Computer Applications

Whether it's for e-mail, organizing meetings or updating spreadsheets, Northwestern employees are almost always near a computer. Keep up-to-date with the latest software and tips for mastering your machine by attending the following workshops.  

Meet Cynthia Manika, one of our computer workshop facilitatorsPDF Document . In addition to the hands-on workshops, Cynthia is available for individual and custom group coaching. To learn more, please contact Learning & Organization Development at 847-467-5081 or workplace-learning@northwestern.edu.

Meet Jessica Jacobs, our computer workshop facilitator specializing in computer applications for visual communication design PDF Document. To learn more, please contact Learning & Organization Development at 847-467-5081 or workplace-learning@northwestern.edu.

Did you know that all Northwestern staff, faculty, and students have unlimited, 24/7 access to online training for most major software and computer application topics through lynda.com at no additlogo of lynda.comional cost? Go to Northwestern’s lynda.com log in page to get started and set up your account with your NetID and NetID password. Learn more about Northwestern's partnership with lynda.com.

Please note that not all courses are offered year-round. To find the next session for your desired course, click on the "Find Upcoming Sessions" link at the end of the description. You can also view a schedule of upcoming classes in our current catalog PDF Icon or our online calendar in PlanIt Purple.

HRD108- Access 2016: Enter/View/Find Data

This workshop is designed for those who need to use an existing database to enter and find data. Please note that this course does not cover how to create a database.

Key Points

  • Quick overview of tables, queries, forms, and reports in the Office 2016 suite environment
  • Using existing tables and forms for data entry and to view data
  • Open and use existing queries and reports
  • Using the Find and Instant Search feature
  • Creating Select Queries from scratch and Reports using the Wizard

HRD118- Access 2016: Building a Database

This two-day workshop is designed for both those who wish to create a database from scratch and to make design changes to an existing database.

Day 1 Objectives

Environment

Become comfortable in the Access environment of Tabs & Ribbons

Database Design & Relationships

  • Define a structured purpose, scope, and objectives for the database
  • Learn data-gathering techniques that enable quicker starts, clarify the types if information needed from the database, and help in naming fields, grouping them into tables, and relating tables to each other
  • Consolidate data into user friendly critical content areas
  • Understand and implement three types of table relationships (one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many) and eliminate weak relationships with a junction table
  • Apply normalization tests to evaluate the integrity of the database design

Tables

  • Create relationships between tables
  • Enforce referential integrity between tables to keep records in related fields valid and accurate; view sub-datasheets to related tables
  • Create lookup lists and set different properties of a field in the
  • Design view of a table
  • Create an input mask for data entry
  • Set validation rules and text for a field

Day 2 Objectives

Queries

  • Understand the purpose of various queries
  • Create a query from scratch and specify criteria
  • Create queries that are based on more than one table and create a calculated field
  • Use queries to summarized data from tables

Forms and Reports

  • Create forms & reports using the wizards and modify those forms with styles
  • Reorganize the form layout by moving fields to change the order in which they appear on the form
  • Modify properties to define an object's appearance, behavior, and characteristics
  • Customize headers and footers to prepare for printing

HRD252- Dreamweaver

This workshop introduces the fundamentals of creating and maintaining a web page with Macromedia Dreamweaver, a tool requiring no programming knowledge. Participants examine the three main steps in the web publishing process: plan content and design; create a web site; and transfer files to the web.

Special Note: All Dreamweaver classes are held in a Windows lab. However, the concepts are platform independent. Mac users are encouraged to sign up as long as they are comfortable working in a Windows environment or would like to bring their own Mac laptop.

Key Points

  • Become familiar with basic HTML and Internet concepts
  • Plan and define a site
  • Create, save, edit, and set properties for documents
  • Build a table structure for text and image placement
  • Add, delete, format, and import text and images
  • Create basic CSS styles
  • Add hyperlinks, named anchors, and e-mail links to text and graphics
  • Discuss maintaining a site with updates, deletions, and other modifications

HRD271- Dreamweaver: Newsletters

This workshop will teach you how to use Dreamweaver to write the HTML needed to create email newsletters. Learn how to incorporate links and images and how it differs from creating a web page.

Prerequisite: HRD252: Dreamweaver or equivalent experience/skills. If you have not completed HRD252: Dreamweaver, please contact the Learning & Organization Development team to verify equivalent experience/skills.

Key Points

  • Create pages with tables with layouts
  • Insert images with an absolute reference
  • Insert links
  • Preview in browser

HRD161- Excel 2016: Beyond the Basics

This full-day workshop is ideal for self-taught users of Microsoft Excel who would like to fill in the gaps in their know-how as well as learn time-saving tips and tricks. Techniques to produce reliable Excel workbooks are covered, including how to display, format, edit existing worksheets and develop new ones plus how to make the most of Excel by creating formulas to analyze data quickly. 

Key Points

  • Quick tour of the Excel environment
  • Enter and edit labels, values, and formulas in a worksheet
  • Use Autofil to quickly fill in predefined labels and to copy text, numbers and formulas
  • Move and copy data, insert and delete ranges, and work with relative and absolute references when creating and copying formulas
  • Understand function syntax and use functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, and COUNT to perform calculations in a worksheet
  • Format text, numbers, rows, and columns in a worksheet to make them more prominent and easier to read
  • Preview, control Page Setup options for, and print worksheets and set and clear a print area
  • Try the new SmartArt

HRD189- Excel 2016: Sorting, Filtering, Subtotals, Pivot Tables

This workshop provides the techniques for mastering some of Microsoft Excel's data-management and analysis features. Participants learn to create a list in Excel to keep track of related data. After a list is created, it is easy to find, organize, and analyze its information with Excel's rich set of list-management features. Feel free to bring your own files to practice with.

Prerequisite: Excel 2016: Beyond the Basics or equivalent experience/skills. If you have not completed Excel 2016: Beyond the Basics, please contact the Learning & Organization Development team to verify equivalent experience/skills.

Key Points

  • Create a structured list to maximize current and future data productivity
  • Format as a Table - new list capabilities
  • Sort a list using several techniques
  • Add subtotals to worksheets without writing any formulas
  • Use the AutoFilter to display only the records that meet one's criteria
  • Examine the new filtering options for Dates and Numbers
  • Create a powerful and flexible custom filter
  • Create Pivot tables and Pivot Charts to summarize a data list
  • Protect a workbook by enabling a password and locking cells to prevent unauthorized changes

HRD179- Excel 2016: Charts and Dashboards

This workshop provides the techniques needed for mastering Excel's charting capabilities and working with multiple workbooks to illustrate data, relationships, and trends. Participants learn to quickly transform hard-to-read numbers from a table or spreadsheet into professional-looking charts, to update several worksheets at once using 3-D formulas, and to effectively manage large workbooks with multiple worksheets.

Prerequisite: Excel 2016: Beyond the Basics or equivalent experience/skills. If you have not completed Excel 2016: Beyond the Basics, please contact the Learning & Organization Development team to verify equivalent experience/skills.

Key Points

  • Create different types of charts
  • Format charts with themes and styles
  • Add titles, gridlines, annotations, and a data table to a chart
  • Work with a 3-D chart
  • Change viewing options, hide and display data, and print large worksheets
  • Insert, delete, rename, move, and copy multiple worksheets
  • Summarize data from different worksheets using the Consolidate command
  • Use 3-D formulas and external links to perform calculations on data from multiple worksheets and workbooks

HRD217- Illustrator

This course explores the core features and functions of Illustrator. You will learn how to create and edit different types of graphics elements to print or export for use in other applications. Feel free to bring a project idea to work towards in class. Proficient level of computer skills required.

Key Points

  • Explore the Illustrator environment and customize your workspace
  • Use the pencil and shape tools with formatting options
  • Use the pen tool and path options
  • Explore stroke and fill options
  • Apply basic brushes to paths
  • Add, format and edit text
  • Learn about layers and grouping objects
  • Explore save and export options to use in other types of applications
  • Projects in class:
    • Create a logo
    • Create an ad/postcard
    • Create a flyer

HRD228-Communicating in InDesign

This course will explore the core features and functions of InDesign while working on “real world” documents. You will learn how to choose, create and edit different types of publications. You will arrange text and graphics, work with master pages, flow text across text boxes, and prepare publications for printing.

You will also learn about design fundamentals including composition, typography and color theory in order to create effective communication materials.

Key Course Activities:

  • Explore the InDesign environment
  • Create a flyer and brochure
  • Understand how to choose type, colors, and images
  • Position and modify objects
  • Work with text boxes & text linking
  • Insert and modify graphics
  • Work with master pages, guides, and grids
  • Utilize InDesign templates
  • Modify document in response to design feedback
  • Export documents for print and web

HRD229-Creating Complex Documents in InDesign

This course will explore advanced features and functions of InDesign and pick up where the HRD228 course ended. You will learn how to work with large publications involving multiple masters, page numbering, and table of contents. We will work with a newsletter project and a book project during class.

This course also builds on the design fundamentals covered in HRD208. You will learn strategies for choosing and modifying typography, working with images, and creating visual hierarchies. You will also learn how to assess the best document type for your project.

Prerequisite: HRD228: Communicating in InDesign or equivalent experience/skills. If you have not completedHRD228: Communicating in Indesign please contact the Learning & Organization Development team to verify equivalent experience/skills.

Key Course Activities:

  • Create a newsletter and book
  • Work with multiple master pages
  • Utilize character, paragraph, and object styles
  • Explore text frame options including threaded frames
  • Create tables for better communication
  • Insert page numbers
  • Generate a table of contents
  • Work with hyperlinks and HTML features
  • Understand document preparation for printing
  • Employ grids to create effective design
  • Explore typography, imagery and color to create more effective communication

HRD241- Capturing, Editing & Optimizing Images in Photoshop

This workshop explains how to use Photoshop to capture, edit, and optimize images. You will learn about image capture options including digital, scanned, and sourced images. You will make adjustments to images such as contrast and color correction. You will also learn how to save images in formats that are widely used in printing and web-based environments.

In addition, participants will learn design fundamentals and understand qualities of an effective image for communication.

Prerequisite: Intermediate computer skills. 

Key Course Activities:

  • Explore the Photoshop environment
  • Resize and crop images
  • Optimize and adjust resolution
  • Use selection techniques to change specific parts of an image
  • Darken, lighten, clean up, and adjust color in photos
  • Work with layers and flatten images
  • Create a composite image for image maps or flyers
  • Explore filters for artistic effect

HRD242-Layering & Transforming Images in Photoshop

This course will explore advanced features and functions of Photoshop and picks up where the HRD211 course ended. This workshop explains how to use additional Photoshop commands to alter images and manipulate layers for dramatic effects. You will learn how to work with layer effects, adjustment layers, masks and brushes.

This course also builds on the design fundamentals covered in HRD211. You will learn strategies for addressing common problems in photographs as well as how to use light and color to create effective communication. You will also learn how to assess the best image type for your project.

Prerequisite: HRD241 or equivalent experience/skills. If you have not completed HRD241, please contact the Learning & Organization Development team to verify equivalent experience/skills.

Key Course Activities

  • Create composite images using layers and layer effects
  • Repair images with problem areas
  • Understand which tools to use to save time and improve workflow
  • Study best choices for images based on communication needs
  • Use blending modes for dramatic effect
  • Use masks and adjustment layers to create changes that can be modified later
  • Use patch and fill tools to improve images
  • Work with paths to create better selections
  • Create unique textures by using multiple images, swatches and blending
  • Optimize workflow
  • Examine techniques for dealing with resolution and file type issues
  • Connect Photoshop to other Adobe products such as Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom and Bridge

HRD368-Creating Effective Presentations in PowerPoint

This workshop provides the techniques to turn ideas into professional presentations. Learn the foundations and technical aspects of Microsoft PowerPoint to create effective electronic slideshows. You will create two different presentations in class.

You will also learn about design fundamentals including composition, typography and color theory in order to create dynamic presentations. Branding and data visualization will be addressed.

Key Course Activities:

  • Create two presentations for different audiences
  • Learn elements of a good presentation
  • Employ design fundamentals to create appealing visuals
  • Create and manipulate slides
  • Utilize different slide types depending on information
  • Work in various slide views
  • Format text and backgrounds
  • Insert images, create charts, diagrams, SmartArt, and tables
  • Utilize slide masters for better workflow and creating consistent branded materials
  • Customize themes to create unique, consistent designs
  • Export presentation in different file types and sizes

HRD477-Creating Complex, Dynamic PowerPoint Presentations

This course will explore advanced features and functions of Photoshop and picks up where the HRD366 course ended. PowerPoint can be used for much more than functioning as visual documents for stand-up presentations. You will learn how best to convey your messages depending on the audience and location, focusing on streamlining messages for impact without losing important information. You will also learn how to take a presentation and create audience handouts and instructor manual.

This course also builds on the design fundamentals covered in HRD466.

You will learn strategies for choosing and modifying typography, working with images, and creating visual hierarchies.

Prerequisite: HRD368:Creating Effective Presentations in PowerPoint or equivalent experience/skills. If you have not completed HRD368:Creating Effective Presentations in PowerPoint please contact the Learning & Organization Development team to verify equivalent experience/skills.

Key Points

  • Create a complex, dynamic presentation
  • Learn the elements of a successful presentation
  • Create a branded template that can be shared with others
  • Build a high-resolution presentation
  • Create custom animations with motion paths
  • Edit existing and create new slide masters
  • Use multiple masters for a long presentation or course
  • Learn how to use PowerPoint on a stand-alone kiosk or to create a course for the classroom
  • Create custom layouts and templates to use in the future with your customs theme
  • Create different handout types and instructor's coordinating manual
  • Insert multimedia
  • Understand technical challenges when exporting presentations

HRD235- SharePoint

This class is designed for those new to SharePoint. In this workshop, participants will explore basic navigation and learn how to add new information to SharePoint in a training environment (not live, departmental sites).

Key Points

  • Navigate the SharePoint environment
  • Post an announcement to an existing page
  • Upload files to an existing page
  • Learn how to create a Sub Site
  • Change Site Theme
  • Create a Picture Library and add images
  • Create a Document Library and  add files
  • Create a Link Library and post links
  • Create a Discussion Board

HRD233- Visio 2016

In this course you will learn the fundamentals of working with the most common applications of Visio 2016. You will create five types of diagrams: a direction map, workflow chart, cross-functional flowchart, an organization chart and a floor plan. By using multitudes of templates and stencils, you will get a broad understand of creating graphics or drawing in this powerful, yet user-friendly application. Feel free to bring a project to work on in class.

Key Points

  • Explore the various templates available for creating a Visio document
  • Navigate in a Visio document and explore the Visio environment
  • Drag shapes from Visio stencils, then resize, rotate, align and transform them
  • Create a direction map
  • Create a flowchart and cross-functions flowchart
  • Create an organization chart
  • Create an office floor plan to scale
  • Saving and printing your drawings