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The Premium Microsoft Office & Data Apps Certification Bundle ($39.99; stacksocial.com) is packed with 18 courses on every single program in Microsoft Office, as well as big features within these programs.

The courses are heavily geared toward beginners. Numerous courses, such as Microsoft Word 365 and Microsoft Publisher 365, start at square one — opening the program and starting a new document. That being said, there are a handful of more intermediate-level classes too. Excel VBA for Professionals is one such course, in which you can learn to create macros and automate tasks in Excel.

We took a hands-on look to see what these course are all about.

Here’s how these courses work

Like we said, this bundle is primarily for Microsoft Office novices. In most of the courses, you’ll receive lessons on how to start up programs and utilize their basic functions. It’s a great place to learn if you aren’t the most tech-savvy, and the instructors keep things at a comfortable pace. Speaking of pace, there’s no rush to complete these courses. Once you buy them, they’re yours for keeps, accessible at any time on your computer, phone or tablet.

Microsoft Word 365

This course is narrated by Claudia Carrozzo, an instructor from a collective of educators who cover topics like data analysis, Microsoft Office and marketing analytics. This 11-module course is thoroughly beginner-oriented. Early lessons include how to open a new Word document and organize your toolbars. Later modules feature other topics for beginners like inserting and formatting tables and images, as well as useful features like Find and Replace.

This is a great course for Microsoft Word novices, or perhaps those who are technologically challenged. We often cover courses that become rather advanced by the end, or start out with advanced topics. However, it’s not as often we get to try courses that keep things simple for their entire duration. Carrozzo’s instructions go at a nice pace so you can keep up and understand what she’s clicking, and why. We also enjoyed the early lessons dedicated to customizing the ribbon and top toolbars. It’s an option even we overlook when starting out new programs, and can make the journey a lot more convenient.

We think this course fits this bundle very well. It has a ton of lessons that can help you get your bearings with Microsoft Word, and you can take your time doing it.

Microsoft PowerPoint 365

To learn PowerPoint, we’re joined once again by Claudia Carrozzo. And, like her Microsoft 365 course, this one is all about the basics. Essentially, the main skill she is imparting with these lessons is how to create a clean, visually appealing slideshow. After she shows us around the interface of the program, she focuses on creating and aligning objects, accessing Smart Art, using grids and gridlines and editing our own Master sheet for future use.

One of her later modules actually covers how to import data and charts from Excel, which was definitely a welcome inclusion. She makes it easy to work with PowerPoint to create straightforward data presentations (with animations, if that’s your style). Her focus on aesthetics and not having too much clutter on the slides bordered on design lessons, which we also appreciated.

Carrozzo’s course is straightforward and logically paced. Sometimes, a professional-looking presentation can make all the difference when you’re making a pitch or presenting results. We believe this course can help you achieve that goal, even if you’ve never laid eyes on PowerPoint before.

Power Query

This Microsoft Office bundle has great beginner and intermediate lessons on Microsoft Excel. But this course on Power Query with beginners in mind can further improve your data management skills with Excel. Our instructor, from the same organization as Claudia Carrozzo in the Microsoft Word course, walks us through the fundamentals of Power Query. In essence, it’s a tool built into Microsoft Excel that allows you to import and manipulate data from outside sources. The import process makes it a lot easier than just copying and pasting massive datasets.

The instructor of this course covers a lot of the basics of Power Query, all of which we believe just about anyone can learn. By the end, he is explaining useful but simple methods for appending and merging datasets. He also covers logical tools for combining data or excluding data that doesn’t match between different tables. Our instructor doesn’t always demystify all the jargon, but he does an excellent job exemplifying the techniques he’s teaching. You can even download the datasets he uses to follow his every step. With his instruction, you can majorly streamline your data and learn to draw conclusions from complex information.

Power Query is a tool of which we think more Excel users should be aware. We know not everyone plays around with big datasets on the regular. Regardless, this is a great course to check out if you want to get even more out of Excel and draw useful information from big sets of data.

Bottom line

After trying out this bundle for a while, we believe it’s a great place for anyone who’s starting out with Microsoft Office. Whether it’s for personal or professional use, there are lessons on every single program you could ask for. At the very least, it would also make a good gift for those relatives who call you all the time with questions about the programs.

The Premium Microsoft Office & Data Apps Certification Bundle ($39.99; stacksocial.com) is all about the fundamentals. Try this bundle if you need to get a grip on Microsoft Office and start using them independently and confidently.