Three Productivity Tips for your iPad

At work you may use your iPad for managing email (and various email accounts), taking notes, managing tasks, and doing research. The more I use my iPad, the more I find I want to do things faster with it so I thought you might be in the same situation. Here’s a video with 3 quick tips to help you use your iPad more productively (4:37 min) .

Tip #1: Quickly access special characters on your keyboard

Tap and hold certain characters to reveal other characters underneath.

For example:

Tap and hold Character underneath
, (comma) ‘ (apostrophe)
. (full stop or period) “ (quotation marks)
any vowel, for example “e” variations of that vowel in other languages, for example “é”

If you double tap one of the SHIFT keys (has the outline of a blue arrow on it, on both the left and right sides of the last row of letters on the first keyboard screen), the SHIFT keys turn dark blue. That means anything you subsequently type will be in all capital letters until you turn that off.

Tip #2: In one tap, get to the top of your browser window

Double tap the status bar at the top of your browser window. That will immediately bring you back to the top of that web page.

Tip #3: Lock screen orientation when reading

1. View your open applications (using 4 fingers, swipe from the bottom of your screen upwards, or double tap the home button).

2. Swipe from left to right once to view your Control menu.

3. Turn your iPad to the screen orientation you want, either portrait or landscape mode.

4. Tap the screen lock icon to lock the screen orientation, the last button on the far left, see:

Screen Lock Button on Control Panel

5. Go back to reading (using 4 fingers, swipe from the top of your screen downwards, or double tap the home button).

6. Check that the screen lock icon is now visible at the top right of your iPad screen, see:

Icon To Show Screen Orientation Lock

To unlock screen orientation, do steps 1 to 5 and double-check that the screen lock icon is not visible at the top of your iPad.

Have fun exploring this wonderful device, Susan

Keeping search results at hand while evaluating promising leads

Have you run into this situation before? You search Google to find an answer to something. A few promising leads catch your eye from the many results that you are presented with.

You click on one lead to read more about it and you find yourself clicking deeper into a new web site. Then you decide – nope, this information is not what I need or want at this time. So you hit the back button, thinking it will take you back to that original list of search results.

Hitting the back button takes you back one step only. Oh. You may have gotten sidetracked in that second web site and clicked on a number of links from that site. Either you have to click the back button many times or you give up. Or you redo the search, thinking that would be faster. Your second searching attempt may yield slightly different results and now you have to remember which leads you had already evaluated from your first search. You may not even see the few promising leads that had originally caught your eye. Ugh! Don’t give up, there is an easier way –take advantage of “tabbed browsing” when you do a search.

Tabbed browsing lets you view multiple web pages in one browser window. You can have as many tabs open as you want or as many that can easily fit across the width of your screen (although too many open tabs may mean that you cannot easily read the tab titles). Then you can close one or more tabs as you choose without losing the original information that you had found.

Here’s a demonstration on how to use tabbed browsing on either a laptop or iPad3 (steps are outlined below):

1) 3:32 min video, on my laptop using Chrome as my browser 

2) 3:20 min video, on my iPad3 using Safari as my browser


1. Open a browser and do a Google search on a topic that you need an answer to.

2. Determine which lead you want to read more about.

3. On a laptop, right-click the link to that search result. On an iPad, tap and hold the link.

4. A small menu of options will pop up. On a laptop, left-click on “Open Link in New Tab”. On an iPad, tap the “Open in New Tab” option.

5. Now look near the top of your browser window and you’ll see that a new tab has opened up behind the tab that you are currently viewing. The title of that tab will be the name of the search result that you clicked on. Left-click or tap on the tab title to read more about the search result.

6. When you are done reviewing this new information, close the tab by left-clicking or tapping the small “x” in one of the top corners and you are back to your Google search results.

Happy tabbed browsing! Until next time, Susan

Read new online content without losing the information currently on your screen

Scenario: you’ve found an excellent web page containing links to other web sites that you now want to check out yet you’ve only read part of the content on this web page so far. How can you look at the new links without losing the original content on your screen?

The easiest way to do this is to open a new browsing area when you click on a link which involves two steps.

These two steps work in most web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, on both PC and Mac platforms.

STEP 1: Choose how you want to view the new content and open a new viewing area

  1. To see the new content in a new browser window:
    a) Right-click on the link you want to open and left-click on Open in New Window.
    b) Open a new browser window by pressing CTRL+N (on a PC) and COMMAND+N (on a Mac).
  2. To see the new content in a tabbed window (the new content will open within a new tab within the current window):
    a) Right-click on the link you want to open and left-click on Open in New Tab.
    b) Open a new browser window by pressing CTRL+T (on a PC) and COMMAND+T (on a Mac)

STEP 2: Close the new viewing area once you have finished reading the new content

Press CTRL+W on PC or COMMAND+W on a Mac.

Now you’re back to reading the content that you started from.

Choose how much web content to print (Internet Explorer)

Sometimes you only need a printout of some of the content on a web page or you just want to be environmentally sensitive because you don’t need all of the content in hard copy.

Here are the steps:

  1. To print only part of a web page, select (highlight) the content you want to print. Make sure the content that you have highlighted contains mostly text. For example, highlighting a list of email messages in your inbox will not work with this tip.
  2. Go to the File Menu, select Print (do not click on the printer button on the toolbar).
  3. In the new window that opens, called the Print Dialog Box, look for the heading called Page Range (it should be located near the bottom left corner). Choose the option called “Selection”. Tip: if your printer permits double-sided printing and you know the selected content to print will be more than one-page, select that option now.
  4. Then click Print.

Helping Your Eyes Read Web Content (Internet Explorer)

Here’s the scenario: You are researching content online using Internet Explorer. Some web pages have too much content so you may have to use both the horizontal and vertical scroll bars to read each line. Or your eyes are getting tired. OR the font size is too small.  What options do you have?

Tip #1: Make the web browser window as big as possible

Press the F11 key. Notice all your menus and menu bars will have disappeared. To restore the menus and menu bars, press F11 again.

Tip #2: Resize text on the screen

If your mouse has a scroll wheel: Hold down the CTRL (Control) button on your keyboard and turn the scroll wheel on your mouse either towards you or away from you. The text will enlarge or shrink depending on the direction in which you are spinning the scroll wheel.

If your mouse does not have a scroll wheel: From the View menu, click on Text Size. Click on the desired size. (The dot indicates the one currently selected.)

Reusing Online Content In Your Microsoft Word Documents

This tip will save you time and unnecessary heartache.

Here’s the scenario: You find some content during your web travels that is exactly what you’re looking for. You decide you need to include it in one of your Word documents. After pasting in the content, everything in your Word document looks screwy! What happened?!

Content on the Internet is formatted using Hypertext Markup Language or HTML. HTML formatting is not aligned to match the formatting codes in your Word document. That’s why formatting glitches occur if you simply paste in the online content.

So when you find something online that you want to reuse (see important note below), copy the online content and use the Paste Special command in Word. For the purpose of this quick tip, when I say content, I mean you are copying and pasting text and not pictures.

Here are two ways to use Paste Special in Word:

1)   In older versions of Word, click on the Edit Menu, then select Paste Special, and choose the option called “Unformatted Text”.

2)   In newer versions of Word, like Word 2007 and Word 2010, paste the online content. Look for the little yellow box that appears at the end of your pasted content and click on the box. Select Text Only.  (Word 2010 also allows you to preview your paste.  Here’s an excellent article and video about Paste Preview in Word 2010 ).

Using Paste Special will strip the HTML formatting from the pasted content and the content will align with the formatting codes in your current document. The result may not be exactly the look you were hoping for but now you are all set to take advantage of Microsoft Word’s powerful styles functionality. Stay tuned for information about Using Styles in Word in the next article.

***** IMPORTANT NOTE *****

If you do start reusing content from online places, please reference the original source for that information. Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to make that information available or there may be copyright issues in place.

When I’ve come across useful information in the past and I knew I was going to use it elsewhere, I would include the web address in my reference, whether I added in the reference as a footnote, in a comment box, or in the body of the text using parentheses. If there are copyright issues in place, contact the original author to ask permission to use his or her information before going ahead. You’ll be glad you did.