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/

Spanish Proofing Language in Word

We had a recent request to make it easier for patrons to switch the proofing language in Microsoft Word to Spanish on public computers.  The easiest way for us to make this happen was to configure a few Group Policy settings.

Patrons can follow these instructions to begin proofing their Spanish text documents.

  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. Towards the bottom-left, click English (United States)
    English (US)
  3. In the Language box, select Spanish (Mexico)
    Spanish (Mexico)
  4. Click OK

Word will now proof the document against the Spanish language.  Since English is still the default, Word will switch back to English after Word is closed.

Using Google My Maps to plan trips

Rural road
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Recently I took an out of state road trip, and during the trip I used Google Maps to look up routes and restaurants on the fly (which can be very useful), but at times it would have been better if I had saved some routes, restaurants, and other points of interest ahead of time. I started wondering about available options to create and save maps with locations for restaurants, hotels, tourist destinations, etc. so when I got home I started looking into how to save maps in Google for later use.

Google has a companion product called My Maps that allows you to create a custom map with various routes and points of interest and save them to your Google Drive. To use My Maps, first open Google Drive, and go to New>More>Google My Maps. Googlemymaps My Maps will open in a new tab, with a new map ready to go. Then click Untitled Map to add a Title and Description for your map. 

My Maps uses "layers" for different elements on the map, such as driving directions, walking directions, restaurants, etc. The first layer is created by default and is called Untitled layer - to change the layer name, click Untitled layer and then add the name of your layer. You can then add your routes, restaurants, campsites, hotels, tourist destinations, etc. to different "layers" and put them all together to view on one map. 

Canoe

There are travel bloggers out there who are using Google Maps and My Maps to plan trips, so you can find more information and step-by-step instructions on how you can use Google My Maps for travel. Here are a few that I found:

If you have an Android phone, you can open your saved maps on your phone by using the Google My Maps app (this is a separate app from the Google Maps app). For both Android and iPhone, you can open your saved maps in the Google Maps app (go to Your places>Maps).

Zamzar for converting files

WVLS has a new Digital Byte video that walks you through Zamzar, a free online file converting tool (also covered in these 2009 and 2018 TechBits posts).

Like the video format? Check out other Digital Bytes here.

Help Desk Tidbits

Early morning work on staff and patron PCs

When SCLS tech staff arrive in the morning they check on different things with both staff and patron PCs. Things like the status of the anti-virus and disk locking software. If we see a problem and we know the library isn't open yet, we will remote in to fix the problem. So if you are working and you see a PC move by itself that is just us working on it. Please don't shut off the PC thinking it has been hacked because we may be in the middle of fixing a problem. If the PC is rebooted it may cause more harm or we may have to start over and run the risk of still be working on the PC when you open. If you want to verify it is us you can always feel free to call the Help Desk and find out for sure.


Help Desk Portal gives "Connection not secure" error message

We've been getting a few calls lately reporting that when going to the Help Desk Portal people are getting an error message saying "Your connection is not secure." This is only with Firefox and is being caused by the fact that we secured the portal with a self-signed security certificate. We have a fix posted on our TechBits page and you read all about it by visiting this page.


Slow Staff PCs

We've been getting a lot of calls lately about slow staff PCs. Before you reboot those PCs, please call the Help Desk so we can remote in and hopefully see what is making the PC slow. Once we remote in what we'll probably do is run a virus/malware scan on the PC and this takes at least 20 minutes to complete. So hopefully you can be without the PC for a while as we look at it.

Creating and using Tasks in Google Calendar

In 2018 I wrote about using the "Reminders" feature of Google Calendar. Since then, Google has introduced a "Tasks" option that is slightly different than the Reminders option. 

Googletasks2To get started with Tasks, select the Tasks checkbox on the left side of the screen. This will enable the Tasks option on your Google Calendar. 


GoogletasksTo create a Task, click on the appropriate day, enter the information, and select Task. You can select a certain time for the task, or leave it as "all day." Currently, you cannot set up a repeating task. Tasks also include the option to add a description. Reminders do not include this option.

After you have completed the Task, you can mark the task as complete to cross it off of your list. To do this, click on the Task, and click Mark complete in the lower right-hand corner. Googletasks1

Unlike Reminders, Tasks do not continue to appear each day until you mark them complete. I think this makes them less useful than Reminders, so I haven't used Tasks nearly as much as I have used Reminders. However, I think they can be useful when you want to include detailed information about your Task. When using Reminders, you only have the option to enter a Title, while the Task option includes both the Title and Description.

The Wonderful World of Fonts!

Some times a presentation or a letter need something to make them Pop! There are many ways to do it from bright colors to funny shapes, but the easiest way has to be with fonts.

There are silly fonts,bnıǝʇ ın ʇɥǝ bɐɔʞ, old fashioned fonts,𝕳𝖊𝖆𝖗 𝖄𝖊, 𝕳𝖊𝖆𝖗 𝖄𝕰,  and the just plain bizarre, 🍳⛎🎐🎗🌴 🎐🎵 🌴♓🎗 🅱🅰🌜🎋.  

When it comes to creative fonts, there is no end. A lot of users have been finding customized fonts online from various genre's such as Dr. Seuss and Dr. Who. It is important to not only get the font that you need, but to do it safely. When downloading fonts from the internet there is always the risk, however slight, that there may be a virus attached to the file. 

One easy way to ensure that doesn't happen is to copy your font from an online font generator, such as fontmeme. It is a fairly simple process. All one would need to do is visit the website, select the desired font, type your message, and copy and paste into your own document. 

If you do choose to download a font package, I highly recommend that you scan if for viruses before opening the file. The easiest way is to follow these steps.

  1. Download the font into your downloads folder (or folder of your choice)
  2. Right click on the file and select Scan with (your antivirus)Image result for right click scan with
  3. Once the scan is complete you can open the file or delete it, as needed.

 

The next time you find yourself in need of a new font, just follow these steps, and enjoy!