As global communication expands, it becomes increasingly necessary for us to type characters that are not on the traditional American keyboard. Have you ever wondered how to add special characters and accents to a documents or e-mail? For instance, you have a colleague named José, but you were unsure of how to add the acute é in an e-mail. If so, the tips below will guide you through the process.
How to type accent marks and special characters on a computer running Windows:
There are two ways to type accent marks and other special characters on a computer running Microsoft Windows. The first is to use ALT+ commands. In order to use these commands, you must have the NumLock function on. You must also use the numeric keypad, often located on the right hand side of the keyboard. These functions can be used in word processing, e-mails, and online. For a comprehensive list of ALT +Ctrl commands, please click here.
The second method of inserting special characters and accents mark is exclusively used in Microsoft Word. By using the CTRL+ shortcuts, you can easily add special characters in your Word documents.
How to type accent marks and special characters on a computer running Mac OS:
Similar to the Crtl+ commands in Windows, on a Mac running OS X, you can use the Option+ commands to type accents and special characters. These commands can be used both online and in word processing. For a comprehensive list of Mac OS X commands, please click here.
Mac users have been having a lot of problems viewing PDF documents in Blackboard and one of the best solutions is to install the Schubert PDF Browser Plug-In. The plug-in is free for educational use and easy to install.
There are different versions of the plug-in depending on your Mac operating system version, so follow our steps below to identify your Mac OS version, download the correct plug-in, install and activate it.
- Identify your Mac OS version.
- Pull down the Apple menu at the upper left corner of your screen and select About This Mac.
- The About This Mac window will display Mac OS X with your operating system version number listed below. Typically this will be 10.6.8 or 10.5.8.
- Download the appropriate version of the PDF Browser Plug-In.
- In Firefox or Safari view: http://www.schubert-it.com/downloads/
- For Mac OS 10.6 you must download PDF Browser Plugin 2.4.2.
- For Mac OS 10.5 you must download PDF Browser Plugin 2.3.2
- Save the download and verify the location this file will be saved to, such as your Desktop or Downloads folder.
- Install the PDF Browser Plug-In.
- Double-click the file you downloaded to mount the PDF Browser Plugin installer disk image.
- Double-click the PDF Browser Plugin.mpkg installer package.
- Click Continue at the Welcome screen.
- Click Continue at the Important Information screen.
- Click Install at the Standard Install screen.
- Enter your SJU user name and password to approve the installation.
- Click Close at the Successful Installation screen.
- If Firefox or Safari is still open, quit and relaunch it.
- Activate the PDF Browser Plug-In License.
- View the web page that has an embedded PDF file, such as your BlackBoard course documents or an SJU page with links to documents and forms.
- Click the button for Educational use only and click OK.
- Click OK at the message regarding non-commercial use.
- The upper edge of the PDF window has clickable buttons to save, print, advance through pages, rotate and so on. If you position your cursor over a button, a small text box will pop up and display the button’s function.
In most technology classrooms on campus, at the podium, students and faculty have the option to connect their personal or university laptops to the projection system. This option to project from a personal laptop is preferable to some faculty because it allows the user to have access to special software and larger files that are on their laptop. Recently some of our Mac users who are running Windows Bootcamp on their laptops encountered a problem when they tried to connect their Mac to the projection system. The VGA video adapter purchased from Apple does not allow users to project from the Windows platform on a newer MacBook or MacBookPro. The easiest solution is to project from the Mac partition. If you must project from Windows, you must get a Cirago Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, which is compatible with Bootcamp and is available to purchase online.
When accessing certain audio files online, there is a problem on the login script on the Windows 7 podium PC’s that results in getting an error in QuickTime. This is important for many of our audio and video files that open with the QuickTime plug-in.
When you try to access audio files, you encounter the following screen:
Below is the solution to the problem:
- Right-click LINK to the audio that you need to access.
- Select “Save Link As…”
- Save the file on your desktop.
- Double-click file and it should open in Windows Media Player.
Attention, Mac users and instructors preparing Blackboard courses! Mac users are having problems viewing embedded PDF files with both Firefox and Apple’s Safari web browsers. Clicking on a PDF file content item gets this error message “A plug-in is needed to display this content. Install plug-in…” Following the link to locate a plug-in will result in a “No suitable plug-ins found” message. The PDF will display correctly inside the browser window for Windows XP and Windows 7 users and certain other Mac web browsers. Information Technology is in the process of working with Blackboard to find a solution for us. In the meantime, please consider using the workaround listed below.
If you have PDF files that are NOT within a Learning Module in your course:
- Navigate to the PDF document link, click the action menu button and click “Edit”.
- Scroll down to the option to “Open in a New Window” and click “YES”.
- Click Submit.
- Now your students using Macs will be able to open the PDF document.
If you have PDF Files that ARE within a Learning Module in your course:
- Enter your Learning Module
- Find the PDF document link and click the action menu button and click “Edit”
- Notice the name of the file
- Click Cancel
- Click “Build Content” and “Create Item”
- Enter appropriate text, such as the name of the file.
- Scroll down to “Attachments.”
- Click “Browse Content Collection”
- Find the PDF file and click “Submit”
- Click “Submit” once again.
- Locate the original PDF document link and delete it.
- Now the students can open the PDF file by clicking the file link inside the content item:
Workarounds for Students:
- View the document in another browser such as Opera or Google Chrome.
- Download a third-party PDF plug-in such as the Schubert PDF Browser Plug-in from Schubert-IT, which is free for educational, non-commercial use.
All new PC’s installed this summer have Windows 7 Installed. The podium computers have been upgraded and are now running Windows 7. If you are new to Windows 7, you might find the following tips helpful.
1. Power on the computer and the monitor.
2. Press Ctrl + Alt. + Del to log on.
3. You will see SJU/username (your username).
4. Type your password.
5. Then click the forward arrow –> or hit the Enter key to log on to the SJU network.
If your username is not listed in Step #3, do the following:
1. Click “Switch User” at the bottom of the screen.
2. Click Other User.
3. Type your username and password. Then click the forward arrow –> or hit the Enter key to log on to the SJU network.
The Skype program sets itself to launch at log-in. If you would like to disable this feature, here is a great shortcut:
- Right-click or control-click the Skype icon in your dock.
- Select “Options”.
- Click “Open at Login” to uncheck it.
SJU’s wireless network utilizes enterprise security protocols that require you to authenticate with a valid SJU username and password. If you return to campus with your iPad and discover that you are unable to get email, it is likely you are not authenticated on sjuwireless, even though the iPad’s wireless network icon may indicate that you successfully reconnected.
Try launching Apple’s Safari web browser to see if you can successfully load any web pages. If loading web pages fails, follow these steps to get reconnected:
- Return to the iPad desktop and launch Settings.
- Tap “Wi-Fi” in the left column and look for sjuwireless in the list below “Choose a Network…”
- Tap the “>” symbol to the right of sjuwireless.
- Tap the “Forget this Network” banner, then click “Forget” to disconnect from the network.
- Tap sjuwireless in the Choose a Network… list, enter your SJU Username and Password and tap Join.
- Tap the Accept button at the Security Certificate prompt.
Head back to the iPad desktop and launch Safari to verify loading a web page works, then try launching Mail. Look for the “Checking for Mail…” message at the bottom of your Inbox or Mailbox window to see the status change to “Updated” with the current date and time.
If Mail still fails to connect to the server, follow these steps to reset your account:
- Return to the iPad desktop and launch Settings.
- Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” in the left column.
- Look in the list of Accounts on the right side and tap on your sju.edu account
- Tap the “Account” banner
- Delete and re-enter your password and tap “Done”to verify your account information. You will receive an alert if your name or password is incorrect.
- Tap “Done” to close the Account window.
Return to the iPad desktop and launch Mail and watch for the “Checking for Mail…” message which may persist for several minutes depending on the amount of mail you have.
Here is another great video from Vodafone Group, PLC, which presents three scenarios a traveler may encounter while using his/her laptop computer on the road along with strategies to make the best of each situation. The moral of the story is this: you don’t have to forgo ergonomic laptop usage best practices just because you are using your laptop away from your perfectly customized workspace.
Things to remember:
- Keep your back straight and don’t slouch forward.
- The bottom of the computer can get very hot! Use your briefcase or a book to protect your lap.
- Keep your arms at a right angle.
- Make use the resources you have a hand: a cushion or pillow to support your lower back, or a book to raise up your laptop.
- Take a 2-3 minute break every 30 minutes to exercise your upper body.
Watch the video.
In the past week, 18 employees of the university have fallen victim to an e-mail based scam often described as “phishing.” The purpose of the scam is to enable Internet spammers to acquire university network account access information, which is then used to send unwanted spam messages to recipients around the world. The scam messages sometimes appear as legitimate requests for information designed to enable Information Technology personnel to address a specific recipient’s need or concern. These messages request user name and password information. When one of our users responds to such a request, the security of the university’s technology resources are compromised, and the account information is used to generate tens of thousands of illegitimate e-mail messages in a relatively short period of time.
The impact of falling victim to one of these scams is extensive. The distribution of many thousands of spam e-mails from the university’s systems significantly slows down the processing of legitimate e-mail traffic. When spam messages emanating from the university are received by other e-mail systems, the recipient sites routinely (and often in an automated fashion) add the university’s systems to “blacklists,” sites from which e-mail messages are unconditionally rejected. In the past week, the university has been blacklisted by numerous organizations, including large Internet providers such as Comcast. Blacklisting has prevented many members of our community from exchanging legitimate e-mail with people and organizations outside of the university. Information Technology personnel have invested dozens of hours identifying compromised accounts, deleting outgoing spam messages as these are identified and working through the process of removing the university’s systems from numerous blacklists.
It is important to remember that the Office of Information Technology will never send out a message asking for anyone’s password via e-mail, over the phone or in person. IT receives many spam/phishing attempts on a daily basis. The Help Desk staff always posts information regarding the latest phishing attempt on the IT Blog located at http:/www.sju.edu/blogs/oit.
If you have already responded to one of these scams, you must immediately change your password from the Forgot Password link in the red login box located at http://my.sju.edu. You should also notify the Help Desk at email@example.com or 610-660-2920 so that IT can determine if your account has been compromised in any way. This is a very serious matter. A single compromised account could jeopardize the security of all SJU members. So we ask that you do your part by keeping your password private.
A good way to know that an e-mail is fake and not from SJU IT is to remember that employees of SJU will never ask you to provide your User Id and Password via email. When the Saint Joseph’s University Help Desk sends out a message to the community, it will come from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The message will also have the SJU Office of Information Technology header at the top and usually contain “IT Alert or IT Outage” in the subject line. There is also a standard Help Desk signature that concludes the IT Alert or IT Outage emails.
Maintaining the security and integrity of the university’s technology resources is a responsibility shared by every member of the community. Your attention to this serious matter is greatly appreciated.
Permission to blog was obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs on March 30, 2011.