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Personalize Microsoft Office with a Profile Picture

You can personalize Microsoft Office (including Lync) by adding a photo to your Microsoft Office 365 account.

1. Go to the Microsoft Office 365 portal and sign in. If you forgot your password, contact the ITS Help Desk.

2. In the upper right on your desktop screen, click on the silhouette icon:

office 265 silhouette

3. Then click on "change" under the icon:
change photo in office 365


4. Click the "Browse" button to find the photo on your computer. After selecting the photo, click save at the bottom of this screen:
change photo in office 365


5. Now you'll see that the photo has been added to Microsoft 365:
add ap hoto to office 365


6. That means your photo will display in emails and in Lync
lync with photo

and in email:

picture in outlook email

If you need any help adding a photo to your Microsoft Office 365 profile, please contact me or Bob Bertsch

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

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Create a Custom Google Map

Maps make it easy to digest information, vs. having a bunch of links. Plus, they can be used in GPS on smartphones. Check out Google map examples on the County Extension Offices page and the REC homepage. All you need is a gmail address (you cannot use your NDSU Google Apps account) and a spreadsheet. Check out this video:

If you need help with Google Custom Maps, please contact me or Web Technology Specialist  Bob Bertsch at (701) 231-7381.

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

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Protect Your Computer

What’s this on my computer? Here's how to keep your computer free of adware (software that automatically displays or downloads advertising) and malware (software that is intended to damage or disable your computer).

Adware and malware generally are installed on computers through your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) and sometimes through your email (clicking on an attachment).

This can occur when you inadvertently click on something (a link or a pop-up) that appears and without examining details.  One click (just to get something out of the way) can result in a computer being infected.

When you are checking email, you could be curious about an attachment and infect your computer when opening the file.

So, how can you prevent having these kinds of problems on your computer? While nothing is 100 percent foolproof, your eyes are your best defense. If anything looks funny or out of place, don’t click. Close your browser rather than take a chance on getting some little bug.

If you receive an email with an attachment, look at the details. Who is this from? What is the subject line stating? Can I see the file extension of the attachment? Stay away from anything that has an .exe, .com, .bat or .zip extension. Our email system tries to block these files, but some get through. If the email is from someone you might know, does the subject line reflect that person's personality? Is this an email as a follow-up to a discussion you had earlier?

What to do if you get infected

If you have something pop up that you do not recognize and it is preventing you from continuing your work, shut down your computer by holding the power button down until your screen goes dark.

If you think you have gotten infected, again shut down your computer. You want to get into a diagnostic mode of your operating system (Windows 7, for example). This is a state of the operating system where only the essential programs are loaded to get it to the dekstop and a workable situation. To do this, turn your computer back on. When you see the Dell, HP or other brand splash screen, start hitting the F8 button on your keyboard. Up and down, up and down. Don’t just hold it down. You should get to a black screen with a lot of white lettering giving you start-up options. Select Safe Mode with Networking. Use the arrow keys to navigate the menu and the Enter key to make this selection.

Once in Safe Mode, close the Help window that appears. Now open Internet Explorer or Firefox so that you can get some tools to help clean your computer.

Two of the main tools we use are ComboFix and Malwarebytes. Both are free.Download ComboFix

For ComboFix, in Internet Explorer, the page will change and then you should see this image at the bottom of your screen.Run ComboFix

Left-click on Run and allow the program to configure itself. This might take a little while. Just follow the prompts and let ComboFix run. If you are asked to restart your computer, do so.Firefox ComboFix

Firefox is much the same except you might see this box appear: 

Click on Save File and then go to your Download folder and run the file from there. Again, just follow the prompts and allow the program to run.

For Malwarebytes, in Internet Explorer, left-click on Run and let the program install and run. Make sure you uncheck the Free Trial box before letting it scan your computer. IE Malwarebytes

In FireFox, save the file, go to your Downloads folder and run the program from there. Again, uncheck the Free Trial box before running the program.Firefox Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes will scan your computer and then have you click on the Results button. Be sure you click on everything in the Results window and then click on Remove. You then may have to restart your computer.

If your infection is bad enough that these tools do not help, you may want to think about reformatting your hard drive. Be sure to copy your data before starting so you have recovery disks if you must start over.

Blair Johnson, Desktop Support Specialist; ITS Help Desk, (701) 231-8685

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Use WMF File Format for High-quality Graphics

Has this happened to you? You had an image or graphic developed that you want to use in Word or PowerPoint. Maybe you want to add your logo to that Word document. A JPG file format could work, but when you go to print, the quality just is not there. Not to mention the problem with the white background that makes your final piece look unprofessional. Want an easy fix? Start using the Windows Metafile (WMF) instead of the JPG.

The WMF file formwmfat is a vector image (image made up of points, lines, curves and shapes than are based on mathematical equations to represent images on your computer screen) that will allow you to enlarge the logo without losing quality and can have a transparent background.

When you receive the WMF file from Ag Communication, do not double-click on it or open it. The best way to use this file format is to “save the attachment” (if you received the graphic via email) to your computer where you can locate it in the future. Now, to use the file, in Word, go to “Insert” picture, then you will locate the file on your computer and insert it into your Word document. The WMF can be inserted into any Microsoft program.

David Haasser, Graphic Designer, (701) 231-8620

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Facebook Pages Get New Design

In June, Facebook rolled out a new design for all Facebook Pages. The new design has been around since March, but was only available to select Pages and those who opted-in. Now all Facebook Pages have been switched to the new look.

The most noticeable and disruptive change in the new design is the relocation of the Page name from below the cover photo to the right of the profile picture laid over the cover photo. Facebook also has added the Page category to display below the Page title. Finally, they have overlaid the "Like," "Follow" and "Share" buttons in the lower-right corner of the cover photo. If your cover photo has text or a light colored area where the Page title, category or buttons now appear, you'll want to change your cover photo (see below).

Facebook Design Change

Dave Haasser in Ag Comm graphics has been adjusting the custom Facebook cover photos he designed for some counties to comply with the changes. If you need a new cover photo, email Dave Haasser or call him at (701) 231-8620.

If you want to design your own cover photo, here's an infographic showing the dimensions of the new Facebook Page design.

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

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Write the Right Word: It’s A Date!

The correct way to write a date is to use a number without the “st,” “nd,” “rd” or “th” after the number. For instance, you’d say June 27, May 1 or July 4.

If you include a year, separate the day and year with a comma. For example: June 27, 2014. Also use a comma after the year if it is not at the end of a sentence. For example: "We knew that March 10, 2011, was not the correct date."

In addition, use commas to separate the date from the specific day of the week. For instance: “The workshop will be held on Friday, July 11, and again on Friday, July 18.”

Never abbreviate March, April, May, June or July. Do abbreviate the other months if used with a date. Otherwise, spell them out. The proper abbreviations are: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Here are some examples: Jan. 10, Sept. 29, 1919, April 20.

If you do not include a date, do not separate the month and year with a comma: February 1999.

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

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Online Scams - Red Flags to Look For

Online fraud is alive and well. Check out my blog post Job Scams - What to Look for in Online Postings. My friend almost fell for it.

online scams


Image credit: Don Hankins on Flickr "Online Fraud"

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

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Getting Your Voicemail Via Email

There are many features of Avaya Aura Messaging, the system we use for voicemail and unified communication on the NDSU campus, that go well beyond just leaving and retrieving messages.

One feature I have found especially useful when I am out of the office is the ability to get an email and/or text message when someone leaves you a voicemail message. Here's how to set it up.

You can control many of Aura's features by logging in to your account. Just go to and log in with your 5-digit mailbox number (e.g. 17381 for my phone number 231-7381) and your messaging password.

Aura Messaging Notify Me ScreenIf you want to get notifications of your voicemail messages with a call or text message to your mobile phone, you will need to enter your mobile phone number under "Mobile Phone or Pager" on the "General" screen (that's the 1st screen you will see when you log in). Click the "Save" button to save your changes.

Next click the "Notify Me" button in the left-side menu and choose how you would like to be notified. If you choose to receive a text message alerting you to new voicemail messages, you will need to select your wireless carrier.

Email Message for VoicemailIf you choose to be notified through an email message, just select that option and enter your email address. Be sure to check the box for "Include recording" if you want to receive an audio file of your voicemail messages attached to the email alert. Don't forget to click the "Save" button!

That's it! Now you will now when someone leaves you a voicemail message, even if you are out of the office.

This is a feature of the Aura Messaging service which, as far as I know, if only available to those with offices on the NDSU campus.

Bob Bertsch, 701-231-7381

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Send a YouTube Video by Text Message

Someone asked me the other day how to share a YouTube video via text messaging on a smartphone. This is a handy tip for those who work with youth, who frequently view YouTube videos and use text messaging.

First, download the YouTube app through the Google Play Store or App Store- both are free.

Find the video you want on YouTube. Tap the “share” icon in the upper right.













You should get options to share the video through (text) “Messaging” on Android or "Message" on iPhone. Other apps you have downloaded will also be included as sharing options.

send video through test














Sharing options on my son's iPhone:

share from iphone













Android: just add the text recipients name/number and a link to the video will be sent via text.
text on Android














Same with iPhone, just enter the text recipient's name
send text on iphone














The recipient(s) will get the text with the link to the video and be able to view it.

If you need help sharing videos from your phone, please contact me or Web Technology Specialist Bob Bertsch.

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

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Write the Right Word: Rein or Reign

“Rein” and “reign” are more examples of words that sound alike but can’t be used interchangeably.

A reign is the period a ruler is on the throne. It also can refer to authority or rule. For example: “Queen Victoria’s reign lasted from 1837 to 1901.” Or this: “Which sport reigns supreme in the U.S.?”

A rein is a leather strap used to control a horse. It also refers to keeping someone or something under control, or someone receiving or taking control. For example: “The rider shortened the reins before getting on her horse.” Or this: “The board gave the new chief executive officer free rein to make changes in the company.” “The prince seized the reins of power when the king died.”

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

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