Category Archives: Featured

The Productive Scholar logo

The Productive Scholar: Janet Temos on Using Word Effectively

The Productive Scholar logo

The Productive Scholar logo

Janet Temos, the director of the Educational Technologies Center at Princeton University, spoke to a Productive Scholar audience about Word 2011 to share some of its less obvious features, such as styles, templates, themes, and interoperability features in Microsoft Office applications.

Temos started by talking about Powerpoint, and demonstrated how most users are familiar with choosing themes to style their presentations. She used this familiarity to show similar features in Word. She gave the example of a user writing a report, and getting feedback on a draft that all chapter headings be centered, not right aligned. If a user applies styles to the text, such as chapter headings being styled as “Heading 1”, as they write, this change becomes a quick and easy two-click change by simply changing the settings of the “Heading 1” style which then carries those changes to all text styled as such. By turning on “Navigation” under the View ribbon,  you can see the outlined structure of the document as you apply styles, and quickly go to those areas of your document with a click.

Themes are collections of styles, colors, fonts, sizing, and other design aspects of documents packaged as a single applicable choice. You can quickly take a well-styled document, where titles, chapters, and body content are properly tagged with styles, and quickly apply different themes in order to add new flavor and variety to documents.

Templates are starting points for documents that are always similarly styled. If you find yourself writing a lot of reports, it makes sense to either find and download an existing Word Document template for reports that you can customize, or create your own and start with it each time, so that you need not spend any time re-styling or re-theming your new reports.

Because Microsoft Office comes as a suite, many users have the benefit of more than one Office application installed such as the ability to use charted data in Excel to inform and update a chart in Word. You can also apply the theme that you are using in Word to the chart so that the visual introduction of the data becomes seamless in your document.

When you added an image to Word documents in the past, you had to open a separate image editing application to make changes to the image. Word 2011 has many powerful image editing capabilities built-in,  such as the ability to crop, re-size, and affect the brightness & contrast of an image.

Some related resources that Temos shared include:

TechSmith Jing, for creating advanced screen captures and annotations.

Templates from Endnote.

Temos created a list of resources at that includes a Princeton University Dissertation template.

Her presentation from this session is available here:

Using Word Effectively by Janet Temos

Here is a screencast of the session for you to watch and hear everything that she did during the session.

Lunch & Learn logo

Lunch & Learn: Jill Moraca on Website options at Princeton University

Lunch & Learn logo

Lunch & Learn logo

Jill Moraca of Web Development Services (WDS) at Princeton University talked to the Lunch & Learn crowd about the various options offered to the Princeton community for creating websites. She explained that the conversation usually starts with the idea that the options available to you depend on who you are (e.g. individual, group, or project), what your specific needs are (e.g. how much support you need and how development-savvy you are), and how much you have in your spending budget (e.g. no budget, some money set aside, or a dedicated budget for the effort) for the site’s creation, development, and maintenance.

Jill Moraca

Moraca begins by assessing a customer’s specific needs and their audience’s needs by asking questions such as:

  • How much time can you devote to your website?
  • What content do you have or need to have for the site?
  • Do you have the technical skills to update and patch the website?
  • What are your goals and outcomes for the site?
  • Who will read the site?
  • What are they looking for?
  • What do they need to do?

When developing official sites that represent the University and its various departments, Moraca always makes people aware that there are specific IT security and usage policies, requirements and recommendations ( such as those that prevent the selling of items, biased or political representation, and so on. The Office of Communications has its own set of required elements, such as site owner contact information, and highly suggested features, such as  the prominent presence of your site’s title on every page (

Moraca noted that there are now 8 options for publishing at Princeton, shown here in this handy chart from her slide deck:

What Who OIT Support Cost
Google Sites
Students Not yet Free
Faculty, Researchers, Graduate Students Yes Free
Departments, Faculty, and Staff Yes Free
Central File Server
Everyone Limited Free
(Departmental and Personal)
Everyone Limited Free
Departments, ODUS-recognized student groups, Courses Yes Free
Departments Yes Free – $50/hour
Departments Yes Custom projects only available at this time ($50/hour). Free option on the horizon.

Moraca described the options in some detail, organizing the options according to those available for individuals, individuals & groups, and groups only.

Individual options:

Google sites for students integrates with Google Apps, calendaring, blogs, and is templated, quick, easy to use, and has a point-and-click interface. OIT provides some light support, and the service is free to students. There is no fee-based customization for this service.

Open Scholar is available for faculty, researchers and grad students who want to have a professional online presence with CV options. It is templated, quick to edit, easy to use, offers a point and click interface, and offers biography, publication and bibliography information, calendaring, classes, and more. It is supported, managed, patched, and secured by OIT. It is not very customizable, and there is a 2 GB quota.

For individuals and groups:

SharePoint is available for faculty, staff and groups. It is templated, and best used for sharing information and documents. At Princeton, it is typically used as an intranet for internal, protected sharing, and not as a world-facing site. NetID is required for creation, but guest access is available. It is well supported, and users can get training. It is free, and there is no customization available.

cPanel is available to departments, programs, centers, labs, and individuals. It primarily provides a LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) environment for building applications, but also offers Scriptaculous, which allows for quick, one-click  installs of popular packages such as WordPress for low-bandwidth access by the world. Support is limited, and the user builds and secures the site themselves. It is free and has a 2 GB quota. More information is available at

WordPress is available to departments, groups recognized by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS), and faculty. WordPress is a blog-based web content management system. OIT offers vetted templates and plugins and limited support is available. Patching and updates are done by OIT, and the ETC offers specific support for faculty use in courses. It is free and comes with a 250 MB quota. It is available at

Only for groups:

Roxen is available to departments, programs, centers, and labs, but not individuals. Open scholar is a good alternative for those individuals looking for personal publishing. Roxen is a Content Management System (CMS), meaning that for users, no knowledge of code is necessary to create or edit a site. Templates and customizability, as well as many functionality modules  (e.g. directory listings, news items, etc.) are available. It is highly monitored, and training is available. OIT offers customization for Roxen in a few levels of service: free, (a standard template), low-cost, (some tweaks to CSS), and fully customized, (a group builds the site from scratch with full support and help from OIT). Documentation, training, and a variety of themes are available. It’s hosted, patched, and updated by OIT

Finally, Drupal is similar to Roxen, but far more customizable. It is also very well supported by OIT, with 24/7 monitoring, per-site training, with OIT managing all patches and upgrades. If you decide you want customization, there is a $50/hour rate for help. A recent pilot of Drupal has ended successfully, and OIT is launching production-ready sites.

For more information or to get started with your website at Princeton, please contact Jill Moraca at, or visit

Below is the presentation and video from Moraca’s session.

20121128_moraca Powerpoint file

Lunch & Learn: David Hopkins on Kaltura at Princeton

David Hopkins, who manages the Broadcast Center at Princeton, needed a unified, centralized solution for users to upload, store, backup, edit, and share video. Kaltura is an open source video streaming service that has done those things since its launch earlier this year. The Princeton home page, Blackboard courses, social media venues, departmental sites, and other users have greatly increased the amount of video that they are sharing, and Hopkins needed a tool that would meet those increased needs. The goal was to centralize storage, backup and management of video and audio files, and make them available in a variety of formats to meet the needs of a long list of devices. Continue reading

Lunch & Learn: Nancy Pressman-Levy and Jeremy Darrington on Searchit@PUL

In this session, Nancy Pressman-Levy and Jeremy Darrington talked about the features of Princeton Library’s tool for discovering and accessing scholarly resources provided by the library, available at Searchit@PUL

Darrington discussed Books+, which helps patrons to find books,  journals, electronic resources, CDs, DVDs, and maps. In the database, there are about 10 million items. While it does not allow for full text search, it has all the items of the main catalog but also senior theses, locally digitized images, and special collections.

He then went on to show Articles+, which has journal and magazine articles, newspaper articles, dissertations, book reviews, streaming video and audio. This database has 600 million items, mostly newspaper articles and scholarly journal articles. This service does allow for full-text searching.

In demonstrations of SearchIt@PUL by both Darrington and Pressman-Levy, we saw how searches on “torture” or “politics” give thousands of results, which might be initially unwieldy for scholars, but by applying filters, one may limit the results to books, journals, video, manuscripts, several languages, creation date, or subject. One can then sort results by relevance, date, and author.

A click into the full record for an item shows useful metadata and full details about the item. Clicking on locations and availability tells you the exact location of an item in on-campus sites, such as Firestone Library, or ReCAP, which the Library uses for offsite storage ( There are links back to the main original catalog record as well, and links out to Google Books for more information about each item.

There are bibliographic tools in the systems as well, where you can mark records, then go to eshelf, then email them to yourself or export to Endnote or Refworks. Scholars can even do a search, then set up an alert to track issues. For the entire set of features that Darrington and Pressman-Levy went over in their demonstrations, please watch the video below.