Microsoft Office, along with its set of programs, is the de-facto standard for productivity applications. Billions of people and organizations all around the world use the spreadsheet and word processing programs in this suite of tools. According to Microsoft, over a billion people have downloaded their office applications. It is used in thousands of countries around the world.
Since you can choose from dozens of applications in Microsoft Office, and also because not all these programs are necessary to create projects, the company has decided to group the apps together in a collection, which is now known as Microsoft Suite. There’s a whole set of applications that caters to students, a suite designed for small business users or home-based offices, and one for professionals and businesses. Microsoft has even designed suites for schools. The prices of these suites depend on the included applications.
Microsoft Office is the official name for the software giant’s set of business and home productivity programs. The programs in Microsoft Suite include the following:
Microsoft Word — This is used for word processing;
Microsoft Excel — A spreadsheet program that’s mainly designed for professionals, businesses, organizations, and enterprises;
Microsoft PowerPoint — This is meant for creating fun, interactive presentations;
Microsoft Outlook — This is for managing calendars and emails;
Microsoft OneNote — This program is designed for taking notes; and
Microsoft Access — A program that’s built as a database management tool.
Usually, apps included in a standard version of the Microsoft Office package all depend on the type of suite that you choose. This will also depend on the price of the suite. For example, Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home only include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote. Meanwhile, Office Home & Student, which are only designed for personal use, have Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote. On the other hand, business Suites contain a specific combination, notably throwing in Microsoft Access and Microsoft Publisher.
Basic Applications of Microsoft Suite
Microsoft Word is a type of word processor that you can use to write documents. You can also use it to take down notes, write papers for school or work, create calendars, build a resume for job applications, and develop brochures, among others. Other popular features found on MS Word include letting users share their documents, inserting images, adding in tables, and a grammar and spell checker. There’s even an option for you to export your documents to an ODT, HTM, PDF, DOCX, or RTF file format. So if you want to write something for any reason like a school project, an office report, fiction, etc., then MS Word is the best option here.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application. It serves to analyze and record financial data, statistics, and other numerical information. Imagine a spreadsheet comprised of several rows and columns, forming a table.
Each column is given an alphabetical letter, while the rows are assigned numbers. The point where columns and rows meet is known as a cell. The locator ID of a cell is comprised of the letter of its column and the number of its rows.
Microsoft PowerPoint is a program that lets you create visual presentations. You can add different elements to your presentation, such as graphs, text, images, animations, sound effects, music, speaker notes, embedded videos, and anything else that you want.
An MS PowerPoint presentation also includes the same kind of collaboration capabilities as those of applications found in an MS Office 365 suite. This lets you create a presentation at a time.
This program is used for managing your personal and business contacts. Email management tools are also available. It’s a basic application in the MS Office suite of productivity tools, but you can still get this software as a standalone application.
MS Outlook is a task and email manager that you can find in the standard version of MS Office. With Outlook, you can send, compose, receive, and manage one or several email accounts. Even though this program is often used as an email client, MS Outlook also lets you create and manage your calendars, contacts, and tasks. You can even use it as a personal journal or browse the Web. Nowadays, you can even do several tweaks to receive weather updates, RSS feeds, or even share calendars or social media updates.
Microsoft Access lets you create a custom database, populate it with details, and use the same data any way you like. The same program also provides forms and useful features.
As an MS Access user, you can enter all your records in a custom database. This tool makes entering data quicker and easier, and can also lessen the number of errors while populating and accessing the details in your custom databases.
This is Microsoft’s resident idea organizer and collector. Using this program, you can build tables, type text and place graphs, links, and pictures similar to how a word processor works. However, the main difference between these programs is that all of the media and text included here is completely untethered. This means you have the freedom to place stuff wherever you want on your page, just by clicking on any section.
This is similar to other popular collaborative note apps, such as Evernote. A downside of using MS OneNote is that there are still several constraints in regards to the structure and look of the page, its size, and arrangement. Similar to a PowerPoint presentation, you can throw in some video and audio clips, or even make annotations and create doodles on the page. However, the best part here is that MS OneNote immediately saves any changes you make while you work, so you won’t have to do it yourself.
This is Microsoft’s data storage service. You can host any of your files here, thanks to the cloud. OneDrive is available for free, especially if you have an account at the official Microsoft Website.
OneDrive is a new program that gives its users an easy and simple way to sync, store and share all sorts of files with other people through devices that can be used to access the Web. Several versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system, including Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, all use OneDrive for storage. The same goes for Microsoft’s gaming console, Xbox One.
Users can synchronize system settings, themes, visual customizations, app settings, as well as Microsoft’s own Edge tabs, saved passwords, and browsing history. You are free to access all of the files that you store in your OneDrive account from a Web browser, or if your computer runs a Windows operating system. Other ways to gain access to an MS OneDrive account include apps for Xbox, Mac OS, iOS, Android, and several Windows apps.
Microsoft designed these apps so they can work together seamlessly. You can just imagine the functionality that these apps can provide you when you use one or some of them at the same time. For example, you can create a document using MS Word, and then save it to your MS OneDrive account. Or, you can write an email with MS Outlook, and then attach a file that contains an MS PowerPoint presentation. Also, you can import all of your contacts from your MS Outlook to MS Excel, in order to make a spreadsheet of the people that you know.
How to Create a Basic Document in MS Word
First, open up your Microsoft Word application. You can do this when you double-click on the Microsoft Word icon. It’s actually so much easier to create a brand new document with the help of a template, instead of starting things off with a blank page. An MS Word template already comes with its ready-to-use functions, pre-assigned styles, and themes. The only thing that you need to add is the content;
Take a look at the current templates. On the right side of the screen, you will find a couple of templates that might interest you;
Whenever you open up a new MS Word document, you can pick a template from the gallery, you can click on your preferred category to look at more templates. You can also browse for more templates on the Internet. To take a closer look at your templates, you have to click on it to see a small preview. However, if you don’t want to use a template, then click on “Blank Document”;
If MS Word is actively running, then click “File”. You can find this on the upper left side of your screen, or on the side of the menu for Mac users. Starting from here, you now have a myriad of choices found on the leftmost side of your screen;
The “New” button brings up a New Document page. This will list down all of the templates. Meanwhile, opening up a brand new document will prompt you to save or cancel the previous one;
The “Open” option gives a list of previously-opened documents. You can also use it to pick your directory, or where to search;
To save your document, you must do the following: Go to File tab > Save As;
Go to the directory where you would like to save the document. To save your document online, pick an online location found beneath “Save As”, or click “Add a Place”. Once your files are online, you can now share, provide feedback, and work on them in real-time; and
At this point, click “Save”. MS Word immediately saves files in DOCX format by default. To save your file in another format, choose the format that you want from the “Save as” dialogue box.
Once you’re ready to print the document, you should do the following:
Under “Print”, and inside “Copies”, place the number of copies that you want;
Under “Printer”, check to see if the printer you chose is selected;
Under “Settings”, the default printing settings created for your printer will be chosen for you. If you prefer to change the settings, then just click on the preferred configurations that you want to change, then pick an option;
Once you’re happy with the settings, click “Print”.
Microsoft Excel Basics
When you first open MS Excel, the application will ask you what you want to do for the file;
If you want to use a blank Excel document, then click “Blank,” which is found on the upper-left side of the page. If necessary, choose a preferred template. However, if you prefer using some of the most basic MS Excel templates, such as the budget planner template, then you can just scroll down until you find your desired template. Click on it so that you can use it for your spreadsheet;
If you want to use a current spreadsheet, then click the “Open Other Workbooks” option, which is found on the lower-left corner. Then, click “Browse”, which is located on the left side of the window; and
Use the file explorer to search for the workbook that you want to open. Select it, and then click “Open.”
It’s always helpful to familiarize yourself with the MS Excel ribbon tabs. Inside the green ribbon located above the MS Excel window, you will find a group of tabs. All of these can be used to access several Excel tools. The most important ones are:
Home: This tab includes options for changing the background color of your cell, formatting the text, etc.;
Insert: Includes options for charts, tables, equations, and graphs;
Page Layout: Includes more choices for orientations, page margins, and themes; and
Formulas: Includes several formula options, along with a function menu.
To enter data, all you need to do is click a blank cell, and begin typing. You may also copy, cut, or paste the data that you want to enter. After you complete your work on your spreadsheet, you should save the changes you made. You can do this by following these quick and simple steps:
Click “File”, which is found on the upper-left side of the MS Excel window. A drop-down menu will appear;
Click “Save As”. You can find this option on the left side of the page;
Double-click “This PC”;
Enter a name for your file;
Choose a directory where you want to save your file; and
Click “Save”, which is found at the bottom of the window.