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lynda.com FAQs

Q: What is lynda.com?

A: lynda.com is an online training library that covers many software titles, scripting languages, design and web development platforms, and popular online sites. For a full list of lynda.com training topics, click here. You can also search by subject, software, or course author by using the tabs on the lynda.com home page.


Q: How do I log into lynda.com?

A: Princeton has a special web portal to authenticate you as a valid member of the Princeton campus community. Anyone with a valid Princeton netid can use this portal.

The portal can be found at http://lynda.princeton.edu

You must use this URL to log back into lynda if you discontinue a session (or if lynda.com logs you out for inactivity). Logging in using the “login” option on the lynda.com page will not work.


Q: I log into lynda.com, but the menus don’t seem to be working.

A: There is an issue with Internet Explorer (IE) 8. You must run this browser in compatibility view to enable scripts. For more information, see this section of the help page about lynda.com


Q: I get an error message from Shibboleth that says I must have cookies enabled on my browser.

A: Cookies are required for lynda.com to work. See your browser’s help section for how to enable cookies. Help on this topic is also found on the lynda.com FAQ page.


Q: The first screen I see when I get to lynda.com asks me for personal information. Do I have to enter this information?

A: Entering personal information is optional. By logging into the Princeton portal, lynda.com recognizes you as a unique user. However, the site doesn’t really know much about who you are. Providing a name will change the welcome message on the lynda.com screen from “Hi, Princeton,” to “Hi, your name.” Certificates of Completion for courses will also display the name you entered.

The email address asked for on the personalization page has a different function. This feature is useful for individual subscribers who pay for lynda.com by the month. If a subscriber suspends his or her membership for a few months, the subscriber can use this email address to reactivate a dormant account, and regain all past training history.

If you think you might leave Princeton, but want to continue with lynda.com as an individual subscriber, or by using  a different institutional account, you can enter a non-Princeton email address in order to transfer your training history to the new lynda.com account.

Whatever information you do or don’t enter on the personalization page can later be changed and edited using “my account” section that appears when you are logged in. The “my profile” option under “my settings” contains this information.


Q: I was logged into lynda.com, but when I returned to my computer after a break, I can no longer see anything but the free movies. An error message tells me I need to be a member to see premium content.

A: There is a security setting on lynda.com that will log you out after 30 minutes of inactivity. Return to http://lynda.princeton.edu to re-log.


Q: If I finish a course, can I take it again?

A: Yes, you can look at any course or part of a course as often as you wish.


Q: is there a limit to the amount of time I can spend on lynda.com?

A: No. But if you are inactive for more than 30 minutes, the site might log you out. You need to return to http://lynda.princeton.edu and log in again when this happens.


Q: Is there a limit to the number of people who can use the Princeton portal at one time?

A: No, we have an unlimited site license. If you can’t get in, there may be another problem with our web portal. Call the Help Desk if the site doesn’t seem to be working so that we can figure out if there is a problem.


Q: How are instructors chosen for these lynda.com courses?

A: lynda.com contracts with experts in particular topics. The courses are usually taught by industry professionals whose expertise is an excellent match for the topic.


Q: Does lynda.com work on other devices?

A: There is an app that works on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. You can download this free app from Apple’s app store. Make sure you use the web portal option to log in using the app's interface. More detailed instructions can be found on the lynda.com at Princeton help page.


Q: I can hear the voice of the instructor when I play a movie, but the video screen is blank.

A: Movies can be played using Quick Time, Flash, or Windows Media Player. First, check to see what your lynda.com movie playback preferences are by looking in “my account” and “site preferences” when you are logged into lynda.com. (This page explains which features are enabled by using each player.) Next, make sure you have the latest version of the selected player by going to the player’s homepage.

Sites for:

Unless you have a strong preference for features offered by a different player, the "QuickTime Custom" setting will give you enhanced functionality for searching and viewing movies. You can change these settings, even while you are watching a movie, by resetting and saving your site preferences.


Q: Why are there several courses on the same topic?

A: lynda.com offers course for all levels of expertise. There are comprehensive courses that teach everything a user needs to know about an unfamiliar application; courses that assume that you are familiar with the previous version, and want to know only what is changed in the new version; and preview courses of new features in software that may not yet be released. A new type of course focuses on a single task, for instance, how to do a mail-merge in Word , or how to make a pivot table in Excel.


Q: How do I learn more?

A: lynda.com has its own FAQ page with answers to questions not covered here. There is also a lynda.com course called “How to use lynda.com” that covers all aspects of the web site. A more detailed help page for lynda.com at Princeton can be found here.