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CTL's Essential Chromebook Tips and Tricks

CTL's Essential Chromebook Tips and Tricks

We’ve put together this essential list of insider tips for organizing, navigating, and customizing your Chromebook to get the most out of your Chrome OS experience.

Stay Organized

Use Google Drive Offline

We are always asked if customers can use their Chromebooks offline, and if you’re looking to work in your Google Drive, the answer is yes! To enable this option, go to the landing page of “My Drive” in Google Drive, click on the gear icon and choose Settings, then check the box next to Offline labeled “Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.” Now any changes are automatically synced up when you connect back to the internet.

Use Folders to Organize Like Apps on Your Chromebook

If you want to keep your gaming apps separate from your finance apps, a great tip is to organize your apps into folders. This can be done by dragging one app on top of another to create a folder which will store both of these apps.

Manage Multiple Chromebook Users and Their Permissions

If you’d like to keep your personal Chromebook settings apart from your students or other potential users you can restrict sign-in to specific users. By doing this you can use a third-party supervising software like Securly or GoGaurdian to manage permissions to websites or apps that may be deemed inappropriate for sensitive users, you can also make sure that students aren’t going to log in with a guest account to bypass these restrictions. To access this go to Settings > People > Manage other people and enable Restrict Sign-in to Following Users.  

Navigate with Ease

Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

Ever wonder if there is a Chromebook shortcut to navigate your Chrome OS? Next time, try “Ctrl + Alt + ?” This will pull up a cheat sheet for all the Chromebook Use shortcuts of your dreams.

Lock Your Chromebook Easily

If you’re a teacher who wants to make sure that you can easily lock your Chromebook with a quick keystroke so students can’t access your sensitive information, click Search + L which will instantly lock your Chromebook.

Missing Your Caps Lock on Your Chromebook?

Instead of a Caps Lock key, you get a search key which is great since your Chromebook is a powerhouse for searching google. But don’t fear, there is still a caps lock. Selecting Alt+Search will enable your caps lock.

Take a Screenshot on Your Chromebook

Taking a screenshot on your Chromebook is not only possible, it’s easy! Just select Ctrl + Switch Window key.

Optimize Your Chromebook  

Unlock Your Chromebook with Your Smartphone

By enabling Smart Lock in your Chrome OS settings, your Chromebook will automatically unlock when your phone is unlocked and nearby. All you’ll need to do is navigate to your Settings and select “Show Advanced Settings”. Once there, you should see an option for Smart Lock. Click set up and it will walk you through this option.

Utilize “OK Google” on Your Chromebook

Like most devices these days, OK Google allows you to operate your Chromebook with just your voice. Now you can say, “OK Google, What’s the weather today?” and you’ll get a response from the Virtual Assistant. To use this feature on your Chromebook, just go to your Chromebook settings, enter into the Search Settings, and check the option marked: Enable “OK Google” to start a voice search.

Access the Chromebook Task Manager to See What’s Running on Your Chromebook

If you’ve grown fond of Activity Monitor on MacOS or Task Manager on Windows to manage your CPU, have no fear if you aren’t sure of where to locate this handy tool on your Chromebook. You can access the Chromebook Task Manager by typing Shift+Esc.

Personalize Your Chromebook for You

Customize Your User Photo

Adding some personality to your Chromebook user account is as simple as going into your settings and under People, select the account you want to customize. Once inside you can select the camera icon to take a picture with your webcam, or click on the file icon to select an image on your drive. There are also a variety of Chrome-provided icons to choose from as well.

Change or Customize Your Wallpaper

Want to set that great picture of your family from your summer vacation to your Chromebook’s Wallpaper? Under settings, navigate to Settings under Appearance and you’ll see the Wallpaper option. Select Custom and add your own image from your drive, or you can choose from some of the beautiful aerial shots provided by the Chrome OS.

Let ChromeOS Choose a New Random Wallpaper Image for You

If you get bored of seeing the same image every time you log into your device, let Chrome surprise you each time you log in by accessing the settings >

Wallpaper and choosing “Surprise Me” checkbox at the bottom of the


For more great tips and tricks for Chrome OS, Google Drive, and education management and apps, you can find a wide variety of past and upcoming webinars from CTL at http://ctl.info/webinars/. Two of our most popular webinars on Chrome OS tips include Google Drive Tips & Organization and Chromebook Tips and Classroom Management. All our webinars are free and open to the public with a focus on professional development for educators.

To find out more about how Chromebooks are a great option for your classroom, contact a sales rep at CTL today!

CTL President on the Wacom® EMR Pen on CTL’s New Chromebook.

CTL President on the Wacom® EMR Pen on CTL’s New Chromebook.

We get asked all the time, why do I need a pen on my Chromebook when I can just use a finger or off the shelf stylus to interact with my Chromebook. The good news is CTL makes a number of products with touch sensors to hit various needs and price points in the market.  But, for the best experience on chrome in EDU or enterprise, we recommend using our touch devices with an EMR Stylus.

So, what is EMR?

EMR combines fine sensors, sophisticated algorithms and ultra-fast data transmissions for pen based computers. Patented by Wacom, EMR delivers a digital pen experience that feels as intuitive and natural as writing, drawing, or signing on paper.  Additionally the technology allows the electronic pens to operate without cords or batteries.


How does it compare to capacitive technology like a finger or off the shelf stylus(IE handed out at trade shows)?

A capacitive sensor measures the difference in capacitance when your finger or a special stylus presses on the surface. The materials used to measure the change in capacitance is usually a special, traces of a transparent, conductive coating that is applied to the surface. To add pen input to a capacitive touch screen, the tip of the pen needs to be made of a rubber-like material that behaves like a human finger in terms of capacitance. The large-tipped stylus products are commonly used with iPads and similar tablets. Another method for adding pen input to a capacitive screen, is to use a pen that has a cord attached to the chassis of the device to provide an electrical reference signal.  EMR pen input from Wacom offer significant advantages over capacitive technology:

  • Fine tip pen: Wacom EMR pen technology features pen nibs that are very thin, to most closely approximate the writing and signing behavior of an ink pen. Most capacitive pens use a thick, wide pen tip that is distracting to the user, as it does not feel like a real ink pen.
  • 100% palm rejection. Since capacitive input is a touch technology, users can accidentally click on buttons and keys on the touchscreen. Wacom EMR technology eliminates this risk completely, as only input from the pen is recognized by the sensor in the Wacom product.

  • Better Accuracy: Resistive input technology provides much less resolution (number of data points collected per given distance). In addition, pressure sensitivity from a resistive touch sensor is not linear (the pressure readings in the center of the sensor are different than near the edges). Wacom EMR technology provides very high pen resolution (2540 lines per inch), and the pressure sensitivity curve is much more linear, meaning that pressure readings taken at all points on the surface are much more consistent compared to resistive technology. This results in a consistent capture of signature and pressure data that is much more representative of how a user really signs, draws, or writes.

  • Wireless: Capacitive devices which use cords to distinguish pen input from finger input rely on this electrical connection. If this wire twists and breaks, then the pen will not function and the device is compromised in the field. Additionally, to prevent cords from breaking, they are often very stiff and thick, which interferes with the natural signing or drawing process. Wacom EMR pens do not suffer from these shortcomings, and the lightweight, flexible, nylon pen tether prevents pen loss and does not interfere with the freedom-of-movement of the user. Since no electrical signals pass through the Wacom tether, the pen and device will continue to operate normally even if you cut the tether completely. This results in a very durable solution.
  • Apps:  Many apps like Google Notes and keep are optimized for pen.  Additionally, there is a pen screen that launches when we integrate the EMR stylus into the product that makes usage even easier and more intuitive.

To summarize why you should consider the CTL NL7TW with the Wacom EMR pen:

  • No battery or charging required for the pen. 
  • Palm rejection.
  • The Pen includes an eraser.
  • Pressure sensitive.
  • Nearly no latency.
  • Robust and rugged.
  • Lower cost pen replacement.
  • Ideal for industrial or educational use.
  • Optimized apps for EMR pen use like google keep and notes.

Thanks for tuning in and reach out if you have any questions.  Happy inking!

Best Regards,

Erik Stromquist


CTL Announces Three New NL-Series Chromebooks

CTL Announces Three New NL-Series Chromebooks

CTL is on a roll! First came the CTL Education Chromebook J41, the new sleek and economical update to our J-series. Then came the CTL Chromebox CBx1, the mini-computer that is small in size, but big in power. Now we are so proud to announce three new models in a refresh of their best selling NL-series Chromebooks all designed for use in K12 education. The CTL Chromebook NL7, the CTL rugged touch Chromebook NL7T-360, and the CTL rugged touch Chromebook NL7TW-360 with pen each of which provide a variety of benefits to schools looking to invest in Chromebook Deployments.  

All three education NL-series Chromebook models by CTL feature our most rugged design including an IP41 drop rating, water-resistant keyboards, and reinforced ports, hinges, and power plug. The NL series, which is CTL’s premium line of Education Chromebook, also includes a tuck-away handle for easy carrying, especially useful for carrying from class to class. This series also includes 32GB of storage and a DC-in USB-C Cable.

CTL Improves Ruggedization and Performance in the NL-Series Chromebook

The updated series starts with the CTL Chromebook NL7, a great unit with all the durability that customers have come to expect from CTL products. This unit has been drop tested to70cm, meaning that a drop from the average student’s carrying height won’t spell disaster. The CTL Chromebook NL7 weighs only 2.5 pounds and includes a retractable carrying handle which helps students to easily and safely carry it. The unit also features a flip 180-degree rotatable world-facing HD camera. On the inside the CTL Chromebook NL7 sprints along with the powerful Intel Apollo Lake Processor, 4GB of RAM, and renders stunning graphics on the integrated Intel HD500 graphics processor.

The NL-Series Chromebooks for Education Are More than just Rugged Chromebooks

The CTL touch Chromebook NL7T-360 and CTL Chromebook NL7TW-360 with pen build on the CTL Chromebook NL7’s rugged feature set by incorporating a sturdy 360-degree hinge which allows students the freedom to switch between taking notes in laptop mode to tent mode for viewing educational videos, then to tablet mode for reading and research. In addition to an HD front-facing camera, the units also an additional 5.0-megapixel world-facing tablet-mode camera on bottom shell above the keyboard, allowing students to record lectures or make videos for class assignments when in tablet or tent display. Additionally, the CTL Chromebook NL7T-360 and CTL Chromebook NL7TW-360 are built with rugged Corning Gorilla® glass touch screens, which flex and protect screens from scratching, cracking, and breaking. This new screen glass addresses a common pain point in education where students close the lid with objects, like pens and pencils, still inside the unit when rushing from class to class.

Wacom EMR Pen Changes How You Connect to Your Chromebook

The CTL Chromebook NL7TW-360 features Intel’s quad-core N3450 processor and includes a  Wacom® Stylus EMR Pen, which provides intuitive ease of navigation, perfect for grading papers, annotations, taking notes, design, and general unit operation. The Wacom® Stylus EMR Pen operates without batteries and feels as natural as writing on paper with palm rejection to avoid unintended contact. The CTL rugged Chromebook NL7TW-360 features 10-point capacitive Touchscreen combined with EMR technology to be used with the included stylus, meaning that the screen responds to either finger touch or the EMR stylus, reducing potential screen damage from pencil points or other sharp objects.  

Secure your New CTL Chromebooks for Education with Pre-Order Now

The CTL Chromebook NL7, CTL Chromebook  NL7T-360, and CTL Chromebook NL7TW-360 will be available in April starting at $229, $299 and $329 for qualified education customers. The NL7T and NL7TW are both available for pre-order in the CTL.net store. If you’re interested in a Chromebook for Education Deployment, contact CTL to see how we can secure the new NL-Series Chromebook for your students.