3 Tech Tips for Teachers

Just a quick post to share some of my favorite tech tips.  These are some that I think everyone is born knowing and then I’m shocked to find someone techier/younger/hipper who doesn’t know it.

1. Print 2 to a page.

Seriously, these kids have good vision.  Save a tree.  In Word 2010 or higher, it’s the bottom option:

CaptureaAnd in earlier versions, it’s in the lower right of the print box:


(I don’t know why I didn’t set my examples to actually have “2 pages” instead of one, but I trust you guys are smart enough to figure that part out.)

Pro tip: Type your original on legal.  When you print 2 to a page, it will use up all that space you get at the bottom when printing letter 2/page.

2. DoPDF PDF Converter.

Download here.  (Looks like Windows only, sorry losers Mac users)

This installs another printer on your machine, but it really prints it to a PDF file.  Simply print, select it as your printer, then choose where to save it (you can even choose a default folder).  “But I can save .docx as a .pdf, so why would I need this?”

A) Combine with tip #1.  Type your document as normal (because using Word’s 2 to a page layout while making a worksheet is super annoying), maybe using a slightly larger font (maybe 14, but I can get away with 11).  Choose doPDF as your printer and choose 2 copies.  Then it opens up the PDF and you can print 2 to a page from there.  This really helps when you use the protip above, because sometimes Word doesn’t play nicely printing legal 2 to a page.

B) Make a PDF of a powerpoint handout to post for your students.  Is there anything more annoying than seeing a kid in the library print out 27 full-page slides?  But since you can’t teach everyone everything, this helps.

C) Print all those annoying “print this confirmation” pages (even though I’m about to get 12 different emails confirming that I did, in fact, order Orphan Black Season 2 because I can’t wait for it to come on Amazon Instant Prime).  Send them all to a “receipt” file.  Bonus if you can spell “receipt” right on the first try.

3. En Dash Shortcut

You know how sometimes Word will change your hyphen to a nice wider subtraction sign (the “en dash”), but sometimes it won’t depending on the relative humidity?  I can’t believe that in my previous shortcut post, I forgot to share my favorite shortcut off all: making two hyphens into an en dash:

Bonus tip:

Dude, I just learned this one last month and I’ve been a dropbox user forever. I would always go to the website to get a link to share, but did you know that with box or dropbox, you can right-click on the file or folder on your desktop to get the link?  It’ll copy it straight to your clipboard.

Am I seriously the last one to learn about this?

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