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To See Or Not To See

Having just bought my first pair of reading glasses, I am newly sympathetic to my students who have asked me how to make the print on their computer screens larger.

I hear you.

Enlarging print (and images) is a function of the “Zoom” command, which on most programs is located under the “View” menu at the top of the screen. Click “Zoom” and select a new magnification from the fly-out menu. Or, if the View menu has separate “Zoom In” and “Zoom Out” choices, click one or the other.

Choosing a setting greater than 100% (Zoom In) will make the content on your screen appear larger. Choosing a setting less than 100% (Zoom Out) will make the content appear smaller.

Some programs also have a zoom slider bar in the lower right hand corner of the window; by clicking the slider and dragging it to the left or to the right, you can change the screen magnification in small increments.

When changing your screen’s magnification, please note that:

  • Increasing the magnification (Zoom In) will typically reduce the amount of overall content on your screen, requiring that you use the vertical and horizontal scroll bars to navigate around the page.
  • Your new screen magnification may or may not stay at that size when you close that program and re-open it later.
  • You will need to change the magnification for each individual program; magnifying your internet browsing screen will not also magnify the content on your Microsoft Word screen.

Please — and this is really really important — do not confuse changing screen magnification with changing font size; these settings can appear to have the same effect but they are vastly different. “Zooming In” is like putting on reading glasses to see fine print. Changing the font size — which will alter the look of the finished document — is like changing to a large-print book.

To see or not to see? See!

Reply vs Reply All

This week I got an email informing me that the power in the building would be off this Sunday from 9:00am until 12:00 noon. Building? What building?

It turns out that the email came from Paul, the facilities manager of the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland. Paul meant to send the email to current students and faculty but, by mistake, sent it to the school’s alumni.

Most of the alumni recipients did what I did: realized the error and deleted the email. No big deal.

Other alumni were less thoughtful. Feeling the need to comment on the error, they hit “Reply All,” sending their responses to all the original recipients. And, ironically, some alumni used the “Reply All” feature to request that everyone stop using the “Reply All” feature. It was madness.

If you don’t understand this madness, let me explain.

  • When you “Reply,” you are sending your response to the person who sent the email to you.
  • When you “Reply All,” you are sending your response to the sender and to all the other recipients of that email. This can be one — or one hundred — additional people.

As a general rule, choose “Reply” when you wish to respond to an email. Only choose “Reply All” when it is appropriate for the other recipients to see your response. Otherwise, your email to “all” will be a real annoyance and will reflect badly on you.

Despite Paul’s error and the excessive alumni responses, I am grateful for a perfect example of poor email etiquette — one that i hope you will avoid. Now you know better!

Unwanted Email: Delete, Spam, or Unsubscribe

What can you do with the many unwanted emails you receive everyday?

You have some choices:

  1. You can READ them and buy everything, join everything, laugh at everything, send money to people who ask for it, and enroll in numerous exciting courses of study.
  2. You can FORWARD them to people you don’t like and make those people as miserable as you are. (Rest assured, they are already getting their own unwanted mail).
  3. You can DELETE them. This will remove the email from your inbox but you might still get another email from that same sender tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…
  4. You can SPAM/JUNK them. By designating an email as spam (or “junk,” depending on your email company), you are sending a message to your email provider that you no longer wish to receive email from that address. (Note: don’t spam emails from your friends who just send you too many not-so-funny jokes, unless you are prepared to miss emails from them that you might actually want!). Spam/Junk works to varying degrees; it often depends on your email service’s commitment to this feature.
  5. You can UNSUBSCRIBE to them. Well, to some of them. If there is a store, an organization, or a club that sends email ads or newsletters that you prefer not to receive, open the email and look for the “unsubscribe” option at the bottom. By clicking this link (and maybe answering a few optional questions about why you are unsubscribing), you are telling the company to stop sending you email. They should honor your request, although it might take a few days. Unfortunately, you cannot unsubscribe to emails that are sent like personal emails.

This ITmail series is one to which you can easily unsubscribe, but I really hope you won’t!

Favorites: One Of My Favorites

Remember how wonderful it was when you got your first phone with speed dial? You entered the numbers of those you called most often and then with only one push of a button, you were dialing the whole number. It was great.

Your computer has a speed dial function as well, for your most frequented websites.

On a Windows computer with Internet Explorer, the “speed-dial” buttons are called “Favorites.” On a Mac computer with Safari, they are called “Bookmarks.” Once you set them up, they offer a one-click trip to the designated website. Awesome.

Suggestions for bookmarked sites:

  • Google (a must!)
  • The Landings Club (you can only bookmark up to the sign-in page, but still worth it)
  • Savannah movie theaters, film times
  • Your bank(s)
  • Your hometown newspaper
  • Your favorite sports team(s)
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Favorite stores

To save a page as a Favorite/Bookmark, go to the site itself (either by typing in the web address or finding the page through Google) and then click on the yellow star (Internet Explorer), the plus sign (Safari), or the red heart (AOL software).

Your Favorites/Bookmarks will appear either across the top of your internet window (toolbar) or in a drop down list (favorite/bookmark menu). If your favorites are visible in a toolbar, you might wish to rename them to take up minimal space (example: “Club” instead of “The Landings Club”).

If you already have your favorite buttons set, you probably don’t know how you’d live without them — although this is a good reminder to clean out the ones you no longer use. If you don’t have any favorite buttons set up, you are missing out. Create one or two and see if you like them. You’ll be back!