Technology Leadership

CENTENNIAL SECONDARY SCHOOL

How to use ScreenStyler

Tired of your boring old, default desktop interface? Using Rainmeter too much of a hassle? ScreenStyler is for you.

What’s ScreenStyler?

ScreenStyler is a very simple desktop customizable tool that allows you to move away from Windows’, and Mac’s default interface. Although still in beta development, it already has quite a few ready to use widgets available for you to pick from. ScreenStyler builds off the Rainmeter program, they’re pretty much the same thing, but this one’s a tad bit simpler to use, and has less features.

How to get started

  • Start by heading to this website.
  • Click the Download BETA 0.2.3 button.

    It should take you to a mediafire website. If for some reason it doesn’t, here’s the link.(Looks sketchy, but it’s safe!)
  • Click the blue download button.
  • Open up the file.
  • Go through the on screen installation process.

Using ScreenStyler

Upon opening the application you should be greeted with the following screen.

You can skip if you want, or put in a name.
You should land here afterwards.

Read through the “Learn the Basics page”.

After you’re done, return to this page and click on “My First Style”

Here’s the base template they provide with you. As you can see, it looks a lot like an IOS layout. Well, that’s because it also primarily works on RocketDock, a MacOS overlay application for windows. You can delete all these elements if you wish and start from scratch!

On the left, you have the menu of which all your customizable options are located.

From top to bottom,


Wallpaper options
Widgets
Icons
RocketDock
Steam Overlays
General Settings
Save Overlay
Export Style
Apply Overlay

Wallpaper

In wallpaper settings, you can set your wallpaper to any solid colours, any gradient( and its rotation), pick from a large variety of preset wallpapers from within the app, add a wallpaper of your own, and apply blur/hue/greyscale effects.

A demo feature currently, layered photos, consists of wallpapers that are made of 2 layers, meaning you can hide widgets behind a specific portion of the wallpaper.

You can see the layered portion of the the wallpaper by dragging a widget through the wallpaper!

Widgets

The widgets portion is a larger portion of the application. There are a few premade widgets for news, audio visualizers, multiple clocks, audio switcher, a powerbutton, browser searchbar, simple background boxes, a system resource monitor, and small text menus.

These Widgets are normal widgets, meaning you can drag them around and place them anywhere you’d like. You can also change the background colour, font, transparency, and the colour of the widget itself.


Grid Widgets are widgets that are neatly arranged in a grid that you can size to your liking. These grid widgets are pretty much carbon copies of widgets on ios. These widgets are not as customizable as normal widgets. Grid widgets are customized as a whole, not the individual widgets. You can customize the base colour of the grid widgets, the general size, whether the corners should be square or round, and if labels are needed.

You can also create custom text widgets. Custom widgets can carry out a multitude of tasks that are preset within the application. Clicking the custom bar opens up an interface with lists of actions to choose from. You can choose what this widget says, the font colour, the font, it’s size, and it’s alignment relative to it’s widget box.

Icons

Icons are my favourite part of ScreenStyler. If you don’t use it for basic ios widgets, you use it for these. Icons are small widgets for specific apps and websites. You can’t customize the colours but there is an option to alter all the icons to fit a dark, or light theme, and for applications, to look like mac icons. You can however, choose if the icon will fit into an existing grid, to go to the RocketDock, or just simply lay anywhere.

You can create custom icons too, for your own tasks. Choose an image, set a name, set the action, choose where the icon will go and voila!

RocketDock

RocketDock is a MacOs taskbar-like overlay. Like mentioned previously in the icons section, you can add icons to the Dock to have them neatly organized. You can choose the colour of the dock, the size, position, and add separators between apps too.

Here’s a dock example. This dock is at the bottom of the screen, quite big, and includes a separator in between ebay and steam.

Steam Skins

Steam skins is eaxtly what it sounds like, a skin for steam. Quite barebones, and rather negligible. It just changes the look of the Steam border. It requires the installation of SteamCustomizer, a separate project.

A dead pool skin is applied here.

Settings

Last but not least, is the settings menu. The settings menu consists of quite a few things. First and foremost, you can see the effect that the program has on your computer. Applications like these are low resource applications as they are simply barebones images that link to applications. However if you are concerned about it’s effect, you can choose between the 6 different tiers that your computer may fall into and the tool will tell you the approximate performance hit.

Startup options such as opening Rainmeter (your widgets), and opening RocketDock also appear here.

The bulk of the settings menu is in your widget specific preferences. These preferences include widget size override(if widgets end up too small even on largest setting), aspect ratio for the overlay, screen corner roundness, your default windows taskbar position and layout, to hide desktop shortcuts or not, 12/24h time, date order, Celsius/Fahrenheit, latitude & longitude for weather, news provider, and finally your media player.

Metadata is simply the name and description of your overlay.

In the Misc section, you can find buttons to import and export .styler files. These functions are used if you want to use a overlay you found online, or share your overlay with others. There is also a reset style function to clear everything in your current overlay, and a clear app data button incase your overlay/app ever acts oddly.

Finishing up

After finishing designing your layout, simply hit the save button, and hit the green checkmark to apply your style!

Voila! You’re done!

Goodnotes tips 1

Here are some tips that may be useful when using Goodnotes!

Change colour of drawing/handwriting

lasso tool -> tap -> colour -> pick colour

Resize writing/drawing

lasso tool -> tap -> resize -> move accordingly 

Search for writing/text

search button -> type word

Perfect shapes

draw a shape -> hold until thicker lines form -> move according to size

Change handwriting to text

lasso tool -> tap -> press convert -> copy and paste to where you want

Setting up your Display

Your laptop or pc screen, comes all good to go on default. However there are a few things you can customize to your liking.

Set Refresh Rate/Resolution(external monitors)

External monitors can be advertised as 144hz and 4k, but they won’t actually run at said settings. You’ve got to change that.

Head in to Settings>System>Display. Under “Scale and Layout”, you can change your displays resolution.

To change the refresh rate, go under “Multiple Displays”. select advanced display settings.

Here you can select your specific display and set the proper refresh rate.

Saturation/RGB/Advanced settings.

More settings can be found in your graphics card’s control panel

Depending on if you run intel graphics, nvidia graphics, or amd graphics, this process will look different. However the main process is similar, if not exactly the same. I have an nvidia card, so I will be showing the process through Nvidia.

Right click any empty space on your desktop, and click “Nvidia Control Panel.”

For amd users, the software will be named “AMD Radeon Settings.”
For intel users, it’s “Intel Graphics Settings.”

Once Nvidia Control Panel has opened, on the left hand task bar you can see a dozen different tabs for you to navigate through for your display. The most important one here, is “Adjust Desktop Color settings”. Here, you can entirely change the way your display represents colours.

For Intel and AMD users the process is fairly similar. If you are still having trouble navigating through your system, or the software, click the following links.

Video on Intel Display settings.

AMD Radeon Settings Support page

VPNS

You’ve probably heard of VPN’s every now and then, but have you really looked into what they are, and why they’ve risen in popularity? Look no more, I’m here to tell you what’s up.

What is a VPN?

VPNS(Virtual Private Networks) are applications that encrypt your internet traffic for your own security. This makes your actions online virtually untraceable by creating a private network tunnel from a public internet connection. VPN service establish secure connections to provide the upmost privacy and security in a day and age where online privacy and cybercrime can become a worry.

Why Should I have a VPN?

Think of any time you’ve used the internet, even now as you’re reading this. Surfing the web or interacting on WI-FI networks mean you could be exposing private information and browsing habits. Ever seen an ad for something you just recently searched up? That’s no coincidence.

1. Security on conventional Public WI-FI

Public WI-FI, although convenient, aren’t exactly safe. Actually, they’re not safe at all. With Public WI-FI, convenience comes at the expense of security. Whether you’re shopping on the web, answering emails, or going through social media, there’s a chance someone could quite easily track your online activity.

2. Privacy

Privacy, is the big one here.

Your ISP(Internet Service provider) is the company behind the internet in your home. Since they’re in charge, they get access to everything related to your internet service. Yep, that means they can see exactly what you’ve been doing with your internet. Your ISP can access all of your internet data, they can see when, where, what, and how your browse the internet. Although, in Canada ISPs are legally not allowed to sell your data without your consent.. however that doesn’t exactly mean what you think it does. De-identified data, data that is stripped of your personal info, is still shared with others. The problem is, companies can rearrange the pieces along side other data to find out who you are. If you’ve got some privacy issues with other companies, a VPN is a great investment.

It’s no surprise the government gets ahold of your data too, even though it’s outlined in laws that ISPs can’t sell data, it ends up in the governments hands one way, or another. If governmental control, overeach, or just all out privacy is a worry for you, invest!

3. Security on the go

VPN’s don’t have to be active in one place at one time. You’re homes internet is infinitely safer than a public network, but that’s only in one area. VPNS are connected to your device. Bring your device where ever you want, it’s got your back.

4. Unlimited Streaming Access

Streaming services are arguably more popular than standard cable TV. Thing is, in some cases, certain content can only be streamed in certain countries. You might want to watch something available in Paris, but you live in Canada. Don’t worry, by using a VPN you can change your IP address to anywhere the service provides, allowing yourself to stream content that wouldn’t usually be available.

5. Ease of Use

All things considered, they’re simply so easy to use. Yes, it’s a subscription, but if any of the prior points mean anything to you then the fee is worth the investment.

Best VPNS to consider

All things considered, here are some of the best VPNs.

Nord VPN

I think we’ve all heard of Nord VPN at some point, and that’s not for no reason.

Nord VPN boasts

  • The Fastest Speeds on the Market
  • Strict No logs Policy (they don’t want your data!)
  • 5100+ Servers world wide
  • No bandwidth limit
  • Split Tunnels
  • 24/7 support
  • Maximum security servers
  • Kill Switch for emergencies
  • 6 Simultaneous devices

For more information, read what they have to say on their site.

Express VPN

Express VPN is similar if not indifferent with Nord VPN.

  • Incredibly Fast speeds
  • 3000+ Servers across the world
  • No bandwidth limit
  • Premium top tier 24/7 support
  • Kill Switch for emergencies
  • Split tunnels
  • Minimal latency delay while gaming
  • No logs Policy
  • 5 Simultaneous devices

For more information, read what they have to say on their site.

Pixlr X – express photo editor

Have you ever had a moment, when you needed to do a couple of quick adjustments to a picture, but the basic editor on your phone wasn’t enough? Well, here’s a quick, online photo editor that doesn’t require signing up, but has almost all functions of Photoshop.

The editor is online, it automatically saves all of your projects even without signing up for an account.

It is easy to use, if you hover over any tool, you can see a short description and the keyboard shortcut for this tool. most shortcuts are the same as the ones in Photoshop.

The layout is simple and has all the useful areas.
The layers have a set of buttons and switches to toggle. To open them, simply left-click the layer or click on the three dots on the layer.

Pixlr had many colour-editing options as well as simple transformational tools. If you need to edit a picture quickly, then head to:

https://pixlr.com/e/

How to use ShareX!

ShareX is a screenshot tool created to make taking screenshots more efficient. Another alternative is lightshot, however I believe ShareX is a greater tool with better personalization.

Installation

  1. Go to https://getsharex.com/ . You should be directed to a home page that looks like this.

2. Click the download button. A setup file should appear at the bottom of your browser.

The download button is located near the top. There is also a downloads sub-category if you would like to download previous versions!
Here’s the setup file.

3. Open the setup file by clicking the file, or right click and hit “open”.

4. You will now be prompted to go through the very simple installation process. Go through the steps instructed on the screen, and you’ll have ShareX downloaded in seconds!

Getting to know ShareX

ShareX should pop up on your screen. If not, it may be minimized in the background. To open the application, left click the arrow on the right of your taskbar. This should open your minimized application tray, where you’ll see ShareX.

There it is! Top row in the middle.

Right click the ShareX icon. You’ll see a tray pop up with many ready to go options such as screen shot, record, create gifs, and more. We’re going to click open main window.

Here’s the homepage for ShareX. In the middle, you can see some key hotkeys that can be used to do different things The most useful one in my opinion, is capture region.

Capture Region

Capture region allows you to select a portion of your screen to screenshot. That way, you don’t have to crop the picture later after you’ve taken it!

Screen Recording

Screen recording… is rather straight forward. ShareX will prompt you to select a portion of the screen you would like to record, and it will start recording! To stop recording, press the assigned hotkey again, or click the stop button underneath the region you are recording.

Screen Recording (GIF)

Recording a gif with ShareX works the exact same way as normal screen recording, except… it will be turned into a gif file.

After Capture Tasks

If you use ShareX and take a screenshot, there are a few things you can tell ShareX to do after you’ve taken the screenshot. To check out your options, on the side bar of the application you will see a subheader called After Capture tasks. Clicking it will open up this menu with a list of the many things you can tell ShareX to do after screenshotting.

Right now, I have Copy Image to Clipboard, and Save Image to File toggled on. This means ShareX will save my screenshot as a file within my screenshot folder, and it will also copy the image to my clipboard so that I can simply paste the picture wherever I want to share it!

After Upload Tasks

After taking a screenshot, video, or gif with ShareX, you can tell ShareX to upload the file to an online host. These hosts such as imgur, pastebin, streamable host your file so that you can share it easily with others. All you have to do is copy the link to your file on their site, and send it!

1. To do this, you’ll first want to start by sending your file to a host. Click the Destinations subheader on the sidebar. A menu will pop up with the current hosts that ShareX will send each type of file to. Change them as you wish!

If you want ShareX to upload the file to a host with your own account for that host, click on Destination Settings. EX: i want to upload to imgur with my imgur account, Im going to hit destination settings and log in to imgur from there!

2. After choosing your hosts, you want to go to After Upload Tasks in the sidebar and click Copy URL to clipboard. This copies the link to your file, on the hosts website.

There are also a few more options. Play around with them.

3. Now ShareX will upload any videos or files to the host, and copy the link. But it won’t work for images just yet. To get this to work with images, go to After Capture Tasks and hit Upload Image to Host.

By default, ShareX does not send an image to a host because the image will be on your computer regardless. That’s why you need to change it!

And these are the basics to ShareX. There’s a lot more in this program, so explore!

How to save and reuse elements on Goodnotes

Instead of copy and paste, there is a new and efficient way to reuse elements; elements such as stickers, diagrams, text, calligraphy, and more. You can use them across all notebooks in Goodnotes and it is fairly simple.

Below is a step-by-step tutorial.

1. Create the element you want to save.

2. Select the element using the lasso tool and click ‘add element’.

3. Add to a collection or create a new one.

4. Click on the sticker icon to access the element.

Here is a short video on how this works.

Creating Fillable PDF files!

  1. Go to https://www.pdfescape.com/windows/. We will be using the free online version today. I recommend making an account if you’d like to edit any fillable documents that you’ve already created.
Should look like this

2. Upload your PDF file

3. Once you’ve uploaded your file (I will be using a PDF file I was given earlier this year), it should look like this:

Creating Form Fields

There are a variety of different form fields you can choose from

TEXT: Ideal to use for short written fields such as “Name: “, “Age: “, “Email: “. Basically anywhere you only need to use one line for!

Click and drag on the page to insert new object

At the top, you will be able to see the font and size options. This is how the text that the user puts in will show up. I usually higher the font size to 15-17 depending on the text around it.

You can test out the text options by typing in the form field you just created

Right-click on a form field to find “Object Properties”. There will be more options.

TEXT PARAGRAPH: Self-explanatory title! Used for larger, multi-lined, form fields. Using the same steps we did for the TEXT tool we can get…

CHECKBOX: Also self-explanatory! Anywhere you’d like a checkbox, slap it on there. If you go to its object properties, you can customize the check type to different icons (such as stars!)

It will automatically show up checked, so I like to uncheck it before I finish.

Those are the only tools I’ve had to use when converting documents into fillable PDFs, however, there are more options such as dropdown and listbox (where the user can choose an option from several choices). You can edit the options/choices in the Object Properties.

WHEN YOU’RE FINISHED

The blue save icon is… well… the saving button, and the green button below it lets you download your beautiful creation 🙂

Welcome to the CENT CHATBOT!

Meet Eden! The chatbot Centennial’s Tech Leadership has designed to answer your questions immediately!

However, please understand that Eden is only able to answer a limited number of questions at the moment, we will be expanding our list of questions in the future !

Instructions on How to Use the Chatbot

Below are a list of question Eden is able to answer at the moment, the questions are organized by category!

Once you find your question from the list, you can ask Eden the question by entering the number below!

Questions about Edublog:

1. How can I log into Edublog?

2. How can I embed in Edublog?

3. How can I post on Edublog?

4. How can I customize my Edublog page?

Questions about Office 365:

5. How can I log into Office 365 online?

6. How can I gain access to OneNote?

7. How can I gain access to Word online?

8. How can I gain access to Powerpoint online?

9. How can I gain access to Outlook (student email)?

Questions about Wifi:

10. How can I gain access to Wifi on my phone?

11. How can I gain access to Wifi on my laptop/computer?

12. What should I do if my Wifi is still not working?

Questions about Powerpoint:

13. What is Powerpoint?

14. How do I use Powerpoint?

Questions about OneNote:

15. What is OneNote?

16. How do I use OneNote?

Questions about Canva:

17. What is Canva?

18. How do I use Canva?

Questions about Simple Booklet:

19. What is Simple Booklet?

20. How do I use Simple Booklet?

Questions about Prezi:

21. What is Prezi?

22. How do I use Prezi?

Questions about Piktochart:

23. What is Piktochart?

24. How do I use Piktochart?

Questions about Pixton:

25. What is Pixton?

26. How do I use Pixton?

Questions about Venngage:

27. What is Venngage?

28. How do I use Venngage?

Start by saying hi or hello to Eden!

To end the chatbot, enter “thanks”!

– – -EDEN- – –

Credits

Coding & System Design- Savanna Pan

Eden Design- Delia Pan

Q & A – Sona Han

How to Create Your Own VR Headset!!

Hello Centennial! Here is a great DIY VR headset tutorial by Suzy!

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