Monday, June 25, 2018

Which Office Application is Best?

Recently, I completed an assignment in which I explored the functions of various Microsoft Office applications.  My experience using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access for the assignment was pretty uneventful. As a teacher for 5 years, I used every one of those applications, with the exception of Access, almost every day. I especially used PowerPoint to deliver science content to my students. Access is new to me, as I have never used that application before, and I had a bit more difficulty thinking of ways that the application could be used in my own life. I use a database for work, since I need a way to manage new leads and the students that I work with, but instead of Access, we use
Talisma and Campus Vue (two student management database systems).

Each of the applications that we used have different functions. The function of the word processor application is to create a text document with formatting, and the ability to add style using font families, bold, italics, underlining, pictures, etc. The function of the spreadsheet is to input, sort, and keep track of data. The function of the presentation application is to create engaging ways to deliver information using graphics and animations. The function of the database is to create queries to gather specific pieces of information.

The advantage of the word processor is that most of the formatting and stylizing functions can be found directly in the tool bar at the top of the page. This application allows a user to easily type a word document, and then very quickly make changes to the font size and family, add bulleted or numbered lists, or change the paragraph and page formatting options. However, Word would not be a great application for presenting information or analyzing data. The spreadsheet application is easy to use because once data has been entered, the user can easily create a graph or chart to analyze the data. On the other hand, Excel would not be the best application for presenting information to an audience or for writing an essay, since the data is arranged in the format of a table. The presentation application, PowerPoint, is easy to use because a user can add multiple slides, use a template to display information in the most visually appealing way, and add animations at the click of a button to increase engagement in the presentation. However, PowerPoint would not be the application of choice when writing an essay, since a user would want a single document, not multiple slides. The database application’s advantage is that it allows the user to quickly pull data according to specific records or fields. The database application allows communication between multiple tables of data to quickly acquire and organize information. On the other hand, this application would not be great for presentations, since it does not use images or animations to keep the attention of the audience.

The application that would be the best for documenting information about my day depends on the intended use of the information. Word might be the application of choice if I were writing a short story about my day that could later be published on a blog. Excel would be the best application if I wanted to track how much time I spend doing each activity per day over the period of a year. PowerPoint would be the ideal application if I were going to present about my day to an audience. Access might be the best application if I were going to compare the amount of time I spent doing activities throughout my day to other students at Ashford University, whose information was also in the database.

Another use for the Word application, aside from documenting my day, would be if I wanted to write a book. Word would allow me to quickly type the document, do a spell check, change formatting and font, and use the word count feature if needed. I could use Exel if I were conducting an investigation that studies how quickly bacteria grow on a petri dish. This application would allow me to record quantitative data relative to the rate of bacterial growth. I could then also use Excel to create a line graph showing the growth of the bacteria over time. PowerPoint could be used if I needed to present a training at work regarding how to track where a student is in the enrollment process. Access might be used if I were to create a Pinterest store and I needed to gather information about my inventory, customers, or orders. All in all, there is a purpose for every application, but the best application depends on the intended use of the information in the end.


Vahid, F., & Lysecky, S. (2017). Computing technology for all. Retrieved from

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