Tech It Out Tips

Leeward faculty/staff receive tips delivered to their inbox.

September 29, 2015
by Rachael Inake

Gmail drag-and-drop images

In Gmail (and your Google@UH Gmail, too), you can now drag-and-drop images right into the body of your email message so it appears embedded.

  1. Compose a new message.
  2. Drag and drop the image in the body of the message.
  3. By default, it will insert the image as “best fit.” If you want the original size, click on the image and click on “Original size.” Or, if you want to resize the image, click on the image and click and drag on an image handle (square in the corner of the image).


Also, just like how you can hyperlink text in your email message to a website, you can hyperlink the embedded image, too.

  1. Click and drag to highlight the embedded image in your message.
  2. With your image highlighted (selected), click on the link button in the toolbar to insert a link.
  3. In the popup box, type or paste the URL you want to link to in the, “To what URL should this link go to” and click “OK.”


September 28, 2014
by Rachael Inake

Using Word 2013 for your tenure/promo dossier

Attention faculty! To all those tirelessly working on your tenure/promotion dossiers, here are a few tips in putting the final touches on your document once you’re done writing it. Word 2013 (and you’ll find something similar in previous versions of Word, including Mac Word 2011) has features to easily format your document using headings, create an automatic table of contents, and insert automatic page numbers in the footer. Click to watch the three short videos below. (Best viewed in full screen and HD quality – click the play button to play the video, then click the [ ] button in the lower-right corner of the video for full screen, and then click the gear icon in the lower-right corner of the video and choose 720p for HD quality.)

If you have comments or questions, feel free to post them in the comments box below.

Step 1: Format Headings


Step 2: Insert a Table of Contents


Step 3: Insert page numbers in the footer



September 16, 2014
by Rachael Inake

Insert hyperlink

It’s always helpful to insert the direct link to a website you are referring to in an email message. While you could copy/paste the entire URL, sometimes it’s really long and looks messy in your message. Instead, use a select word or words to make linkable.

In this example, I will be using Gmail to compose a message and insert a link.

  1. In your Internet browser, go to the desired website and copy the URL from the address bar at the top.
  2. Log into your Gmail account and compose your message.
  3. Select the word or words you want to make linkable/”clickable”. Then hover your mouse over the formatting toolbar at the bottom and click on the “Insert link” button.
  4. In that popup window, paste the copied URL in the text box. Click on “OK”.
  5. Now the text you selected is hyperlinked.
  6. If you click on it once, you will see the full link appear below in a small popup box with options to “change” or “remove” the link, or click it to test it out. (Note: It won’t show like this with the link in a popup box once you send your message. When the recipient clicks once on the link in the message, it will open the website in his/her browser.)

September 16, 2014
by Rachael Inake

Remove text formatting

Sometimes when you copy/paste text from other websites, the formatting retains. This happens in Laulima, Gmail, Google Docs, Word, and many other sites or programs with text editors. To remove formatting for a “clean” copy/paste job, follow these three steps. In this example, I will show how to remove formatting when you copy/paste into an email message in Gmail.

  1. Compose your message and copy/paste your desired information from another document, website, etc., into your message.copypaste-text
  2. Select the text and click on the “A” button in Gmail to pull up the formatting toolbar, and the “Tx” button to remove formatting on your selected text.
  3. Now the original formatting is stripped out and you can apply your own formatting using the formatting toolbar.

August 15, 2014
by Les

Video and Photography Composition Tips

All of us want to create visually interesting images, whether we’re drawing, painting, photographing, or capturing video.  There are some basic rules that apply to the framing of a shot and especially to images that include people.  You might find these tips interesting when recording your lectures for classes too!

From Nikon USA website

Composition is how you choose to frame the video you’re about to capture; and composition is just as important for video as it is for still photography.

Rule of Thirds
One of the most basic composition rules is the Rule of Thirds. When you look through at your subjects, using Live View on the LCD screen, imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over the scene. Notice where these lines intersect. The rule of thirds suggests that these intersection points are the ideal places to position your subject. Doing so will generally result in a pleasant and balanced composition. Try moving your camera so your subject appears where two of the lines meet. The subject doesn’t have to be directly on the intersection but somewhere close to it. Try a couple of different compositions to find the one you like best.

Establishing Shots, Medium Shots, Close-up Shots
When shooting video, you want to vary the types of shots for a more interesting feel. There are three types of shots that you’ll always see in videos and movies from big Hollywood productions to commercials and even wedding or occasion videos.

The Establishing shots are the wide shots. It allows the viewer to take in the entire scene and as an establishing shot is often the first shot in a scene.

Medium Shots can be of a subject (full length or cropped); or a medium shot can be a tighter shot of a scene, that doesn’t include all of the surroundings that a wide or establishing shot.

Close-up shots are tightly cropped shots showing fine detail. Close-up shots can be of a person’s face, an action occurring that is important to the storyline of your movie or simply a tightly cropped shot that shows details of an object.

Where to Crop or Frame a Shot of a Person
Similarly to still photography, you want to make sure when deciding where to crop for shots that show people, that you do it in a way that will make the final footage look pleasing to the eye. Cropping at major joints should be avoided.

For example, If you’re showing a person full length, you don’t want to accidentally crop them at the ankles. Likewise, for a medium shot, don’t crop a person at the knees. Frame your shot just above your subject’s knees. Lets go for a little bit tighter of a shot now, but don’t crop your subject at the wrist, as the viewer will be left wondering where their hands are. Lastly, when framing a tight close-up of a person, you can actually get away with cropping part of their head, so long as their eyes fall on the top line of your imaginary rule of thirds grid.

What is Headroom?
Headroom is the amount of space above your subject’s head in a frame. Too much space isn’t good, so make sure that you’re only leaving a small amount of airy space above your subject’s head.

August 15, 2014
by Les

Creating Better Videos

If you’ve ever tried to create a video by simply picking up a camera, hitting the record button, and using a stream of consciousness style to tell a story or relay information, you probably already know that’s not the right way to approach any production, whether professional or amateur, simple or complex.

Forethought and planning are critical to successful productions…yes, even to lecture captures.  Below are some tips from Nikon that might be helpful to all of us who create materials, from slideshows and powerpoint presentations, to full videos.

6 Tips for Shooting Better Videos

From Nikon USA website

Follow these six tips for a better movie making experience with your Nikon HDSLR:

1.  Pre-production planning.  A Hollywood movie never begins shooting without all aspects of the film being planned out in the pre-production stage. Take a tip from the pros and plan out the story you want to tell using video. It can be as simple as writing out a shot list (a list of shots you want to capture); a simple outline; the dialog you wish to capture; or it can be more formal, with a script and storyboard (illustrating your movie shot by shot). This way you can keep track of what you’ve shot and what is remaining. This lets you make sure that you don’t forget to capture any important footage when you make your video.

2.  Capture a variety of shots. Telling a story will be more interesting if you’re capturing a variety of shots. The best videos are made of short clips edited together. In the film world the wide angle shot is known as the Establishing Shot and it shows the overall scene. Medium shots often include one or more subjects. Close-up shots can be cropped at the head and shoulders like a portrait, or an extreme close-up of only a part of a person or subject.

3.  Break up the monotony by moving the camera’s position. Just like its good to vary the composition of your movie with wide, medium and close-up shots, its also good to move the camera’s position if possible. Don’t shoot everything at eye-level from a standing position. Look for creative angles, low to the ground or from a high vantage point. These will make your movie more interesting for your viewers.

4.  Pad your shots. This means shooting a little extra footage before your action begins and letting the camera record a little bit extra after the action ends. Doing so will make it easier for you to edit your movie together, because you’ve got extra frames to edit around.

5.  Limit your camera motion. Too many zooms (in and out) or pans (from side to side) can be distracting to the viewer; ruining an otherwise good story. Less is more in this case.

6.  Shoot lots of stills. Still images can be incorporated into your movie as part of multimedia storytelling.

May 14, 2014
by Rachael Inake

Google Sites embedded in Laulima

For the Leeward CC folks who use Google Sites as modules to embed in their Laulima Sites using the Web Content tool, you might’ve noticed that it’s blocked and only displays a blank, white page. We were recently informed that this is due to a new security feature. There is a solution to fix this.

To allow your Google Site to be shown in Laulima:

  1. Go to your Google Site.
  2. Once you’re in the site, click on the settings / gear button in the top-right corner and click on “Manage Site”.
  3. You should be on the “General” page. Scroll down until you see “Security”.
  4. Checkmark, “Allow embedding of your sites in other sites” (as shown below).
  5. Don’t forget to click the orange “Save” button at the top of the page.

While you’re in the settings just above the “Security” section, there is a section called, “Mobile”. If you want your site to adjust to mobile devices when students view the site on a mobile device, you can also checkmark, “Automatically adjust site to mobile phones”. Don’t forget to click “Save”.

May 14, 2014
by Rachael Inake

Gmail desktop notifications

There is a feature in Gmail to enable desktop notifications. Desktop notifications alert you of new chat and email messages that come in by a popup window in the lower right corner of your screen, as shown below.


Desktop notifications are enabled by default, but for me it wasn’t, so to enable it, go to your Gmail settings by clicking on the grey gear button near the top-right corner of your Gmail screen and click on “Settings”. On that “General” tab, scroll down until you see “Desktop Notifications” (as shown below) and click on the link that says, “Click here to enable desktop notifications for University of Hawaii Mail.”


February 8, 2014
by Rachael Inake

How to import your class roster into Gmail Contacts

It’s handy to have your students’ email addresses in your Gmail Contacts and organized into groups for each of your classes for easy retrieval. With this trick in Excel, you can take your class rosters from MyUH Portal, format it in Excel with their first name, last name, and email address, and import it into your Gmail Contacts as a group for each of your classes. Now you’ll be able to send emails by typing in the name of the group (class) or student’s name and it will automatically insert their email address(es). Watch this short video below to learn how to do this.

Note: You can also remove their middle initial by inserting two empty columns (instead of one) and delimiting by “comma” and “space” which will separate their first name and middle initial into two separate columns. Then, delete the column that has their middle initial before saving and importing into Contacts. Caution: If a student has multiple first or last names with spaces between them, remove the space(s) until after you split the names, otherwise it will split each name into a column.

If you’re interested in learning more about Gmail, consider registering for the “Using Gmail Like a Pro” workshop this month.

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