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

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

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 at no additlogo of lynda.comional cost? Go to Northwestern’s log in page to get started and set up your account with your NetID and NetID password. Learn more about Northwestern's partnership with

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

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

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