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January 31, 2007

3 Best Flash Tutorials from Sitepoint.com

Here are the 3 best Flash Tutorials from Sitepoint.com, a very well written web development and design tutorial site with a well informed community. The first one shows you how to create Flex 2 Rich Internet Applications using Flash, The second one teaches how to create the most efficient structure for your Flash site. And the third one demonstrates using Flash on imported vector graphics created in Illustrator, and then using them in Director.


Flex 2: Rich Internet Applications using Flash

Flex 2 is a set of totally free technologies that come together to provide you a great development framework for building cross-platform Rich Internet Applications. Flash is one of the pieces that make up Flex, and the framework runs on the Flash Player. Flex applications, like Ajax applications, feel much more responsive than traditional web pages, because a new page is not loaded each time an action is done by the user. 

This Flex 2 tutorial shows and teaches you how to develop a simple Flash application. It demonstrates the simplicity of building cross-platform web applications using Flex 2. The Flex 2 SDK, used to build and deploy Flex applications, and the Flex Data Services 2 Express edition can both be downloaded for free. The Flex 2 SDK provides a compiler and a command-line debugger.


The Best Structure for your Flash Site

Many Flash developers have issues when trying to structure their web site within Flash. When Flash is opened, a blank canvas appears, and a single layer with multiple blank frames displays, waiting to be used. There’s little guidance on how to proceed, and many different directions that be taken. Many users become confused on how to proceed. The author says that over 90% of the Flash sites he’s seen are not structured efficiently. 

This Flash tutorial shows you how to structure your Flash enabled web site. It shows you how to set up your Flash site with Keyframes, ActionScript and MovieClips, and controlling the Flash playhead. Using well thought out structure will give you site a faster loading time, and make it simplier to update and manage.


Illustrator for Flash and Director

This tutorial will show you how to use Illustrator to create vector graphics that can be exported as SWFs and then imported into Flash. Then you will see how to use Flash to import the vector graphics into Director. You will draw a cool looking vector graphic in Illustrator, get it into and build it in Flash, and then import and use it in Director.


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January 30, 2007

Creating Accessible Word Documents

Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used word processing programs for both home and office use. People use Word to write and manipulate text, and also work with images, movies, charts, graphs, and other information. Sometimes Word is used to help create web pages, Powerpoint slides, and PDF documents. This learning session, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, teaches how to be knowledgeable about the common accessibility problems that those with disabilities encounter when in reading Word documents, and web pages and PDF files based on Word documents. When you use the accessibility features that Word offers you can create documents that can be used by everyone, and even provide a clearer understanding of what you are writing about.

Creating Accessible Word Documents

View/Open
(460Kb, pdf format)


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January 29, 2007

Creating Accessible Web Pages from a PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint can be used to create web page slides from its presentation slides. People with disabilities can have problems accessing these web pages slides. This learning session, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, teaches how to export PowerPoint slides into accessible web pages. Doing this gives these people a much better understanding of the presentation. In addition, these accessible, exported web pages, or HTML files, can be used so everyone gains a clearer understanding of what is being communicated.

Creating  Accessible Web Pages from a PowerPoint Presentation

View/Open
(667Kb, pdf format)


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Developing Web Applications with MySQL and PHP

This learning session, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, shows how to use the MySQL database and PHP web scripting to quickly and cheaply program and build a content management system, URL reference database, and web-based information portal for a real-world library application. This training session covers working modules, provides development resources and gives you a practical understanding of web development with these tools.

Developing Web Applications with MySQL and PHP


Speech and Presentation – View/Open
32347Kb, AVI format

Handout – View/Open
72Kb, pdf format

Discussion – View/Open
101Kb, pdf format

Power Point Presentation – View/Open
2308Kb, Powerpoint format


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January 24, 2007

Excel Ebooks and Training Documents

Here are several freely available ebooks, training and learning documents for Microsoft Excel hosted by eSnips, a user sharing site, where everyone can upload and share all types of files. Free registration is encouraged. These Excel ebooks and documents will help you learn many of the intermediate to advanced features of this spreadsheet application.

Free Excel Ebooks and Training Documents

Beginning.Excel.What.If.Data.Analysis.Tools.Dec.2005

Excel Advanced Report Development

Excel PivotTables Recipes.A.Problem.Solution.Approach

Introduction to Statistics.Through.Resampling.Methods.and.Microsoft.Office.Excel

Excel 2003 Ebook

XLPivotTableIntro06-07

Beginning Excel What.If.Data.Analysis.Tools

Excel Programming Weekend Crash Course

MS Excel 2002 for Scientists and Engineers

Excel Macro Training

Excel User Tips

Learning Microsoft Excel

Excels Keyboard Shortcut

Excel_Tips

Finance using Excel

Excel Ebook

Excel 2003 Ebook


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January 22, 2007

Photoshop Tutorials from Iowa State University

These Photoshop Tutorials are hosted by The College of Design at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The tutorials teach you how to use Photoshop and are grouped into three areas: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. A page describing Photoshop’s tools is also linked here. This site’s aim is to provide you the understanding that you need to start or further developing your Photoshop skills.

Photoshop Tutorials from Iowa State University


Photoshop Tools
Explains the basic tools in Photoshop


Basic Level Tutorials

Use these Photoshop tutorials to start learning how to use Photoshop, and to refresh your Photoshop skills.

How to create “Pouring” Letters – Learn how to use Photoshop to create “Liquidy” letters. It will also show you how to use filters and Levels.

Pattern Making – This tutorial teaches how to use blending modes and other filters to create patterns through repetition and variation.

Creating Fabric Textures – Create a texture for a layout or 3D object.

Creating Paper Textures Using CalculationsLearn how to create a paper texture.


Intermediate Level Tutorials

These intermediate Photoshop tutorials show you how to create complex images, cell animations, backgrounds, banners, and buttons.

Creating Complex Images from Simple Images – Helps you understand filters and how to use them to create complex visual interactions.

Creating Cell Animation in Photoshop – This tutorial shows you how to create a cell animation in Photoshop.

Creating the 3 B’s (Backgrounds, Banners and Buttons) - Learn how to create web site graphics: backgrounds, banners, and buttons.


Advanced Tutorials
 

Once you’ve used Photoshop for a while, you can move forward to learn more advanced image creation and editing techniques.

Alternate Selection Methods in Photoshop – This tutorial shows you a different technique from using the lasso and pen tool, for making complex selections to isolate objects 

Distressed Type & Fire using CalculationsHere is a different method to create font technique.



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January 16, 2007

Word 2003 Tutorials using Picture

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers the following free online Microsoft Word 2003 Tutorials. These Publisher tutorials will help you learn how to use msny of the features of Microsoft Publisher 2003. These tutorials are based on screen shots that demonstrate the tasks and features being taught. These In Pictures software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. They are designed to help you learn and understand the features of Publisher faster and easier versus traditional learning techniques.

Word 2003 Tutorials using Picture


Word Basics

Long Documents

Special Features

Advanced Word



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Excel 2003 Tutorials using Pictures

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers the following free online Microsoft Excel 2003 Tutorials. These Publisher tutorials will help you learn how to use msny of the features of Microsoft Publisher 2003. These tutorials are based on screen shots that demonstrate the tasks and features being taught. These In Pictures software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. They are designed to help you learn and understand the features of Publisher faster and easier versus traditional learning techniques.

Excel 2003 Tutorials using Pictures


Performing Basic Calculations

Formatting Worksheets

Manipulating Data

Advanced Calculations

Making Data Visible



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Publisher 2003 Tutorials using Pictures

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers the following free online Microsoft Publisher 2003 Tutorials. These Publisher tutorials will help you learn how to use many of the features of Microsoft Publisher 2003. These tutorials are based on screen shots that demonstrate the tasks and features being taught. These In Pictures software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. They are designed to help you learn and understand the features of Publisher faster and easier versus traditional learning techniques.

Publisher 2003 Tutorials using Pictures


Publisher Basics

Enhancing Documents

Refining Documents

Brochures & Newsletters

Advanced Features



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Access 2003 Tutorials using Pictures

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers free online Microsoft Office Tutorials. This blog post details and links to their free Access 2003 Tutorials. These Access tutorials will help you learn how to use  Microsoft Access 2003. The tutorials on this site are based on pictures, or illustrations and screen shots demonstrating the tasks and features being taught. These software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. Every user who completed  these illustrated Access tutorials reported that they were able to learn and understand Access more quickly and easily compared to using traditional software training methods.

These Access tutorials are based on the following learning and training techniques:

  • The simpler, the better. Multimedia animations may look like cutting edge, but they can be hard to follow. That’s why these tutorials use static screenshots that show exactly where to click
  • Black-and-white is better than color. Color screenshots can create an effect that makes it difficult to focus, while black-and-white screenshots do not.
  • Tasks are more important than features. Most people care about tasks - the things they want to do. That’s why these tutorials focus on common tasks.
  • Projects aid understanding. When people do mini-projects, they see how things fit together, and learn new things based on what they’ve learned before.

Access 2003 Tutorials using Pictures



Database Basics

Working with Tables

Working With Forms

Working with Queries

Working with Reports



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January 15, 2007

HTML & CSS Tutorials using Pictures

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers free online computer Tutorials. This blog post details and links to their free HTML and CSS Tutorials. These HTML and CSS tutorials will help you learn how to use HTML and CSS. The tutorials on this site are based on pictures, or illustrations and screen shots demonstrating the tasks and features being taught. These software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. Every user who completed  these illustrated HTML and CSS tutorials reported that they were able to learn and understand HTML and CSS more quickly and easily compared to using traditional software training methods.

 
HTML & CSS Tutorials using Pictures


HTML Basics

Navigation & Layout

Interactivity

Advanced Layout



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Dreamweaver 8 Tutorials using Pictures

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers free online Software Tutorials. This blog post details and links to their free Dreamweaver 8 Tutorials. These Dreamweaver tutorials will help you learn how to use  Microsoft Dreamweaver 8. The tutorials on this site are based on pictures, or illustrations and screen shots demonstrating the tasks and features being taught. These software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. Every user who completed  these illustrated Dreamweaver tutorials reported that they were able to learn and understand Dreamweaver more quickly and easily compared to using traditional software training methods.

These Dreamweaver tutorials are based on the following learning and training techniques:

  • The simpler, the better. Multimedia animations appear cool, but they can be hard to follow. That’s why these tutorials use static screenshots that show exactly where to click
  • Black-and-white is better than color. Color screenshots can create an effect that makes it difficult to focus, while black-and-white screenshots do not.
  • Tasks are more important than features. Most people care about tasks - the things they want to do. That’s why these tutorials focus on common tasks.
  • Projects aid understanding. When people do mini-projects, they see how things fit together, and learn new things based on what they’ve learned before.

Dreamweaver 8 Tutorials using Pictures


Dreamweaver Basics

Navigation & Layout

Utilities

Interactivity

Advanced Layout



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PowerPoint 2003 Tutorials using Pictures

This new software tutorial web site, In Pictures, hosts and offers free online Microsoft Office Tutorials. This blog post details and links to their free PowerPoint 2003 Tutorials. These PowerPoint tutorials will help you learn how to use  Microsoft PowerPoint 2003. The tutorials on this site are based on pictures, or illustrations and screen shots demonstrating the tasks and features being taught. These software tutorials were developed as part of a research study performed for the U.S. Department of Education. Every user who completed  these illustrated PowerPoint tutorials reported that they were able to learn and understand PowerPoint more quickly and easily compared to using traditional software training methods.

These PowerPoint tutorials are based on the following learning and training techniques:

  • The simpler, the better. Multimedia animations may look like cutting edge, but they can be hard to follow. That’s why these tutorials use static screenshots that show exactly where to click
  • Black-and-white is better than color. Color screenshots can create an effect that makes it difficult to focus, while black-and-white screenshots do not.
  • Tasks are more important than features. Most people care about tasks - the things they want to do. That’s why these tutorials focus on common tasks.
  • Projects aid understanding. When people do mini-projects, they see how things fit together, and learn new things based on what they’ve learned before.

PowerPoint 2003 Tutorials using Pictures



Creating a Presentation

Customizing Presentations

Working with Animation

Preparing Live Presentations



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January 10, 2007

Director Support Manuals

Here are the curent Support Manuals and Documentation for Macromedia Director MX 2004. Using Director, you can develop high-performance multimedia content and applications for CDs, DVDs, kiosks, and the Internet. Director’s product manuals are available in PDF format for download or in HTML for online viewing.

Director Support Manuals


Getting Started with Director (HTML | PDF 1816kb, 84 pages)

This support manual, Getting Started with Director contains the essential information that you need to get started, including information about installing the latest version of Director. This manual also guides you through the workspace and offers a tutorial, designed for those who are new to Director.

This free Director book contains the following chapters:


Using Director
(HTML | PDF 5901kb, 500 pages)

Using Director explains how to use all of the features and functionality offered in Director. This is a printed version of the electronic documentation included with the product. This support manual includes comprehensive descriptions and detailed step-by-step instructions that explain how to use all of the features in Director.

This free Director book contains the following chapters:


Director Scripting Reference (HTML | PDF )

Director Scripting Reference provides a complete reference of the Director application programming interfaces (APIs), including both Lingo and JavaScript syntax. This is a printed version of the electronic documentation included with the product. This reference manual provides conceptual and how-to information about scripting in Director, and also provides reference descriptions and examples for the scripting application programming interfaces (APIs) that you use to write scripts.

This free Director book contains the following chapters:


Using Director MX 2004 Behaviors

Behaviors are prewritten Lingo scripts that allow you to quickly add interactivity to your movies. This Director tutorial will teach you about the behaviors included in Director MX 2004.
Building Your First 3D Movie in Director

Learn the skills you need to build 3D effects in a Director movie, including creating 3D text, using behaviors to rotate a model, changing camera angles, and enabling navigation. 
Download a printable version of Building Your First 3D Movie in Director, including the tutorial’s collateral material. (.zip, 1.6MB)


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January 9, 2007

Web Style Guide, 2nd edition

This free book, The Web Style Guide, 2nd edition, teaches you Web page and Web site design principles, along with tips and tricks, ranging from interface design to editorial style and graphics. It provides you a high level of understanding which will assist your Web development and design efforts. Whether you’re a newbie to Web design and development or a veteran, this book will give you insight into Web site design that you have not had before, bringing you a more reasoned and realistic perspective. The information given in this Web Style Guide is based on the functional concepts of design, but it also discusses Web site accessibility, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and flexible page design. Material covering information architecture, site maintenance, and multimedia design is also included. The second edition offers added illustrations and updated Web site examples to show current best practices.

Web Style Guide, 2nd edition


Chapter 1: Process

Chapter 2: Interface Design Chapter 3: Site Design Chapter 4: Page Design Chapter 5: Typography Chapter 6: Editorial Style Chapter 7: Graphics Chapter 8: Multimedia

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Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Here are two web resources that will help you create an effective, well receieved, and attractive PowerPoint Presentation. The first one listed here outlines the planning steps you need to take for creating a Powerpoint presentation, including the word layout, fonts graphics, special effects, handouts and notes, and practicing. The second one reviews important advice regarding: your audience, speaking clearly, using templates, self-evident content, contrasting colors, effects and transitions, guidelines for wording, fonts, and punctuation, and using clip art and graphics.


Creating a Great Presentation

Table of Contents

   Click here to start – Creating a Great Presentation

   1. Plan

   2. Organize

   3. Develop Content

   4. Work on the word layout

   5. Work on the fonts

   6. Work on the graphics

   7. Use graphs appropriately

   8. Special Effects Use them at your own risk

   9. Use Handouts and Notes

   10. Practice before you preach



Creating an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

Hints for a successful presentation: 

  • Plan carefully
  • Do your research
  • Know your audience
  • Time your presentation 
  • Practice your presentation 
  • Speak comfortably and clearly 
Effective PowerPoint Slides
  • Use design templates
  • Standardize position, colors and styles 
  • Include only necessary information 
  • Limit the information to essentials
  • Content should be self-evident
  • Use colors that contrast 
  • Be consistent with effects, transitions and animation 
  • Too many slides can lose your audience
Text guidelines
  • Generally no more than 6 words a line
  • Generally no more than 6 lines a slide
  • Avoid long sentences
  • Larger font indicates more important information 
  • Font size generally ranges from 18 to 48 point
  • Be sure text contrasts with background
  • Fancy fonts can be hard to read
  • Words in all capital letters are hard to read
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms
  • Limit punctuation marks
Clip Art and Graphics
  • Should balance the slide 
  • Should enhance and complement the text, not overwhelm 
  • No more than two graphics per slide
  • PowerPoint presentations can also saved in HTML format and inserted in a Web page.


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January 8, 2007

In Word, How Do I…

Here is a nice Microsoft Word Tutorial from Monroe City Schools that demonstrates and teaches basic Word features that are important to understand and know how to do.

In Word, How Do I

Create a new Word document?

Save a document?

Change margins?

Change text alignment?

Copy/cut and paste text?

Use the Letter Wizard?

Delete documents from the print queue?

Create a table?

Open a document I previously saved?

Select text?

Change line spacing?

Change the font, font size, font style, font color?

Use WordArt?

Print in grayscale?

Create an Organization Chart?


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Replacing outdated DHTML with DOM Scripting in your JavaScript

This JavaScript Tutorial is aimed at beginners to help them understand how old and outdated JavaScript techniques can cause issues on a web page. The tutorials proceeds by analyzing the source code of a web page that was written several years ago using concepts that were ok good to use then, but in the current Web will render inaccessible or broken pages in a browser.

Three dynamic elements using JavaScript are reviewed and explained from the point of view when they were originally developed, and then a more current method of re-writing them is demonstrated making them more hardened and less error-prone in regards to DOM scripting. The tutorial starts with providing some understanding about what DHTML and the DOM are. The example web site containing the JavaScript code examples are available for download as a zip file.

From DHTML to DOM Scripting – How to replace outdated javascript techniques

Download PDF version (202KB)


Table of Contents



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January 5, 2007

Macromedia Flash 8 Ebook

Here is a freely available Flash ebook in pdf format that goes into a good deal of depth and understanding on how to use this important graphics, animation, and multimedia web application. It teaches and describes, in easy to follow language, how to use Flash to its fullest extent, and how to make compelling web page animations and graphics. This ebook is 10.1mb in size and contains 409 pages.

Macromedia Flash 8 Ebook

The following Flash features are described and explained:

  • Understanding and handling the Flash screen, toolbars, and menus
  • Developing text and graphics in Flash
  • Sound and video
  • Using layers to help manage your animation
  • Creating symbols, saved objects for repeated use
  • Animating graphics, the core of using Flash
  • Maing your Web sites interactive
  • Publishing Flash movies to your Web site


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January 4, 2007

All Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Thinkfree.com‘s Doc Exchange is a site that encourages their users to share their documents with one another. You can use their search feature to find documents in areas you are interested in. Here is a helpful little document I found that shows all of the Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft Excel. These will really help those power Excel users who need to use many of Excel’s features in their day-to-day work and tasks. If you fall into that category, I hope this helps you out.

Excel Keyboard Shortcuts


Key Alone Shift Ctrl Alt Shift+Ctrl
F1 Help What’s This Help Insert Chart Sheet
F2 Edit Mode Edit Comment Save As
F3 Paste Name Formula Paste Function Define Name Names From Labels
F4 Repeat Action Find Again Close Window Quit Excel
F5 Goto Find Restore Window Size
F6 Next Pane Prev Pane Next Workbook Switch To VBA Prev Workbook
F7 Spell Check Move Window
F8 Extend Selection Add To Selection Resize Window Macro List
F9 Calculate All Calculate Worksheet Minimize Workbook
F10 Activate Menu Context Menu Restore Workbook
F11 New Chart New Worksheet New Macro Sheet VB Editor
F12 Save As Save Open Print
A Select All Formula Arguments
B Bold
C Copy
D Fill Down Data Menu
E Edit Menu
F Find File Menu Font Name
G Goto
H Replace Help Menu
I Italics Insert Menu
J
K Insert  Hyperlink
L
M
N New Workbook
O Open Workbook Format Menu Select Comments
P Print Font Size
Q
R Fill Right
S Save
T Tools Menu
U Underline
V Paste
W Close Workbook Window Menu
X Cut
Y Repeat Active
Z Undo
` (~) Toggle Formula View General Format
1 (!) Cell Format Number Format
2 (@) Toggle Bold Time Format
3 (#) Toggle Italics Date Format
4 ($) Toggle Underline Currency Format
5 (%) Toggle Strikethru Percent Format
6 (^) a Exponent Format
7 (&) a Apply Border
8 (*) Outline Select Region
9 (() Hide Rows Unhide Rows
0 ()) Hide Columns Unhide Columns
- Delete Selection Control Menu No Border
= (+) Formula Auto Sum Insert dialog
[ Direct Dependents Direct Precedents
] All Dependents All Precedents
; (semicolon) Insert Date Select Visible Cells Insert Time
 (apostrophe) Style Copy Cell Value Above
: (colon) Insert Time
/ Select Array Select Array
\ Select Differences Select Unequal Cells
Insert Insert Mode Copy
Delete Clear Delete To End Of Line
Home Begin Row Start Of Worksheet
End End Row End Of Worksheet
Page Up Page Up Previous Worksheet Left 1 screen
Page Down Page Down Next Worksheet Right 1 screen
Left Arrow Move Left Select Left Move Left Area
Right Arrow Move Right Select Right Move Right Area
Up Arrow Move Up Select Up Move Up Area
Down Arrow Move Down Select Down Move Down Area Drop down list
Space Bar Space Select Row Select Column Control Box Select All
Tab Move Right Move Left Next Window Next Application Previous Window
BackSpace Goto Active Cell


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