Microsoft offer free training course for their Office suites – make better use of common programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. They also include courses for the business oriented Access, Outlook and OneNote (does anyone actually use OneNote?) and are also available for Mac, Android and iPhone/iPad.
The training material is generally very good – Microsoft offer the training courses in 2 ways:
1. Online training – All the courses are available from a single page here. All modern versions of Office are covered: Office 365 / Office 2013 and (at the bottom of the page) Office 2010 and the older Office 2007. To start a course just click on the one you want and you will be taken to the course Contents page – from the Contents, select the lesson you want and proceed to the lesson overview page.
The overview page displays a summary of the lesson, the goals, the skill level and the time required. Click ‘Start the course’ to begin.
If you want to download the course and go through it offline in your own time you’ll need a flash video downloader such as FlashGot (for Firefox) or Flash Video Downloader to save the MP4 file whilst it is playing so you can watch it offline in a media player.
2. Offline training – Most courses are also offered as free downloadable versions in Powerpoint format – if you don’t have Powerpoint on your computer you must first install the free Powerpoint Viewer from Microsoft here in order to view the courses you download.
If you want to learn how to use Office programs more quickly and productively, these training courses are a good place to start – you don’t often get something for free from Microsoft so take advantage of them. Extracting the integrated videos from the downloaded Powerpoint presentations can be useful if you want to share them with friends or family.