February 2009 Archives

Many Collage users are frustrated with the links library, and rightly so. The links library is where users go to create or access an external link to include in their document. The links library in Collage stores some 15K links and is growing everyday, so given the sheer volume of links it can take up to five minutes to load the entire library.

To save unneeded aggravation, here’s a much faster way to create external links and avoid the links library entirely. For the record, an external link is a hyperlink to any web page that does not live within your folder in Collage.

Create External Links Outside the Links Library

1)  Create a task in Collage, open the task and open the page you want to work on
2)  Open a separate web browser and pull up the website or web page you want to link to
3)  Place your cursor in the browser’s address bar
4)  Use the keystroke “Ctrl + A” to select the entire URL, then hit “Ctrl + C” to copy the URL
5)  Go back to the page you're working on in Collage
6)  Place your cursor on the page where you want to place the link
7)  Use keystroke “Ctrl + V” to paste the copied URL
8)  Hit “Enter” to activate the link (the URL will now be blue and underlined)
9)  Save your work
10)  Switch to the “Preview” tab and double check your work; click on the new link to make sure it works correctly

Congratulations. You’ve created an external link without having to access the links library.

If you’d like to make that link an embedded text link (for example, changing http://www.uml.edu to UMass Lowell), follow these instructions.

Create an Embedded Text Link

1)  Highlight the new link with your cursor (to highlight: click and hold on the URL and drag the length of the URL and release)
2)  Type the word or phrase you want embedded (like UMass Lowell from the example above)
NOTE: If the text you're adding is more than one word, DO NOT add spaces between words. This will break the embedded text link. Instead, type the phrase as one word. When you're done, go back, insert your cursor where you want spaces and hit the space bar to separate the words.
3)  Save your work
4)  Switch to the “Preview” tab and check your work

For some users, creating links using the above steps may seem more advanced, but with continued practice you should be able to master this shortcut and improve your efficiency in Collage.


 

Many Collage users I speak with don’t realize they can use their keyboards to perform basic content editing functions. Rather than reach for your mouse each time you need to edit, often it’s easier and more efficient to use keystrokes to copy, paste or bold text, etc. So to help you make the leap to “keyboard jockey,” here's a list of essential keystrokes that should help with content editing shortcuts. BTW, most of these keystrokes aren’t unique to Collage. They’re pretty much universal for all programs, so you can use them in Word, Outlook and most browsers.

Keystroke Shortcuts

  • Ctrl + C = copy text
  • Ctrl + X = cut text
  • Ctrl + A = select all text
  • Ctrl + V = paste copied text
  • Ctrl + Z = undo (previous action)
  • Ctrl + Y = redo (previous action)
  • Ctrl + B = bold text
  • Ctrl + I = italicize text
  • Ctrl + F = find text (search your content or code for a particular word, phrase)
  • Ctrl + Print Screen = take a screen shot of your monitor, which you can paste into a document or email

Bonus Keystroke: The “Soft Return”

There’s one more keystroke that is used so frequently and is so crucial to content editing and page formatting in Collage that I felt it deserved its own section. The standard return (line break) in Collage--which is performed by hitting the “Enter” key--is a hard return or paragraph (two-line) line break. Many users are frustrated by the paragraph, two-line break and can’t figure out how to create a single-line break when formatting a page.

To create a single-line break/soft return, use this keystroke:

  • Shift + Enter = soft return

These keystroke shortcuts should give you additional tools for your content editing toolbox and empower you to own Collage rather than letting Collage own you. If there are any keystrokes I’m missing that you feel your fellow Collage users should know about, please share them in the comments.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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