Computing Services

The department behind IT services at the University of Bath

Tagged: IT Training

Open event for staff to visit IT training suite, 6 West, Friday 5 May 2017

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📥  Computing Services, IT Literacy

Come and visit the new IT Training suite in 6 West, Friday 5 May 2017.  We are holding an open event for staff between 1pm and 3pm and invite you to join us. The new rooms are bright and modern and have the advantage of two different layouts, collaborative and classroom.

Come and meet the team, have a look around and find out about the services we offer.  They include:

  • Frequent tutor-led and self-paced courses in commonly used applications like Word, Excel, MindGenius and Endnote and University systems such as Agresso and Business Objects.
  • Bespoke training solutions that will fit the needs of your team.
  • IT trainers with a huge amount of knowledge that you can tap into by logging a query at go.bath.ac.uk/it-help-form.
  • One room is set up with Windows 10 so you can give it a try.
  • Contemporary, high-tech training rooms that staff at the University can book through us.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available.

There is no need to book, we look forward to seeing you, Friday 5 May 2017, any time between 1pm and 3pm.

 

 

 

Using Skype for Business

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📥  Computing Services

Hi all,

You are probably aware, if you work at the University of Bath, that Skype for Business has just been rolled out.

“So what?” you may ask.

So, have a go at using it to communicate with someone, especially where there are benefits over using email or the phone.

“What benefits?”

Instant Messaging

Sometimes I’ll use an Instant Message to contact someone, or someone will use IM to contact me. One of the main benefits for me is that I can quickly see that they’ve read my message and are responding, as Skype for Business tells me ‘… is typing a message’ – with an email, you can’t really be sure that they’ve even opened the message (unless you assigned a Read Receipt tag AND they click to let you know they’ve opened it).

If you want to use Instant Messaging but the other person sent you an email, you can still respond with an Instant Message – just click on the IM button in the Respond group within the Message ribbon.

You can add attachments, flag the message as ‘high importance’ and even add a ‘smiley’ or two!!

If you prefer to use emails because they give you a record of your conversation, guess what? So do IMs – they are stored in an area called ‘Conversation History’ in your Outlook folder. Worried about them not seeing the IM? If you miss one it will appear in your Inbox the next time you look!!

Phone/video calls

And if you have a headset and/or webcam, it’s even more useful.  You can call someone (audio or, if you have a webcam and don’t mind people seeing you, a video call) or a whole group of people.

To call someone, just find them in the list, see if they’re available and hit the ‘call’ button.

Conference call/IM

There are a few ways to include more than 1 other person in your conversation (or even an Instant Message), including (there are probably others – let me know if you find a good one):

·         Add extra people, 1 at a time

·         Start with a call to a group of people

·         Arrange a Skype Meeting in your Outlook calendar

Show them what’s on your screen

Whether you’re calling someone or using an IM, you can present a file, program or your whole desktop – just click on the Present button and say what you want to present: Desktop, program (any application/file that is currently open) or PowerPoint file (will open the file and automatically start the slide show). You can even give the other person control, so they can do the work!!

So consider having a go at sending an Instant Message the next time you’re sending an email.

If you want to know more or have a go at audio/video calls and conference calls, join me on one of the Skype for Business training sessions.

Bye for now,

John

A new home for the IT training suite from January 2017

  

📥  IT Literacy

A new year means a fresh start for the IT training rooms. From Monday 16 January 2017 the IT training rooms will be located in the newly refurbished 6 West building.

If you are registered for a training course taking place after this date you will need to come to the new IT training suite in 6 West. The move comes as the final Computing Services staff members relocate from the 2 South building.

The refurbishment will offer improved facilities for training courses such as a classroom style collaborative working space and flip top desks, to be used for either paper or computer based courses. View our wide range of training courses and book your place on the website.

 

Sorting in Excel

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📥  Computing Services, IT Literacy

The other day, when I was showing the basics of creating a worksheet in Excel, I was asked  a really good question - one that made me think “I’m sure you must be able to!” and “Why have I not heard (or thought of) this question before?”

The question was about sorting, not sorting the rows, but sorting columns (for example into alphabetic order). I've written this blog to feature a workaround to achieve this and thought it might be useful to include some other aspects of sorting in Excel.

First, a pitfall to avoid: don’t sort when you have only a part of your table selected (unless you only want to sort those cells and keep the others where they are) as the data in your table will probably become meaningless. If you only have a single cell selected, Excel normally gets it right and sorts the whole table around that column (but sometimes I still check to make sure – you can always click on “Undo” if it gets it wrong).Selecting the whole table first is my normal belt & braces approach.

Basic Sort:

Just click within the column you want to sort/group by, click on “Sort & Filter” on the ‘HOME’ tab and select ‘Sort A to Z’ or ‘Sort Z to A’ if the column contains text, ‘Sort Smallest to Largest’ or ‘Sort Largest to Smallest’ if the column contains numbers or ‘Sort Oldest to Newest’ or ‘Sort Newest to Oldest’ if the column contains dates.

Custom Sort:

I often use ‘Custom Sort’ to group/sort by more than one field. Click on “Sort & Filter”, ‘Custom Sort’ to see the ‘Sort’ window. Click on the drop-down arrow by ‘Sort by’ and select the first field you want to group/sort by (if it doesn’t show the headings, place a tick by ‘My data has headers’) and the order (e.g. 'A to Z' or 'Z to A'). Then click on “Add Level” and repeat the process for the next field you want to group/sort by – repeat this for as many extra sorts/groups as you need. Click on “OK” to see everything sorted into your new sequence.

I have included a video of the next couple of items.

Sorting by day or month order:

As well as 'A to Z' and 'Z to A', you can also sort by a custom list. This is most useful if I want to sort records by month (as January, February, March, April, etc. not April, August, December, February, etc.). Just use the drop-down arrow under ‘Order’ in the custom sort window, select ‘Custom List’ and select the list you want. Anything not matching an item in the list will go to the bottom of the sort.

Sorting columns:

Finally, how would I sort column headings into (for example) alphabetic order? There are 2 ways: I could use the Transpose option within Paste Special or change the options in a custom search:

Using Paste Special (Transpose): Select the whole table (all headings and data) and copy it (I use [Ctrl]&[C]). Locate a clear part of the workbook (or create a new page), select the top-left cell where you want to paste and paste special (I normally right-click on the cell and select ‘Paste Special’). In the ‘Paste Special’ window, place a tick by ‘Transpose’ and click on “OK”. Sort the new table as normal, then copy it, right click on the top-right cell of your original table (or a new page, if you’re creating a new copy), select ‘Paste Special’ again, transpose again and click on “OK” again. Job done!

Changing the options: Select the data you want to sort, including the headings along the top, but not the labels down the left (otherwise they might be shifted to a different column). Select 'Custom Sort' as before, then click on "Options" along the top and click by 'Sort left to right' (then click on "OK"). Set the row you want to sort by and order and click on "OK". You'll need to remember to click on "Options" and switch it back the next time you want to sort rows.

Tutor led courses

We run a tutor led courses in using Excel.  Book onto Excel: Database techniques if you want to learn more about sorting your data.  The next dates available for booking are 27 July and 7 September 2016.

Bye for now,

John

 

IT Training tips: Putting charts in Word documents

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📥  IT Literacy

A few people have asked me about the best way to put a chart into a Word document.

There are several ways to do this - here are 3 different ways that I use:

1. Copy an existing chart from Excel so it can be tweaked in Word:

Click on the chart in Excel to select it and copy it (I normally use [Ctrl]&[C]). Place the insertion point where you want to place the chart in your document and paste (I normally use [Ctrl]&[V]).

With this option, you can select the chart in Word and change any aspect of it, from the colour of the bars, to the chart type to the data, just as you would with a chart in Excel or PowerPoint. If you resize or reshape the chart, text will remain the same size and everything else will stretch or shrink.

2. Copy an existing chart from Excel so it cannot be tweaked in Word:

Copy the chart as above, but instead of just pasting it into Word, place the insertion point where you want the chart and click on the lower part of the 'Paste' button and select 'Paste Special...'. Select the format you want (I normally go for 'Picture (PNG)') and click on "OK". The benefits with this option include the text increasing or decreasing when you resize the chart and there being no way that any recipient of the document can change the chart in any way or access the data behind it.

3. Create the chart within Word:

Place the insertion point where you want the chart to appear in the Word document and click on ('INSERT' ribbon) 'Chart', select the type of chart you want and click on 'OK'. Type in your headings or labels and data into the data table and then click on the cross to close it.

If you want to change it, just click in the chart and click on 'Edit Data' or any of the other buttons on the Chart Tools 'DESIGN' or 'FORMAT' ribbons.

One extra bit of information: I've written some crib sheets and put them into the 'Self-Service Training Resources for Office 2013' area of the University's Moodle site. Current subjects are:

  • Conditional formatting in Excel
  • COUNTIF, SUMIF and AVERAGEIF functions in Excel
  • Creating drop-down lists in Excel
  • Mail merging an Excel file into Outlook emails

If you have a look at them and find them useful, please leave a comment below. Also let me know if you'd like a similar sheet written for another task.

All the best

John Baker (IT Trainer)

 

New IT training dates available April 2016 to July 2016

  

📥  IT Literacy

Feel like giving your IT skills a spring clean?  New IT Training course dates, January 2016 to July 2016, are now available to book.

Collaborate using Microsoft (MS) OneNote, take one of our Wiki workshops or plan and manage projects using MS Project and MindGenius mindmapping software.

Find out about the range of courses (self-paced and tutor led), they include:

  • Windows 7
  • MS Office (Word 2013, Excel 2013, Power Point 2013)
  • Outlook email courses
  • Outlook Calendar courses
  • University software such as Agresso (Finance & Purchasing)
  • Endnote X7 bibliographical software
  • MindGenius mindmapping
  • Corel PDF Fusion (self-paced only)
  • Business Objects - run on request

Bespoke help sessions
We are able to offer short one to one or small group training sessions aimed at helping you to complete specific tasks in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Endnote, so if you have a document, spreadsheet or presentation that needs formatting, a template you need help to create, a presentation to spruce up then get in touch and we can arrange a session with you.
Training for students

Both research and taught postgraduate students are also welcome to attend our courses (some courses incur a small fee). In addition, staff can organise courses for groups of undergraduate students to help them with their studies or prepare them for placements.

Contact us

If you have any questions or wish to book a place, email or telephone Computing Services Reception - ext 6257.  The IT Training team look forward to seeing you on one of our courses soon.

 

New IT course dates January 2016 - March 2016 now available

  

📥  IT Literacy

Feel like brushing up on your IT skills this new year?  New IT Training course dates,  January 2016 to March 2016, are now available to book.

Collaborate using Microsoft (MS) OneNote, take one of our Wiki workshops or plan and manage projects using MS Project and MindGenius mindmapping software.

Find out about the range of courses (self-paced and tutor led) and when they are. They include:

  • Windows 7
  • MS Office (Word 2013, Excel 2013, Power Point 2013)
  • Outlook email courses
  • Outlook Calendar courses
  • University software such as Agresso (Finance & Purchasing)
  • Endnote X7 bibliographical software
  • MindGenius mindmapping
  • Corel PDF Fusion (self-paced only)
  • Business Objects - run on request
  • Bespoke Help Sessions

We are able to offer short one to one or small group training sessions aimed at helping you to complete specific tasks in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Endnote, so if you have a document, spreadsheet or presentation that needs formatting, a template you need help to create, a presentation to spruce up then get in touch and we can arrange a session with you.
Training for Students

Both research and taught postgraduate students are also welcome to attend our courses (some courses incur a small fee). In addition, staff can organise courses for groups of undergraduate students to help them with their studies or prepare them for placements.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or wish to book a place, email or telephone Computing Services Reception - ext 6257.  The IT Training team look forward to seeing you on one of our courses soon.

 

MindGenius 6 mind mapping software

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📥  IT Literacy

For everyone involved in project management, looking to improve communications or personal productivity, or co-ordinate and collect ideas from groups working together, MindGenius is a brilliant tool.

Students, MindGenius will help you record details of coursework, think ahead, prioritise work, visualise tasks, plan your revision and organise revision notes.

Managers, you can use the mind map as a starting point for service improvement activities, for problem-solving, to identify potential actions and solutions. MindGenius gives you tools for categorising, sorting, filtering and grouping information.

Mind maps transform a story or experience into a process and help you understand it better by making a visual record of your thoughts. Mind maps encourage creative thinking and help you remember important points.

MindGenius maps are easy to edit and can be exported to a variety of applications including Microsoft Project, Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

MindGenius courses and materials to work through at your own pace are available from IT Training.  There is a self paced course on Thursday 10 December, or you can start the New Year with a course running on Thursday 7 January 2016.

If you have any IT-related questions, please use the IT Help.

Lydia Maskell

IT Trainer, Computing Services

 

Multi-tasking in Outlook

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📥  Computing Services, IT Literacy

Picture these scenes – I’m sure many of you have encountered at least one of them:

·         You are in Outlook calendar and have just found a meeting you’re due to attend in a couple of weeks’ time. You now need to create and send an email, but don’t want to leave your current calendar appointment view.

·         You are reading an email, which reminds you that you need to book an appointment in your calendar – you want to do this without leaving your email.

·         You are reading an email that contains 3 different tasks that you need to get done. Rather than just flag the email (which will create one task) you want to create separate ones, using text copied from the email, without leaving your Inbox.

Outlook shortcuts that let you multitask

There are 3 Outlook shortcuts that I find really useful in achieving each of the tasks above, without leaving your current Outlook view – they work from any Outlook window.

·         [Shift]&[Ctrl]&[M] will create a new email message.

·         [Shift]&[Ctrl]&[A] will create a new calendar appointment.

·         [Shift]&[Ctrl]&[K] will create a new task.

Each of these will open a new window to create your item and then return to where you are when you’ve sent/saved and closed.

Many thanks to those who added comments or spoke to me about my last IT Training blog.  I hope this one will help you use Outlook more effectively.

As always, if you have any IT-related questions, please use the IT Help Forms in TOPdesk.

Bye for now,

John

IT Trainer, Computing Services

IT Training Blogs

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📥  IT Literacy

Hello all. A quick intro: my name is John Baker and I have recently started work at University of Bath as an IT Trainer. One of the benefits I want to bring to you all is a series of IT learning blogs, where I'll feature new applications, useful tips & shortcuts, clever features you may not be aware of and answers to questions.

For starters, here are a few shortcut keys I have found useful when using MS Outlook - these jump between the 4 key views in Outlook:

  • Ctrl&1 goes to Mail
  • Ctrl&2 goes to Calendar
  • Ctrl&3 goes to People
  • Ctrl&4 goes to Tasks

We are extending the training that we offer, including bespoke team or one-to-one sessions. If you want to discuss any IT training needs, please email it-training@bath.ac.uk.

If you have any IT-related questions, please use the IT Help Form.

Bye for now,

John

PS If you want to see the University of Bath blogs at their best, view them in FireFox, as Internet Explorer removes some of the formatting (on my computer, at least).