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Communication/training with non-techs

By james.rigdon ·
I'm work in a position where I have to train individuals in the organization, and write step-actions for completing tasks.

How do you communicate how to perform simple tasks to individuals who know nothing about the application?

For example - tell me in 'lay' terms how to format an excel 07 spreadsheet (auto-width, 45-degree angle headers, set up formulas, conditional formatting, insert and manipulate charts and graphs, sort and filter data)

I have an instruction sheet on how to perform a daily task, and here's an excerpt that always confuses people but I can't figure out how to simplify it:

1. click the "Select All" button in the top left-hand corner of the spreadsheet (the space between column header "A" and line number "1")
2. Click "Sort & Filter" --> "Custom Sort"
3. Click "Add Level" twice
4. Sort data as such:
"Sort By" = Department
"Then By" = Biling Provider
"Then By" = Service Date
Click "OK"
5. At the "Home" tab, click "Format" --> "Row Height" and enter 185 as the row height. Click "OK"
6. Click "Wrap Text" button
7. Click "Borders" button and select "All Borders."
8. Highlight row 1 and format row 1 as such:
Justification = Center
Font = 14
Style = Bold
9. Open the "Alignment" menu and change text orientation to 45 degrees; click "OK"

I have tried to simplify this, but just can't seem to get the right words in to communicate it effectively. Can someone please help? Thanks

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I'd get snippy if I had to do that daily as well

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Communication/training wi ...

Write a macro...

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Automation is the best,

by melias In reply to I'd get snippy if I had t ...

but if you have no other choice but to document, try writing your documentation with supporting images, highlight the steps in the images. If you have more than one highlighted step in an image, number them. Use a legend or other method to put the hightlighted steps in the correct order. A good example of this are the large color "Quick Start" guides that come with most printers that show you how to remove all the shipping tape, install the toner, etc...

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