Archive for June, 2010

Short-term fix to Dreamweaver CS5 and WordPress course

Published by | Friday, June 11th, 2010

Many thanks to the alert members who let us know that we were missing information in our recent Dreamweaver course, Dreamweaver CS5 and WordPress. We want our titles to be helpful to all members, and really appreciate hearing when we can do better.

As soon as the title went up, we started getting feedback that the first chapter, “Setting up WordPress,” needed additional details to help Windows users install the WampServer—namely, that PC users should create their site in the c:\wamp\www\ folder. We’ve added an overlay to the last video in Chapter 1, “Establishing the Dreamweaver site,” and this short-term fix is up on the site now, thanks to your input. If you tried to use the course and had trouble, please try this extra step.

Please, continue to let us know what details you need to take advantage of this or any one of our courses. Hearing from you helps us create the ideal training with the details that you need. We look forward to hearing from you. author Jan Kabili demos Photoshop CS5 features for Building 43

Published by | Friday, June 11th, 2010’s Jan Kabili was recently interviewed by Robert Scoble for Building 43‘s blog. In the interview, Jan discusses those Photoshop CS5 features she’s most excited about, including Content-Aware fill, Puppet Warp, and HDR Pro. Jan is the author of’s Photoshop CS5 New Features course.

Office 2010 for Business: Focus on Outlook

Published by | Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Karen Fredricks’ favorite feature in Outlook 2010 is its new Social Connector, featured in this tutorial from her course Outlook 2010 New Features. has been rolling out Office 2010 courses since its launch last month, and I’ve been talking with our Office 2010 authors about their experiences with the latest version of Microsoft Office. Today’s Q&A features Karen Fredricks, Customer Relationship Management expert and author of the course Outlook 2010 New Features.

Q: An overcrowded inbox is something most people wrestle with. Does Office 2010 have features that make this easier?

A: Absolutely. First of all, if you find that there’s a lot of spam clogging up your inbox, you can change your spam filter settings. That will insure that those messages about your mortgage and various body parts will be automatically sent to the Junk email folder instead of to your inbox. You can also start “training” Outlook by marking individual messages as spam if you’re being bothered by a specific individual or organization. Quick Steps is another cool Outlook 2010 feature designed to whip your inbox into shape. For example, I can create a Quick Step to automatically move all messages with the word “sale” in the subject line to a specific folder and forward a copy to my boss once I’ve read it.

Q: You’re very experienced with contact management software solutions. How is Outlook as a contact manager?

A: Technically Outlook is not a contact manager, it’s a PIM (Personal Information Manager). A PIM allows the user to keep track of emails, addresses, appointments, notes, and tasks. A contact manager makes it easier to track the interactions between you and your contacts. For example, in Outlook you don’t associate an appointment with an individual; with a contact manager you do, which means you can cross-reference your appointments from either your calendar or from a contact record. Some Microsoft Office suites include Business Contact Manager, which adds true contact management functionality to Outlook.

Q: How does Business Contact Manager stack up against other contact management programs?

A: If your business consists of a single employee, or if you work for a large company that doesn’t need to share its contact information, thenBusiness Contact Manager is a nice choice for contact management.  In addition to being free, Business Contact Manager adds in several true contact management functions, including relating contacts to appointments and notes, allowing for project management, creating a pipeline based on sales opportunities, and reporting. However, if you want to share your information with several members of your team, have true mail merge and e-market capabilities, and do a bit of advanced database customization then you’ll want to look at a true contact management system such as ACT!.

Q: What’s your favorite feature in Outlook 2010?

A: That’s an easy one! I absolutely love the new Outlook Social Connector. I’m a big fan of social networking. Now I am able to see directly from my incoming emails whether or not I am connected with the sender. My incoming emails include the photographs of the people I am connected to, as well as updates from their sites which makes emailing feel so much more personal. And, if we’re not already connected, I can send out an invitation at the click of a button. As an extra bonus, the incoming email now provides me with a list of the previous email I’ve received from the sender as well as a list of any attachments they might have previously sent. How cool is that?

Free Adobe Open Source Media Framework webinar this week

Published by | Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Adobe is presenting a free webinar to introduce its Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) 1.0 this week, on Wednesday, June 9, 11:00 a.m. PST. The webinar will be led by Flash expert and Adobe Community Professional Lisa Larson-Kelley, and will cover what OSMF is and what can be done with it. OSMF is a free, open source ActionScript-based media player and playback tool designed to help simplify the process of building media-rich applications for developers and content providers.

For more information on OSMF, go to the official OSMF site. The Adobe Developer Connection site has information on OSMF background and goals, key benefits, and more. Register for the free webinar at Adobe.

Lynda honored as 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year

Published by | Monday, June 7th, 2010

From left to right: Joanne Funari (Business First Bank and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the South Coast Business & Technology Awards ), Jeff Carmody (Agility Capital LLC and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the South Coast Business & Technology Awards ), Lynda Weinman (, Dr. Harry Brown (SEE International), Mike Sheldon (Network Hardware Resale).

On June 3, our founder Lynda Weinman was honored as 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, an organization that provides scholarships to local students studying business or technology. Honorees are selected in the fields of business and technology with awards for excellence in leadership, service, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Here is Lynda’s acceptance speech given at the awards event.

Thank you so much for this honor. While I know it is an individual honor, there is no possible way that I could have built to the scale of today without the help of others. I want to first thank my husband/partner Bruce Heavin, who convinced me, much against my comfort zone, to increase the reach of beyond my own books and classes and start a school. When I started the website it was just me, creating training mostly on graphics and web design topics. Today we have almost 300 instructors who contribute to our online library of classes, and there is no possible way that as an individual teacher, I could possibly cover the range of topics and software that they collectively have achieved.

There is a big group – over 20 of us from – here to celebrate tonight, and I want to thank you all for being part of this vision and making such a wonderful and collaborative place to work.

Today’s world consists of digital immigrants and digital natives (terms coined by learning designer Marc Prensky). The natives are those who have been born to the computer age, and the immigrants are like me, who were in their 20s or older before the personal computer was even invented. When I first taught myself computer skills in 1980, there were no books or videos, only incomprehensible manuals written by engineers. I discovered that I had a freak talent to understand their almost indecipherable technobabble and figure out how to use software on my own. As I started to show off what I could do, others asked me how I did it, and that spawned my career as a computer skills teacher 30 years ago!

Today, teaches computer skills to hundreds of thousands of members worldwide. We are in the age where a single teacher can build a business that has customers in every country and from every walk of life. The Internet has changed many things – it’s changed the way we shop, the way we get information, the way we get entertainment, and the way we get education. is part of this change. While most schools are experiencing record drop-out rates, diminishing budgets, and cuts in every direction, we have a growing and thriving membership of people who continually tell us that they love what we do, that they want to learn, and that they love to learn. They have the choice to learn when and what they want, from any location – and with our new free iPhone app, even on their phones! We are able to charge far less than a text book or a college class, and reach more people than most colleges in the world. Last year we had over 24 million visitors to our learning website.

It is an honor and a privilege to be running a successful business during the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, and we have gotten here because we have made something that people want and need, and it’s our joy and passion to help them. We work incredibly hard to create close to 100 hours of videos every month on as many subjects as we can afford to publish. We are always pushing ourselves to be better and scaling very quickly, all of which is very stressful—and rewarding. I want to take a moment to pat myself and our team on the back with this award. Then I want to wake up tomorrow to make more great training and continue to push the bar upward.

Watch Bruce Heavin’s video of the award presentation:

200th episode of podcast

Published by | Friday, June 4th, 2010

We’ve been so busy we forgot to mention last week that the podcast hit its 200th-episode milestone!

Garrick Chow and Melanie Wagner

We started the podcast to highlight new courses and site features, and have been posting them every Friday on YouTube and iTunes since early 2006. Each week, the fabulous team of senior trainer Garrick Chow and editor Melanie Wagner compile each episode, which includes clips from new courses in the’s Online Training Library®.

The 200th episode highlights how to learn to create a dramatic black-and-white landscape with a video from Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6 with Chris Orwig.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS, or view the Weekly Podcast playlist on YouTube. Watch for episode 201 today!

Office 2010 for Business: Focus on Word

Published by | Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 has been rolling out training on Office 2010 since its launch last month. I’ve been talking with our Office 2010 authors about their experiences with the latest version of Microsoft Office. Today’s Q&A features Gini Courter, author of Word 2010 New Features.

Q: You’ve been working with Microsoft Word as a user and trainer for many years. How has Word evolved?

A: Although I’ve trained Word users for every version of Word, I moved (and only reluctantly) from WordPerfect to Word when Microsoft released Office 97, and I still used Quark or PageMaker for documents with complex design requirements. It always seemed that Word wasn’t quite enough to handle my publishing needs—which honestly, aren’t all that complex.

Then Word 2007 was released. Frustration with the ribbon at first, but wow! Finally, a Word version that has great publishing features: positioning that works for art, strong and easily accessible styles, and SmartArt so I don’t have to fire up Visio for simple illustrations. I’m not an artist, but with Word 2007′s picture styles and two or three good photos I can easily create a unique and immediately recognizable look—a brand of sorts—for my documents. The Manage Sources reference tool saves me hours constructing professional and academic articles as my library of sources expands. With Word 2010 the tool list is even richer.

New Artists’ Brushes from author John Derry

Published by | Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Sample painting by author John Derry, using his new Artists’ Brushes available for Photoshop CS5. author John Derry recently released a new set of Artists’ Brushes to work within Photoshop CS5. There are some really incredible examples of paintings done by users on his blog, as well as a preview of what these new Brushes are capable of.

John will be demoing these new Artists’ Brushes at the Southern California Adobe Technology Exchange in Long Beach on Saturday, June 19, and will be giving out a copy or two to lucky attendees. He will be co-teaching a Photoshop painting class with Russell Brown at the upcoming HOW Design Conference June 6-9. Class members will receive the brushes as a part of the class materials. There is still time to sign up for both of these events.

John will be back in the booths later this month and we can’t wait to share the new training he’s working on with you.