Microsoft OneNote web clipper for capturing data

I really like OneNote as I can dump all my research into different sections and pages, grabbing things from the web. I can share them with colleagues which has been made easier now that OneNote can be used both off and online and there is a Chrome extension called web clipper.  You need to have a Microsoft account and download the extension. The icon sits at the top of the browser and when there is something you want to keep for reading later you can choose to have the complete page or sections etc.  OneNote has always been good at automatically capturing where the clip comes from with a URL  but this method allows you to add to the information.

onenote web clipper


Free Microsoft Office Lens speeds productivity

phone Office lens

Taking an photo of the screen

Office lens is a free app available on an iPhone, Android and Window smartphone  that links to One Drive accounts and allows you to take photographs and put them straight into Microsoft Office applications. The really good thing about Office Lens is that when I take a picture of a presentation or whiteboard I can make sure it is exactly the right shape and is straight not set at an angle using the outline on the screen by selecting the document or whiteboard menu item.

image alignment for OCR

Making sure the image is straight for OCR

That is really important if you are taking photos of text that you want to have read aloud later.  If they appear out of focus or at an odd angle you will not be able to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR), to have the image converted to text so you can use a text to speech or screen reader application later on.  Once you have taken your photo you choose which application you want to send it to and if this is Microsoft Word it will extract the text.  The other options are your photos on the phone, OneNote, OneDrive, PowerPoint and Outlook or your phone mail if you want to send it as an email attachment.  The app will also save it as a PDF.

ready for export

Ready for exporting

The best thing I like about Office Lens is how it is linked to OneNote because I can collect all the images, notes and presentations, even photos of handwritten notes straight into my Notes folder and then I can search for them at any time,  as  I really have trouble remembering what I have heard in lectures etc and this process acts as a back up .

Getting started with Microsoft Office Lens from cnet

Abi James – Researcher University of Southampton.

Free ssOverlay to tint the screen

I use coloured glasses when working with computers but our network has ssOverlay. which I can use if I forget them!   You can select the colour you want from settings arrow and activate the overlay.  It covers the screen completely and can be turned off and on from the bottom right of the taskbar. where a small yellow arrow can be seen.  Right hand mouse and you can exit the program. It is very simple and easy to use.

ssoverlay screenshot
ssOverlay (921Kb download )
“Very similar to Dark Screen, ssOverlay (the ss stands for Scotopic Sensitivity), places a coloured overlay onto the screen. The colour and transparency levels can be adjusted to suit the user.”

Gloucester College student working on StemReader for Maths

Free Apps to assist with colour blind issues in a pharmacy lab, with graphs and dissection

Here are some useful, free applications I came across for a needs assessment I have just completed.

colour blind assistantColorblind Assistant –  PC – Hover mouse over pixel in any running application – Excel/Powerpoint/PDF/Word etc, and the program displays the colours name.

“Colorblind Assistant is free software that instantly picks the color from the mouse pointer, providing you with a written name of the color, as well as other useful data such as RGB values and bar graphs, brightness and saturation.”

color ID appColor ID Free – iPhone and Android – Point phone or tablet device at any object and software displays name of currently viewed colour.

“Color Identifier uses the camera on your iPhone or iPod touch to speak the names of colors in real-time. It’s an Augmented Reality app for discovering the names of the colors around you!”

My student was a Pharmacology student who was having difficulty with graphs, lab equipment, dissection. Tested the phone app with various items I had around, and it was very good. As it is on a portable device, it is ideal for lab/field work.


Tim Symons | Training Co-ordinator/Needs Assessor/AT Trainer | Access SUMMIT

Evernote for Research

EvernoteEvernote is the “most useful app. Good layout and easy to organise my notes and research. Able to synchronise with laptop. I can use a notebook for each of my modules. I find the ability to synchronise whatever I input on iPad with laptop. Excellent for storing notes which were made earlier, easy to find, no more searching through pages in books. Far superior to Notebook+ and Notebook. This app really met my needs.”

EM University of Birmingham iPad project


Evernote is available for Windows, Mac, Android and Blackberry.

YouTube video –How to clip web pages to Evernote from your iPad

Autograph in trial mode for box and whisker plots.

“I simply went onto Google and wrote in ‘Autograph’ and downloaded the trial version – this is 30 days and is free, or you can pay for a proper version. I believe if you get the trial version, you can still use all the functions.

Box and Whisker plot

Normality Box Plot

For the purposes of my essay I needed to use a box and whisker plot, something that is very difficult to do on Excel! I used mean data from Excel, to create the is box and whisker plot.  To create a box and whisker plot you open up Autograph, and click on the button FILE- then new 1D statistics page – Then right click anywhere on the grid and click the button enter raw data- you should see a column that is named Data with an ‘x’ below- enter your means from Excel by copying and pasting into the column which is marked with an ‘x’ above- then press OK- after this in the bottom left hand corner- you should have a caption saying ‘RAW DATA 1’ right click this and then pick the option ‘Box and Whisker Diagram’ it will then create your box and whisker plot!

You can then play around, changing colour, you can also click on the screwdriver button –  (in yellow) and then click’ labels’- this will allow you to put axis and label them.

I have only used it very basically as this was the purpose for my assignment- but I am sure the more you play around with it- the more charts and options you will have.”

Hannah  course : Prof. Prac. in Health Sciences, University of Southampton

Here is a YouTube version –Box and Whisker Plot in Autograph

MyScript Calculator for handwritten calculations

“I really like the way I can scribble a maths equation on my iPhone and it will recognise my writing and then give me the answer!”

writing equation

recognising script


script recognised







answer provided









MyScript Calculator is free and can be downloaded onto an iPad, iPhone or Android tablet or phone.  It is easy to use and copes with quite complex mathematical operations.

Rumi – RCAST, University of Tokyo

AudioNote for iPad & iPhone

AudioNote screen grabsAudioNote is a fantastic note taking app. The official description from the app store tells you how you can synchronise notes and audio with each key point being linked to the moment when the lecturer talks about that subject.  Because it works on a tablet or phone there is no need to wait for the laptop to boot up.

Bookmarks can be created throughout the audio recording to highlight important points for easy referencing.  It allows you to take pictures and insert them into your notes and AudioNotes can be exported to Evernote, saved and organised there. A yellow background can be used instead of white for those with visual stress/sensitivity. It costs £2.99 and is available from the iTunes store.

This YouTube video is a good introduction to AudioNote

This comes with thanks to the Disability Advisory Service at Imperial College

Taking notes on an iPad and using iCloud

icloud“I don’t like pens and papers! Too much waste and extra cost.  I’ve been using my iPad with a stylus and several note taking/drawing apps so far. I synchronise all my notes with iCloud (it was iWorld before Apple introduced iCloud) and I’m perfectly happy – so is my room as it doesn’t have stacks of paper and pens around :>)”  Trinity – computer scientist

There are so many note taking apps and drawing apps that it is hard to advise which ones are the best but a combination of Evernote and Skitch is a good one – the Appadvice site has a note taking advice page with many more apps and the University of Exeter have a blog with a review of some more useful time management, maps, social network and note taking iPad apps. They mention WritePad that has handwriting recognition. 

WritePad for iPad YouTube Video


iPhone dictionary so easy to use.

“I like the iPhone’s dictionary – if you don’t know the meaning of a word on a website you just have to tap on it to get its meaning. So simple and easy.” Anibul

The dictionary was added for iOS 5 and it is important to just tap and hold on a single word to see the ‘Define‘ menu appear beside ‘Copy, Select All  and Speak’.  It does not work in all applications.  In messages the complete message is highlighted on tap and hold but you can use Copy and use Speak.

iPhone dictionary
iPhone dictionary interface