Systems and Applications Software

Word-processing and Spreadsheets

Word Processing

Word-processing packages are used to produce documents containing text and for preparing text for other applications. For example, text could be typed in using word-processing software and then the file could be imported into desktop publishing software.

Many different factors affect how you want the layout of a document to look. Some of these are paper size, page orientation, margins, headers and footers, borders and gutters. All of these things are very important in making the document look professional. Once text has been entered it can be formatted to add structure emphasis. Text can be formatted by altering the characteristics of the font. Some of the formatting text features which can be used are; font type, font size, font effects, font style and font color.

Additional Features

There are a number of more advanced features of word-processing software that can be used. Some of these are; templates, mail merge, indexing, macros, thesaurus', spell checker and grammar checker. All of these features add to the overall professionalism and are very useful. Not all of them will be used in every document but some of them will be (such as spell checker). They add great benefits to your work and cover the majority of the needs of users.

Spreadsheet Software

Spreadsheet is used to manipulate numbers and text arranged in cells. Formulae are used to relate one cell with other cells. Once a formula has been entered, then if one value of a cell on which the formula is based changes, the formula will automatically perform the calculation with the new value. Spreadsheets are ideal for; budgets, cash flow forecasts, accounts and producing graphs and charts.


Macros are very useful in spreadsheets and word-processing software. They consist of a series of keystrokes and menu choices which are recorded by the user as a small program. Instead of using the same series of instructions and commands, you can simply run the macro. Macros are used to save time mostly but do have other uses.

Macros can be set up so that a complex task can be reduced to simply pressing a button. In this way, more experienced users can help less experienced users to complete complex time consuming repetitive routines simply.

Database Software

Database software allows data to be entered and stored in a structured way which aids its retrieval. Database management systems keep the data separate from the programs themselves, so once the data has been created it can be accessed using different software. This organisation expands, it may decide to use different database management software and will not want to have to input all of the data again.

Databases used by businesses and organisations are called relational databases, with the data being held in lots of different tables with links called relationships between the tables.

Presentation Software

Presentation software is not just restricted to viewing a series of slides containing content. You can actually build a multimedia applications such as a multiple choice or other type of computer-marked test using presentation software. In this type of problem you would use the feature of presentation software of being able to hyperlink one slide to another. This means that the slides do not have to be displayed in only one particular order. There are many other features of presentation software, some of these are; can apply color schemes to slides, can add animation effects, can re-order slides, can add images. Some more advanced features of presentation software are; action buttons in order to allow controls over which slide is viewed next, timing features to make sure the right time is allocated to each slide and can add movies and sound to a presentation.
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