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Tech Tip #47: Tool Tips

Posted by on August 17, 2011

tech tipsAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

This week’s tip: How do I know what all those icons are for on the toolbar (or ribbon)?

Q: I’m supposed to find a tool on the toolbar, but there are so many and I have no idea what they are for? It’s just as bunch of pictures to me. Is there an easy way to figure this out?

A: To figure out what a tool does on the toolbar or 2007/10”s ribbon, hover your mouse over the tool (place the mouse above it without clicking). A tool tip will appear with a clue as to what it’s for.

This works in any program with a toolbar or ribbon–MS Office, the internet, Photoshop, and more.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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