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Learn Microsoft Access 2013 with this comprehensive course from TeachUcomp, Inc. Mastering Access Made Easy features 112 video lessons with over 6 hours of introductory through advanced instruction. Watch, listen and learn as your expert instructor guides you through each lesson step-by-step. During this media-rich learning experience, you will see each function performed just as if your instructor were there with you. Reinforce your learning with the text of our three printable classroom instruction manuals (Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced), additional images and practice exercises. You will learn all about relational databases, advanced queries, creating forms, reporting, macros and much more.
Whether you are completely new to Access or upgrading from an older version, this course will empower you with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a proficient user. We have incorporated years of classroom training experience and teaching techniques to develop an easy-to-use course that you can customize to meet your personal learning needs. Simply launch a video lesson or open one of the manuals and you’re on your way to mastering Access. This course includes bonus lessons for versions prior to 2013, making an upgrade from earlier versions a breeze!
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|Section 1: Getting Acquainted with Access|
|When Access opens, it displays a window which allows you to create a new database file that will contain either a desktop database or web-based app. A new Access database file is a container that will hold all of the tables, view definitions, forms, reports, queries, macros, and modules required by the desktop database or web-based app. Within Access, a desktop database is simply a database that is intended to be used on a single computer or within a local network. Learn this and more during this lecture.
|A new database is a container that will hold all of the tables, form, reports, queries, macros, and modules that you create. In Access 2010, you can create a new, blank database by clicking the “File” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “New” command. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In Access, you are manipulating a contained collection of smaller objects within the database file. Although the terms “database” and “table” are often used interchangeably, in Access you should refer to the entire collection of tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules as the “database” and only refer to tables as “tables” for clarity’s sake. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Within the Access interface, unlike many other Microsoft applications, you have three different areas in which you will perform tasks: the “Application Window,” which is the outer frame of the program that contains the Ribbon, which is used to execute commands; the “Navigation Pane,” which displays all of the various objects in the database; and the “Tabbed Documents” area where you create, display, and edit database objects in their own separate, tabbed windows. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Because of the increased use of tablets, Access 2013 has been redesigned with a new mode to allow for easier access to the buttons and other commands within the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar. This mode is called touch mode. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|As mentioned earlier, a database is really the entire collection of tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules. In Access, you can only work with one database file at a time. Every time you open a database file in Access, its contents will appear in its own Navigation Pane. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|To re-open a database you have already created and saved, first launch Access 2013. In the listing at the side of the initial window you can simply click on the name of the recently opened database that you wish to reopen shown under the “Recent” section. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|To re-open a database you have already created and saved, first launch Access. Then click the “Recent” category at the left side of the application. In the listing at the side of the initial window you can simply click on the name of the recently opened database that you wish to reopen. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 2: Creating Relational Database Tables|
|Access is a relational database application. So what does the term relational mean, and how is this important? The term relational describes the method used for storing data within the database tables. However, it may be easier to understand the relational model of data storage by contrasting it with another method of storage that you may be more familiar with: the ‘flat-file’ method. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|The relational model of data storage allows you to more easily and effectively model a complex entity or subject, like sales. The relational model of data storage eliminates redundant data entry and also creates less data to store, making the relational database model smaller and faster than the ‘flat-file.’ Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|While there are no “hard and fast” rules about creating relational database tables, there are a few tips that you should try to follow when beginning database design. First, examine all current documentation used to collect and store the information that you now want to store in the new database. This step ensures that when you are creating your data tables and performing your data modeling, you won’t leave out a critical part of your database. Doing that often leads to frustrating periods of re-design. Also, consider what the database will need to contain in terms of the forms and reports that you need to design. Also consider the need of the users who will want to run these reports and perform data entry in the forms. You should gather information from those users who need to use the database that you create. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Tables are so commonly thought of when one speaks of a database that the terms are practically interchangeable. A table is an organized structure that holds information. It consists of “fields” of information into which you enter your “records.” A field is a single column within a table, consisting of one category of information. A record is a collection of related data fields that describe a single item contained in a row within a table. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In Access, you should assign a primary key to each table that you create. A primary key is simply a field or group of fields that acts as a unique identifier for each record in the table. So you should use a field or group of fields that will always contain a unique value as your primary key. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 3: Using Tables|
|While you can create a table in “datasheet view,” it is not recommended. It is a poor place to design tables due to its lack of control over the data types assigned to the fields, and its complete inability to change the properties of fields. If you do decide to create a table in datasheet view, you should certainly view the table in “design view” at some point to ensure that it is correctly constructed. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|When you are in datasheet view, you can move from left to right through the rows by pressing either the “Tab” or “Enter” keys on your keyboard. You can move from right to left by pressing “Shift”+“Tab” on your keyboard. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to traverse the records, if you like. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In datasheet view, you will see a blank row that shows an asterisk (*) in the row selector box at its left end. That is the “New Record” row. When you enter a new record into the table, it is added to the bottom of the table in the “New Record” row. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|To edit a record in datasheet view, simply click into the desired field of the record that you want to edit to place the insertion point into the field. Once the insertion point is within the field, you can edit the field information just as you would in a text document. To save the changes, just exit the cell. Changes to the data in a table are automatically saved after you make them. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Once you have created your tables, you may need to modify their structures at a later point in time. You should make the changes in the table’s design view. Another way to open a table in design view is to simply select the name of the table into which you want to insert a new field within the Navigation Pane. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|With Access, you do have the flexibility to rename fields that you have already created. You should be extremely careful when you do this, as any changes that you make to field names are not necessarily updated in all of the related reports, forms, or queries that were previously created and therefore referred to the “old” field names. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can also delete table fields that you do not use. Once again, just as when changing a field name, make sure that there aren’t any queries, forms, reports or macros that make reference to the field or use data contained within the field before you delete it. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 4: Field Properties|
|You can set the properties of the table fields that you create in the design view of the table. When you open tables in design view, you name the fields and assign them a data type using the top half of the screen which is called the table design grid. Below that, in the “Field Properties” section, you set the properties of the field that is currently selected in the table design grid on the two tabs labeled “General” and “Lookup.” Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can use the “Field Size” property of a text field to set the number that you type as the maximum allowable number of characters in the selected field. This can be useful in restricting the amount of data that can be entered into the field. Access allows up to 255 characters in a text field, and also assigns that as the default field size. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can set the “Format” property for date/time fields to change the way that they will display dates and times in the table in datasheet view. The following settings are available for the “Format” property when you have a date/time field selected in Access. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can set the “Format” property for logical fields to change the way that they will display in forms and reports. The following formats are available for logical fields in Access. To set this property, simply select the logical field in the table design grid. Then click into the “Format” property in the field properties section and select a choice from the drop-down menu available. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can set the “Default Value” property to specify a value that the field should contain when it is created with new records. For example, you may have a “Yes/No” field for which you want to set a default value of “No.” The value that you set can be a number, a text value, a date, or even some sort of calculated expression. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can set up input masks to dictate a pattern used for data entry in selected fields. Access provides an easy step-by-step routine called the “Input Mask Wizard” that helps you to apply input masks to selected “text” and “date/time” fields. Learn this and more during this lecture.
|You use the “Validation Rule” and “Validation Text” properties in tandem. Setting the “Validation Rule” property allows to use the “Expression Builder” dialog box to create a specific condition that will only allow data entry that meets the specified condition into the field. Learn this and more during this lecture.
|You can also set the “Required” property for a selected field to either “Yes” or “No” to either require entry into the field, or not. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can set the “Allow Zero Length” property for a selected field to either “Yes” or “No” to either require the data entry in the field to be of a length greater than zero (basically, no “Spacebar” values), or not. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 5: Joining Tables|
|As you create tables in Access, you will want to be able to relate the tables so that you will be able to access information from them through their “shared” or “common” fields by which they are joined. In Access, you create relationships between tables in the “Relationships” window. You can access this window by clicking the “Relationships” button in the “Relationships” group (“Show/Hide” group in 2007) on the “Database Tools” tab in the Ribbon. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|As you create the appropriate relationships between the tables in your database, you will need to set the properties of the table joins to ensure that they are set up as you would like. The main join property that you will need to set is the “Referential Integrity” of the join. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Access can also create “lookup” fields within a table that can lookup the values in another table, query, or hand-typed list from which it will draw its values. If the field is looking up data from another table (versus a query or list), it will automatically create an additional join between the two tables which you will see in the Relationships window. Don’t panic if you see these appearing in the relationships window. These types of joins are simply needed for the purpose of the lookup field. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 6: Indexing Tables|
|When you create an index for a table, you define a way that the data in the table may be sorted, using the fields that are available. Indexing a table is simply a way of organizing the data in the table to allow Access to complete query searches and sorting more rapidly. Indexing can help speed up the time that it takes to complete queries in Access, given a few criteria are met first. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|When you are creating indexes, you want to try and use field values that will identify each record in your table as uniquely as possible. If you are a good database designer, there will already be a single field in your table that already does this: your primary key field. However, you can create additional indexes on other fields to use in queries for faster query processing. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|If you have indexes in a table that you wish to delete, you can easily do so. Open up the table that contains the indexes that you would like to delete in table design view. Next, click the “Indexes” button in the “Show/Hide” group on the “Design” tab of the “Table Tools” contextual tab to view the “Indexes” dialog box. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 7: Queries|
|You use a query to answer a question that you have about the information stored in the database tables. You can then further analyze the results that the queries pull to produce even more information than the query itself displays. Reports are often based on query results, upon which they then can perform additional mathematical and statistical calculations. Queries are also an excellent way to show information from related tables in a single result set, as the results that you pull from queries aren’t limited to a single table. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|To make a query in design view, click the “Query Design” button in the “Queries” group (“Other” group in 2007) on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon to create a new query in the query design view. The first thing you will see is the “Show Table” dialog box appear over the query design view. Just as with the “Relationships” window which you used earlier, here you will have to add the table or tables that you need for the query into the query design view. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|When you add multiple tables to a query in the query design view, the joins that you have established between tables within the “Relationships” window appear in the query, allowing you to access information from any related tables. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In Access, when you want to display records from a table based on the values within a selected query field, you need to enter a “criteria” for record selection. For example, say that you wanted to create a query that would show the names of all of your customers located in specific city, like “East Lansing.” Learn this and more during this lecture.|
When you are in query design view, you can run the query to view the result set by simply clicking the “Run” button in the “Results” group on the “Design” tab of the “Query Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. If the results aren’t what you expected, you may need to re-design the query structure. Learn this and more during this lecture.
|In Access, when you are visually creating the query in the query design view, what you are really doing is visually constructing SQL code. SQL stands for “Structured Query Language,” and it is a multi-platform language used to access and retrieve data within many different database programs. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can sort the results of a query by any field displayed within the QBE grid when the query is viewed in design view. To set the sorting in design view, just select the field in the QBE Grid by which you would like to sort the result set, and click into that field’s “Sort:” row. You can use the drop-down to select either “Ascending” or “Descending” order. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Sometimes when you are creating queries, you need to add a field to the QBE grid for criteria purposes only, and don’t particularly want the field itself to be displayed in the result set. Having additional fields to display in the result set can slow down query performance. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can use comparison criteria in the QBE section of the query design view in order to search for criteria values that are not necessarily “equal to” a value. By using comparison operators, Access can expand its repertoire of query criteria to pull records that are “greater than” or “less than” a specified criteria value, for example. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Next you will look at filtering the result set of a query by using multiple field criteria. Most often when you have multiple criteria in a query, you will either want the query to show records that match both “value X” AND “value Y” in different fields, or show records that contain “value X” OR “value Y” within the same or different fields. It’s unusual to use an AND condition within a single field, but it isn’t unheard of either. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 8: Advanced Queries|
|You can use the “BETWEEN…AND” condition to look for values within a field that are between and inclusive of “Value X” and “Value Y,” as specified. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can also use “wildcard characters” to add an additional level of flexibility to your queries. Wildcard characters represent unknown values. There are two main wildcard characters that you need to know: the asterisk “*” and the question mark “?.” The asterisk represents multiple unknown characters. For example, the criteria “N*” would find all “N” words like “Nebraska,” “Ned,” “Not,” “Never Ever,” etc. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can create calculated fields in queries. A calculated field is a field that is derived by performing some type of function upon values gathered from other table fields, or entered by hand. The data is displayed only for the duration of the query, and is not actually stored in the tables. They can perform almost any function and can use any available query field or data entered by hand as the basis for their calculations. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can also create “Top Value” queries that will return the top or bottom results of a query, instead of all results. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can create summary queries that can perform a mathematical function on another grouped field in a query. These are usually shorter queries often used for reporting. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can also create parameters in your query criteria that will prompt you to enter in the value which will then be used as the query criteria value for the query before returning the result set. This is tremendously helpful, as it prevents many hours of editing and changing query criteria. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 9: Advanced Query Types|
|Have you ever run a query and wished that you could save the result set of the query as a permanent table? In Access, that is exactly what the “Make Table” queries do. A “Make Table” query creates a new table as the output of a query, instead of simply displaying a query result set. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|If you want to make large-scale updates to the data in your Access tables based on a specified criteria, you can create “Update” queries to update selected field values based on whether or not the record matches a specified criteria. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can use append queries as a way of “copying and pasting” records from one table to another table, based on whether or not the records match a specified criteria. You can only append data from table fields to other table fields that share the same (or a compatible) “data type.” So, for example, you may append a “number” field into another “number” field. However, you cannot append a “number” field into a “text” field. The more similar the two fields are, the easier it will be for you to append the data. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can use a delete query to delete records in a table based on specified criteria. Deleting unnecessary records will speed up the performance of queries, reduce redundancies, and make for more smoothly operating databases. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can create crosstab queries to answer questions about how field data within a single table relates to each other. Crosstab queries display one table field down the left side of the result table, and another table field across the top of the table. In the intersecting cells, you will see data about how the two fields are related via a third field. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can use the “Find Duplicates” query to find duplicate records within a table. To create a find duplicates query, click the “Query Wizard” button in the “Queries” group (“Other” group in 2007) on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. In the “New Query” dialog box, select the “Find Duplicates Query Wizard” and then click “OK.” Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In a relational database, you aren’t supposed to have records in a “child,” or related, table which have no reference to a related record in a “parent” table. For example, in a “Sales” table that contains a “CustomerID” field, any reference placed into the “CustomerID” field should correspond to a valid “CustomerID” in the “Customers” table. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 10: Creating Forms|
|Forms can have different functions within an Access database. You can use forms to create Navigation Forms in Access, where users can click buttons that perform different actions- such as opening other forms and reports. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|A simple way to create basic data entry forms is to use the “Form Wizard” provided by Access. If using Access 2013 or 2010, you can start the “Form Wizard” by clicking the “Form Wizard” button located on the “Create” tab in the “Forms” group within the Ribbon. If using Access 2007, you can start the “Form Wizard” by clicking the “More Forms” button in the “Forms” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon and then selecting the “Form Wizard” command from the button’s drop-down menu to launch the “Form Wizard” dialog box. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|There are several ways to create a basic data entry form using the buttons in the “Forms” button group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. Starting in Access 2010, some form choices have been moved to the “More Forms” drop-down button. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Once you have created a data entry form, you can use it to edit, create, and navigate table records. Navigating within a data entry form is exactly like navigating through records in the datasheet of a table. You can use the “Tab” key on your keyboard to move through the data fields. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Once you have created a form, you can edit it. You can change the placement of the fields within the form, add or remove fields from the form, or add color to the form objects or background. In order to perform many of these tasks, you will need to switch to either the “Layout View” or the “Design View” of the form. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|While Access may seem very complex with its multiple object types and the various views of each, it does actually use the same type of “Design View” and “Layout View” for both its forms and its reports. This helps to simplify the design process for these types of objects. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|When you edit forms and reports, you are often editing the objects inside of the forms and reports known as controls. Notice that in form or report design view there is a gridline displayed that you can use to place and align the form and report controls. There is also a ruler which you can use for measurements. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|When you place controls onto a form or report in design view, you can either enable or disable the “snap to grid” feature. When enabled, this feature forces the controls to align themselves with the underlying grid on the form or report. If disabled, you have a greater flexibility in placing controls on the form or report, but may find it more difficult to align the controls. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Most forms are connected to an underlying table or query from which they display and/or update the table data. In form design view, you can access the list of fields available to the form and simply drag and drop them onto your form to quickly add data controls to the form for data entry or display. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 11: Form and Report Controls|
|When you are placing controls into forms and reports in “Design View,” you will often need to select, move, align and space the controls. In this lesson, you will look at the ways that you can accomplish these tasks. Before you can perform any of these tasks, however, you will need to be able to select the controls that you’ve placed on the form. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Once you have taken the initial step of selecting the controls, you can then delete, copy, move, align, and space them as needed within your form or report. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can move and resize selected controls in a form or report that is displayed in design view. You may want to do this if the controls aren’t large enough to display the field data, or if they are not placed into the desired area in the form. When you select controls, you will notice that seven small orange squares and one large gray or brown square appear around the orange border of the selected controls. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can also size controls to vertically fit their font display size in “Design View.” You may do this if you increase the size of the font used to display the data in a control and then wish to resize the control vertically without having to align it to the next available gridline. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You may also “nudge” selected controls to move them just a little bit, freeing them from the restrictions of the “Snap to Grid” feature. This can give you extra precision in their placement on the form or report. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In most forms you have controls that you want to align in columns or rows within your form. You may want to break the form or report up into different sections and align a smaller group of controls within a certain section. Either way, you can align selected controls easily in a form or report. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|In “Design View,” you can format the appearance of selected controls in your forms and reports. In both “Design View” and “Layout View” in Access 2013:2010, you can select controls, and then apply formatting found in the “Font,” “Number,” “Background,” and “Control Formatting” groups on the “Format” tab in the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. You can also select themed formatting for your form by choosing from the buttons shown in the “Themes” group on the “Design” tab in the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Each control you select has many individual properties whose values you can set within the “Property Sheet.” To view the properties for a selected control, select the desired control in the form or report and then click the “Property Sheet” button in the “Tools” group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab while using “Design View” to show the “Property Sheet” if needed. Each time you click this button, you turn the display of the “Property Sheet” on or off. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 12: Using Controls|
|Access gives you a button group that you can use to easily place controls of different types into your forms and reports quickly and easily when they are opened in “Design View.” This button group is the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. To add any type of control from this group, simply click the button that corresponds to the type of control you would like to insert. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Label controls add text descriptions to the forms and reports that you create. A label displays the text that you enter into it in “Design View” as a “read-only” label that appears for your users when viewing the form in “Form View.” The user does not interact with the label control. If you need an interactive text control, use the “Text Box” control, instead. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|The “Logo” control and the “Image” control both insert a selected image into your form. The only difference between the two controls is that the “Logo” is automatically resized and then placed into the “Form Header” section within the form. When you use the “Image” control, you choose the size and placement of the selected image within the form. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can use the “Line” and “Rectangle” controls to add separation to the different parts of your forms and reports. These can serve to break up the forms and reports that you create into different “sections,” if you would like. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Combo box controls allow you to create drop-down menus from which your users can select a choice in order to create an entry within a field. The choices available in the combo box menu can come from a table or query, or you can type your own list of values from which the users can select. These controls can reduce the amount of data entry error in a field by limiting the range of data entry choices. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|List box controls are very much like combo box controls, as they also allow you to create a list of choices from which your users can select to fill-in a field’s value. The difference between a combo box and a list box is that the combo box only displays the choices when a user clicks the drop-down arrow in the combo box. In a list box, the choices are shown constantly and whichever choice in the list is highlighted is the value selected. As such, list boxes tend to take up a bit more space in the form than combo boxes. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|When a user opens a form in Access, they can move from field to field within the form by pressing the “Tab” key on their keyboard. The order in which the cursor will cycle through the available controls within the form is called the “tab order.” If the tab order isn’t set properly within a form, when a user presses the “Tab” key the focus may appear at a random control within the form. This is extremely aggravating to the users. You can set the tab order of a form to increase the ease of data entry within the form. You can either set the tab order automatically or manually. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 13: Subforms|
|If you want to use a single form to display information from two or more related tables in your database, using subforms is the way to accomplish that goal. With subforms, you can view the data from one table (the “parent” table) and any related data from a related table (a “child” table) in an embedded subform within the original form. This can be an excellent way to create one main form that allows the user to edit information in multiple, related tables. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Another way to create a subform is to use the “Subform/Subreport” control that appears in the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. To use this tool, simply open the form into which you want to insert a subform in “Design View.” Then click the “Subform/Subreport” button in the “Controls” group. Next, click and drag over the area in the form where you want the subform to appear. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|Section 14: Reports|
|You use reports to further calculate and then display the results from a query. You can also use them to calculate statistical results on tables or queries for summary reports. They are simply a more concise and certainly more “printer-friendly” way of presenting the data that you have calculated in your queries to anyone who needs to view this information. They use fields like forms do, and the report design view shares much in common with the form design view. However reports typically have a query as their data source, versus a table. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
|You can create a very basic report that simply shows the results from a table or query by first selecting the table or query that you want to use as the basis for the report from the listing shown in the Navigation Pane. Learn this and more during this lecture.|
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