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General

Unlike Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org is a free and open source office suite, created and maintained by a large community of developers. But in addition to being free, it is compatible with all operating systems: Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Its multi-platform environment and its free access have allowed it to make a name for itself in the field of office automation.

OpenOffice.org gives access to very common software in their field. There are six such programs:

Writer: the word processing software;

Calc: the data processing software;

Impress: the multimedia presentation software (slideshows);

Database: the database software;

Math: the mathematical processing software (a kind of fusion between Writer and Calc);

Draw: the vector drawing software.

They are therefore basic software, available free of charge to any user. As I write these lines, a community of users has been created to develop a version derived from OpenOffice.org, which they have made completely free and open source. This suite is LibreOffice and this community is the Document Foundation! 🙂

Now let’s move on to Apple’s highly professional office software suite.

iWork

It is not well known to Windows and Linux users for the simple reason that it is not compatible with these two OSes.

This software package includes the basic applications of office automation. Let’s have a look at that:

Pages: the word processing software;

Numbers: the data processing software;

Keynote: the multimedia presentation software (slideshows);

This office suite, exclusively for Macs, is powerful. In fact, underneath these expensive basics, iWork hides a real potential: if you take OpenOffice.org as an example, you can see that this suite has twice as much software as Apple’s suite. However, the American firm is killing two birds with one stone and instead of offering simple functionalities distributed in a multitude of software, it groups them into three big ones. Just know that, like Microsoft Office, iWork is not free: it costs $79. It is currently in version 09, but we can probably expect a version 10 for the year 2011.

I’m told that it’s also possible to buy Pages, Numbers and Keynote separately on the Mac App Store (the application catalog available for Macs under OS X 10.6 version minimum released in August 2009) at a unit price of 15.99 € (or the complete iWork suite at 47.97 €).

There are probably other office suites but they are the three largest and best known in the field of office automation.

Installation

Now let’s talk about the installation process. The installation process is very simple, and fast.

Once you have clicked on the installer file, you come to a window like this one:

First step: entering the key

For this first step, you must enter the product key. This is the key you purchased in the license. It is essential to continue the installation of the suite.

After a second step concerning the acceptance of the terms of the contract, we move on to the third step, which is as follows:

User image

Third step: choice of the type of installation

Here, you must choose the type of installation:

If you click on “Install Now”, you will go directly to the standard installation;

If you click on “Customize”, you will be able to configure some options on the different software installed in the package, as well as on your user name and initials. For the latter, you can configure them later, the next time you use one of the software in the suite. In short, it is not at all definitive.

If I can give you a tip, it’s good to click directly on “Install Now”, especially if this is the first time you’re installing Office.

And finally, key to success, the last step… the installation of the suite!

And then what? It’s up to you to access all the software in your Office edition! You can then really start the tutorial and manipulations of Word documents.

Start-up

We will take a short guided tour of the software interface here.

The interface is what you get when you open PowerPoint. Click here to read what he said.

Start PowerPoint

To start PowerPoint, you can:

Go to the “Start” menu, then to “All Programs”, in the “Microsoft Office” folder, select “Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010”:

Interface

You have just opened PowerPoint, and you are facing a rather pleasant interface to look at.
And even better, because that’s what we’re going to work on until the end (or almost) of this course! 🙂

So here is, without further ado, the Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 interface:

User image

It is necessary to focus on a few details of this interface capture.

In the middle, there is a very large grid pattern. This is your slide being edited. We can say that this is your work area. 🙂

The ribbon

At the very top of the window, there is what is called the “ribbon”. This is one of the biggest updates of Office 2007, even better included in Office 2010: a graphically evolved ribbon, from which all the features are available (well, no, because given their number, you would need a ribbon composed of a thousand and one tabs) of the software.

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