When Microsoft created the Ribbon for Word, it was based on the concept of placing more options in the front of the user. Most of the options are now more readily available with only one click.
Unfortunately, the AutoCorrect option was buried fairly deep into the menus, requiring several clicks to bring up the Dialog box.
What we’d like to do is add a shortcut to the Quick Access Toolbar so AutoCorrect is quickly available with one click.
Start by going to the Quick Access Toolbar, clicking so the menu appears. On the menu, select More Commands.
When the customize Ribbon dialog box appears, Click the Show Commands From box and select Commands Not in the Ribbon.
This will show all the command that are NOT on the Ribbon alphabetically in the left box and the command in the Quick Access Toolbar in the right box.
Scroll down to find the AutoCorrect Option – It will be the one with Lighting Bolt icon.
Click the Add button to place the AutoCorrect command in the Quick Access Toolbar. Then click OK.
The AutoCorrect button with icon has been added to the Quick Access Toolbar
AutoCorrect is now only a click away. You can see the steps in the video below.
I will confess that I am a lazy person. I really should say that I’m always looking for an easier or faster way to accomplish tasks. When I have a repetitive task that may be complex, I eventually begin investigating ways to avoid the task. Enter Word automation or Word Macros.
Working with students, either with special needs or non-special needs, they have identified many of the tasks that they might automate. A few simple skills can go a long way to improving a students’ writing experience. Reducing the number of keystrokes or mouse clicks can simplify life.
A simple form of automating Word is the Autocorrect feature to replace frequently used words or phrases. To simplify the number of keystrokes ( and errors) needed to enter phrases, titles and long strings of repeated text, Autocorrect is a simple solution.
In earlier versions of Office, Autocorrect was fairly easy to access under the Classic Menu. It was located on the Tools drop-down list.
Starting with the Ribbon, accessing Autocorrect has become a multi-click process. First in Word 2016, click the File Tab on the Menu bar (or Press the ALT key then F)
The menu tab with lots of choices will appear. Select Options at the bottom of the list or if you’re selecting using the keyboard, press T.
A dialog box will appear showing the Word Options. Select Proofing.
Select Proofing and AutoCorrect Options will be at the top of the choices.
Select AutoCorrect Options in the Window and the AutoCorrect Dialog box will appear.
Now we simply use the Replace With fields to substitute one character string for another.
In this case, if I’m writing a long piece on folk singer/songwriters who had an impact in the 60’s and 70’s. I writing about Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (Leaving On A Jet Plane) and at some point will misspell his name. So I will choose a few letters to type and have it replaced with his full name. In this case, I’ll use hjd in the Replace field and Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.in the With field.
The video below shows the entire sequence including how it works in Word.
One of the keys to using this is to choose a Replace string with characters that are not normally used.
If you plan to use AutoCorrect frequently, you might consider adding it as a button to the Ribbon. That will be the next topic.
“The question won’t be what devices are connected – it will be what devices are not connected.” Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest
I recently attended a symposium on the Internet of Things (IoT). Depending on how you count, this is either the Second or Third Industrial Revolution or the second part of the information age. Most likely, it is the merger of the industrial and information ages. It will also be disruptive.
The major theme for IoT is Connectivity.
Everything communicates with everything else.
When your thermostat talks with your alarm clock and your alarm clock talks with your coffee pot and the candle stick dances with…. oops, that was another movie. But everything is connected so when you set your alarm clock, the thermostat automatically sets the temperatures and the coffee pot time and orders the driverless car to arrive at the appropriate time. All you need to do is say to Alexa/Siri/Cortana is, “Get me up at 07:00 AM”
When this technology becomes widely available, it will be less expensive than devices that might be just for AT more mainstream.
What does this mean?
It’s a given that the US Population is aging. From 2000 to t2010, the population grew at a faster rate in the older ages than in the younger ages. The over 62’s accounted for over 16% of the population.
With more AT available at a lower cost, the older population will be able to stay in their own homes longer with less physical monitoring needed.
Worried that your aging parents didn’t take their meds today? Their medical bottle will tattle on them – not only will it be able to tell if the cap has been opened but can count the number of pills as well.
Worried about them falling at home and not being able to summon help? Their floors and walls will be able to alert emergency services if they’re sensed not moving or in a strange position. They won’t even have to tell Alexa/Siri/Cortana to call for help.
They’ll also be more mobile, with driverless cars, they won’t have to worry about keeping their driver’s licenses.
There will also be a reduced need for doctor’s visits since wearable technology will be monitoring their vital signs.
It’s going to be a connected world whether we want it or not. For those with special needs, it will be a boon.
Choose a laptop that meets your needs – try the keyboard by typing a short document. In math and science courses, look at either a built in or usb numeric keypad.
For taking Pictures of the board when the lecturer is wiring formulas – a front facing camera (selfies don’t go the lecture review much good).
Look for adequate battery life – will it last through at least two back-to-back lectures without dying?
Number of USB ports – probably at least four
External microphone – most built-in laptop microphones are totally inadequate Digital Recorder
Ease of use – optimally look for single handed operation
Features – Ability to index/bookmark, fast forward, variable speed playback, USB connectability
Size – portability and weight can be a huge factor if you’re also carrying a tome of books
Need for external microphone – test it in a classroom environment to see if it’s necessary. It might also be possible to have the recorder place with the lecturer or closer to the podium.
Review the different models – at the high end, you might not need the Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity
Here’s a comparison sheet for the different Livescribe models
Ensure you have sufficient quantities of either purchased or printed Livescribe paper.
Make a habit of keeping your pen charged.
If you’re taking notes, a keyboard is a must.
Be familiar with the operating system and keyboard shortcuts
Make a habit of keeping your tablet charged.
If you plan to use the tablet to record, test it,
Make sure you have a front facing camera
Know how to backup to your preferred system, whether it’s the cloud or another device.
If you’re using a touchscreen, make sure you have stylus pen
Have the appropriate apps loaded and up-to-date
Be familiar with their usage
If recording, check to see if an external microphone is needed
Make a habit of keeping your smartphone charged
Know how to use the front facing feature of the camera
Know how to offload your recording/notes – smartphones have a limited amount of storage
Simple paper – if you use a spiral bound notebook for different classes, ensure that you have the correct one with you. As a personal preference, I prefer three hole punch paper. This permits me to also place any handout received along with the class notes.
For copying and writing math formulas, I find that unlined paper works best. If you are creating a mindmap, you definitely want unlined or at least a graph type paper.
Write only on one side when taking notes. If when reviewing the notes there are additional annotations, they can be made on the blank side of the turned sheet. It’s possible to overlook material written on the back of a sheet when reviewing
Number each page – sequence is important.
If using a pen, ensure that the ink won’t smear or smudge as you write
Develop a system for taking notes. As obvious as it seems, make sure electronics are charged or the batteries are fresh. Just in case, have a charger with you and get a seat near an electrical outlet. In older classrooms, plugs may be at a premium so having your own plug you can share with others. Oh, and make sure they’re TURNED ON when the lecture starts.
Be proficient with the software or device(s) you’re using. Practice in a non-threatening environment, using your camera, digital recorder
Then review the topic the instructor is covering that day. If you’re outlining, a pre-prepared topic sheet with plenty of blank space will allow you take adequate notes. If the instructor hands out a topic sheet at the beginning of class, use that for your basic outline.
If you’re creating a visual map, you can follow the same steps as the outline; review the material beforehand and use any written materials the instructor may provide as a guide for your map.
Listen and condense what the instructor is saying – Don’t attempt to write everything verbatim
Use special abbreviations for terms that will help you speed up the physical note taking process. If you’re using a word processor, learn how to use autocorrect to expand repeated expressions. If you’re not using a word processor – look for an app that has the same functionality.
Stick to keywords and very short sentences
If taking an academic class, look for key phrases
Sit up front so if there are formulas or solutions written on the board, you can get a clear picture with whatever camera device you’re using. It will also improve the audio quality if you’re recording the lecture.