Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity programs that offers business and home users a suite of products to help accomplish everything from basic letter and novel writing to business presentations and complex record and inventory keeping. While other office suites on the market offer comparable productivity, Microsoft Office remains the most well known and popular of its kind. The suite comes in several versions, aimed at fitting the specific needs of users.
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Getting to Know the Components
Depending on the version Microsoft Office you purchase, you will have different components. The core components are Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These programs are included in all versions. The small business version adds desktop publishing power with Microsoft Publisher. The professional version adds the Access database, while the Ultimate Edition includes all of the office products. OneNote, a multimedia note-taking program, is included in the lower-end versions and the Ultimate edition. The price of the suites varies. For most users, the home and student edition is sufficient.
Starting to Use Microsoft Office
You can find the individual programs for the Office suite on your Windows "Start" menu in the Microsoft Office folder. Click on the program you want to start with. Try Word, since it is the most popular of the programs, and one that many users will gravitate to. Get familiar with the "File" menu. This is where you will start a new document regardless of the office component you use. You can choose the "New" command to start a document from scratch, or select "Template" to work with a predesigned project. There are templates for business cards, flyers, banners, calendars, newsletters, and much more. The templates come with generic text and project-appropriate graphics. To replace the generic text with your own, select the text and delete it, then type your words into the template. If you want to add an image or replace one of the template images, select the image, browse to the folder where the image you want is located, and click it. The image will replace the template image.
One of the key components in Microsoft's office suite besides Word is the multimedia presentation software called PowerPoint. PowerPoint is a simple-to-use program that allows you to create presentations using a combination of text effects, movies, sounds, images, and animated transitions to create professional multimedia presentations. Open PowerPoint and on the "File" menu choose the "New" command. You'll be presented with a blank document you can add text, graphics, and other media to simply by clicking on the appropriate boxes. When you've finished creating your presentation, add animated transitions between each page, and you will have an impressive slide show presentation. Add the transitions, which feature a variety of effects, from the "Animations" menu. You can save your presentation on disc, along with a free PowerPoint viewer, so anyone can view the project you've created.
Integrating Office Compenents
All the menus in the Microsoft Office Suite are designed to look and work the same way, so it's easy to get familiar with using them. One of the highlights of the suite is the ability to integrate the programs. You can add Word documents to a PowerPoint presentation, for instance. By integrating the office components, you can maximize your creative output all with the same productivity suite. Use the "Insert" menu to insert office documents into other office documents.