Archive for 'Training'

Don’t “eyeball” documents or webpages for words you’re looking for.  Save yourself time and do a keyword search.

Find Keywords in a Microsoft Office Document (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

  1. Home Ribbon > Find & Select (right side of Home tab) > Find.  OR  CTRL + F is the keyboard way to start a Find.
  2. Type the word you’re searching for.
  3. Click on [Find All] for a list of each instance of the word or phrase in your list.
  4. Press [Esc] or click [Close] to clear the dialog box.

Searching a document will check all pages of the document.

 On a website, use the keyboard:   CTRL + F 

Even on a banking website, you can use CTRL +F to search for a check number.

Do you like learning the shortcuts?  Our Microsoft Word Shortcuts “Cheat Sheet” is now available. Click here to learn more.

As a computer trainer, I work with people at all levels when it comes to computer skills.  Whether I am working one-to-one, or in a classroom situation, I ask questions about a student’s experience and goals to help me create a custom training plan.

I also make “quiet” observations that help me quickly assess how well-trained (or not) people are. It is not a judgment of how smart someone is, simply a tool to give me a starting point related to helping my clients.  

Co-workers or others may be more judgmental about some of the same indicators I use. That gave me the idea to write a post about it. See if any of these apply to you:

  1. You have no idea which operating system you’re using on your own personal computer.
  2. You do not know the difference between right click and left click, or have trouble moving your pointer when you reach the edge of the mouse pad.
  3. You turn off your computer by simply pressing the power button.
  4. You do not know the difference between “Windows” and “Office.”
  5. When using the internet, you do not know the difference between the address bar and the search bar.
  6. You do not know what it means to minimize or maximize a window.
  7. You think you must close your current program in order to open something else.
  8. You use your email program as your permanent storage place for files and pictures you’ve received by email.
  9. You are unaware that you can scroll down on a website to see more of the page.
  10. You are clueless when asked to go to your documents or pictures folder.

I know many of my readers are NOT this basic – and may even be giggling at some of these. If you’re not giggling – if you’re tired of being a “computer dummy,”  give us a call to schedule training.

I’ll provide the answers to these in future posts. Stay tuned!

By what I often hear from people or see posted online, Microsoft Word seems to be the most hated of the Microsoft Office programs, and I think I know why. In many cases, it boils down to a lack of, or poor training.  Not that Word is perfect – no program is.  But let’s take a look at the big picture.

Word is a word processor, with features designed around formatting words on a page organized in to sentences, paragraphs, pages, and sections. So it’s used for reports, letters, memos, books, handouts, invitations, flyers, and more.  It’s all about text editing.

Because text editing occurs in almost any other program you use, including email and internet, much of what you learn carries over to everything you do on the computer. So Word is a great place to start with your training. You even learn to use the keyboard more effectively.

I’ve noticed that Word haters who never got training (or inadequate training) don’t understand that Word has four levels of formatting. Even when I started my training career, I never saw it taught this way, but after a few years of using and teaching Word myself – it occurred to me that understanding this concept tends to clear up a lot of confusion.

Word’s four levels of formatting:

Character formatting
This is usually the level that people with minimal training “get”.  The problem is there’s an assumption that everything else works the same way. This is why they may have trouble formatting their document.

Character formats apply at the text character level – letter-by-letter.  Examples :  fonts, font size, font color, bold, italics, underline. You select the text and apply the format.

Microsoft Word Character Formats

Microsoft Word Character Formats





Paragraph formatting
Paragraph formatting applies to whole paragraphs.  Paragraph formatting is key – so it is important to understand how Word recognizes a paragraph (I’ll get to that later).  Examples of paragraph formatting include

Indents, line spacing, paragraph spacing, alignment, bullets and numbering, tabs, and heading controls.

If applying to a single paragraph, you click ANYWHERE in the paragraph to apply the paragraph format.  If applying to multiple paragraphs, you must select all of the paragraphs.

Understanding this level of formatting is HUGE.  For example, you can create any type of indent to as many paragraphs as you like when you learn how to use the ruler to work with paragraphs. Many other intermediate to advanced features that help you automate your document depend on well-defined paragraphs and text relationships.  Examples:  Styles, Table of Contents, Outlines.

Page/section/document formatting
Applies to whole pages, sections, or the entire document.. Sections can be defined in order to have multiple page layouts that would normally apply to the entire document.

Examples of page/section/document formatting:  margins, page orientation, headers and footers, page numbering, page borders, columns.

These formats will automatically apply to the entire document unless you define sections (covered in intermediate or advanced Word). When you have sections, you apply formats to sections through the appropriate dialog box (depending on the format you are applying).

 Object formatting
Objects are things you insert to your document that “float” on the page. Objects have their own formatting dialog box, which you can access by double-clicking on the object.

Examples of objects:  pictures, clipart, text boxes, arrows, AutoShapes, WordArt.

Examples of object formatting:  line or no line (around edge), color, shadow effects, size.

How Does Word Know What a Paragraph Is? 

Any place in the document you press [ENTER].

 Each time you press the [Enter] key on the keyboard, a non-printing paragraph character like this: ¶  is entered on your document, marking all text between there and the previous paragraph mark as a paragraph. In a future post, I will talk about non-printing characters.

 There is a lot more to learn about Microsoft Word, but I hope this information makes your Word learning experience go a little easier!

Our 2-sided, laminated Word Shortcuts “Cheat Sheet” is a handy card you can keep by your computer as a quick reference for shortcuts in Word.  Click the following link to order your copy:

Melissa Guzzetta
The Computer Tutor
Computer Training and more 




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Have you been using Microsoft Word or Excel without formal training – and thinking of taking an intermediate level class?

 The beginning level training covers key foundational concepts you may have missed without training.  Here is a checklist to help you decide if you’re ready for intermediate.  But first, let’s start with your basic Windows knowledge before we take a look at your Word and Excel skills.  Are you able to…

  1. Navigate Windows through icons, folders,  and menus.
  2. Open programs – including Word and Excel.
  3. Use window controls (close, minimize, restore), toolbars, menus, and scroll bars.
  4. Use window views.
  5. Identify which window or program you are in.
  6. Create, save, and name files.
  7. Find and open files you created.
  8. Send a file as an email attachment.

 These are basics a beginner should know using any Microsoft Office program:

  1. How to set margins.
  2. Select text and navigate documents.
  3. Copy and paste.
  4. Spell check.
  5. Change the look of text (change font, make it bold, underlined, or blue).
  6. How to use help.
  7. How to create page breaks.
  8. File > Save, Open, or Close.
  9. Undo.
  10. Print

 Microsoft Word

Specific concepts and features you should know in Word. You can… 

  1. Jump directly from top to bottom of your document without scrolling.
  2. Select words, sentences, paragraphs, lines by methods other than click and drag.
  3. Use the Show/Hide button on the toolbar and know what it is for.
  4. Name two examples of text formats.
  5. Name two examples of paragraph formats. (Formats that apply to paragraphs).
  6. Describe how Word knows what a paragraph is.
  7. Create three types of indents using the ruler.
  8. Describe what AutoCorrect is and what it does.
  9. Double space your text.
  10. Switch between Normal View, Print Layout View, and Print Preview, and know the difference between them.
  11. Turn bullets and numbering on/off.


You may be ready for Intermediate Excel if you know the following:

  1.  How to widen columns, change row heights.
  2. Design a basic spreadsheet.
  3. The formula bar and its function.
  4. Create basic formulas, to add, average, subtract, divide.
  5. How to automatically fill months of the year across columns.
  6. Move cell contents by drag and drop.
  7. The affect on formulas when copied to other cells.
  8. How to add/remove decimal places.
  9. Format a number as a percent.
  10. Center a spreadsheet on the printed page, and other print settings such as landscape/portrait orientation.
  11. Excel’s pointer modes and what tasks they are for.
  12. AutoSum.
  13. AutoCalculate for a quick total, average, or count without a formula.
  14. How to write a formula with multiple operators (i.e. adding and multiplying in the same formula).
  15. How to add, delete, rename sheets.

If you find yourself unsure about 1/3 of these features, consider taking the beginning class. You will be amazed at how much you learn.

See you in class!

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At Computer Tutor we have a passion for helping people use their computer to get stuff done, to keep in touch with people, and to learn or be entertained. Even for beginners.

Start by identifying your goals. Be more specific than “I need to
learn how to use a computer.” I hear this a lot, and my next question is always “why?” Are you trying to get a job? Is some one telling you to get computer training? Do you want to be able to email family and friends? Shop online? Sell on eBay? Run a business? Maybe you just need to feel less frustrated when using your computer.

Here is what we suggest:

1. Have specific training goals.
2. Use your time wisely by focusing on those immediate goals.
3. Take it a day at a time – and practice practice practice!

You could spend years learning about computers, but you don’t have
to. It is an ongoing process, and you only need to know what you need to know. I have been teaching Windows, Email, Microsoft Office, and QuickBooks for many years, and I am still learning new stuff every day myself.

So don’t stress if it seems like a lot to learn – have fun!

If you are in Southern California and would like personalized training, click on the link on the right side of this page to the Computer Tutor Schedule of Classes.

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Computer User Training in Small Doses

Welcome to Computer Tutor News!  We’ll have tips and chats about everyday computer user stuff – to help make you be a better daily computer user.

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