By Sally Weist

Discover Microsoft Word 2000 is a recently released Computer-Based Training (CBT) tool from the DiscoverWare Company. The program is designed both for new users and those already familiar with Microsoft Word. Discover Microsoft Word 2000 is a good training tool for word-processing skills.
A computer-based training product from DiscoverWare926-5th Avenue SW, Fifth FloorCalgary, Alberta Canada T2P 0N71-800-465-3641
Discover Microsoft Word 2000 is easy to install; it took only about three minutes to download onto my PC. The CD provides step-by-step instructions and even gives the option of creating a shortcut on your desktop.

Getting started
As you begin the CBT, a voice welcomes you and explains the icons at the top of the screen. At any time during the lesson, you can click on the menu, self-test, glossary of terms, help, or exit buttons.

A menu of categories is displayed on the left; simply highlight an area of interest, and a list of topics will be shown on the right (see Figure A). At any point, if you need guidance on what to do, simply click on the “?” (Help) button and choose the area for which you need assistance.

Figure A
List of lessons and topics under each lesson

The lessons
The lessons range from the basics to how to create and edit a web page. You can choose topics and categories in any order. Simply highlight the topic of interest and the program will give you the approximate amount of time the lesson will take. I found this feature to be beneficial, because it allowed me to plan the amount of time I would need to spend on each lesson. The lessons were thorough and went at a slow to medium pace. You also have the option to pause, move forward, or rewind at any time.

I could detect differences in comparison to Microsoft 97, but the program did not point them out, which I felt would have been beneficial.

A self-test is offered at the end of each lesson. I found the self-tests challenging, as they actually asked tough questions. You should consider these a must-do as you complete each lesson.

One thing that I do not like about the program is that you cannot minimize it and then come back to it. You must exit the program and re-enter when you want to go back. For those who will be exiting and entering the program often, the program asks for the user’s name during the introduction of the software. By typing in your user name, the program allows you to pick up where you left off and it will even keep any test scores you’ve accumulated.

Overall opinion
Overall, you can learn quite a bit, if you do not mind listening to a recorded voice. The actual lessons are easy to follow and informative. I would recommend Discover Microsoft Word 2000 to those who can’t find the time or resources for a “live” instructor-led course. Choosing between a CBT and an instructor is purely a personal decision. Having had both, I recommend this program for home computer users and a live instructor for training conducted at work.

Sally Weist was a corporate trainer for The Cooker Corporation and is now a customer service supervisor for EDS. Training is a significant part of her job and happens on an ongoing basis for new and current employees. Sally has a B.A. from Kent State University and hails from Cleveland.

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