Bits from Bill Pytlovany: Get the Most from your Expensive Software

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By Bill Pytlovany

Do you ever find yourself telling people that you know just enough to do what you need with Microsoft Word or Excel and nothing more? It’s very common that most folks learn only what they “need” to use and that’s all they know.

I have a few very powerful and expen$ive programs like Photoshop, and Microsoft Office. I frequently find myself telling friends, “I know this program can do so much more but I probably only use 5% of its capability”. Over the years I may be up to 10% but I’m certainly under utilizing features that could both make me more productive and make me look more professional.

My open question to readers today is “How do you learn to use your software? Do you want to learn more?” Currently we have a number of resources available but they’re so underutilized it’s a shame.

Daily Tips
Many programs have a feature that provides a “Did You Know…” when you first open up a program. I’m sure companies spend a lot of time creating daily tips but it’s one of the first things I turn off. Does anyone out there actually use these daily tips?

dailytipTip of Day from WS-FTP

Clippy
paperclip Do you remember the Microsoft Office animated Help Agent?. You could change the clippy character to a dog or other fun character. Once thought to be the ultimate way to teach users how to learn Clippy was a novel approach using a sophisticated algorithm. Users found it insulting and “How to disabled Clippy” soon became a popular tip.

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This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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