Connect to the Dartmouth College Library (and Elsewhere) While You’re Away

Hopkins Center bulletin board; wanted: rides home for Thanksgiving [undated]

Hopkins Center bulletin board; wanted: rides home for Thanksgiving [undated]

Traveling over the break? Here’s how to access Dartmouth‘s online library resources as well as those at other institutions:

1. There are several options for accessing Dartmouth College Library’s online resources from off-campus.

2. If you’re traveling to another university or research institution, Eduroam is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. It allows users to connect to the secure networks and resources at other participating institutions.

3. Dartmouth-affiliated faculty, students, and staff enjoy on-site access and on-site borrowing privileges at other BorrowDirect institutions and some Ivies Plus institutions.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the break!

 

Merging Images in Photoshop, Part One

One of the most common problems in digitization is how to deal with an image that is too big for your camera or scanner. The simplest solution is to photograph or scan the object in separate pieces, then merge those pieces together, however this can present its own set of problems to those unfamiliar with imaging software.

In this post I will be describing my own method for merging together images. There are many other ways to accomplish these tasks, and if you have a way that works for you, I encourage you to keep using it, but also be aware of its potential pitfalls. The main benefits of my own method are the ability to quality-check your work as you go, and make simple non-destructive edits that can be changed or reversed as needed. Also, for simplicity’s sake, I will be referring to my own Mac OS based workflow for menus and keyboard shortcuts.

Here is the whole image that we’re trying to assemble, and for whatever reason, it’s been captured in two side-by-side pieces in the standard .tiff format. It is crucially important, when capturing, to make sure there is overlap between the captures. This is going to help us check how well-aligned our merging is, so the more overlap the better.

Notice how each side is wider than half of the image

Now that we’ve got our two images, open both in Adobe Photoshop and choose whichever one you want to start working on. I usually go from left to right for simplicity’s sake, so here I will be starting on the left side of the image.

In Photoshop, select the Image drop-down file menu, and select “Canvas Size…” (or use the keyboard shortcut: option+command+C). Click on the canvas width field, and double it. In the “Anchor” field, select the leftmost column of the grid so that Photoshop knows where to put the empty space.

You should be left with an image like this:

It will end up a little wider than is necessary, but it’ll be easier to trim it down after the fact than to add more space. This will now become our “master” file. Do a “Save As” at this point and designate it as such.

Next, go to the second image that we are going to merge into the master (in this case, the right side image). The next step should be familiar to most computer users: select all of the image (command+A), and copy it to the clipboard (command+C). Then go back to the master file and use paste (command+V) to add it into the image.

If you’re paying attention, you’ll obviously notice that this new image is not in the correct position. However, by looking at the Layers panel on the right side of Photoshop you’ll see that the new image is on its own layer, resting on top of the background (if you do not see the Layers panel, select the “Window” drop-down menu and enable “Layers” there). Thus we can edit it without disturbing the original “bottom” layer.

Now, with the top layer selected, click on the “Opacity” field in the Layers panel and set it to 40%. This will make the top layer semi-transparent and allow us to line it up with the bottom layer.

Then, with the Move tool selected (V), begin moving the top layer around and trying to find where it lines up. Look for any solid shapes that are shared by both images, or where the borders intersect. Letterforms provide nice clear and easily-spottable shapes, which is why I have used them in this example, but it can be anything so long as it’s shared by both images.

We’re getting there, but it’s obviously still not right. At this point, find an area of overlap and zoom in closely. Then, with both the top layer and the move tool selected, simply “nudge” the top layer into place using the arrow keys. The arrow keys will only move the layer one pixel at a time, so obviously this is for the finest level of adjustments.

Almost…

Nailed it!

Now for the final steps! In the layers panel, set the top layer’s opacity back to 100%. Then inspect the images along the borders, making sure that it looks seamless. While checking for quality be sure to zoom in and out.

At this point you can crop the image down to its original size, and it will be ready to go. However, one important piece to remember is that layered .tiffs, in addition to simply being larger files, are also not commonly supported by web or other software. What I like to do at this point is to save the “Master” file with both layers, and then create a new version for common use. The common use version will get flattened (Layer -> Flatten Image) then do a Save As in whatever format is required such as .jpeg or .pdf. This way, if any changes need to be made, we can always go back to the Master version.

And there you have it! A nice, seamless image. In the next post in this series, I will go into more detail for dealing with other problems, such as skew and mismatched backgrounds or details.

Written by Ryland Ianelli

Power Your Research with the LibX Toolbar!

libxThe Libx Toolbar is a browser plug-in that allows you to highlight the text on a web page and search for it in a set of key databases, such as the Library Catalog, Summon, JSTOR, Borrow Direct, and more. Watch this short screencast to see how it can work for you!

Learn more and install the LibX toolbar

Filed under: Tech Tips

Mix and Match at Jones Media Center

legallyskyfall

 

 

 

 

Bond goes legally blonde.

Introducing the promotional poster series Mix and Match at Jones Media Center.

The Mix and Match posters are the latest in a series of digital media projects developed by Jones student tech assistants, intern, and staff to help promote Media Center resources and services, in this case its extensive video collection of over 17,000 DVDs.

 

Swan-WalterIn the process of creating these promotions, student techs develop graphic design skills and get to explore different digital media applications. During the production phase, they hone specific skills; e.g., the use of layer masks and brushes in Photoshop and text animation in Adobe After Effects.

 

 

 

 

King_Kong_DartmouthSweet '13s

Past and current projects include an iconic movie posters series; movie trailers to promote new movie arrivals, produced in Final Cut Pro; a senior poster in ligne claire comic style, traced from photographs using Adobe Illustrator; and Halloween posters    featuring Jones student employees.

 

Screen_Shot_2014-09-26_at_5.33.39_PMFor this most recent promotion, Jones student techs, intern and staff worked as a team to develop a Photoshop poster template that would effectively convey the Mix and Match concept through the use of hybrid characters. The message is simple and executed in a visually engaging manner. Familiar movie characters from a variety of genres are juxtaposed to create quirky graphics.

 

 

 

FrankUnderwoodcoloradjustFor easy reference, movie titles and DVD numbers are listed on each poster. To date, student tech assistants and the Jones intern have produced over a dozen Mix and Match posters, showcasing some of their favorite flicks. The Jones Media Center video collection campaign extends across campus. An animated Mix and Match version is showing on digital screens throughout the Dartmouth Libraries.

 

 

 

Up_JawLibrary patrons can search the Jones Media Center video collection using the Dartmouth College Library catalog. Digital media applications used in the production of Jones promotional projects, including Adobe Creative Suite CS6 and Final Cut Pro X, are installed on Jones Media Center computers. Anyone is welcome to check out an editing station at the Media Services desk to work on a media project. Student tech assistants are available during evening and weekend hours and happy to help with questions.

 

 

Devil wearing ChaplinThe Mix and Match posters are currently on display at Jones. Visitors to the Media Center will be greeted by a band of oddly incongruous characters inhabiting the glass panels adjacent to the main entrance. Be sure to stop by and take a moment to be confused and amused as Edna dons a mean girls skirt, the devil wears Chaplin, and 007 takes Bruiser for a stroll.

Get Started with LaTeX

latex_handoutBy now, you’re convinced that writing your documents using LaTeX is the way to go. Your papers, presentations, and even homework assignments will look publication-ready with its fancy headers, section numbering, and beautifully typeset mathematical equations. You’re ready to make the leap from MS Word, but how do you begin?

First, you have to decide between online versus offline use. There are pros and cons to each, but the major difference is if you plan to have internet access while you’re working on your documents.

Certainly if you don’t want the hassle of downloading the software and choosing an editor, go with one of the web options (all of these allow for collaborative writing as well):

  • writeLaTeX — instant updating of your new content or edits
  • ShareLaTeX — watch your collaborators type (like google docs)
  • Authorea — version control through git

But if you do want your own installation, start with downloading the right software distribution for your operating system here and follow the instructions to install. You should allow for at least 30 minutes for the whole process. Factors to consider: internet speed, size of the software (varies), speed of your computer, etc.

You may notice that your distribution may or may not come with a starter editor, which is your interface to writing. For example, MacTeX comes with TeXShop. You’re not obligated to use it and you are free to choose whatever editor you want. You may already be using an editor to code in other languages; e.g. Vim or Emacs. Check out this table for comparison.

Now you’re ready to make your first document! If you’d like a suggestion, try writing your CV/resume. I will be holding a workshop on formatting tips for your CV/resume in LaTeX on Thursday, October 30 at noon in Kresge Library. Save the date and bring your document!

Workshop: SPSS Data Analysis

spssCome to join in this session if you need to learn SPSS for your research, term project and theses or refresh your knowledge and skills about SPSS, for example, how to calculate descriptive statistics, how to conduct t-tests, how to run linear regression and ANOVA,etc. During this session, you will also have a chance to learn from an experienced librarian how to find data sets you need for your research, term projects, and theses.

Date:  Thursday, July 17, 2014
Time:  2:00PM – 4:00PM
Location:  Carson Instructional Center (Carson 61)
Registration:  Please sign up here ASAP!

Poster Prep — May 8 at 6pm

We’re gearing up for the annual Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Symposium, which is May 22. Join us for a poster preparation session!

Thursday, May 8 at 6pm in Starr 

Here’s the page with some guidelines and examples. We will look at previous posters and give you some tips about layout designs, choosing images, creating infographics, and more!

If you miss the session, feel free to drop in for help:

  • Thursday, May 15, 4-6 PM
    Friday, May 16, 2-4 PM
    Shirley Zhao, Physical Sciences Librarian
    Location: Kresge Library–3rd floor of Fairchild Hall
  • Monday, May 19, 2-4PM
    David Izzo, Computing and Media Services, Biomedical Library
    Location: Dana Library at Dewey Field Road, 3rd floor

UpToDate Enhancements Coming

UpToDate banner UpToDate® introduces enhanced search results and an improved user interface Find answers faster than ever with links to the sections and graphics most likely to answer your clinical questions. UpToDate synthesizes data from over 21 million monthly topic views to analyze search terms and information viewed by clinicians. This analysis enables UpToDate to quickly and accurately display relevant sections and graphics for a given search. Navigating UpToDate is even more intuitive with a redesigned user interface that puts key features like Drug Interactions and Practice Changing UpDates on every page.

Enhancements that improve search and usability include:

  • Links to the sections and graphics within a topic that are most likely to answer your clinical question
  • Customizability allows you to collapse the search results to see more results per page; this setting will be saved if you are logged in
  • The topic outline continues to provide a comprehensive overview of all topic sections and graphics
  • Find in Topic now displays your search term immediately upon opening
  • Improved user interface facilitates navigation by grouping items together in sections in the header and footer

enhancement examples

Learn more about the enhanced search results and updated user interface:
Watch a brief video demonstrating the changes or view a full description.

LaTeX Minicourse

Brought to you by the Department of Mathematics and Kresge Library, we will get you set up and using LaTeX like a pro in no time through this 3-part series! So mark your calendars for the following Tuesdays this Spring and join us:

latex_flyer_sp14

Filed under: Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Kresge, Math, Physics, Publishing, Tech Tips, Workshops Tagged: LaTeX

Dartmouth LaTeX Users Group

Announcing the formation of a Dartmouth LaTeX Users Group! We have an internal SharePoint site to share files and to hold discussions. Have a template for a thesis to share? Have questions about getting started? Come join the online community! Click here to send me an email request; please use your Dartmouth email.