Using Colby Apps: Out-of-Office E-mail Message

Below is a video tutorial on how you can set your out-of-office automated e-mail reply message.

Using Colby Apps: Move Chat List and Label Before Send

This week I thought I would treat you to two Colby Apps E-mail tricks!

  • Moving the Chat List
  • Label Message Before Sending

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Using Colby Apps: Manage Web History Service

Google’s Web History service may offer more relevant search results and recommendations across Google’s products and services should you choose to allow Google to save and use your web search activity for this purpose.

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General Computer Maintenance: Data Storage

How you organize the data on your computer can be very important and warrants special attention. The two big reasons for this are: 1) it can impact your computer’s performance and 2) where you keep the data on your computer can determine if your data is being backed up or not. Here are some general tips for organizing the data on your computer.

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General Computer Maintenance: Power Management

One of the biggest headaches of using a laptop is how frequently you have to plug it in to charge it. Here are some helpful tips for getting the most out of your battery between trips to the wall outlet.

Note: While these tips are mostly geared towards laptop users, some can also be applied to desktop users that want to be more green and consume less power.

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General Computer Maintenance: Memory Issues

How many times have you said to yourself My computer has slowed down! or asked Why do I keep getting this hourglass/spinning wheel? Here are some memory management tips to keep your computer running up to speed.

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Getting to the Desktop from an Application in Windows 7

Back in Windows XP and/or Vista, there was a small icon at the bottom of the page that would return you to the desktop from inside an application. It is has gone missing in Windows 7. So how do you quickly get to the desktop in Windows 7?

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Uploading a PowerPoint File in Moodle

Q: My professor assigned us a PowerPoint presentation to upload to Moodle, but I cannot upload it – it is too big!

A: There are several reasons this might happen. Most often it is because of very large images or multimedia that have been included in the PowerPoint presentation. This is especially true of pictures added without resizing them from digital cameras. To fix this:

For Images:

  1. The best strategy is to resize your pictures before you put them in the PowerPoint presentation. Load you picture into a graphics editor such as PhotoShop and resize the image something close to 400 – 600 pixels wide and 70 -85 dpi.
  2. If you need the images to retain the higher dpi, you can try just resizing the image and leaving the dpi untouched.
  3. If the file is still too large, try compressing your entire PowerPoint presentation into a zip file. Upload that and people can download and unzip it.
  4. If that file is still too large, try “Saving As” a PDF file

If all of these options still fail to reduce your file to a size that can be uploaded, you have two options:

  • Contact your professor and ask them to request a larger file size limit in whatever onlince application (Moodle, Confluence, WordPress) they are using
  • Divide your file into smaller sections or chapters and upload each one individually

For Video and Audio:

  • Use a multimedia editor to compress your multimedia file before you embed it in PowerPoint
  • Break your presentation into smaller sections and upload them separately
  • More help compressing audio and video can be obtained from the LRC Lab  (fourth floor of Lovejoy)


Q: When I paste content directly from WORD, it comes out all garbled and messed up.

A: “What you see” in Word is not always “what you get” in CommonSpot. This is because Word appends numerous “trash”  HTML tags to text that CommonSpot – and some browsers – do not interpret the same way Word does. When this happens, the browser makes a “best guess” at displaying the content, which almost always is NOT what you wanted.

To prevent this:

Say YES When you are asked if you want to clean it first of all the formatting tags that are specific for Microsoft Word.

You can think of the Paste from Word command as a combination the Paste command and the Clean Word Markup command. If the content you copied from Microsoft Word includes images, when you paste it in the Rich Text Editor area you’ll notice that images are replaced by a generic placeholder so that you will not lose track of them and their position. This way you can easily upload and then insert the needed images in the page.

You may lose some of the specific formatting, but you will get clean, editable formats for your web page.


Q: I cannot find a page on my site. I deleted the link to it, so I no longer can find it.


Locate One of Your Own Pages

  1. Click the “Page & Template Management” icon, and select “My Pages”.
  2. Expand your list of pages by clicking the plus [+] symbol next to the “My Pages” item (or the “My Templates” or “My Documents” items).
  3. Click on a page title to locate the specified page.
  4. The selected page appears in the main browser window.
  5. Close or minimize the “My Pages” window in order to work on the selected page.
  6. You can also use the “My Pages” window to select one or more pages to be moved to a different sub-subsite, or to be deleted.

Locate Any Page in Your Subsite

  1. Click on the “Tools & Information” icon
  2. Click on the “Subsite” entry and select your subsite
  3. Select from the “Document Type” listing: CommonSpot Page, Document, etc.
  4. Click “Next”
  5. A list of pages in the subsite will be displayed

Walking the Template Hierarchy

When you are in “Read,” “Edit,” or “Author” mode, the Page and Template Managment menu includes the choice “Template Hierarchy…”, which brings up a large dialog window that

  • lists the templates from which the current page (or template) derives;
  • provides a section that can be expanded to list all pages derived from the current page’s parent template; and,
  • if the current page is itself a template, provides a section that can be expanded to list all pages derived from the current page.

You can navigate to any listed template or page by clicking on the appropriate linked text. By taking this menu choice in a sequence of pages and templates, you can navigate to any page related to the one you started with.