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Let the Blend tool calculate your next color palette (Illustrator CS5/CS6/CC)

Posted on 12/26/18 10:00 AM by Get Schooled in Illustrator, in Adobe Illustrator, in Adobe

There are a number of ways to create a color palette for your Illustrator design projects, but if you’re looking for a harmonious palette based on two colors, the Blend Tool takes the cake! With the Blend tool, you can create two identical shapes filled with two different colors, then blend them with a set number of steps to mix new colors based on the two originals. The result? A harmonious swatch family to complement your next project!

To create new colors with the Blend tool, select the Rectangle or Ellipse tool from the Tools panel. Click and drag on the artboard to create a simple shape. Copy and paste the shape so you have two of the same shape. Fill each shape with one of each of the colors that you want to base the palette. Choose Object > Blend > Blend Options to display the Blend Options dialog box. Select Specified Steps from the Spacing pop-up menu, and then enter a number in the Spacing text box indicating how many different colored shapes you want Illustrator to create. A low number from 3-5 is ideal. Click OK.

Next, select the two shapes, choose Object > Blend > Make, and Illustrator will create the designated number of shapes, each with a different color mixed from the original two you started with! To add the colors to your Swatch panel, select the Eyedropper tool, click one of the swatches to make it the foreground color, click the options menu in the Swatches panel and select New Swatch. Finally, click OK in the New Swatch dialog box to add it to the panel. Repeat for each color.

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Select a layer quickly with this shortcut (Photoshop CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015/CC 2017)

Posted on 12/3/18 9:02 AM by Get Schooled in adobe photoshop tip, in Adobe Photoshop, in photoshop

Image editing with multiple layers presents some navigational challenges. Sometimes you select the wrong layer, or sometimes you simply want to cycle through the layers panel selecting different layers. It’s easy to select different layers with the keyboard instead of the mouse, saving yourself some time and aggravation. First, see what layer you have selected in the Layers panel. To select the layer above, press [option][ ] ]([Alt][ ] ] in Windows). To select the layer below, press [option][ [ ]([Alt][ [ ] in Windows). For either direction, if you continue pressing the bracket key while holding the modifier, Photoshop will cycle through the layers.

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For your eyes only: Customize your document’s page color to reduce eye strain (Word 2016)

Posted on 12/3/18 8:57 AM by Get Schooled in word tips and tricks, in Word

Staring at a computer screen all day takes a significant toll on your eyes. When shutting down your computer just isn’t an option, changing your document’s color from bright white to something more soothing may soothe your eyes. Open your document and choose the Design tab on the main ribbon. In the Page Background group, click on Page Color. Choose a less glaring color such as light grey or blue from the resulting dropdown menu.

This new background color affects your onscreen display only. Your printed document retains a white background.

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Find helpful worksheet data displayed onscreen (Excel 2016)

Posted on 12/3/18 8:49 AM by Get Schooled in Microsoft Excel, in Excel

Without even having to type a formula, Excel automatically displays helpful information about the cells you select. Open a spreadsheet and select several cells containing numeric data. If you look at the status bar at the bottom of your window, you’ll see the average, count, and sum for the selected data. Even better, you can customize the data shown in the status bar. With the cells still selected, right-click on the status bar. Select any additional information you’d like to display.

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Use GETDATE() to pull a Monday-to-Sunday report no matter when it’s created (SQL Server)

Posted on 12/3/18 8:41 AM by Get Schooled in SQL Server, in SQL

In a perfect world, reports would be pulled on the same day and time every week to achieve maximum consistency. Unfortunately, mere mortals cannot maintain this regularity without fail. It only takes one unforeseen circumstance to throw the reports off.

Fortunately, the GETDATE() function replaces human fallibility and pulls a dynamic weekly performance data report starting on any specified day. This provides flexibility to the program and maintains consistency. A real win-win!

To specify the report start date use: WHERE CAST(table.Date as DATE) < CAST(DATEADD(DAYS, -DATEPART(dw, getdate())-1), getdate()) as DATE). If this code is run on a Tuesday, the results will begin on the most recent Monday and so on until Sunday.

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Keep flat folder structure and metadata with Column default value settings (SharePoint)

Posted on 12/3/18 8:29 AM by Get Schooled in SharePoint

No matter how many reminders you send about preferred protocols, users will always go the path of least resistance. That’s a particular problem when it comes to adding new files to SharePoint. Saving new files in synced Windows folders is not ideal or sustainable, but it is convenient for users. Unfortunately, this method does not use valuable metadata to help you organize and maintain the information.

A suitable compromise is to allow users to keep stuffing files in folders while incorporating metadata information through column default value settings. If the folder structure is logical and matches the desired metadata, this setting allows you to define a default value to a column based on the folder it is in.

To set this up, navigate to Policies > Settings > Column default value settings. Your document library folders will display on the left. Click each one to set the desired default value.

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Master using the Dodge and Burn tools with these key commands (Photoshop CS5/CS6/CC)

Posted on 12/3/18 8:24 AM by Get Schooled in Adobe Photoshop, in photoshop

The Dodge and Burn tools are handy when you want to selectively darken or lighten a portion of your image. They offer precision control, too, because you can: (a) edit the brush size to better fit the area of the image you’re editing, (b) set the Exposure setting which changes the tool’s intensity, and (c) specify a value range, such as the shadows, midtones, or highlights. You can modify these settings on the tool Options bar, but an even quicker way is to learn the keyboard shortcuts.

Select the Dodge or Burn tool from the Tools panel. Press [ [ ] to decrease the brush size,  and press [ ] ] to increase the brush size.

To edit the Exposure, you don’t need to highlight the text field on the tool Options bar, simply enter a value on the keyboard from 0-100. For a value of 1-9 percent, enter values as two digits, such as “02” for 2 percent.

To select which range you wish to target, press [shift][option]S ([Shift][Alt]S in Windows) to select Shadows, press [shift][option]M ([Shift][Alt]M in Windows) to choose Midtones, or press [shift][option]H ([Shift][Alt]H in Windows) to select Highlights.

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Offer your input to make Acrobat better (Acrobat DC)

Posted on 12/3/18 8:20 AM by Get Schooled in acrobat

Everyone has an opinion, and believe it or not, Adobe actually wants to hear yours! Specifically, the company is interested in any buggy behavior you’ve encountered while working with Acrobat DC. Plus, it would like to see your pitch for a new dream feature—after all, that’s how many new features come into existence! Whichever the case, there’s an easy way to access this input vehicle right from Acrobat. On the top right corner of the window is a Share Feedback button (it looks like a chat icon with three dots). Just click on it to launch your default browser and go to From this webpage, you can report a bug or make a new feature request. You can also peruse other users’ requests and see the status of those requests. Play a part in Acrobat’s future and consider submitting your request, too!

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2019 Top Ten Tech Forecast

Posted on 12/3/18 8:17 AM by Get Schooled in technology, in 2019


Before you get excited, don’t expect to step on the pad and beam down to the planet yet. Since 2015 German scientists have been talking about a system that scans items, sends the scans elsewhere, and then does a 3D print of them on the other side. Really more of a long-distance replicator. But they could “perfect” it in 2019. Doesn’t sound ready for

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Best Practices’ Single Source of Truth: Why You Should Certify for ITIL Version 4

Posted on 12/3/18 8:00 AM by Get Schooled in ITIL, in ITIL 4

Best Practices’ Single Source of Truth: Why You Should Certify for ITIL Version 4Best Practices. Who says they’re best? Who decides which are the best practices and which are not?

As regards IT, the most widely accepted definitions and descriptions of best practices are to be found in  the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). ITIL is considered by most professionals to be the best approach to Information Technology Service Management (ITSM).

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