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Change Text Case in Microsoft Word

The Change Case function in Word allows you to change the text case instead of having to re-type it.

This 2:11 minute video shows you four options of how to change the text case in Word:

  • Sentence case (capitalize the first letter of the first word in a phrase)
  • lowercase
  • UPPERCASE (equates to SHOUTING. Better to use bold or apply a heading)
  • Capitalize The First Letter of Each Word

Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist (701) 241-6043

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Practice Email Effectiveness

The NDSU Center for Writers recently offered a workshop on email effectiveness. Here are some things they suggested to keep in mind when writing an email.

WHO you are emailing:

  • Keep in mind the relationship status. The tone of your email probably would be different if you're writing it to a co-workers rather than to your boss or to a large email list. Think about the personal vs. professional tone.
  • Consider who needs to know. Target emails only to the people who need the information. Copy people who should be in the loop.

WHAT you are emailing:

  • Know what to email. If the topic is a serious or emotional issue, email probably is not the most appropriate communication medium. Question if your message is appropriate for email. If not, consider alternatives: phone, text or letter.
  • Use proper tone and clarity.
  • Remember the lack of privacy. Be careful of what’s in writing since it can be forwarded and archived. Your message is permanent.
  • Write a specific and precise subject line. Convey what the message is about.
  • Type "no reply needed" in the subject line to eliminate unnecessary replies.

     WHEN you are emailing:

    • Consider the time of day/night you're sending. Program Outlook to have your email sent during business hours.
    • Pause to think and proofread before sending.

     WHY you are emailing:

    • Making a request. Is it a reasonable request?
    • Make replies. Aim for a 24-hour turnaround.
    • Acknowledge receiving an email so the sender doesn't wonder.

    Linda McCaw, Administrative Secretary, (701) 231-7881

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    Blackboard Collaborate Replacing Wimba

    Last May, ITS announced that Wimba would be phased out and replaced with Blackboard Collaborate, which is a more robust tool for online instruction and virtual meetings. Blackboard will not deploy any updates to Wimba, and ITS Instructional Services will support use of Wimba only through summer 2013. That does not mean you have to stop using Wimba this summer, but it would be a good idea to start phasing it out and begin using Collaborate.

    Wimba archives still will be accessible for a while, but if you will need your Wimba archive for the long term, contact me to get it downloaded. Wimba archives are not compatible with the Blackboard Collaborate system.

    Many staff already are using Bb Collaborate, and responses to the change have been very positive.

    Contact me to get a Bb Collaborate session setup for yourself or your unit.

    Scott Swanson, Electronic Media Specialist, (701) 231-7086

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    Windows XP Support Ends July 1

    Windows XP will not be supported by ITS Desktop Support after July 1, 2013. The following is an excerpt from an ITS Web page.

    • Windows XP machines will continue to work on campus after July 1. Internet, email, MS Office, etc. will continue to function. Future updates of software/hardware/printers may not include options for Windows XP.
    • The ITS Desktop Support team will continue full support of Windows XP until July 1, 2013. 
    • Microsoft has announced that extended support will be maintained through April 8, 2014. Microsoft Mainstream support for XP ended April 2009.
    • Full migration to Windows 7 will be done through both re-imaging of newer computers and the retirement of older hardware over time.

    We would be happy to schedule and work with anyone who has Windows XP on a supported computer to possibly upgrade to Windows 7. We also would offer some extended support for folks who may be getting new equipment after July 1 and assist them with the transition to Windows 7.

    Jon Fry, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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    Effective PowerPoint Presentations

    AES PPT Template

    It should tell you something if you see people squinting trying to read all the copy on your PowerPoint slides. You are the main focus, so think of your PowerPoint file as your assistant. The PowerPoint file will take over the audience if all of what you say is on the slides. The use of key words or phrases can be very effective. Choosing the right font size also is important. Learn more from the top 10 design tips for PowerPoint.

    Rich Mattern, Information Specialist, (701) 231-6136

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    Facebook Likes - Two Way Street

    Liking a Facebook Page allows you to get content in your News Feed. The other type of "Like" is when a person or Page Likes your Facebook page so you are sharing your content with that number of people.

    There's two types of "Likes" on Facebook. People or Pages can "Like" your Facebook Page, which allows your posts to get directly to them in their News Feed. Also, as Facebook Page, the Pages you follow allow you to get content from them that you can share with your audience and interact with them.


    Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-6403

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    Write the Right Word: Omitted Numbers

    You know you need to use an apostrophe when you leave out numbers. But where does that apostrophe go?

    For dates (years), it goes before the number, not after it. For example, if you are referring to the 1920s, you would write ’20s. The apostrophe replaces the 19.

    The apostrophe must curve to the left. You probably noticed that if you type a single apostrophe before a number or letter, it curves to the right. Simply type a second apostrophe (it curves to the left) and delete the first one.

    Note that you do not use an apostrophe between the number and the “s.” That’s because you are not omitting anything. The same rule applies to other numbers, such a temperatures or sizes. For example: “Today’s temperatures will be in the low 60s.” or “The shoe store had several size 7s.”

    Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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    Campus Sign Frames Available for Rent

    walking signNDSU Facilities Management (FM) now has eight two-sided A-frame sign holders available. Each holds two 31 X 41" posters and rents for $25 for a maximum five days. A Facilities Management work request is needed to initiate the request at least 14 days before the sign is needed. The sign is delivered to the location and picked up at the end of the time by FM. The signs are designed to help people walking on campus rather than being large enough for people driving by. Ag Communication Graphic Designer John Grindahl, (701) 231-7898, can design posters to fit the signs.

    Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875

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    Use Ag Info Center to Share Files

    Ag Info Center screenshotThe Ag Info Center is NDSU Agriculture's password-protected Intranet that includes the Ag calendar, Extension Quarterly Program Reports, FeedList, a file transfer system and more. Similar to tools such as DropBox, the Ag Info Center file transfer system can store large files and can be accessed by anyone in NDSU Agriculture who logs in.

    For example, rather than mailing out DVDs, Bruce Sundeen was asked to upload several horticulture videos so staff could load them onto their laptops while in the office to have them available when they didn't have Internet access to play the YouTube versions. Other examples of long-term downloads include several train-the-trainer facilitator guides and PowerPoints on a variety of topics, 2012 Crop and Pest Reports, Consumer Choices judging classes and much more.

    If you've forgotten your Ag Info Center password, call the ITS help desk at 231-8685.

    If you want to create a folder to have your materials grouped and shared with staff, contact Roger Egeberg.

    Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director, (701) 231-7875

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    Proofread Your Writing

    You’ve spent a great deal of time writing your report, article, news release or whatever and are ready to send it. However, did you proofread carefully? Why should you? Even professional writers proofread their work or have others do it.

    It’s not always about looking for grammar mistakes. Proofreading also is about polishing your sentences to get rid of awkward spots or unnecessary phrases. It’s about writing clear, concise sentences that your target audience understands.  Following some simple proofreading tips will help you send the best message possible.

    Rich Mattern, Information Specialist, (701) 231-6136

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