_screenshots

Scheduling Emails & Posts

ScheduleSendA couple of weeks ago, I was finishing up the last week of the OverDrive Support Course. While online, the course relies on me sending an email to the students on Mondays and Wednesdays each week. This particular week, I was up at the Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library helping out with interviews on Monday and didn't have time to work on my email.

I had noticed this new feature, Schedule Send, in my email earlier this year and now was a great time to investigate and test it. On Friday, I wrote up the email for Monday's lesson. There's an arrow next to the Send button and when you select that, you'll get a pop-up window with some suggested times. You can ScheduleSend2also pick your own date and time. I scheduled it to send the email on Monday morning and then waited to see what would happen.

And, it worked perfectly. I will definitely be using this feature more often (as long a I'm prepared ahead of time!)

And, this post is being written on Friday, November 22. My week for posting in TechBits is next week when I'm on vacation. I'm using the Publish On feature of TypePad to schedule this post to publish on Tuesday, November 26.

It makes me wonder where else I can add this efficiency into my daily work. Ideas?

And, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Microsoft Photos for Editing

High waterI wanted to make a quick edit to a photo recently and found that Microsoft Photos has upped their game. Maybe it’s been like this for a while and I just didn’t notice, but I'm pretty happy with the options they offer now.


If you open a photo in Microsoft Photos, it’s the default photo viewer on my Windows 10 PC, and click the “Edit & Create” tab you are given several options including cropping, straightening (for some reason my photos are always a little crooked), flipping and rotating. You can add filters and make some basic adjustments to the color, light, clarity (sharpening), and it has some other features like Red Eye Removal and Spot Fixing.


You can also go a little farther and add 3D effects or animated text to your images.


The photo in this post was cropped and slightly straightened using Microsoft Photos editing tools. I applied the “Sunscreen” filter to it too because it was cloudy when I wrote this and I thought what the heck, why not.


I still plan on using my go-to photo editor for as long as I can, but the new features (new to me anyway) in Microsoft Photos will definitely get more use from me for fast fixes that I want to do rather than going through my normal routine.

How to search within multiple PDF files at once

We all know that we can search within a PDF file for any text that we want to find. But did you know that you can search within multiple PDF files at once? Well, I'm here to tell you that you can and here's how you do it.

1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

2. Click on the Edit menu at the top and select the "Advanced Search" option

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3. Click the radio button in front of "All PDF Documents in"

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4. Click on the dropdown menu to open it

5. Click on the "Browse for Location..." option

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6. Navigate to the folder where your PDF files live

7. Fill in the text box with what you want to search for

8. Click the Search button

9. If you get a Security Warning message click the "Allow" button

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10. You will then get a search window that tells you how many PDF files contain your search term and how many instances of it were found
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Digital Bytes: MailChimp, scheduling Facebook posts

Ever wonder about using MailChimp for newsletters?  This recent Digital Byte video from Wisconsin Valley Library Service is all about MailChimp and how your library can use it for marketing efforts.

 

Jamie also posted a quick video about how to schedule posts for your library's Facebook page from your mobile device:

You can find all the WVLS Digital Bytes here: https://wvls.org/digital-bytes/

Searching in Windows

Have you ever been looking for a particular Word doc...  modified last week... with a title that included "party"... and just not been able to remember where you saved it?

Enter Windows Search. Navigate to the directory or folder you'd like to look in, click in the "Search" box to the right of the address bar, and enter your search terms. For my example, I might enter *party*.docx (the asterisks are wildcards).

Search for *party*.docx

Then click on the Search menu, which will expand to show all sorts of helpful options you can use to narrow down the search for your file. From the search menu, I could set the "Date modified" to "Last week."

Search - Date modified: last week

A colleague recently pointed out a search option I hadn't paid much attention to in the past. We were working on a PC with a very full disk, and he suggested using the "Size" criteria to try to identify large files that could be deleted to free up space. Good idea!

Search - Size

 

You can find more Windows Search tips in this post: https://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-10/find-specific-files-in-windows-explorer-with-these-search-tips/