Microsoft 365 Updates and Champions Initiative

It is our pleasure to inform you of a recently created team, the M365 workgroup. The goal of this team is to implement M365 applications across campus to create more efficient business processes, improved information and knowledge sharing, and to facilitate the University’s mission of building community by increasing online campus engagement opportunities.

Find out more about upcoming M365 initiatives in our video.

Join Our M365 Champions Team

One of our current initiatives is to build a Champions program where the workgroup collaborates with staff and faculty to drive awareness, adoption and education of M365 products. If you would like more information on this initiative, please visit If you are unable to participate as a Champion, we hope you will help us spread the word.

To (Ado)be, or Not To (Ado)be, That Is the Question

If you pay attention to the business segments on the news starting on Black Friday you will notice that sales figures are tracked by Adobe Analytics.  For many people the first things that comes to mind on recognizing the word Adobe are their PDF files and not their Christmas shopping lists (even if in PDF files).  It makes you stop and wonder what else Adobe may be tracking.  There is another global (or at least Northern) organization, also with a red and white motif (at least for the front man) and notorious for tracking behavior (think naughty and nice).

Your author has also received E-mails from Adobe just over the past three weeks overflowing with buzzwords.  A sampling:

  • Digital Asset Management
  • Digital Experience
  • Digital Signatures
  • Digital Transformation
  • Digital Workforce

Adobe is already taking plenty of our money and as you can see from the list above they are willing to take more of it to help us do things we may already be doing or can do using the tools we have.  The point of this article is to get you to stop and think about the latter and what you need to do with PDF files and perhaps not purchase an Acrobat subscription or—much worse—a Creative Cloud subscription.

The baseline for the narrative is a Windows 10 computer issued to you for your job functions.  The applications are the current browsers Chrome, Edge, and Firefox and the big three Office 2019 applications Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.  What follows does not necessarily apply to your personally owned computer even if it is a work from home computer.  There is a summary for the macOS operators following.

In Windows 10, you have an out of the box “virtual printer” named Microsoft Print To PDF.  It’s not a printer but it thinks it is.

After invoking the Print command as you usually do (or use CTRL+P; it works in all applications mentioned), navigate to the folder you want to save in, provide a file name in the File name text box, and click Print.  Since you are now creating a file, your primary action button is Save.

This option is available in all applications mentioned, but it is not the preferred option.  So, keep reading.

Each browser provides its own Save as/to PDF option which you select from the Destination (Chrome, Firefox) or Printer (Edge) drop-down menu; that is, you select this option as if you were selecting a printer.  In Chrome and Edge, it is Save as PDF and in Firefox—just to annoy us—it is Save to PDF.

In the Office 2019 applications, the alternative is Save As.  In your Save As dialog, navigate to the folder you want to save in and provide a file name in the File name text box.  Beneath that is a drop-down menu labeled Save as type.  Drop it down (some might say pull it down) and locate and then select PDF (*.PDF).  In increasing order of annoyance in finding it, it is PowerPoint, Word, Excel.  As above, your primary action button is Save.  Now you are just creating a file.

Each browser is capable of displaying the contents of PDF files.  It may be more accurate to say you can view the contents of PDF files since this tool is typically referred to as a viewer.  If you received a new computer recently, when it came out of the box and you first logged on, Microsoft Edge was the viewer for PDF files.

There is no Open option on the File menu in any of the browsers so you have to drag and drop your PDF file onto an open browser window.  This requires having both the folder containing the file and the browser window in view so you can drag from the former and drop on the latter.

Why would I want to do this you might ask?  The viewers are not full featured PDF tools, which is the advantage.  An evil doer will leverage advanced capabilities of the PDF format to attack.  Since the viewers do not implement these features, they are safer if viewing is all you want to do.

Speaking of safety, you should never (Never.  Never.) use a Web site that you find on Google that offers options to convert/join/merge/reorder/split, etc. and to which you have to upload your file.  Neither at work nor at home.

And although this is a work-related article, if you use only your browsers at home, you have one fewer application to keep up to date and one fewer vulnerability to worry about.

As you may have gleaned from the above, Acrobat is, in one sense, a printer that you lease from Adobe.  If you have a Word document that you need as PDF, you have options to create it without Acrobat.

If you need to change the document, you would not change the PDF file.  You would go back to the Word document, change it, and “re-print” it to PDF.  The same should be true for a document you receive.  The sender should be responsible for the changes and “re-printing” or should provide the original Word document.  But if not, you can try and leverage Word 2019.

When you perform the steps to open a file, PDF is in the list of file types that Word recognizes out of the box and you see PDF files as well as your DOCX files.   You also have the PDF (*.PDF) selection mentioned above to filter.  Select it from the unlabeled drop-down menu to the right of the File name text box.

Word will warn you that it is about to perform a conversion, optimized for text editing.  You need to review the document formatting which is a prudent step for any file conversion, even using Acrobat.  Opening PDF is just a Word feature.  Opening PDF in Excel and PowerPoint is not available.

And finally, you don’t need Acrobat to sign documents; Reader works just fine.

For macOS, saving as PDF is available through the system print dialog.  After invoking the Print command as you usually do (or use Command+P; it works in all applications mentioned), locate the PDF drop-down menu in the lower-left corner and select Save as PDF.

Each browser mentioned so far provides its own Save as/to PDF option which you select from the Destination (Chrome, Firefox) or Printer (Edge) drop-down menu. In Chrome and Edge, it is Save as PDF and in Firefox (annoying us across operating systems) it is Save to PDF.

In Safari, the option is Export as PDF from the File menu.  It does not have a Save as/to PDF option as a “printer” in its Printer drop-down menu.

You can access the system print dialog from each browser (except Safari) by locating and clicking Print using system dialog.  In Chrome, you first have to locate and click More settings.  Now you can use the PDF drop-down menu described above.  Safari only shows the system print dialog.

After you have selected the PDF options, you interact with the standard Save As dialog where you would name your file in the Save As text box and navigate to the folder you want to save in by browsing with the Where option.

In the Office for Mac applications you can use the PDF drop-down menu in the system print dialog or Save As from the File menu.  For the latter, locate the File Format drop-down menu and select PDF.  In Excel, it is under Common Formats.  In PowerPoint and Word, it is under Export Formats.

The macOS browsers all have Open File available on the File menu, so you can open the file directly.  You can also drag and drop the file onto the browser window.  In Safari, you drag and drop to the address bar.

In the Office for Mac applications, PDF files can be opened in Word but not Excel and PowerPoint.

And finally, you don’t need Acrobat to sign documents; Preview and Reader work just fine.  And don’t overlook what Preview can do in place of Acrobat.  But those details are the subject of a future article.

It is true that Acrobat is the gold standard for PDF.  A full list of features is available at the Adobe Web site at (as of the time this is being written):

Depending on your business requirements, an Acrobat subscription may be worth every penny.  But you may be able to accomplish what you need with tools you already have.  Try them out and see how it works.

And don’t overlook sharing.  Someone else in your department or college may have Acrobat and can help with a one-off (okay, maybe two- or three-off during the year) conversion.

Secure your Zoom virtual meetings.

As we progress into the Spring Semester, we ask you to review the following best practices for securing your Zoom meetings:

  • Do not post your Zoom meeting information on social media platforms. Posting your meeting information on social media ( i.e. Twitter or Facebook) opens the door for anyone (including unwanted guests) to join your meeting.
  • Turn on Your Waiting Room. This feature provides a virtual waiting room for your attendees and allows you to admit individual meeting participants. Instructions on Waiting Rooms.
  • Require a Passcode to Join. This feature enables only those with the
    passcode to join your scheduled meetings. To learn all the ways to add a passcode for your meetings, view this support article.

Review the Best Practices for Securing Your Zoom Meetings guide for additional ways to stay secure. Visit our Zoom webpage for additional information.

New Webpage: Hardware/Software/Third-Party Vendor Request Procedure

Information Technology has various processes in place for the procurement of computer hardware, software and services. These processes improve efficiency, ensure appropriate justification/approvals, and increase value of hardware, services and software procurement.

Review the IT Hardware/Software/Third-party Vendor Request Procedures webpage to find out about submissions/approvals, timelines, contract review and asset disposal. This webpage also links to the Higher Education Cloud Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT), which all potential cloud vendors must complete before signing a contract.

Campus Digital Signage Upgrade

The Visix/AxisTV Digital Signage solution provides our campus with an easy way to broadcast information to engage students, faculty, staff and visitors throughout various strategic campus locations. During this academic year, IT will be upgrading our Digital Signage players, which will require a software update. We are currently reviewing the upgrade requirements, as well as creating training sessions and materials in order to upgrade this service with minimal disruption. The various departments that maintain Digital Signage content will be contacted to schedule this upgrade.

New Microsoft Tools: Bookings and Teams

Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Bookings apps have been added to your Office 365 applications.

Microsoft Bookings is a scheduling tool that is part of the Microsoft Office 365 family of products. An easy to use website allows end-users to utilize the tool to view calendars and schedule appointments with a department or organization for specific services. Benefits includes the integration with Outlook calendars, automated notification emails to reduce no-shows.

How do I start using Bookings?

Bookings is available for all students and most faculty/staff. Any faculty/staff who need a license can request one by entering a ticket in Royal IT Support. Select the Report an Issue category.

To get started, go to

Bookings resources from Microsoft: 

Microsoft Teams is a workspace for real-time collaboration and communication, meetings, file and app sharing, and more.

How do I start using Teams? 

Any actively enrolled student or currently employed staff or faculty member can access Teams for basic collaboration including individual chat and video conferencing. Teams can be accessed via the web application at or by downloading the Teams client for your desktop, iOS, or Android. Then, sign in with your University email and password.

Microsoft Teams can be used to collaborate simply by going to the Chat tab to directly communicate with an individual or group of people. Through the app, you can also attend Teams meetings.

Although you cannot create a departmental team within the Teams application, we are currently piloting the departmental Teams group feature in several administrative departments on campus.

Teams resources from Microsoft: 

Microsoft 365 Training is a free, interactive, hands-on training platform that helps people develop technical skills related to widely used Microsoft products and services including Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint.

The website has various training resources, including step-by-step instruction, cheat sheets, templates and video trainings.

Tech Tip from IT – Managing Phone Calls

Setup your office phone for remote work by Lisa Notarianni, Telecommunications Engineer

Tip 1: Forward your campus phone to your home or cell phone:

You can open a Royal Support ticket to request that your office phone be forwarded to another number.  Please include your campus phone number that you want forwarded and the number you want it forward to.  The number you provide will ring when your campus number is dialed. Be sure to state if you would like it sent only during normal business hours (M-F 8:30am-4:30pm).

Tip 2: Send your voicemail messages to your email:

Send your voice mail messages to your email to receive “wav” file for each voice mail you receive.  This is the most efficient way to manage voice mail while working remotely.  You will not need to call into the voice mail system to check if you have messages. Please open a Royal Support ticket to request to forward your voice mail to email.  Be sure to include your office phone number and email address.

Tip 3: Alternate Greeting

You can record a temporary greeting without having to change your standard greeting. You may want to record something like “Hello, you’ve reached “John Smith”, I am currently working remotely.  Please leave your name and number and I will return your call as soon as possible.”  This helps callers know you are working and will return their call if they leave a message.

Follow these steps:

  1. Call 570-941-2450
  2. Enter your “ID followed by #” (enter your 4 digit phone number)
  3. Enter your “Pin followed by #” (enter your voice mail password)
  4. Option 4 set up options (You do not need to wait for the prompts to finish paying
  5. Option 1 Greetings
  6. Alternate Greeting 2
  7. Press # for indefinite (no end date)
  8. Follow the prompts from there to record your alternate greeting and make it the current greeting

Tech Tip from IT Staff – Zoom Exhaustion is Real

Zoom Exhaustion is Real….. A few tips from Stephen Hickman, Executive Director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and Susan Bowen, CIO.

  • Before starting your Zoom meeting, take a few moments to settle and ground yourself so you can give the person and the meeting your full attention.
  • When the meeting starts, take the time to greet each participant and notice each face.
  • Although we are fond of the “Brady Bunch Squares” or Gallery view choose “Speaker View” so that you can focus on the person who is speaking.  Doing this mimics a conference table where you are aware of everyone, but focused on who is speaking.
  • Decide not to multitask. Focus your attention in one area.
  • Take breaks between your Zoom sessions.  An idea to consider is a 50-minute hour that enables you to run to the restroom, get a drink of water, or attend to a child or pet!
  • Remind yourself this is new territory for all of us – practice patience and positivity.

Tech Tips from IT Staff – Communication Challenges

What’s In A Word? by Kathy Boock, Tech Support Center Analyst

Have you had the unfortunate experience of a colleague misinterpreting the context to your email or text message? Clear communication is perhaps one of the biggest challenges we face when we aren’t working face to face.

A disadvantage of communicating through either email or text message is that it can’t capture the all-important non-verbal cues of in-person communication. Things like voice inflection, facial expressions and body language significantly affect how someone understands a message’s meaning. A one-word reply may seem annoyed or angry. Humor may be misunderstood or even offensive. A lengthy message may seem rambling and pointless.

Here are some best practice suggestions to keep communication effective even at a distance.

  1. Determine the best method of communication for the message – Anything complex that might require further explanation should be handled with an email or a phone call.
  2. Be Concise if it takes you more than 30 seconds to type it, an email or phone call may be more appropriate.
  3. Remain Professional – save the cute or funny emojis for your personal texts only.
  4. Be Clear – Use texts for information that has little room for misinterpretation. Avoid attempts at humor or wit – without a lot of context, your message could get lost in translation.

Keeping these few things in mind may save you from unintended misunderstandings and keep professional relationships positive.

Tech Tips from IT Staff – Banner Tips and New Features

By Cindy Hricko, Manager Enterprise Application

Banner Tip 1: With Banner Job Submission, you have the ability to have the file go to the database, so you can view when it is finished running. Click to view instructions (authentication required).

Banner Tip 2:   Did you know that you can get to Self Service through the Banner Application Navigator page?

In other words, while in Banner, type Time Sheet (or any form that is Self Service Banner such as Student Profile) and it will appear in the drop down. Click on it and you will go to SSB.

Click the HOUSE icon within Self Service Banner and you go back to Banner Application Navigator.

Banner Tip 3: Did you know that you can go to the Employee Application Menu through Self Service? Under Employee Menu Tab -> Other Employee Functions->Applications Menu

Banner Tip 4:   Use of User Preferences in Banner is available with a recent Release of Banner. If you are on a Banner Form, such as, GOAEMAL, it currently only displays 3 records on each page as the default. If you would like to change to a larger number for every time you go into Banner… you now can. Change the number on the bottom  for the per page from 3 to 10 and then Click settings and Save Pagination Settings. Each time you go into the form now, it will have the value you have determined.  With the Restore Pagination Settings, it will revert back to the Ellucian baseline default. This new feature is across Banner forms.