Mastering multimedia

Improving your interviewing, writing, and speaking skills,
mastering multimedia, scanning and repairing and organizing photos and adding metadata,
making the most of Word, Gmail, and other software, equipment, and tools

· Mastering multimedia
· Computer security
· Tech tutorials for computer novices
· Microsoft Word, Excel tips and shortcuts
· Tips for using Gmail
· Equipment, software, tools, and tutorials for working in multimedia
~Audio tools and technology
(including Choosing the right microphone)
~Recording phone interviews
~Transcribing tips and transcription software
~Audio editing software and tutorials
~Tutorials for radio
~Scanning and repairing photos
~Organizing and storing photos
~Scanning and indexing magazines and newspapers
~Video production and editing
~Archiving digital media
~File extensions, listed and explained
· Improving your writing, reporting, and speaking skills

Why are topics such as Toastmasters and multimedia training listed here? In today's market, you need to know not only how to write a sentence, develop a narrative, hold the reader's attention, explain complex ideas clearly in plain English, and so forth, but also how to attract people to your work, build a platform, work in multimedia, and so forth. Additional links to improving your sentence-writing craft will be found under Style, grammar, word choice, and pronunciation (editing yourself and others). See also Films, plays, and documentaries

I've included a section on equipment here because for many of us new equipment, while it promises much and often delivers, almost always comes with a new learning curve and a fair degree of anxiety before the equipment is mastered. I remember that day in 1981 when I opened my first computer and burst into tears at the thought of pressing a wrong key and destroying it. There have been many computers since then, and I still get nervous. With multimedia the amount of equipment has proliferated and is taking over my office -- yours, too?
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Transcribing tips and transcription software

• The best automatic transcription tools for journalists (Ren LaForme, Poynter, 11-20-17) "We tested (or tried to test — more on that later) eight of the most popular transcription tools aimed at journalists, including Dragon Dictation, Happy Scribe, oTranscribe, Recordly, Rev, Sonix, Trint and YouTube." Their accuracy rates are low." They found Trint "the best choice for automatic transcription for journalists." Why? Read the story. See how they are all rated for accuracy, timing, cost, and for general comments about differences among them.

As one journalist observed, one advantage of the automated transcription is that the audio and transcription are embedded together, so you can put your cursor on line 20, where X says "not until the cows come home" and hear what's said aloud as you read the words. As another journalist observed, "keep in mind that if you are doing anything confidential, whatever you put on the cloud can be accessed by the government simply by asking the third party running the cloud service; they do not need a court warrant."
Trint is the go-to service for some journalists. One journalist uses Temi, the automated wing of Rev, because he listens to the recordings a few times anyway, and the automated transcripts are good enough to start with--though for his own voice he uses Dragon. Another journalist finds that Temi does a better job than Trint and, while not perfect, is less expensive. She makes edits while reviewing the transcript. Another journalist uses Trint to do the first draft, which he exports to his computer, then makes corrections listening to audio on ExpressScribe, which he can control with a foot pedal (which speeds things up).
• Automatic Transcription Services Compared: Which Should You Use? PopUp Podcasting, Dec. 2017) PopUp Podcasting ran two audio files through several automated transcription services and then rated them. "The leader of the pack is Rev, which isn't really automated transcription" (humans are involved, being underpaid, of course). Jump to individual reviews for Rev, Go Transcribe, trint, Pop Up Archive, Happy Scribe, VoiceBase, Spoken Data, and Sonix, and read the individual reviews after that initial report card.

• Express Scribe transcription software (NCH software, professional audio player software for PC or Mac designed to help transcribe audio recordings--there is a free version and a premium version). Foot-pedal-controlled digital transcription audio player. A typist can install it on their computer and control audio playback using a transcription foot pedal or keyboard (with 'hot' keys).
• AltoEdge's USB Foot Pedal.
• Review of Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 Premium (TechSpective)
• Rev ( Recommended by one medical journalist as "pretty good," and $1 a minute--and good at providing another transcriptionist when you have problems.
• Transcription Tips (National Archives)
• Transcription Center Tips (Smithsonian tips--both general and specific--keep clicking and go deep!)
• Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 1 (Paul Lagasse, Active Voice, 12-9-14) Here he describes how he prepared for an on-site reporting and same-day summary-preparation job at a day-long conference in downtown DC. In Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 2 (12-23-14), Lagasse covers his activities on the day of the conference itself. In Tools and Tips for Rapid Transcription, Part 3 (1-22-15), he discusses the tools and techniques he uses to turn his notes and recordings into a polished final product for the client--two of which are linked to below (FRedit and FileCleaner). Read about all the tools he recommends for editing transcripts, and see his rave review of NCH Software's Express Scribe.
• FRedit (Paul Beverley's powerful scripted global find and replace system, one of a series of his powerful editing macros)
• Editorium's FileCleaner plugin, which "allows you to clean up common typos including superfluous formatting; extraneous spaces, tabs, and returns; and stray punctuation. "FileCleaner cleans up common problems in electronic manuscripts, including multiple spaces, multiple returns, unnecessary tabs, improperly typed ellipses, ells used as ones, and so on. It turns double hyphens into em dashes, and hyphens between numerals into en dashes. It can also remove directly applied font formatting (such as Times 12 point) while retaining styles (such as Heading 1) and character formatting (such as italic and bold), quickly cleaning up those messy documents imported from other word processors or OCR programs."
• Ten top tips for transcribers (Liz Dexter, LibroEditing,
• How to Transcribe An Audio File With Express Scribe (ajiv Poddar, Scribie blog, 5-11-11)
• General Transcription Business Handbook + Style Guide by Christina Routon. (On Amazon you'll find more books on transcription as a business. I have not reviewed any of them.)
• Transcribing oral history interviews (Pat McNees site)
• Indexing and Transcribing Your Interviews (Library of Congress, Veterans History Project)
• Transcription and Editing (U.S. Army Guide to Military History)
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• (Re)defining multimedia journalism: New storytelling forms inspire us (Mindy McAdams, Medium)
• No Fear Guide to Multimedia Skills (Mindy McAdams handout for National Writers Workshop)
• Mastering Multimedia (Ronald A. Yaros, American Journalism Review, Aug/​Sept 2009). It’s not enough to post some text and then simply throw some video into the mix. To keep readers’ attention and enhance the audience’s understanding, it’s critical that each ingredient in a rich multimedia stew is placed precisely where it makes the most sense.
• I'm Ira Glass, Host of This American Life, and This Is How I Work (Andy Orin, Lifehacker, 7-23-14) Great behind-the-scenes detail on how-to, or how-we-do-it, and technology.
• Journalism 2.0 (a digital literacy guide for the information age, Knight Citizen News Network)
• (searchable database of journalism training that meets your needs)
• Vermont Folklife Center Fieldwork and Research Guides
• Location Sound: The Basics and Beyond (Dan Brockett, on Ken Stone site, 10-21-02).
• The Basics (Jay Allison on recording in audio for public radio, Transom Tools)
• Knight Digital Media Center Multimedia Workshop (regular workshops and online tutorials)
• Knight Digital Media Center tutorials (KDMC tutorials on audio, computing, data visualization, Flash, mashups, photography, public records, reporting, social media, video, and Web development), seminar archives (rich in material--browse by year or by topic), and blogs.
• Lifehacker's Step-by-Step Guide to Digitizing Your Life
• PSD Stack (Photoshop tutorials and design resources)
• Tip Sheets: Photojournalism archive (1996-2010) (David Shedden, Poynter Institute)
• There’s Lots of Tech Help, Yes, on the Internet by Azadeh Ensha (NY Times, 12-24-08). A good list of online-help sites.
• Time-Coding Transcripts. This blog from the Audio Transcription Center provides a good argument for going to the extra time and expense of time coding a transcript, using this interesting recording and transcript from the Kentuckiana Digital Library as an example.
• Web 2.0 top tools and resources
• Oral History Tutorial (Matrix, Audio-Tech, somewhat technical -- to help researchers implement several important aspects of audio technology in the field, studio, and research lab)
• Transom Tools (Jeff Towne)
• Introduction to Oral History Manual (Baylor University Institute for Oral History)
• BBC Advanced Audio Tips(for radio, but with applications for personal history interviewing). NEW (for students): Hands on History: A Guide to Oral History (download free PDF). The Hands on History videos appear not to be accessible in U.S. but some of the how-to-build-a-castle type instructions are.
• Family Oral History Using Digital Tools. Technical whiz kid Susan Kitchens reviews equipment and, as a consultant, can help you with technical questions. Of particular use may be this series: From Digital Audio Recording to Audio CD: Part 1 - Audio into Audacity; Part 2: Making minor edits to increase sound level; Part 3: Exporting your recording to a file format that iTunes can use and creating an Audio CD and Part 4 (Dividing the audio into sections based on topics of discussion using Audacity’s Label Tracks, "to come").
• Alpha Geek: How to digitize cassette tapes by Rick Broida (Lifehacker)
• Future Media Concepts (excellent, expensive training in small classes in DC, New York, Philly, Boston, Orlando, Chicago and Irvine, CA)
• Docs in Progress (Silver Spring, MD)
• Knight Digital Media Center (UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, includes Multimedia Storytelling Institute, Data Visualization, Data Driven Maps, Video Storytelling, and so on)
• Multimedia Bootcamp (University of North Carolina School of Journalism)
• Society for News Design (SND)
• News U (Poynter). Among courses offered: Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling
• Online News Association
• Ourmedia (powering change through environmental media)
• Maine Multimedia Workshops
Please let me know of other training opportunities worth listing here (email to pat at patmcnees dot com)

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Equipment, software, and other tools and tutorials for creating multimedia


~Audio tools and technology
(including Choosing the right microphone)
~Recording phone interviews
~Audio editing software and tutorials
~Tutorials for radio
~Scanning, repairing, and organizing photos
~Video production and editing
•’s tools page with equipment reviews and tutorials on how to use the equipment (a showcase and workshop for New Public Radio)
• One Simple Trick To Improve Credibility (Bill Andrews, Discover, 4-18-18) "In all cases, the listeners thought the speakers in the clips with better sound production were more credible, and their topics more interesting. As the paper’s abstract succinctly sums up, “Despite identical content, people evaluated the research and researcher less favorably when the audio quality was low, suggesting that audio quality can influence impressions of science.”
• Glossary of audio terms (Atlantic Technology)
• The Basics (Jay Allison on recording in audio for public radio, Transom Tools)
• The B&H Handheld Digital Audio Recorders Buyer's Guide (Sam Mallery). Some advise going to this website, calling B&H (The Professional's Source 800.606.6969 or 212.444.6615), and letting one of their knowledgeable sales people help you decide what to buy. Another good source of audio gear: BSW (800.426.8434).
• Audio Resources (Mindy McAdams, Journalists' Toolkit)
• CNET product reviews (equipment in many categories) and reviews of freeware (free software downloads for Windows). Or check out reviews at Macworld.
****Digital Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide (Andy Kolovos's excellent list, Vermont Folklife Center). See also his list of list of Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide -- Retired Equipment (mostly analog)
• Portable Digital Recorder Comparison (, fall 2009)
• Pixlr (a watered down version of Photoshop)
• How-to digital media and multimedia tutorials (Advanced Media Institute, UC Berkeley)
• Podcasting: Telling Stories in Sound (Advanced Media Institute, UC Berkeley)
• Why pay for Office and Photoshop when you can get these alternatives for free? (David Nield, Popular Science, 1-30-18)
• An introduction to digital audio recording (Association of Health Care Journalists, 9-28-07)
• How to digitally record and transcribe an interview (Jack Dougherty, 11-12-13)
• Audio In Close Up - Which Lavalier Should I Use? (Dan Brockett, on Ken Stone's Final Cut Pro website, 4-7-08)
• Microphones (B&H)
• Hindenburg Journalist (this links to a 30-day trial for this user-friendly audio editor--audio producing software designed especially for radio, audiobook producers, podcasters, and home users. The Danish manufacturer Nsaka has posted several tutorials here, and Jeff Towne's review on may also be helpful. Oral historian Elisabeth Pozzi-Thanner says, "In those rare cases when I agree to record someones voice long distance, because I really can not get to them in person, I use the oral history audio editing software Hindenburg Journalist."
• How to Find an Audio Recorder That's Right for You, part 1 (Dan Curtis, personal historian). Here's part 2
• How To Choose CD/​DVD Archival Media and Longevity of Recordable CDs and DVDs . Thanks to Dave Morrison ("Nerd in a hurry") for those links. Dave recommends not buying the cheapest blank CDs available. For a few cents more per disc, you can buy a brand that is "made to a higher standard," such as JVC/​Taiyo Yuden.
• Field Recording in the Digital Age and Guide to audio recording equipment (Andy Kolovos, Vermont Folklife Center). See also his list of retired equipment, mostly analog
• Audio technology tutorial (Historical Voices, somewhat technical, not entirely up-to-date, but useful)
• Web Audio: MP3 Streaming (Joshua Barlow's tutorial,
• Switch Audio File Converter Software (convert or compress sound files from one format to another within minutes of downloading)
• Ask Doug: Choosing a Digital Audio Recorder ( Doug Boyd, DigitalOmnium, 12-29-12). A site with many helpful entries.)
• Oral History Association on Technology
• Soundslides (a rapid production tool for still image and audio Web presentations)
• Storycorps (Andrew Shaffer, Oral History Association blog, 11-13-15). The good, the bad, and the ugly about the StoryCorps app.
• Room Acoustics Primer (this one's for listening to music)
• Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes (PDF)
• History of various media (Richard Hess)
• Remote Recording Survival Guide (Tom Lopez,, 6-1-02, on the equipment you'll need if traveling to record at remote locations)
• Recording Highs and Lows (Barrett Golding,
• HOW TO: Convert DVD (VOB) Files to Editable MPEGs (Scott Nadsan, Ensemble Notes, 1-13-11). One of many Tips & Tricks, including, for example, a six-part "crash course" on video conversion.

• Choosing the Right Microphone:An Overview of Popular Short Shotgun, Supercardioid, Hypercardiod and Cardioid Microphones (Dan Brockett, on Ken Stone's Final Cut Pro website, 1-7-08).
• Audio In Close Up - Which Lavalier Should I Use? (Dan Brockett, Ken Stone's Final Cut Pro website, 4-7-08)
• Stereo-Types (Jeff Towne,, on collecting stereo sound)
• What Microphone Do I Get? (Jeff Towne,, 6-11-01)

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People have very different opinions about what works best, and technology is rapidly improving, so read everything here! Can it record both inbound and outgoing calls, are you in control of the audio, is it easy to hit a button and record or do you have to jump through hoops?
• Going Digital (Jordan Raphael, Online Journalism Review 1-12-04)
• Recording Phone Calls and Conversations (Digital Media Law) State and federal wiretapping laws may limit your ability to record telephone calls or in-person conversations (including by recording video that captures sound. Breaking those laws may expose you to risks of criminal prosecution or a civil claim for money damages. Read this before you proceed.
• State Law: Recording (Digital Media Law) Each state has its own wiretapping statute and its own rule on how many parties need to consent to the recording of a phone call or conversation in order to make it lawful. State law also varies on whether or not (and under what circumstances) you are permitted to use recording devices in public meetings and court hearings. See the state-specific information on recording laws.
• Recording Phone Calls (Jeff Towne, Jay Allison,, 2-26-09). The excellent (for National Public Radio) offers advice non-NPR people can use. There are reviews and advice here on Analog Phone Couplers and Hybrids, Digital Hybrids, Cell Phone Taps, Skype and Computer-based Telephony, etc. Not advice for dummies!
• Record Your Own Radio Documentary (a tutorial by producer David Isay, Sound Portraits). An interview guide and an interview list.
• The Easiest Way to Record Phone Interviews? Have the Subject Use an iPhone to Record Themselves ((Neal Augenstein, MediaShift, December 10, 2012--he's talking to journalists, but for high-quality audio on public media)
• Tape-A-Call (Personal historian Wendy Ledger tested some call-recording apps for iPhone and recommends this one, for those who need to record a lot of phone interviews.)
• How to Record a Podcast Using Skype (Doug Kaye and Paul Figgiani, Skype for Interviews, Digital Podcast, 22-minute online video, free) " If you can get both parties using Skype you can create exceptional quality. You can also use Skype out which will give you a telephone quality on one side and broadcast quality on the other side."
• How to Record Skype Conversations: Tools, Resources, Tips (Amit Agarwal, Digital Inspiration 6-7-06)
• Six essentials for recording phone interviews (Science Writer's Handbook)
• Practical Tips for Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings, and Hearings (Digital Media Law)
• How to Record Phone Calls to a Hard Drive Automatically (Alexander Poirier, eHow, 11-5-10)
• Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes (PDF file)
Apps and other tools
• Dynametric telephone and webinar recording equipment
• The Olympus TP-8 telephone recording device (a telephone pick-up microphone, $18.95, records both sides of a conversation). You plug it into the microphone jack on your digital audio recorder, put the earpiece in your ear and press the record button. The microphone in the earpiece picks up both sides of the conversation on either a landline or cell phone.
• Search for "telephone recording device" at Amazon, B&H, and other vendor sites for other options.
• With this free bridge line service, both parties dial the same number and key in an access code and press #9 to record, After the call, FreeConferenceCall emails you a link to the recording, which is available as both a WAV and mp3 file. The recording quality is good (don't know if it is good enough for micromedia). You may wonder, as did (and explains): How Can A Free Conference Call Be Free?
• How To Record Skype Video – Skype Video Call Recording Tools ( online video guide--this is a review of various software options)
• Hindenburg (this audio editing software records Skype calls directly into the software. Call via Skype, record the interview, edit the interview.)
• Free Skype call recorder: http:/​/​​
• Recording Skype calls in video-audio or audio-only with Evaer software (inexpensive--you get better sound if you record audio only)
• (with this app, which you can use on an iPhone, you can record outgoing or incoming calls (stored in the cloud), paying by the minute, and you can get transcription, too (quality varies). Some interviewers don't like losing control of the recording.
• You login, schedule and manage conference calls, can download a call and play it as an mp3.
• Audio Hijack Pro (record any audio from applications like iTunes, Skype, or DVD player
• Esonic One-Touch Mobile Cell Phone Recorder U2 (gets some so-so and negative reviews)
• SuperTintin, another Skype video call recorder (and as described and rated on C/​Net--some negative)
• GoToMeeting (good for recording various types of group conferencing (products: GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining).
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• Hindenburg (radio editing software). See Hindenburg guides
• Hindenburg Journalist (multitrack audio editor designed for podcasters, audio producers and radio journalists, focused on storytelling)
• Editing Audio: Hindenburg vs WaveLab vs Audacity (Linux vs Mac)
• Hindenburg (Jeff Towne, Transom, 10-25-10) Transom "Tools Editor Jeff Towne has been testing some alternatives to ProTools and just test-drove Hindenburg from the Danish Company, Nsaka, and finds it has the advantage of being designed specifically for "us". Jeff says, "It’s built by radio people for making radio stories, podcasts and other documentary-style productions, rather than multi-track music projects. The developers seem intent on keeping the program simple and stable, easy to learn and use, even by non-technical people."And they have a free version. For both Mac and PC. Check it. "-Jay Allison,
• How Hindenburg Journalist Stole My Heart (Rick Coste, Podcaster News, 3-7-15) "You'll see references to Audacity, Garageband, Adobe Audition, Reaper, and a few others. I was a Garageband man myself when it came to the final mix of my shows. Audacity has always been my tool of choice for editing. It's because they were both free when I started out and didn't take too long to master....o what it is it about Hindenburg Journalist that stole my heart? One word… “Organization”....what sealed the deal for me is the fact that it’s geared towards those of us who produce shows focused on narrative....A typical episode that I produce contains twenty audio files or more. These represent the narration, voice artists, music, effects, and show branding files. What Journalist allows me to do is add these files into an organized structure using ‘clipboards’."
"I have used Hindenburg several times to clean the audio track in my video recordings. Does a great job."-Dave Bloom

• Audacity: download for free here (it's a free cross-platform sound editor). (Have old cassette tapes you want to transfer to your computer? You may be able to do so through Audacity, with a line cord connected from a tape player.)
• Audacity Forum
• Audacity tutorials step-by-step instructions for performing common tasks in Audacity
• More Audacity tutorials , as well as Tips

• Switch Audio File Converter Software (convert or compress sound files from one format to another within minutes of downloading)
• (self-paced hands-on learning for software such as Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Final Cut, InDesign, Photoshop, $25 a month) -- a lot of people swear by this site!
• Edit Smarter with Larry Jordan (newsletter and other resources)
• Top Tutorials & Tips (an Audacity wiki).
• Mindy McAdams’ Superfast Guide to Audio Editing (on Audacity), Part 1 (PDF), and here’s Part 2 .
Download them, save them, and print them out.
• Simple guide to editing in Audacity (text with visuals, from Steeple).
• Using Audacity (a multimedia presentation, one of many useful Teacher Training Videos from Russell Stannard (http:/​/​​).
• Digital Editing of Field Audio (Vermont Folklife Center)
• From Digital Audio Recording to Audio CD: Part 1 - Audio into Audacity and Part 2 - Basic Audio Edits (Susan Kitchens, Family Oral History Using Digital Tools)
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• When This Guy Talks, NPR Listens (Paul Farhi, Washington Post, quoting media trainer David Candow about how to come across better in front of a microphone). From Paul Farhi's story about media trainer David Candow ("When This Guy Talks, NPR Listens") Farhi: "In radio, 'the big adjective is a verb'... a single punchy verb can describe someone better than a string of flowery adjectives. For example, Candow recalls a radio story about a 105-year-old woman named Alice. The reporter told her listeners that upon their first encounter, Alice 'flits' into the room. 'Flits!' repeats Candow. That one verb is 'more powerful than any description I can make up.'"
• BBC Tips for Radio News (useful for anyone gathering and editing audio)
• BBC Academy (training and development)
• How Sound: The Back Story to Great Radio Storytelling ( and How Sound's previous iteration was Salt Talk
• BlogTalkRadio 101 (screencast tutorials and live training to help get started as a host)
• Getting Started in Internet Radio (Gerry Michaels, Studmuffin Media)
• Gathering Audio, Part 1 and Part 2: A Practical Guide (Brian Storm, Media Storm). Here's more on audio Mindy McAdams, Journalists' Toolkit)
• After Hurricane Maria, AM radio makes a comeback in Puerto Rico (Ryan Bell, CJR, 4-23-18) “After the hurricane, Puerto Rico’s journalism industry was left in disarray. To cope with the lack of power and poor communication channels on the island, journalists pooled resources and formed reporting collaboratives....Contrary to predictions and global trends in the industry, radio proved itself in this circumstance to be vital....Young people in the under-35 demographic are listening to radio news for the first time in their lives. Radios are at the center of a culture shift. Neighbors sit together drinking coffee and listening to the news.”
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SCANNING and REPAIRING PHOTOS, and adding metadata

See also Organizing photos

Equipment options include the Epson Perfection v600 and other scanners, Kodak scanner, FlipPal (portable). Also useful: Photoshop scanning software. But see articles below.
Tutorials and explanations of how to make a digital file of an old photograph:
• Scanning Basics 101 (Wayne Fulton's wonderfully useful site,, which includes pages such as
~The fundamental concepts of digital images (for print and for video--they're different)
~Pixels, Printers, Video - What's With That? (pixels, bytes, and other explanations)
~Scaling--how to print a different size (printing resolution)
~Printer resolution
~Scanning line art
~Scanning for fax
~Scanning Images in Books/​Magazines/​Newspapers
~Photographic Resolution: How much can we scan?
~Image File Formats - JPG, TIF, PNG, GIF -- Which to use?
~Memory problems (Why is memory size important? What is swapping? What is Virtual Memory?
~What does JPG Quality Losses mean? What are JPG artifacts?
~Menu for the ScanTips site
• Photography basics (sign up for free weekly email, including "Rule of thirds")
~Scanning and Printing Resolution Calculator.
• How to scan and archive your old printed photos (Sharon Profis, Jason Cipriani, C/​Net, 12-20-16)
• Scanning Tips (cj madigan, ShoeboxStories). And, learned from the people at the Florida State Archives: "for personal use, scan at a size that would allow you to create a good 8x10 print if you wanted to. The easy way to remember that is 10 inches x 300 dpi = 3000 pixels on the larger side. Somewhere in your scanning software, it will show the actual pixels that will be generated at various resolutions."
• Kim Hawley of Taylor Specialty Books says, to a group of personal historians: "As someone from the printing side of the aisle, I will tell you that all of your images need to be at least 300 dpi, or they will get flagged during pre-flight. Anything with lower resolution can affect your quality, especially if you plan on enlarging the image later. If your printer is not flagging your low rez files/​pics, then you don't have a conscientious partner who wants to give you a high quality product."
• Digital Photography Resource Guide (Review Lab)
• A Numbering System to Keep Track of Your Digital Photography Tour Pictures (Daniel J. Cox, Corkboard Blog, 1-2-11)
• Adding Descriptions to Digital Photos (Mike Ashenfelder, The Signal, Library of Congress, 10-28-11) Adding a description to a digital photo (also known as photometadata) is analogous to writing on the back of a paper photo. ... At the Library of Congress, we encourage people to add descriptions to photo files as a good archival practice.
• Comparison of metadata editors (a useful Wikipedia page)
• Adding Metadata to Your Digital Images (PDF, Sense of Place Project, Photographic Society of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge)
• Protect Your Images…By Adding Contact and Copyright Metadata to Them (Tiffany Mueller, Light Stalking, 6-3-16)
• The Top 12 Myths about Embedded Metadata (Controlled Interesting information in the counter-myth explanations.
• If You Don’t Add This to the Filename of Your Scanned Photos, You’ll Probably Hate Yourself Later (Curtis Bisel, Scan Your Entire Life)
• What Everybody Ought to Know When Naming Your Scanned Photos – Part 1 (Curtis Bisel, Scan Your Entire Life)
• Learn Photography: A comprehensive beginner's guide (Udemy blog)
• Tips & Tutorials (Digital Photography School)
• JPEG vs. TIFF (Digital Memories, good explanation in a chart)
• The DPI (dots-per-inch) You Should Be Scanning Your Paper Photographs (Curtis Bisel, Scan Your Entire Life,
• Tips for Handling Mold & Mildew Damaged Photographs (Yesteryear Memories)
• ScanCalc (a little helper to calculate image scan resolutions when working with video)
• Storybook Perfect Scanning (Joan Hitchens, Navigating Grief site, good general instructions on scanning for beginners)
• Preparing Stills in PhotoShop for Import into Final Cut Pro (FCP) (Ken Stone).
• Photoshop: 60 Photoshop Tutorials for Photo Touch-Ups (Vandelay's Web & Graphic Design Blog)
• 60 Photoshop Actions for Photo Touch-Ups and Enhancements (Steven Snell, DesignM.AG)
• Photo Organizing Software Review (from - organize, archive, re-size and publicize your digital photos, though I doubt you need such software)
• PDF programs reviewed. Softonic's pages of reviews, listed by frequency of download, of software for creating and reading "portable document format," or PDF, files (which Adobe invented, which preserve the integrity of the pages they capture, yet are viewable and printable on almost any platform).
• Acrobat 9 Tutorials (, which many rely on for guidance)
• Fotosizer (Batch Image resizing made easy)
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Organizing photos

Do read the comments. See also Scanning and repairing photos

• How to Plan a Group Reunion Photo (The Swedish Organizer, Organizing Photos)
• The Best Way to Organize a Lifetime of Photos (Geoffrey A. Fowler, WSJ, 4-21-15) Apple Photos, Adobe Lightroom, Shoebox, Lyve and Mylio put your entire picture library in your pocket
• Upload the Pictures, and Let Google Photos Do the Rest (E. Justin Swanson, Personal Tech, NY Times, 6-3-15)
• Google Photos Review: Why Google Beats Apple at Organizing Your Life’s Memories (Joanna Stern, WSJ, 6-2-15)
• Less is More: Avoiding Photo Overload (Rebecca Robinson, APH blog, 2-11-15)
• Bye Bye, iPhoto: Apple Reboots With Photos for Mac ( Geoffrey A. Fowler, WSJ, 2-5-15) New OSX App Makes a Case to Pony Up for iCloud Storage
• How to Organize Photos (Better Homes and Gardens)
• How Can I Organize Generations of Family Photos? (Walter Glenn, Lifehacker, 10-21-13)
• Digital Photography Super Guide: How to Organize Your Photos (Michael Muchmore, PC Mag, 11-12-12)
• A Beginner’s Guide to Backing Up Photos (Terry Sullivan, NY Times, 1-11-18) If "you’re snapping away without a backup plan for your photos, beware: In an instant, you could lose them all, forever." First, understand "image resolution." Use a combination of hard drives and cloud backup--and how to choose each. Plus tips on how to store, organize, add context.
• Cloud Photo Storage: The Best Ways to Bank Family Pictures (Wilson Rothman, WSJ, 4-22-14) Exploring the Best Options From Dropbox, Flickr, Shutterfly, SmugMug and Google
• Dropbox Alternatives for Agencies and How to Migrate (Wiredrive, a software company)
• Why You Should Always Have More Than One Backup (Melanie Pinola, Lifehacker, 11-16-12)
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Scanning, archiving, and indexing magazines, journals, and newspapers

• A Scanner and a Mission: An Interview with Paul Ford (David Barringer, AIGA, 6-5-07) "Hewlett-Packard made a big fuss about putting 80 years of Time magazine online. It took HP Labs and a consulting team a year to do it, and the online archive is still limited: it provides the text of the articles but not the actual images of the pages. Other periodicals, including magazines like The New Yorker and newspapers like the New York Times, have put their content online but have stopped short of providing reproductions of the very pages as they were laid out in the original print editions....Harper's Magazine, on the other hand, has gone all the way...".associate editor Paul Ford created what he calls "a massive, interlinked, searchable document that provides quick access" to 157 continuous years of Harper's—with illustrations and all. Working alone, without any consulting team and without fuss, Ford has been a man with a plan, a scanner and a lot of patience."
• Rob Dubbin Q&A with Paul Ford (final issue of Wag's Review, Issue 20, Fall 2015) Paul Ford "marched into Harper's and digitized their entire many-thousand-issue back catalogue with what he would later describe to me as 'XSLT, Java, PHP, Perl, scotch tape, and glue.'" Q&A about the process.
• Google Shuts Down Ambitious Newspaper Scanning Project (Search Engine Land, 5-20-11). Basically it's efforts to make the world's newspapers available online for free are ending and it will help newspapers make them available for a charge, is how I read this.
• Thinking of scanning records?(Cardiff University, Governance and Compliance) "Scanning, if undertaken properly, and for the right reasons, can make information more accessible and reduce the amount of physical space taken up by paper records. But it can also have serious cost and legal implications." A checklist and discussion.
• Digitization (Smithsonian Institution Archives). Start on this page to find some good technical info.
• Top 10 Portable Scanners 2016 (, The World's Video Wiki)
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This is an area where you may not know what you don't know. In an article on "Prepping Still Images," on Larry Jordan's Edit Smarter, for example, I learned this: "[I]mages on our computer are not the same as images we see in video. They differ in color space, color sampling, gray scale, bit depth, and, worst of all, the aspect ratio of their respective pixels.

"Computers display all images using square pixels. Almost all video displays an image using rectangular pixels. And converting between these two aspect ratios is going to drive all of us mad — because it seems that no two video formats use the same shape pixel. This means that we need to size images on our computer to compensate for these different aspect ratios."

• Knight Digital Media Center video tutorials, including tutorial on Editing in Final Cut Pro.
•, Learning @​ Your Own Pace (Lynda Weinman's tutorials on tools and techniques in digital media, design, and development), some free, some only by subscription, $25 a month)
• Your Inside Source. Order Larry Jordan's free monthly newsletter to learn about mastering Final Cut Studio and Digital Media. Edit Smarter, Master Final Cut Studio and Digital Media with Larry Jordan. See his helpful Editing Resource Library.
• BBC Academy (BBC's center for training, where you'll find the Colleges of Journalism, Production, Leadership and Technology--many free and online, some commercial.
• Movies at Home: A Guide to Film Editing (Elisandra, Octane Seating, 5-20-17). Great information and lmany useful inks to practical advice and resources on film editing, recommended by Brooke Krueger's Girl Scout troop #2056, which found it helpful in earning their "Digital Movie Maker" badge.
• Video Journalists: More Crews, More Coverage, More Ratings (James Careless. Television Broadcast, or TVB, archive) Video Journalist (VJ) is a "fancy term for a one-man band camera-toting reporter" “Teaching people how to use the camcorder is only 10% of the process,” Michael Rosenblum tells TVB. “90% is psychological. Reporters need to learn that they can shoot their own footage, while camera people and editors need to learn that they can report.” Rosenblum runs a 3-week VJ boot camp.
• Choosing your video biography playback options.
• Ten tips for getting started with 360-video journalism (Nicolas Magand, Global Editors Network,, 2-22-18)
• aero Quartet. This Barcelona firm (of three) specializes in digital video and movie repair and tailored services to save you from digital disasters. I learned of them from someone who recorded a video interview but failed to save it in a file protocol they could recognize or use. The firm "translated" it for them.
• What journalists need to know about interviewing for video (Casey Frechette, Poynter, 2-6-13). See also (same writer and venue) How journalists can improve video stories with shot sequences ( 8-13-12) and What journalists need to know about digital video editing (11-16-12) and 9 key elements that can help journalists be better video storytellers (2-27-12)
• TED film guru gives students tips on filming presentations (TEDEd, 11-25-14)
• Nashville TV station’s surveillance crash story shows how to write to video (Al Tompkins, Poynter, 12-15-11, asks WTVF reporter Nick Beres how he created a compelling video story from an incident for which he had surveillance video but almost no audio).
• Media College (free site, with tutorials and articles on many aspects of audio and video, including tutorials on lighting techniques)
• Videomaker. Many, many articles about audio and video software, video editing hardware, and help with video lighting techniques.
• Video 101 (a/​k/​a/​ Production 101 -- tutorials on the fundamentals of film and video production--including video clips, flash animations, and explanations)
• The Difference Between LCD, LED, Plasma, and OLED TVs, Explained as Fast as Possible (Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker)
• Video University (master the art, techology, and business of video production--articles, forums, guides--and sales of instructional books and CDs)
• Vimeo Video School (lessons, tutorials, and sage advice on how to make better videos)
• Creative Cow video tutorials
• The Basics of Video Editing: The Complete Guide (Adam Dachis, Lifehacker Night School)
• Multimedia Shooter's tutorials
• How to fail at online video (Glen Canning's tongue-in-cheek guide to how to do it wrong)
• Ken Stone's Final Cut Pro resources, including all this on video editing
• Media College Video Camera Tutorials
• Apple tutorials
• Editing Resource Library (Edit Smarter, with Larry Jordan)
• GeniusDV tutorials, including Learning to Use Modifier [shortcut] Keys in Final Cut Pro (
• 2-pop (digital filmmaker's resource site, including forums)
• Strobist (learn how to light your photographs
• Capture analog video using a digital camcorder (
• The DV Show (podcasting the ins and outs of digital video)--looks like you have to pay to see the good stuff.
• Editing for the Web (Thom Lieb, skip ahead to basics on images and sound)
• Edit Smarter (Master Mac's Final Cut Studio and Digital Media with Larry Jordan)
• Family Legacy Video Producer's Guide (CD-ROM)
• The Top 3 Prosumer HD Camcorders Under $2,500 (Dan Curtis, 8-24-11)
• Restoratioon Tips & Notes; Media Formats and Resources (Richard Hess, 2007)
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Archiving digital media

• Dodging the Memory Hole 2017 (Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute) Please join us at Dodging the Memory Hole 2017: Saving Online News on Nov. 15-16 at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco. Speakers, panelists and attendees will explore solutions to the most urgent threat to cultural memory today — the loss of online news content. Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter, sign up for newsletter.

• Hard-core data preservation: The best media and methods for archiving your data (Jon L. Jacobi, PC World, 2-29-16) Daily backup isn’t archiving. If you want your data to survive the decades, you need to use the right tools.
• Personal Archiving: Keeping Personal Digital Video (Digital Preservation, Library of Congress)
• Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video (Yvonne Ng, WITNESS)
• What Activists Need to Know About Video Archiving and Preservation
• Planning to Preserve Video for Human Rights (WITNESS on YouTube)
• Deconstructing Digital Video for Activists (WITNESS on YouTube). What is a video format? A codec? What do 1080 and 720 refer to? What about “i” and “p”?
• What Is Video Metadata? (WITNESS on YouTube). What is video metadata, where can it come from, and how useful (or harmful) is it to activists and their advocacy work?
• What Metadata to Capture Key pieces of contextual information about your video that needs to be captured at the time it is created. This metadata is critical to the video’s authenticity, and to the ability to find, use, and understand the video.
• Take the Social Tech Census: A New Tool to Map the Best Digital Resources for Advocates (Susannah Vila, WITNESS blog, 4-18-12)
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For those of us puzzled by those phrases after the period: doc, mp3, and the like
• Audio file types ( -- an alphabetically organized (by extension) key to compressed and uncompressed audio formats). Here's another such list:
•, a searchable database of thousands of file extensions with detailed information about the associated file types (both compressed and uncompressed). You can use to look up information about unknown file types and find programs that open the files. Along the left you'll find categories of common file types: text files, data files, audio files, 3D image files, raster image files, vector image files, page layout files, spreadsheet files, executable files, game files, CAD files, GIS files, Web files, Plugin files, font files, system files, settings files, encoded files, compressed files, disk image files, developer files, backup files, and misc. files. Who knew?? Subsections of the site (helpful for personal historians, especially) include:
~ Answers to common questions about file extensions
~ Audio File Types (includes compressed and uncompressed audio formats, which contain waveform data that can be played with audio playback software. This category also includes MIDI files, musical scores, and audio project files, which typically do not contain audio data).
~ Video File Types (a wide range of video formats, which use different codecs to encode and compress video data)
~ Software Information (another helpful section of the, with information about popular software programs and a star-rating system to indicate a program's popularity).
~ Page Layout file types
~ Vector Image Files . It sez there: "Vector graphics are made up of paths, rather than individual pixels. These paths can be used to represent lines and shapes within the image. Most vector image formats can also include colors, gradients, and image effects. Since vector graphics store image data as paths, they can be enlarged without losing quality, which makes them a good choice for logos and other types of drawings. Common vector image file extensions include .EPS, .AI, and .SVG. Other image file categories include Raster Graphic and 3D Image files."
• Richard Hess's Media Formats and Resources (tape and magnetic media), Digital Audio resources), and his tips and notes -- pretty technical.
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Improving your writing,
reporting, and speaking skills

Analytical writing for science & technology (T.M. Georges)

Associated Writing Programs

"Basic" plots in literature (Internet Library)

Bulwer-Lytton Contest (craft the worst opening line for a novel)

Choose the right way to tell your story (API)

Conferences, workshops, and other learning places

Design Makeovers (Layers Magazine)

Poynter. Training (Essential Skills for the Digital Journalist, and other training, in person or online). See also Poynter's Syllabus Exchange (encouraging educators to share ideas and teaching materials).

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes (Stephen King's now-classic article, which appeared in The Writer in 1986, reprinted on the Great Writing site).

Joyce Carol Oates on Productivity

Layer Magazine (a how-to magazine for everything Adobe)

Math Test for Journalists (Phil Meyer, UNC-Chapel Hill)

Math Test #2 for Journalists (Stephen Doig, ASU, inspired by Phil Meyer)

Memoir, biography, and personal histories

Mentoring program of ASJA (American Society of Journalists & Authors—an organization of independent nonfiction authors & journalists)

Mind Mapping, Tony Buzan (YouTube video), useful for note-taking, creativity

My Rules of Information (Marylaine Block on how to find the information you need, which may not be on the Internet)

Narrative nonfiction

News University (NU), Poynter’s online training for journalists, inexpensive and often free, with funding from one of the Knight Foundations--check out their excellent lineup of courses!)

No train, no gain
Training for newspaper journalists

Patrick Cassidy's Investigative Reporting links include many pages of excellent practical advice, such as Writing the Project: Using Story Structure to Shape Your Reporting (James Neff, Kiplinger Reporting Program)

Plain English (before-and-after examples from Plain Language website)

The Power of the Opening Sentence (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal)

Poynter Online links to articles on attribution; bylines, credit lines, authorship; corrections; credibility; fact-checking; grammar, spelling, typos; photomanipulation; plagiarism

Rx for Writers (topical index for articles and transcripts on writing for children (Institute for Children's Literature). I am told the newsletter subscription is well worth $20 a year.

Scared Speechless? Join Toastmasters (Washington Post story by Pat McNees)

ShawGuide to Writers Conferences and Workshops

Statistics Every Writer Should Know (Robert Niles)

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction. Inspired by Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, the Guardian asked several authors for their personal dos and don'ts. Read what Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, and AL Kennedy (part 1)and Hilary Mantel, Michael Moorcock, Michael Morpurgo, Andrew Motion, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Zadie Smith, Colm Tσibνn, Rose Tremain, Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson (part 2) have to say.

Thirty tools for writers (Roy Peter Clark)

Tip Sheets: Online & Media (David Shedden's useful links, Poynter Institute)

Tip Sheets: Writing and Editing extremely helpful long list of articles from the Poynter Institute, thanks to David Shedden

Toastmasters International website

Tom Robbins: "My Advice to Writers" (on Alan Rinzler's writing blog)

The Top 100 Freelancer Blogs, many of them about improving your skills (Heather Johnson, Bootstrapper)

When This Guy Talks, NPR Listens (Paul Farhi, Washington Post, quoting media trainer David Candow about how to come across better in front of a microphone)

"Write now is good" (Kristin Gorski's remarkably eclectic blog about words, sweat, and inspiration)--plan to spend some time here!

The Writer (magazine for writers at all levels)

Writers on Writing (the New York Times series) Requires free membership

Writing Tics: Now You See Them, Now You Don't (The Subversive Copy Editor, 7-22-10, an interesting way of framing a common problem)

Writing with Numbers (Journalist's Toolbox links)

Writing workshops (Preditors and Editors’ list and links)

Acoustic Primer (GK Associates). This is really about acoustics for listening to music in a room, not for audiovisual productions, but it may be of interest for those more advanced than I am (a large crowd). on DV, DVCAM & DVCPRO formats . Explore the site and you may find material you can use.

Adobe keyboard shortcuts

Adobe tutorials for Creative Suite (free, Layers Magazine)

Ask Dave Taylor (online tech support about Windows, Mac OS X, iPhones, iPods, Sony PSPs, search engine optimization, online advertising and HTML). Lots of how-to explanations on his site. I also rely on Claude Kerno, or PCTutor, for tech help; he also has an archive of helpful articles.

Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide, Andy Kolovos's list of retired equipment, mostly analog (Vermont Folklife Center). See also his important Digital Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide

The Best Free Software of 2012 (Eric Griffith, PCMagazine, 4-2-12). See also Best free software of 2010 (Eric Griffith, PCMagazine), Best free software of 2009, and Best Free Apps for Your Phone

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Tips, tricks, shortcuts and "macros" for working with Microsoft Word

And why to use InDesign instead of Word for book design
How to find online help when your personal techie is sleeping, on vacation, or otherwise unavailable. Word is a powerful piece of writing software that is commonly used in publishing, but it is NOT considered adequate page-layout software and should not be used to design a book that you want to appear to be professionally published.
• Lyonizing Word: Workflow for Writing (Jack Lyon, An American Editor, 10-16-17) Tools that help authors write without the problems that are almost inevitable when working in Microsoft Word (e.g., inconsistent and meaningless formatting, document corruption, fouled-up footnotes, incorrect AutoCorrect “corrections”).
• Lyonizing Word: Helping Authors Write (Jack Lyon, An American Editor, 2-7-18) How to Restrict Editing in Word.
• FAQs on Suzanne S. Barnhill's Word Tutorial site
• Making the Most of Word (Shauna Kelly)
• Powerful Word Tips, Tricks, and Ideas: https:/​/​​index.html
• (with sections on Microsoft Windows, Word (Word 97-2003), and Word (Word 2007-2016); Excel (Excel 97-2003) and Excel (Excel 2007-2016).
• Microsoft Excel Tips, Tricks, and Ideas!: https:/​/​​index.html
• How to Turn a Style Sheet into a Custom Word Dictionary (Andy Hollandbeck, Copyediting, 2-12-15)
• How to sort lists in Word (Adrienne Montgomerie, Copyediting 8-1-16)
• How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in Word 2007 and Word 2010 (Shauna Kelly) Or How to do same in Word 2003 and earlier versions
• Automate Typing With Word (Adrienne Montgomerie, Copyediting, 11-21-16) Includes rejecting an autocorrection.
• Make a custom tab on Word's ribbon (Adrienne Montgomerie, Copyediting, 11-14-16)
• Shortcuts in Editing (really, 8 shortcuts in Word, from CMS Shoptalk)
• What to do with an edited Word file (Adrienne Montgomerie, Right Angels and Polo Bears). What to do when you get back from an editor a ms. that contains "tracked changes." See also Track changes – how to find it, how to use it (Liz Decker's series on LibroEditing, which includes Customizing Track Changes and Working with Track Changes in a document . Plus QA Trick for File Names (though I'm not sure I get this one!).
• Little Known Word Shortcuts (Adrienne Montgomerie, Copyediting, 9-19-16)
• How to Use "Find" and "Find and Replace" Features in Microsoft Word Documents (three methods, Wikihow). See also Macro tools and editing software for editors and proofreaders (Macros are simple programs that allow you, with one or two keystrokes, to automate tedious search-and-replace tasks and other mind-numbing copyediting chores). See especially Macros for references, citations, footnotes and endnotes.
• 10 Ways to Navigate a Word Document (, 4-28-14)
• Word Tool to Check Document Structure (Adrienne Montgomerie,, 6-8-15)
• Navigating Word by Leaps and Bounds: Part 1 (3-12-12) See also Part 2 and
Part 3.
• Effective Onscreen Editing: new tools for an old profession by Geoff Hart (available electronically or as book from See online: Using Microsoft Word's "track changes" editing feature: a short guide for authors and editors. See also his Track Changes Tips and Tricks in Word (Copyediting, 4-2-15)
• How to find Chinese characters in an MS Word document (Pinyin News. blog of
• Shareable Copy-Paste Character Sets (Dawn McIlvain Stahl, Tech Tip,, 5-28-15)
• How to Insert Symbols in Word (, 6-23-14)
• Three Other Ways to Insert Special Characters in Word (, 12-11-14)
• 5 Ways to Select Text (, 4-21-14)
• Tips for Working with Authors Who Aren't Microsoft Word Experts (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit Blog, 10-2-14). See also Deciphering a Redlined Manuscript (Carol Saller, Chronicle of Higher Education, 1-16-12)
• Download Making Word Work for You: An Editor's Intro to the Tools of the Trade (for up to Word 2003) by Hilary Powers, $10.25, 80 pages, or order the book for slightly more (
• Or Making Word 2010 Work for You (Hilary Powers, EFA, Lulu). "Tames Microsoft Word."
Both help with track changes, macros, styles, templates, and personalizing the program and the screen to meet your needs and taste.
• Table won't flow to second page (Word Tips). That's on Allen Wyatt's Word Tips Or Powerful Word Tips, Tricks, and Ideas or WordRibbon.Tips.Net for users of Word 2007, Word 2010, and Word 2013.
• Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word (U.S. keyboard)
• Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word 7 (this and the next few are courtesy of Claude Kerno)
• Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts
• Windows keyboard shortcuts in OS X (for Mac)
• Shortcuts for
(when using a keyboard with an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
• Keyboard shortcuts for Android
• Resources for Word (and other Microsoft Office software) users (Liz Broomfield, LibroEditing--excellent instructions on using Word functions such as auto-correct, styles, margins, bullet points, case toggling, tabs, etc.)
• Microsoft Word 2010 for Medical and Technical Writers by Maxine Okazaki and Peter Aitken (available in print and Kindle editions), described here by Piedmont Medical Writers
• Getting Started With Microsoft Word Styles for Book Layout (Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, 2-1-13). (But it is not what Joel himself uses to design books.)
• Maximizing Word's Status Bar (Andy Hollandbeck, Tech Tips, Copyediting, 6-10-13)
• How to Remove Personal Data from a Word File (Adrienne Montgomerie, Copyediting, 9-21-15)
• Get More Space in Word: The Disappearing Ribbon Trick (Dawn McIlvain Stahl, Tech Tips, Copyediting, 5-17-13)
• How To: Merge Changes From Multiple Word Documents (Copyediting, 11-5-12)
• Macro Cookbook for Microsoft Word by Jack Lyon, a new book that will be good news for users of Editorium (Jack Lyon's helpful "macros" for dealing speedily with mind-numbing tasks that eat up time, done manually in Word) and Editorium Update. For wordsmiths who work with Word, "In no time at all, he'll have you recording, running, borrowing, and modifying macros to make your work shrink and your income grow." See also Lyonizing Word: The Next Character Macro (a series of essays by Jack Lyon on using Microsoft Word, especially macros, to best advantage during the editing process), on the An American Editor blog)

• The Professional Editor: Working Effectively Online II — The Macros (Jack Lyon, on An American Editor, 3-3-14). See also Working Effectively Online VIII — Macros Redux. (If this looks like Greek at first, you are not alone.)

• 8 Microsoft Word Shortcuts You Probably Don’t Know (Becky Worley, Yahoo! News, 3-14-12). For example, add the date: "How many times a day do you type the date? If you do it even once, that's too much. Next time, just hit Alt-Shift-D (or Control-Shift -D on a Mac) to add the date automatically."

• PDF Converter (free PDF-to-Word converter, online -- no programs to download).

• Two Hidden Features in Microsoft Word (nonbreaking spaces and optional hyphens, Robert Levy, on Save the Semicolon, 5-16-11)

• 100 Essential Tips for Microsoft Office 2010 (Jill Duffy, Edward Mendelson, 6-16-11)

• The Editorium (Jack Lyon's program add-ins that make Word do a number of things it can't normally handle). For example, FileCleaner for Microsoft Word cleans up common problems in electronic manuscripts, including multiple spaces, multiple returns, unnecessary tabs, improperly typed ellipses, ells used as ones, and so on. It turns double hyphens into em dashes, and hyphens between numerals into en dashes. It can also remove directly applied font formatting (such as Times 12 point) while retaining styles (such as Heading 1) and character formatting (such as italic and bold), quickly cleaning up those messy documents imported from other word processors or CR programs. Click here for a page on Using found macros. Jack Lyon's book Microsoft Word for Publishing Professionals comes so highly recommended that I have just ordered it myself, despite the $35 price tag.

• EditTools for MicrosoftWord , with macros for achieving consistency in style, especially useful with medical citations--for correcting incorrectly abbreviated journal names or odd/​incomplete/​inconsistent punctuation (e.g., N. Eng. J Med. the first time and N Engl. J. Med the second, when the client wants N Engl J Med), the only limitation being the dataset. You add the incorrect form in the dataset for The Journals portion of EditTools the first time you come across it; then that incorrect form gets corrected automatically. The Journals macro highlights in green journal names that are correct, leaving only the incorrect names and those not in the dataset, says Rich Adin, whose firm released this Microsoft Word add-in. Other features: Superscript Me (changes bracketed in-text references to superscript references), Insert Queries (to the author), and a Toggle macro (change one letter or sign to another by pressing a key combination). There's a free 15-day trial period for the macros.

• Electronic Editing: With Your Computer, Not Just On It (Hilary Powers' presentation to BAEF, 3-16-04--notes by Dawn Adams). Plus a tip sheet, with macros, for the same presentation.

• HP Learning Center: Microsoft Office and Adobe (free online classes, available 24/​7; topics include Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint,Digital Photos, etc. Go to​go/​learningcenter.

• Keyboard shortcuts for Word 2002, Word 2003, and Word 2007 (Microsoft Support). And see Some of the most useful Word shortcuts (Microsoft Most Valued Professional site)

• Tracking Changes with Word 2003

• AnyCount (software that counts words or characters in any file format, and unlike Word counts footnotes and textbooks, too -- available for one-month free trial).

• Macro tools and editing software for editors and proofreaders (McNees, Writers and Editors)

• Macros etc. for references, citations, footnotes and endnotes (McNees, Writers and Editors)

• Count Anything (a free word-count utility for Windows in a variety of file formats)

• Allen Wyatt's

• Why Use InDesign Instead of MS Word? by David Blatner, (for those of you stubbornly and very very slowly trying to format a book in Word)

• WORD VS. INDESIGN and other common first-time questions from our design customers (Jonathan Gullery, Publishing Basics 5-29-08)

• 7 Reasons NOT to Use Word to Typeset Your Book (Walt Shiel, View From the Trenches 5-21-11)

• Why Use InDesign Instead of MS Word? (David Blattner, InDesign, quoting Bevi Chagnon, a consultant for the federal government)

• Word PC e-mail list. Frequented by Word MVPs (most valued professionals), it's one place to ask for help when you've done all you can to resolve a Word problem.

• Microsoft Word MVP FAQs. Word's Most Valuable Professionals resources include Word Tutorials, links to articles on other sites, and reviewed and recommended books.

• Word Processing (James Marshall's helpful articles on

• Word tutorials by "most valued professionals" (as named by Word), including a tutorial on creating an exclusion dictionary (making a word that Word thinks is spelled correctly show as a spelling error).

• Word Hacks: Tips & Tools for Taming Your Text by Andrew Savikas ("exposes the inner workings of Word and releases your inner hacker" for those who know how to use VBA code)

• Word 2010 Beta available free from Microsoft
All the Office 2010 Beta is now available.
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Tips for using gmail

• Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail (Gmail Help)
• 36 Gmail Tips That Will Help You Conquer Email (Eric Griffith, PC Magazine, 5-21-16)
• Use Dots in Your Email Address (part of PC's 36 Tips piece) The best known secret of all time about Gmail is that it ignores dots in your email address. So yourname@​ is the same as​ or even y.o.u.r.n.a.m.e.@​ They all go to the same person. Might seem useless, but you can still see the pattern, so it's a great trick for signing up for newsletters or sharing your email address—you can tell who's sold your name to spammers, for instance.
• Add a Plus to Your Address (36 Tips, continued) Another time-honored Gmail address trick: Gmail ignores anything after a plus sign. So yourname+pcmag@​ goes to the same place as yourname@​ The difference is, this alias is incredibly handy for filtering messages, as Gmail filters do see what's after the plus. Thus, if you sign up for every newsletter with yourname+news@​, you only need to filter on messages sent to that address, rather than on every individual newsletter sender. (This doesn't always work however, as many services don't allow signups with emails that have optional characters, of which the plus sign is one.)
• Back Up Every Message (#22 of 36 tips)
• Send From a Different Address (#25 of 36)
• Turn Messages Into Tasks or Events-events (#27 of 36)
• Establish a Delegate (#29 of 36) to share control of your Gmail account
• The Gift of IFTTT (#30 of 36) The service IFTTT (If This, Then That) automates tasks between Web-based apps. And it has a Gmail channel. So the combinations of IFTTT recipes featuring Gmail are almost endless. Here's a few stellar examples: Save starred emails to Evernote. Add incoming receipts to a Google Drive spreadsheet. Email yourself phone messages. Get emailed weather reports.

• Canned Responses (#16 of 36 Tips also!) Stop typing so much, especially the same message over and over. The Canned Responses experiment in Gmail Labs is a must for those repeated, redundant, repetitive responses. Activate it and type up a response mail. Click the arrow in the lower right corner of the message composition pane and select "Canned responses." You'll get the option here to save the message, or apply an already saved message to the current window. If you re-write the canned reply, you can resave it with the same name for future use.

• How to set up Gmail with aliases and import other inboxes (April Glaser, Wired, 3-15-16)

• Out of office or vacation reply (Gmail Help)
• Muting or ignoring conversations (Gmail Help)
• Message translation (Gmail Help)
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Computer security

• What Journalists Need to Know About Password Managers (Yael Grauer, Business Journalism, 6-13-18) Reporters should view password management software and tools marketing themselves as next-generation solutions with skepticism, and dig in deeper to see how these new technologies will address any drawbacks that have been documented and exposed.
• A 9-step guide to prepare for GDPR compliance (Javvad Malik, Information Management, 9-21-17) n May 2018, the General Data Privacy Regulation will take effect, significantly altering the way organizations handle and store data. GDPR applies to all organizations that control or process data within the EU as well as those that control or process data related to EU residents. The comprehensive regulation is primarily intended to strengthen security and privacy protections around individual data, which it enforces by subjecting organizations to stricter requirements, adding new requirements – such as breach notification – and increasing fines on organizations that fail to comply.
• The Best Online Backup Services for 2016 (Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine, 2-24-16)
• How protected is your online privacy and what steps can you take for data protection (elsewhere on this site)
• Avoid Fake Security Messages (Claude Kerno, June 2018)
• The Difference Between Antivirus and Anti-Malware (and Which to Use) (Alan Henry, Lifehacker, 8-21-13) "Antivirus is a confusing matter: it's called antivirus, but there are tons of other types of malware out there. those programs also scan for spyware, adware, and other threats? Here's how to make heads or tails of it all, and which tools you can trust to keep your PC clean."
• What’s the Difference Between Viruses, Trojans, Worms, and Other Malware? (How-to Geek, Lifehacker, 6-10-10) Viruses wreak havoc on your files. Spyware steals your information without your knowledge, scareware holds your PC hostage until you pay a ransom, trojan horses install a backdoor, and computer worms use the network to send copies of themselves to other PCs.
• What is Malware and How to Defend Against It? (Kaspersky) Malware, short for "malicious software," refers to a type of computer program designed to infect a legitimate user's computer and inflict harm on it in multiple ways. Malware can infect computers and devices in several ways and comes in a number of forms, just a few of which include viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and more. It's vital that all users know how to recognize and protect themselves from malware in all of its forms.
• Baseline publications produced by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) ) Documents to help you with everything from setting up your first computer to understanding the nuances of emerging threats.
• Security Primers published by the MS-ISAC (Center for Internt Security)
• How to avoid getting hacked when shopping online (Seth Rosenblatt, C/​Net, 12-16-14)
• Malware: what it is and how to prevent it (Adam Baratz, Ars Technica 11-11-04)
• How to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks (Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker, 11-14-14)
• Online privacy (many resources, including the next two)
• What Is VPN For? VPN Benefits Explained (Claudio R., Anonymster, 1-18-17) A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is basically a series of computers networked together over the Internet, so you bypass the server of your ISP (internet service provider), so that nobody can snoop into your personal affairs. Explains how VPN encryption and protocols work and how they can protect your internet connection. Reviews best VPN systems.
• KeePassX (a free, open source, cross-platform password manager)
• Cheap Tricks: The Low Cost of Internet Harassment (Julie Angwin, Pro Publica, 11-9-17) Most tech companies have policies against working with hate websites. Yet a ProPublica survey found that PayPal, Stripe, Newsmax and others help keep more than half of the most-visited extremist sites in business.
• How to Stay Safe While Online (Chiron, Gizmo, 6-9-14)
• 5 online backup services keep your data clean (Brian Nadel, Computerworld, 2-6-12)
• Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do (Whitson Gordon. Lifehacker, 9-8-12)
• Big-name sites hit by rash of malicious ads spreading crypto ransomware (Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 3-15-16)
• URLs, Authors, & Viruses (Rich Adin, The Business of Editing, An American Editor, 11-13-13)
• Backing Up Is Easy to Do (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 5-7-14).
• Free CyberCrime Resources for the Justice Professional: An Interview with Ben Spear (Justice Clearinghouse,
• Playing It Safe (Rich Adin, on Sandboxie, Cryptlocker (Crilock) Ransomware, and Startpage).
Soaring price of Bitcoin prompts CryptoLocker ransomware price break
You’re infected—if you want to see your data again, pay us $300 in Bitcoins (Dan Goodin, Ars Technica 10-17-13)
• How to Harden Your Browser Against Malware and Privacy Concerns (Chiron, Gizmo, 11-26-14)
• Top 10 iPhone Security Tips (PDF, Kunjan Shah, White Paper, McAfee)
• Hack Your Life in One Day: A Beginner's Guide to Enhanced Productivity (Whitson Gordon, Lifehacker, 12-18-12).
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Tech tutorials for computer novices

help wth HTML and other techie stuff

• How to Copy and Paste (Four methods, wikiHow) How to copy text, images, and files from one place and paste them into a different location on a Windows or Mac computer, as well as on an iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile device. See other computer topics wikiHow has tutorials for.
• How to Reboot Your Router (Go to May 30,2018 in the archives)
• HTML for beginners (on WhoIsHostingThis?--insight into 473 hosting companies from thousands of user reviews). Basics about html, tags, meta tags, formatting, forms, tables, etc.
• HTML Cheat Sheet ( "HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) has come a long way since Tim Berners-Lee invented it in 1991. HTML5 is the latest version supported by modern web browsers. Our HTML cheat sheet has a full list of all HTML elements, including descriptions, code examples and live previews. Scroll down to browse all HTML tags alphabetically or by their category, or download it as a PDF."
• HTML Tutorial (
• Converting HTML to WordPress – Step-by-Step Guide (Nick Schδferhoff, WebsiteSetup, 2-14-18)
• A Detailed HTML Overview
• Anatomy of an HTML page (John Espirian, UK, Part 1, building blocks of HTML). Part 2: headings, images and lists; part 3: comments, tables and special characters; part 4: quoting and citing; part 5: the 'head' element that allows so-called metadata (information about our pages)
• Cheat sheet for commonly used HTML tags (Computer Services, Temple University)
• Learn About Domains & HTML ( Network) A tutorial on HTML code, Web pages, and domain names. (Hat tip: Dakota Lowe)
• Code Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Computer Programming and Web Development Helpful material from SafeStars about HTML & CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, and more advanced topics: PHP, Python, Ruby and C/​C++) H/​T Sandra Beals
• Special entity codes in HTML (letters with accents, other foreign characters, currency symbols, math symbols, etc), part of an excellent larger site Computing with Accents, Symbols & Foreign Scripts (Penn State)
• ICO Convert (a tool to convert headshots of authors into icons for your Word files, favicon images for your website, or PNGs.
• Karen's Directory Printer (quickly print the list of files in your computer's directory), which also publishes Karen's Power Tools Newsletter
• Personal Computer Tutor newsletter archives (Claude Kerno, my computer guy, writes these and helps me understand the mysteries of my little computer-and-printer etc. universe)
• Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User (Pogue's Posts, 10-2-08, but much of this is still helpful for novices)
• Hacked and Hijacked: What to Do if Your E-mail Account Gets Compromised (Jon Chase, Switched, 2-24-11)
• What I Did When My Email Was Hacked (Besides Panic) (Paul Solman, Next Avenue, 1-21-13). Paul Solman of 'PBS NewsHour' details the break-in of his Yahoo Mail account — and Next Avenue offers advice to hacking victims
• An Internet Scammer Reveals His Tactics (video, MoneyTrack, Next Avenue, 2-8-13)
• How exactly does binary code work? (video, Josι Amιrico N L F Freitas, TED Talk) Imagine trying to use words to describe every scene in a film, every note in a song, or every street in your town. Now imagine trying to do it using only the numbers 1 and 0. Every time you use the Internet to watch a movie, listen to music, or check directions, that’s exactly what your device is doing, using the language of binary code.
• Twitter's Help Page (has links to all the major e-mail services' support pages)
• Inside My Laptop. My computer guy referred me to this when telling me from afar how to replace the battery inside my laptop. It has great practical guidance for many makes of laptops.
• mac roundtable podcasts
• MacBreak Weekly (hosted by Leo Laporte, Andy Ihnatko, Alex Lindsay, Rene Ritchie, on TWiT) "Get the latest Apple news and views from the top names in Mac, iPhone, iPod, and iPad journalism."
• Podfeet Podcasts (Technology Geek Podcasts with an EVER so Slight Apple Bias!) Blog posts, podcasts, videos, tutorials)
• iPhone Update (C/​Net) iPhone and iOS News)
• Macsolvers' blog/a>(Tips 'n Tricks using Macs, smartphones, etc.) and Twitter posts
• Upgrading your macOS without forethought could cost you money – Part 1 (Dale Komai, Macsolvers' Blog, 10-4-17) on upgrading to High Sierra). See also Part 2 and
Part 3.

• Hacked and Hijacked: What to Do if Your PC Gets Compromised (Jon Chase, Switched, 2-23-11, on dealing with malware)
• What's Next if You Got a New Computer for Christmas (Techbyter Worldwide). Software for protecting yourself, explained: PC Decrapifier, NiNite, LibreOffice, Malwarebytes, LastPass, CCleaner, and so on. Note to self: Re-read at leisure.

• Techbyter Worldwide (Joe Bradley and Bill Blinn's technology program--you can listen to podcasts going waaaaay back--High Tech, Plain English, was the tagline for the show that started on WTVN Radio's Sunday morning line-up)
• What is my IP address? (go to this website when you need to know your IP address--it will show onscreen).
• How to take a screenshot (capture an image onscreen)
• How to download files from the Internet (how to download download programs, zipped files, HTML files, graphics, and clipart, etc. from various places on the Internet)(Autumn Web's tutorial)
• Gizmo's how-to guides and tutorials
• Ethernet Ports Are for Ethernet Cables—Here's What That Means (Bradley Mitchell, Lifewire, 12-11-17, illustrated) Ethernet ports go by other names also, like LAN ports, Ethernet connections, Ethernet jacks, LAN sockets, and network ports.
• What Are Bitcoins? How Do Bitcoins Work? (Paul Gil, Lifewire, 6-21-18) And why are bitcoins so controversial? (Other Cryptocoin examples: Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Peercoin, Feathercoin.)
• How to Find a Computer Network Address (Bradley Mitchell, Lifewire, 4-9-18) Network addresses digitally identify devices to help them communicate
• Computer Networking Tutorial - Internet Protocol (Bradley Mitchell, Lifewire, 4-21-18)
• Using Winzip to download zipped files (tutorial by Roxy Flanagan, about the mysteries of working with "compressed files," files made smaller for travel on the Internet)
• How to: Convert DVD (VOB) Files to Editable MPEGs (Scott, Ensemble Video). Part of a series Ensemble provides on video conversion.
• Download Mysteries Solved (The Newbie Club)
• Basic HTML That Everyone Should Know (Michael Rohde, HTML Goodies)
• Banner Primers (Joe Burns, HTML Goodies). Learn to make your own advertising banner from scratch
• 30 steps that make javascript fun to learn (Javascript Primers, HTML Goodies)
• DNS Stuff (on-demand troubleshooting tools help you find and solve problems with your email, DNS and connectivity - fast. Tools tell you "what the world thinks" and offers trusted 3rd party validation. At the top of landing page you'll see your I.P. address. For advanced computer users -- the tools are fun to play around with, says my computer guy.
• Office 2013: the real startup guide (Peter Deegan) Things you should know that Microsoft won’t tell you: saving money, installing, configuring and using Office 2013
• VLC Media Player. VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols (VideoLAN). Here are answers to frequently asked questions
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