Archive for October, 2009

Online Access to your Files on the Loyola Network

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Loyola faculty and staff are able to store files on Loyola’s network; users have access to a private (U:) drive and some departments may have a shared directory.  You can get to the network from any campus computer; however what if you are off-campus and need to access your files?  With DocXchanger, Loyola users can simply and securely access their files located on Loyola’s network, from any Internet location.  DocXchanger may be accessed via a Web interface or by downloading a Windows client. With this service, users also have the capability to share their files with external (non-Loyola) affiliates.

Note: You will need to have your Loyola user ID set‐up to work with this application; please refer to the DocXchanger Access Instructions or contact the IT HelpDesk for more information.

Keep in mind that DocXchanger only provides access to files stored on Loyola’s network.  If you need remote access to any files or applications on your Loyola desktop computer, you will need to request access to Loyola’s Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Easily Extract Images from a Word Document

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Once an image is included in a Word document, it is embedded as part of the file.  If you would like to use an image that is part of a Word document, luckily there is a quick and easy way to extract and save images from Word.  Saving a Word document as a Web page (from Word 2000 on) will separate the text from images as separate files.   

To save your document as a Web page, select (File > Save as) then choose Other Formats.  From the pull-down menu, next to Save as type:, select (Web page *.htm; *.html), then save.  Two components will be saved; a folder, which will contain the image files along with a separate .htm file. Find the image files you’d like to use and you may delete the rest, since you will still have the original Word document.

Edit your Google Documents Offline

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

You may already be using the online word processor Google Docs to create and store documents online for free, publish them in multiple formats and access them anywhere and anytime you can connect to the Internet. If you are unfamiliar with Google Docs, you can check out a previous Loyola Tech Tip to learn about the benefits of using this fabulous tool. The greatest advantage of using Google Docs is that you can login from any computer to edit your documents. However, if you lose your internet connection and need access to a crucial file, you will be out of luck. That is unless you install Google’s Gears, an open source browser extension that enables Web applications to run offline.

Enabling Google Docs Offline

Once you download and follow the installation instructions from the Gears Home Page , you will be prompted to restart your Web browser. When you reopen your browser, sign into Google Docs and click on the Offline link.

offline.png

You will be prompted with instructions to synchronize your documents. Once your documents are synched, you will notice a green checkmark status indicator next to your user name in the upper right hand corner. The status indicator will turn gray when you are working offline. If you login to Google Docs without an internet connection you will be able to edit any of your word processing documents or view your spreadsheets. At this time, you cannot create new documents when you are working offline. Keep in mind that you’ll need to install Gears on each computer that you would like to sync your Google Docs with (i.e. your laptop and your desktop). You should only enable the Google Docs offline feature on your personal computer, not a shared computer. Gears is also compatible with Google Reader, which enables you to access your Web feeds offline as well.

Further Reading:

Google Gears Help Center

Private Web Browsing

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

When you surf the Internet, your Web browser stores various information from the websites you visit on your local hard drive. While the storage of Web browsing information may be convenient on your personal computer, if you use a shared computer you may not want to leave a trail of all of the websites you visit. An individual that uses a shared computer after you do may view your browsing history and if you didn’t securely log out of your email, online banking, or a shopping website, a malicious user could potentially access one of your accounts.

If you are using one of the computer labs at Loyola, the browsing history is automatically cleared each time you log out. However, if you are using a shared computer elsewhere on campus or other public locations it is a good idea to get in the habit of clearing your browsing history, especially when you access secure data.  The caveat of relying on clearing your browsing history is that you have to remember to do it.

If you use Firefox (3.5 and later), you have the option to activate a Private Browsing feature before you start surfing the Web.  Private Browsing prevents Firefox from retaining information about the sites you have visited on the computer you are using.  To use Private Browsing in Firefox, click on Start Private Browsing from the Tools menu.  Visit Firefox’s Private Browsing page to learn more.  Safari and Internet Explorer 8 also have similar private browsing options.