Best File Format for Viewing Files in a Binder.

A frequent support question we’ve been getting these last couple of weeks has to do with why some uploaded files do not display in a binder.  We thought it might be a useful post to share with other users who might be uploading documents to their binders for the first time.

Usually, the file type that they are asking about are Microsoft office files like Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Although you can upload any file type into your binder, the ones that are browser friendly will be viewable from inside your binder tab.  When they don’t, it is usually because the file type still requires the desktop application to run that file.

So for example, if you are uploading Word documents, those file types require Microsoft Word to open the file. In those cases, your viewers need to download the file, and then open it in the Word application.  

When you upload a desktop dependent file type like Word into your binder, we create a thumbnail with instructions to your viewer to click on the hyperlink under the thumbnail to trigger the file to download. This is similar to what they would do in a typical web page. The thumbnail looks like a Word icon as shown in the example above.

Use PDF files for a better reading experience:

To make your document viewable in the binder, you can export those Microsoft files as PDFs. They display in the binder tab because Adobe made it easier for browsers to open their file for you. Below is an example of a PDF that is viewable from inside a binder tab.

Learn how to export to a PDF:

If you would like to learn how to export your Microsoft documents, Microsoft provides an easy way to export to a PDF. 

While you are in your Microsoft file, go to the File Menu in your document and choose “Export” towards the bottom of the side-menu screen. A new window will open and you can click on “Create PDF.”

We provide screenshots and instructions of how to export to PDF in our Help Guide Binder.

If you love using 3-ring binders in your workspace and would like to use something similar to organize your online, digital content, feel free to try a free binder at livebinders.com.

What is a Virtual Binder?

Going from 3-ring binders to virtual binders

Are you looking for a digital solution that will mirror your experience with paper and 3-ring binders? Searching online can return a variety of terms: Is it a virtual or digital binder you need? Do any of those terms describe a binder that can exist in the cloud such as an online binder?

A virtual binder is a paperless version of a binder.  And like the term “digital binder,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the binder is online. It may just exist on your desktop computer and not be cloud-based.

But for many people looking for cloud-based solutions, a virtual or digital binder has to be easily updated and accessed in real time by others. With remote learning and remote work environments, “virtual” generally implies online as in “virtual office,” “virtual library,” and “virtual meetings.” These terms all describe a place that exists online to mimic the effects of a physical location. A virtual binder, then, can be a place you organize other online resources, similar to the way you’d organize paper in a physical binder.

If the solution you are looking for needs to be cloud-based, then the LiveBinders’ virtual, online binder platform might offer you the right solution for your sharing needs.

Virtual binders for your virtual library

For over 10 years, LiveBinders has been the virtual place for teachers to organize class exercises and reference materials; where administrators organize staff handbooks and board meeting notes; and where small businesses organize product catalogues, onboarding manuals, and training material. What makes our online binders their first choice is the intuitive navigation and the flexible framework for packaging media and links in the context of a physical 3-ring binder – but with so much more to offer because it is online.

Check out our Virtual binder page to learn more about how to get started.

How to Add Your Google Calendar to an Online Binder

If you would like to have your audience view your Google calendar inside of your LiveBinder tab, use the embed code instead of the link. Using the embed code will add your live calendar to your online binders. It’s an easy way for your stakeholders to find your calendar and see all the up-to-date schedule and event changes in real time. We recently created a Youtube video on how to do that and added it to our Help Guide binder.

In the 3 minute video below, you’ll learn where you can find the embed code of your Google calendar, and how to add it to a tab in your binder.

If you use another calendar tool where the link to the calendar is not embedding in your binder, check to see if it comes with an embed code, and you can use the same procedure to add it. Let us know if you use something other than Google calendar and we will create a demo for our Help Guide binder.

Step-by-step instructions along with the YouTube video tutorial is available by clicking on this link.

Organize Success Podcast: Two College Instructors Share How They Use LiveBinders to Optimize Student Learning

Long before Covid19 transformed the landscape of classroom teaching, LiveBinders users John Dahlgren and Peggy Hohensee were figuring out how to better navigate their college institution’s learning management system (LMS) protocols. Both had one objective in mind: to make it easier for students to find their class materials. They discovered that LiveBinders could be a flexible central location for their course material both inside and outside their LMS. Inadvertently, they also realized that by having this consistent access to their resources, their students became more engaged and self-sufficient learners.

In this episode, Linda Houle joins our podcast again to welcome John and Peg. I hope that for those of you who are grappling with how to manage your classroom remotely, you’ll see how LiveBinders can be a valuable extension of your teaching practice.

Image of LiveBinders Success Podcast with John Dahlgren and Peggy Hohensee
LiveBinders Organize Success Podcast with John Dahlgren and Peggy Hohensee

John Dahlgren is a Career and Technical instructor of Drafting and CAD Technology courses and is a Technical Trainer with Butte College Contract Education. 

Peggy Hohensee is the Chair of the Purdue University Global Math Department responsible for a team of people who teach, develop curriculum, design and create supplemental course materials from freshman level mathematics to graduate statistics.

Click here to listen to the podcast on iTunes.

Click here to view the LiveBinders Podcast Binder with links to the binders and resources mentioned in the interview.

Sending Links to Customers Never Looked So Good

Thanks to some excellent feedback, we have a new release that includes several improvements to LiveBinders.

As you know, LiveBinders is like a 3-ring binder for the web – allowing you to capture a variety of web links into a tabbed format which we call LiveBinders.  Instead of bookmarking links – you can add them directly into livebinders.  Your LiveBinder icons can be embedded on your web pages or sent as links in email.  It’s a great way to share multiple links for yourself or with other people.

Here are some of the highlights in this release:

Upload Your PDF files to LiveBinders

Many of our users have been creatinglivebinders for customer documentation.  With our new upload feature you can upload your own PDFs and include them in a livebinder along with your website links.

screenshot of upload

Better Looking Binders

We’ve given the livebinders a more polished look.  At the top now is the LiveBinder logo and the username/ login line.  Underneath that is the contents of the binder including the name of the binder, the author’s name, date created, and the number of views for the binder.  If you are the author of the binder,  you will also be able to see the ‘edit menu’ button to the right which allows you to make changes to your binder’s contents and properties.

livebinder new look

Bookmark While You Browse
The LiveBinder It bookmark tool

Although many of you can still create a blank binder from scratch, new users will be asked to install in their browser the ‘LiveBinder It’ bookmark tool.  This allows them to create binders while they browse. It is a quicker and easier way to create binders on the fly.  You can find out more about the bookmark tool here: http://livebinders.com/create/bookmark?type=bookmark

LiveBinders was created to help people make their searches more useful.  Before Livebinders there was no easy way to combine multiple links into a document format that you can easily access online.  If you’ve found LiveBinders to be useful for you, let us know.  We have more improvements on the way.

Thank you for using LiveBinders!