Erica's "Tell it Like it Is" Blogging and TpT Tips: Technology

04 April 2013

There was such a positive reaction to my first "Tell It Like It Is" post a while back, that I decided to create another "Tip" themed post.   First,  I want to thank you for the positive comments.  I was not trying to be "The Boss of the Applesauce" but I wanted to get some simple, blunt tips out there.  I have been doing this a while and why make the same mistakes I did or waste your time if you don't have to!

In most of my "Tip" posts, I refer to googling for tips or tutorials.  In this post, I am going to highlight some of the tutorials that I find most useful and give you a simple techie tip.  Please note, that I am no tech expert, I learn best by watching and then doing.

Making Products for TpT

Merging PDF Files on Mac
The number one question I get asked is,  "What program do you use to make your products in?"  I use PowerPoint!   In the past, I used Word and it was such a pain in the butt!  I ended up switching to PowerPoint because I read a tip thread in the TpT forums about how PowerPoint was so much easier to make documents with.  It really is!   I have a Mac but I bought Microsoft Office for it and I think the combo is great.  The only problem with PowerPoint is that you cannot change page orientation within one document.  So, I make two separate documents and two separate pdf files.  Here is how I combine PDF files using the PDF Preview program on Mac:

Here are a few of my favorite tutorials from other bloggers

I sign up to follow my favorite blogs via email as well as through the "follow me" buttons.  I love the emails because I never miss a post.  The emails are a bit delayed and don't come out the instant a post does, but I still get them!    

If you have not used PowerPoint to create files, check out Ladybug's tutorial!   I really have learned so much through following her blog.  All of her tutorials are super useful!  She is so sweet and we have been blogging friends since the very beginning.   I cannot believe I had to ask her to make a tutorial about making categories on my blog!   I had no idea how to get them to display.   So thank you, Kristen!

Ashley Hughes is amazing!  If you have a topic you want her to create a tutorial on, she will.   She just did this post about aligning files in PowerPoint.  I totally learned something!  New or old blogger/sellers, you need to check in on her Technology Tuesdays.  So helpful!

For more of my favorite Technology Tips, 
check out my Pinterest Board.
*I have not read the marketing pins yet, but plan to do so on a rainy day.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks for your tips Erica! As a relatively new blogger, I enjoy hearing what you have to say and appreciate the advice you give not only on blogging but also on creating TpT products. Thanks again!

    Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten

  2. Thank you so much for the tips! I will have to come back and re-read these more thoroughly!
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

  3. It's always nice to learn something new. I use PowerPoint, and I learned something new when I watched Ashley Hughes' tutorial! Thank you for sharing your tutorial. I wish PowerPoint would make it to where we could change the page orientation without having to go through all the other steps. On the upside, PowerPoint is WAY better than Word! :)

    Adventures in First with Mrs. Key

  4. Love love love this, thanks so much Erica. You would not believe how I was doing it before, let me just say that my head was not at a good angle - nuff said!

  5. Awesome tutorial! I really appreciate you taking the time to help out us newbies.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  6. Thanks for the tips! I agree, watch someone do it, then try it yourself. YouTube is super helpful and I LOVE Ashley's posts!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  7. Erica, that was an AWESOME first tutorial!!! (you sound adorable and not at all nannyish, by the way) Thank you for the sweet shout-out and thanks for teaching me something new! :) :)

  8. Thanks so much for this post! I have been trying to find a video on how to merge files on Power point on my Mac. You totally made my day. I can't wait to check out Ashley Hughes video too! Her tips are super helpful. I love your blog!

    The Phonics Phenomenon

  9. Thanks for sharing the Merging PDF Files on Mac...I thought I was stuck with choosing one type of layout--phew!! Awesome tutorial!!
    -Lovely Nina

  10. Thank you so much! i just got a Mac and am still trying to figure out how to use it! Your video was really helpful and I plan to check out your other links soon.

    Literacy Spark

  11. You are a published author and veteran blogger....I think that DOES make you Boss of the Applesauce!!! I am totally looking forward to more great tips and advice!
    Have a fabulous weekend Erica!

  12. AWESOME tutorial! I have always wanted to know how to do this! Thank you!

    Flying High in First Grade

  13. Wow! I just figured out how to create on Powerpoint (like Saturday!) and was wondering how on earth I could do this. You are right, using Word is a pain in the butt and I am so happy to be creating on PP now. This makes it even better! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Heather Langley

  14. I have always wanted to know how to do that! Thank you so much! :)

  15. Thanks for the great tutorial, Erica! I am going to be switching over from making my files on a PC to making them on a Mac, so your tutorial came at the perfect time! :)

    EduKate and Inspire

  16. Erica you are simply AMAZING!! This teacher in Texas appreciates all that you share! I had to create a post about you today. =)


    One Fab Teacher

  17. Thanks so much for this post! It helps so much to learn all the tricks out there. Like you, I made all my files in Microsoft Word before. It is soooo much easier doing PDFs. Thanks to someone's blog post, I learned that. :)

  18. Erica,

    Great post! I loved the sweet words that Tiffany May shouted out today on her blog about you never being too busy to return e-mails. LOVE THAT!


  19. every.single.time a buyer tells me they cannot open my file or it's messed up-I just copy and paste a link straight to your technical difficulties post! haha! Thanks for the tips again!

  20. You are so wonderful Erica! I need to check out Ashley's technology files. I'm sure I'll find out that I've been "taking the long way" with a lot of my tech needs. I figure things out so slowly and I've had to many "ah ha!" moments way too late in the game. :) I need to watch me some videos! I was also a big googler early on. It's so nice to have these video tutorials now. So great that people take the time to do that! Thank you for this post Erica!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  21. AWESOME tips!! Thank you for taking the time to share!! I've been DYING to figure out how to merge the PDF files, but I haven't taken the time out to really figure it out!! I just suffer through and make them with my head tilted sideways!! haha :)


    Surviving the Little People

  22. Thank you so much for the amazing tips!!!! You are such an inspiration :)

    Connecting the Dots: A Kindergarten Blog

  23. Thank you so much for the great tips. I am just trying out the whole blogging and creating products so you tips will come in handy.


  24. Thank you Erica!! I haven't uploaded anything to TpT, but it's in the plans for this summer!!

  25. What a super duper tip Erica! I have been wondering how to do that! Thanks so much!
    A Burst of First

  26. Oh my gosh! Too easy! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Teaching With Moxie

  27. Thank you for the tip. I have seriously been struggling with this for a few weeks! Love the video style blogging as well! Great tips... keep them coming!


  28. Thank you so much for posting this video Erica! I thought that I was not going to be able to merge my files due to the fact that I only have Adobe Preview. This definitely made my day!! :)


  29. Wow, the tutorial is just what I needed! I have been trying to figure it out for a year now. Who would have thought it would have been so simple??? Thanks for sharing!

    Lucky In Learning

  30. I did this today on a new unit and it was so easy! Thank you for making my life so much simpler! (is that a word?)

    I mentioned you in my blog today, thought I'd let you know!

    Thanks for all your help and inspiration!
    Heather Langley

  31. OMG Erica you just solved a problem that has been driving me CRAZY since I became a TpTer a couple months ago!! I always use PP but hated how I couldn't change page orientation within the file. You're the best! Thanks so much for posting! (& your comment about us getting to hear your NY accent was cracking me up ! I have many friends with your accent- I live in Jersey!!) Thanks again for a great tech post

    Science for Kids Blog

  32. Like you, I learned the hard way and started making resources with Word, but since switched to Power Point and will never go back. Also, thank you for sharing with me a few weeks ago about using Picassa to create collages, so much easier! I love your updates and sassy wisdom!

  33. I have tried over and over to do this! But when I try to drag from one PDF file to another, nothing happens! Ugh. I must be doing SOMETHING wrong. Google is my next stop! :)

    Flying High in First Grade

  34. Thank you so much for making this video, Erica. I found it referenced yesterday in the TPT forums. It is such a simple solution :) ~Denise

  35. Thank you so, so much for this tutorial! I'm a visual learner, and this video helped me tremendously with my PDFs!


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