Category Archives: Office Productivity

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 RichlandBOSS@dcccd.edu.


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.

Enjoy!


Wanted: Top-Flight Administrative Professionals Who Want to Grow with Their Companies!

499171549_aYes, today’s employers understand that not only are talented, highly-skilled administrative professionals assets to their companies but that they are also essential to the competitive success of these companies!

Over the years, the role of the administrative professional has changed dramatically, and the future shows that people who work in this capacity will continue to see changes in terms of duties and expectations.

In a 2015 joint research project conducted by Office Team and IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), it was found that the skills most valued by employers and needed by administrative professionals include the following:

Time Management

The ability to maximize tasks effectively and efficiently is highly valued and desired. In fact, top-flight professionals are not only expected to manage their own tasks and time but also to manage the schedules of those whom they support—this may include team members, managing supervisors, and executives. Multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning, but it goes with the turf for those who are truly successful in the art of task/time management.

Technical Skills

595140878_cBeing highly competent in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—having your MOS certification in one or more of these applications—will go a long way in convincing a potential employer of your productivity capabilities.

Knowledgeable in layout and design—Microsoft Publisher for basic design (for more advanced projects, consider Adobe InDesign or Photoshop) can assist you in making your output look professional.

Collaboration and knowledge of databases—collaboration packages such as SharePoint are highly valued by companies as a way of housing company content and sharing this information within and among work groups. Other packages that are used by work groups for sharing (and by individuals) on projects include OneNote and Evernote. Your ability to work with databases such as Access and FileMaker Pro can only add to your attractiveness.

Social Media

Managers have increasingly turned to their admins in order to stay up-to-date on company social media interaction with customers, clients, and others. Knowing how to use social media professionally is now expected. Be sure you have a professional acquaintance with sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram; and know their role and how to use them as business tools.

 

170463151_eFinally, and according to Matt Krumrie, those skills that have become known as “soft skills” and that include excellent communication skills (written and verbal), outstanding tact and diplomacy when working with others, and strong critical-thinking skills are indispensable. These soft skills “round out” what goes in to becoming and staying a top-flight administrative office professional!

 

 

If you want to develop or upgrade your skills to help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, administrative office procedures, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**) etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is in northeast Dallas and located at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information, please contact Angela Nino at anino@dcccd.edu or call 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office 365***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote, which can be used on up to 5 devices.
Sources:
1.  Krumrie, Matt (2016, July 7) What to Look For In A Great Administrative Assistant. Retrieved from  https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blog/what-to-look-for-in-a-great-administrative-assistant/
2.  Office Team (A Robert Half Company) and IAAP (2015) How to Hire All-Star Administrative Professionals and Maximize Their Potential. Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com/officeteam/office-of-the-future-how-to-hire-all-star-administrative-professionals-and-maximize-their-potential

 


Introducing Excel 2016’s New IFS Function!

Have you ever needed to establish categories or summary ranges for numerical information?

Let’s say you have the feedback from a seminar that was held earlier this year, and you’ve chosen the categories of Excellent, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory to help determine what items need improvement or attention as you plan future seminars.

In our example, the results have to have a rating of 87 or above to be considered Excellent, 86 to 75 to be Satisfactory, and 74 to 70 for the Needs Improvement category. A score of 69 and below is considered Unsatisfactory.

08-29-2016_dYou can use the new IFS Function in Excel 2016 to help you quickly obtain your information. In fact the Excel 2016 IFS function can help obtain the conditions on 127 different conditions!!  In our example, you can see the categories and scores for these items, but how can we quickly determine what needs improvement, is satisfactory, etc.?
Just one word of caution
–if you open a file containing the IFS function in an older Excel version, the error message #NAME? will appear.

The two screen shots below allow you to see the conditions and the criteria for this function that must be met for each category. We simply create the IFS function for the first item and include conditions and what will appear for each score. In this case Cell C3 is where the IFS function will appear for the conditions in Cell B3.

 08-29-2016_a08-29-2016_bOnce all of your conditions are stated in Cell C3, you can then copy the function in to Cells C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, and C9 and presto! You have your work completed! The finished results appear below:

08-29-2016_cKeep learning how to use Excel more efficiently so that you work smarter,
not harder!!!

If you want to develop or upgrade your skills to help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information, please contact Angela Nino at anino@dcccd.edu or call 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote, which can be used on up to 5 devices.


Why You Should Learn Excel!

Click on the YouTube video below to listen to the song that was created by University of Texas Professor Clint Tuttle and get an entertaining, enlightening serenade on why you should learn Microsoft Excel.

According to a 2015 U.S. News & World Report article, “If you want a better job, master Excel.”

Middle-skill Jobs—those jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree—are considered the jobs that have long been associated with middle income wage earners. For example, jobs such as office and administrative assistants as well as managerial positions in industry, communications, retail, healthcare, and other major sectors want their employees to be proficient in spreadsheets—Excel.

In fact the demand for digital proficiency for these middle-skill jobs has only grown over time and will continue to grow. You can read more about these jobs by clicking this link to read the 2015 report (PDF file) prepared by Capital One Financial Corporation and Burning Glass Technologies.

Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy Professor Tuttle’s musical message—it’s the truth, folks!

GET DIGITALLY PREPARED TODAY by taking an Excel class or other Microsoft Office productivity software classes—Word, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher—through Richland College’s BOSS Program. The Microsoft Office 2016 version and Windows 10 will be offered this coming fall!

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams.

DYK–if you take a DCCCD class, you are eligible for a free download of the latest Microsoft 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. For more information on BOSS class offerings, please call 972-238-6215 or email Angela Nino at anino@dcccd.edu.


WRITING TO WIN: Coordination in Successful Teamwork

By Royce Murcherson

Royce top pictureIn the last blog, I talked about collaboration as part of an overall team structure that helps colleagues come together to craft solutions and improve processes. Communication is also a key component in collaboration, for without communication there can be no real collaboration. And without coordination, the fruits of communication and collaboration are lost.

The Three ‘C’ Model:  COMMUNICATION * COLLABORATION * COORDINATION

What is coordination? It is the glue that holds the model together. Coordination within teams is simply ensuring the job gets done.  If you find yourself in the role of ‘team leader’, you must ask yourself two questions. What is my role and what will it take to get the job done?

The Role of Team CoordinatorRoyce People holding MS logo puzzle

  • The team leader or team coordinator serves as a primary liaison between team members.
  • The team coordinator is responsible for making sure team members are keenly aware of their specific roles and function within the group.
  • Team coordinators are also tasked with the authority to make critical decisions when the team cannot arrive at a consensus.

Coaching ResponsibilitiesThe Responsibilities of the Team Coordinator

Think of a team coordinator as a coach in a team sport. The team is made up of individuals each with particular skills or talents. The team coordinator must channel all of these talents into an effective force that will bring a project to completion.

The Team Coordinator Must:

  • Have a long term vision of the work to be done
  • Know each team member
  • Define team roles
  • Ensure the team has a common goal
  • Make sure all team members know their assignments
  • Leverage resources and specific skills of the team
  • Create a workable plan
  • Have the correct tools available for the team to complete their tasks
  • Encourage effective communication among the team
  • Conduct periodic checkpoints to determine progress against deliverables.

 

Coordination AbsentWhat Happens when Coordination is Absent?

A lack of coordination within a project team can decrease productivity, complicate processes and delay the completion of projects. Below are some common signs:

  • Duplication of Work A usual sign of a lack of coordination within a project team is redundancy. Redundancy is caused by a lack of communication. With redundancy, an organization will spend double the efforts, materials and time to produce the same item twice. Redundancy typically results from the poor coordination of a project team.
  • Lost Information Teams must effectively share information to function at an optimal level. When this information is not readily available as needed within the team, the lack of information can create a cascading effect that will damage the team. Lost information can lead to delays.
  • Delays on Deliverables – Deliverables are the building blocks of an overall project. Deliverables can be reports, documents, and software upgrades, anything that contributes to the successful delivery of the project to the customer. One of the signs that team lacks coordination is called ‘delay’ and delays on deliverables can cause a project to miss a completion date.

Advantages of Team CoordinationThe Big Advantages of Team Coordination

The advantages of team coordination are realistic. Roles, responsibilities and deadlines are assigned. Informal coaching and mentoring takes place which benefits the group. It ensures a consolidation of work that can be measurable, attainable, and time constrained. It provides a single access point of communication between the team coordinator and business executives.

For an expanded discussions on effective business writing and workplace etiquette, see my book:

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D., The Guide to Persuasive Business Writing: A New Model that   Gets Results. Iowa: Kendall-Hall, 2013

Clip Art, provided by Microsoft Office Professional Academic, 2010

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, anino@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.

 


Calculations Quickly!

Here’s a quick but very useful Excel tip.  It is especially helpful when performing calculations on lengthy columns. 

Excel Tip

Give this tip a try to see if you like this method better than dragging the fill handle down, which is the method used by many who work with Excel daily.  It is easy and very fast!


For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Angela Nino, Lead Faculty, anino@dcccd.edu, 972-238-6382.

 


Speaking Is Believing! Use Windows 10 Cortana to Help Your “Old School” Computer with Work Tasks!

That’s right—the tech geeks have proclaimed that you can use Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant system found in Windows 10 with your “old school” computer to help you navigate and search the Internet, open some applications, make appointments, and remind you of to-do lists by simply plugging in a microphone.

According to Sean Hollister who reviewed Cortana for Gizmodo and who tried a number of microphone scenarios, Cortana seems to be able to recognize and perform voice-activated requests very handily. Marc Chiappetta who writes for Forbes, was impressed with the speed at which Cortana was able to perform requested tasks, although he does provide a wish list of improvements. One improvement he would like to see is for Cortana to be able to handle compound questions—Example: “What is the time and temperature in Chicago?”

 

Attention SmartPhone Users! Although Cortana has been available on Windows phones for a while, you’ll be happy to know that Cortana is coming to iPhones and Androids later this year—yeah! It will be nice to compare Cortana to Siri and Google Now—you be the judge.

 

If you want to upgrade or develop skills that can help you in today’s job market, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

 


How to Create a Shutdown/Restart Icon in Windows

Windows 8Windows 8/8.1 make you perform several actions to turn your computer off, and they are not easy to find. To get to the power button, you must pull out the Charms menu (bottom, right side of screen), click the Power button and the select Shutdown or Restart. If you are on the Windows 8 desktop, you may also shut down by using the ALT + F4 shortcut keys.

Want to create an icon on your desktop to shutdown/restart your computer? It’s easy; simply follow the steps given below:

Navigate to the desktop (Windows key + D)
Right click on the desktop and select New | Shortcut
Enter: shutdown /s /t 0 (a zero) in the location box and click Next
Enter a name for the shortcut and click Finish
Right click the shortcut on your desktop and select Pin to Start
Go the Start and drag the shutdown icon to a prominent place

If you want the icon on your taskbar, right click on the icon and select Pin to Taskbar

For a Restart button repeat the previous steps using shutdown /r /t 0 in the location box

If you want to change the icon displayed for the shortcut, complete the following steps:

Right click on the shortcut and select Properties
Click Change Icon (If you receive a Change Icon warning, simply click OK)
Select an Icon; Click OK twice to close the Change Icon and Properties windows

You do not have to be a computer wizard to create these icons; they can save time and frustration especially if you have difficulty finding the Shutdown and Restart commands in Windows 8. Try it!

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For more information on the Business Office Systems and Support department, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.


Let MS Office 2013 Custom Apps Help You Increase Your Productivity!

 

timing concept

Did you know there is much more you can do to enhance your experiences with the Microsoft Office 2013 Suite than what is already included in Word? Excel? PowerPoint? or Outlook? While the applications within the Suite are literally crammed with tons of powerful features, there additional ways (through add-ins) that you can customize your specific office needs even further, which can save you time and effort. These apps range from

  1. Converting PDF files to text (recognizes text in six different languages).
  2. Generating a tag cloud of text from a Word document.
  3. Sending fax documents without leaving Word.
  4. Searching the web via Google within Word, Excel, or PowerPoint—no need to toggle back and forth between your Office applications and your web browser.
  5. Creating a graphical idea map from any of the Office applications.
  6. Converting the case of your text in Excel files quickly—This can be a life saver if you are importing information into Excel from a variety of sources because it saves you time and energy by not having to make “hand edits” that are slow and manual.
  7. Creating Excel data as a “heat map” – provides a visual of data for the United States and is color coded.
  8. Previewing hyperlinks from Outlook email messages—helps to prevent messages sent that contain broken links.
  9. Integrating key information from LinkedIn from your profile with Outlook—can help with your networking capabilities.
  10. Sending Direct Messages from Outlook to Twitter.

Vangie Beal previewed a total of 30 MS Office apps that can help you increase your productivity and efficiency, but there are many others that have been added that may fit your needs also.

Many of the apps are free, while others may have a one-time charge or a subscription fee. If you see any that can help you, simply click this link to go to store.office.com and then “shop until you drop”!

P.S. I just found another app (for Excel) that can be very engaging when you are trying to transform data to a simple graphic quickly and easily. It’s free, it’s easy, and the name is Bubbles—try it, you might like it!

Take a look at the sample screen shot below.

06-29-2015 Bubbles App

If you want to learn new software or if you need to update your software skills, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.