Category: Uncategorized

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive

Tool Summary

MS OneDrive is a file hosting service, like GoogleDrive and Dropbox, included in the Microsoft 365 suite. OneDrive allows you to access, edit, and share files and images from any device you are working from. OneDrive also enables you to share documents and collaborate in real time with others by simply sending a link via email or text.

UMW students, faculty, and staff can access the entire Microsoft 360 Suite, including OneDrive, for free by logging in with a UMW email address and password at login.microsoftonline.com.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free for students and educators; paid personal subscription available
  • Platforms: Python, Microsoft, Android, iOS, node.js, Ruby, php
  • Recommended For: Beginners

Things to know

OneDrive is an incredibly useful file sharing and file storage tool. You can access the files you upload into OneDrive from a web browser or an OneDrive mobile app. OneDrive automatically saves backups of your files to the cloud and automatically syncs them to your other devices. Should your hard drive or SSD fail, you will still have your documents saved in OneDrive, preventing the loss of files. You can also set OneDrive to automatically upload photos and videos from your mobile device so that you never risk losing them (available for both Android and Apple devices).

Getting Started Guide

OneDrive Help and Learning – Almost any question you have about OneDrive can be answered here. This is the Microsoft’s support page for OneDrive.

Beginner’s Guide to OneDrive for Windows – This video shows you how to get started with OneDrive if you are operating from a Windows computer.

Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft OneDrive for Mac – This video shows you how to get started with OneDrive if you are operating from a Mac computer. It also explains why using OneDrive is beneficial for Mac users.

Additional Resources

Designing a Fluent Microsoft OneDrive Mobile Experience – If you plan on using OneDrive on a mobile device this is a wonderful guide.

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

Blender

Blender

Tool Summary

Blender is a powerful 3D graphic design tool that can be used for multiple types of projects including animation, 3D modeling, rendering, video editing and effects, game creation, and more. It is free to download and has numerous editing options.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free
  • Platforms: Mac, Windows, Linux
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Recommended For: Advanced users

Things to Know

It is extremely helpful to have a mouse when using Blender, because it is not designed to work on a trackpad. It is possible to simply use a trackpad, but it is much more doable with a mouse. It will also be helpful if you have a keyboard with a number pad on it, but it is not required; if necessary, you can adjust your settings in Blender to make your number keys act as a number pad.

It may be useful to have a list of Blender hotkeys (commands used by pressing different keys on the keyboard) easily accessible while you’re working.

Blender supports almost any image, video, or 3D file format.

Getting Started Guides

Official Blender 2.90 Manual – This is the official manual on Blender’s website. It is quite lengthy, so it is recommended that you watch the Blender Beginner Tutorial series below.

Blender Beginner Tutorial Series – Blender Guru – In this helpful video series, you learn your way around Blender by making a donut. There are 4 “levels” in total, but the first level will get you started on the basics of 3D modeling.

Additional Resources

List of Blender hotkeys by Blender Guru

Blender vs. Fusion 360

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel

Tool Summary

Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software that allows users to input data and create data visualizations. MS Excel is used in almost every workplace around the world, so knowing how to work within the program has many benefits. Excel features include calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and so much more.

UMW students, faculty, and staff can access the entire Microsoft 360 Suite, including Excel, for free by logging in with a UMW email address and password at login.microsoftonline.com.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free for students and educators; paid personal subscription available
  • Platforms: PC, Mac, iOs, and Android
  • Recommended For: Beginners – It doesn’t take long to figure out the basic functions of the program and as you gain more skills you’ll be able to do a whole lot more with the program

Things to Know

Many people typically use Excel for organizing information. For example, you could use a spreadsheet to track data and automatically see sums, averages, and totals. You could also take that data set and create a variety of charts so your data is easier to interpret. Or, Excel can be used to simply store and organize data sets.

Getting Started Guide

How to Use Excel: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started – Basic walkthrough of how to start working in Excel beginning with opening a spreadsheet, entering and working with data, and saving and sharing your Excel files.

Excel Math Basics: A Beginner’s Guide – Basic walkthrough of how to create working formulas in Excel.

How to Make a Chart or Graph in Excel – Basic overview of how to make a chart of graph in Excel

Additional Resources

10 Excel Functions Everyone Should Know – These are tens skills will help increase your productivity in Excel and are incredibly useful for most Excel users to know.

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

PowerPoint

PowerPoint

Tool Summary

Powerpoint is a presentation program developed by Microsoft. The program uses slides to get information across to the audience. Presentations made in Powerpoint can be very complex or very simple. It all depends on how you want the information you are trying to convey to come across.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free to students – if not a student prices vary
  • Platforms: Mac, Windows, IOS, Android, Widnows10 App, and Web 
  • Recommended For: Beginners

Things to Know

Powerpoint is overall a great presentation tool to use. Did you know that you can add captions to your presentation? Along with captions, Powerpoint gives the capability to check how accessible your slides are. Under the review tab, you can click check accessibility. By doing these things you are making your presentation more accessible to people with disabilities. You can also present your Powerpoint live. This helps with remote presentations you might have for school or work. The slideshow tab is where you can find the button to present live. When clicked it will give you a URL you can share and also a QR code your audience can scan to follow along with you while you are presenting.

Getting Started Guides:

Basic Beginners Guide to Creating a Powerpoint

How to Make Powerpoints More Accessible 

Additional Resources

Powerpoint Templates – Free, easy online access or downloadable 

Unsplash – Free, no permission required photographs

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

Tinkercad

Tinkercad

Tool Summary

Tinkercad allows its users to interact with 3D modeling software to design and eventually print specific projects. By placing shapes, texts, files, or pre-designed printables onto the platform’s workplane, it is possible to manipulate, merge and build upon given objects. After creating a model, or browsing the Tinkercad website and selecting another user’s project, the user can export their design for 3D printing or laser cutting. 

Quick Facts

  1. Price: Free
  2. Platforms: Available on all platforms
  3. Recommended For: Beginning users of 3D printing design software

Things to Know

Through Tinkercad, users have the option of turning their products into blocks or bricks, which strongly resemble the Minecraft layout and Lego format. This can aid in designing projects that need to be scaled inside Tinkercad, but translated onto a separate physical or digital plane. If the user is not interested in 3D modeling, or wishes to work off of designs that are separately sourced from Tinkercad, it is possible to import stl, obj, and svg files (as long as they are under 25MB). Even URLs are acceptable imports. The dimensions and scale of the file can be changed if they are too large. On the workplane, objects can be duplicated, mirrored, made invisible, lifted, aligned, and shifted. Grid properties, located above the snap grid feature, can be altered to scale to the size of the Dremel or Makerbot model being used.

Getting Started Guides

Lesson Plans – Available designs for the user to learn how to create on Tinkercad

PromoAmbitions Video Tutorial – Six part introduction to 3D modeling

Keyboard Shortcuts – A simple guide to moving objects around on the workplane

Additional Resources 

ThinkLab – UMW recourse for 3D printing and design tools

Thingiverse + Cults  – 3D printing websites

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

Inkscape

Inkscape

Tool Summary

Inkscape is a free alternative to the Adobe vector image editing platform, Illustrator. Vector graphics are great for creating logos and illustrations because of their ability to be scaled up and down, unlike raster images which lose their quality scaling up and down.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free
  • Platforms: GNU/Linux, MacOS X, and Windows
  • Opensource: Yes
  • Recommended For: Beginners to advanced designers

Things to Know

If you are familiar with the dark theme of Adobe Illustrator, or would prefer a more pleasing interface, Inkscape makes it very easy to change from their automatic white theme. You can go to Inkscape, chose preferences, interface, and then select dark theme, or choose what looks best to you!

Use layers to easily divide your design into sections. With layers, editing one layer will not impact other layers. You can lock or hide layers to more easily edit your design!

Getting Started Guides:

Inkscape Download Page – Click on the operating system on your device 

Inkscape wiki page  –  Learn how to use the different functions and tools on inkscape

Interface and Basic Drawing

Shapes, Tools and Options

Additional Resources

Vector Image Trace 

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

Slack

Slack

Tool Summary

Slack is a channel-based messaging platform. In Slack you can message in channels or with other team members privately, share various media like photographs, and connect apps. It’s available for your computer and phone.

Quick Facts

  • Price: 
    • Free with limited storage and some limitations on apps and integrations
    • Standard, Plus, & Enterprise Grid
  • Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux (beta), iOS, Android
  • Recommended for: Beginners – The interface is user friendly and organized. It resembles Discord’s interface.

Things to Know

A free account with Slack lets you create channels as well as direct message other users in your workspace. A free account will hold on to the most recent 10,000 messages you have sent, store up to 5GB of files, and allows one-on-one video calls. When you get an invite to join a new slack workspace you will have to sign in to it since most workspaces are password protected. If you are using Slack for work, class, or something personal you can customize your profile differently across different workspaces.

Getting Started Guides

Resources Library 

Slack Tips

Additional Resources

How to Make Video Files Smaller Without Losing Quality

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

Fusion 360

Fusion 360

Tool Summary

Fusion 360 is an advanced 3D modeling, animation, and physics simulation software. With it one can create or import 3D models through a variety of means, as well as edit them in a shareable workspace.

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free (with educational license)
  • Platforms: Mac and Windows
  • Opensource: Yes
  • Recommended For: Intermediate Users – Flexible modeling software with several powerful features and a moderate learning curve.

Things to Know

Fusion 360 is one of the most widely used CAD software available as it features several useful functions in addition to flexible 3D modeling. Models can be created from any of several different methods, or in combination of multiple. Some of these options include extruding an object from a sketch, picking it from a preset shape, or designing it from sheet metal. Another option is “form” which allows for a high degree of control over object, with smooth dragging of features providing a more fluid method of creation. Fusion 360 grants the ability to the join objects with joints – allowing for a designated range of motion which it can also animate. In addition to this, models can also be rendered in high resolution both within the software and as separate images. Some of the rendering options include texturing model elements with a library of different materials, backgrounds, various lighting options, and both cloud and same system rendering.

Getting Started Guides

Getting Started Video Guide

Making a Basic Lamp (PDF download)

Additional Resources

Tinkercad: Beginner friendly modeling software

FreeCAD :Alternative to Fusion 360 that works on Linux

Blender: Powerful and complex open-source modeling/animation software

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

GIMP

GIMP

Tool Summary

GIMP is an image editing program that also allows you to create digital art and graphic design elements. GIMP is currently available for Linux, FreeBSD, MacOSX, and Windows operating systems.

https://youtu.be/uQ–9Mj3jIY

Quick Facts

  • Price: Free
  • Platforms: Linux, FreeBSD, MacOSX, and Windows
  • Open Source: Yes
  • Recommended For: Beginners

Getting Started:

If you haven’t already downloaded GIMP onto your device that should be your first step. The download page can be found here.

GIMP has is a very detailed crash course for beginners which can be found here

Additional Resources

Below are some beginner level projects that will help you familiarize yourself and GIMP and also get yourself more comfortable working in the program.

  • GIMP Text: This video allows you to practice working with text tools, the transform tools, gradient fill, etc.

Need Help?

Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!

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