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The main reason for using PowerPoint is to create presentations which can include graphics, animations and an assortment of ways to transition from slide to slide. There are various views and user interfaces provided to suit your needs. There are many different benefits that PowerPoint presentations can offer, such as the following:
Live presentation – Typically a teacher, or business presenter, or someone else wishing to show their presentation will do so in front of other people. They have the ability to emphasise key points and control the pace the presentation runs at, using the Slideshow features, with or without animation, audio or videos inserted.
CDs and DVDs – You can save a PowerPoint presentation onto a CD or DVD, which could be used for marketing purposes, or give to the people you are presenting to. You can choose to save in the normal PowerPoint file format, or even convert the presentation into a format such as Adobe PDF, or a video clip.
Self-running show – You could use a PowerPoint presentation in a location that would be unattended, such as a booth at a show, or in a conference centre.
Let’s look at some features.
When you open PowerPoint, the start screen appears automatically. From the start screen, you can start a new presentation or open an existing one. The start screen lists recently opened presentations and allows you to create a presentation from templates on your computer, or search for PowerPoint templates on the Internet.
All of the commands that you will use when designing and presenting your slide show are on the ribbon. The ribbon is the user interface at the top of the PowerPoint window. There are groups that are organised in tabs, which are designed to make finding the desired command as easy as possible. For example, if you wish to add something to the presentation, you would click on the Insert tab. If you would like to adjust settings such as the page size, or margins, you would click on the Page Layout tab. Each tab you click on will have further commands organised together in groups. Let’s look at creating and saving a new presentation as a demonstration, whilst using some of the other available features.
Creating a Presentation
To create a new presentation, you can either choose to create a new blank presentation, or use a template
From there, simply click on the ‘Blank Presentation’ option and a new presentation will appear, with two boxes prompting you to ‘Click to add title’ and ‘Click to add subtitle’. You can change the design of this slide though if required,
If you already have PowerPoint open, you can click on the File menu, which opens up the Backstage view. Click on New and then double-click on Blank Presentation.
Using a Template
You can use a pre-designed template that has a set colour scheme, text boxes configured, with fonts already chosen.. There are also thousands of templates available which you can download in a wide range of categories. You may wish to create an award certificate, or a party invitation, so a simple search will show you all of the available templates that match your criteria.
1. Click on the File to tab, which shows you the Backstage view.
2. Click on New.
3. In the ‘Search for online templates and themes’ box, type in the keywords of what you would like to find, such as “certificate”, then press either the Enter key, or click on the magnifying glass at the end of the search box. You can use the text box to add text, or images can be inserted.
Editing Slides using Text Placeholders
To add text to a slide, you can use a placeholder where you simply click the placeholder, then start typing. PowerPoint has three different type of text placeholders: title, content and subtitle. The content placeholder is a bulleted list. The following example will detail how to add a Title and Content slide, which uses two different text placeholders.
1. Switch the view to the Normal view (click on the View tab, then select Normal).
2. Create a new slide (click on the Home tab, then New Slide) and select the Title and Content slide.
Click anywhere on the title text placeholder where it states ‘Click to add title’ (as shown below highlighted in red). Type in the text you would like for the title.
5. To finish adding text, click anywhere outside of the text placeholder.
6. Now click on the content text placeholder (where it states ‘Click to add text).
Saving a Presentation
When you start working on a presentation, at some point you will most likely need to save this, so you can work on the presentation at a later date, or to share with other people. It is best practice to try and save frequently, so if a power loss or machine crash were to occur, you would minimise the loss of any data. To save a file you have been working on, follow these steps:
1. Click on the File menu to open the Backstage view.
2. Click on Save As.
3. Click Computer.
4. Click Browse.
5. The Save As dialog box then appears.
Notes Page View
In the Notes Page view, you can display each slide and the associated speaker notes as one full page. You can also type notes on the page while viewing your slide which is the most convenient view for typing presentation notes. From the View tab, click Notes Page to work with this view.
Slide Sorter View
The Slide Sorter view is the best view to change the order of slides, delete slides, or duplicate slides. In Slide Sorter view, you can click and drag a slide to move it. If you double-click a slide, PowerPoint changes to Normal view and displays that slide in the Slide pane.
You can also add videos and record your own audio by using the audio-visual features in the ribbon.
Excel is an electronic spreadsheet application that can be used for storing, organising and manipulating data. Excel uses a grid of cells arranged in rows that are numbered and columns which are named with letters. Excel has a host of benefits including tasks such as adding the values of cells together, or joining text from multiple columns. You can also display your results in a variety of ways, such as using line graphs or charts.
Create a New Workbook
When you create or work on a file within Excel, these are called Workbooks. Each workbook has sheets, which are commonly known as spreadsheets. You can add as many sheets to a workbook that you like, or you can create a separate workbook to keep your data in different files.
1. To create a new workbook, click on the File menu, and then select New.
2. The right-hand side of the screen will change and you can pick ‘Blank workbook’ to create a new workbook.
When you have created your first workbook, you will be situated in cell reference A1. Each cell has its own reference which is worked out by the location of the row and column, so cell A1 is in the first row of column A. There are many ways of entering data within Excel and you can enter data in one cell, in several cells at the same time, or one more than one worksheet at the same time. You can enter text, numbers, dates or times. You can however format the data in a variety of ways.
Entering text or a number in a cell
1. You can click on a cell and type in any text or number.
2. Press the Enter or Tab key to move to the next cell.
Enter a number that has a fixed decimal point
1. On the File tab, click Options.
2. Click Advanced, and then under Editing options, select the ‘Automatically insert a decimal point’ check box.
Enter a date or a time in a cell
1. On the worksheet, click a cell.
2. Type a date or time as follows:
To enter a date, use a slash mark or a hyphen to separate the parts of a date; for example, type 29/8/2015 or 29-Aug-2015.
To enter a time that is based on the 12-hour clock, enter the time followed by a space, and then type a or p after the time; for example, 9:00 p. Otherwise, Excel enters the time as AM.
If you wish to enter the current date and time, press Ctrl+Shift+; (semicolon).
To make entering a particular sequence of data (such as a list of names or sales regions) easier, you can create a custom fill series. A custom fill series can be based on a list of existing items on a worksheet, or you can type the list from scratch. You
Enter the same data on several worksheets at the same time
By making multiple worksheets active at the same time, you can enter new data or change existing data on one of the worksheets, and the changes are applied to the same cells on all the selected worksheets.
Use AutoSum to add your data
When you’ve entered numbers in your sheet, you might want to add them up. The quickest way to achieve this is by using the AutoSum feature.
Create a formula
Using the AutoSum feature allows you to add up all the numbers that have been selected in a range. With a formula though, you can add various other mathematical operations such as subtracting, multiplying or dividing your numbers.
Saving your Work
Work can be auto-saved just like the other applications, which saves work as you progress.
Transferring Charts into Word or PowerPoint
You can easily use your graphs and charts as images to put into documents or presentations.
Now we’ll move onto our final application: Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager available as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Although often used mainly as an email application, it also includes a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, journal, and web browsing. The Outlook inbox has shown you the sender's name and subject line for each email. To see the actual contents, you double-click it (or click it once to view it in the preview pane) so that you can read messages.
Later versions of Outlook, such as 2013, offer message previews (accessible in the View tab), which lets you preview one, two, or three lines of the message body right inside the inbox—a great way to scan messages without having to open each one individually. You can also reply to (or forward) an email right in that pane, without having to reach for the ribbon.
Saving Text for Future Messages
If you regularly need to prepare a standard passage of text to send out, you can save it as a Quick Part for easy insertion into your emails. Simply highlight the text in the composer window, then switch to the Insert tab, click the Quick Parts dropdown and select “Save selection to Quick Parts gallery”. In future, when you start typing the phrase, you’ll see it pop up as a suggestion – hit return to insert it in full.
If you have some news that you don’t want to share immediately, Outlook lets you defer delivery until a specified time. Write your email, then switch to the Options tab and click Delay Delivery. This opens a requester with a “Do not deliver before:” field; enter a date and time, then click Close. After you hit Send, the message will be held until the specified time for sending. If you’re using an Exchange server, you can now close Outlook; if you’re using POP or IMAP you’ll have to leave the application open until the specified time for delivery has passed.
Quick Access to Emails
A quick way to find specific emails is to use the Filter Email dropdown at the far right of the Home tab. By choosing a menu option, you can instantly filter your mailbox display to show only certain types of emails, such as those with attachments, those dated within a specific time period and so forth. Within your filtered view, you can type into the regular search box to drill down further.
If you find yourself regularly performing a particular task – such as forwarding an incoming email to a colleague, or inviting a group of recipients to a meeting – then Quick Steps can save you time. You’ll find a set of predefined Quick Steps in the middle of the Home tab, but the real power of the feature comes in defining your own. Click the dropdown arrow and select New Quick Step to create a custom sequence of actions that can categorise, move, flag and delete messages with a single tap of your mouse. Clicking on “Manage Quick Steps…” opens a dialogue from which you can duplicate and edit shortcuts, so you can create a range of variations on a theme.
Rules for organising your messages
The Rules drop down in the Move section of the Home tab provides options to create and manage rules for automatically processing messages as they arrive. If you select a message before clicking, it will offer to create a rule affecting similar messages. Select Create Rule and you’ll be given the option to set all sorts of criteria to check for – sender, recipient, size, date and more – and choose what should happen to matching emails.
Depending on how an email is formatted or the size/resolution of your screen, the text might be too small to read comfortably—or too large for the confines of, say, the preview pane. Word 2013 includes a Zoom slider which is available in the lower-right corner of the preview pane, it lets you make quick and easy adjustments to the zoom level for the message you're viewing.
Outlook can now warn you when it appears you've forgotten to include an attachment referenced in the body of your message. It's a small thing, but if you're constantly on the receiving end of "You forgot the attachment!" emails, this should come in mighty handy.
Outlook comes with an integrated search function that allows you to quickly find whatever you're looking for. Search using keywords to find e-mails, contacts and dates. This feature can be used in any of the Outlook programs, including Calendar, Task Manager and Contact Manager.
Outlook has a few enhanced security features to protect your email account from predators. This also includes protection from junk and phishing website email. Its built-in email scanner alerts you when you are sent something from an untrustworthy sender. You can disable live links and if someone keeps clogging up your inbox, you can block all future email from that sender by clicking the Junk dropdown on the Home tab. Select “Junk E-mail Options” to open a configuration dialog that lets you specify what you count as junk and what you don’t – here you can blacklist entire domains and even entire countries.
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