In order to work efficiently and productively, you need to have a thorough grasp of your ‘tools of trade’. For most people, this means being able to use the core programs included in Microsoft Office.

Most of us understand the basics – after all, the entire suite is designed to provide an intuitive interface; but most people never use more than 10 percent of the available features.

Whether you’re using a PC or a Mac, this course will take you beyond the basics and show you how to become a power user that will enhance your productivity and skill set.

This course is offered as a follow-on to the entry-level course Making Friends with Computers.


This course will review the core Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as OneNote) and show you the overlooked features that enable you to work quickly, and produce documents that have the ‘wow’ factor. During this course you will learn how

  • to use the various overlooked features that come bundled within the Office applications
  • to use page layout, templates, styles and themes that will ‘brand’ your documents and presentations as professional
  • to create and publish a range of document types using Word as your core application
  • to embed tables, charts and other graphics to provide visual appeal
  • to generate tables and charts in Excel that optimise the presentation of your data
  • to use PowerPoint for high-impact visuals that can provide the basis of your presentations and be imported into your documents.

With the knowledge gained from this course you will improve your creativity and productivity and obtain the skills and confidence you need to manage complex writing projects, either on your own or as part of a team.


This course provides the tools of trade needed by today’s professionals to produce high quality documents. Our companion courses in Effective English and Developing persuasive business documents show you how to apply these skills in the workplace.

Together these courses provide a holistic approach to productive workplace writing and productivity enhancement.


Exercises and activities are included with each lesson and are designed primarily for self-evaluation but assessment for competencies can be arranged if required.

This course can be aligned with Australian standard units of competency in the BSB series. Contact the course instructor for details.

Course Materials

This course is presented over six three-hour learning sessions that provide opportunities for face-to-face mentoring by a qualified Australian trainer.

Course materials consist of

  • Detailed course reference manual with activities and discussion for each session
  • Sections for PC as well as Mac users (Office 2007, 2010 and 2011)
  • Summary handouts
  • On screen presentation

Topics in brief

Meeting the challenges of an interactive workplace

Choosing the right Office version for you, understanding the core and ‘add-on’ applications, file formats, Office online, using the cloud for storage and collaboration, using templates and themes to create consistency across your applications; key features of Office that you will use constantly.

Using Microsoft Word as your information organiser

Understanding the ribbon system and command tabs, using SmartArt, creating merge documents, version saving, choosing the correct layout view for the task, desktop publishing

Number crunching with Excel

Organising, managing and transposing data, using formulas and the function library, advanced charting, pivot tables and charts, using the Excel dashboard

Making an impact with your PowerPoint presentations

Creating high impact visual presentations, using PowerPoint to develop storyboards, creating and exporting graphics into other applications, slide animation and transitions, creating ‘movies’ from slides

Using Outlook as your personal organiser

Using Microsoft Mail (online) and Outlook; Setting up an email address and adding an account; Creating, receiving and replying to email; Using attachments; Managing your calendar; Organising your contacts; Tasks, your ‘ToDo’ list and your journal; cleaning your mailbox; managing your security settings.

Using OneNote as your personal research tool

The OneNote screen and ribbon system; taking and formatting your notes; organising your Notebooks; OneNote in a work environment; Distributing your notes to others.

All this and much more…


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