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Office Basics

The standard office programs throughout the world are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint and (sometimes) Microsoft Access and Microsoft Publisher. Word is a word processing program; Excel is a spreadsheet program; Outlook handles e-mail; PowerPoint is presentation software. Access is a database and Publisher is for desktop publishing.

Once you master the Microsoft suite of programs, you will be able to use similar products from other software companies with just a few adjustments.

Online resources for learning Microsoft Office products

These resources are designed specifically to teach Microsoft Office products. If you are learning from home and do not have the Microsoft programs on your computer, try downloading a trial version here. You can also use Windows Live instead of installing the programs, although there may be some differences between the versions. A Microsoft ID will be required, and it is best to use the Internet Explorer browser.

GCFLearnFree.org - This site comes from the Goodwill Community Foundation. All classes are free and self-paced. Currently offers Acess, Excel, PowerPoint and Word 2007.

Microsoft offers several training classes for learning Word or for brushing up on specific parts of the program. Training is based on Office 2010, Office 2007 or Office 2003.