Fastest Way to Learn Microsoft Office

By Erin McManaway

Microsoft Office is a software package that features productivity programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Because these programs are used commonly in the home and the workplace, learning how to use the programs is beneficial, especially when describing your computer skills for employment positions. Microsoft provides free online training courses that can help you learn how to use each office program without needing to sign up for a class or pay training fees.

Go to the Microsoft Office Training Courses website (see References and Resources). These sites are broken up into topics based on the individual Office program, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel or Outlook.

Click on the topic you would like to learn about. Topics are listed with the most basic courses first, often titled "Get to know" or "Getting started."

Review the information about the course. You will see how long the course will last, the topics that the course will cover and the basic goals you will achieve by working through the course.

Click "Start this Course" to begin.

Click the "Install Silverlight" button if you are prompted. This will download a Silverlight .exe file that you will need to install to view the course. You will need to refresh the Web page once Silverlight is installed.

Watch the online training video and click the "Next" button when you are ready to move to the next section.

Work along with any examples in your Office program as you progress through the training course.

Complete an unscored quiz at the end if the course includes one to see how much you have learned.

Move on to the next course once you feel you have mastered the material in the course, or repeat the training if you need to work on the current course material again. Working through these online courses will teach you the basic functions of the Office programs quickly and for free.