Technology Tips

Post date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 10:41am

iPhone Tips You’ll Actually Use

When I first bought my iPhone, I asked the salesman about books or classes that would help me learn how to use it. When he told me that I would figure it out if I played with it, he was right — to an extent. While iPhones are designed to be intuitive, there are lots of tricks and shortcuts that will make using your phone easier and more fun.

I’d like to share some useful tips that help me get the most out of using my iPhone. If you’re new to using an iPhone, they’ll help you too. Here we go!

  • Program your own text shortcuts. I set up my phone so that when I type my initials, the phone auto-corrects to my email address. Big time-saver! To get this feature, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard. Scroll to the bottom and tap Add New Shortcut.
  • Kill your apps to preserve battery life. To “kill” your apps, or shut them down completely so they’re not running in the background, double tap the Home button. All your open apps will appear in a window along the bottom of your screen. Press and hold an app until it starts to wiggle, then tap the minus sign in the upper left-hand corner of the app to shut it down. You’ll notice a marked improvement in your battery life.
  • When you’re playing music and your screen is locked, double-tap the Home button to reveal music controls (volume, skip, rewind).
  • Even if your iPhone doesn’t have Siri, you can still use Voice Controls to perform some basic functions. Hold down the Home Button until you hear a double-beep, then tell the phone what you want. For instance, you can say “Play songs by Bruce Springsteen” or “Call Mom at home”. Ta-da!
  • Lock screen orientation. This was a major annoyance for me when I first got my phone! To lock screen orientation, double-tap the Home button then swipe to the left. Tap the image of the padlock to lock your screen. You’re welcome.
  • Choose domain endings other than .com. The .com shortcut on the keyboard is super-handy, but not all websites end in .com. Next time you open Safari, tap and hold the .com button to see all the domain endings. Now you can navigate to the library’s website ( that much faster!
Tags: iPhone, lifehacks
Post date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 5:23pm

Getting the Most from Firefox

Everyone has a favorite browser, and Firefox is mine. Here are some tricks I use to enhance my Firefox experience:

  • Ctrl + L: To highlight the URL in the address bar
  • Shift + Enter: Magically adds www. and .com to the phrase you’ve typed in the address bar. For example, nytimes into the address bar, then Shift + Enter. Your phrase morphs into and you’re taken to the site.
  • Ctrl + F: Performs a keyword search on a webpage. This trick works in most browsers. It will increase your searching speed dramatically!
  • Ctrl + T: Opens a new tab
  • Ctrl + Tab: Switches among the tabs you have open
  • Ctrl + W: Closes your current tab
  • Shopping for gifts? Or maybe you’re a spy? Use Ctrl + Shift + P to enable private browsing.
Tags: Firefox, internet
Post date: Monday, February 11, 2013 - 5:46pm

The Library on Your Smartphone: There’s an App for That

It’s no secret that the sale of smartphones exceeded the sale of computers last year (read more about this interesting trend here). Because we strive to anticipate the needs of our patrons, the library offers some handy apps for smartphone users:

  • LibAnywhere provides access to your library account and the mobile catalog

  • Overdrive Media Console allows you to check out library eBooks right to your mobile device – a must for folks who like to have some reading material at all times

  • Freading is another eBook service the library uses. The selection of titles on Freading is incredible; this is the place to find beautiful nonfiction and fun books for kids

  • Mango delivers language lessons to your phone, with the option of learning 38 foreign languages

  • OneClickdigital is the library’s eAudiobook partner; you can choose from titles recorded by Recorded Books, which also provides the library with many of our physical audiobooks

  • Zinio gives you access to full-text magazines exactly as they appear in print. Some of the most popular titles are Cosmopolitan, National Geographic and Consumer Reports.

To download these free apps, just visit the app store from your smartphone and search for them by keyword. Questions? Just ask us!

Post date: Monday, January 16, 2012 - 11:33am

Microsoft Office - Quick Access Toolbar


Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 added a new feature, a Quick Access Toolbar.

The toolbar is located in the upper left corner of the screen, next to the icon displaying the program you are using.

Mine looks like this in Microsoft Excel.  

Quick Access Toolbar

You can customize it for each of the Office products individually.  Start by clicking the More arrow at the end of the toolbar.  You’ll see a dropdown menu like this 

To add or remove features from this toolbar just click on the name.  If the name has a checkmark it will appear on your toolbar.  Click again to remove the feature.

If you’re anything like me, you often wonder where you’ve saved a document.  I added a box to display the network path of my document.  Instructions are available at this link.

Happy customizing!

Post date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 1:51pm

Great article on single-purpose web sites - from has a great article on web sites that do what they say:  Need to perform a speed test? Check the security level of your password?  Find your IP address?  This article has a lot of great resources.

Post date: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 2:45pm

Format copied text


If you copy text from the internet or another document and paste it into your document bad things can happen.  The fonts and text colors may not be the same, the background could be a different color, etc.  

A clipboard will appear just below the information you pasted.  Click on the clipboard and select the second option, match destination formatting.  Now your new information is formatted like the rest of your document.  

Keep source formatting

If you regularly copy and paste, you may want to select the last option and set the default Paste option to Match Destination Formatting.

Don’t forget to use footnotes or cite your source if you are copying someone else’s text.  


Post date: Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 9:50am

Revealing word or character count in Microsoft Word

When writing an essay or entering a contest you often need to know you word or character count.  Microsoft Word makes this easy to track.  In Microsoft 2007:

  1. Click on the review tab
  2. Go to the Proofing section
  3. Click on the icon with ABC 123
  4. The Word Count popup box contains the information you seekWord Count Illustration
Post date: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 8:49am

QR codes, or, what are those squares popping up everywhere?


Many people have been wondering about the odd squares appearing in our catalog and on library posters.  These are called QR codes.  If you have a smart phone/mobile device, simply get a QR reader app and scan the code.  You will then be brought to a mobile webpage designed to give you more information.  

QR codes can also encode phone numbers, addresses, URLs, text messages, etc.

You may also generate your own QR codes - one free generator is

The QR code for the library website:

QR code

A link to books by Chris Bohjalian.  The more text you enter when creating your QR code, the denser the code.


You can also scan QR codes in our catalog, click the catalog tab in the left menu, search for anything, scan the QR code in the record and your phone can keep track of call numbers of books so you can search our shelves without using paper.

Tags: QR codes
Post date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 9:47am

Changing the capitalization of text in a document

hAVE YOU EVER TYPED A DOCUMENT IN THE WRONG CASE? or just missed the capitalization at the beginning of a sentence.  Do you need the text in all uppercase or all lowercase?

All these problems can be easily fixed in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint 2007.  On the home tab, navigate to the font section and on the bottom row click the arrow next to the “Aa”.  This will open up the Change Case menu.

If you prefer shortcuts you can use ALT+O+E to open the menu, or highlight your text and use Shift+F3 until the appropriate effect is applied.

Change capitalization

Sentence case  is uppercase at the beginning, all other words lowercase, period at the end.

lowercase has no capital letters


Capitalize Each Word Makes The First Letter Of Each Word Uppercase

tOGGLE cASE is used when you accidently type something with Caps Lock on.  

Thanks to Sara T for submitting this tip.

Post date: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 9:47am

Typing and mouse skills


It’s a great day for learning or practicing your typing and mouse skills.  Here are some great tools to help.


Easiest to get started typing, just click on the link and choose your lesson.

Practice typing by rows on the keyboard

Practice word combinations

After you choose your lesson, do NOT click the free download, wait until you see a Begin Lesson popup, then click the screen.

Do you want to make typing a game?

Letter and words

Words at a time

One letter at a time

Try to line up letter combinations



Learn and practice your mouse skills

Tags: Mouse, Typing