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Office 2010 Support Going Away

This fall Microsoft will be ending support for Office 2010 as part of it's Office product life cycle.  In response to these upcoming changes, we will also be dropping support for Office Office Logo2010 and assisting those affected in the transition to Office 2016.  If you or someone else in your office is still running Office 2010, we strongly encourage you to upgrade to Office 2016 at your earliest convenience. 

If you're not sure what version of Office you have, Microsoft has online instructions on how to locate your Office version.

Depending on where your computer is located, the upgrade method will vary:

On Campus

If you are located on campus and have a computer supported by Ag Communication, you can start the software upgrade at your convenience using the following steps:

  • Navigate to Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft System Center and select Software Center
  • In the window that appears, make sure the Available Software tab is highlighted and then check the box next to Ag_Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016.  Click on the Install button in the lower right hand corner to start the installation.

Software Center - Office

The total installation time should be approximately 20 - 30 minutes.

If you are located on campus and are supported by Ag Communication but do not see the Software Center, please contact us so that we can assist you.  If you have a computer that is NOT supported by Ag Communication, please contact NDSU Software Licensing  or your departmental technical support person to obtain a copy of the installation software.

Off Campus

For county and REC computers, an Ag technician will need to remotely connect to their computer and install Office 2016 over the network utilizing our instant remote support tool.  Please contact the Ag technicians directly to schedule a time to perform the upgrade.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

, Ag Comm Computer Services  |  , 701-231-8685 Option 1

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Write the Right Word: Between, Among, Either, Neither

Despite the way they often are used, “among” and “between” are not interchangeable.

“Between” expresses the relationship of two - repeat, two - people or things or two sets of people or things. For example: “I had to decide between lasagna and chicken.” “Negotiations are under way between XYZ Co. officials and the company’s pipefitters and mechanics.” In this case, the pipefitters and mechanics are considered one group of employees.

Use “among” when expressing the relationship of three or more people or things. For instance: “The profits from the sale of the business were divided among the four owners.”

“Either” and “neither” also indict a relationship of two things or people. But be careful how you use them.

Don’t use “either” or “neither” in a sentence that includes the two things or people. Use them only when the people or things you are talking about are clear from the context. For example: “I can’t decide whether I want chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Either would be fine.”

Do not say, “I can’t decide whether I want either chocolate or vanilla ice cream.” You don’t need the “either” because you are listing the options.

The same rule applies to “neither.” For instance: “My lunch choices are tacos or pizza. Neither appeals to me today.”

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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Two Great Tips for Your Smartphone

Bookmark for Your Home Screen

Is there a website you visit often or is there a page that takes forever to get to because there’s so many taps you must do?

Like your desktop PC, bookmarks can be used on your smartphone too.

smartphone screenshot with folder and bookmark

Bookmarking a favorite page can save you much time, tapping and scrolling and most importantly, get you to the information you’re seeking right away.

Here’s a great how-to from one of my favorite tech blogs I follow, How to Geek.

Organize Your Apps

You can use folders on your smartphone to organize your apps. For instance, you could have a social media folder that houses all your accounts.

Folders can also give you more “real estate” on your home screen, because you can add up to 4 apps in a folder.

All you have to do is tap and hold one app and then move it on to another app and a folder will be created. On Androids, you can have up to four apps in a folder. On iPad, you can do many more.

Contact me if you have trouble with either of these tips.

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

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Ag Comm Webinar: Detecting Engagement in Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to collect, compile and report data on the use of all websites created in the Ag Content Management System (Ag CMS). On the June 15, 2016 Ag Communication webinar, I shared information on how we might use some of the data we collect to detect engagement.

There is no way to determine if a website user found information they could use or if they ever used it from the data alone, but we may be able to infer engagement from some of the data points. If a user spends more time on a page, we might guess they found something they were interested in. If a user returns to a website multiple times, we might guess they found a tool that helps them or instructions they use repeatedly.

These and other metrics we can get from Google Analytics can give us some insight into the effectiveness of our websites.

If you'd like to see Google Analytics data for your Ag CMS site, or .

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Communication Camp Update

In December 2012, Agriculture Communication launched Communication Camp, an opportunity for Extension team to gain valuable communication skills, better understand communication and education in the digital age, and produce text, images and video that they can use in their educational programs.

We are beginning to think about the next Communication Camp for NDSU Extension. Are you interested? Do you have thoughts about how it should be structured?

In the past 3 years, more than 80 NDSU professionals have taken part in Communication Camp. Now that opportunity has been extended to Extension teams across the nation through Virtual Communication Camp (VCC). VCC was developed with an Innovation Grant from eXtension. We are currently in the midst of a pilot with participants from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey and other states.

As we wrap up VCC and begin to think about our next Communication Camp for NDSU Extension, we are thinking about how to use what we are learning from VCC.

Is there a way to create a virtual/face-to-face hybrid? A hybrid might allow us to shorten the face-to-face "seat time," which can make it difficult for some people to attend. On the other hand, many teams have commented on the value of having extended time to focus on their program and communication plan. There is definitely a lot to think and talk about, and we'd like you to join the conversation. Even if you have never attended Communication Camp, we welcome your input.

Check out the Communication Camp and Virtual Communication Camp websites for more information on each program. Let me know if you and/or your team is interested in attending Communication Camp, or if you have thoughts on the best way to structure the next camp.


Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, (701) 231-7381

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Uninstalling Apple QuickTime Strongly Recommended

Several weeks ago, Apple announced that its Windows QuickTime software was no longer being supported. This followed on the heels of announcements from several prominent IT security firms and the Department of Homeland Security that several known critical security flaws put computers running the software at risk.

Uninstalling Apple QuickTime Strongly Recommended

Due to the significant risk to computers running QuickTime for Windows, we strongly encourage anyone running QuickTime to remove it as soon as possible. 

To assist in this process, we have created a tool that will remove most versions of QuickTime installed within the last 10 years. All you need to do is download the QuickTime Removal Tool and double click it to run. You may be prompted for permission to make changes to your computer; if you see this, click Yes or OK.

If the tool is unable to remove QuickTime, the NDSU Help Desk has a QuickTime removal page that includes instructions on how to manually remove the software. 

For those people who need an alternative media player, the NDSU Help Desk recommends downloading VideoLan VLC media player.

Jerry Ranum, Ag Comm Computer Services  |  , 701-231-8685 Option 1


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Write the Right Word: The Hyphen Makes a Difference

Sometimes, leaving out a hyphen can change a phrase’s meaning.

One example is “great grandfather.” Without the hyphen, you’re indicating your grandfather is a great guy. If you mean your mother or father’s grandfather, you need to say great-grandfather. For example: “My great-grandfather started the farm in 1902.”

The hyphen makes all the difference in phrases such as “small grain” and “small business,” too. If you said, “The producer raised a small grain crop,” you’d assume he had a bad year. But if you mean he grows wheat and oats, for example, you’d say, “The producer raises small-grain crops.”

Calling the owner of the quilt shop on the corner of Main Street in a rural community a small business woman could be insulting unless she really is slight in stature. You’d need to say something such as this: “Marge Jones exhibits the entrepreneurship of the small-business owners in North Dakota.”

You need the hyphen in these examples for a couple of reasons: to avoid confusion about your meaning and to form a compound modifier. A compound modifier is two or more words strung together to express a single concept. It adds a description to a noun, such as “crops” and “owners.”

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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Online Virus Tool Can Help You Stay Safe

Even when anti-virus software gives us the green light, opening unknown emails and attachments still can be risky. As many of us have learned (sometimes painfully), no single anti-virus solution will detect everything.

For situations like this, the Virus Total online scanner can be a huge help. It has the ability to scan both files and websites with 67 different anti-virus products. Utilizing this tool can significantly increase your chances of detecting malicious programs before you attempt to open unknown files or visit unknown websites. However, please note that this tool only detects viruses and does NOT remove them.

To use the tool, visit the Virus Total website, select the tab for the type of scan you need (file or website URL) and follow the directions.

Main screen of the Virus Total website

Once you've either uploaded the file or entered the website address in question, click on the Scan it! button to begin the process. Depending on whether anyone else has submitted that file or website recently, Virus Total may either notify you of the latest scan results or queue it for a new scan, which could take several minutes.

When finished, you will see a results page listing information including the analysis date and time, the detection ratio (number of detections vs. number of scanners used) and the filename or URL.  You also will receive a full list of every virus scanner used and what individual results were.

Displays number of detections, last scan date, etc...

While this tool is no guarantee that a file or website isn't infected, it significantly reduces the chances of you finding a nasty surprise.

Jerry Ranum, Ag Comm Computer Services  |  , 701-231-8685 Option 1

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Ag Communication Branding Webinar Available

Branding the NDSU Extension Service was the focus of the monthly Agriculture Communication webinar on April 20, 2016.

Kelli Armbruster shared information about the new Branding and Communications website as well as the correct usage of logos, PowerPoint templates, signage and marketing items available for NDSU Extension use.

She also talked about maintaining how the public sees our offices as sources of credible education and outreach.

Would you like to know more about the most important features of the Branding and Communication website, or possibly brush up on your branding skills? The branding webinar is available to watch online.

, Information Specialist, 701-231-6136

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Save Strokes – Use Your Voice to Type

We heard through Northwest District Director Mike Hanson that a few of his agents are using voice-to-type when creating Microsoft Word docs and that it has been a time saver for them.

“It is really simple to set up, to get it right, you need to do some voice training with it. Without that you end up with some funny words popping up. Once you set it up, you can activate the talk to text. You can even have it start on start-up. Then, just open Word (or any other program) turn it on and away it will type.”

- Amelia Doll, 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent - Burleigh County

Amelia wearing a headset
Amelia in action
Amelia said she got started with the Text-to-Speech Recognition tutorial from Microsoft. I tested it out and the tutorial was hands-on and took about 30 minutes to complete. A microphone is necessary but I was able to successfully compose, edit and delete text in a Word document. The tutorial also includes instruction on how to controls Windows, such as starting programs, switching between windows, clicking on buttons and more.

This option is also available in Google Docs, but you must use the Chrome browser.

Text-to speech could be helpful if you’re a slow typist or “write” better by speaking than actual writing. It could also save hundreds of movements in your arms, wrist and fingers.

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

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