Postings in the ‘Tech Tips & FAQ’s’ Category


Now Available to Students – Microsoft Office 2010/2011

September 26th, 2011 by Lynda S. LaRoche


The newest version of Microsoft Office is now available to students who have purchased either the Windows or Mac version of the DePauw Software Bundle. By completing the Microsoft Office Upgrade Request form, you are authorizing a one-time fee of $9 to be charged to your student account, which covers the cost of making this upgrade available to you. You will need to use your “” account to complete the form. Please allow up to 2 weeks for your upgrade package to be delivered to your U.B. mailbox.

NOTE: If you purchased the DePauw Software Bundle this Fall (2011), you already have the latest version and do not need to complete this form.

Faculty and Staff:

The newest version of Microsoft Office will be available for faculty and staff home use beginning October 3. To pick-up a copy of the upgrade package, you will need to visit the HelpDesk (located on the lower level of the Union Building) and complete a form for tracking purposes. Please remember to bring your DePauw ID (OneCard) with you for identification purposes.

January 11 begins a new way to login to your network drives (P, I & U) – What you need to do!

January 5th, 2011 by Carol L. Smith

Contributed by Lynda LaRocheAssistant Director of Instructional & Learning Services

On Tuesday, January 11, 2011, we will be converting our primary network operating system from Novell Netware eDirectory to Microsoft Active Directory.

The transition will make two key changes to the way everyone accesses their network drives:

On-campus access to network drives (P, I, and U):

Starting the morning of January 11th, you will no longer use the Novell Network Client to connect your network drives (P, I, and U) but will use a new program that we will provide for you. All file data (and permissions to access the files and folders) will remain as it is now, and after the conversion you will continue to use your network drives as usual. There will be a program compatible for both Macintosh and Windows computers.

Access to network drives (P, I, and U) from off-campus:

We will be implementing a web-based secure VPN (virtual private network) connection to enable easier access to network drives from off-campus. The VPN access will become available on January 11, and and will be retired.

How to access your network drives after January 11:

The following provides important  instructions about what you need to do to prepare for the transition and how to set up your computer to log in to the network (P, I, and U) or use the VPN on/after January 11.


PDF Anything!

December 1st, 2009 by Carol L. Smith
Using PDF995

Contributed by Courtney Hime ’09 and Emily Riggs ’11

The wait for large file downloads is now over! The HelpDesk Downloads page offers a quick and easy way to convert any document into a PDF file. Why is it beneficial to convert a document to a PDF? PDF stands for portable document format. Saving a document as a PDF file embeds all the formatting of your original file in a new document that can be read by anyone who has a copy of Adobe Reader, a free application also available through the HelpDesk Downloads page. As long as your viewers have a current version of Adobe Reader, they will be able to see exactly what you sent them whether or not they have the software with which you created the original document. Therefore, if you’ve created a document in MS Word, but your colleague or friend does not have MS Word, sharing it as a PDF file allows them to view the document. Or, perhaps your document uses a fancy font that isn’t on your recipients’ computers. Because the font is embedded in the PDF file, they can see what the document actually looks like.

Converting larger files to PDF (such as ones including images and graphics), provides another benefit. Converting these documents to PDF condenses the file size and makes them easier to transmit via e-mail. This not only allows for faster exchanges over the internet, but also saves memory on your computer.

The HelpDesk recommends downloading PDF995, which is a freeware tool that facilitates this conversion. The converter is downloaded as a print driver, so you can convert to PDF directly from your print menu dialog box. The video below gives instructions on how to download and use the converter.

Installing and using PDF995 (2.5MB – requires Flash player)

“Save as PDF” in Microsoft Office 2007

Contributed by David Diedriech, Instructional & Learning Services

Another option for saving PDF files exists for users of Office 2007. Microsoft supplies an add-in that allows you to save Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as PDF’s. In order to install this add-in, you will need to download it from Microsoft’s website. You can find it at Once you have downloaded and installed the add-in, you can save any Office document as a PDF by clicking on the Office button in the upper left, scrolling down to Save As, and then selecting “Save as PDF or XPS” from the menu.

Please note: when the Save As dialog box appears, be sure to click on the down arrow next to Save As Type and select PDF.

Remember: Daylight Saving Time Ends November 1, 2009

October 30th, 2009 by Carol L. Smith

Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 1st at 2:00 am and returns to Standard Time.

Remember to turn your clocks back one hour!

Also – Check your computer’s time zone:
Make sure the time zone on your computer or laptop to Eastern Time. Once set on Eastern Time, the computer will then automatically adjust its clock for Daylight Saving Time each spring and fall.

Instructions about how to set the Time Zone in Windows and MacOS are available at

If you’re interested in more information about Daylight Savings Time, check out About Daylight Saving Time at

Campus Telephone Reference Guide is now available online

June 12th, 2009 by Carol L. Smith

A reference guide to using the telephones in campus offices is now available online at

Check it out!

The best ways to back up your computer

May 9th, 2009 by Carol L. Smith

With papers and project piling up, now is not the time of the semester to chance your computer’s hard drive failing. The best way to make sure that you don’t lose important information is to backup your computer by placing a duplicate copy of your data onto a secondary medium. But with the number of options for computer back-up growing as quickly as the number of assignments you still have to complete, finding the best option might seem too daunting.

Fortunately, the START – Student Technology Assessment Resources and Technology – team has put together a list of the possible options for backing up your computer – as well as pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision.

External hard drives – These offer a relatively inexpensive way to back up your information and many of them come with prepackaged backup software to make the backup process easier. Recently, these hard drives have also become much smaller and more portable – making them an appealing option. They aren’t fool-proof, though. You have to remember to manually use it as a backup if you don’t always have it plugged into your computer and, much like your laptop’s hard drive, they can fail due to wear and tear. If used frequently, external hard drives last for three to five years.

Online file storage – Storing files online using sites like, and is similar to utilizing your network P: drive. These sites are usually free or inexpensive and can allow for files to be shared from computer to computer. Storing your files and documents online also means that your information is easily accessible from most computers without carrying much else around. However, most sites do not offer much memory space and some will only allow you to back up word documents, not music or pictures. And, in terms of speed, the backup process is only as fast as your network connection.

USB Flash drives – Flash drives, like those manufactured by SanDisk, are another popular method of saving information. They are very portable and have become much less expensive over the years. Some of them now even come with backup software. While they can be convenient, they often are not equipped with much memory space for large amount of material. The size, which makes them portable, also makes them easy to misplace or lose.

CDs and DVDs – These are often forgotten as methods of saving information, but they are a cheap and quick alternative to making extra copies of important files. While they may work well for immediate saving of one or two things, they typically do not have a lot of memory space. In order to update the information saved on a disk, you will need to purchase rewritable disks – which may be harder to find.

For more information about backing up your computer effectively, as well as other great tech tips, check out the Healthy Computing Web site online: The site contains tons of information and tips about how to use technology effectively at DePauw.

Easy ways to manage your email

May 1st, 2009 by Carol L. Smith

As the semester draws to a close, it’s more than likely that your email inbox is piling up with more information and emails than you can handle. However, not more than ever is the time when email maintenance is needed. An important thing to remember about DePauw’s email network is that the more email in the system, the slower the system will run. Being proactive with managing your inbox can help negate the slowness you may experience with Novell. Here are a few easy ways to keep your inbox under control.

Keep your Inbox clear. Your email will work faster if the Inbox has fewer messages in it. To maintain your inbox, it’s a good idea to set aside time in the day to deal with your email messages. If a message can be dealt with in a few minutes, do it and get it out of your inbox. You can also use other folders to organize messages. Keeping your email inbox clear will make it easier for you to find messages and you will likely be less overwhelmed about the amount of pending email that needs attention.

Empty the trash and sent items folders regularly. It’s not enough to just delete your emails because all items in your trash still take up the 50 MB of space that students receive. The system removes items older than 15 days old from trash automatically, but you can empty it more often if you have a lot of email that you delete. Sent items are easy to overlook, but they also take up space and are not as necessary to hold onto.

Unsubscribe to list services that you don’t use. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time to offer up your email address to get that extra discount at Barnes and Noble, but it’s likely that you probably don’t need to get weekly reminders anymore. It’s likely that everyone has subscribed to something at one point or another, but at some point, the messages have stopped being read and are now just deleted automatically. Take the time to read the message and follow the directions to unsubscribe from the list service. Cutting out these messages will drastically decrease the amount of weekly email you have coming through your inbox.

Use a different email service. Obviously your Tigermail account is necessary to function as a DePauw student, but it’s also a good idea to create an off-site email account (GMAIL, YAHOO, HOTMAIL, etc.) for personal or non-DePauw email. This will simplify your DePauw email box and help you separate your personal messages from your professional work messages.

Archive old messages. While there will be email that you will want to store, it’s likely that you do not need to keep this email in your inbox. You can help keep your inbox under the quota limit by archiving older messages.  To leran how to archive mail messages, follow the instructions here.

Firefox search engine add-ins

April 1st, 2009 by Carol L. Smith

Contributed by Courtney Hime ’09

One of the most convenient features of Mozilla Firefox is the search tool bar – located in the upper right hand corner – that enables you to instantly access to a number of other search engines. For most people, Google is the default search engine, but there are several others, like Wikipedia or Amazon, that are nice to have available from one simple location. Most of the default options granted to Firefox users are mainstream search engines, but often, DePauw students need to access several research resources to complete their course work at DePauw. To help student reduce their time search for search engines DePauw’s librarians have worked to help DePauw students access to several commonly used databases that could prove to be helpful during their time at DePauw.

To add these search engines,

1. Go to the DePauw Libraries main page (

2. Select “Subject Guides” under the “Research Help” section.

3. Under the “Featured Guides” section, select the “Firefox Search Engines” guide. This page will list all of the available search engines that can be added to Firefox.

4. Select the search engine you want to add. You will be taken to another page.

5. Click the link of the search engine. A dialogue box will appear asking if you want to add the engine. You can also check to start using the search engine immediately.

6. Click Add. You can check the toolbar to make sure that engine was added correctly.

The library has made several search engines available, from Facebook to the Banner Graphic’s archives. Though there are several, there are five search engines that students will be sure to want to add.

1. DePauw’s library catalog – Get full access to the library’s catalog of books, videos, maps, CD’s, DVD’s, government documents, and physical (paper, microfiche, and microfilm) newspapers, magazines and journals.

2. Academic Search Premier – This search engine is an article database that covers all disciplines, most content from 1980s to today, some from 1920s on. The database contains mostly academic journal articles, with some newspaper and magazine articles.

3. JSTOR – Instead of having to navigate through the library’s home page and find the database, students can simply start using it from their home page. When adding this search engine, be sure to add the version that was created by Chris Monaghan.

4. Oxford Reference Online – Instantly search over 100 online dictionaries, encyclopedias and quote books from the Oxford University Press.

5. Google Books – Access Google Books’ database of over seven million books. Though the database doesn’t offer full access to all of their books, there are over one million books that are fully available online. When adding this search engine, select the version created by the Mycroft Project.

There are several Web sites that have add-ins available – indicated by a teal shaded arrow over the search toolbar.

You can click the down arrow and you will find an option enabling you to add the additional search engine add-in.

You can add the ‘DePauw Student and Faculty Directories’ in this way. Just go to and add the search engine by clicking

Navigating DePauw’s Network Drives

February 27th, 2009 by Carol L. Smith

Contributed by Courtney Hime with help from Network Administrator Chad Wilson

If you’ve ever logged into Novell, either from your own laptop or a University computer, you’ve noticed that the computer acquires several additional drives after logging in. What you might not know is just how each of those drives works and how they can be utilized to make your life logged into the DePauw network a little bit easier.

To view the additional drives, open My Computer. Students will see at least five additional drives: F:, Y:, Z:, P: and I:.Some people may see more than these five drives because certain departments or areas with which you might be associated may grant you security access to additional drives.

Three of these five basic drives appear because of the way the DePauw Network is set up. For example, the F: drive contains all of the utilities needed to log in and use Novell on your PC. Both the Y and Z drives are search drives.

The remaining two drives are the two that will be used most often by DePauw students and faculty the P: and I: drives.

The P: drive, or personal drive, is intended for personal use. Students can save anything on the P: drive from their computers and it is accessible from any other University computer – as long as you are logged into Novell. The P: drive functions as an additional storage facility for students. The P: drive also enables students with the ability to create and launch their own personal Web sites. For more information about setting up and maintaining a personal Web site, students can visit the Help Desk Web site ( — look for the link to Personal Web Sites).

The I: drive, or instructional drive, is intended to be used by faculty members to help share information with students. Faculty members can request I: drive access for an entire course. If you are enrolled in a course that utilizes the I: drive, opening the drive will display any relevant course information that your professor has put on the network. The I: drive can also be used as a way to turn in homework or share information for group projects. Unlike the P: drive, the I: drive does not have any space limitations.

Even though the network drives have no impact on the usability of your computer, it’s important to maintain your network drives – especially with the fixed space allotted for the P: drive. These drives are not accessible by the average student, but the I: drive can be accessed by the faculty member that set up the course – so make sure anything you save on the drive is acceptable by University standards.

Upgrading to Office 2007

April 2nd, 2008 by

Contributed by David Diedriech, Technical Training Coordinator

You may be aware that Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows last fall. Office 2007 includes significant changes from previous versions, most noticeably a dramatically different user interface. Office 2007 will be the campus standard on Windows computers by Fall 2009.Office 2007 for Windows is already installed on the Dell laptops that First-Year students purchased, and we are now beginning the process to rollout the upgrade to rest of faculty members, staff and students across campus.

Before you upgrade:
We strongly encourage administrative departments to consider upgrading all of their systems at the same time to ensure compatibility and consistency within the department. Administrative department directors should review their office procedures and annual schedule of activities to determine the best time for your office to upgrade.

Faculty members and academic departments should consult with their academic support assistants and colleagues with whom you routinely share files before upgrading to ensure that you know how to exchange and open documents in case not everyone decides to update at the same time.

To help you make decisions about when to upgrade, we will be offering brief overviews of Office 2007 throughout the rest of the semester. Workshops are scheduled for the following times:
Tuesday, April 8, 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 15, 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 24, 10:00 a.m.
All workshops are scheduled for the computer lab in the lower level of Roy O. West library.

To upgrade:
To have Office 2007 installed on your office computer/laptop, contact the Help Desk to schedule an appointment for a technician to visit your office to perform the installation. Alternatively, if you use a laptop, you can also schedule an appointment to bring it to the Help Desk and have the upgrade installed there. (This process normally takes at least 15 minutes).

This software is also available for all faculty and staff members who use Office as part of their regular DePauw duties to install on their personal home computers. If you wish to obtain a personal installation CD, please visit the Help Desk on the UB lower level and sign a release form.

For more details on Office 2007 please refer to our Office 2007 resources at:

As always, please contact the Help Desk with questions or concerns.