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So far Mark Fitzgerald has created 64 blog entries.

Microsoft Project: Formatting a Gantt Chart for Summary Task


Recently a student posed a question during a Microsoft Project class. How does one format the bars of a Gantt chart to look the same for each unique summary task? Something that may look like this. It begins with creating a custom flag field for each summary task. In Microsoft Project a flag field is a basic Boolean value. A simple yes/no field to identify further action. They are created using the Custom Fields button on the Format tab within the Gantt Chart Tools of the ribbon. The Custom Fields button opens a separate dialog box with many options. Our first [...]

Microsoft Project: Formatting a Gantt Chart for Summary Task2017-01-20T16:08:56-05:00

Access 2013: Creating a Calculated Field


Often times the information you need isn’t stored as a field within a database. As a matter of fact, certain fields make more sense to calculate whenever they are needed instead of storing the value in a table. Microsoft Access 2013 makes this very easy. To create a calculated you will need a query in Design View. Select the Create tab and in the Queries group click Query Design button. The QBE (Query by Example) window opens and the Show Table dialog box is ready for you to add the table or tables you need. Once the table / tables are [...]

Access 2013: Creating a Calculated Field2016-12-31T23:10:35-05:00

Access 2013: Saving a Filter as a Query


You find yourself working in an Access table filtering out some unnecessary data and it dawns on you this filtering is something you’ll end up doing frequently. It would make sense to store this process as a query in the database. Okay, so now I have to switch over to the Create tab and design a new query based on the filter I just applied. Or do I? You can actually save the filter you just applied as a query. The process is simple. Go to the File tab and choose Save As > Save Object As > Save As. Once [...]

Access 2013: Saving a Filter as a Query2016-12-31T22:18:39-05:00

HTML: A Brief History


Long ago in the far off land of Switzerland something very interesting began, and Al Gore wasn’t there. 1989 Tim Berners-Lee proposes an Internet based hypertext system for sharing documents between disparate operating systems while working as a contractor at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). If you’re interested CERN is derived from Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire. 1991 The first publicly available description of HTML. It consisted of 18 elements greatly influenced by SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language). 1993 First proposal of HTML as a specification to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). At the same time Dave Raggett [...]

HTML: A Brief History2016-12-30T12:14:23-05:00

Changing Microsoft Projects Default Task Duration


In a recent Microsoft Project class a question arose concerning the default task duration, which is set in days. This student had recently been working on a deployment project and the default duration was too broad. It needed to focus on a smaller time-frame and it made perfect sense to set the task duration to hours. An excellent question and the answer couldn’t be easier. To change the default duration for the tasks in a project we need to use the backstage options Microsoft Project makes available. By choosing the File tab and selection Options we are taken to the Project [...]

Changing Microsoft Projects Default Task Duration2016-12-28T10:29:53-05:00

Photoshop CC 2017 Emoji Font Additions


This is just a quick note to add to the others articles on Photoshop’s recent 2017 Release. The Type Tool has a new addition. Wait for it… The Type Tool now offers access to Emoji’s.   I know…  

Photoshop CC 2017 Emoji Font Additions2016-11-30T19:29:14-05:00

Photoshop CC 2017 Property Panel Update


November of 2016 has seen an update to the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite which includes Photoshop. I have already posted one article on the changes to the New Document window and another article on the updates to the Liquify Filter. The focus of this article will be on the changes to the Properties Panel in Photoshop CC 2017. The last couple of updates have seen improvements to the Property Panel, but this by far is the biggest change. Take a look at this screen capture of the 2015.5 Property Panel in use. The Properties Panel contains absolutely no information about the [...]

Photoshop CC 2017 Property Panel Update2016-11-30T18:52:40-05:00

Photoshop CC 2017 Face-Aware Liquify Update


If you remember the last update to Photoshop (Summer 2016) we shared a post about the new Liquify Filters Face-Aware feature. It turned out to be a wonderful addition. The filter addition would naturally recognize the facial region and let you modify eyes, nose, mouth, and face shape. Working on a face or multiple faces became much easier. But there was a drawback…there was only one set of adjustment tools for the eyes. Which meant the changes would be applied equally to both eyes. Photoshop CC 2017 has addressed this issue and has fixed it. The Liquify Filters Face-Aware settings include [...]

Photoshop CC 2017 Face-Aware Liquify Update2016-11-29T00:03:13-05:00

Photoshop CC 2017 New Document Window


Sometimes the changes to an application are subtle, sometimes not so much. Last year’s Start Workspace in Photoshop was one of those not so subtle changes. Just a few weeks back Adobe’s Creative Cloud application suite updated to its 2017 version and Photoshop has added another one of those not so subtle changes. Selecting File > New in the menu bar or the New button within the Start Workspace has resulted in dialog box similar to this for a number of years. If you expanded the Document Type menu you were presented with several choices including; Clipboard, Default Photoshop Size, U.S. [...]

Photoshop CC 2017 New Document Window2016-11-27T22:55:23-05:00

The HTML q Tag


Somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 to 20 years ago I sat down one weekend with a book, a computer, and a few images and put together my first basic website. It was about artists from the Impressionist movement and was not anything to brag about with one exception, I built it myself, using Notepad. That was the era of HTML 3.2 moving toward HTML 4.0. Netscape was my browser of choice and most pages used tables for layout. A lot has changed in the following years but one thing remains…most people don’t know that HTML has a q tag to [...]

The HTML q Tag2016-10-31T16:06:10-04:00

HTML5 Form Date Attribute


Getting corporate America to make the move to HTML5 seemed to take longer than any other transition we’ve seen in the past. In part I’m sure due to the long development process. From first working draft in January of 2008 to stable recommendation in October of 2014, that’s almost 7 years. There are many compelling reasons to make the change but the one we will focus on today deals with forms and an easier way of inputting a date. Early on the primary means of capturing a date was supplying a simple textbox and a visual example of the formatting. It [...]

HTML5 Form Date Attribute2016-10-31T12:18:30-04:00

Adding Power View to the Excel Ribbon


In recent years Microsoft has included several add-ins to boost Excels usage in the world of Business Intelligence. They include Power Map, Power Query, Power Pivot, and our topic of discussion today, Power View for Excel 2013. Each of these ship with the Professional Edition of Excel 2013 but need to be added through the Options Panel. After going through this process I was more than surprised to find Power View was still unavailable. So this posting will help those of you experiencing the same dilemma I faced recently. First things first. This is what my Insert tab looked like after [...]

Adding Power View to the Excel Ribbon2016-10-30T15:19:21-04:00

Styling the Humble Checkbox Using CSS


The checkbox has been a staple in the world of HTML forms since day one and for the most part has remained unchanged. HTML 4 introduced the label tag which can be associated with a checkbox using an id attribute in the checkbox and the for attribute within the label. That way you don’t have to click directly on the checkbox, simply clicking the label will select or deselect it. If the checkbox looks any different today compared to 20+ years ago it’s only because the browser renders it that way. A typical form with several checkboxes would look like this: [...]

Styling the Humble Checkbox Using CSS2016-10-29T22:46:49-04:00

CSS Clearfix: Three Lines and a Breakdown


Occasionally the learning curve in web design can be gentle. Other times it’s a sharp right angle and once in a while it’s just a nasty hair-pin curve. How you perceive these curves is just that, your perception. You know, this morning you feel as sharp as a tack and late in the afternoon you feel as dull as a butter knife. Clearing floated elements has been one of those butter knife curves for me. True confession time…it hasn’t been a gentle or sharp curve, it’s a I know it works so I haven’t devoted brain time to understand it curve. [...]

CSS Clearfix: Three Lines and a Breakdown2016-09-30T00:37:06-04:00

Using Qlikview’s Date Functions


When putting together a data model for a Qlikview application you will occasionally run into a field that is not formatted properly, both from a numeric and presentational perspective. Behold the transformed junk file that Qlikview organized into meaningful data. Meaningful yes, recognizable by the end user…not so much. Don’t get me wrong, it all works as you can see from this example. Selecting a date will match up with the Plant #, Production Line ID, and Estimated Production, but the average user doesn’t what to stare at the date value and disassemble so they can mentally reassemble it as a [...]

Using Qlikview’s Date Functions2016-09-28T23:54:54-04:00

Qlikview Chart Styling Using Expression Attributes


Qlikview makes it quick and easy to assemble your data into a professional BI application. But sometimes the information needs a little boost, that extra touch that makes the difference. One way to accomplish this is using Expression Attributes. These attributes can be found on the Expression tab of your chart object. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. The line chart in the first image serves its purpose but might benefit from a style change. By right-clicking on the chart we can enter the objects properties window. Selecting the Expressions tab allows us to see the expressions that have [...]

Qlikview Chart Styling Using Expression Attributes2016-09-28T00:01:27-04:00

Using Character Mapping to Enhance a Crystal Report


It is possible to dress up a report using nothing more than a font and some color. But not in the way you think. There are some specialty fonts installed on a Windows computer know as Wingdings. Each letter is a small picture (like a phone, scissors, knife, etc.) that can be used in a report to enhance the appearance. The first step in formatting the report is to find the characters you intend to use. They can be found in the Character Map dialog box within Accessories > System Tools or by typing Character Map in Windows Search. Next you [...]

Using Character Mapping to Enhance a Crystal Report2016-09-26T23:02:09-04:00

Select and Mask Workspace: Photoshop 2015.5


Photoshop has continued to refine the selection tools available and the latest update, June 2016, is no exception. Gone is the Refine Edge tool, or better yet, not gone but improved and placed in its own workspace. I have two images I would like to combine and masking out the unnecessary bits of the second image pictured is a simple task which has been made easier. Once photo number two has been added as a new layer to the first image and sized so our participants are approximately the same size we’ll choose the Quick Select tool. Notice there is a [...]

Select and Mask Workspace: Photoshop 2015.52016-08-01T00:43:54-04:00

Creating Maxfield Parrish Clouds Using Photoshop


I was recently leaving the parking lot of a local business when the cloud formation in front of me reminded me of a painting by American painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish. If you are not familiar with his work here is a painting called Ecstasy that was commissioned for the 1930 General Electric Mazda Lamp Calendar. The model was his daughter Jean Parrish. The clouds I was looking at were beautiful and saturated with color because it was close to sunset. I grabbed my phone, took a picture, and went about my business. Imagine my disappointment when I looked at the [...]

Creating Maxfield Parrish Clouds Using Photoshop2016-07-31T16:26:19-04:00

Adobe InDesign CC 2015.4; Library Filtering


Using InDesign to create your publication is making your life so much easier. The photo shoot for your upcoming article went well. Then you realize in all the pictures taken there is one shot that didn’t happen. Timing, lighting, location…whatever it was, the image isn’t there. Thankfully, the Creative Cloud includes Adobe Stock images. All that is necessary is opening InDesign’s CC Library Panel. It can be found in every Workspace except Printing and Proofing and even then can be opened by choosing Window > CC Libraries in the menu bar. Once open, the Library Panel offers a search option at [...]

Adobe InDesign CC 2015.4; Library Filtering2016-07-29T13:21:24-04:00

A Printer Friendly Version


“You’ve seen them before: links that say “click here for printer-friendly version” or words to that effect. Every time you follow one of those links, you load a separate document that presents exactly the same information with a different layout, and probably different markup. That means somebody (or a script) had to take the original document and convert it to a stripped-down version that’s more suitable for print output. Maybe that somebody was even you.”1 The endnote, if you take the time to read it, will tell you the article this references was written in 2002. Fourteen years later and we [...]

A Printer Friendly Version2016-07-28T12:23:10-04:00

How to Use Data Merge in Adobe InDesign

2016-07-18T11:29:44-04:00 In this tutorial, you'll learn how to merge data from a spreadsheet, worksheet or text file into an Adobe InDesign document. Using data merge, you can create custom post cards, mailings or form letters in Adobe InDesign. To learn more about Adobe InDesign, visit our Adobe InDesign training course page.

How to Use Data Merge in Adobe InDesign2016-07-18T11:29:44-04:00

How to Import Excel Data into Microsoft Access

2016-07-11T15:49:37-04:00 In this Microsoft Access tutorial, you'll learn how to import data from a Microsoft Excel worksheet and create a table from it in an Microsoft Access database. To learn more about Microsoft Access, check out our Microsoft Access training courses!

How to Import Excel Data into Microsoft Access2016-07-11T15:49:37-04:00

Face-Aware Liquify: Photoshop 2015.5


The Liquify filter has been part of Photoshop since version 6.0 which was released in September 2000. Over the years there have been a variety of improvements in this filter and the newest release is no different. There is an entirely new facial recognition portion to the Liquify filter. It works on one face or many faces as long as they are full frontal views. It doesn’t work on profiles. There are separate settings for eyes, nose, mouth, and face size. Let’s take a look at what it can do. We’ll start with a photo from Adobe Stock.   With a [...]

Face-Aware Liquify: Photoshop 2015.52016-06-30T23:22:43-04:00

Straightening an Image Using the Crop Tool: Photoshop 2015.5


Sometimes the picture is perfect…almost. You see, while the composition is excellent that slight tilt left or right throws the image off. Photoshop has offered a couple of different tools over the years that will allow us to fix this issue but not without additional doctoring. With Photoshop’s latest release (2015.5 June release) they have knocked it out of the park. Let’s take a look at a simple example. Here is a shot of downtown Memphis, TN. taken from the observation deck of Memphis Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid. It’s a decent enough shot but the slight tilt of the [...]

Straightening an Image Using the Crop Tool: Photoshop 2015.52016-06-30T18:17:16-04:00

Font Matching: New to Photoshop 2015.5


Have you ever seen an ad before and wondered what font was being used? That’s probably not the type of question you ask of just anyone, but in the world of graphic design…well that’s a different story. The latest release of Photoshop, 2015.5 June release has a new feature that will help answer that nagging font question. Let’s use this image as our example and we'll place some sample text above it to test our results. With the image containing our unknown font open in Photoshop we’ll need to designate the area to sample from, so using the rectangular marquee tool [...]

Font Matching: New to Photoshop 2015.52016-06-30T13:00:08-04:00

Photoshop Image Adjustment Layer


The art of photography has changed dramatically with the advent of the smart phone. Today everyone is a photographer, and pretty much all of those photographs need some adjustment. Enter Photoshop with the ability to adjust your pictures in a non-destructive way. The Adjustments Panel in Photoshop includes 16 different types of adjustments that can be applied to your image as a separate layer. By doing this as a separate layer none of the pixels in the original image are altered. The benefit to you of course means you always have your original. Let’s take a look at two of the most [...]

Photoshop Image Adjustment Layer2016-06-27T20:21:19-04:00

Crystal Reports Performance Information Tool


After designing a report Crystal Reports provides a built-in utility that will allow you to test performance and shine a light on areas where optimization would be beneficial. It is called the Performance Information tool and can be found by selecting Report > Performance Information in the menu. Once opened, the Performance Information dialog box has a tree structure on the left side that provides five sets of information captured by the tool. Report Definition – Information about the reports content: number of fields, number of summaries, Chart objects, Special Fields, etc. Saved Data – Data captured in the report: number [...]

Crystal Reports Performance Information Tool2016-05-31T23:48:28-04:00

Using a CSS Reset


One of the frustrations designers have been feeling for some time now stems from web design by committee, or design via theme. Many web sites today are WordPress sites with a theme and some content. Just add words and you have an instant site. Then comes the task of modifying the site and trying to make heads or tails of the built-in CSS. Have fun! And we won’t talk about accidently removing content that hoses the database that breaks the site…Arg! But I digress. Sometimes that frustration can come from the browser itself. Did you know that your browser, user-agent, has [...]

Using a CSS Reset2016-05-31T18:48:44-04:00

Making “Can Grow” a Global Setting in Crystal Reports


There are a lot of different setting we talk about during our Crystal Reports classes. Much of the information we end up displaying within these reports consists of text, and in our quest to make it fit we end up making constant adjustments to width and height. That is, until we are introduced to the string format option can grow. With one simple format setting we eliminate the need to make those height adjustments. Here is what we are talking about. Our example will use a simple group heading to identify the country of origin. It looks like this in print preview. We [...]

Making “Can Grow” a Global Setting in Crystal Reports2016-05-24T15:54:52-04:00