General Purpose Software

Main Topics of Study:

A. Spreadsheet

  • Layout of a spreadsheet screen. Help features. Loading/saving models.
  • Cell formatting. Font/size. Alignment. Column width, Row height. Boxing grouped cells. Moving/copying/deleting cell(s).
  • Data types including NUMBER, TEXT, CURRENCY, SCIENTIFIC, DATE, TIME
  • Data formatting – decimal places. Alignment. Date/time options.
  • Formulae. Cell addresses. Absolute and Relative addressing. Replicating a formula to a block of cells.
  • Functions:
    a. Number: SUM, COUNT, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, INT, ROUND, RANDOM, SQRT, ODD, SIN, COS, TAN, POWER.
    b. Text: CHAR, VALUE, TRIM, RIGHT, LEFT, UPPER, LOWER.
    c. Decision: IF, AND, OR, NOT
    Nesting functions within functions.
  • Lookup tables and their use.
  • Design and construct spreadsheet models for a given problem. Layout design.
  • Print data, Print formulae adjusting column widths as necessary. Print with/without grid lines. Print with/without row/column labels. Fitting to a page.
  • Charts. Pie chart, histogram, bar chart, line graph. Customising output.
  • “What-if” models for the determinations of best results. Practical use in business.
  • Exporting/Importing data to/from other packages.

B. Word Processing

  • Layout of a word processing screen. Help. Loading/Saving documents. Multiple documents.
  • Document formatting. Margins. Alignment. Indentation. Bullet points. Page breaks.
  • Font/font size. Varying fonts/size to add effect to a document. Bold/Italics/Underline.
  • The concept of hidden embedded control characters to format. e.g. underlining.
  • Block editing. Copy/Cut blocks of text. Tabs. Changing case.
  • Search and replace in lengthy documents. Use of previous documents to create an updated version such as a newsletter, catalogue.
  • Spell check and the options IT offers. Grammar checking. Limitations of both. AutoCorrect.
  • Creating a table.
  • Mail merge. Realistic business examples of its use.
  • Quick entry of commonly use/local words/phrases using a few keys. Macros.
  • Final checks on a document. Print preview.
  • Printing. Sections or entire document. Choosing quality of print. Multiple copies.
  • Columns – newspaper style. Choosing column options.
  • Inclusion of clip art. Artistic lettering. Exporting/Importing data to/from other packages.

C. Database

  • Concept of a database as a single system with multiple users and uses.
  • Relational databases and their advantages – single entry, consistency, integrity, redundancy, Independence of data and programs.
  • Concept of normalisation of data.
  • Creation of a database. Defining the data structure. Tables/columns.
  • Key fields. Primary key. Secondary key. Foreign key.
  • Data modelling. E-R diagrams.
  • Entering data. Editing data. Searches/enquiries. SQL. Basic SQL statements – SELECT…FROM…WHERE, CREATE TABLE…, INSERT INTO…
  • Report generation. Customisation of reports. Ordering. Column totalling.
  • Printing reports.

D. Graphics and Presentation Packages

  • Means of producing graphics – limited drawing in word processing, charts in spreadsheets to drawing packages and commercial CAD packages.
  • Typical uses of packages by industrial/commercial users.
  • Layout of a graphics package screen. Help features.
  • Main features. Line drawing. Line selection. Boxes. Shapes. Text. Libraries of objects.
  • Manipulating the drawing features. Moving, extending, copying, rotating, hatching.
  • 3-D effects. A drawing as a series of levels.
  • Dimensioning.
  • Printing. Saving/Loading.
  • Presentation package (eg PowerPoint) as a combination of text/graphics.
  • Features of a presentation package. Creating slides and a slide show. Customising to house style.

E. Operating Systems

  • Purposes of an operating system. GUI operating systems. Comparison between GUI and command control.
  • General features of operating systems – folders, files. Types of files for program, data, text, email, pictures etc.
  • File manipulation – copying, moving, deleting, printing.
  • Batch files.
  • Customising the desktop.
  • Installing and customising software packages.