Microsoft word excel help ! please.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by autoswan, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Hi i have used free open office for a while to do paper work related to construction business and just about got by using it for the basic things i need from it. But i need to get word excel as advised by one of the clients i do regular jobs for as they have changed the way they send forms and zip files to me to complete fill in and send back which open office is not totally compatible with it i am struggling .

    I am not that good with word type soft ware so i wondered if excel is easy to learn and use and where would be the cheapest place to buy it ? also how many computers can you load it onto and how long does it last ? do you have to pay to keep it going after a year if so how much ?

    I will ask at PC world the weekend if no luck here but i need to sort the latest work i received today asap. I looked at a few tutorials on u tube which looked good but most of it is still double dutch at the moment. I have got through some of it using open office and other programs on my old laptop here but its slow going trial n error .

    Any advice or opinions welcome, thanks Jack :)
     
  2. Wickolad

    Wickolad Funster

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  3. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    If it has to be Microsoft Office then you could use Office 365 which is an online subscription based service. Just go to the Microsoft site and it will take you through it, costs, etc.

    You could also try LibreOffice which is a free download and very compatible with Microsoft. You could try this first and if no luck with running the Excel files you need you could then sign up to Office 365.
     
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  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    I'm confused by the statement "need to get word excel" as Word and Excel are not one but two different programs which are part of MS Office (Word is the word processor and Excel is the spreadsheet, basically the same as Writer and Calc in Open Office). If you can use Writer and Calc then I wouldn't worry about learning Word and Excel.

    The first step is to find out exactly what types of files the client wants to send to/receive from you. If there is incompatibility it will probably be because there are macros embedded within the files to perform calculations. Such incompatibility will probably also extend to the likes of LibreOffice.

    There are several "offerings" of MS Office depending on how many computers you want to use it on (you need a licence for each machine). Most are still a one-off cost with no annual subscription. Depending on what was pre-loaded to your machine(s) you may find that you have a MS Office trial version which can be upgraded to a full licence.
     
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  5. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    The other thing to try is Google drive. Like the other open products it is free and generally very compatible with Microsoft formats but not completely. Just search for Google drive in a chrome browser and all will be revealed.
     
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  6. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Thanks guys n gals (y)

    As i said i`m not to clued up on all this word processing stuff so maybe i did`nt make my self as clear as i could have ? I can do basic estimating invoicing and form filling etc that i need to, using open office but only using the very basic icons in the menus that i have to, after trial and error self taught enough to get by.

    It`s just the forms format / layout ? sent to me by e mail to complete and send back have changed and i`m not familiar with the way to do the same work on them because they use excel which although i have now managed to get them open and able to fill in the boxes by messing around with open office and other things on my laptop some more by luck i think rather than knowing what i was doing ;)

    But zipped up files (pip) ? and other bits i could`nt open, so i got the guy to send it to me opened i think ? so i was able to access plans, schedules etc to print out ( new wireless printer is fun too ! :whew:) . I think i have managed to get everything opened and ready to fill and return on the next step today ? but it was a lot of time and error getting to this point so maybe just getting MS office excel ( edition ? ) would be easier and quicker ?

    I am sure its quite easy to do for those that know their stuff but being at beginner level and only having self taught the basics to get what needs doing done, i have started using u tube tuition vids to get a bit more grip on the subject and have found it not to daunting so far understanding what the icons do and basic steps in excel.

    Just need to decide if excel is the way to go ? I don`t know the difference between office 365, libre office and ms excel but i now know they are not the same at least . So ms office has everything i need in it ? student home version be good enough ? I need it to run on at least 2 computers. thanks GJH (y)
    link did`nt download Wickload but thanks for that anyway (y) i did`nt think you could get it free on line maybe free trials ? or like a film down loaded to torrent box ? I will look into it, and Google drive thanks mjltigger (y).

    Confused ? just a little less now i hope :D
    Thanks. Jack.
     
  7. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Any package with 2 licences or more will do. Be careful about working on the same Excel file on two machines though.

    Although that is possible (and a lot of people do it without really knowing what they are doing), MS Office is designed to be a single user tool and is not designed to work on networks. As a result it is not difficult for two users to start updating the same file at the same time, resulting in only one set of updates actually being applied.
     
  8. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Thanks GJH great advice there (y) It would be mainly for a laptop and an office PC that only i would use for now, so i would need 2 licenses that`s good to know . But i may get free trial and learn a bit more before spending around £100 on the full version if i can get up to speed on open office for now.
     
  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Have a look at the various tutorials you can get. I'm not near my PC but I suspect the MS Office package has tutorials built in - it is ages since I installed it and I can't remember. You will also find on-line tutorials, just check they are for the same version as the copy you have.

    As a bit of background LibreOffice is the replacement for OpenOffice which is now obsolete as I understand it. You can download LibreOffice for free.

    Zip files are a way of compressing a single file or group of files. They used to be very common but in these days of high speed broadband I am not sure they are all that useful in most circumstances. For example a photograph saved as a jpg file is already compressed. However, they can be useful as a way of bundling several separate files together so one doesn't get lost or forgotten. I suspect this may be why you have been sent one. Winzip was and might still be one of the best stand alone programs for unzipping files but if you decide to get it I strongly suggest getting a paid for version, perhaps from someone like PCWorld, if they sell it (?). You will find free versions on line but they are likely to come with issues unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

    However, my Windows 7 PC (now 10) could unzip files without any special program being installed by me so this might be an area worth investigating.

    You mention pip files. These are files to store things like personalised menus in MS Office and I can't see why you would be sent one of these unless it is part of the Excel form. If it is then this would explain why you can only open the form with Excel. If this is the case then time to put hand in pocket I'm afraid!

    You can buy Excel as a stand alone program but the Office suite with Word and PowerPoint isn't much more so I would go for them. There is a version with Access included, which is a database but that is a whole world of pain in my experience. I once did a four week course on database design and I knew less at the end of it than I did at the start. After that experience I decided I needed a brain transplant if I was ever to understand databases in any way other than at a basic level.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
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  10. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    I've used a number of MS Office versions over the years with 2007 and 2010 currently installed on various laptops \ desktops however as a "free" alternative LibreOffice, as Graham says, is probably the best known alternative.
    You may also want to look at WPS Office (Windows version) which I've used on a Linux machine - http://www.ksosoft.com/product/office-free.html
    In respect of zip files these are files which have been compressed to reduce their size to make them smaller for e-mailing, etc. Best free programme for unzipping these is 7-zip - http://www.7-zip.org/.
     
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  11. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Thanks for that (y) I have a laptop and PC on W7 vista which i`ve had since 2009. If i get MS office with word, power point ? excel student/home ? etc included version with 2 licenses for them how do i transfer the soft ware to a new laptop or PC if they break down through old age or other ? The laptop is on its 2nd battery now and its starting to go, only charging up to 45% at the moment so need 3rd new one soon i think, and there are issues with it when booting up messages boxes that say errors which keep coming back on boot up it does`nt affect things i think. once i close them it carries on starting up, also not all network adapters working or found message too ?
    Even IT computer expert ? guys who did repairs before could`nt suss out why they were popping up or get rid .

    I`ve` heard W10 is a nightmare and i got it on a laptop for my mother but i don`t like it at all even after changing it to the other one they offered months ago ! So not looking forward to having to get a new laptop unless you can still get W7 with updates for a long while yet for it ?

    Hand in pocket is no prob as i can claim it back as business expense :D i just want to ensure i get exactly what i need and understand what it can do, plus be usable on my set up and transferable to new computers i may have to get, also do i have to pay extra every year to keep them running or are there some that just keep going ?

    Thanks again :rolleyes:
     
  12. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    If you get a proper copy of Excel or whatever you can just install it as you did the first one and enter the serial number, but you may have to uninstall it first from the original computer.
     
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  13. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Thanks for those i downloaded 7-zip one first and hit save but run did`nt show after ? so do i have to do anything or will it just kick in when file to use options come up when i see and select it ?
     
  14. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Not quite. LibreOffice is a "sibling" of OpenOffice which was originally developed from OpenOffice about 5 years ago. OpenOffice is still going strong.

    I agree that it isn't worth buying Excel as a single program, you may as well pay the extra for MS Office - but not the version with Access in it as it would not be worth doing so.
     
  15. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    Thanks guys its a bit sobering feeling like a dunce of the class i`ve never experienced it before :whistle::rofl:
     
  16. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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  17. Wickolad

    Wickolad Funster

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    Have a look at this link, it may be worth your while downloading the PDF to store for easy reference. Don't take offence at the title, this range of books offer excellent tuition in various topics
    https://capdtron.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/excel-2010-all-in-one-for-dummies.pdf
     
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  18. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Not a dunce, just not had training in the subject. The vast majority of people who use office suites don't use more than a fraction of what they are capable of because they don't need to. However, when they do then, like any skill involved in using complex tools, training is the start and practice is the key.
     
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  19. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Assuming you're using a Windows 7 machine
    • download the .exe (or .msi) file and save to your Desktop - the 32bit version will install on any version of Windows 7 but 64 bit version will only install on a 64 bit machine (use 32 bit version if you're unclear on your version of Windows 7)
    • double left click this file
    • accept the UAC warning (if it displays) to install 7-Zip
    • when you receive a zip (or other type of compressed) file right click the file and a drop down box will appear
    • in this drop down box there will be an option showing 7-Zip
    • hover over this option and a further drop down box will display
    • left click Extract Files and 7-Zip will open
    • select where you want to save the extracted files to (I generally name a new folder with the name of the file plus "extract"after it)
    • once the compressed file has been extracted browse to the selected location and you'll see the files that were included in the compressed file
    • double left click the specific file you want to open and it will load using your default program for that file type, eg .xls \ .xlsx will load using Microsoft Office \ LibreOffice \ OpenOffice \ WPS \ etc depending upon what you've installed as your default
    Hope this helps but give me a shout if you need further.
     
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  20. autoswan

    autoswan Funster

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    OK ive sussed it now, using open office too ! :)
    The zip thing linked works too :), so i filled in the document and sent it back no prob and i now know how to do it quicker on open office, but i still want MS office with excel so this advice has been invaluable to get me started GJH , DBK, BWB & Mijltigger (y). I have got the WPS office loaded up too thanks GellyNeck though its only a trial version it will be interesting to see the difference with it when i work out how to use it :whistle:, Ive loaded that idiot guide book to Wickolad great stuff ;)

    So many thanks to you all . I now know who to nag next time :D
    Jack.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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