MORE OAC WordPress Tips . . . at least . . . for ME

OAC WordPress Tips . . . . 
. . . or . . .
Copy Cat Post!

TIME for more OAC WordPress Hints and Tips! I have a previous post about OAC WordPress Tips here so this will be some new, brief ones that might save you some time or make your publishing a bit easier and more satisfying!

                                   Copy Post

10) Copy a Post! If you have a previously published Post that is very similar to what you want to create in a NEW Post, then .. just Copy it, and edit out what you don’t want, keep what you want and start creating! That is what I did for THIS post, from my earlier post! Just click on Posts/All Posts, find the Post you want to ‘Copy’ and .. click on Copy! Rename it and you are off to the races!

                            Add Media to Library

9) Media Library Images – Simply drag any .GIF, .JPG, .PNG, .PDF into the .. Media Library! That is it! I have found that if you want to put a new image INTO your post, then SAVE your draft post FIRST. Then drag the new image resource(s) into the Media Library, then you can add them. If you drag them into the Media Library first, then try to place them in your post, they will not be visible .. until you update your new post.

                    Snipping Tool (WIN)
                            Mac Screen Grab Keystrokes

8) Screen Capture to Media Library! Ah, if only a simple screen grab (Mac or WIN) could be simply .. taken and pasted into an OAC post. Nope! It must be saved as an accepted format (.jpg or .png) and then put into the Media Library. So Mac is (Command-Shift-4) and WIN (WIN-Shift-S) will give you a crosshair to  capture a portion of your screen. Mac instantly makes it a file on the desktop (BONUS!) ready to put into your Media Library. WIN – I use the built in ‘Snipping Tool’ application, then I can edit it in Paint 3d, save it as a .png and then drag into my Media Library. A couple of extra steps, but still quite easy!

Click for BIG NAMED colourful GIF iMacs!
  Use to resize GIFs!

7) Small .GIFS are BETTER! I ran into a problem creating some .GIFs in a previous post. Turned out … the ORIGINAL .GIF files were simply TOO LARGE for OAC to animate! So I used to shrink them down to about 25% of original size and they worked fine after that!

Media Library
             Media Library Add New
Insert as URL
                                     Insert as URL

6) YouTube videos! Although I have tried to resize them, I can’t figure out how. So, you can insert them with the original URL copy/pasted where you want the video to be IN your Post, or copy/paste and Insert them through the Media Library/Insert from URL section. Both work! Neither can be resized! The trick to resize them is to do a screen grab of a frame. Then put that screen grab in the Media Library, then link it to the actual YouTube Video. Cludgy, but it works, such as at my Post about UVic’s YouTube Channel!

        Captions Here NOW!
                 Edit Image

5) Captions for Images! Once I discovered how to put a Caption BENEATH each image, I was off to the races! Adds a nice little touch to each image. AND you can also make it a clickable link to open in a new Tab to a site or even a larger image. It is basically anchored text to the image!

Adding the Caption can be done when you add a new image to the library or on the fly, by clicking on the inserted image, then on the Edit icon and then update the Caption field. It is THAT easy! I do NOT want to go back and edit EACH image, to include a Caption. So when I place one, and it does NOT have a caption, I update it .. and it is there for all the subsequent uses. It does not update older placed images, as far as I know.

     Search my Media Library for ‘Capybara

4) Search your Media Library! I have … many … images in my Media Library! I should have been including Captions, ALT-Text and Descriptions initially but … did not know! About as simple a search as possible! Will find your criteria in any of the categories associated with your images (Alternative Text, Title, Caption, Description etc.) and even including the file name if you edit it BEFORE adding it to your Media Library. The image above is when I searched my own library for ‘Capybara‘.

     shift-return (enter)

3) SINGLE SPACING! This is simple. Sometimes you want to separate a paragraph, image, text by a single line, not the default double when you hit Enter. Just hit SHIFT-ENTER (or RETURN) and … single space. Works especially well for formatting … poetry!


2) Paragraph/Section Titles! You can use Paragraph and Headings throughout your Post! I use them for titles to YouTube videos and seemingly … out of the blue too!


          Take chances! Make mistakes!

1) JUST CREATE! TRY SOMETHING NEW! This will probably ALWAYS be my #1 Hint and Tip! I tried creating a Table a few posts ago and it was slightly tricky, but now .. it is my new favourite OAC WP TOY! Go find some other OAC posts and just …. Surf OAC for ideas!

The links below are the same ones from my previous post on OAC WP Hints and Tips. Newer ones are below and are
                                🔥 HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNERS 🔥

OAC Online Academic Community
                     OAC Online Academic Community
  1. OAC – Get Started – What is the OAC? (and more!) 
  2. OAC – Get Started: -How to Create a Site (and more!)
  3. OAC Tutorials – The Dashboard (and more!)
  4. OAC Tutorials – Posts (and more!)
  5. OAC Tutorials – Pages (and more!)
  6. OAC Tutorials – Media Library (and more!) 
  7. OAC Community Members – FIND UVIC BLOGS!

                              🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNERS🔥
Not all Hints at these sites will work/are permitted with OAC)

  1. Learning Management System: Online Academic Community (OAC) 🔥
  2. 55+ Most Wanted WordPress Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
  3. 101 WordPress Tips, Tricks and Hacks Every Serious Blogger Must Know
  4. 7 Essential Tips for WordPress Beginners
WordPress YouTube Channel
                                         Official WordPress YouTube Channel




SSShhhh . . . Clearihue’s Hidden Secrets . . . & GEMS

 . . . . SSShhh . . .
. . . or . . .
Clearihue’s Hidden Secrets
. . . or . . .

Clearihue has … SECRETS? Well, maybe not … secrets …. exactly! More like HIDDEN GEMS that many students might not know about! So I will list a few of what I consider to be Clearihue’s Hidden Gems! And … Spoiler Alertthe VERY BEST ONE IS AT THE END! [Double Spoiler – shameless product placement on my part!]

The Computer Help Desk! What, how can CHD be a Hidden Gem? Well, why not ask someone … how to get there! We are located in the A-Wing of the BASEMENT of Clearihue! Simple enough, but only 2 stairwells with twists and turns, or ONLY ONE elevator with MORE twists and turns … will get you to the front counter of The Computer Help Desk

And did you also know there are TWO MORE satellite CHD locations in Clearihue? At the entrance to all the Computing Classrooms in A-wing, first floor and …. in The CALL Facility too! I’ll bet you didn’t know that!

Computing Classrooms! The actual computing classrooms, 1st Floor of A-Wing … AND in the Lower Floor of A-Wing too!. Many students do not know that there are 4 classrooms (3 WIN / 1 MAC) and a Multi-Media (WIN & MAC) alcove for drop-in use upstairs! AND that there are 3 MORE classrooms and Multimedia computers in the basement! Rooms ARE booked for scheduled classroom use, but are fully drop-in outside of those posted times. And when Covid is over, hopefully we can go back to just dropping into the computer labs!

And during Covid, you can BOOK A WORKSTATION in CLE A102 (WIN), A103 (MAC) and A108 (WIN)

During Covid, all other rooms in all other buildings are unavailable. We strictly adhere to UVIC Covid guidelines in ALL our Computing Facilities and The Computer Help Desk in Clearihue.

Clearihue A102
Clearihue A102
Clearihue A030
Clearihue A030 (Click photo  for more pictures)

And if you have not been to our newest upgrade classroom in Clearihue A030 in the basement of Clearihue, just down the hallway from The Computer Help Desk CLEA037. It is a really SPIFF CLASSROOM!

BEC Bookable Rooms
BEC Bookable Rooms

And it gets even BETTER! Ever want to book a room for a study session  or a group project and nothing is available at the Library? Well, check out BEC and their Rooms that you can book! AND THAT INCLUDES A ROOM DEDICATED TO VR TECHNOLOGY! Okay,  so technically, not in Clearihue, but let’s call it a HIDDEN HIDDEN GEM, eh! Bet you  didn’t know THAT!

And there are a few other locations in Clearihue that might warrant a bit of a scavenger hunt on your part ……

Clearihue Corner (CLE B001b)
And this is a highly guarded,  super secret, need to know basis location ….. NOT! But it is just as hard to get to as The Computer Help Desk! Either from the pictured elevator in B-Wing, or the stairwells at the groundlevel corners of B-Wing. Spacious,  quiet, comfy sofas and plugins too! There are even recycle bins to put your organics, plastics, refuse and paper! BE GREEN! There are classrooms, office space and meeting rooms, so just remember to be quiet and polite in this section of Clearihue please.

CLE B001b
CLE B001b
CLE B001b
CLE B001b

Clearihue Inner Courtyard

What a great hidden gem .. hidden in plain site! Quiet, accessible from literally every corner, with sun and shade for all! Even some steps to sit on for a group lunch! Hidden in plain site! the photo below is actually available as a Virtual Background for Zoom! Oh, and … remember …  no smoking anywhere inside Ring Road! 

Clearihue Courtyard
Clearihue Courtyard

 The CALL Facility

BogBlog Pages
BogBlog Pages

And, I saved the BEST for the last! And no apologies for .. WORKING IN THE CALL FACILITY! Shameless promotion! CALL has been around since the Fall of 1989 … and so have I! I have given countless demos, orientations, workshops, projects and assistance to countless students, staff, faculty and guests. And I am amazed each year how many people DO NOT KNOW WE EXIST! I have done many CALL OAC posts and I have a PAGE that is always available no matter what Post you are reading, listing all the Pages too. It is only current to January of 2020 … because … well … Covid. As soon as we are back, I will update absolutely EVERYTHING!

The CALL Facility CLE A025
The CALL Facility CLE A025

What is VERY exciting is that just after everyone started to work from home .. NEW FURNITURE ARRIVED IN THE CALL FACILITY! I wrote a post about it here and a few of the photos are below! Click here to see all the new furniture!

New CALL Furniture
New CALL Furniture
New CALL Furniture
New CALL Furniture

And could it get BETTER? YES, OF COURSE!

At the back of CALL are 2 new large screen monitors and desk space for 6 people at each one! Want to preview your group project in PowerPoint? Want to watch a movie for class? Want to see your Word document SUPER SIZED? Then use this area!

CALL Facility Large Screens
CALL Facility Large Screens
CALL Facility Large Screens
CALL Facility Large Screens

And CALL has USB headsets, optical media, Dual-Boot computers, study space and … The Computer Help Desk BUILT IN TOO! The CALL Facility is the LARGEST COMPUTING CLASSROOM ON CAMPUS!! And yeah, I have been working there since 1989 and it is SO MUCH FUN! Great learning environment and best of all … GREAT UVic STUDENTS AND FANTASTIC COLLEAGUES AT THE HELP DESK!

True story – a student wandered into CALL one day, asking if she could find a computer to charge her iPhone. I said sure, she could use one of the iMacs for either WIN or MAC or just to charge! She asked what ‘this place‘ was. I then asked her what her degree/major was. She replied ‘Linguistics and Italian’. I told her that CALL was HER lab to use, not only for her courses, but at any time she wanted!


That definitely qualifes The CALL Facility as a Hidden Gem!

I  hope you investigate and look for all these Hidden Gems in Clearihue!

  1. The Computer Help Desk – 3 locations in Clearihue
  2. Computing Classrooms – Upstairs and Down
  3. Clearihue Corner – So quiet
  4. Inner Courtyard – Hiding in Plain Sight
  5. The CALL Facility – You can check out, but you can never leave




Happy Holidays and . . . Goodbye 2020 … Hello 2021 !!!

Goodbye 2020 . . . . 
. . . and even BETTER . . .
HELLO 2021 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

After today (18th) I am on holidays until January 4th, 2021! YAY! And they can’t come soon enough! This  has been a very challenging year ….. to say the least. And I think we can all agree on one thing ………………


I am SO grateful to be working with such amazing, talented and imaginative colleagues at The Computer Help Desk! They are more than friends, and they all feel like family to me, especially during this year! They have made it fun to ‘come to work’ each and every day … at the West End of my Dining Room Table! I am pretty sure I would have been fired from any other job … for all my jokes and puns!

The Computer Help Desk  is my ‘Team OF Teams‘ for 2020!!!

I will be back in 2021 with more Posts and Pages! I am even thinking of creating one just for my photography! Just photos I have taken over the years and share them. I must admit that my preferred photograpic media has always been … SLIDE PHOTOGRAPHY! Good old Kodachrome! And to be even more specific, Ektachrome! Visions of Paul Simon and my summers of ’77-78 working at the Banff Camera Shop! Except, I had a Canon A-1 camera!

But digital photography is amazing – darn cheap too! I like to think of my iPhone, not as a phone that has a camera … but as a camera that has a phone!

And of course, all kinds of computer hints, tips, stories and just miscellaneous ramblings of someone who is still amazed that his vintage  Commodore SX-64 ……is still working! It was the first computer I bought!


And technology is still … MAGICAL … to me!

Everyone have a safe and healthy holiday season!

The best is yet to come in 2021!

See you all in 2021!!



OAC WordPress Tips . . . at least . . . for ME

OAC WordPress Tips . . . . 
. . . or . . .
How to Avoid <html>
. . . and . . .
TAG! You’re . . . IT !

I had been doing a daily OAC post here since everyone started working from home, late last March. I paused daily posts, after my August holidays as I knew the Fall session would be crazy busy … and it has been.  But I was surprised when I looked at my Posts ‘roster’ and …. 182 posts? And this one would make 183? They sure do add up! And that doesn’t include Pages, but only 4 there, so far.

So, along the way, I have figured out a few very basic shortcuts that help me actually concentrate on the content, not the tools, buttons or menus that are literally .. EVERYWHERE .. on our OAC Dashboard! So I thought I would list my Top 5(-ish) OAC WordPress tips and/or hints … as a start! I might even turn them into a Page as well! 

FIRST, create your blog!
OAC is free for the UVic community! Create a new site by going directly to The Online Academic Community (Instructions here too!)and clicking on “Create a Site”. You will be asked for your NetLink credentials and then you will be given a form to create your own blog! You can have MANY blogs – practice ones, photos, documents, diaries, public, private, shared, collaborative, etc. Just blog responsibly! 

Your first post could be just that … a message that it is your first post! For many details of creating your first post, I highly, HIGHLY recommend viewing all the training videos that are available within your Dashboard!

Now, you have your own blog, have watched the videos – they are short and easy to undertand …. now some hints!

Keep  it Simple … especially your First Post … and … SAVE OFTEN!
That is my first and probably most important hint – SAVE OFTEN!!!!!

Just make your first post … your first post! You can say who you are, what you hope to accomplish and keep it simple, straightforward and just text! Use the ‘Preview‘ button to see what it looks like, use the ‘Save Draft‘ button to save every so often (first and best hint EVER!) and then click ‘Publish‘ and .. you just made your first Post! You can email a colleague or UVic community member and they can now see your first Post!

Here are a few more basic and simple hints, with just a brief explanation why … and I can see you nodding your head too! 

Use ‘CTRL Z’ to undo anything you … just did! It works for quite a few potential ‘Undos’, so if you go TOO far, just use ‘SHIFT CTRL Z‘ to .. yes, Undo your Undos…. but the one  caveat is ….. if you SAVE, then you can’t go back and do any Undo’s. But if you Save enough times, there are earler versions called ‘Revisions‘ which appear at the VERY bottom of each Dashboard Post you are working on. And not good with the keyboard? It is part of the menu above each Post – hilited with a purple box below.
Create a new Post … but only as a notepad for ideas! Yes, your SECOND Post will never, ever be published! I use this as my Ideas Post and constantly add thoughts, ideas, websites, notes or anything that I might use LATER, and it just stays as an unpublshed Post! What could be better than all your ideas and potential future Posts, waiting there for you in your OAC blog! Do it! And I do the same in a draft Pages document too. Earlier I ‘posted’ about the differences between Pages and Posts … here! (Shameless self promotion!)

Spacing between paragraphs. That drove me nuts at the beginning! Then, much like Word, there is a secret ‘handshake’ … which really isn’t so secret. I stick with the default spacing for each paragraph. Then I hit ‘Enter’ and it will automatically insert a DOUBLE SPACE between paragraphs. Sometimes, you don’t want that. So … just use ‘SHIFT ENTER’ and you get spacing tight between paragraphs! You are thinking .. why would I want this? Well, you will know when … at least for me, once you start inserting images, or perhaps wanting to space short, one line paragraphs (say poetry) in close proximity to one another. Try it … you will like it! Very handy!

Preview before Posting …. but always a safe route out … or back! Always a good idea to Preview your post ahead of time. Just click ‘Preview’ and a new tab will open with a … preview of your Post! Nothing written in stone, and what I do is read down my own Post, and as I see a mistake or something that needs editing, I close THAT tab, I immediately return to my Post to fix it and then Preview again! Only takes a few seconds to Preview, find the mistake, close the Preview, and fix it. Then Preview again until done! It will be frustrating to notice quite a few mistakes, mostly cosmetic or typos most likely, but FORGET one of them if you just Preview your Post once. 

Best Closing Hint is THE most dangerous one …. GO AHEAD AND MAKE MISTAKES! You can edit, add, revise, remove, modify, enhance, return to Draft,  and even make Private, any of your Posts and Pages! If you aren’t making mistakes … you aren’t learning … or at least, you aren’t Blogging! This ain’t rocket science … unless of course, your Blog is about …. Rocket Science!

And, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks … I was always unhappy with my scribbly pen drawing feature. Today, figured out how to draw a nice regular shaped hilite box around a part of an image! And that might be a more detailed hint, as it involves screen grabs, editing the screen grab, exporting to .png format, then adding to my Media Library, but saving my blog before inserting the new media image …. yeah…sounds hard, but isn’t! A future hint!

Some FUTURE Favourite OAC WordPress tips and hints and tips

    • Copying a Post
    • Your Media library
    • Inserting media and resizing them – they never really fit perfectly!!
    • Best WP sites for hints and help (UVic is AWESOME!)
    • YouTube video(s) in your Blog (Releasse … The Kraken!)
    • Screen grabs and modifying them before adding to your Media Library

And the links below area ALL here at UVic! They will be your absolutely BEST resource of ALL for OAC! Have fun! And I would describe them all as …

  1. OAC – Get Started – What is the OAC? (and more!) 
  2. OAC – Get Started: -How to Create a Site (and more!)
  3. OAC Tutorials – The Dashboard (and more!)
  4. OAC Tutorials – Posts (and more!)
  5. OAC Tutorials – Pages (and more!)
  6. OAC Tutorials – Media Library (and more!) 
  7. OAC Community Members – FIND UVIC BLOGS!

And just to be different, a TED Talk about .. early Blogging! Mena Trott is hilarious and there are many entertaining and close to home (for me!) events that made her an early blogger! Enjoy, I certainly did!




Stress Relief or How I Learned to Love Writing Exams …. Mostly ….

Stress Relief . . . 
. . . or . . .
How I Learned How to Love Writing Exams
. . . mostly . . .

Been there. Done that. What could go wrong?

Well, sometimes nothing, sometimes everything and sometimes … a bit of both.

I have written my fair share of exams. I can barely remember a handful of ACTUALLY writing them, and few still of how I did. But, I could find my U of Calgary transcripts … or maybe my B.Ed. degree … to prove I survived.

There are no hard and fast strategies that always work to reduce exam stress. You really have to find what works for you. And no guarantee it works every single time.

For me, simple meditation works. At least, it works now …. but not always.  That is why they call it a ‘practice’ of meditation.

Unfortunately, I did not have that as a strategy when I was an undergrad. One of those…. “if I only knew then, what I know now“!

Back then, I relied on the oldest strategy known  to every student in the world – blind luck! I simply HAD to wear my lucky Edmonton Oilers jersey AND I had to bring the ball from my most recent raquetball game … that I won! Simple! 

Multiple-choice, short answer, math/stats type exams were fairly straight forward for me. The most imaginative study trick came from a Stats Instructor. We could bring in a 4×6 recipe card with ANYTHING WE WANTED ON IT! What a great idea! Forced us to study what we were uncertain of, by writing it down and bringing it with us to the test. And I barely referenced it …  because I had studied what I was unsure of! And I got an A in the course! WOOT!

I did hate open book exams. They were simply THE hardest to write because you would THINK they would be easy …  but you wasted time looking up answers that you SHOULD have known. Oh well, not too many like that.

But the worst exams for me were LONG ANSWER  or ESSAY EXAMS! Dates, people, documents, history, facts …. SO many blank pages, so little grey  matter!

I basically would get the answer booklet, then turn to the last page and purge every fact, date, document reference, etc. IMMEDIATELY. I did not even LOOK  at the questions. Then, I would look at the first question and .. I had just written my own cheat sheet! Other info would pop into my head and I was able to complete these horrific long answer/essay exams.

And I have been on the ‘Other Side’ of exams … crafting them so that the exam would truly reflect the knowledge base of each student. The last thing you want is to have an exam where either achievement is random or that it does not discriminate between students who DO KNOW the material and those who do not. 

And although it is not available right now, Walking the Labyrinth by Candlelight at the  UVic Multifaith Centre has been incredibly beneficial to me. Once, I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE CHAPEL WALKING THE LABYRINTH! Best meditation experience I have ever had! I came out to a pitch black night, stars twinkling brighter than ever and totally refreshed!

Bottom line is there will  be something that can help you study, minimize anxiety and improve your test scores. Maybe not all the time, but most of the time, hopefully. 

The links below are ALL UVic sites! Well, the very last one, #10, is the only non-UVic site I listed. To be fair, there are hundreds of sites out there, and IUVic thought I would concentrate on the UVic sites I could find and … just one more. And a nice little pause at #9 … to just take a moment and relax ‘MIDST my links!

Everyone stay safe and healthy, whether working at UVic or at home. 

  1. Meditation at UVicMultifaith Centre  (Works for me!)
  2. Walking the Labyrinth (Unfortunately, not available, but …. AMAZING!)
  3. Zoom On-line Morning Meditation with Henri
  4. How to Beat Exam Stress – OAC My UVic Life (Shameless OAC Placement!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  5. Tips for Exam Season (UVic … and advice still timely and relevant!)
  6. Coping with Exams and Exam Anxiety (UVic!)
  7. Anxiety and stress (UVic! Sensing a trend…..)
  8. UVic Student Mental Health Blog 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  9.                         (left blank on purpose …. a stress free resource!)
  10. How to Beat Exam Stress: 25 Tips Backed by Research (The ONLY  non-UVic site!)
  11. Workplace Wellness (An OAC UVic site!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  12. Resilience Resources (A subsite of Workplace Wellness!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥

University of  Victoria Labyrinth Multifaith Chapel

And, well, just don’t write an exam like Mr. Bean!