CMairsCreate and Candyce Mairs blog about Adobe Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, Acrobat, Captivate, eLearning, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Livecycle Designer and all things web and mobile. Learn tips and tricks on a variety of web, PDF, and elearning in the posts below.

Browser Wars are Changing

The Microsoft switch in code base for the Windows 10 Edge browser was quite a change in direction for the company. Provided you have received the update, your Edge browser has now been completely remodeled from the ground up. It is now based on Chromium, the same code base as Google Chrome.

To put this in perspective, this is like someone tearing their house down to the ground and rebuilding it based on a competitors plans instead of doing a remodel. What a drastic change in direction after putting all the time and effort into creating Edge in the first place.

What will this mean to the browser wars? It is hard to tell at this point. In theory it should make all web developers lives easier, but in reality we will have to see. This will only be the case if users actually switch over to use Edge instead of hanging on to Internet Explorer or move away from using Google Chrome.

We will have to wait and see. This may cause IT departments to take a fresh look at using Edge. It would simplify software installations by reducing the need to do a separate install of another browser not built into the system. This would also reduce work in keeping software up to date on operating systems. But that process is already so ingrained in the workflow for any IT department it may be completely overlooked.

Whatever happens, the browser wars are always interesting. Let’s hope this new browser change will make the life of web developers and designers a bit easier but I am not planning on it.

The Power in Power BI

I recently completed a custom training course on Microsoft Power BI, a free software that can visualize data from almost any source. No more struggling to create nice looking visual dashboards using the charting features in Excel. What a relief!

Power BI is comprised of 3 separate products and each one has its unique features. These 3 products are Power BI Desktop, Power BI Online and Power BI Mobile. Each of these products provide slightly different features, with the Online account offering the most powerful sharing, storage & collaboration features.

Power BI Desktop is a downloadable software for your computer that allows you to move data from any type of source including txt, csv, databases, online services or Excel files into the program on your computer. Once the data has been received, the program contains a very powerful and easy to use query editor. This editor allows you to manipulate the data within Power BI so you can search and filter it to get exactly the information you wish to visualize.

Power BI Desktop contains a wide variety of visualizations that can be added to create beautiful interactive reports very easily. Create the exact dashboard visualizations you require, with additional visualizations being added automatically with updates to the program.

These reports can be saved with a pbix extension which allows you to store the reports with visualizations and the data within a single file on your computer. You can also export these reports as PDF files or upload them to another product called Power BI Online which is an online free or paid service.

The paid version of Power BI Online allows for sharing, collaboration and additional features that go beyond the free Power BI Online capabilities. This service offers the best features for team environments since it allows for full customization, storage & creation of dashboards and reports.

Power BI Mobile is exactly what you would expect, that capability to work with the software using a mobile phone.

If you work with data and need to visualize that data, it is a product that is well worth taking the time to checkout. Learn more about Microsoft Power BI.

Chatbot Projects

Chatbot projects are becoming more and more important to organizations trying to assist their customers. Creating and documenting a chatbot project can be difficult due to the limited amount of information available about the topic. If you are going to create a chatbot, it is crucial to plan properly or the project can actually turn away customers instead of assisting them. Researching how to make a bot to help with your business and utilize it to the best of its ability is a good step to take in upping communication in your business. Customers want to feel like they can talk to and get a response in a good amount of time with the answers that they need.

Listed below are some resources to assist you with your project. Feel free to Contact Candyce if you discover new resources that should be added to this page.

Accessing All Commands in Microsoft Excel

I just taught an Advanced Excel course and was reminded of how many different versions of Microsoft Office are still being used within organizations. So many businesses are not making the most of Excel, which is why I urge them to visit immediately. A lot of the class I was working with was still using Office 2010, despite the fact that it is 4 versions old. I was reminded during class of how making the jump for users from Office 2010 to later versions of Office can be version confusing. Many of the items in Excel 2010 are removed from the ribbon in Excel 2013 and later. It is easy to customize Excel to access these commands in the newer versions but most people do not realize this or know how to do it.

The ribbon area of Excel does not contain all the hundreds of commands within the program. Microsoft Excel 2013 & later all offer the capability to access every command within the program even if it is not in the ribbon. All of these commands can be added to the ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar very easily. You simply need to add those you use and need by customizing these areas of the program..

To add commands to both the ribbon & Quick Access Toolbar, go to File->Options in the program. To add commands to the Quick Access Toolbar, choose Quick Access Toolbar in the left column. To access every command within the program, select All Commands from the Choose commands from dropdown menu. You then select the command you wish to add and click the Add button in the center of the dialog box.

A similar dialog is available to customize the ribbon. To add commands to the ribbon, select Customize ribbon in the left column of the Options area and choose All Commands from the Choose commands from dropdown menu. You then choose the command you wish to add to the ribbon, highlight the tab where you want to add it in the right column and click Add.

It is well worth taking the time to customize both the ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar to simplify accessing the commands you consistently use in the program. This will make you a much more efficient Excel user and speed up any tasks you need to do often. Take the time to explore these options within Excel and become more productive.


WordPress Video Course

Need to learn WordPress? Candyce Mairs recently released an online WordPress video course at Learn how to build your own website using the software that powers over 30% of the web. Get your website up and running using best standards for site creation. Learn how to navigate the WordPress dashboard and become familiar with the difference between posts and pages. Learn to use themes to create your website layout and customize the theme to meet your needs.

Candyce Mairs has years of experience in classroom, online and elearning training. She has created numerous video courses for web development and business processes for a variety of companies. She will lead you through creating a WordPress website quickly and easily.

Learn more about this WordPress video course and view sample videos at


User Experience Training Course

UX training is very important to ensure that the designs for web pages and apps are user focused. Candyce Mairs has introduced a new training course for UX & UI to accommodate this need. A UX/UI Design Training course sample outline is now available to view. This outline provides a sampling of the topics covered in this new course. This outline can be modified to suit a 1 or 2 day course that covers the topics of web design, user experience design and tesing, and the user interface.

Please contact Candyce Mairs for more information about this new course or to learn more about this training.

Importance of UX UI Design

I just finished teaching another UX UI Design this week which immediately followed my attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. What a perfect 2 week combination. Everything I saw at CES had to following the principles of UX & UI design. UX UI is a rapidly expanding topic and there seems to be no end to this expansion. CES this year was all about the Internet of Things (IOT) and Voice integration with products. This may make it seem like the pattern is to eliminate the need for an interface to control services and products, but I think it means quite the opposite. Each of these devices needs an interface to set up or use the product or service. That also means more products and services will need someone to design those interfaces, which is why companies looking for these interface design solutions go to and other UX agencies.

UX UI Standards

When the internet was introduced and businesses were just creating websites, there were no clear cut standards for UX UI. There were no processes that could be used for testing, no such thing as personas, user stories, wire framing, or even metrics to analyze when creating a website. Everything was a guessing game at that point. Those who guessed correctly were able to greatly benefit from their decisions, others struggled or perished. The industry was new, therefore there were no official processes to fall back on. With the success of new technologies and new products, each business began to create design processes of their own to use in this brave new world. Apple will forever be at the forefront of creating these processes due to the introduction of the iPod, iPhone and iPad. User interfaces started to become extremely important in order to keep up and survive as a business.

The Birth of UX/UI

Companies saw this as a great opportunity and started researching machine and human interface interactions. Much research was made into this subject and UX/UI was officially born. Businesses now understand the importance of the user experience and the effect it can have on the success of a product which is why companies like are so successful. Companies now have metrics about their users they can use along with this research in order to make sure they are developing a great product that is easy and pleasurable to use. The overall principle of humans reacting based on the pain-pleasure principle can easily be applied to new products on the market. If the product is a great product, but is impossible to get set up correctly or used easily, the product will fail. If the product causes pain to use, humans will not use it and be very careful to avoid anything associated with it. If the product or service causes pleasure, users will be very interested in it. Our human instinct is to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Since more and more products require an associated app to set up or use the product, the user experience has become a vital one to the success of the product and the business itself. The industry of UX and UI is a vital one, and companies must be willing to invest time and effort into this area of the business in order to succeed in this competitive marketplace.

UX/UI Resources

If you are planning to move into the user experience or user interface industry, now is a perfect time to do so. For more information and resources, view my UX and UI Design page. If you are interested in learning more about this topic or wish to attend a UX/UI course, please contact Candyce Mairs.

ColdFusion Video Training by Candyce

Candyce Mairs has completed a new video training course on ColdFusion 2016 for VTC. This new course is presently being edited and should be available for viewing this month.

Get up to date on the latest version of Adobe ColdFusion in this over 8 hour hands on video training course at Candyce is an Adobe Certified Expert and Instructor who will guide you through learning ColdFusion on a step by step basis so you can become familiar with the entire process.

Candyce begins with the software installation and complete ColdFusion setup. The course then moves on working through the process of creating a ColdFusion database driven dynamic website. This course caters to the beginner and intermediate level front end web developer who wants to build a strong foundation in ColdFusion.

This course is available now and can be purchased as a single course, or through a subscription service at

The XML Language

I recently finished teaching an XML class, and was reminded of the importance of this language that is used behind the scenes and not talked about or considered cool. There are so many systems that communicate digitally that use this language but we never hear about it in the media. XML is one of those workhorse languages that does its thing behind the scenes day after day allowing totally different systems to communicate with one another.

XML allows data to be moved and rearranged into different formats for use in various systems. The language can be parsed and converted into other formats for web viewing. Thousands of different systems send this language around the internet everyday. It is a silent quiet language doing its thing allowing data to flow automatically. Nothing sleek or shiny about it so it is not discussed.

Whether it is formatting data into standards that abide by specific formatting rules to conform to regulatory standards or simply allowing data to flow, XML does its thing. What an interesting & dependable language.

Need Help with eLearning Courses?

Are you having trouble keeping up with eLearning projects? Are you trying to work in Adobe Captivate and having some issues? Could you use some training on specific commands within Captivate? Are you wasting hours trying to create consistent styles across your eLearning projects?  Do you have present courses that you need to convert to projects for desktop, tablet or mobile viewing?

Candyce Mairs is available to assist you with your projects no matter how small or large they are. Need an hour or 2 of training on Captivate to become familiar with a feature within the program? Need an entire team to get up to speed creating projects or rebranding old ones. Let an expert trainer show you how to save time and get your projects online faster with more consistency across projects.

Contact Candyce Mairs now and reduce your project time and frustration. She is available for onsite or online training no matter the size of our project.