Part III: Excel-ing in Office Squared

So I took my handy dandy google doc for potential Traf Reads titles and opened it in Office Squared (still reeling from this awesome feature).

The first thing I did when it opened was try to adjust the width and the height. It took me a while to figure it out but was finally able to find the way to make the boxes bigger or smaller:

Then I figured out how to adjust the width by holding your finger on the line you want to move and then sliding your finger, sort of like you would do in excel with a mouse on your desktop:

The dotted line is the one moving. However, I still haven’t figured out how to change the height this way, which is a little frustrating. But that might just be me and my sausage fingers not able to catch the line…

You can assign a type to each column, pretty much the same options you get in your regular Excel:

You can also highlight rows, change font, and all that wonderful style stuff:

You also have a whole range of functions available, many of which don’t mean anything to me. The one that I do find using a lot is the “sum” function, either for my budget or for calculating book list orders:

Here are the specs from their iTunes store description:


☆ Handle multiple worksheets with unlimited rows and columns
☆ Search and sort cells
☆ Cell formatting: (bold, italic, borders, text and cell color, alignment, text wrapping)
☆ Cell types: General, Number, Currency, Percentage, Date, Time, and Text
☆ Merge cells feature
☆ Pane freezing
☆ Tap and drag to change row heights and column widths
☆ Intelligent auto range selection for range based functions
☆ Tap cells to compose formula
☆ Insert, copy, paste or cut cell ranges, rows or columns
☆ Date formats, date separators and numeric separators are all handled correctly according to the current locale, with manual override
☆ 146 different functions

The one thing that I notice is missing is the option to create a chart with your data, which feels like a huge oversight. If I am not mistaken, numbers for the iPad still allows you to create beautiful graphics representing your info. Hopefully Office squared will feel the pressure and make this option available for the iPad.

I am sure many of you have more complex needs for Excel, so if you have a problem  or an exercise and want to know whether excel can do it, let me know.


Office Squared: Word up!

Having trouble getting used to Pages? Want your Word back?

Well, you’re in luck.

When you create a new document here are your options:

Let us choose document, as I want to write the words, yo.

As opposed to Pages, where you have to close your document, then name it, Word asks you to name your document from the get go (which I love, as I always forget to name my Pages document and now have several docs entitled “blank”):

You can also turn on the spell check function which is, way less obnoxious than the auto-correct on Pages. Back to the little red lines, a friendly notice that your typing skills sucks.

Word count is also a nice feature, as is the find option! I love the find option! But that might just be the librarian in me…

When I highlighted my misspelled word, I found out that though they don’t offer any suggestions for correct spelling, highlighting text gives you the option to add footnotes and endnotes:

As for the printer, when I clicked on it, it wasn’t able to connect to any of our printers, which I think might be a fixable problem, one to ask Ms. Tech Guru… The other option for View is screen lay out, which just makes everything bigger, as far as I can see…

Inserting a photo is as easy as it is in Pages:

A neat option is the text box which you can find in the “shapes” tab:

Though I just tried it and it is a little awkward to manipulate…

You have the basic style options:

If you want to email the document to yourself, you have less options than Pages- you can email it as a word document (which makes sense since it is a word document). You also have to save and close your work and then tap the little blue arrow beside the name to email it:

One last important note: every time I took a screen shot of Office it shut off and I lost my work. I think it might be a little bug in the system right now, but I will stress that SAVING YOUR WORK  frequently is a good idea. Office unlike Pages, does not do it automatically.


Tech Guru Decrees Office2HD is the Bomb

And I agree. But only after I flailed around trying to get to the holy grail of being able to edit my documents from Dropbox and Google docs.Because this is what makes Office great: the sharing possibilities!

And yes, you can make your word documents, excel sheets and power points directly from your iPad with Office Squared (the two is supposed to be superscript but I can’t figure out how to do it..) but I will deal with that in subsequent posts.

Today, all I wanted to do is see if it actually worked- if I could actually edit something from my google docs and dropbox.

And, yes, yes you can. But first you have to add “the service”. To do this you tap the  “back” button:

Then tap “edit”:

Then tap “add service”:

And voilà! Once you allow access via your email and password you get a list of all your files!

Here are the files from my dropbox:

Here is a spreadsheet from my google docs:

Next post…other office squared stuff!

Quick Use: Scanning my to-read pile with good reads


Hi, my name is Lina and I am a book horder. I am surrounded all day by books that I really really want to read. In order to not forget that I really really want to read them, I have been in the habit of stealthily taking them off the shelves where people could actually find them, and placing them right by my desk so that when I turn my head slightly to the left, I am reminded of all the books I really really want to read.

This, of course, is in direct contravention of my librarian code of conduct.

In order to save myself from the ire of my profession I thought I would add these books to my GoodReads to-read list. Now I have already written about the nice app GoodReads has created, but I neglected to mention that you can scan books into your library with your iPad!

Super easy! Here is how my scanned to-reads list looks now:

Now to find a nice, free barcode scanning app for inventory time!

Langwitches Lady Talks about iPad as a Transformative Learning tool

Speaking at Learning@School 12, 21st Century learning specialist Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano asks the question: is the iPad a tool to transform learning, or a tool that will replace what we have been doing up till now with laptops? Silvia describes some of the potential and the benefits she sees for ipads in learning and teaching, including mobility, cost and the evergrowing range of apps.[from Langwitches blog]

Watch this five minute video and ask yourself the question!

Silvia focuses on the mobility of the iPad,and how it is a powerful tool for helping with differentiated learners.

Lisa Johnson does it again! Snapguide to Testmoz

I love my updates. This morning I get to work and this juicy tidbit is waiting in my inbox:

So, of course I click on it. And Ms. Johnson has found a quick guide-making app for the iphone/ipad.

Here she gives a quick guide tp TestMoz,a free, online test generator.

I won’t do a how-to, because Ms. Johnson has done a fabulous job with her snapguide:

This is a view of the snap guide app on my iPad

Although testmoz has no app, judging by Lisa’s screenshots, you can access it via Safari and create your quiz on the iPad as well.


Home share so easy I am embarrassed. Part II

It is a universal truth that if you do not sufficiently research an idea before prematurely spouting your mouth off on how difficult it is, you will be need to eat humble pie in the future (sorry Jane Austen for the usurpation and subsequent mangling of your wonderful beginning sentence).

So. This weekend I did look into home sharing with my daughter’s iPad, but got stuck on where to find the homesharing log in on my iPad.

Of course, as soon as I came back to work and gave it a minute, I found it:

Just go to settings–> Music–> and type in the apple ID you will use to home share between devices. So, just to clarify, though my daughter is signed in to her apple ID on the app store and iTunes, the home sharing apple ID is mine. It must be the same ID between all devices.

So I home shared my computer, my daughter’s computer. However, the syncing over wi fi was not turned on so I had to sync my daughter’s computer at least once to mine:

I am only syncing the apps ( I really do not need to hear anymore Taylor Swift nor see anymore funny photo booth shots of her and her friends).

I made sure the homesharing was turned on on my desktop and changed the general options on my daughter’s iPad so that we can now sync via wifi:

Now I have successfully polluted my daughter’s iPad with educational apps! The one thing I would do differently is to select the apps I want to share with her. Now she will have to do a lot of deleting…


Don’t despair! Home share! Part 1

Last week, my daughter stumbled while she was walking to her next class. She was carrying a leaning tower of textbooks, pencil case, water bottle and yes, her laptop. It was just a little stumble, one where she was able to right herself before falling on to her face. Her leaning tower however was not so lucky.

Everything in her arms went flying including, yes, her laptop. Her screen smashed spectacularly. Although it looked lovely, a digital version of stained glass with its cracks and shadows, it was useless. It would have cost me several hundred dollars to repair it, at least two thirds of the price of a new iPad.

Her new iPad 3, 64g, came yesterday.

But of course, this begs some questions. How should I set it up? Should I set it up with my account, seen as I have purchased many, many apps (as witnessed by this blog) and could add them to another device no problem?

Or should we set her up with her own iTunes account (which she has had for quite a while) and either repurchase the apps I have already bought or switch users every time she wants to use one of mine? (I think I might hate this option). What I really want is a way to share my apps with her apple ID.

Apple doesn’t like sharing. They are the kindergarten bullies, the domineering A type personalities in the playground.

So I do what I always do when I am in doubt: I google it.

Nothing too useful so far, but I did see this feature on using iTunes allowance with your kids. I don’t want to give her a monthly amount though, so that doesn’t work.

Oh and this article about how to manage your kids’ iPads. But oh wait, they are talking about six year olds…

Or this one from macworld..Oh wait. Once again it is for children who don’t know what money is…

But wait! I just found this on the chat forum about home sharing! It turns out that if I follow these arcane instructions, and involve my whole family and make sure we all have the same apple ID, my daughter might be able to have access to my apps!

Guess what I am doing this weekend?

To be continued…

Thoughts on the iPad as an Ereader

For all my iPad puttering, I had yet to read a whole book on it. So when a coveted YA title from net galley tantalizingly appeared in my inbox, I though I would give it a try.

Now, the reason I haven’t tried it  is not because I am against Ereaders. I just spend my days with thousands of print books I haven’t read yet. Oh, and I also like to read in the bath.


But I finally pushed my print pile of to-reads aside and read an ARC from Netgalley (it took me so long to get to it, it is no longer an advanced reading copy- it is out in stores). Netgalley works only on Bluefire Reader on the iPad so I used that app instead of ibooks.

So. Did I enjoy it?

To be honest, reading was never about the physical page for me. Once a story grips me, it could be written on a napkin with ketchup ink and I wouldn’t notice. Once I got the hang of how the pages turn and how to lock the screen orientation (it was really annoying how it kept switching from portrait to landscape whenever I switched positions) it was fine:

I liked how you could take notes with it- I review a lot of books and will review this one, and never take notes because I am not organized enough to keep a pen and paper handy whenever I flip open a book:

The big issue for me personally though, is the amount of screen time I already log in a day. I spend at least seven hours a day, five days a week in front of the computer. The last thing I want to do when I am relaxing is stare at another screen. I also found the iPad a little awkward to take to bed with me (not in a dirty way, sheesh) and that is about the only time I get to read these days – five minutes before I fall asleep, iPad dangling precariously over the side of my bed.

Still, I like the option. And I think there are many perks in terms of reading for class. Taking notes, not being able to forget your book because it is in the same place as your, well everything- these are very useful things.

What is your opinion? Do you like reading on the iPad?

Ebooks and Audiobooks at the BAnQ!

I checked the BAnQ‘s site a while ago for their collection of Ebooks and wasn’t that impressed. But that was before they had Overdrive and Numilog Jeunesse!

Overdrive is a database of ebooks and audiobooks. You check them out just as you would a book. The borrowing time is the same as a physical copy- when the three weeks are over- it disappears from your computer. Oh- it also works like a physical copy in that only one person can borrow it at a time.

Et pour nos petites étudiantes qui disent qu’elles n’ont jamais rien à lire à la bibliothèque en français, il y’a maintenant une base de donnée de livres numériques et livres audio en français exclusivement pour les jeunes, Numilog-Livres Jeunesse:

Et si nos petites choux sont un peu plus avancés dans leur lecture, il y’a aussi une base de données de livres en français adultes:

They also have a whole list of other ebooks available- check out their list:

REMEMBER: all usage of these wonderful resources must be individual. According to the license, you can encourage your students to use this service, but you can’t use it in your class.

Having said that, I am pretty stoked about this- I might even be able to finally cancel my audible account and get books for free!

Gotta go now- gonna download me some Game of thrones!