In an increasingly global age, computer literacy has never been more important for young and old professionals alike. Computer education is frequently offered as a class at universities and colleges. It is also available to learn online. Becoming proficient in a few basic programs can mean the difference between taking the digital world by storm and resigning oneself to outdated, slower methods of working. With a little time and patience, the self-taught student will be able to do as much as or more than those with a formal education in computers.
There are few businesses today that do not use Microsoft Word or a similar software program. Word is a program that can be used to produce papers, format books, or design basic fliers and graphics. Its most basic purpose is to create text documents. In an educational setting, it can be used to lay out research papers and arrange sources in an easy-to-read style. In business, it may be used to prepare meeting notes, explain an idea, or advertise a seminar. There are a lot of features available to use, so it’s important to take the time to get familiar with all of the options. Good keyboarding skills will help make document creation go more quickly, but a basic understanding of keyboarding is enough to get to work with Word.
- Word 2016 Quick Start Guide (PDF)
- Word Tutorial: Citations and Footnotes
- Word 2016 Tutorial for Mac (PDF)
- Creating Accessible Documents in Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office Step by Step (PDF)
- A Basic Microsoft Word Tutorial
- Word Accessibility Tutorial
- Word 2010: Applying Themes to Documents (PDF)
- Microsoft Word Pull-Down Menus
- Creating Section/Chapter Headers (PDF)
- Heading Styles Tutorial
- Formatting Your Paper in Microsoft Word
What Microsoft Word is for documents, Microsoft Excel is for data. This program creates and uses spreadsheets. Excel is especially popular in fields that require accounting or mathematical calculation. It can do a lot, but because it looks complicated, many people never try out these powerful functions. If a student is serious about including Excel in their computer education, it’s essential to learn these aspects of the program. Microsoft has a free guide to Excel, but there are also many other online tutorials. Thanks to the wide array of tricks Excel can perform, it’s entirely possible to learn something new from each guide.
- Excel 2016 Quick Start Guide (PDF)
- What Is Excel? Official Microsoft Guide
- Creating a Simple Workbook in Excel
- Excel Basics: Data Types
- Basic Graphing in Excel
- Intro to Excel
- Arithmetic in Excel
- Formulas and Functions in Microsoft Excel (PDF)
- Analyzing Data With Excel
- Microsoft Excel Tutorial for Beginners (PDF)
- Introductory Excel Tutorial (PDF)
The fastest, most up-to-date program is worthless unless the user can input data. For both Word and Excel, this means developing good keyboarding skills and technique. Keyboarding simply means typing efficiently and becoming familiar with keyboard shortcuts. As with any other physical skill, it’s important to learn the correct way to type. Incorrect posture or hand position can result in cramping or strained muscles. When first learning keyboarding, take regular breaks to move around. Stretch the hands, neck, back, and legs, as all of these body parts will be impacted by the time spent sitting and typing on a keyboard. Individuals who work in an office setting, regardless of whether it’s for education or business, will find this routine helpful to maintain good health.
- Keyboard and Typing Tips
- Online Typing Tutorial
- Learn to Type and Use the Keyboard (PDF)
- Basic Keyboarding: An Introduction (PDF)
- Dance Mat Typing: Game Your Way to Keyboarding Skills
- Keyboarding Essentials and Ground Rules (PDF)
- Teach Yourself: Basic Keyboarding (PDF)
- ByteBack: Using the Tutorial
- Typing for Beginners (PDF)
- Keyboard Invasion Typing Game
- Keyboard Climber Game
- Preventing Computer Injury While Keyboarding (PDF)
The mouse is an essential aid to keyboarding, as it allows the user to select between different programs. A typical mouse comes in the shape of a small, oval dome, usually with two buttons and a small wheel in the center. Modern laptops have done away with the physical mouse entirely, replacing it with a touch pad integrated into the keyboard. New users should familiarize themselves with their own specific equipment but can take heart in the knowledge that the basic mechanics of a mouse are universal.
The mouse controls an arrow or pointer on the computer screen. By moving the mouse, the user can move the arrow to select different things. The mouse buttons can be used for one or two clicks. A single click is used to select a program or option; a double-click is used to open it. It may seem confusing at first, but new users are often pleased to discover that the skill becomes intuitive after some practice. It takes time and energy to learn something through home study, but the variety of ideas and opportunities the Internet provides makes computer education well worth the effort.