Five Quick Tips
- Develop the habit of using the pointer tool.
- Test your Flipchart in the classroom before teaching.
- Position objects within reach of the children.
- Familiarise yourself with basic keyboard shortcuts.
- Move objects easily between pages by dragging them.
Activinspire is a fantastic tool for creating interactive materials for the classroom. It has so many features and options that it can be difficult to know which ones will help you get your job done. That’s why I’ve put together a list of five quick tips that I use almost every time I build something in Activinspire.
Develop the habit of using the pointer tool.
The first tip is to develop the habit of using the pointer tool. ActivInspire has a habit of defaulting to either the pen or the last tool you used. Rather than spending time fiddling around in the settings, create the habit of clicking the pointer tool after you click the next page button.
Test your Flipchart in the classroom before teaching.
Next, it’s important to test your Flipchart in the classroom before teaching. This is especially important if you’re using a device other than the one you created the material on. It’s also a good idea to be aware of differences in screen resolution between your device and the classroom’s device.
Position objects within reach of the children.
When positioning objects on the screen, consider the height of the children. For younger children, place objects at the bottom of the screen where they can easily reach them. For older children, place objects at a mid-level.
Familiarise yourself with basic keyboard shortcuts.
Familiarising yourself with basic keyboard shortcuts can save you time when creating Flipcharts and help you out in the classroom if your mouse stops working. ActivInspire has several useful shortcuts, including the ability to toggle the browser window, insert a blank page after the current one, increase and decrease the size of an object, toggle grouped objects, bring forwards and send backwards, and toggle locked objects.
Knowing some keyboard shortcuts can speed up your creation of Flipcharts and help you out in the classroom if the mouse stops working!
Along with the standard universal shortcuts that you will find in most applications.
|Copy||CTRL + C||Cmd + C|
|Cut||CTRL + X||Cmd + x|
|Past||CTRL + V||Cmd + v|
|Save||CTRL + S||Cmd + s|
Activinspire has a few very useful time savers. Here are the ones that I use the most.
|Toggle Browser||CTRL + B||Cmd + b|
The browser is one of the floating windows you see when you open Activinspire. It is useful when building pages but can be in the way when you teach, which means this window will often be closed. Finding how to get it back open can take a little while. I think this was the first keyboard shortcut that I learnt.
Insert Blank Page after Current
|Insert Blank Page after Current||CTRL + I||Cmd + I|
When building, you can use this shortcut to quickly add a new page after the one you are working on. This is useful when you are in the building zone or quickly building a rough draft.
Increase and Decrease the size of an Object.
|Increase Object Size||CTRL + +||Cmd + +|
|Decrease Object Size||CTRL + –||Cmd + –|
Click on the object you want to resize and use these shortcuts to increase or decrease the size. I use the Decrease size one when I have inserted an image that is much bigger than I thought, and I can’t see the corner nodes to resize it with the mouse.
|Toggle Grouped||CTRL + G||Cmd + G|
Select all your objects and use this keyboard shortcut to group them quickly. It can also ungroup.
Bring Forward and Send Backwards
|Bring Forwards||CTRL + Shift + V||Cmd + Shift + V|
|Send Backwards||CTRL + Shift + W||Cmd + Shift + W|
When building things with layers, these shortcuts help move the object you are working with to the correct layer. Select the object you want to move and use the shortcut to move it forwards or backwards a layer.
|Toggle Locked||CTRL + Shift + L||Cmd + Shift + L|
Select the object or objects you wish to lock in place and use this shortcut. This will only work when you are in design mode. You can learn about design mode here. Activinspire Modes: An Overview of Design and Presentation Modes
Move objects easily between pages by dragging them.
Finally, a cool trick is to move objects easily between pages by dragging them. With the browser window open, drag an object from the page you’re working on to another page in the browser. This will make a copy of the object on that page in the same position.