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Overview of Refresher Courses for Microsoft Excel, Access and Word

Most Microsoft Office refresher courses focus on the most recent versions of specific programs, including Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2010, and Microsoft Word 2013. As a result, students typically choose the course specific to the program they will be using most often.

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Essential Information

The continuing education departments of several colleges and universities offer Microsoft Office refresher courses as standalone courses or as part of a multi-course series. Although these courses are often available for workforce or professional development purposes, anyone interested in learning how to properly operate Microsoft Office's programs can typically enroll. The Microsoft company also offers training on their website for free.

Some concepts taught in these courses are:

  • Creating various types of documents across the Microsoft applications
  • Editing documents
  • Learning the skills necessary for effective usage of Microsoft products
  • Learning page formatting and printing options
  • Using Microsoft Office to its full potential

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List of Common Refresher Courses

Microsoft Access Course

The standard Microsoft Access refresher covers the basics of the program's primary functions, as well as the creation and management of a database. In addition to standard commands and uses, course material covers tables, queries, reports and other tools provided by Access. The curriculum generally begins with database creation, then moves into editing and reporting. Some classes may also include a look at the program's security features. Keyboarding and mouse skills are commonly required for this course.

Microsoft Excel Course

This course reintroduces students to the basics of Microsoft Excel and the creation and management of spreadsheets, as well as techniques for proper printing of Excel spreadsheets. Students are instructed in the program's systems for entering, editing and formatting spreadsheet data, including the use of the auto fill and auto sum functions. Advanced classes may focus on topics such as templates, illustration tools and advanced formatting, and are usually aimed toward a general increase in productivity when using the Excel program.

Microsoft Word Course

This refresher course usually begins with the basic concepts of creating, saving and printing documents using Microsoft Word. From there, course material continues with editing text and formatting Word documents. Some Word course may also include fonts, lists, headers and footers, among other topics. The more advanced classes in this subject may cover things like styling, adding graphics and file merging. Some educational programs may include specific courses specializing in topics in Microsoft Word, such as tables and columns, and using Word in conjunction with other Office programs.

Microsoft Office Business Course

This course, usually offered as a series of computer courses for business majors, places a specific concentration on the business applications of Microsoft Office. Word and Excel refreshers may be included together in a single course, or in tiered classes moving from introductory to advanced. Microsoft PowerPoint courses are also typically included. All the courses offered through Microsoft Office Business are aimed toward the use of these programs for business purposes and improve the business skills of students.

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