42 Tips to Empower Your Office Users

Reduce Help desk calls with tips from experts in Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access

One of my favorite things about being an editor for Windows IT Pro is the conversations I have with you, our readers. I learn a lot about your jobs as IT professionals. I hear about your day-to-day responsibilities and the pain points that crop up as you keep your company's and your customers' computing environments running smoothly.

One recurring theme I hear is frustration with the end-user calls that clog the Help desk. And I heard this again the other day when I was talking with a reader I'll call Tom. Tom is the IT department for a company of 110 users. He's the networking expert, the IT architect, and the Help desk technician. He said that calls to the Help desk bog him down the most. He tires of end users asking how to perform a simple function in Microsoft Excel or how to format a Microsoft Word document when he's trying to optimize network performance or ensure that file server backups are occurring as scheduled. He asked, "Can you do an article about dealing with users who don't want to learn? I'd like to know how other IT pros handle their users."

Needless to say, I was pleased to tell Tom that this cover story on Office tips was already in the works. We decided to tackle this topic after Windows IT Pro Editorial and Strategy Director Karen Forster conducted a reader survey. When Karen asked, "What is your biggest concern with supporting Office?" many readers responded that training users is a primary issue. We hope that you'll use this set of tips from our experts as an aid in training your end users to be more efficient and more productive with the tools on their desktops.And we hope that these tips will gain you a small respite from all those Help desk calls. Be sure to also check out Michael Otey's Web-exclusive sidebar about Office 2007, "Office 2007: A First Look," http://www.windowsitpro.com, InstantDoc ID 49948, which provides a glimpse into the computing power you and your end users can look forward to. For ongoing conversations and tips, join our new Office Tips forum at www.windowsitpro.com/forums.

To read these Office tips, click on the accompanying sidebars at the top of the Web page.

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