Author Archives: juliephillips

5 Reasons to use Microsoft Publisher
  1. Affordable

Publisher is significantly cheaper than other desktop publishing programs.  In fact, it is bundled (or included) in many versions of Microsoft Office and Office 365 so you might already have it available on your computer.

  1. User Friendly

Publisher is very user friendly.  Since it is part of the Microsoft products, many of the commands are the same as in Microsoft Word.

  1. Templates

Microsoft Publisher comes with a large assortment of templates to help you create document.   These include flyers, posters, business cards, newsletters, banners, tickets, cards, and labels to name a few.

  1. Mail Merge

Publisher lets you use mail merge or email merge so you can customize publications to specific clients or information.  This provides a “personal touch” to your documents.  You can add merge to documents, emails, labels, or as a graphic overlay.

  1. End Product

You can save the file as a publisher file, a PDF file, a HTML file, a Word file, or a graphic file (JPEG, TIF, PNG or GIF).

  1. High Quality End Products

You can print the documents you create on your personal printer as an RGB color publication. There is also a wide variety of specialty papers you can purchase to print special document.  For example, there is special perforated, heavy stock paper you can purchase for business cards.    The documents created in publisher can also be exported to a file that is ready to be taken to a commercial printer.  Just make sure you are aware of any requirements the printer has before you create the document.

If you are interesting in learning more about a Publisher class or the Richland College Business Office Systems Program, send us an email at

Creative Gift Giving

Do you have someone on your holiday list that is hard to buy for or someone who seems to have everything? Looking for a one of a kind gift? Microsoft Office has the answer. Create custom calendars to give as gifts. Calendar templates are available in every program. Word has 39 templates, Excel has 45 templates, PowerPoint has 11, Publisher has 19, and Access has 2. Each program has a variety of layouts, sizes and color schemes. Customize the calendar with personal photos and meaningful dates. Print the calendars on cardstock and staple (either at the top or in the middle so it can be folded). For a small fee you can get the calendar professionally printed and bound at a local office supply store.

To create a calendar, click, on File, New, type in Calendar in the Search for Online Templates box, and choose your favorite template.


Social Media: What’s the Difference?

Today it seems like everyone is on social media.   Social media is used for many different things:  staying in touch with family and friends, keeping up-to-date with news and trending topics, and promoting businesses and social causes.  It allows you to connect with people all over the world who have different backgrounds, interests, hobbies, and professions.  With so many different sites, how do you know which one is right for you?  Click here for an quick comparison graphic of the most popular social media sites.

Facebook – Created in 20014 by Mark Zuckerberg as way to keep up with his friends.  It is the world’s largest social media site with more than I.5 billion active users worldwide.  It allows you to send messages, post status updates, and share photos and videos.  Depending on privacy settings, requesting and accepting friend requests will determine what can be seen on your timeline and home page.  It works well on both a computer and mobile device.

Twitter – Another popular social media site, Twitter is designed around short updates.  Each tweet (or post) is limited to a total of 140 characters, spaces and punctuation marks.  You can attach short videos and photographs to a tweet.  Twitter is most popular for inventing the hashtag, which has now been adopted by many other social media sites.  With over 289 million active users, it can be used on a computer but because of its quick real-time messages, it is most often used on mobile devices.  You connect with other users by accepting and requesting to follow other users.

Instagram – Instagram is a photo-sharing app for mobile devices used by over 300 million active users.  The simplest of social media sites, it allows you to upload photos or short videos, write a caption, and add hashtags so your followers will be able to see them.  It is most popular with teens and young adults.

Pinterest – Unlike other media sites that are based on sharing status updates and photos, Pinterest is focused on collecting and sharing things found on the Internet.  You organize the things you collect on Bulletin Boards.  You can follow other Pinners who have similar interests and repin (or save) their items to your boards.  It is available on both the computer and mobile devices.

LinkedIn – While the other social media sites are more for personal use, LinkedIn is more of a professional networking site.  You create an online resume (or profile) of your skills and employment history.  As you add contacts and make connections you build your network.  Your connections can go in and endorse your skills.  Many businesses use LinkedIn to screen and recruit potential employees.

If you are over 50 and interested in learning how to use these popular social media sites, the Richland College Emeritus program will be offering Social Media 1 (Facebook) and Social Media II (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other sites) classes starting in January.  Spring registration begins on November 22 for current students and November 28 for new students.  Contact the Emeritus office at (972) 238-6972 or the Business Office Systems and Support program at (972) 238-6215 to sign up for these popular classes.  FYI—If you are over 65, the classes are FREE to Dallas County residents.

October: Cyber Security Awareness Month

We lead Internet-connected, digital lives—we work, learn and play online.  Whether we are shopping online, social networking, checking our bank accounts, or downloading a new app on our phone, it is critical that we practice good cyber security in today’s interconnected world.  For the thirteenth year, October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Cyber security is always a popular discussion topic in the media. Just last month, Yahoo announced that 500 million user’s passwords were stolen. According to, from information gathered from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, it takes consumers an average of six months and 200 hours to recover from identity theft.  The National Cyber Security Alliance is partnering with leading technology firms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Microsoft to make it easier for consumers to make their online accounts more secure.  They are also working with financial services companies such as Wells Fargo, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal to make transactions more secure.

As our world becomes more and more technology driven, it is important that we, as good digital citizens, learn to be safe and secure in our digital environment.  This includes ensuring our home networks are secure, our online accounts are secure, not responding to identity theft scams, managing the security of our mobile devices, and using the Internet safely and responsibly.

Below is a list of things you can do to make your accounts more secure.

  1. Create a strong password – To create a strong password, use a combination of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use words that are in the dictionary. Security experts also suggest using short sentences or phrases instead of just a single word.
  2. Never use familiar words for your passwords. This includes such words as birthdays, names of close family members, and address information.
  3. Have individual passwords for every account. To make it easier to remember, many people will use the same password for multiple accounts.  This is a dangerous practice because if your security is breached, the hacker will be able to access all of your accounts.
  4. Use two factor authentication. Add an extra level of security such as a fingerprint or a single use code delivered in a text message.
  5. Reset your password every 90 days.
  6. Enable Login Alerts. Many apps and websites have login alerts that will send you an email or text message if you login was used on an unrecognized device or browser.
  7. Think before you open suspicious emails, websites, or apps. According to more than 50% of phishing emails in 2011 were targeted at online bank users, and one out of every 300 emails sent were malicious.

How secure is your online presence?  Click here to take an online identity risk survey.

What’s New in PowerPoint 2016

Tell me what you want to do – This help feature lets you type in a task, function, or question.  If it is quick task, you can do it from that task pane.  If it is a more complex task, it will open the regular help feature with options that best match your request.


Zoom – (available in Office 365) when you create a Zoom in PowerPoint, you can jump to a specific slide or section in any order you want while you are presenting.  There are three kinds of zooms—Summary Zooms, Slide Zooms, and Section Zooms.

Text Highlighter –  This feature has been available in Word for several years.  Now you can pick different colors to highlight and add emphasis to your text.

Enhanced collaboration – You were able to collaborate with other users on presentations in previous versions of PowerPoint using OneDrive or Sharepoint.  Now when you open a shared presentation, you can see at a glance who is working on the document and what slide they are working on.  The new activity icon will allow you to see a complete list of changes that have been made.  The comment icon will let you make, view, or reply to comments.


Morph Transition (available in Office 365) – This new transition allows the user to automatically animate, move and add emphasis to objects across slides creating more advanced animation effects.  In order to use the Morph transition, you will need to have two slides with at least one object in common.  The easiest way to do this is to duplicate the slide.   You can use this feature  to:

  • Create motion and emphasis animations – An object can be moved, resized (zoom animation), rotated, or the color changed.
  • Animate words
  • Create an anagram effect by rearrange individual characters on the slide
  • Zoom in on an image
  • Create a 3-D rotation

Six New Chart Types – In addition to the standard chart types that were available in previous versions, PowerPoint 2016 also includes the following chart types:  Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, Box and Whisker, and Waterfall.

 Did You Know?if you take a DCCCD class, you are eligible for a free download of the latest Microsoft Office 2016 (Office 365) version? You can use your MS Office software on up to 5 devices!

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road.

Click here for more information about these new features.

Microsoft. (2016). What’s new in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.