Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ohio Digital Library Dyslexic font option

The Ohio Digital Library (OverDrive) has launched an new settings option, Dyslexic font.  To turn on the Dyslexic font go to the Ohio Digital Library at http://www.ohioebooks.org and sign in to your account.  On the account Settings page, users have the option to enable the “Dyslexic font,” which is designed with a heavy-weighted bottom to increase readability for users with dyslexia. Turning on this setting will update all text at the site to the dyslexic font.

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Click on your account to locate the settings option
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Scroll down to locate the Dyslexic font option
  5. Click to turn it off and/or on

Dyslexic font

See it in action

dyslexic-font1

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Keyboard Shortcuts: Alt + Tab and Ctrl + Tab

Today’s shortcuts are great for those of us who 1) don’t want to take our hands off the keyboard to use the mouse or touchpad, and 2) have a lot of things open at the same time. Or in my case, have so many things open that taking my hands away from the keyboard to navigate between all of them would slow me down. And now that I think about it, it’s great for when you have a limited number of things open that you want to toggle between often.

I’m not sure when or how it happened, but I always have a million things open. Probably when a fast laptop happened to be on sale when I needed a new one and so I got a computer that could handle having a million things open and running at once. For instance, I pretty much always have two Internet browsers open with 2-6 tabs open in each, as well as something playing music or video, and a Word file or two. Oh, and it’s not uncommon for me to also have PowerPoint and photo editing software (typically Paint, GIMP, or both) open along with all of that.

Now, the way most people would move between all of these open windows and tabs is point and click—they would use the mouse to move the cursor to what they wanted to open and then click. This is how I do it a lot of the time myself, but I also use keyboard shortcuts to move between open software and open tabs online. Here’s how moving between open windows works in Windows 8.1. (The keyboard shortcut is the same in Windows 7, buy it looks a little different.)

open windows labeled

On my taskbar, you can tell which programs I have open because they have a square around them. Looking at the taskbar above, at the far left is the Windows button and next to it is a start button replacement I use called Pokki. Neither is open, but the next icon, the Internet browser Firefox, is open, which I know because it does have the outline around it. So does the File Explorer icon that comes next, but not the calculator after that. The other open windows are: Chrome, Windows Media Player, Word, PowerPoint, GIMP, and Paint. Let’s say I’m checking my email on Firefox when I open an email from a coworker I need to give my full attention, so I want to stop the video I’ve got playing. If I type Alt and Tab at the same time, this menu pops up on my screen.

menu

The icons on the menu represent the currently open windows (as well as the Desktop at the end) and they are organized by most recently used. So, in this case Firefox is on the far left and when I typed Alt + Tab, the second tab, Paint, gets highlighted. If I release the keys, Paint is the window that will appear on my screen. But I don’t want to use Paint, I want to get to Windows Media Player, which is the fifth icon. So, while I continue holding down Alt, I release and type Tab again. That highlights the next icon on the list, Word. If I type Tab twice more while holding down Alt, I reach Windows Media Player. When I release both keys, Windows Media Player is the active window, and I can pause my video and go back to give my full attention to the very important email from my coworker.

important email

Ahem.

Now, if I’m online and I have multiple tabs open, which is always the case, I can skip through my tabs in two ways. One is to type Ctrl and Tab at the same time to move one tab to the right.

firefox tabs
Hey! Look! The Ohio Digital Library has magazines now!

For instance, I’m looking at the Ohio Digital Library and I want to read the Thomas Hardy book the new Carey Mulligan movie is based on, but I forget the title of the book. If I type Ctrl + Tab, the tab to the right of the Ohio Digital Library, which happens to be Project Gutenberg, opens. If type Ctrl + Tab again, I get to IMDb, a great site for looking up movie information. There I discover the book I’m looking for is Far From the Madding Crowd. Huzzah!

I could have gone straight from the Ohio Digital Library to IMDb by typing Ctrl + 6, because IMDb is the sixth tab from the left. Which of these methods I use generally depends on if I think it will be quicker to count the tabs or just hit Ctrl + Tab until I reach the tab I want. I showed the shortcut using Firefox, but it works the same in Internet Explorer and Chrome

And there are some ways to navigate around all the stuff you have open.

Shelia

Learn Programming with Scratch

Scratch is a free, educational programming language used by millions of people around the world. It’s simple interface allows users to quickly and easily learn computer programming concepts by snapping color coded blocks together and build whatever they want – tell a story, create animations, or build a game to name a few. There is a whole Scratch community where users can explore others’ projects. A helpful “See Inside” feature allows you to exam a project’s code and figure out how it was built.

It’s simple design and easy to use interface have made it an extremely popular way to introduce programming to children. As part of the library’s Summer Reading activities we’ll be offering a few Scratch programs for teens all summer long. We’ll introduce the basics of Scratch, show you how to explore others’ work and then get started on our own creation. The theme for Summer Reading this year is Every Hero Has a Story – we’ll use Scratch to make our own hero and tell his/her story. Visit the Library’s Events page to see dates, times, and locations for this program.

If you are not a teen or can’t make it to the program no big deal! We have plenty of materials about how to use Scratch for checkout; or you can just visit the site, click the “Create” button and start your programming adventure.