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By Starshine Roshell | Friday, May 15, 2015

Escaped from the Call Center—with our Excel Tutorials

2015_05_15_CallCenter

Lauren Kleist spent 11 years working in credit and collections for a Pittsburgh utility company.

“I’ve been trying to get out of the call center forever. Everybody wants out of the call center,” she says. “The noise—sometimes you go home and have such a headache.”

Then a job opened up in billing. Nice, quiet billing. But in order to get the job, she would have to pass an Excel test.

“I’m an artistic, creative person, so I let Excel get the best of me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.”

But she really wanted this job, and that meant building an Excel spreadsheet in a timed exam—and scoring a 70% or better.

“I looked on YouTube for a couple of videos, but it didn’t help me,” she says.I thought, This job is mine if I pass the test …”

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, May 10, 2015

From Galloping to Gaga to lynda: A Life Learned Online

2015_05_10_PauletteHero

Paulette Perhach can do a lot of things that most people can’t.

She can carry four full dinner plates at a time. She can gallop on a horse. She can split names into two columns in Excel, craft subplots in a fictional story, and do the dance from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. She can make quail traps, tie fancy bows on presents, and produce podcasts.

And she learned it all online.

Just how did she come to acquire this eclectic set of skills? And well … why?

Having graduated college only to realize that she possessed very few useful life skills, Paulette took to the Internet to fill in the sizeable gaps.

“Before I really took control of my own education, I felt like life was always coming at me: another late bill, another bounced check, another photo from a place I wished I could travel to,” says the Seattle resident. “So I started making it a practice to educate myself for 10 minutes a day.

“And life started getting better …”

By Gini Courter | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Share Your Brand in Word, Excel & PowerPoint — with Office Themes

Use Office themes to brand your documents

Here’s some great news for business users of Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013: You have all the tools you need to apply your company brand—its unique look and feel—to documents, presentations, even spreadsheets.

Office themes are designed to enforce your branding efforts whether you’re building robust templates that support your organization’s communications, launching a fresh identity for a departmental initiative, or creating an innovative personal brand.

Many of the Office branding features are global, so the branding work you do in one Office application (for example, Word) is automatically available for use in Excel and PowerPoint.

Here’s how you can use Office themes to communicate your organization’s identity:

By Adam Wilbert | Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Buy or Rent? Office 365 Subscription vs. Office 2013

office 365 subscription or boxed tools?

The subscription model is here to stay, and that’s a good thing.

When you dig into the benefits of a subscription—and evaluate the actual costs of “buying” versus “renting” your Office software—you might be surprised at what the numbers tell you.

Here’s why I think an Office 365 subscription is an unbeatable deal.

By Curt Frye | Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Summarize Data with Conditional Functions in Excel

Excel users are often faced with spreadsheets that summarize sales data for multiple areas, such as states within the U.S. or individual countries.

Functions such as SUM or AVERAGE let you summarize your data as a whole—but it can be difficult to find the totals, averages, or counts for subsets of that data. For example, suppose you want to find the total of all sales to Canada. To do that using a standard SUM formula, you would have to identify cells that contain values for all sales to Canada and then create a formula for just those cells.

Fortunately, there’s a set of conditional functions in Excel that let you specify which values should be included in a sum, average, or count calculation. Those functions are: SUMIF, SUMIFS, AVERAGEIF, AVERAGEIFS, COUNTIF, and COUNTIFS.

Here’s how to take advantage of them:

By Curt Frye | Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Create Pivot Tables in Excel 2010

Excel workbooks let you summarize your data using a powerful set of built-in functions and features such as sorting and filtering.

That said, basic worksheets are static and make rearranging data difficult. Fortunately, there’s a way to avoid all that cutting and pasting: Pivot Tables.

You can learn everything you’d ever want to know from my lynda.com courses Excel 2007: PivotTables for Data AnalysisExcel 2010: PivotTables in Depthand Excel 2013: PivotTables in Depth.

But here’s a quick-start guide for you:

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, January 04, 2015

Fitness Resolution for 2015? Learn While You Burn!

fitness resolution

It’s a fact. New year’s resolutions fall into two categories: want to and have to.

We want to do fun things like create stuff, tackle projects, pursue our interests, and master new toys. But we have to make time for the basics—like exercise.

The clever lynda.com fans you’re about to meet have all found a way to combine those two things: to check off the unavoidable have to of exercise while indulging in the gratifying want to of learning.

And some of them have even lost weight doing it.

By Starshine Roshell | Friday, December 26, 2014

He Helps Fight Hunger in Rwanda. And lynda.com Helps Him.

2013-10-Sudan-Darfur-IDPCampVisit

At a time of year when many of us are filling our homes and our bellies with an abundance of delicious treats, Jules Rugwiro is fighting hunger in Rwanda.

Jules is a database manager with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency that addresses hunger.

“The work that we do includes providing food and/or cash for refugees, responding to emergencies, feeding school children, and connecting farmers to markets,” says Jules, a Rwandan who lives and works in Kigali, the nation’s capitol. “I collect information on whether food is available and accessible, and how it’s utilized by people in different parts of the country. Once we have this information, we identify who the vulnerable people are (i.e. those who are ‘food insecure’), where they live, how insecure they are, and why they are insecure. WFP bases its interventions on these results.

“If my job is not done properly, the most vulnerable people would not be identified and thus not assisted.”

How does he make sure his job is done properly?

“I learned most of my programming and database management skills through self-study and the material available on lynda.com,” says Jules, who studied information technology in school.

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