DigiTip 31: Quickly minimise all your open windows 💥

This is a very quick tip, but hopefully a useful one! There may be occasions where you need to minimise all the open windows and apps on your laptop or desktop screen. Perhaps you are just about to start presenting and want to remove all open windows? Or you may just want to remove all clutter and get back to your desktop?

You can press the Windows key + D to minimise all open apps and windows and will take you back to the desktop. If you want to reopen all windows and apps, just press the same keystrokes again!

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Boost your productivity in MS Teams 💡 

Blogpost by Sioned Llywelyn (Digital Skills Lead) 

As someone who uses Microsoft Teams every day for work, I’ve discovered a collection of useful keyboard shortcuts and tips that have helped me in navigating the platform more efficiently. Whether you’re a staff member jumping from one meeting to the next, or a student using MS Teams to collaborate on projects or attend virtual lectures, these tips should help you to make the most of MS Teams. 

Keyboard ShortcutDescription
Ctrl+Shift+O Turn off your camera 
Ctrl+Shift+M Mute your microphone 
Ctrl+K Create shorter hyperlinks 
Shift+Enter Start a new line in the chatbox without sending the message 
Summary of the key keyboard shortcuts mentioned in this blogpost

Turn off your camera quickly

There are times when you need to quickly turn off your video during a call, it may be that your bandwidth is limited or there are distractions behind you. Quickly toggle your camera on and off by using the Ctrl+Shift+O shortcut. 

Customise your hyperlinks

Instead of cluttering your messages with lengthy URLs, make use of the Ctrl+K shortcut. This shortcut allows you to customise the displayed text for your hyperlink, making your messages more concise!

Mute your microphone

Background noise can also disrupt meetings (I have two dogs that bark whenever someone rings the doorbell, so this is my most-used shortcut!) Use Ctrl+Shift+M to mute and unmute your microphone swiftly. 

Refine your search results

Teams has an useful search functionality, but sometimes it can yield too many results! Make the most of the available filters to refine your search and to save you time.

Start a new line in the chatbox without sending your message

Typing messages in Teams can be tricky, especially when you want to add line breaks without sending the incomplete message. Use Shift+Enter to start a new line in the chatbox without sending the message prematurely.

Make quick decisions with the polling feature

Do you need to gather opinions or make decisions quickly? If you’re looking to create a poll once you’ve started your meeting, Teams offers a built-in polling feature.

Please note: We suggest that you use Vevox, AU’s polling tool, if you’re looking to set up a poll in advance of your online meeting or session.

Mark messages as urgent or important

Do you want to send an important message on Teams and are worried that it will get lost within a stream of messages? To solve this issue, you can mark any messages as urgent or important in MS Teams.

Do you have any other shortcuts or other general tips when you’re using MS Teams? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Share your tips and shortcuts in the box below

DigiTip 27: Save time by setting up recurring meetings in Microsoft Outlook 🔁

Whether you want to schedule weekly catch-ups with colleagues, bi-weekly project meetings, or monthly team meetings, knowing how to set these up using the recurring meetings function in Microsoft Outlook will save you a lot of time!

The below video demonstrates how to set up recurring meetings in the desktop app version of Outlook, but the process for setting these up on MS Teams or the web version of Outlook is very similar.

Once set up, your reoccurring meeting will now appear as a series in your calendar, and if you need to alter any details, you’ll always have the option of altering just a single occurrence or the whole series.

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!

Spark new ideas with Ayoa! 🌟

Blogpost by Shân Saunders (Digital Capabilities and Skills Development Coordinator)

As a visual learner, I work best when I can lay all my ideas out in one place. I used to do this through pen and paper but now, with Ayoa I can do this online! Available both online and as a phone app, Ayoa allows you to create mind maps for free. It is a multilingual service, available in both English and Welsh where you can create as many mind maps as you want to help with multiple different projects or even if there is one plan that you want to split up further.  

Features provided within the app include the ability to begin a mind map from scratch or select from one of the pre-created templates. Within this you have full power over customisable features for example, you can add unlimited branches from your centre title and colour code these according to your project and what makes sense to you! You can also fully edit font and text size as well as the sizes and shapes of each box and change the colour of each branch. If you even decide that a series of ideas and branches need to be a different colour you can change these through the “children” function which will subsequently change all formatting along this branch.  

There are also additional features such as being able to insert emoji reactions to each branch and being able to insert or upload images that may help spark further ideas or reinforce points. You can add notes to certain points to add more information. If you want to share your mind map with others, you can export it as a JPEG and PNG and each mind map that you create will be saved to your Ayoa homepage.

These functions are all available on the free version of Ayoa which is permanently free. There is also a paid version of Ayoa (Ayoa unlimited) which has additional features such as the ability to collaborate live on a mind map as well as share mind maps with others in the app itself. You also gain access to different types of boards including whiteboards and task boards.  

For more information view Ayoa now at: Ayoa – Mind Mapping, Whiteboards & Tasks. Powered by AI.

DigiTip 24: Make using Excel easier by freezing columns and rows 📊

Have you ever worked on a large Excel document where you’ve scrolled down to find a figure, but then you’ve had to scroll back up to the top again to remind yourself of what the headings was for that column?!

There’s an incredibly useful function in Excel that can help with this issue, which enables you to freeze single or multiple rows and columns. You can access this feature within Excel by clicking View > Freeze Panes.

Watch the video below to learn how to freeze columns and rows:

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!

Tips for working on your computer in Welsh

Blogpost by Sioned Llywelyn (Digital Skills Lead)

Happy St David’s Day!

It is extremely important that everyone has the choice to work on their computer in the language they wish. On St David’s Day, I want to share with you some of my favourite tips for making working in Welsh on your computer much more convenient.  

Tip 1: Change your computer language to Welsh

One of the first things you can do is change your computer’s display language. This will change your computer interface and icons like Settings and File Explorer will appear in Welsh.

Follow the following instructions to customize your computer’s display language for Windows PCsMac computers, or if you are on a public computer on the campus of Aberystwyth University.

Additional suggestion: Did you know that you can also customize the display language of your mobile phone? Follow the following instructions for your Android or Apple phones.  

Tip 2: Change the language of specific software to Welsh

If you don’t want to change the language of your computer, there is also an option for you to change the language of certain software, and you can do this in any Microsoft Office programme (e.g. Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.). You have the choice to change the display language and to change your authoring and proof-reading language. Follow the following instructions to learn how to change specific software language.

Tip 3: Using the to bach app

While writing in Welsh, have you ever used the symbols button to find accents or circumflexes for letters? You don’t need to do that anymore!

You can download the to bach software on your work computer from the software centre or on your Personal computer, then hold the Alt Gr key and press the vowel you wish to add a circumflex to it:

Alt Gr + aâ
Alt Gr + eê
Alt Gr + oô
Alt Gr + iî
Alt Gr + yŷ
Alt Gr + wŵ
Alt Gr + uû

Tip 4: Change the proofreading language of your documents

If you haven’t changed the authoring and proofreading language of a particular software (see tip 2), you could modify the proofreading language of individual documents to ensure that spelling errors and simple grammatical errors are highlighted.

Watch the following video to learn how to change the proofreading language of your documents.

Tip 5: Spellcheck your text with Cysill

Cysill is part of the Cysgliad language software package that you can download to your computer. Cysill will allow you to find and correct Welsh errors in your text, and includes an useful thesaurus.

Read DigitalTip 2 where we give you instructions on how to download and use the Cysill app and the online version.

Tip 6: Additional Linguistic Resources

You can also find a plethora of terminology databases online. Here are some of the most popular ones:

In addition to the resources mentioned above, there is extensive information on the Centre for Welsh Services’ webpage on language resources.

Further Support 💬

If you would like to speak to a member of the Digital Skills Team about using your computer in Welsh, and for any help with any of the above suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email (digi@aber.ac.uk), or call by our weekly Digital Skills drop-in sessions in the Hugh Owen Library.

DigiTip 21: Copy and paste content in Word without messing up your formatting 📃

Have you ever copied and pasted content from a webpage or another document into a new Word document and found that it completely messes up your formatting? Luckily, there are additional options outside of the basic pasting option (ctrl+v) which can help solve this!

Start by selecting where you want to paste your content and right-click with your cursor. You’ll then find several additional paste options (the options visible will be based on the type of content that you’ve copied).

Here’s a summary of what the most common 4 paste options will do:

Keep Formatting

This keeps the formatting of the text that you’ve just copied (be it from a webpage, another document, or another source).

Merge Formatting

This option changes the formatting of the text so that it matches the formatting of the text that surrounds it.

Use Destination Styles

This option formats the copied text so that it matches the formatting of the text where you’ve pasted your text

Keep Text Only

This option discards any existing formatting AND any non-text elements you have copied (e.g. images or tables).

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Top tips for Mastering your Schedule 📅

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

Banner with Student Digital Champion

To accompany a blogpost that I published last week on how you can use time management tools to help you master your schedule, I’ve created an infographic (text version below) which summarises some of the key strategies and tools that have worked for me.

Read More

Mastering Your Schedule: A Student’s Guide to Time Management Tools ⌚

Blogpost by Joel Williams (Student Digital Champion)

Banner with Student Digital Champion

As module handbooks are released, work and deadlines can quickly feel overwhelming. In this post, I will show you some of the programs I’ve used to help take back control of my studies, which should aid you when managing your workload.

The first two programs, Microsoft–To-Do & Google Tasks, are relatively comparable and easy to use. However, this does sacrifice some of the features found in more complicated programs like notion.

Microsoft To Do

One of the most accessible programs to integrate into your studies is Microsoft-To-Do; at its most basic, it allows you to create tasks and then group these as needed. However, the reason this is usually my go-to is that you can also use it in conjunction with the Office 365 suite of programs, making it especially useful as the University already provides these (You can download these here).

I’ve found this especially useful during my studies as it shows any emails I’ve flagged, preventing me from forgetting about them. Therefore, I recommend creating an account with your university email, which helps keep it all interconnected. It is available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and as a website.

Google Tasks

Another popular alternative is Google Tasks, which, as I stated earlier, is comparable to Microsoft’s offering. However, I’ve found it helpful because of its integration with Google Assistant, making it especially easy to set reminders and tasks quickly while working on something else.

Additionally, if you prefer using the Google suite of software over Microsoft or work on an Apple device, this program will likely be the best option. It is available on the Google Play Store, Apple App Store; you can access it within Google software on the Internet or as a Chrome plugin.

Other Helpful Programs

There are many alternative programs which can help with scheduling; one of the better-known ones is Notion, whilst it is worth mentioning there is a slight learning curve. However, the elements which make Notion hard to use result from the sheer breadth of options and customisation within the program, allowing you to tailor your own experience.

If you’re looking to plan out group work (but don’t want to use Notion), Microsoft Teams is likely one of your best options. Alongside being able to communicate as a group, you can also create a task tab, which allows you to set tasks to complete together as well as divide up tasks by person if needed.

Creating your own system

The critical aspect of using all of these programs is to find the one which can best integrate into your workflow, making sure that whatever option you choose is assisting, not hindering. For those who would like to view more detailed information about some of these programs, you can find a LinkedIn Learning collection here.

DigiTip 12 – Getting Microsoft Word to Read Aloud to you 🔊

Do you find it easier to proofread a document or an email when you can hear what you’ve written? Luckily, there’s a useful function called Read Aloud that will play back written text as spoken words, and this is available in several Microsoft 365 apps, including Word and Outlook. It can read both Welsh and English text, in addition to several other languages. Watch the video below or follow these instructions: 

  • The first step is to ensure that your text is in the correct proofing language. Highlight the text and select Review 
  • Select Language, and then Set Proofing Language 
  • Select your chosen language and then click OK 
  • Navigate your cursor to the start of the passage you want to read aloud 
  • Select Review and then Read Aloud 
  • You can change the language and the voice of the playback 

To follow our DigiTips, subscribe to our Digital Skills Blog. Or alternatively, you can bookmark this webpage, where a new DigiTip will be added each week!