Office.com is the website of Microsoft’s Office suite (at least the Windows version, they seem to ignore the fact that the Mac version exists, though most of the resources on this site apply to both versions). It is a wealth of knowledge on how to use Microsoft’s Office suite, and contains many helpful downloads to get you started.
Microsoft Office is the de facto standard in office productivity software today. Word has become synonymous with word processor. Outlook is one of the most widely used business email applications out there. PowerPoint has become synonymous with slide presentations. Anyone, in any field, needs to know how to use Microsoft’s Office suite today. That’s made more difficult by the major changes to the interface that were introduced in 2007 in the Windows versions of the program, and these same changes will be incorporated into Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, coming out at the end of October. People are having to relearn how to use these programs, and Microsoft’s website provides many resources for learning these new features.
There are three main portions of the site that are of use to communications majors (and everyone who hopes to have a job in pretty much any field). The first is the support section. There are many extremely useful tutorials here on how to use the programs. While they are written for the Windows versions of the program, they can be adapted to Mac, especially with the new version that is much closer to the Windows version than any previous version.
The second helpful section is labeled images. Here is where you can find tons of “clip art.” I’m not a huge fan of clip art, but Microsoft is using its business ties with Corbis to provide professional quality images from Corbis companies like Veer (a personal favorite of mine). This potentially overlooked portion of the site can provide great free-to-use images for things like PowerPoint presentations and make it easy to add some color to otherwise boring documents.
The third helpful section is the templates. These templates are fully compatible with both the Windows and Mac versions of the software and make it easy to fire off a document quickly. There are a number of rÃ©sumÃ© templates, but the templates don’t stop there. There are ready-made documents for just about anything you would want. This can be great for the college student needing to make something quickly. Or you can use them just for fun (personally, I like the easy access to printable calendars, because whenever I need one, I don’t think of just opening up iCal and printing one from there).
Overall, a quick trip to Office.com can be useful for just about everyone. The resources can help you become a Microsoft Office ninja, firing off important (and great looking) documents faster than ever before!