Category Archives: Digital Studio Tools Tutorials

Creating and Using Google Forms

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Jonathan Joint. Learn more about Jonathan and our other student assistants here.

Google Forms is an essential tool for college students, teachers, and faculty members alike. And for the student leaders who are very much involved in extracurricular activities that may require things like conducting surveys, registration sheets, Google Forms is a great fit.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create your own forms from scratch as well as how to use some of the Google templates as your foundation. On top of showing you how to add questions to it, I will also share some tips that will really enhance your forms– including ways to add photos and videos from a number of options.

How To Get Started

Using Google Forms is free with an existing Google account. And if you don’t currently have a Google account, you can sign up for one for free. But if you have an existing Google Account, simply click hereOtherwise, once you’ve signed up, you can access the Forms by first going to the “Drive” icon as magnified to get yourself started.

Creating/Editing Forms

Now that you are all set with all the initial set-up, you can jump to the fun stuff and begin to create and design your personalized google form. From this page, you want to click on “New” to begin a new project– then hover over “More” and then you will see the icon for “Google Forms” as one of the options, if not your first option. Refer to the images below.

Your PC or laptop will automatically open up a new browser for you with a templated format titled “Untitled Forms.” First and foremost, begin with adding a title to your form so that people will know exactly what this document is for. Google even gives you the option to add a quick description right below the title space in case you want to add a brief description that is going to personalize your form even more.

Another great plus about Google Forms is that you do not have to continually save your progress, as changes are saved automatically.

On this page you will also notice a gray shaded rectangle rectangle to the right of “Digital Lab Studio” (This is the question box) which gives you the options of choosing the form of answers you will be accepting. So much control!–I know right. So then you would then edit yours with your question, and if you have a short answer like I do, you would then move on to the next question you would like to be answered.

To add subsequent questions, you would simply hit the plus sign to the right, which will then create a brand new question box. Keep in mind that you can choose many different question forms and thus bundling a good of them. In the event that you accidentally create a new question box, you can delete it by clicking on the trash can icon at the bottom of the screen. Another great feature is the option to mark a question as a “required” question. This means that the person responding to the survey for example will not be able to submit the survey unless they answer that question.

Attaching Images and Videos

Adding an image or video can be done from the exact same taskbar to the right of the forms as illustrated below. This feature plays a huge role in giving you more creative freedom in creating your Google Form. As you will see, your options for videos or images are infinite because you are able to access videos from Youtube and search for images using the Google Search engine.

Choosing a Theme and Design

Now that you have the important details of your Google Forms done, things are easier from this point on. Now as a default, Google Forms gives you a purple background which you may or may not like. But again, the good news is that you have a plethora of options. You could also decide whether you just want to change the summer or choose an entirely new theme with the sub-option of uploading your own theme. As you can see, there is plenty of room for creativity using Google Forms.

Choosing a Google Template

Lastly, I will capitalize on my promise of teaching you how to start your process by exercising your option of choosing from one of Google’s storage of templates. Now the quickest way for you to do this is by clicking here. You’re welcome. But if you’d like to know how to work your way through this, here’s how: Go to this “Drive” page (as illustrated below), and follow the initial steps as you would when you are creating a new form. But now you have one extra step– simply hover around the little arrow to the right, which gives you the option of starting with a new form or template.

Once there, you will initially only see four options to choose from, but don’t worry, there are plenty more. Simply click the arrow at the top right by “Template Gallery” and all of the different options will be opened up to you. Now all you have to do is choose on the most suitable one for you and click it. And you can start editing the template to make it your own.

Good luck! And thank you for choosing my blog post!

Beginner Guide to ABBYY FineReader Sprint

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Emma Grimm. Learn more about Emma and our other student assistants here.

ABBYY FineReader Sprint is a tool that turns any hard copy paper into an online type text which can be edited on the computer. With the program, you can correct images, reformat your document, or even edit typed text. In this tutorial, I will walk you through ABBYY FineReader and its tools to so that you can scan and edit your own document.

Part One: Getting Started

Placing Document on the Scanner



Open the scanner and place the document face down. Align the document into the bottom right corner of the scanner, which is indicated by the arrow. Lift up slightly to close the screen on the scanner.

Start a New Task



Once you open ABBYY FineReader in applications, a new task will appear on your screen. If you are scanning the document, choose the EPSON DS-1630 (or another scanner) as your source. If the document is already available on your computer, select that device as your source. Next, select the language of and the conversion format of your document. You can choose to convert your document to a PDF file, a Word document, Excel Spreadsheet, or an HTML Document as shown below.

Importing Your Document



By selecting your conversion format, a scanning preview of your document will appear. On the right hand side (depicted below), you can adjust the importation of the document with multiple settings, such as Mode, Color Depth, Resolution, and Scan Area. You can also chose to scan multiple pages without pause or with a determined amount of seconds in between. Once all of your adjustments have been made, click Scan in the bottom right corner.



Finish Import and Save the Document


Upon finishing the scan, you should press Finish Import in the bottom right corner. After, the computer will prompt you to save the document to the computer.



Adding More Pages


If you want to add more pages to your document, click the drop down bar in the top left corner labeled, Add Pages. You can choose to either scan another document or import another document from your computer. Follow the directions listed in Step 2 and 3 to scan and import the additional document. You can switch the order of the documents, at any point, by clicking and dragging them on the left hand side.

Part Two: Editing the Document


Editing Images on the Document


In the top right corner you will find the Image Editor, which adapts the appearance of the document and the images on the page. The following tools are offered to assist in editing the image.

      • Deskew helps do remedy images of distortion when scanning a thick book or processing digital photos of text.
      • Photo correction straightens blurred text, removes motion blur, and reduce ISO noise.
      • Rotate and flip the image, text, or page
      • Split the page into multiple pages
      • Crop the image, page, or text
      • Adjust the Image Resolution
      • Invert Colors in the photos or text
      • Adjust the brightness and contrast in an image
      • Erase any mistakes on the document



Formatting the Document



On the left hand side, there is a toolbar that allows you to edit the layout and format of your document. You can use the tools to select paragraphs of text or individual images and move them to different areas of the document. In addition, you can erase whole areas of text or images that you wish to remove.



Making a Podcast with Audacity

This tutorial was written by Sarah DeLorme, Associate Digital Scholarship Librarian.

The Digital Studio gets a lot of queries from our patrons regarding audio editing. There are so many great programs to choose from, it can be sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start. Audacity is a professional quality open source audio editor. It is intuitive to use and can easily be used to put together a great podcast.

Setting up

Before you even open the Audacity software, it is important to set yourself up for success in your recording. Audacity will let you connect to an external microphone, or the built in microphone at your workstation. Whichever recording device you choose, be sure to record in a quiet indoor space where you will not be interrupted. (A great place to record is the Sound Room in the Digital Studio. You can even reserve it online!) It also helps to work from a script, so that you can practice and pace yourself as you go along.


When you open Audacity, you will see this blank workspace.

Use the dropdown menus to select your recording device and your recording mode (you can choose either mono or stereo- mono is recommended for podcasts).

Click on the top numbered bar to check the input levels of your microphone. Try to keep at least a foot of space between yourself and the microphone, and speak clearly and at a moderate volume. The ideal range is a fully green bar. Avoid orange and red levels- that means you are too close or too loud!

Press the red circle button to begin your recording. (Helpful hint: leave a few seconds of empty noise at the start of the recording to sample during the noise reduction process later.) As you record, a waveform will appear on the track. Try to keep your waveform at a relatively similar level throughout, so that the volume is not fluctuating. Avoid very small waveforms which might be too soft to hear, as well as very large waveforms which might be so loud you get feedback.

Noise Reduction

Using the select tool (⌶) click and drag to highlight an empty noise portion of your recording. If you left a few seconds of silence before you started recording, use that! Otherwise, try to find a pause in the recording.

On the top menu, select effect> Noise Reduction> Get noise profile.

Next, use Command + A (CTRL+A on Windows) to select the entire track. It will look like this:

Navigate back to the noise reduction panel (Effect>Noise Reduction) and select “OK”. You will notice that your waveform will smooth out as the effect erases some of the background noise.

Creating a Second Track

Go to Tracks>Add new> Mono track. Remember, the new track will begin recording wherever the playhead is. Drag the playhead to the end of the first recording to make a seamless transition, like this:

You can move the clip around the track by selecting the “timeshift” tool (which looks like a double-headed arrow), clicking the clip, and dragging it to the desired position. You can also reorder the tracks by clicking and holding in the blank space of the left hand track menu and dragging up or down.

Deleting portions of your recording

Use the select tool to highlight the part of the recording you want to delete. (Helpful hint: use the zoom tool (🔍) to magnify the waveform and zero in on the word or phrase you wish to remove) Press the “Delete” button to remove the selected recording.

Importing and Exporting

Most podcasts have some catchy into music, and Audacity makes it easy to import a music file.  Go to File>import>audio and select the desired track. This will import the entire song. Trim the track to desired length by highlighting the extra music and pressing the delete button. To fade out, highlight the clip and go to Effects>Fade out. You will see the waveform change into a cone shape as the music tapers off.

NOTE: If you are using music in your podcast, it is very important to make sure you are not infringing on the artist’s copyright. If you are unsure about whether or not you can use a clip, ask a librarian- they can help!

To export your project as a final sound file, navigate to File>export> and select your preferred file type.

NOTE: To export an .mp3, Audacity will require you to download an additional file from their website. This is an mp3 encoding library. The prompt will provide you with a link to the download, as well as instructions. (This site is also full of tips and tutorials if you need further assistance with Audacity.)

Once your project is exported, you can open it in any program that plays audio files. However, it will be compressed, so you cannot go back and edit it. To preserve the tracks so that you can go back and edit them, you will need to save your project.

Saving your Project

Select File> Save  Project. This will save your project as an .aup file, preserving your track information so that you can open it up again later to edit it. You will only be able to open an .aup file in Audacity. This can be edited from any computer, as long as Audacity is installed.

NOTE:When you save your project, it will generate a project file (yourtitle.AUP) and a project folder (yourtitle_data).

Be sure to save both of these to your Google Drive, flash drive, or wherever you are saving your project. The folder contains your assets, and the .aup file contains the blueprint for your project. You will need both to reopen your project successfully!

If you need further assistance with your podcast, you can always contact the Digital Studio staff at


HDR Enhancement using Premiere Pro

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Alben Chingo. Learn more about Alben and our other student assistants here.

Prepping the Footage

While holding down the Alt-key, select the footage and drag it up to duplicate it onto the tab above that (V3).



Select the duplicated footage. With the duplicated footage selected, go to the effects library (the effects library is located in the bottom left corner box).

The bottom left box should now show the effects library bin. In the search box, search for tint (which will then appear under the color correction folder which is within video effects).

Select the tint effect and drag it onto the duplicated clip. (footage will appear black and white, ignore for now).

Go into the Effects Control panel, in the top left box. Click on opacity. Uncheck the timer on the opacity row, and change the blending mode (under the Opacity row) to soft light.

Click on the right facing arrow in the opacity row to open a slider box beneath it. Move the slider to the 30%-40% mark. I prefer the opacity percentage to be closer to thirty (32%). This is subjective depending on the footage itself. This changes the prominence of the shadows, which you can manipulate to make it look more cinematic.

Time to REALLY Edit

Go back into your project bin, where you can see your clips (found in the bottom left box).

Go into “File”, click (or hover over) “New”, then click on “Adjustment Layer.”

An Adjustment Layer Box will appear, click “OK”. The Adjustment Layer will appear in the project bin as an all black box. Click and drag the Adjustment Layer onto the tab above your duplicated clip, and resize it to fit.

Next, go back into the Effects Library bin and search for “Unsharpen Mask”. It will appear under the “Blur and Sharpen” folder.

Click and Drag onto the Adjustment Layer like before. Now we can adjust the Amount, the Radius, and the Threshold in the Effects Control (found in the top left box).

Set the Amount to or around 250.

Home Stretch

Go back to the Project Bin (in the bottom left box). Go to File -> New -> Adjustment Layer (again). Click OK. Drag that second Adjustment Layer to the tab above the 1st adjustment layer and resize it to match.


Click on the duplicated Adjustment Layer. Once more, search for Unsharpen Mask in the effects library and drag it onto the duplicated Adjustment Layer. Set the amount of the Unsharpen Mask to your taste. I prefer to set it to around 75.

Open up the Opacity tab (Uncheck the timer if its checked) and change the Blending Mode to “Lighten”. Change the Opacity to your preference. I prefer around the mid 20s (25). Finally, choose a Color Grading you want, or color correct the footage to your taste on the very last clip.

Keep in mind, the amount in percentages of the effects is subjective. The point is to make it look as HD as possible, and the percentages will depend on the lighting and color of your footage as well as your personal preference. Adjust it to suit your own taste.

You can also remove excessive grain to increase the HD effect, which can be done in After Effects, but this also depends on the footage itself. Don’t forget to keep in mind that the footage will look slightly different after rendering it as well.

Music Notation with Finale

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Nick Sucre. Learn more about Nick and our other student assistants here.

Finale is a very effective and intuitive way to notate music digitally. This program is very user friendly yet has a huge array of tools and options that fulfill almost every demand necessary for music notation. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to create a straightforward music notation sheet. (This tutorial is done on PC but the process on Mac is identical)

Creating a New Document

Once you open Finale, a menu will appear with a series of options, and to begin we will click on Set-Up Wizard (Alternatively, if the menu does not show up, you can open the menu by pushing Ctrl + N).

The next screen that pops up will ask you to select an ensemble. Keep Create New Ensemble highlighted and click Next.

Next you will select the instruments you want for your document. For this example we will select from Keyboards > Piano and click on Add.

Hit Next and fill out the document information prompted.

Next, you can select your Meter, Tempo, Key Signature, and Pickup measure. Select Finish and the document will generate.

Writing Music

Now that we have the document we can begin to write. Before writing, we must make sure that our computer is on the right key settings. Go to Simple > Simple Entry Options…. > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts. On the bottom half of the window that appears check that the Keyboard Shortcut Set is on Laptop Shortcut Table. Then hit return to go back to the main sheet.

Now we are ready to write. Hover your mouse over the interval you wish. You can change the length of the note by pushing the numbers above the keyboard, with 5 being the quarter note, 4 being an eighth note, 6 being a half note, etc. press enter to input the note. The pitches of the next notes can be changed with the down and up arrows.

You can add flats and sharps with the – and =, respectively.

Adding Expressions and Articulations

To add embellishments of any kind to the music, simply refer to the toolbar, specifically the Expressions Tool and Articulations Tool.

You can shift the symbols around to different numbers to access articulations of your choice quicker.

Using the Music Playback Tool

The Playback Tool on Finale allows you to hear your written music and plays the music back to you exactly as written on the sheet, using digital instruments.

The Playback Region option gives you some options as to where the music begins to play. It is really your preference where you want it to start (default is first measure). I personally use Leftmost Measure as it makes it easier to listen to specific parts of music rather than having to listen to the entire piece every time. Click OK and then click the Play button. Finale will load the instrument sounds and play the music.

Finale is very easy to get used to and is welcoming to newcomers of digital notation, but also has a vast array of options and preferences that allow you to make the most advance sheet music. I encourage you to try out the different tools and mess around with preferences that work best for you. The method highlighted in this Tutorial is just one of the million ways to use this program, so make yourself comfortable. Happy Notating!

Creating a Timeline with TimelineJS and JSON

This tutorial was written by Sarah DeLorme, Associate Digital Scholarship Librarian.

The John LaFarge stained glass digital guide is a great way for users to explore the varied works of LaFarge in one accessible site. The two interactive timelines featured there help to visualize the chronology of LaFarge’s life and his work. These timelines are generated using an open-source tool called TimelineJS by Knight Lab at Northwestern University. TimelineJS can work with a Google spreadsheet to automatically create and populate a customizable timeline. This is a great option for many people, however the Digital Scholarship group was interested in hosting the timeline data locally—not pulled in via Google. In order to migrate the data, we recreated the timeline using JSON.

JSON is a format for structuring data that uses JavaScript object notation. It is used for exchanging data between a browser and server. JSON text is simple to read and work with,  and is easily parsed by machines. The TimelineJS JSON format starts with a single JSON object (the timeline), and then populates it with shorter lists of objects (properties), which become the items on the timeline. The properties are events, title, era, and scale. The properties that are used will depend on the content of the timeline, and the nature of the data. The only property that is required to create a timeline is events.

Below is an example of a timeline JSON object with the title property displayed.

Each property contains its own list of properties, like a nesting doll. For both title and events properties, the items in that list are known as “Slide objects”. Slide objects include: start_date, end_date, text, and media properties. (start_date is the only slide object required to generate an event).

Each slide object then has its own list of properties for you to define, which will be where the data will be inserted. For example, the start_date slide object will have a list of date objects like year, month, and day. The values for these properties (the data) is entered in quotation marks, as seen in the example below.

Each property in the event object is used to customize the slides of your timeline. Aside from the start date and headline, the media property enables the embedding of images, videos, music, and more. Each event on the timeline is separated in its own set of curly brackets ({ }) within the “events” property, and separated by a comma.

Two JSON files were created for the John LaFarge stained glass digital guide, because there are two timelines featured on the site; one of LaFarge’s life, and another for the chronology of his stained glass work. The second step in this process of hosting our timeline data locally was to integrate these timelines into our website, which is hosted on Omeka. This was done by adding a few lines of JavaScript to our web page, with the help of Jesse Martinez, the Library Applications Developer.

The LaFarge site was created in the exhibit-builder module of Omeka, so the JavaScript was added to the show.php file in our theme directory, the path being: exhibit-builder/exhibits/show.php. There were three items that needed to be added to pull in our timeline: a link tag (to load the CSS), a script tag (to load the JavaScript), and an additional script tag to generate the timeline.

You will notice that since there are two separate timelines on this site, a function was added to the final script tag to identify each separate JSON file. The function decides which timeline data to pull in depending on which timeline has been identified: timeline1-embed or timeline2-embed.

Once the JavaScript was added to our file, the last step was to call the JavaScript on the pages where we wanted the timelines to appear. To do this, we navigated to the exhibit page in Omeka. We added a text box item, and then inserted this div using the HTML editor:

<div id=“timeline1-embed” style=“width: 100%; height: 600px;”>&nbsp;</div>

This told the page what to pull in, and how to style it. The div for the second page looked similar, but called in the second timeline using a different identifier:

<div id=“timeline2-embed” style=“width: 100%; height: 600px;”>&nbsp;</div>

The end result is a locally hosted, fully functional timeline.

If you are interested in further TimelineJS JSON  documentation, or would like to learn how to further customize your timeline, please consult the Knight Lab’s official guide.

The Basics of Garageband

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Jung Kim. Learn more about Jung and our other student assistants here.

Welcome to GarageBand tutorial!

GarageBand is a macOS and iOS application that allows users to create music. It is a versatile program that suits your creative needs. All you have to do is to learn how to use it!

Let’s open the GarageBand app first. Click on Songwriting and choose.

Choose the setting you want by adjusting the Tempo, Signature, and Key.

The GarageBand window will open. To record using your computer, click on Window and Keyboard or Musical Typing.

You can change the instruments you want to use by choosing one from the list on the right side of the window. For example, let’s change the Piano to Electric Piano.

You are now ready to record! Click on the instrument you want to use, and click on the Red Recording Button at the bottom of the window. Once you record a segment, your screen will look like this.

These are the basics of GarageBand. Play around with various instruments and have fun making your own songs!

Hosting a site using Github

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Victor Truong. Learn more about Victor and our other student assistants here.

In this tutorial, we will be learning how to host a website using GitHub Pages. GitHub Pages offers a free option of hosting your own personal website. This website can be used and customized to your liking. I can be used for a blog or even a professional portfolio. Here’s how to get started.

To begin, we must create a GitHub Account at

Next, we will click on “new repository” and name the repository “” where username is your username.

From here, on your computer, using your favorite text editor, we will need to create and index file.

If you do not have a favorite text editor, recommended editors are Atom or Sublime.

The name of the file will be index.html.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<h1>Hello World</h1>
<p>I’m hosted with GitHub Pages.</p>

Enter the above text into your index file for a very basic webpage.  Next, you will need to commit the index file to your repository.  You can do this one of two ways, you can either enter your repository on to upload and commit the files or your can use GitHub desktop.

Once the file has been uploaded and committed, you can view your website at the name of your repository.

The default link to your website will be where username is your username.

The uploading and committing process may take a couple minutes. Once complete your website should look similar to this:

Congratulations!!! You now have your own personal website.

It make the website more complete and to your exact preferences you will need to take another step to learn the coding languages html, css and javascript.

These three languages will allow you to create the exact webpage you want.

Helpful sources are:

Enhancing an Image in Photoshop

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Kimberly Glover. Learn more about Kim and our other student assistants here.

First select an image of your choice.

After downloading your image, open the Photoshop software, click File and select Open to insert your image.

Photo of Asante Paramount Chief – Ghana

To brighten the image, click the Image => Adjustments => Vibrance. Make sure the preview icon is selected, it enables you to view changes to your work. In order to add more vibrance to the image, select Image => Adjustments => Photo =>Filter. Choose the filter of your choice.

Next, select Filter => Sharpen edges to give the image an HD effect. For more dimension, select the entire image, then click Select Modify => Feather.

These simple techniques can be used to edit everyday photos or accent professional headshots. Enjoy!


Getting Started with Adobe Premiere Pro

This tutorial was written by Digital Studio Student Assistant, Remi Joseph. Learn more about Remi and our other student assistants here.

Have you ever wondered how your favorite Youtubers produce the creative and stylish content you watch online? More often than not, the answer is Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro is an incredibly popular and powerful editing software compatible across multiple platforms and filled with tons of features. This non-linear and file-based program fuels flawless content production for creators across the world, both amateur and pro.

While it may look intimidating, it is quite simple to use. In this tutorial, I will be showing you some basics you need to get started with Premiere Pro: creating a project, importing a clip, and creating a title graphic. Let’s begin!

Creating a New Project & Importing a Clip

Editing on Premiere Pro requires you to have some sort of video file. First, let’s go ahead and open Premiere Pro by double-clicking the program. On the Start Screen you want to click “New Project” to create a new project file. Pick a name for your new project and then click OK.

To import media file, you want to go down to the bottom left corner and click on Media Browser panel. From here, you can search your computer disk and files for clips you can import. To select a video you want to import, select the clips you want to work with and choose Import. Once the media is imported, you can begin editing. For the sake of this tutorial, I have used a stock video found on Youtube.

Once I selected the file I wanted, it should appear on this panel right here. This is an example.


All you need to do now is Drag and Drop the video file you have imported into the bottom right panel. This will basically be a time-line of the video. You now have full liberty to shorten the video, cut the video, and edit it in many different ways!


Adding a Title Graphic

Now that we have the video imported, we can start to edit it. Let’s add a title graphic to introduce the video. Start by selecting WINDOW > WORKSPACES > GRAPHICS at the very top of the screen.

This will show the tools seen in this picture on the very left. These are the essentials you will need to create a title. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you start creating the title where you want it displayed in the video. So be sure to use the time-line panel to drag the playhead to where in the video you want the text to appear like so.

The next step is to click the “T” for Type. It is the very last tool on the vertical panel. This will open up a red box into which you can type your text.

The cursor tool allows you to move your typed text to anywhere on the screen. Once you have positioned it where you desire, you can edit the color, fill, size, and font of the text.

And that is it! Congratulations! You have created a title graphic for your video. Stay tuned for special effects in Premiere Pro next.