The TechDis Toolbox has a full section on web browsers.  There is information on Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome.  There is a great general video on web browsers from Commoncraft and than a further one on  accessibility within web browsers – take a look at the basics!

The individual videos on different plug-ins for each browser will be on here in the next few posts.

One of the main sections in the TechDis Toolbox is on organisation and planning.  This deals with managing your messages, information and time.  There are some real gems in here but one of the finest is a short video on ‘getting things done’ – simple tips to help you make a start on those difficult jobs you’re reluctant to even look at!

For those who haven’t realised ‘A Round Tuit’ is something that you need before to start to do a job as in – I’ll begin that report when I get ‘around to it’.

Here at TechDis we commissioned Cereproc in Edinburgh to develop two high quality synthetic voices.  Most free to use synthetic voices are very robotic and sound very unnatural.  Here’s a good explanation of what a synthetic voice is and how you could use it.

The TechDis Toolbox has resources organised in a number of ways.  The same resource could be found in different ‘drawers’ or by different routes.  One example of this is sharing calendars.  If all your interaction with friends and family is only via Facebook then you may not be aware of some of the benefits of using online emails and calendars.  If you are part of a club, or working with several people on a project, it can be useful to share key dates, events and deadlines. Most online calendars can be shared with several people. Here we show you how to share your calendar.

You can reach this video from either the Team Planning section under ‘Teamworking’ or from the Managing Time part of the Planning section.


The TechDis Toolbox has resources to help with writing and creating documents which will help you ensure that your document is organised in a way that the reader can find their way around.  They can help you to structure your document, as they break the text up into smaller chunks and can make it easier for the reader to find the information they need.  If you use the headings provided in Word they act like bookmarks, making it much easier to move through the document on screen.

Check out the video and other Toolbox Delights on our website.

As well as the new Toolbox site the team at TechDis have also launched 2 new synthetic voices TechDis Jack and TechDis Jess.  These can be used to have text read outloud to you.  This is called Text to Speech because that’s what the software does – it converts written text into speech which you can listen to anywhere.  We have a number of videos and guides on how this works but for a start we have an introduction to the idea of having text read outloud.

Check out the other videos and guidelines and see if you are eligible for these free voices.

The TechDis Toolbox has some great videos and guides on using more of the search features of Google.  Did you know you can type in “define” followed by any word and it will give you the definition?


Or if you simply enter the word “time” into the search box it will give you the time in your current time zone wherever you are in the world.


The Getting to Know Google series in Toolbox has some excellent guidance on using the Google search page to find what you want quicker and more efficiently.

Google Special Features – has some more gems!

Don’t tell me you knew all this?  I certainly learnt something from it and the others – check them out on the Better Searching page.

The TechDis Toolbox is full of delights for any user. It is full of those extra tips that make life that much easier and quicker when you’re in a busy workplace. One of these is using Autotext to add frequently used pieces of text. The size of the text can be short or large – but taking the time to set it up can save you time and effort many times over.

Toolbox has a full range of videos and annotated documents covering all the aspects of using the Google search function.  They range from the very basic – how to use Google to search to special features and using Google maps.

Getting to Know Google 7 – Google Maps from JISC TechDis on Vimeo.

The TechDis Toolbox has a range of resources giving you the sort of short easy tips and tricks to help you work smarter.  As well as quick videos on creating accessible documents it highlights technology that can help individual with differing needs.  For example if you have a hearing impairment you can change the settings on your iPhone or iPad to flash alerts instead of audio audio alerts.

You can change the size of the dock bar at the bottom of the screen if you have a Mac computer

Dock Magnification from JISC TechDis on Vimeo.

We’ll be highlighting resources in the toolbox on a regular basis.