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Monday, September 18, 2000
Learning Computers

Microsoft Office an overview

HAVING unorganised information on hands is like having the best food on a platter but not being able to consume because of bound hands.

Organising information and data is as important as having it. Computers are doing the task of managing and organising the information. Earlier, people used to organise information without using computers but those were the times when information and access to it was limited. However, in this era of information and technology, the quantity and quality of information has increased manifold. The need to manage and organise information properly has been felt globally. For the purpose of organising information, the best programme available is Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Office (MS Office) is not a new word for computer users. However, very few among them are able to exploit the full potential of this software. For most of the computer users, it comes as a surprise when they actually get to know of its existing features through somebody. The simple reason is that MS Office is an extensive programme, which has endless features in it. Normally, people use only those features which are of use to them and leave the rest. By doing this, they miss a lot, which can actually help them in adding more value to their work. Therefore, we will deal with each component of MS Office in detail in subsequent issues. However, in this issue the focus is on a general overview of the MS Office.


Microsoft Office
comprises of Microsoft Access, Microsoft Binder, Microsoft Power Point, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Access is all about databases and management of information. Access manages all information using a single database file. The data is stored in a separate storage space called tables. This data can be edited, analysed and viewed from different locations. When a data is updated, it gets updated automatically everywhere it appears. MS Access is a powerful tool, which can be used very efficiently for any kind of database management, ranging from home budget to complex sales and marketing reports of an organisation. It has a user-friendly interface and thus anybody can use this software after a brief orientation, either through Help files or someone proficient in it.

Microsoft Binder groups all documents, workbooks and presentations at a place for a particular project. This enables the user to manage the information. It also helps the user to keep the binder on the Web site. Thus, when the data on a site is accessed, it opens group files and data easily and fast for the visitor. Though it is not exploited much by users, yet proper knowledge about this software can help the users to gear up their information.

Using Power Point one can make a presentation of any project with an animated slide show and with a lot of value addition like adding motion and 3D effects. It is a feature-packed software, which allows the use of imagination to carve out a marvel of presentation. Remember, information is not just about content, but also presentation. Be it a project or a job resume, the presentation matters a lot. This programme is not much used normally due to ignorance about its uses.

Microsoft Excel is all about data and numbers. This is one of the best software available for databases. Using this software, anything related to numbers that comes to your mind is possible. It is simple to use, as each part of

data is stored in a separate cell in the form of spreadsheets. Data can be used for linking with other databases on a computer or for making a variety of charts. It's a feature-rich program with endless uses. It's being used very commonly for statistical analysis of data, accounting and budgeting and working out various mathematical formulae using a set of data. This software supports visual basic interface,

which allows the creation of macros. The use of macros changes dramatically the way you work as it adds efficiency by automating regular operations. Moreover, for creating macros, you are not supposed to be an IT wizard as it can be recorded by simply following the keyboard and mouse commands.

Microsoft Word is the most widely used and one of the best word processors available in the world. Anybody who uses a PC is most likely to be aware of the Microsoft Word. Thus, it is also the most sought-after component of the Microsoft Office and offers a variety of uses. It is a word processor, but at the same time is also an excellent HTML editor. Similarly, it also has features using which you can create documents for publishing purposes. You can also draft various reports and presentations using the Microsoft Word. Looking at its uses, it can correctly be termed as the backbone of any office as a majority of documentation and communication is done through this software.

Its features are endless and has several templates, using which you can create resume, newsletters, fax covers and letters in the most professional way. It can thus be said that without MS Word the computer is not complete.

So, if you look at it in totality, as an average PC user, you do not need anything beyond the Microsoft Office for the purpose of your day-to-day requirements. Mostly people are not able to use this programme optimally and thus they search for other software. But a closer look at these individual components can open up a world of opportunities and value addition to work since each and every component is a complete software in itself. In the next issue, we will discuss Microsoft Word at length.

Vishal Verma

We will be starting a series on various components of MS Office in this column. An overview of the software has been given this week and MS Word would be discussed at length in our next issue.