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Do you sometimes feel that your computer is running you instead of you running the computer? If so, this is the workshop for you!

In our busy days, we use computers but rarely have time to master the skills needed to use them efficiently and effectively. This workshop will provide you with practical techniques to get your work done more quickly and to reduce stress caused by frustration with your computer.

Instead of focusing on the many ways software differs, the workshop will focus on concepts and tricks that work in most programs. Learn things like:

  • What it means when your cursor changes to an I beam or a 2 headed arrow
  • Why some files open automatically and some don't and how to fix it
  • Determine how to help a computer user before they say anything
  • How to have files in multiple places without having to figure out which is current
  • Essential shortcut key combinations
  • Techniques for troubleshooting Word documents
  • How to make files open in the software of YOUR choice

You'll develop strategies for learning new programs and for solving recurring problems. You'll learn to watch for the visual cues to figure out where you are and what the computer is doing. By the end of the day, you will have a new conceptual approach to the computer guaranteed to reduce frustration and increase effectiveness.

Workshop Description: This all-day hands-on workshop will provide you with a new conceptual approach to the computer by learning how the computer "thinks" not from a technical point of view but from the point of view of getting the job done. Ninety percent of the time in this class will be spent in hands-on experiences. Throughout the day, you will be creating your own personalized "cheat sheet" to be sure you take home the pieces of the workshop that are most relevant to your working style. What you learn in this class will be useful every time you turn your computer on.

Pre-Workshop Assignment: In the weeks prior to coming to this workshop, pay attention to what you wish you could do with your computer. Bring that "wish list" to class. We won't be able to reproduce individual work situations, but we will be able to cover the concepts and strategies for understanding and possibly solving the problem.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Visual Cues to Get Oriented: What You Should Know About
    • Cursors
    • Taskbar and toolbars
    • Title bar and scroll bars
  • Files and File Management
    • Using My Computer and Windows Explorer
    • Cut, copym and paste files and folders
    • One click access to commonly used files or programs on the desktop
  • Customize
    • Desktop
    • Mouse and screen
    • Programs
  • Word Processing
    • Show/Hide formatting marks
    • Advanced use of Find and Replace
    • Getting rid of Word headaches including automatic formatting, outline numbering, and printing of extra blank pages
  • Gold Nuggets
    • Selection tricks
    • Navigating in documents or on the Web
    • Ten need-to-know key combinations
  • Help and How to Learn More
    • "What's this" and the question mark in dialog boxes
    • Searching or browsing help in software
    • Great online tutorials for staff or customers

Workshop Instructor: Cheryl Gould