Headings in a webpage are vital for creating an organized and accessible web page. Think of headings as the main points in the outline of your written content. Short and concise headings should describe sections of your web page. If someone only read the headings of your webpage, they should be able to have a good idea what your page is about.

Headings provide structure and are hierarchical–to mark most important to least important. They start with heading 1 as the most important and ending with heading 6 as least important.

Example heading structure

Let’s say I have a website that’s all about beavers. Here’s what the heading structure would look like:

  1. Beavers (Heading 1)
    1. Species (Heading 2)
      1. North American Beaver (Heading 3)
      2. Eurasian Beaver (Heading 3)
    2. Habitat (Heading 2)
      1. Dams (Heading 3)
        1. Affect on climate (Heading 4)
      2. Lodges (Heading 3)
    3. Lifespan

Why do headings matter?

“Can’t I just pick a heading based on how it makes my text look?”

Screen readers allow those with low/no vision to skim a page by reading all the headings out loud. If headings are missing or out of order, this process becomes quite difficult and frustrating. For sighted users, using headings consistently will provide a cohesive visual experience.

If you need to emphasize an announcement or exception, use bold formatting instead. Headings should not be used to change the appearance of text. Conversely, applying bold or italics to headings doesn’t give the structure needed for people who use screen readers. The screen reading software won’t pick up on the italicized or bold text as a heading.

How to add headings in Drupal

With Drupal, you can add headings to your webpage easily. You select the text and then from the formatting option, select the appropriate heading.

screenshot of text editor in Drupal to change headings

Headings start with level 3 in Drupal because headings 1 and 2 label the site and page titles. Start with heading 3 for your main points and use headings 4, 5, or 6 if you have subsections. Unless your page is very long and complex, you probably won’t use heading 6.

How to check your heading structure

Our accessibility checker, Monsido, will check for the order of the headings. (Contact Web and Mobile Services if you don’t have access to Monsido.) However, it can’t check for lengthy or irrelevant headings. That needs to be reviewed by a person looking over the content to make sure it’s current, concise, and relevant.

If your department doesn’t have Monsido, then you can use Webaim’s Wave Tool, which is free and available right in your web browser.

Writing isn’t easy! But creating well structured content gives everyone an great experience.

Here at OSU, we have Google Analytics already set up on most sites. All the data lives under one account so we can get a sense of the big picture. But, if you work for an individual department or unit, you probably only want to see the data for your site, not everyone’s.

You can create a segment to see only your site’s data.

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click on the property menu in the upper left-hand corner
  1. Under the Oregon State University – Core account, select the Universal property and the Unfiltered view
  1. Click on the Audience, then click on Overview
  1. Click on +Add Segment
  1. Click on New Segment
  1. Type a name into the Segment Name next to the blue Save button.
  2. Click on Conditions under Advanced
  1. Then click on Ad Content to change the dimension that you will filter by. 
  2. Click in the search bar and start typing Hostname
  1. Click on the search result to select it. 
  2. Change the Contains option to Exactly Matches.
  3. In the text box, type in your site’s hostname. For example: communications.oregonstate.edu. Don’t include “www” or “https.” 
  4. Then click the blue Save button.

You can now apply this segment to any report in Google Analytics to only see the data for your website. Here’s how:

  1. When viewing any report, click on the All Users segment, which is selected by default. 
  2. This will bring up a list of all the segments you have created. Select the one you just created to see only your website data. 
  1. Click on Apply, which will apply the segment to the data in the report. You can apply this to any report in Google Analytics, such as Behavior or Acquisition.

You can also check out pre-built segments that show a subset of data: visitors from the state of Ohio or people viewing your website with a tablet. There are a lot of options already there if you don’t want to build your own.

If you want to delve deeper, check out Google’s documentation on segments.

Make sure you are logged in and viewing Studio.twitter.com or log in by going to Twitter Ads → Creatives tab → select Media.

Click the Upload button at the top-right of the page and select the video you want.

Give your video a name. For example, Benny learns how to cook | #GoBeavs

Select the best thumbnail. These should be catchy and draw in the viewers.

Next, click the sharing tab.

You can type the handle of the accounts you want to share with.
Example: @OregonState

Once completing the steps above, your video will be crossposted. However, it does not send a notification to the other account. It’s helpful to give them a heads up that you added it to their library.

How to know if a video has been crossposted to you:

In the upper left-hand corner where it says Library there is a dropdown menu. Click Shared Media to be able to view any content that has been crossposted to your account.

Once you are in the shared media section you can see everything that has been shared with you. To post, click the tweet button and add in your copy or other components. Then you can send it out directly or schedule for later! 

Crossposting will help us share content easily and collaborate more. If you have a big announcement or project coming up it doesn’t hurt to give people a heads up. Slack is a great tool for letting people know a video was crossposted.

We will not be able to share all content that is crossposted with us on the institutional level account (@oregonstate) but please don’t hesitate to share. We will do our best to integrate it into our schedule.

Google Analytics is a tool that shows you how people are using your website. You now have a few options for using it here at Oregon State University.

  1. Request access to the universal Google Analytics account if you want to just want to pop in and grab your data. We take care of the account level management for you. You will need to create a segment in order to see only your site’s data.
  2. Go to beav.es/analytics to view the university-wide dashboard. You can select your own site to see any date range of analytics. This is useful for sharing your data with stakeholders or if you don’t want to learn Google Analytics layout.
  3. Create your own Google Analytics account if you want to manage your own account and have more autonomy. You can manage user access, share with 3rd party companies, and do more advanced tasks. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll need to add the tracking ID to your Drupal site. Be sure to check with us first to see if there is already an account that we could transfer ownership to you.

You can get started on your own or come to Open Lab if you want some help.

You’ve created a beautiful webpage that has the most important information your department or organization can offer. It’s got great pictures, an attractive layout,  and well written, organized content. And you want the world to see it. Yet you get complaints that it can’t be found with a thorough Google search. Have no fear–there are a few simple things you can do to help your website become more visible in search results. The methods and techniques to increase findability of a site are called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO).

Create Good Content

One of the best things you can do for your SEO is to have well-written content that provides the information what your visitor is looking for. Clear and concise language will take you far. Search engines are about connecting people to the information they need. So if your webpage doesn’t accomplish the user’s goal, then it won’t show up high up in search results.

Hone Your Keywords

Keywords refer to what people type into the search bar. On a basic level, if your website has those same words, the search engine will display your website as a result. The keywords you choose should reflect the essence of your webpage. What answer does your webpage provide? What is your webpage about? What is your goal for this page? You can include keywords in your headings and copy of the page. But, don’t force them into every nook and cranny–the language should still be natural.

Don’t limit yourself to one word for each concept. Google’s ability to understand natural language is getting better every day, so be sure to include other words that you think your audience would use to find what you’re offering. Google Search Console will give you a good idea of what terms people are using to get to your site. If you have access to your department’s Google Analytics account, then you can set up Google Search Console.

Take Advantage of Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are the little blurb in a search result below the page title. OSU Drupal will pull the first sentences of your page as your meta description. However, sometimes, this isn’t the best source for an overall summary.

A solid meta description should draw someone to your site, but also provide an accurate description of the content. Meta descriptions in a search result display around 300 characters, so you have a small window to accomplish both of these things.

In OSU Drupal, you can add a meta description to any page. When editing the page, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Meta tags tab. Fill out the Description field with whatever you’d like to include. (Erase the “[node:summary]”) Click on Save to update your page with your newly minted meta description.

Write Accurate, Short, and Unique Page Titles

This one sounds basic, but it’s a common challenge. A title needs to describe succinctly what the webpage is all about. If you were plopped here without any other context from the rest of your site, would you know what this page is about? That’s how your visitor is often getting there–they didn’t carefully follow the navigation of your site, but rather they Googled what they needed and this is where they landed.

In OSU Drupal, the page title field feeds what is called the title meta tag. This tag is part of the metadata code for your page. Metadata code provides some basic information about your site to search engines. Whatever’s in the title meta tag will be displayed in the Google search result and on the browser tab when you’re on the page. There isn’t an exact word count or character limit for what will show up in a search result since it’s based on 600 pixel width. A good guideline is to keep it at 50-60 characters. So, if your page title is well written, there’s no further configuration you need to do.

Each page title should be unique, as in you shouldn’t have 2 pages with the same title. Generally speaking, it isn’t a good strategy to have duplicate content on your site anyway.


Follow these few steps and you’re well on your way to improving the visibility of your webpage. There’s a lot more to SEO, so if you want to learn more, check out Moz.com.

 

Today I’m going to show you how to print a Powerpoint template 4-up on an 8.5×11 page. I have a sample postcard that is a quarter size (5.5″x4.25″) front and back for mailing.

  • Once your design is complete, go to File>Print
  • Choose “Full Page Slides” under Print Layout, making sure “Scale to Fit Paper” and “High Quality” are checked.
  • Next, you’re going to trick the program. We want to print 4 fronts on one side, and 4 backs on the other. So in the “Slides” box, type: 1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2. This will print 4 of page 1, and 4 of page 2.
  • Select Printer Properties. Your print dialog box might look different from what is shown, but hopefully it will have a lot of the same options.
  • Under “Layout”, select “4 Pages per Sheet”. Leave the Page order as is, since it will be 4 of the same page.
  • Then under “2 sided” select “Short Edge Bind (Open Top/Left)” since this is in the Landscape view. If “Landscape” isn’t selected, choose it now.
  • Double-check that it is set to 4 Pages per Sheet, 2 Sided and say “Ok”. The view will still show a single page, but it will print 4-up on yours.
  • If you need to print multiple pages, change the number next to “Copies” at the top (ex. if you need 100 postcards, type 25 copies)

 

NOTE: There will be a white margin around the edge. This is common since printers aren’t able to print all the way to the edge, so you can choose to trim off that extra white, or allow for the extra buffer.

 

 

Showing the front and back

 

Thank you, and good luck.

OSU Graph Brushes for Adobe illustrator: Download

 

Oregon State’s graphs have a specific style that can take a while to create in Adobe Illustrator, even for seasoned designers. To simplify the graph making process, we’ve made downloadable brushes that let you create these graphs in just a couple clicks.

First, you’ll want to save the brush file somewhere that you can remember.

Within Adobe illustrator, create your graph and enter your data. Close out of the data panel and with your graph selected, choose “no fill” from the swatches panel. Change to the direct selection tool, select the center point in the middle of your graph, and delete it. You’ll notice it retains the points where the different values were, but has turned into a circle with no pies.

Open your Brushes window, and from the options drop down, select Open Brush Library > Other library…
Navigate to the brushes file, and you’ll see we have 9 brushes to choose from. They have names like Inner Line, Inner Bar, Outer line, which relate to how the graph is put together. You can select the different brushes and see what they do to the graph.

In the examples on our website you can see there are some with inner stripes, and a yellow outline, inner bars with an outline and so on. So let’s make this graph that has these notches.

Back in the Illustrator file, make sure the stroke is highlighted, and select Inner stripes 2. Open the appearance window, and go into the contents of the graph. From the options panel, select Add New Stroke. Then select Outer Line 2. From the appearance window, you can select the color of the outer line, and individually change the color of each of the pies.

This same style can work for bar graphs as well. Create your bar graph, enter your values, and delete the right-most points of each bar, so you’re left with lines. Select those lines, and select one of the “Inner” brushes.

It’s important to note that while these are still technically graphs with the data attached to them, if a number changes the graph resets. You’ll have to reselect the brushes and colors from the appearance panel.

Thank you, and good luck.

 

Proofreading is an ongoing challenge for most writers, especially when reviewing our own work. Because we know what we mean to say, our brains often autocorrect for typos. And a spellcheck won’t catch some of the most common typos: a missing word, a wrong word that’s spelled correctly or the right word that’s in the wrong place.

Continue reading

Our brand is very robust, and we understand that it’s a lot to take in. For some, simply having a print-out to refer to is helpful, and as a result we’ve made two printable PDFs for quick reference. The first is a Branding Cheat sheet, showing quick references on logo use, color information and details on Oregon State University’s fonts. This by no means has the comprehensive information that would be found on the Oregon State Brand Site, but should help with common questions:

The second is a ‘how-to’ for navigating our templates and brand downloads, as well as using Microsoft Office to design:

Thank you, and good luck

To maintain a consistent voice, tone and style across the university, it’s imperative to follow Associated Press style rules. Some can be hard to remember — so keep this cheat sheet of commonly misused items in your back pocket. And if you are looking for additional help, check our editorial style guide, which covers the most common AP style issues you’ll encounter in your work at Oregon State. We also recommend an online subscription to the AP Stylebook. It’s inexpensive, and if there are multiple writers in your office, you’ll get a break on a multi-license subscription.

1. “To” vs. the dash

When listing a range of dates or times, it is preferred to use the word “to” unless space is limited.

  • The party will take place from 2 to 3 p.m., not 2–3 p.m.
  • Don’t forget, always omit the first p.m. if both times are in the afternoon/evening. Make sure not to capitalize AM or PM and to use periods.

2. Capitalization of administrative titles

Administrative titles should only be capitalized if they are used before the person’s name.

  • Professor John Brown
  • Dean Mitzi Montoya
  • John Brown, a professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts

3. Describing alumni

Be sure to use the correct word, depending on whom you are speaking about:

Alumna: feminine singular

Alumnae: feminine plural

Alumnus: male or nonspecific gender singular

Alumni: masculine or mixed-gender plural

Alumnx: gender-neutral

Also, don’t use “alum.” AP considers it an informal version more often used in showbiz stories: She’s an alum of “Saturday Night Live.”

4. Off campus, on campus

Hyphenate when using as an adjective, not as an adverb.

  • Off-campus housing fills up quickly in the summer. Act fast!
  • She is planning to find housing off campus next term.

5. Website

One word, not capitalized. Nor is “internet” capitalized, and “email” is one word. These are changes AP has made to the stylebook in recent years. So you can toss the 2002 edition of the stylebook from your college days.

 6. Résumé

To avoid confusion with resume, the accent marks are necessary.

 7. Capitalizing majors and colleges

Majors should not be capitalized unless they are a proper noun:

  • He majored in English, not civil engineering.

When mentioning the full title of a university unit, capitalize it. Otherwise, keep it lowercase.

  • As part of her course work in economics in the College of Liberal Arts, Amy experimented with financial models.
  • As part of her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Amy experimented with financial models.
  • Later today, we will attend a meeting with admissions representatives.
  • Later today, we will attend a meeting at the Office of Admissions.

8. Course work

Two words, not coursework

 9. Farther/further

Farther = physical distance

Further = figurative distance

  • He ran farther than anyone else.
  • We will further discuss the situation.

10. Numbers

All numbers under ten are spelled out. Beginning with the number 10, use the numerical version.

Bonus tip: Oregon State University vs. OSU

As part of our editorial style, it is preferred to spell out Oregon State, rather than using OSU. Because other institutions use the same initials, this best practice can help prevent confusion.

Use Oregon State University on first reference, followed by Oregon State throughout the remainder of the piece. OSU can be used, however, in instances where it is part of a formal name (e.g., OSU-Cascades, OSU Extension Service, OSU Foundation, OSU Alumni Association).