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September 2013

OIT Tech News

SMU has recently secured 25 licenses for to augment faculty and staff training courses. has over 2,000 online courses in software, technology, creative and business skills. Visit Lynda’s complete software listing to explore their vast library. Each course consists of several short videos covering a particular topic. You can watch the full course, or just watch a specific topic or feature.  The courses also provide exercise files that can be downloaded and used to practice the skills covered in the tutorials.

Faculty and Staff may check out a license for a 2-week period from the Help Desk Support Center. Visit and complete the request form under "Additional Services". 


To introduce this service, IT is currently hosting several short online info sessions to provide you with a tour of the Lynda website. Attendees will learn how to search for courses, view transcripts of courses and view exercise files for those learners who typically prefer hands-on-instruction.  Click here for the upcoming schedule and registration process.

Office 2013

The testing of Office 2013 is now complete. The software will be available for installation on all IT managed computers on September 30 from the LANDesk Portal. Faculty and staff may choose the time that is most convenient to install the software if they are interested. 

To install Office 2013 on an IT managed windows computer,

  • Close all Office applications (Outlook, Word etc)
  • Click Start—Programs—LANDesk Management—Desktop Manager
  • The software list should refresh automatically.  Once it refreshes, the Office 2013 package should appear in the list.
  • Check the box next to Office 2013 and click Deploy.
  • The software will download and install.  Installation typically takes about 30 minutes.

Please note: If you have other applications such as Visio, Project, Sharepoint Designer, these applications will not be upgraded. Although they appear under the Microsoft Office folder, they are not included in the Office 2013 suite.

ALERT:  There are known issues with embedding video in Powerpoint and in Word 2013.  If you use these features, please do not upgrade at this time.

Office 2013 disks are also available for Faculty and Staff for installation on a home computer under the Work at Home provision of our Microsoft Campus Agreement.  The cost is $11.04 (personal checks only) and disks are limited to one per person.  To obtain a copy, visit the IT Help Desk in Fondren Library West. The software should be removed from any home computer when you leave the University.


In conjunction with the Office 2013 rollout, we will be offering several webinar sessions to explore a sampling of both suite-wide and individual application enhancements. A few features we will look at are:

Outlook’s “Peek” option that allows you to glance at your schedule or a specific appointment without leaving the message window

  • New features in Word for tracking changes, collapsing paragraphs, and editing and embedding PDF’s
  • How to use Excel’s new Flash Fill and Chart Recommendations
  • Explore Presenter View in PowerPoint
Click here for the upcoming schedule and registration process.