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Introduction to using a computer
Definition of a computer, this is an electronic device that is made up of input devices such as the keyboard and is used to capture data and instructions, with the help of sets of instructions it will be able to produce results or output through devices such as printers or screens. 1. Classes of computers

Computers can be classified as follows: y y y y 1.1 Supercomputers Mainframe computers Minicomputers Microcomputers, commonly called PCs A supercomputer is used to process very large amounts of data very quickly. They are particularly useful for occasions where high volumes of calculations need to be performed, for example in meteorological or astronomical applications. A mainframe computer system uses a powerful central computer, linked by cable or telecommunications to terminals. A mainframe has many times more processing power than a PC and offers extensive data storage facilities. Mainframes are used by organisations such as banks that have very large volumes of processing to perform and have special security needs. Many organizations have now replaced their old mainframes with networked µclient server systems of mid-range computers and PCs because this approach is thought to be the cheaper and offer more flexibility 1.3 A minicomputer is a computer whose size, speed and capabilities lie somewhere between those of a mainframe and a PC. The term was originally used before PCs were developed, to describe computers which were cheaper but less wellequipped than mainframe computers. With the advent of PCs and of mainframes that are much smaller than in the past, the definition of a minicomputer has become rather vague. There is really no definition which distinguishes adequately between a PC and a minicomputer. PCs are now the norm for small to medium-sized business computing and for home computing, and most larger businesses now use them for day-to-day needs



such as word processing. Often they are linked together in a network to enable sharing of information between users. Portables 1.5 The original portable computers were heavy, weighing around five kilograms, and could only be run from the mains electricity supply line. Subsequent developments allow true portability. a) A laptop or notebook is powered either from electricity supply or using a rechargeable battery and can include all the features and functionality of desktop PCs. b) The palmtop or handheld is increasingly compatible with true PCs. Devices range from basic models which are little more than electronic organizers to relatively powerful processors running µcut-down¶ versions of Windows and Microsoft Office, and including communications features. 1.6 Many computers have been designed to achieve faster computational speeds, using different architectures. Maths co-processor and Graphics co-processor. Most processors may include specialized and faster processors (a maths co-processor/graphics co-processor) can be used for applications requiring high-speed mathematical or graphics computations. Such applications could be spreadsheet calculations or complex computer-aided design (CAD) work. The maths co-processor supports the main processor by performing the required calculations more rapidly than the main processor. In the same way, the graphics co-processor is designed to perform graphical functions, such as the construction and maintenance of images much faster than the main processor. The co-processors are under the control of the main processor. Pipeline machines. In the pipeline machine architecture each stage in the fetchexecutive cycle is handled by a separate machine hardware unit. The first unit fetches an instruction from memory. At any one time there may be four or five instructions within the processor each at different stages of execution in different units. Array processor. In the array processor there is one control unit but multiple ALUs, which are able to work in parallel with one another. They are particularly suited to applications in which sets of values require the same operation to be performed on each value, e.g., converting every value in a table to a percentage of the total.





2. 2.1

Functions of the information processing cycle Data happens to be raw facts and figures that are meaningless until when processed, for example meter readings collected for a water company, hours worked by employees in a factory, in a banking system, bank charges, commission etc. Information is data that has been processed into something meaningful or raw data that has been transformed into processed data. Examples of information based on the above data are; water bills, a pay slip and a bank statement. In information processing a logical data file is a collection of records with similar characteristics. Examples of data files include the sales ledger, purchases ledger etc A record in a file consists of data relating to one logically definable unit of business information. A collection of similar records makes up a file. For example, the records for a sales ledger file consists of customer reference number, balance owing and credit limit field Records in files consist of fields of information, for example, a customers record on the sales ledger file will include name, address, balance owing. Records on a file should contain one key field. This is an item of data within the record by which it can be uniquely identified, for example man number, account number, NRC number and examination number Files are conveniently classified into transaction files, and master files A transaction file contains latest activities of a business, and it¶s the one that is used to update the master file. Once updating has taken place the file is discarded. In batch systems, transactions can be bundled up manually or kept in an electronic form but would only be used on a certain date to update the electronic master file. Transaction files are at times called by different names such as, changes file, movements file and amendments files A master file is a semi permanent file that is periodically updated by a transaction file in order for it to show its current status, for example a payroll master file and customers master file. The updating times vary depending on the application, say weekly, fortnightly or monthly. In the case of the cinema, this will happen immediately a transaction occurs.






2.7 2.8




Reference file, is also known as standing data file or table file. This contains data that is ³permanent´ in nature because it usually changes after along periods of time such as a year, for example tax table, price list and tariff tables. This file is usually referred to when a transaction file is updating a master file. Sort file, these are temporal files that are used as an intermediary during file updating Both manual and computer information processing can be divided into two broad types; namely batch and real time processing. Batch processing are becoming less common, periodically if the process concerned have an impact on customers. Batch processing system, this is a system where data is collected, accumulated for a certain interval period of time such as weekly or month, and then these transactions are captured as a unit in order to update the master file. Examples of systems that use batch are payroll, water billing, and final accounts preparation and examination results production. Because data is not input as soon as it is received the system will not always be up-to-date. Real time processing occurs when data is collected and captured right away so that the results of the processing are known right away. This type of processing is commonly used in banks, cinema system and student registration. Online processing involves transactions being input and processed immediately, in µreal time¶. On-line refers to a machine which is under the direct control of the main processor for that system. The term µon-line¶ is also used to describe an active Internet connection. On-line, real-time processing is appropriate when immediate processing is required and the delay implicit in batch processing would not be acceptable On-line systems are practically the norm in modern business. Examples include the following a) As a sale is made in a department store or a supermarket, the barcode on the merchandise is scanned on the Point-of-sale-systems/ terminal that is directly connected to a central machine in the supermarket or at head office in order to facilitate on-line real time processing. b) In banking and credit card systems whereby customer details are often maintained in a real-time environment. There can be immediate access to customer balances, credit position etc and authorization for withdrawals c) Travel agents, airlines and theatre ticket agencies all use real-time systems. Once a hotel room, plane seat or theatre seat is booked up everybody on the









system must know about it immediately so that they do not sell the same holiday or seat to two or more different customers.

3. 3.1

Hardware components and their functions A computer is made up of four components, namely: a) b) c) d) Input devices to facilitate data capture Output devices to produce the processed data The central processing unit or processor External storage device or backing store

The processor 3.2 The processor is the brain of the computer. The processor may be defined as follows; it¶s the nerve centre of the entire computer system as it is in charge of all the operations of the machine. It is divided into three elements namely: y y y 3.3 Arithmetic and logic unit Control unit Main store or memory

The processing unit may have all its elements ± arithmetic and logic unit, control unit, and the input/ output interface on a single ³chip´. A chip is a small piece of silicon upon which is etched an integrated circuit, on an extremely small scale The chip is mounted on a carrier unit which in turn is µplugged¶ onto a circuit board ± called the motherboard ± with other chips, each with their own functions. The most common chips are those made by Intel Company. Each generation of Intel CPU chip has been able to perform operations in fewer clock cycles than the previous generation, and therefore works more quickly. Microprocessor. A microprocessor is a component of the computer¶s central processing unit (CPU) and contains circuitry for controlling the entire computer system, for performing arithmetic and logic operations, for controlling input and output and also memory circuitry. Usually, the microprocessor circuitry is contained on a single silicon chip. The microprocessor interprets and executes all the instructions in the computer system. All chips containing circuitry that controls the computer and also the computer memory chips are found on the system board. The motherboard, also called the main board, is a circuit board whose task is to link all the other chips of the





computer. Any expansion boards that should be installed in the computer are fitted into expansion slots which hold the boards in place. The slots also give the boards an electronic link to the motherboard 3.8 A chip is a small piece of silicon material which contains microcircuit elements. An integrated circuit (IC) is combination of circuit elements that are interconnected and placed on a small chip of silicon. The IC chip is then mounted on to a carrier unit that is itself plugged on a circuit board with other chips. Although put together on one circuit board, each IC chip performs its own functions.

MHz and clock speed 3.9 The processor receives program instructions and sends signals to peripheral devices. The signals are co-ordinated by a clock which sends out a ³pulse¶ ± a sort of tick-tock sequence called a cycle ± at regular intervals The number of cycles produced per second is usually in MegaHertz (MHz) or GigaHertz (GHz) y y 1 MHz = one million cycles per second 1 GHz = one billion cycles per second


A typical modern business PC might run on 2 GHz. Memory 3.11 The computers memory is also known as main store or internal store. The memory will hold the following. y y y Program instructions The input data that will be processed next The data that is ready for output to an output device

Memory address 3.12 Memory address. Memory address refers to storage locations that are found in memory. Each computer memory has several memory locations which are used to store data. Since the data needs to be retrieved at a later time so that it can be processed, a way of finding it uniquely and quickly is needed. For this reason, each memory location is allocated an identification number by which the memory location is uniquely identified. This identification number is the address of the memory location. This concept can be compared to that of our postal addresses.


Core store 3.13 Core store is the type of main memory that was used in computers in the early days of computing. The core itself was a small ring of iron. A wire passed through the core. Current should be passed in this wire in such a way that the core was magnetized, either north or south. To represent data, for example, a core magnetized to be North Pole would be holding a one (1) and the core magnetized as South Pole would be holding a zero (0). An extra wire was made to go through the core. This wire was meant to sense the magnetism of the core and so read the stored values from the core

Bits and bytes 3.14 Each individual storage element in the computers memory consists of a simple circuit which can be switched on or off. These two states can be conveniently expressed by the numbers 1 and 0 respectively Each 1 or 0 is a bit. Bits are grouped together in groups of eight to form bytes. A byte may be used to represent a character, for example a letter, a number or another symbol Business PCs now make use of 2 bit processors. But simply, this means that data travels around from one place to another in groups of 16 or 32 bits, and so modern PCs operate considerably faster than the original old 8 bit models The processing capacity of a computer is in part dictated by the capacity of its memory. Capacity is calculated in kilobytes (1 kilobyte = 210 (1,024) bytes and megabytes (1 megabyte = 220 bytes) and gigabytes (230). These are abbreviated to Kb, Mb and Gb.




RAM 3.18 Random Access Memory is memory that is directly available to the processing unit. It holds the data and programs in current use. RAM in microcomputers is µvolatile¶ which means that the contents of the memory are erased when the computers power is switched off. RAM on a typical business PC is likely to have a capacity of 1 Gigabyte. The size of the RAM is extremely important. A computer with 1 GHz clock speed and 512 megabytes of RAM will not be as efficient as a 2 GHz PC with 1 Gigabyte of RAM




Most of the computer¶s immediate access storage (IAS) is RAM (Random Access Memory). RAM holds the data, information and instructions that the computer needs in performing particular tasks. During the execution of any program (instructions), that particular program or part of it has to reside in the RAM memory. The data which the program is supposed to manipulate and transform into information is also stored in the RAM memory during processing. The information and also the intermediate results of processing will also be kept in the RAM before they are finally stored on disk, displayed on screen or printed. A part of the operating system is also stored in RAM during the time the computer is in operation. When your computer reads information from a disk, it stores that information in RAM. In other words, RAM is that storage (memory) which holds all data and instructions that the computer needs to carry out its current work. A disadvantage of RAM is that it is temporary storage and when you turn the computer off all the contents of RAM is lost (unless you have saved the contents to an external, permanent storage medium). For this reason, RAM is referred to as being volatile storage.

Cache 3.21 The cache is a small capacity but extremely fast part of the memory which saves a second copy of the pieces of data most recently read from or written to main memory. When the cache is full, older entries are flushed to make room for new ones. Mostly, cache memory is used to hold data such as variables of executing programs and also the parts of a program code that may be required too often for execution. The main purpose of the cache memory is to bridge the speed imbalance between the processor and the main memory. The data or program parts that will be required next in the processing cycle are fetched well in advance from the main memory and placed in the cache for the processor to find them quickly. In this way, data and program parts are swapped back and forth between the main memory and cache memory. Although expensive, the use of cache memory improves the performance of the computer tremendously because access to cache memory is much faster than to main memory. ROM 3.22 Read Only Memory is a memory chip into which fixed data is written permanently at the time of its manufacture. When you turn on a PC you may see a reference to BIOS (Basic Input/ Output System). This is part of the ROM chip


containing all the programs needed to control the keyboard, screen, disk and so on. 3.23 Read Only Memory (ROM) makes a smaller part of your computer¶s immediate access storage (IAS). ROM storage is permanent. As such, ROM holds that kind of data and instructions that the computer needs regardless of the task it performs. The computer¶s basic instructions that tell a microprocessor chip how to perform its functional operations are stored in ROM. Since ROM storage is permanent, its contents are also not lost even when power is switched off. Consequently, you can not alter the contents of ROM in any way other than destroying the ROM chip. ROM is therefore non-volatile. Since ROM holds the basic instructions that the computer needs in order for it to operate, it is important that ROM is nonvolatile and its contents are non-alterable. This is a vital safeguard to keep your computer operating properly. ROM has got other variations. These are the PROM, EPROM and the EEPROM. PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory) is a type of memory which can be programmed only once. PROMs are bought without programs (empty). They are programmed by the user special equipment but once they are programmed, the contents cannot be changed. PROMs can only be programmed once. Of course, users would require chips that can be erased and reprogrammed. This demand led to the development of erasable PROMs. The erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) is usually not programmed by the manufacturer. Once they are programmed, EPROMs require ultra-violet light and some special equipment in order for their contents to be erased. This is a vital safeguard against accidental erasure. An EEPROM is an electrically erasable PROM.


Vitual memory 3.25 Virtual memory is a technique employed to enable computers to run very large programs in relatively smaller main memories. Using this technique, the large program that is to be run is split into smaller parts called pages. In this way, only the smaller part of the program (page) which is currently executing will be loaded into the main memory, while the rest of the program is on some direct access secondary storage (e.g., disk). When the next part of the program is needed for execution, it will be loaded into memory and it will overwrite the previous part and continue being executed. This technique gives the impression that the main memory is very large, when in actual fact it is small. Hence he term virtual memory. Virtual memory makes efficient use of the main memory.



The notable differences between the main memory and backing storage are shown below: Backing storage Data on backing storage devices are electromechanical, its access at lower speeds than that of the main memory Backing storage provides permanent storage and data stored can stay there for many years to come even if power is withdrawn. Backing storage has larger storage capacity than memory. Any extra data or programs will be held in the backing storage, it would be costly to build very large memories.

Topic 1 Speed

Main memory Main memory provides higher access speeds than backing storage because its part and parcel of the CPU Main memory is volatile; it 2 Volatility can not be stored for ever. It loses its contents when power is switched off They have smaller 3 Capacity capacities since it¶s not possible to predict in advance how much space will be needed to store all the data that will be processed by a particular computer in its life time. 4 Representation In memory data is represented as 0s and 1s. 1 represents the fact that current is flowing in a particular circuit while 0 represents the case that no current is flowing in the circuit.

On backing storage data is represented by the presence of small magnets and their polarity. Backing storage are magnetic, a plastic paper or metal platter coated with magnetic substances that can easily be magnetized


CHAPTER 2.0 Classes of software associated with information systems
The most popular computer operating system, particularly for PCs is Microsoft Windows. An operating system is executive software that provides the bridge between applications software and the hardware. It facilitates communication between the user and the computer and automatic loading of programs into RAM in order to provide a continuous flow of operations y y y y Initial set-up of the computer, when it is switched on Communication between the user and hardware Calling up of files from storage into memory File management

The most popular computer operating systems are Microsoft Windows, Linux and UNIX. Microsoft Windows includes the following features. i) A desktop from which everything in the system branches out. Disk drives, folders(directories), applications and files can all be placed on the desktop A taskbar which includes a start button and buttons representing every open application Long file names are supported (up to 256 characters) There is a Recycle Bin for easy deletion and recovery of files Easy integration with widely used networking software is possible Multitasking is available, allowing more than one program to be active at one time. The Microsoft Internet Explorer browser is included to facilitate Internet access User-friendly, user interface enhancements include easier navigation, such as single-click launching of applications, icon highlighting, forward buttons, and an easy to customize Start Menu


iii) iv) v) vi)





Web integration, there are a variety of features designed to enhance Internet access and use of Internet facilities and technologies and integrate them with the users system Reliability y Windows can be set up to regularly test the users hard disk, system files, and configuration information to increase the system reliability, and in many cases fix problems automatically Enhanced backup and restore functions


y xi)

Graphics. Windows has graphics and video capabilities and support for games hardware such as joysticks, it supports digital video disks (DVD) More manageable for businesses, tools such as Dr. Watson and System Information utility make it easier for IT support staff to diagnose and correct problems a) Windows has graphics and video capabilities and support for games hardware such as joysticks. It supports digital video disks (DVD)


User Interface characteristics i) GUI, this stands for Graphical User Interface. GUIs were designed to make computers more user-friendly. A GUI involves the use of two design ideas and two operating methods which can be remembered by the abbreviations WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull-down menu. Most dialogue between the user and software that uses WIMP features is conducted through the mouse and onscreen images rather than typed text. The desktop, in Microsoft Windows, the initial screen is called the desktop. The desktop screen typically contains icons that provide easy access to a range of software programs. Programs may be started from the desktop using either an icon or shortcut or by navigating through the menus that branch out from the START button. Each active program or activity is launched in a separate window Task bar, as with many Microsoft Windows operations, there is more than one way to switch between open applications. The popular method of switching between applications is to simply click on the icon of the relevant open application displayed on the Windows Taskbar. The Taskbar usually shows at the bottom of the screen, although some systems are set-up to µhide¶ the Taskbar Title bar, it¶s shown in a strip at the top of the window. It comprises the default menu items which when selected pulls down another menu that pertains to that particular choice. The main menu items are File, Edit, View, Insert etc. This is sometimes called a title.






Recycle bin, this is a folder or directory that keeps all files that are deleted from the hard disk or fixed disk. Logically the files are deemed to have been deleted but physically they are usually still on the disk. When the user selects an option called empty the recycle bin that¶s when the bin is emptied and the files are no longer accessible

Directory or folder This is a sub division of a disk. Users can create a folder or a directory so that files that pertain to a common subject are stored in there for easy reference or location. Folders such as My Pictures, My Documents etc are typical examples.


CHAPTER 3.0 Future of Information Technology
In this unit we shall discuss some of the most significant developments in communications, and the impact these developments have had on the way organisations operate. Technological advances in society has had the following effects on society and businesses a) The type of products or services that are made and sold. For example, consumer markets have seen the emergence of home computers, compact discs and satellite dishes for receiving satellite TV; industrial markets have seen the emergence of custom-built microchips, robots and local area networks for office information systems. b) The way in which products are made. There is continuing trend towards the use of modern labour-saving production equipment, such as robots. The manufacturing environment is undergoing rapid changes with the growth of advanced manufacturing technology. These are changes in both apparatus and technique. c) The way in which services are provided. High-street banks encourage customers to use ¶hole-in-the-wall¶ cash dispensers, or telephone or PC banking. Most large shops now use computerised Point of Sale terminals as cash desks. Many organisations are starting to use e-commerce: selling products and services over the Internet. d) The way in which employees are identified. Database systems make it much easier to analyse the market place. e) The way in which employees are mobilized. Computerisation encourages delayering of organisational hierarchies, and greater workforce empowerment and skills. Using technology frequently requires changes in working methods. This is a change in organisation. f) Homeworking. Advances in communications technology have, for some tasks reduced the need for the actual presence of an individual in the office. This leads to cost savings on office space, if homeworkers are freelance, then the organisation avoids the need to pay them when there is insufficient work, when they are sick, or on holiday etc


g) The paperless office. There might be less paper in the office (but not necessarily so) with more data-processing done by keyboard. Data handling is likely to shift from the traditional movement of paper to the storing of data electronically. h) Routine processing, the processing of routine data can be done in bigger volumes, at greater speed and with greater accuracy than with non-automated, manual systems. i) Customer service, office automation, in some organisations results in better customer service. When an organisation receives large numbers of telephone enquiries from customers, the staffs who take the calls should be able to provide a prompt and helpful service if they have on-line access to the organisation¶s data files. j) Organisation structure, the structure might change. PC networks give local office managers a means of setting up a good local management information system and localized data processing while retaining access to centrally held databases and programs. Office automation can therefore encourage a tendency towards decentralization of authority within an organisation On the other hand, such systems help head office to keep in touch with what is going on in local offices. k) Management information, the nature and quality of management information will change. y Managers are likely to have access to more information. The range of reports are likely to be wider and their content more comprehensive y Planning activities should be more thorough, with the use of models such as spreadsheets for budgeting and sensitivity analysis y Information for control should be more readily available y Decision making by managers can be helped by decision support systems l) EDI, is a form of computer-to-computer data interchange. Instead of sending each other reams of paper in the form of invoices, statements and so on, details of inter-company transactions are sent via telecommunication links, avoiding the need for output and paper at the sending end, and for re-keying of data at the receiving end. The way accounts personnel deal with invoices would affect the way they work in an organisation. Instead of sending each other transactions in the form of invoices and statements, details of inter-company transactions are sent via telecoms links avoiding the need for output and paper at the sending end. m) Video conferencing, this is the use of computer and communications technology to conduct meetings. Video conferencing has become increasingly common as the Internet and webcams have brought the service to desktop PCs at reasonable cost.


n) The Internet, the introduction of the Internet has allowed workers to search for information as well as use email facilities in communicating with customers at a faster and efficient rate. Attachments can be emailed. o) Voice messaging systems, these systems answer and route telephone calls. Typically, when a call is answered a recorded message tells the caller to dial the extension required, or to hold if they want to speak to the operator. Sometimes other options are offered, such as press 2 if you want to know about X service and 3 if you want to know about Y. p) Computer bulletin boards, this consists of a central mailbox or area on a computer server where people can deposit messages for everyone to see and in turn read what other people have left in the system. They are appropriate for a team of individuals at different locations to compare notes and keep track of progress on a project.


CHAPTER 4.0 Types of storage devices
Hard disk Disks offer direct access to data. A modern business PC invariably has an internal hard disk. At the time of writing the average new PC has a hard disk size of around 40 Gigabytes. Features of hard disk/ fixed disk y Recording surfaces are made of metal platters and coated with magnetisable material y The metal platters are piled together on a spindle and so forming a disk pack. The pack can be sealed in a case to protect recording surfaces against dust and other damage y The metal platters are not flexible since they are made of metal y Tracks can be placed closer together leading to higher storage capacities y Each track on each disk surface has its own read/ write head. Read/write/ heads are fixed y The outer-most surfaces of the disk pack are usually meant for protecting the disk and are not used for recording. Floppy disks The floppy disk provides a cost-effective means of on-line storage for small amounts of information. A 3½ disk can hold up to 1.44 Mb of data. Features of Floppy disks y y y y y y y Usually the disk surfaces are made of plastic material that is coated with magetisable material The recording surfaces are divided into concentric circles which are further subdivided into sectors The disks are covered in a jacket for protection. A small opening is left to alow the read/write heads access to the data on disk There is one read/write head for each disk surface Read/ write heads are movable Data is read or written by rotating the disk past read/write heads, which can write data from the CPU onto disk, or can read data the disk for input to the CPU Floppy disks exist mainly as 3.5´.


ZIP disk A Zip disk is a different type of removable disk, with much larger capacity (100 Mb) that requires a special ZIP drive. A Zip disk is suitable for back-ups or for moving files between computers. Files are zipped so that they are compressed into a logically smaller file. Some users µZip¶ the contents of multiple file attachments into one Zip file to send via e-mail (some e-mail programmes do this automatically). To open the Zipped files, you must first unzip (extract) the zip file using software such as WinZip or PKZip. The extracted files will then show their file extensions, and may be opened using the appropriate software. Features of Zip disk y y y y It¶s a different type of a removable disk Has much lager storage capacity than floppy¶s, about 100Mb It requires a special zip drive when used It is suitable for back-up storage or for moving files between computers

Flash disks This has been a recent breakthrough in ICT regarding the storage of large volume data onto a stick that can be slotted into a USB port Features of Flash sticks/ disks y y y y y They are portable They are enclosed in protective casings Contain high storage capacity, for example 256Mb, 512Mb, 1GB, 2GB etc It is suitable for back-up storage or for moving files between computers Are slotted into a USB port when used

CD-ROM (Compact Disc ± Read Only Memory) y y y A CD-ROM can store 650 megabytes of data The speed of a CD-ROM drive is relevant to how fast data can be retrieved: an eight speed drive is quicker than a four speed drive CD recorders are now available for general business use with blank CDs (CD-R) and rewritable disks (CD-RW) are now available

DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) y The CD format has started to be superseded by DVD. DVD development was encouraged by the advent of multimedia files with video graphics and sound ± requiring greater disk capacity



DVD technology can store almost 5 gigabytes of data on one disk. Access speeds are improved as is sound and video quality. Many commentators believe DVD will not only replace CD ROMs, but also VHS cassettes, audio CDs and laser discs and sound ± requiring greater disk capacity.


CHAPTER 5.0 Input devices
Input devices are hardware components that facilitate the capture of data into the computer systems through standard input ports. These ports can either be serial or USB. A keyboard is derived from a standard keyboard; it¶s used for the manual capture of data into the computer system i) The advantages of using a keyboard for the input of data. y y y ii) The person keying in the data can be in a remote location, away from the computer itself. Data can be transmitted via a communications link The person keying in the data can check for keying errors on-screen. Keyboard input is convenient for small volumes of data when the time taken up by data input is relatively short.

The disadvantages of a keyboard for data capture y y y It is unsuitable for large volumes of transaction data. Keying data manually takes time, so is not appropriate in some situations. Keyboard input is likely to be error-prone There might be security problems. Keyboard input may be overlooked, and there is the risk that unauthorised people could access a terminal or PC

Originally a workstation was a computer used by one person, particularly for graphics and design applications, and was used primarily in engineering. It had a fast and powerful central processor, a high resolution monitor, and a large memory. This enabled complex designs to be easily manipulated. Similarly it meant a terminal with limited processing power that was connected to a mainframe computer and used by a user in a remote place for purposes of keyboard-console data capture. These characteristics, however, are no longer unique to workstations. High performance personal computers can offer very similar services; so the distribution is a historical one. The term µworkstation¶ is often used to describe a person¶s desk, chair and computertheir immediate working environment. In most cases Electronic Point of Sale systems (EPOS) take advantage of bar codes.


Data can be recorded in binary on documents, paper or plastic, using a code of alternating lines and spaces. A special reading device might have a wand and by passing the wand over the lines, the data stored in the bar codes can be extracted and used for input to a computer. These bar codes which are normally contained on the packets or wrappers of goods are commonly used in supermarkets and other shops, When a customer buys some bar coded items and takes them to the checkout to pay, the shop assistant will use a bar code reader (such as a wand or laser scanner), which is capable of sensing the bar coded data and transmitting it to the central computer in the shop. The computer then provides the price of the item being purchased (from the price on the price file) and this is then output to the cashier¶s check-out point. The total cost of all the purchases is similarly calculated, and the customer sees what he or she must pay on a small display screen, and receives a printed receipt for the goods purchased. Bar codes are often used in electronic point of sale devices. In this case the data relating to the transaction would be captured by the device and recorded on sales file or stock file as it occurred. Hence data is captured at the source, that is, where the data is generated (the point of sale). Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) means that at the point of sale, when the customer has brought up his goods to the checkout and the electronic point of sale has calculated how much the customer has to pay for the transaction, no cash will be handled physically. Instead, all the cash involved will be handled electronically. This may require the shop or store to have a computer system that is linked to the customer¶s bank. When the amount to be paid by the customer is shown on the screen, the customer inserts his bank card into a machine that will identify his account number and other details. The computer at the shop will then inquire (electronically) from the bank¶s account of the customer as to whether the customer has enough money in his bank account to be able to pay for the goods. If the money in the account is enough then the customer¶s account will be debited by the amount required to purchase the goods. The shop¶s account will be credited by the same amount that the goods bought by the customer cost. In this way the goods will be bought without any hard cash being handled. All the cash that is required has been transferred to the right accounts electronically. All this occurred at the point where the goods were being sold (point of sale) as such this is called Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS). At the time the shop¶s computer inquired about the availability of funds in the customer¶s account from the bank¶s computer, the transaction would have been stopped if the customer did not have enough money in his account to pay for the goods. No transfer of funds would have taken place and the customer would not have been allowed to carry the goods. Instead the goods would have been returned to the shelves of the shop.


To avoid such inconveniences, banks do issue credit cards to their trusted customers. The credit card contains identification details and necessary bank details of the holder. With this card, the customer can pay for goods and services on credit. When making payment the credit card will be passed in a card reader that will extract the identification information from it and record it on computer storage. The amount to be paid will be extracted from the card in the same way. The store or shop can then send such data to the bank, where the funds will be transferred from the customer¶s account to the shop account. Some credit cards are so smart that they can be used like electronic wallets. These are called smart cards. The following are the advantages (i) Stationery is saved. The paper and ink that was to be used for printing the price tags would be saved. The money that was to be used for such stationery can then be used for other ventures that will help to boost business. Reduction on labour force with a consequent saving of money. The pricing of items individually would attract a large manual labour force. This labour force would need to be paid money. With the use of bar codes such a large labour force wouldn¶t be needed. This would be a saving for the store on funds that could then be channeled back into business. Quick service to customers. When a new consignment of goods comes to the store then the consignment would wait until the individual items have been stuck with price tags before customers could buy these items. This might lead to dissatisfaction of customers who in turn might decide to go to another store where services are offered quickly. With the use of bar codes, as long as the total number of items is known, the items can straight away go to the shelves and customers can buy as soon as the items come. Price changes are catered for. In countries where prices are continually adjusted due to inflation, this could lead to enormous loss of stationery needed to print new price tags. This would also mean employing extra casual labour to cope up with the job of re-pricing the individual commodities. The end result is that the store will spend a lot of money on stationery and on this extra labour force.




Mark sensing. Mark sensing is a method used for data input into computer systems. This method utilizes pre-printed forms or cards normally for selecting choices in appropriate boxes on the forms. The selection is made by marking the choice with a line or a cross using a pencil or pen. When the choices have been marked, the form is then fed into a reading device. The reading device will then sense the boxes which have a


mark on them and then translate these into machine codes. These codes, in form of electrical signals, are then sent to the computer for evaluation. This method of input is called mark sensing because only the marks in the boxes are sensed. It does not matter what character is in the box, but only the mark matters. This is the type of system currently used for marking the Grade VII (Seven) examinations. Candidates mark their answers with a pencil on the answer sheets. The answer sheets are then fed into a scanner that senses the marks in the appropriate boxes and sends the appropriate signals to the computer which then evaluates the answer. Mark sensing documents are an example of turn-around documents. It is clear that at Grade VII level, children are still at such an academic level that they cannot write essays in good and readable handwriting. Therefore, the answer sheets of the Grade VIIs are really appropriate for their level. Reading an essay written by a Grade VII candidate under examination conditions might be quite difficult. Besides the largest number of candidates at any examination level is at Grade VII. So it would be very taxing to have human beings mark their examinations. As far as the current technology stands, mark sensing is the most appropriate method for marking these exams. Optical Character Recognition. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a method used for data input into computer systems. This method utilizes pre-printed forms or cards. The user types in the characters in particular positions on the form. The characters need to be in a particular format or style. Such formats are normally used, for example, in big universities where new students are required to fill in their details on pre-printed forms. These forms are then fed directly into a computer peripheral (e.g. OCR reader) which then extracts the details of the students and sends them to the computer for processing or for storage into a database. As can be seen from this example, these methods of input reduce the involvement of the human being in the process of data preparation and input. By so doing, errors are greatly reduced. OCR documents are an example of turn-around documents. If such computer readable forms like the OCR forms given to university students at registration were not used, it would mean that the student would type his details on to a form (not computer readable), and then a data preparation operator would extract the details from the form into the computer. In this way, there are too many people involved in the data preparation process. Clearly, there will be multiple errors. So the OCR forms help in reducing errors in the data capture process. The function of an optical character reader is to recognize characters encoded on OCR forms. Optical Character Readers (OCR) use optical sensing methods to recognize characters, which are normally written in stylized form. OCR can recognize characters that are printed by a computer¶s printer. They can also recognize characters that are block hand written. Optical Character Readers are therefore used for the preparation of


data for input to the computer. Data prepared by Optical Character Readers can be entered on-line to the computer or saved on storage media for off-line data entry later. Advantages of OCR (a) Computers can produce pre-printed OCR documents which can later be read by computers (turn-around documents). This is cheaper since no special equipment is involved. Data preparation errors are eliminated. OCR documents are visible records. A considerable range of OCR document size is catered for. OCR equipment can be on-line to the computer (but often data is written to magnetic tape off-line for faster computer input, especially to mainframe). Source data entry can be automated. OCR contains data that can be read by human beings and so enabling visual inspection of data. OCR has wide applicability

(b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h)

Disadvantages of OCR a) b) c) d) OCR document must be treated with care so that characters still remain readable. Special measures are required to replace spoilt or lost OCR documents. OCR equipment can be expensive Print quality may be crucial since unclear documents may distort the data

Advantages of MICR a) The data can be read by human beings and so enabling visual inspection of documents. b) MICR documents are relatively easy to sort. c) MICR documents make forgery difficult Disadvantages of MICR a) Printing MICR documents requires special equipment b) The quality of print is important and the amount of ink in a character is critical. c) MICR has a limited character set in E13B


d) MICR is not fully automatic as the amount of the cheque (in the case of banking) or other data, must be added manually. Turn-around document. A turn around document is a document that is initially produced by a computer (printed by a computer¶s printer). The document is then sent out to customers to record data on it through the inclusion of marks or characters on special places of the document. Such a document is then returned to the computer and is then input to the computer using an Optical Character Reader (OCR) or an Optical Mark Reader (OMR). The Grade VII examination answer sheets used in Zambia currently provide a good example of turn-around documents using OMR. Computer terminal For each branch, each employee signs on (logs on) to the computer every morning when reporting for work. The computer takes note of the time that the employee logs on. When he/she knocks off, he/she logs off. Once again the computer takes note of the logoff time and calculates the total number of hours each particular employee worked for the day. This process is done locally and every day at each branch for the whole week. The details are kept on file by the local computer in every branch. At the end of each week, the hours each employee worked for each day in the week are added up together by the local computer and sent to the central computer at headquarters. At the central computer, all employee details from all the branches are consolidated into one file which then used as the input file for the payroll system. This means that each branch should have a log on computer (terminal) and that the date and time on this computer can only be changed by the system administrator who has a super password. This will ensure that employees do not manipulate the time and date any how. Further, this solution requires that the main office headquarters be networked with each of the branches. Since human beings easily make errors, this system should be set up in such a way that the employee does not actually type in the time of logging in or logging off. Instead, the employee just types, for example the user name and the words log on when signing on and again user name and the words log off when signing off. The computer will automatically record the times when the employee logs on and off.


CHAPTER 6.0 Output devices
These hardware devices produce processed data or information in printed form or in softcopy. Printers are devices that produce printed images on paper. The image to be produced by the printer is received in form of signals from the controlling device, usually, the central processing unit. In the case of impact printers these signals activate print elements which are pressed against the paper through the printer ribbon, to produce the required image. Non-impact printers, on the other hand, do not require any impact on paper. The ink-jet printer for instance, simply injects some ink onto the paper to produce the required image. Using the bus system, the electronic components of the CPU exchange all their signals in parallel. Peripheral devices like the printer are connected to the computer through ports. Some ports are parallel, that means, all the 8 bits that make up a character, for example, are sent at once from the CPU to the parallel port. On the other hand, other ports are serial, that means, the 8 bits that make up a character, for example, are sent one after the other from the CPU to the serial port. A printer that is connected to a parallel port and hence receives its data from the CPU in parallel is a parallel printer. A printer that is connected to a serial port and hence receives its data from the CPU in a serial manner, is a serial printer. Parallel printers are faster than serial printers. Advantages of non-impact printers (a) (b) (c) (d) Since they are not electromechanical, non-impact printers are generally much faster than impact printers and they also print quietly. Non-impact printers offer a wide variety of type faces. Non-impact printers offer high and good quality resolutions (print images). Since they have fewer moving parts, non-impact printers are more reliable.

Disadvantages of non-impact printers a) Non-impact printers may be expensive (although prices are slowly coming down due to technological advancements). b) Due to lack of impact on paper, non-impact printers can not produce carbon copies (multi-part output). c) Some non-impact printers may require special printing paper which might be expensive to acquire.

Advantages of impact printers a) Impact printers offer the advantage of producing carbon copies (multi-part output). b) Impact printers are cheaper. c) Impact printers may not require special printing paper but just ordinary paper. Disadvantages of impact printers a) Due to the fact that they are electromechanical, impact printers may be slow in operation. b) Impact printers may not offer the high resolution (good quality print) offered by nonimpact printers. c) Owing to the many moving parts (electromechanical), impact printers may not be as reliable as non-impact printers. Visual display terminals are well suited for applications that involve inquiry and response without the need for permanent hard-copy records being stored. The terminals are also well suited for use as graphic display devices in applications that use graphics, e.g., computer aided design (CAD). Types of Printers Dot matrix printer. A dot matrix printer has a head containing a series of pins or needles held up in form of a matrix. Some dot matrix printers have print heads with a matrix of 9x9, 9x7 or 7x5 pins. To have a character printed, the pins that are required to form the character are pushed forward out of the matrix slightly and then pressed against the print ribbon, which also presses against the paper. Thus an impact has to be made on the paper making this printer an impact printer. The characters appear as consisting of small dots. Each character will depend on a particular combination of pins. Some dot matrix printers are line printers while others are character printers. Matrix printers are relatively cheap although they are slowly becoming outdated. Figure 6 shows a 7x5 matrix print-head whose pins are ready to print the capital letter A.



OOOOO OOOOO OOOOO OOOOO OOOOO Dot matrix print head to print the letter A An ancillary machine is a machine that is off-line and is not in any way controlled by the computer, yet it plays quite a role in the overall work done by the data processing department. Such machines include the guillotine and the shredder, among others. Plotter. Although certain printers are now available that can produce good quality drawings, plotters are still very suitable for computer aided design (CAD) jobs since they are designed specifically to handle sophisticated graphical output. A plotter produces high quality drawn, rather than printed output. Plotters work on a co-ordinate principle, whereby drawing movements are executed by pen. All movements are under software control. There are two types of plotters, the drum plotter and the flatbed plotter. A drum plotter plots on paper that is fixed to a drum. While the drum revolves back and forth, a bar suspended above the drum and containing a drawing pen moves from side to side and so plotting the drawing. On the other hand, the paper on a flatbed plotter is stationary so that only the pen moves up and down the paper, thus plotting the drawing. While the flatbed plotter can plot larger drawings, the drum plotter can plot longer drawings because it uses continuous paper. The flatbed plotter, due to the wider sizes of paper it is capable of taking, would be more suitable for producing the computer aided design (CAD) drawing on an A3 paper in our question. Plotters may be operated on-line. If operated off-line, the drawings may be saved on to a tape. The tape will then be mounted on an off-line drive that will read instructions from the tape and then drive the plotter to draw the required work. Specialized devices can also be used that enable designs to be etched and so form master plates for creating manufactured goods.

Due to the ever advancing technology, the distinction between plotters and printers is becoming more and more blurred. There now exists low cost, high resolution laser


printers which are capable of processing the quality output needed for computer aided design (CAD) applications. A laser printer does not make an impact on the print paper, hence it is a single-part output device. Therefore, a laser printer would be unsuitable for this sort of job. Also computer output on microform (COM) could be used for the archive of pay slips details to enhance transparency and save storage space.


CHAPTER 7 Using the Internet & E-mail facilities
The Internet is the name given to the technology that allows any autonomous computers within a building or outside the country with a telecommunications link to send, receive and access information from any other suitably equipped computer via Internet Service Providers. Internet Service Providers, these are organizations that allow several autonomous computers to be connected to them as part of the Internet, for example in Zambia there is Zamtel, Zamnet, Coppernet and Microlink. Clients have to initially pay for the connection fees and then monthly charges based on 40 hours per week access and an extra charge for hours above 40 hours. ISPs provide the following services: y y y y Connecting users to the International network Developing websites on behalf of clients Web hosting, that is storing information on behalf of clients for other Internet users to access Allows clients to have e-mail addresses on the ISPs machine

An extranet is an intranet that is accessible to authorized outsiders, using a valid username and password. Private intranets that are extended to users outside the company are called extranets. For example, authorized buyers could link to a portion of a company¶s intranet from the public Internet to obtain information about the cost and features of its products. The company can use firewalls to ensure that access to its internal data is limited, and remains secure; and to authenticate users, making sure that only those who are authorised to access the site can be identified. Extranets are especially useful for linking organizations with customers or business partners. They are often used for providing product-availability, pricing and shipment data and electronic data interchange (EDI), or for collaborating with other companies on joint development or training efforts. An Intranet is like a mini version of the Internet. Organisation members use networked computers to access information held on a server. The user interface is a browser that is similar to those used on the Internet. The intranet offers access to information on a wide variety of topics, and often includes access to the Internet


Users access the Internet through interface programs called browsers. The most popular and best known is Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox and


Netscape Navigator. Browser software packages provide facility to store Internet addresses so that users can access frequently-visited sites without having to go through long search process. Thus in business use, workers who regularly need up-to-date information, say, on stock market movements, or new government legislation, or the activities of a competitor, can simply click on the appropriate entry in a personal µfavorites directory and be taken straight to the relevant site. Searching the net is done using a search engine. Popular search engines include Google, Lycos, AskJeeves, WebCrawler, Yahoo! and AllTheWeb. These guide users to destinations throughout the web: the user simply types in a word or phrase. ii) The problems that are brought about by the introduction of the Internet in an accounting department are: y Since the Internet has too much information it leaves much to be desired because the quality of the information the accounts people will be producing will be compromised Speed is a major issue. Data only downloads onto the user¶s PC at the speed of the slowest telecommunications link ± downloading data can be a painful slow procedure especially if there are deadlines to be met The Internet has so much information and entertainment available such that employers worry that their staff will spend too much time browsing through non-work related sites, this does happen and it affects the company¶s productivity Connecting an information system to the Internet exposes the system to numerous security issues such as hackers, eaves droppers and spam mail. Pornographic materials can be accessed by accounting staff, by so doing cases of sexual harassments at work places may increase Job searches, since some organizations advertise on the Internet, employees will spend and waste a lot of valuable company time searching for better jobs on the net The organization accounting information is venerable to Internet viruses during downloads of attachments from emails. Spy ware, when accounting staff visit unauthorized sites, the site visited will store the computers address, and then send a program to the server so that it can copy important information which will be sent back to that site that was earlier visited. This program is called spy ware.



y y y

y y



Computer users may know the precise address of an Internet site that is to be visited, perhaps because you have seen or heard it on TV or radio or read it in a newspaper or magazine. Typically the format is something like µ¶ The address is called a URL or Uniform Resource Locator as Uniform Resource Location


8 Application packages
Microsoft Word
ord is currently the world¶s leading word processing application. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, word processing is ³the creation, input, editing, and production of documents and texts by means of computer systems.´ In other words, if you have used a computer to write essays, research papers, lab reports, letters, or even your résumé, you have used word processing. Many people have learned the bare necessities for using Word without any outside training. However, there are many benefits to becoming more familiar with Word, whether for school, for business, or for fun. Word¶s features make it easy to organize complex documents containing vast amounts of textual and visual information into an application type material. PowerPoint and Access, is easier to learn once one knows Word because their interfaces are highly similar to the Word interface. This manual aims to provide people of any experience level with clear, detailed instruction in the fundamental aspects of Word, as well as in many of its lesserknown but highly useful capabilities. It is by far the most widely used computer application. It allows the user to key in text and to manipulate the text until it is exactly as required before printing. The text can be stored for later re-use. Word Processing is of significant value to an organisation where the typing requirement consists of a high volume of work such as quotations, estimates, minutes or standard letters where much of the document remains unchanged or can be constructed from standard paragraphs. Some advantages of Word processing include: 1. The ability to make corrections to a document without the need to re-key the entire document. The facility to store standard paragraphs on disk for later use. Documents need never have another spelling error! Spellcheckers are provided for several languages as well as built-in-thesaurus for improving writing style.

2. 3.


4. 5.

Professional letters can be easily and quickly generated for mailshots. Presentation of written material is greatly enhanced by the use of special fonts, character sizes and graphics as well as underlining, boldfacing and italics.

The word wrap facility In MS-Word, when a line is filled with text, the cursor automatically moves to the start of the next line. This means that there is no need to press Enter at the end of each line. There are three cases where Enter is used: 1. 2. 3. To insert a blank line. When you reach the end of a paragraph. When you are typing short lines.

The Shift Key To enter a capital letter, hold Shift down with one finger while the letter to be entered is typed. Release Shift.

Starting MS-Word
There are two ways of staring MS-Word Either Click the Start button, and select Programs / Microsoft Word. Click Microsoft Word Or and preferably, from the desktop menu Double Click on the WORD Icon, pointed to below:


MS-Word screen is then started.


The following screen will appear. In some cases, the Tip of The Day is displayed. Title Bar Menu Bar Standard Tool Bar Formatting Tool Bar Ruler

Document Window

Status Bar


The MS Word work environment
The Word Start Up screen is made up as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The Title Bar displays the Application name and the current document name The menu Bar displays the main Menu Options The Standard Toolbar provides shortcut icons from frequently used tasks The Formatting Toolbar provides shortcut icons for formatting text The Ruler Bar provides icons for indenting text and setting tabs The Document Window where you type your text The view Selector provides icons to view the document in different ways The Status Bar displays the current page number, cursor position, current time and keyboard status

Using the mouse The mouse is a hand-held device which is used for pointing to and selecting text in the document. It is important that you understand the difference between the mouse pointer and the insertion point Mouse Pointer: An icon that moves as you move the mouse. The shape of the mouse depends on its location. For example, it appears as an outline arrow when you are selecting commands from a menu, and hourglass ( ) when Word is processing a command, and an I-beam (I) when you are entering text. Insertion Point: An icon that shows where you are currently positioned on the page. The insertion point is always a blinking vertical bar <|> and works in the same way as a cursor in a text based environment. Positioning the insertion point Using the mouse point to the required location Click the Left Mouse Button to position the insertion point


Scrolling through a document Scrolling means moving through the document window to bring different parts (i.e. pages) of the document into view. It does not move the I-beam. At the far right side of the screen you will see the vertical scroll bar with two arrows inside it. At the bottom of the screen you will see the horizontal scroll bar.

1. Scroll one line up or down: Click the up or down scroll arrows on the vertical scroll bar. Scroll left or right: Click on the left or right scroll arrow on the horizontal scroll bar. Scroll a percentage of the document length: Drag the scroll box. Scroll a percentage of the document length: Drag the scroll box up or down the scroll bar.


3. 4.

Some scroll bars are horizontal, e.g.


Moving the insertion point To move the insertion point:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

A word right: A word left: Beginning of Document: End of Document: Paragraph Up/Down: Beginning of a line: End of a line: Previous Page: Next Page: Go to a particular page:

Ctrl Right Arrow Ctrl Left Arrow Ctrl Home Ctrl End Ctrl Up Arrow/Down Arrow Home End Ctrl Page Up Ctrl Page Down Ctrl G or F5 (Go to key) type page No and click Go To

Using the Menu The Word Menu Option can be activated in two ways: a) Using the Mouse Point to the Menu option, Click the Left mouse button to display the menu choices Point and click on the required command b) Using the keyboard Hold down ALT and press the underlined letter of the required menu option Press the underlined letter of the required command


If the command is followed by an ellipses (three dots) this indicates that a further list of options will be displayed. An arrow indicates further options available. Typical menus are: 1. File menu:


Edit Menu



View Menu:



Insert Menu


Format Menu:



Tools Menu:



Table Menu:

Two other menu commands are available, the Window Menu and Help Menu commands. These will be accessed in the same way, click the menu and a pull down menu appears. For example a Print Dialog box will Using a Dialog Box A Dialog box is a window that displays all the available options for a selected command. A dialog box usually has an OK and Cancel button


For example a print dialog Box will look as follows:

The box may or may not have other tabs which can be activated by clicking them. Activating a Shortcut Menu The Shortcut menu is an abbreviated version of the main Menu where the most frequently used commands are combined on one menu option. Shortcut menus are context sensitive and contain commands related to the item you are currently working with To activate the Shortcut Menu click the Right mouse button or press [Shift + F10] A typical Shortcut menu as the one below appears:


Working with the Toolbar MS-Word provides a Standard toolbar with icons to represent frequently used tasks. To invoke a task, point the required icon and click the Left mouse button To display more information about the toolbar icon point to the icon. The name of the icon appears on the screen, and additional information about the function of the icon appears in the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen. To display additional Toolbars 1. 2. 3. Point to the Toolbar area of the screen Click the Right mouse button once Point and Click the Toolbar you want to activate


Creating a document Each time you load MS-Word you will be presented with a new document. The window title bar will be documented as Document 1. At this point you are ready to start typing your document. Saving a document As Document 1 is not a legitimate name for the document, the first time you save the document you need to give it a name with SAVE AS command. 1. 2. Choose Save As from the File Menu Enter the filename in the File Name box. Unless you select or type another directory, the document will be saved in the current directory. Click on OK


The document stays on the screen after you save it so you can continue working on it. Notice the title bar now displays the new document name. Note: A typical and good filename can consist of up to 8 characters. MS-Word however can take long file names. It will assign a further three character extension of DOC to all data files and DOT to all template files. The filename and extension are separated by a full stop and should only contain characters A-Z or 0-9. Even spaces are now allowed unlike in earlier versions. MS-Word does not distinguish between UPPER and lower case characters in a filename. e.g. filename.doc MS-WORD Intro

Saving an existing document If the document has already been saved, but you want to update the disk with any changes which may have been made, you use the Save command. 1. Choose the Save command from the File Menu.

By using the above command, the dialog box will not be displayed. Each time a document is saved, the on-screen information replaces the previously saved document on disk. Alternatively you can use the Save Icon on the toolbar.


Closing a document This option is used when you are finished working on your document, have saved it and want to remove it from your screen and create a new file. 1. Choose Close from the File Menu

If you try to close a document without first saving all the changes, the system will prompt you that you have not saved the changes and give you the option now to save them. 2. Click Yes to save changes, No to discard changes, or Cancel to cancel the command.

Opening an existing document 1. Choose the Open command from the File Menu, or click the File Open Icon on the Standard Toolbar Ensure that correct drive and directory is currently selected. (If not, point to the required drive name (e.g. A: drive in the Open dialog, then the directory name and double-click).



Locate the required file, you may have to use the vertical scroll bar on the right of the list box


4. Note:

Click on the require file, and click OK When you open a file, MS-Word will always create an new window for the selected file, this means that several file windows can be open simultaneously.

Creating a new file 1. 2. 3. Choose New from the File Menu Click on the required template and click OK Or Choose the File New Icon from the Standard Toolbar

Word for Windows will open a new window for the document and assign the new sequential document number to the window. If there are other documents open, they will not be lost. MS-Word can hold up to 9 Document Windows.


Selecting text Selecting text is a process of highlighting text that needs to be worked with. In Word for windows you must always select text before applying any changes to it. Text can be selected with a mouse or with the Shift and arrow keys To select by dragging the mouse: 1. 2. 3. Position the insertion point at the beginning of the text to be selected Click and hold the left mouse button, drag the mouse over the required text Release the left mouse button

To cancel a selection, click the left mouse button Quick ways of selecting text Selection Method Double Click Ctrl Click With the pointer in the selection bar Double-Click With the pointer in the selection bar Ctrl Click Effect Selects the current word Selects the current sentence Selects the current paragraph. (The selection bar is the white space to the left of the left margin Selects the whole document

Selecting text with the keyboard Selection Method Shift Right Arrow Ctrl Shift Right Arrow Ctrl Shift Down Arrow Ctrl 5 (numeric keypad) Effect Selects the next character Selects the current word Selects the current paragraph Selects entire document


Applying text enhancements Text attributes are enhancements such as Bold, Underline, Italics, SMALL CAPS etc. Using the formatting toolbar to apply enhancements The Formatting Toolbar is displayed on screen each time you load MS-Word. This Toolbar is designed to make formatting features more accessible when using a mouse. 1. Point and click on the Icon on the Formatting bar i.e. B for bold I for italics U for underline Type the text Point and click on the Icon on the Formatting bar to turn it off

2. 3.

Applying the enhancement to existing text 1. 2. Note: Select the text you wish to apply the enhancement to Point and click on the enhancement on the Formatting bar Many enhancements can be applied to the text once it is selected, just point and click on the required enhancement.

Applying the enhancement using the menu Enhancements can be applied using the Menu Bar also. Select the text in the usual manner and when selected move the Pointer to the Menu bar and click on FORMAT. Next, click on FONT. Make sure that the FONT Sheet Tab is chosen. Click on the various enhancements you require and then click on OK. Using this method you will be able to apply a large amount of enhancements including Bold, Underline, Italics, Small Capitals, Strikethrough, Subscript, Superscript, Fonts, Point Sizes and Color. Removing enhancements If you wish to de-select any of these functions simply go through the same procedure one again.


Text alignment refers to the positioning of the text between the left and right margins. Again, alignment selections can be made from the Formatting toolbar or the Format menu. Aligning text from the formatting toolbar The following icons are displayed on the Formatting Toolbar This text is Centre Aligned This text is Left Aligned This text is Right Aligned 1. 2. 3. Point and click on the icon representing he required alignment Type the text and press <Enter> Point and click the <Left align> icon to turn off the alignment and return to the left margin

Changing the alignment of existing text 1. 2. Select the text you wish to change Point and click the icon representing the required alignment

Applying the alignment using the menu Text alignment can be applied using the Menu Bar also. Select the text in the usual manner and when selected move the Pointer to the Menu bar and click on FORMAT. Next click on PARAGRAPH. Make sure that the INDENTS AND SPACING Sheet Tab is chosen. Click on the ALIGNMENT and choose the required alignment and then click on OK.

Font Attributes Fonts A font is made up of three elements i.e. Typeface Weight Size (Times, Roman, Helvetica, Courier) (Bold, Italic) (10 point, 12 point, 8 point)


The fonts you have available for working with will be controlled by the version of Windows and the type of printer you have currently selected. Font Examples: This is an example of Times New Roman This is an example of CG Times This is an example of Courier This is an example of Arial This is an example of Lucida Handwriting Font sizes: This is size 12

This is size 14

This is size 16

This is size 18

This size 20

This is size 24
Selecting a font using the toolbar 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Point to the Font box in the Formatting Toolbar Click on the Down Arrow (to the right of the Box) Scroll through the available fonts using the vertical scroll bar, click on the required font Point and click on the Down arrow in the Font Size Box on the Formatting Toolbar Click on the required Font Size for the current font



Font selections can also be made from the Font option in the Format Menu


Printing a document on screen 1. 2. 3. Choose PRINT from the File Menu The Print dialog box will be displayed At the top of the dialog box the current printer is displayed, if you wish to change this click on Printer In the Page Range section you can specify which part of the document you wish to print. In the Copies section you can specify the number of copies for printing Once all the selections have been made, Click OK to print


5. 6.

The printer icon on the toolbar can also be selected for printing text Printing from the toolbar Point to the Printer Icon and click, the default print selections will be used for the printed text Print Preview It is always a good idea to view a document before you print it. Choose Print Preview for the File Menu or Click the Print Preview Icon on the Standard Toolbar The Print Preview screen will appear showing you the page on which your cursor is located. The mouse pointer will now take the shape of a magnifying glass with a little + sign in it. Click once with the left mouse button and a magnified view of the page will appear on your screen. If you click once again you will zoom out to a full page view again. You will only see one page in Print Preview. With the Multiple Pages button you can see up to six pages at one time. When you click on the Multiple Pages button a menu will appear. Click on the second page and this will display two pages of the document. When you click on the Print button you will send the document to the Printer. The Printing message box will appear. You can stop the printing by clicking on the Cancel


Button. You must wait until the Printing message box disappears before you can continue printing. Click on Close Print Preview. You will return to the Normal View screen.

Multiple pages can also be view by clicking the multiple pages icon of the Print Preview toolbars. The appearance of the multiple pages can be selected from the given option. Up to six pages can be viewed at once and the result may appear as follows:



Inserting text 1. 2. Move the insertion point to where the text is to be inserted. Type the text to be inserted. Word for Windows is automatically in insert mode, which means that wherever you place your I-Beam and type the new text will be inserted within the existing text without typing over anything.

Deleting Text Text can be deleted using the following selections Type of deletion Character before the insertion point Character after the insertion point Word before the insertion point Word after the insertion point Keystroke Backspace Delete Ctrl Backspace Ctrl Delete

Note: Larger amounts of text can be deleted using the selection process 1. Select (highlight) the text to be deleted 2. Press Delete Overwriting existing text 1. 2. 3. 4. Position the insertion point at the beginning of the text to be overwritten Press INSERT (the OVR flag will be displayed in the Status Bar) Type the new text Press INSERT to turn off overwrite mode

You can also overtype text by first highlighting the text you wish to overwrite and just type the new text. Word for Windows will automatically delete the old text and insert the new text.


To restore deleted text 1. Note: Choose Undo from the Edit Menu or press the Undo Icon on the Toolbar. The Undo command from the Standard Toolbar stores the last One Hundred commands and any of those commands can be undone by choosing the command from the list box. However because several changes in sequence often depend on preceding changes, you cannot select an individual action without undoing all the actions that appear above it in the list.


MS-Word has pre-set tabs at every .5" between the left and right margin. The default tabs can be changed or individual tabs may be set. Tab alignments The following is a sample of the different tab alignment options available in Word for Windows: Left Tab Decimal Text Aligns Left 12,234.95 Left 25.24 Note: Center Tab Text Centred at tab stop Centre Right Tab 175 123,789

When you set an individual tab in MS-Word, all the default tabs up to that point are cleared.

Setting tabs using the ruler You can use your mouse to set tabs directly on the Ruler. 1. Point and Click on the required tab type on the extreme left of the ruler (L). (If you click on this symbol it will change to different symbols representing the different kinds of Tabs) Point and Click on the required position in the Ruler area where you wish to set the tab Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each tab you want to set



Setting tabs using the menu 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Choose Tabs for the Format Menu In the Tabs Stop Position Box enter the Tab position as a numeric value Choose the Alignment option you require Click on the SET button which will now enter this position on the Ruler Line. After entering all the Tabs you click on the OK BUTTON.


Clearing tabs with the mouse 1. 2. 3. Point to the Tab icon that you wish to clear Click and drag the icon into the document area of the window Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each tab to be cleared

Clearing tabs with the menu 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Choose Tabs from the Format Menu To clear all of the current tabs point and click on the Clear All button To clear individual tabs point and click on the tab you wish to clear Click on Clear Click OK when done

Repositioning tabs after the text has been typed 1. 2. 3. Note: Select the text which is currently being controlled by the tab settings. Point to the Ruler area of the screen Click and drag the tab stops around until you are happy with the layout of the text. It is very important to select all of the text being effect by the existing tabs otherwise you may just change the text position of just a line in the group of lines of text.

Indenting text There are two type of indentation which can be applied to text (1) Full Left Indent:left margin. Where all of the text in the paragraph is indented from the

This is an example of a full left indent because all of the text in this paragraph is indented by .5"



Hanging Indent:Where the first line of text in the paragraph remains at the left margin and the rest of the text in the paragraph is indented. This is an example of a hanging indent where the first line of text starts at the left margin (the letter a) and the rest of the text is indented by .5" Hanging indents are usually associated with paragraph numbering


Creating a left indent using the menu 1. Choose Paragraph from the Format Menu Make sure the Indents and Spacing Tab Sheet is displayed. 2. 3. Type in the numeric value in the Left Indentation box. Click on OK.

Creating a left indent using the ruler 1. Click the paragraph indent marker to the required position on the ruler line. The paragraph indent marker is the little square under the triangles on the ruler line. Both the bottom and the top triangles should move when you drag the square. If only one triangle moves, it means the mouse pointer dragged a triangle instead of the square. Creating a left indent using the quick function keys 1. 2. 3. 4. Position the insertion point where you want to create the indented paragraph Press CTRL + M Type the text for the paragraph Press CTRL + SHIFT + M to turn off the left indent

Creating a hanging indent using the menu 1. Choose Paragraph from the Format Menu. Make sure the Indents and Spacing Tab Sheet is displayed. 2. 3. Click on the down arrow underneath the heading Special and click on Hanging. Type in the numeric value in the By box



Click on IL.

Creating a hanging indent using the ruler 1. Click the bottom triangle and drag it to the required position on the ruler line.

Creating a hanging indent using the quick function keys 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Position the insertion point where you want to create the hanging indent Press CTRL + T (Notice that the bottom triangle on the ruler line moves in). Type the first piece of text at the left margin (usually a paragraph number) Press TAB Type the remainder of the text for the paragraph. When you press Enter you will be taken back to the left margin to type in your next point. Repeat the above steps for the remainder of the points and paragraphs. Press CTRL + SHIFT + T to turn off a hanging indent.

6. 7.


Copy text Note: The Clipboard is a temporary storage area for text which is being copied or moved. When you use Copy or Cut, the selected text will replace anything currently in the Clipboard, and will remain there until something else is copied or cut

The copy text command enables you to repeat selected text within the document or paste it in another document. 1. 2. 3. 4. Cut The cut command enables you to move text from one location to another within a document or to another document. However, it is not advisable to move text from one document to another, text should always be copied between documents. 1. 2. 3. 4. Select the text to be cut Click on the Cut Icon to cut the selected text to the clipboard Position the insertion point where the text is to be pasted Click on the Paste icon to paste the text at the new location Select the text you wish to copy Click on the Copy Icon to copy the selected text to the Clipboard Position the insertion point where you wish to copy the text to Click on the Paste Icon to paste the text at the new location

Cut and Paste are available in the Edit Menu. Using drag & drop Drag & Drop enables you to move and copy text using mouse actions. Using Drag & Drop to Move 1. 2. Select the text you wish to move With the mouse, point into the selected text



Click and drag the mouse to the new location for the text (you should see an rectangular symbol attached to the mouse pointer) Release the mouse at the required location, the selected text should now be moved to the mouse pointer location.


Note: To copy text using Drag & Drop, at step 3 above hold down the Ctrl key. before Clicking and Dragging the mouse Coping text between documents 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Open the document you want to copy the text from Open the document you want to copy the text to Choose the Window menu option Click on the document you are copying from in the list of open documents Select the text to be copied and Click on the Copy Icon Choose the Window menu option Click n the document you are copying to in the list of open documents Position the insertion point where you want the copied text Click on the Paste Icon to paste the copied text Close down any unused documents


MS-Word allows you to search within a document for any combination of characters. It also allows you to replace this word with another word. It allows you to decide whether the replace should be carried out automatically or by pausing for confirmation at each potential replacement to allow the user to confirm whether it should be replaced or not. Find 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Position the insertion point at the top of the document Choose FIND from the Edit Menu Type the text you wish to find in the Find What Text box Click Find Next To repeat the Find click Find Next

Replace 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Position the insertion point at the top of the document. Choose REPLACE FOR THE Edit Menu Type the text to be replaced in the Find What box Type the replacement text in the Replace With box Choose Find Next Choose Replace - By choosing this option Word for Windows asks for confirmation before replacing each occurrence of the text. Choose Replace All - By choosing this option Word for Windows automatically replaces all occurrences of the text.


Speller The Word for Windows Speller checks through the document for miss-spelt words. Word for Windows will consider any word which it does not have in its dictionary to be a miss-spelt word. It will also check for double words. Words can be added to the Word for Windows dictionary 1. Choose Spelling from the Tools Menu or choose the Speller Icon from the toolbar. Word for Windows will start spell checking the document, if it finds a miss-spelt word the Spelling dialog box will appear If Word for Windows suggests the correct spelling for the word, click on the correct word and click on Change All To add a new word to the dictionary click on Add To ignore every occurrence of a word click on Ignore All To cancel the spell check click on Cancel



4. 5. 6.

Using autocorrect AutoCorrect is another way of capturing frequently used text or it can be used to preempt typing mistakes that occur regularly. If you are in a habit of typing teh instead of the you can store teh to be replaced with the in AutoCorrect, this means that every time you type the followed by a space Word will automatically replace it with the. You should used AutoText if you do not want text to be replaced automatically. Creating an autocorrect entry 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Choose AutoCorrect from the Tools Menu Type the incorrect entry in the Replace Box In the With box, type the entry itself Choose Add Choose Close


Activating autocorrect The AutoCorrect option is activated each time you type and AutoCorrect Entry Name followed by a space or a punctuation mark.


Inserting a hard page break A page break can be inserted manually if you wish to end one page and begin another. The page break is represented by a dotted line across the document window with the description Page Break centred 1. Press <Ctrl + Enter> to break a page

Converting upper/lower case 1. 2. Note: Select the text you wish to convert Press <Shift + F3> to convert the selected text Shift F3 is a toggle key and will rotate between Upper / Lower and Combination case each time you use it.

Line spacing The default line spacing is single, to change the line spacing make one of the following selections: Selection Ctrl + 1 Ctrl + 2 Ctrl + 5 1. 2. Effect Single line spacing Double line spacing Line and a half spacing

Position the insertion point where you want to change the line spacing Press <Ctrl + 2> for double spacing or <Ctrl + 5> for 1.5 spacing

Changing existing text If the text has already been typed, first select the text and repeat step 2 above Note: You can have different line spacing in different parts of the document, if the text has already been typed, just select the section and apply the new line spacing, or select the line spacing before you start typing, and change it when ever you require to do so.


Changing the margins 1. 2. 3. Choose Page Setup from the File Menu The Page Setup dialog box will be displayed To change the Left or Right Margins, point and click or relevant margin box and type the new margin setting in inches To change Top or Bottom Margins, point and click on the relevant margin box and type the new margin setting in inches If you want the new margin setting to be the default setting for every document you create, point and click on Default




Headers and footers A Header is text that is repeated at the top of every page in a document. A Footer is text that is repeated at the bottom of every page in a document. Adding a header to a document 1. 2. 3. 4. Choose Header/Footer from the View Menu Choose Header and Click OK The Insertion point is then positioned in the Header Window Type the <Header Text? Using the <TAB> key to centre or right align the header text Click on Close when finished.


Adding a footer to a document 1. 2. 3. 4. Choose Header/Footer from the View Menu Choose Footer and Click OK The Insertion point is then positioned in the Footer Window Type the <Footer Text> using the <TAB> key to centre or right align the footer text Click on Close when finished.


Automatic Page Numbering, Date and Time of Printing can be applied to Headers and Footers by clicking on the relevant Icon on the Header/Footer Toolbar.


The tables features enables you to work with columnar text, applying line drawing and creating a word wrap effect within each column of the table. With Tables you can arrange columns of numbers and text in a document without using tabs. Tables also provide a convenient way to present text in side-by-side paragraphs. Tables allows you to perform calculations in the same manner as a spreadsheet. Creating a table 1. 2. 3. 4. Choose Insert Table from the Table Menu Specify the number of columns in the Number of Columns box Specify the number of rows in the Number of Rows box Click OK to create a table with columns of even width. A gridlike structure will appear on the screen. This grid structure will not print Borders and Gridlines must be added if you want the grid to print. 5. You can also create a Table by clicking on the Table Icon on the Toolbar and highlighting the number of columns and rows you require.

Entering information in a table Use the mouse to lace the Cursor in a cell and start typing. Move from cell to cell using the TAB and Up/Down/Left/Right Arrow Keys. * To jump back a cell within the table press Shift and Tab.

If you press the Return key in table you will add an extra line to the row you are in. If you do this in error use the Backspace key to remove it. You will notice that all inserted text and numbers in the table will automatically be left aligned. You will often need to right Align numbers. Selecting the table Highlight the entire table by: 1. Using the left button on the mouse and dragging (in the same manner as you would highlight a paragraph of text).



Bringing the mouse to the top grid like of the first column until the mouse pointer resembles and down pointing arrow, then click to select the entire column and drag to highlight the rest of the table.

Setting tabs within the table 1. 2. 3. Select the Column you want the tabs to take effect in. Set the tabs in the usual manner. To use the actual tab feature within a Table press CTRL and TAB. By pressing TAB you will move from cell to cell by pressing CTRL and TAB you will stay within the cell and just move to the Tab position. However if the first tab within the cell is a Decimal Tab and you press Tab to move into this cell the cursor will position itself at the Decimal Tab location. Changing the column widths 1. Point and click anywhere inside the table area Notice that the Ruler changes when the cursor is within the Table indicating the different column boundaries (Small grid buttons). 2. Point to the Button icon in the Ruler area which represent the current column width Click and drag the Button icon to increase or decrease the width of the required column.


Adding borders to the table 1. 2. 3. Select the table Choose Borders & Shading from the Format Menu Point and Click on the Grid option which will insert the default outline on you table and internal gridlines. You can choose from a selection of Line Styles for the border by clicking on the down arrow under Line Style and choose a style of line. When finished click on OK.




Shading cells in a table 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Select the cells you wish to apply the shading to Choose Borders & shading from the Format Menu Choose Shading Specify the depth of shading required in the Shading box Click OK

Borders and Shading can also be applied to the Table using the order Icon on the Toolbar and immediately a new button bar appears at the top of your screen. Merging cells in a table Merge cells combines the contents of adjacent cells into one single cell. This command is available only when you select two or more cells in a row. You can only merge cells horizontally. 1. 2. Select the Cells you wish to merge Choose Merge Cells from the Table Menu

Word automatically inserts a return to increase the size of the row, you may deleted this return by pressing the delete or backspace key. Inserting a column in the table 1. 2. Select the column to the right of where the new column is to be inserted Choose Insert Columns from the Table Menu

Deleting a column in the table 1. 2. Select the column you wish to delete Choose Delete Columns from the Table Menu

Inserting a row at the end of the table 1. 2. Position the insertion point in the last cell of the table Press <Tab> to add a new row to the table


Inserting a row in the table 1. 2. Select the Row where you wish to insert the extra row. Choose Insert Rows from the Table Menu

Deleting a row in the table 1. 2. 3. Note: Select the row you wish to delete Choose delete Rows from the Table Menu Click OK. All of the Font, Enhancements and Alignment features covered in earlier sections can be used when working with tables.

Calculating numeric data in a table Word Table feature can be used as a mini-spreadsheet to carry out calculations. You can quickly add numbers in a row or column, you can add, subtract, multiply, divide and average numbers. You can calculate percentages and find the minimum and maximum value for a range of cells. The following keys may be used when calculating. + / * Addition Division Subtraction Multiplication

as with Microsoft Excel, cells are referred to as A1, A23 B1, B2 and so on, with the letter representing a column and the number representing a row. A 1 2 3 Insert the numeric values into the table 1. 2. 3. Position the insertion point where the result of the calculation should be placed Choose Table from the menu bar and then choose Formula To sum the cells above on to the right accept the prompt in the dialog box and choose OK B C D


Changing the numeric format 1. 2. 3. From within the Formula option in Tables choose Number Format. Click on the down arrow to display the various selections available. Click on the required format and choose IL.

Paste function Paste Function lists the functions e.g. Average, Min, Max, Count etc. you can use to calculate numbers. If you select a function from this list it automatically appears in the formula box.


Microsoft Excel

Excel is a spreadsheet program that organizes and keeps track of data, which can be used to create charts, worksheets, and databases. Excel is frequently used for its ability to perform mathematical calculations with large volumes of data. It also produces graphs and charts with ease. This manual aims to help people of any experience level become familiar with working in Excel and to provide direction in employing some of Excel¶s more sophisticated features. Basics To open Excel from the UM computer labs, click on the Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen and select PROGRAMS > MS OFFICE > MICROSOFT EXCEL. You should see a screen that looks similar to this:


The Excel Environment At the top of the window is a blue bar called the title bar. The title bar contains the name of the application, Microsoft Excel, and the name of the workbook you are working in, which Excel automatically calls Book1 until you name it otherwise. A workbook is the file in which you work and store your data. The title bar also contains the minimize button, the maximize/restore button, and the close button. The largest portion of the screen is taken up by a view of the worksheet area. Worksheets are used to list and analyze data. At the bottom left of the screen are worksheet tabs that indicate the active worksheet. By default, new workbooks contain At the bottom and right of the screen are scrollbars, which can be used to view parts of the worksheet that are off screen. Along the left and top of the worksheet area are row headings and column headings. Rows are denoted by numbers and columns are denoted by letters.


The thick black rectangle indicates the selected cell. A cell is the intersection of a row and a column. The selected cell¶s reference, A1, appears in the name box. The cell reference is composed of the column letter followed by the row number. To the right of the name box is the formula bar, which is where text and formulas are entered and edited for each cell. Below the title bar is the menu bar, containing lists of commands you use to give Excel instructions. The standard toolbar resides below the menu bar, and contains buttons with images that correspond to some frequently-used menu commands. The formatting toolbar is usually located below or next to the standard toolbar. It contains buttons that correspond to several commands for formatting cells. Managing Workbooks The most effective menu for managing your workbooks is the FILE menu, under which you will find the following useful commands: NEW ± asks what type of new workbook you want to create OPEN ± brings up a dialog box so you can select an already-existing workbook to work with CLOSE ± closes the workbook you are currently working in SAVE ± saves current workbook under the name it has already been given SAVE AS ± brings up a dialog box so you can enter a name and location for the workbook PAGE SETUP ± allows you to adjust page settings, margins, the header and footer, titles, and other print options PRINT AREA ± sets the selected cells as the only area to be printed PRINT PREVIEW ± displays the workbook as it will appear on paper PRINT ± brings up a dialog box asking which printer to send workbook to EXIT ± closes all workbooks and exits Excel Although there are additional options under the FILE menu, the ones discussed in this manual are those which you will probably find yourself using the most.


Toolbars may be moved by clicking on their ³handles´ (located in their uppermost left corner) and dragging them to other locations. If a toolbar is in its own window, it can be relocated by clicking and dragging its title bar. If the workbook has not been saved before, Excel automatically brings up the Save As dialog box. Entering Data Cells can contain text, numerical values, formulas, or functions. To enter data into a cell, select the cell by clicking on it, and begin typing. The text will appear in the formula bar. When the entry is complete, press Enter. If the text does not fit in the cell, it will overlap if the adjacent cells are empty. If the adjacent cells are not empty, part of the entry remains covered, and the complete entry must be viewed from the formula bar. This can be resolved by resizing the column width (see Cell Manipulation below). Text is automatically left aligned, whereas numerical values are right aligned.


The EDIT menu contains commands that you may find helpful when changing information in cells. UNDO ± reverses your last command or deletes typing REPEAT ± repeats your last command, if possible CUT ± removes selected text and temporarily saves it on the clipboard COPY ± places a copy of selected text on the clipboard PASTE ± inserts contents of clipboard at insertion point PASTE SPECIAL ± pastes the contents of clipboard in format you specify FILL ± see AutoFill, below CLEAR ± removes the specified data without placing it on the clipboard DELETE ± removes selected data DELETE SHEET ± removes entire spreadsheet from the workbook MOVE OR COPY SHEET ± moves/copies an entire spreadsheet within a workbook FIND ± searches for text/formatting you specify REPLACE ± finds and replaces specified text/formatting

AutoFill: Excel can use initial values in a few cells to create a logical list of entries, like numbers following a pattern, words (such as the days of the week), or alpha-numeric entries. For example, if you wanted to create a list of even numbers, enter ³2´ in one cell, ³4´ in the next cell, then select both cells. Click on the lower right-hand corner of the selection rectangle. The pointer will become a black cross. Drag for as long as you want your list. Excel will fill in the data it assumes you want. Another feature that may be helpful when working with data is Sort. Cells can have their values specifically sorted by selecting the group of cells to sort then choosing DATA >


SORT. This feature can be used to put lists into alphabetical, chronological, or numerical order. Modifying Workbooks Excel allows you to alter the sizes and locations of rows, columns, and cells in a spreadsheet. You can also add, remove, and reorganize worksheets in your workbook to create an accommodating workbook. Cell Manipulation ‡ Adding/Removing: A cell may be added or removed by using: o The mouse by right-clicking on the desired cell then choosing: Insert: An additional cell, row or column will be added before the corresponding selection. If a cell is inserted an additional options will appear asking in which direction to shift the existing cells. Delete: The selected cell, column or row will be removed along with all values and formulas existing in it. o The INSERT menu option and choosing Cells/Rows/Columns: An additional cell, row or column will be added before the corresponding selection. If a cell is inserted an additional options will appear asking in which direction to shift the existing cells. Merging: Two or more adjacent cells may be merged by selecting the desired cells then clicking the Merge and Center button on the formatting toolbar. Resizing: A cell may be resized by adjusting the width of the column or the height of the row using: o The mouse to left-click on the appropriate divider in the row or column label and then dragging it to the desired size. o The FORMAT menu option and choosing: S ize: A manual setting for the desired height or width. AutoFit: An automatic adjustment to fit the largest item in the selected row or column.

‡ ‡


Freeze Pane/Split Screen: Creates a portion of the worksheet that remains on the screen while the rest of the worksheet scrolls. This is useful when you have a long list and want to simultaneously view the headings and the values that are toward the end of the list. To use Freeze Pane/Split Screen select the desired row,


column or cell(s) and then choose WINDOW > FREEZE PANE or WINDOW > SPLIT. The difference between Freeze Pane and Split Screen is that Freeze Pane keeps all the data in one window whereas Split Screen creates smaller separate windows for each split data. Worksheet Manipulation Renaming: A worksheet may be renamed by: o Right-clicking on the desired worksheet tab and selecting Rename, or o Double-clicking on the worksheet name and typing in a new one. Adding: Additional worksheets may be added by: o Choosing INSERT > WORKSHEET, or o Right-clicking on the worksheet tabs and selecting Insert. Removing: A worksheet may be removed by: o Choosing EDIT > DELETE SHEET, or o Right-clicking on the worksheet tabs and selecting Delete. Reorganizing: The order in which the worksheets are arranged can be changed by: o Left-clicking on the desired worksheet tab and dragging it to the new location in the worksheet order, or o Right-clicking on the worksheet tab and selecting Move or Copy«, then choose a location Copying: A worksheet may be copied by: o Choosing EDIT > MOVE OR COPY SHEET and checking ³Create a copy´ in the dialog box o Right-clicking the worksheet tab, selecting Move or Copy«, and checking ³Create a copy´


Formatting Cells The appearance of cells can be formatted to create an attractive workbook. Cells may be formatted using various pre-defined options that Excel provides. To format cells, first select the desired cells, then either: ‡ right-click on the selection and choose Format Cells« or ‡ choose FORMAT > CELLS from the menu bar. The Format Cells dialog box contains options Excel provides for cell formatting are: ‡ Number: displays numerical values in a specific format using symbols, decimal places or other commonly used formats. ‡ Alignment: controls the vertical and horizontal positioning of the text, as well as the way text appears in cells ‡ Font: controls the font sizes, colors and styles cell(s). ‡ Borders: controls if borders will exist around the selected cell(s) and how the borders will be displayed. ‡ Patterns: controls the background colors or for giving a background pattern to the selected cell(s).

The formatting toolbar provides an easy way to apply some of the same formatting:

Font Size BoldItalicsUnderline Left AlignCenter Align Right Align Merge and Center Currency Style Percent StyleComma Style Increase DecimalDecrease DecimalDecrease IndentIncrease IndentBorders Fill Color Font Color

Formulas A formula can be used to calculate a value for a specific cell based on the values of any

other number of cells. All formulas begin with the equal sign (=). Formulas appear in the formula bar, but their results are displayed in the cell. Formulas often refer to other cells. For example, if the formula =A1+A2+A3 were entered into cell A4, then the value ³16´ would be displayed in A4.

Cell References
A reference identifies a cell or a range of cells on a worksheet, for use in a formula. Excel refers to columns with letters and to rows with numbers. To refer to a cell, enter the column letter followed by the row number. For example, D5 refers to the cell at the intersection of column D and row 5. To refer to a range of cells, enter the reference for the cell in the upper-left corner of the range, a colon (:), and then the reference to the cell in the lower-right corner of the range. In the diagram, the selected range can be referred to as B3:D5. When copying and pasting cell references, it is helpful to recognize the difference between relative and absolute references. If you were to paste the formula =A1+A2+A3 into cell B4, the formula would be pasted as =B1+B2+B3 because the cell references are relative, meaning Excel changes the cell references depending on their location. Because the formula was pasted in column B, Excel changed the A¶s in the formula to B¶s.


The dollar sign ($) is used to indicate absolute references. The formula =$A$1+$A$2+$A$3 would return the same value as =A1+A2+A3. The difference is that it could be pasted anywhere in the worksheet and it would still be pasted as =$A$1+$A$2+$A$3, because the dollar signs indicate that the row and column references are absolute ± they will not be changed by Excel. To enter cell references in a formula, you can type them in manually or click on the cells you want in the formula. That is, type an equals sign, then click on a cell and Excel will enter the cell reference into the formula. You can even refer to cells in other worksheets and other workbooks this way.


When creating formulas keep in mind: ‡ Excel performs the operations from left to right according to the order of operator precedence. ‡ Use parentheses to control the order of operations by grouping operations you want performed first. ‡ You may use arithmetic and logic operators from the ³Calculation operators in formulas´ handout. Functions Functions are predefined formulas. The SUM function could be used to return the same value as the formula =A1+A2+A3 by entering =SUM(A1,A2,A3). An abbreviated way would be to use a range. So, =SUM(A1:A3) would also return ³16´ in the cell that the function was entered into. Excel already has a wide variety of functions. See if one of those will accomplish your task before creating

your own formula. Choose INSERT > FUNCTION or click the function button on the standard toolbar, and select the function you want to use. Excel will then ask you to fill in information that you want used in its calculations. You can either enter cell references or click on the cells you want to use, or type in additional information manually.


Here is a list of some common functions that you may find useful: AVERAGE displays the arithmetic mean of the cells referred to in parentheses. COUNT displays the number of numerical values in the cells referred to in parentheses. COUNTA displays the number of non-empty cells among those referred to in parentheses. MAX displays the highest value among the cells referred to in parentheses. MIN displays the lowest value among the cells referred to in parentheses. RAND displays a random value that is at least zero but less than 1. ROUND displays the value in cell D7 rounded to the number of decimal places after the comma in the parentheses (4). SUM displays the sum of the values in the cells referred to in parentheses. TODAY displays the current date. Remember that functions, like formulas, must begin with an equals sign (=) and must be followed by parentheses, even if no reference is required between the parentheses (as in the RAND and TODAY functions). If you enter a function without a preceding equals sign, Excel treats it as text and will not perform any calculations. There are hundreds of other functions in Excel which may help you accomplish your purpose, but if all else fails, you can just create your own formula from scratch. Microsoft Excel 2000 Manual


Chart Wizard A graphical depiction of a worksheet can be created using the Chart Wizard. To use the chart wizard choose INSERT > CHART or left-click on the Chart Wizard button on the toolbar.

Menu Item Step 1 of 4

Option Chart Type Chart Sub-Type Custom Types View Sample Next >

Step 2 of 4 < Back Data Range Series in: Add Remove Name Category (X) axis labels: Next > Step 3 of 4 < Back Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels, Data Table Next > Rows Columns

Description ³Chart Type´ Select which type of chart to use Select variations of the Chart Type Select from more Chart types Used to preview Chart Type using values from the selected cells Move on to the next step ³Chart Source Data´ Go back to the previous step Specify or modify the source of the data in the chart Use selected cells for series in rows Use selected cells for series in columns Add another row or column of values to the chart Remove the selected series from the chart Enter the name to use for the series Enter a label to use for each value in the X-axis Go to the next step ³Chart Options´ Go back to the previous step Add titles, labels, choose whether gridlines, legends, labels, data table should appear Go to the next step


Step 4 of 4 < Back Place chart: As a new sheet: As object in: Finish

³Chart Location´ Go back to the previous step Place the chart into an its own separate sheet Place the chart into the selected sheet Inserts chart

Pictures ‡ Inserting: An image may be imported into a spreadsheet for display. Choose INSERT > PICTURE > CLIP ART ± to select a picture from clip art gallery > FROM FILE ± to select a picture saved on your computer > AUTOSHAPES ± to bring up the AutoShapes toolbar and insert shapes which can contain text > ORGANIZATION CHART ± to chart an organizational hierarchy > WORDART ± to create text effects using the WordArt toolbar on words you enter. ‡ Resizing: Once an image is inserted into a spreadsheet it may be resized by: o Left-clicking on the border of the image and dragging it to change the size. o Right-clicking on the image and selecting Format Picture. Floating: When an image is inserted into a spreadsheet it ³floats´ above the data instead of occupying a cell. To move the image simply click on it then drag it around. Format Picture: Format Picture provides a few simple options for editing the appearance of an inserted image. o Colors and Lines allow you to change the picture¶s fill color and the appearance of borders o Size alters the size and angle of the picture o Picture crops picture and alters brightness/contrast o Protection locks picture from being altered if the spreadsheet is protected (see Tools) o Properties controls how the position is changed o Web displays alternative text while picture loads





Headers and Footers To add headers and footers (information that repeats at the top and bottom of every page), choose either VIEW > HEADERS AND FOOTERS or FILE > PAGE SETUP and choose the Header/Footer tab. You can select a preset one or customize your own. When customizing your own headers and footers, text can be positioned on the left, center, and right of the page. Some of the fields you can insert include page number, date, time, Tools There are a few options under the TOOLS menu which you may find useful under certain circumstances. They include: ‡ Protection: Restricts others from changing values and formulas of selected cell(s) or spreadsheet. ‡ Goal Seek: Determines what value a cell must be changed to in order to produce a desired result in another cell. For example, if you spend $50 per week, your Excel chart indicates that you will spend $300 before you go home for the semester. If you only have $250 available for spending, you can use Goal Seek to figure out how much you should spend per week before going into debt. It turns out you need to spend $42 per week rather than $50. Scenarios: Allows you to change the values of several cells and save the results as a scenario within the same workbook. Excel will ask you to enter the new values for the changing cells. You can view other scenarios by selecting one and clicking Show.




Microsoft Access

‡ ‡

The Open dialogue box appears In the Open dialogue box, under File Name, type the location of your PFM Microsoft Access tables. In order to find the location of your Access tables, go to the PFM Main Menu, click on the User Settings button and then the Paths tab. Write down your Database location. The Access tables are located on the root of the PFM data directory, something like this: \\ntserver\apps\pfmdata\access\pfm97.mdb. Call PFM (610-668-1655) if you



have trouble finding your Access tables. The Microsoft Access database contains Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, Macros, and Modules. You will be using Tables, Queries, and Reports.

IMPORTANT: All the data in the PFM Tables is LIVE data. It comes from and is directly linked to PFM. DO NOT MAKE These are the standard data tables contained in PFM.

Double-click the table name to open it. ‡ AirplaneInfo=Aircraft database

Tables tab ‡ Airport2=Airport database ‡ AirportInfo=Primary airport database info ‡ Authorizers=Record keeping auth per leg ‡ ChargeAcctInfo=Pax database ‡ CrewData=Record keeping: crew per leg ‡ CrewRatings=Ratings from crew database ‡ Crewsched=Crew from scheduling ‡ Dispatch=Scheduling module ‡ FBO=Airport database ‡ Flightlog=Record keeping, front page, mostly ‡ Flitelog2=More record keeping ‡ Hotel=Airport database/hotels ‡ paxData=Pax data from record keeping (per leg) ‡ PaxInfo=Pax database ‡ PaxSched=Pax from scheduling


‡ ‡ ‡ ‡



Pilot=Crew database XtraPax=More pax database XtraPax2=Even more pax database Tables. The table is the basic data container in Microsoft Access. All data contained in the PFM Access Interface is contained in tables. Each table contains information from a specific section of PFM, such as FlightLog. However, as PFM has grown, we have created additional tables to accommodate the extra data. Thus you will see not only a FlightLog table, but also Flitelog2. Even so, each table contains unique data, with no overlap between tables. It will most likely be necessary to consult with PFM about which table contains the information you are looking for until you get more familiar with the table structure. Fields. A field is a category of information such as tail number, trip number, or date. Please note that the field names are generic and refer to specific parts of the internal PFM code. Sometimes, you will find field names that are confusing, however, you can usually determine what the field represents by just looking at the data in that field. If you need further assistance, please call PFM. Record. A record is the set of fields for a specific item. Thus, reading from left to right across the first record will tell you that the aircraft number is 3 (the PFM physical aircraft number), the PFM pointer is 8 (the internal number PFM tracks unique records by), the tail number is N46MW, the trip number is 8 (the eighth flight log of the year, for that aircraft), the date is 1/14/2000 which is the first month (1), fourteenth day (14), etc. In order to see all the data contained in the record, use the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen.

Field caption Records Fields Total number of records Selected record


Queries: Creating Queries Using a Single Table
Queries are created by combining fields in single or multiple tables and then filtering (or limiting) the output in order to achieve the desired results. ‡ The first step is to decide what information you want to see. Next, you determine what table or tables that data are stored in. In some instances, only a single table will be necessary for the query. When two or more tables are necessary, the tables must be related. The only requirement for relating two tables in a query is that they share unique common data in fields with the same data type and size. In other words, a Tail number would not be considered as unique data because you might have reused the same tail number when you purchased a new aircraft. However, in PFM the physical aircraft number is unique because as you enter a new aircraft into PFM, the system assigns it a new physical aircraft number and that number is never reused by a different aircraft. Refer to page 12 for a table of unique fields.

You have been asked to determine: How many times each aircraft has flown to a city pair over a date range. On the Queries tab, click the New button. The New Query dialog box appears. Double-click Design view. New query dialog box ‡ A New Query window and the Show Table dialog box appear. The Show Table box contains a list of all the PFM Access tables. Double-click Flightlog then close the Show Table dialogue box. ‡ The Flightlog table (list of fields) is added to the table pane (top of the screen) of the query window. ‡ In the Flightlog table, double-click the Tail# field. The Tail # field is added to the QBE (query by example) grid. ‡ Double-click the ORG field and the DES field. (You will have to scroll down in the Flightlog table to locate these fields.) As you double-click each field, it is added to the QBE grid. ‡ Double-click the TRP# field. This field is necessary in order to have the query display a count of each unique city pair. Otherwise, the query would show that 151AE went from DAL to BDL, but not how many times. ‡ Double-click the Date field to add it to the QBE grid. ‡ These are all the data fields you need for your query. Now we need to fine-tune the query to display exactly what you want to see. ‡ The TRP# field has to be told that it has to actually COUNT the number of unique city pairs, not just display the TRP# for each pair. ‡ Go to View and double-click on Totals. The Totals line is added to the QBE grid. ‡ Click in the Totals line, under TRP# (it probably says Group By). You will get a drop-down box. Select Count by single-clicking.



The final part of the query is to establish the required Date Parameters. (See p.14 for a discussion of Parameters.) ‡ Click in the Totals line, under the Date field. From the drop-down box, select Where. (As in ³Where the desired date is between this year/month/day and that year/month/day.) . ‡ In the Criteria line, type the following exactly: Between [start date] And [end date].



Your query design is now complete. ‡ To run your query, click the ! on the toolbar. Run query a start date. Type in the desired Start date using mm/dd/yyyy format. Then click the OK button. ‡ You will be prompted to type in ‡ You will now be prompted to enter the desired end date. Proceed as above and click OK. ‡ Your query will now run. Depending on the size of the date range you have chosen (and thus the amount of data Access has to sort through) your query make take a few minutes to run.

The completed query
Your query will appear in Datasheet view, similar to a table, except that the Title Bar says Select Query. ‡ The records are displayed in the order in which they were entered into the table. ‡ In order to sort by Tail Number, put the cursor Tail Number field and click the AZ button on the toolbar. ‡ In order to sort by Origin or Destination, follow the same procedure. ‡ In order to sort by the most frequently visited city pair, put the cursor in the Trip# field and click the ZA button on the toolbar. ‡ Save your query by clicking File/Save and typing in the desired name for the query, City-Pairs.



Reports are based on queries. The query contains only the details you want to show in the report and the resulting report loads faster. ‡ Select the Reports tab, then click the New button. The New Report dialog box will be displayed. Double-click Report Wizard. The Report Wizard starts and the first step appears. ‡ In the Tables/Queries combo box, click the down arrow. Then, select Query: CityPairs. ‡ The field names in the CityPairs query appear in the Available Fields list. ‡ Click the right double arrow to move all four fields into the Selected Fields list.

‡ ‡ ‡

‡ ‡ ‡

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

Click the Next button. The second Report Wizard step appears. The CityPairs report will be grouped by Tail number. This makes the Tail number display only once, with the corresponding City Pairs grouped under it. Otherwise, the Tail number would be repeated for each city pair displayed on the report.. Double-click Tail number to move it into the Grouping box at the right. Click Next. The third Report Wizard step appears. In this step, you¶re setting the sorting protocol for the list: you will sort alphabetically by Origin. In box 1, click the down arrow. Click ORG. The sort button next to ORG shows an ascending icon (A-Z) because that¶s the default sort order. If you click the button, the sort order is set to descending (Z-A). Click the Next button The fourth Report Wizard appears and shows the report layout. The default layout (stepped and portrait) is good for this report. Click the Next button. The fifth Report Wizard appears and gives you six styles to choose from. Click to display the various layout styles. Then click to select the one you like and click the Next button. The sixth Report Wizard step asks you for a name for your report. It is best to rename it CityPairs Report so that it has a name which differentiates it from the query ³CityPairs.´ Click Finish The Wizard creates your report. See page 11 for the finished report. You may want to Modify the Layout of the report. Choose Modify the Reports Design Then click Finish. The report is displayed in Layout view. In order to add an additional label to the reports title, for instance a printed date range, click the Aa button. Then move your mouse to where you want the new label and click and drag to draw a box. You can then type the desired information into the box, i.e., Jan 1, 2000March 1, 2000. When you are satisfied with the layout of your report, click the Datasheet view button. You will be prompted to specify the Start date, as we set up in the Query. Type in the Start date using mm/dd/yyyy format. Click the OK button. Type in the End date using mm/dd/yyyy format. Click the OK button. The finished report will be displayed. Click File/print to get a printed copy of the report.








PFM Access Tables and Unique Field Identifiers
Table Name
AirplaneInfo AirportInfo Airport2 Authorizors Charge AcctInfo CrewData CrewRatings Crewsched Dispatch FBO Flightlog Flitelog2 Hotel PaxData PaxInfo PaxSched Pilot XtraPax XtraPax2

Location of Data
Aircraft Database Airport Database Airport Database Record Keeping Auth Tab Pax Database Recordkeeping Crew Database Crew from Scheduling Scheduling Module Aircraft Database Record Keeping Record Keeping Airport database/Hotels Record Keeping Passenger Database Passengers in Scheduling Crew Database Passenger Database Passenger Database

Unique Field
ACNumber Air ident Airport ID YR+AC#+PFMprt+Authpos Rec ID YR+AC#+Ptr+POS Crew_Number+Aircraft_Type Pilot+Date+Aircraft Aircraft+Phystrpdate+Thisleg FBOID Yr+AC#+PFMptr Yr+AC#+PFMptr Unique_ID Yr+AC#+Ptr+POS PFMAcct Tripdate+Leg+Index+Aircraft Crew# Acct Acct+Company

A unique Field Identifier, also known as a Primary Key, is the field that uniquely identifies each record. ‡ Sometimes, there is only one Unique Field Identifier. An example of this would be the PaxInfo table which stores the passenger database information. The only Primary Key needed for this table is the PFM Account number (the PFM ³S´ code.) As each ³S´ Code is used only once for each passenger in PFM, that is all that is necessary to identify a passenger in the passenger database. ‡ HOWEVER, in the PaxSched table, which contains the data from the Scheduling module, you need to use four Primary Keys to identify a unique record: Aircraft, Tripdate, Leg, and Index. Aircraft is the physical aircraft number, Tripdate represents the date of the trip, Leg is the leg number for that day, and Index is the PFM S-code for the passenger. These four data fields will uniquely tell Access that Mr. Smith (S-code SEQFQ) flew on aircraft #4 (N123CF), on November 10, 2000, leg #3.


Adding Criteria to a Query
A criteria is a rule or filter that tells Access which records you want to see. (See the table on p. 15 for more information on criteria.) For example, you can set a criteria in your query to display only records from specific destination airport identifiers. This would answer the question: ³How many times did we fly into Philadelphia (PHL) and Wings airport (N67) over a specified date range. ‡ ‡ On the Queries Tab, single click the CityPairs query to select it. Click the Design button.

The CityPairs query opens in design view. You¶ll set the criteria for Philadelphia (PHL) and Wings (N67) in the DES (destination) field. ‡ In the Criteria row of the DES column, type PHL or N67. ‡ Click in a different cell. When you click in a different cell, the criteria you type is surrounded by quotation marks.
"PHL" Or "N67"


‡ ‡ ‡ ‡


On the Toolbar click the View button The query switches to Datasheet view. Enter the Start and End dates as prompted, then click OK The records for N67 and PHL are displayed in the query datasheet. You can sort the DES field by clicking in it and then clicking the AZ button from the toolbar. The records will be sorted, with N67 displayed first. Close the query by clicking the X at the top right of the screen and save the query when prompted.

Setting Parameters It¶s great to be able to set criteria to get specific records you want, but each time you change your criteria, you have to open the query in Design view and set new criteria. If you change criteria often (for example, if you want to see a new date range each time or a specific tail number) you can set up Parameters which asks you for the criteria each time you run the query. Using parameters is a more ³user-friendly´ way of displaying the desired information rather than redesigning the query in Design view. You already have seen an example of parameters when we inserted a date field in the City-Pairs query on pp. 5-6. We will set up a parameter that allows you to select the desired tail number for the query.


‡ ‡

Open the CityPairs query in Design view. In the Criteria cell in the Tail# column, type

[What tail number do you want?] Be sure that you type the square brackets. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Now every time you run the query, a dialog box will ask you which tail number you want, as well as the date range you want. On the toolbar, click the View button or the! In the Enter Parameter Value box, enter the desired dates and then the tail number and click OK. The query will run and return the records you want. Click the X to close the query and save your changes when prompted.


Table of Common Criteria used by Queries
Criteria Location (in Design View) Criteria: Purpose Example


Records having one characteristic AND another characteristic

Using the Hotel Database, create a query finding all records containing BOTH the words Courtyard and Marriott. Like "*COURTYARD*" And Like "*MARRIOTT *" The word Like means that Courtyard and Marriott are only a part of the text in the record. The * before and after Courtyard and Marriott means that there might be more text before or after Courtyard and Marriott. (Note: Access 97 is case sensitive, while Access 2000 is not.) Find only records containing PHL or N67 (as in the example on p. 12). "PHL" Or "N67"



Records having one characteristic OR another characteristic Records that DO NOT have a specified characteristic Concatenates fields. (Concatenate: To join together two or more fields or lists to form one big one. Definition courtesy of (Free Online Dictionary of Com-puting.ORG.) Check it out!!



Finds all records WITHOUT the words Courtyard and Marriott. Not like ³*COURTYARD*´ and not like ³*MARRIOTT *´ See And, above. Using the Hotel Database, create a query which concatenates the fields Address, City, and Zip into one field, labeled Location, with the correct punctuation. Location: [address] & ", " & [city] & " " & [zip]Location: is the new name of the concatenated field. [address] is the name of the first field to be concatenated. (Note the [ ] indicates that this word is a field name.) [city] is the name of the second field to be concatenated. [zip] is the name of the last field to be concatenated. (Note: the field names must match EXACTLY the way the field names are spelled, including punctuation and spaces, if any, however, they are not casesensitive.) & joins the fields. ", " " " The quotes enclose the punctuation: comma+space in the first instance, space (only) in the second.





Records having the criteria as part of the field.

Find all records that start with the letter A. Like "A*" Find all records that end with LTON Like "*ILTON" Find all records that start with the letters C-F Like "[C-F]*" Find all records that contain the letter sequence RRIOTT. Like "*RRIOTT*" Find all records with Zip Codes between 11434 and 22202 Between "11434" And "22202"

Between.. And


Records having a value between the two values you specify.


Is Null


Records having no entry in the field Records having an entry in the field. Equal to Not equal to Greater than Less than

Find all records without an address. Is Null Find all records with an address Is Not Null

Is Not Null = <> > <



Find all Zip Codes equal to 61701 ="61701" Find all Zip Codes except 61701 <>"61701" Find all Zip Codes greater that 61701 >"61701" Find all Zip Codes less that 61701 <"61701"


Part II Communication


9 Principles

and the process of communications

Communication is a particularly human attribute that is responsible for the special mutuality that exists among human beings. However, if taken for granted, communication can disrupt the tranquillity being experienced. The accountant communication is more that the human attribute, it is more of the blood life for the business enterprise. Taking it that the organisation involves commercial, technical, security, accounting, financial and management activities, the accountant¶s role in the enterprise would be bizarre with poor understanding of communication. Learning Outcomes/Objectives By the end of this unit, we should be able to: i) ii) iii) Identify the major aspects of communication Apply the various modes (medium) of communication available; Define our intended audiences and Route our communication correctly so as to get the best results; Evaluate proactively the potential barriers to a particular communication event with a view of taming them before they strike.


Element1. The Nature and Purpose of Communication 1. What Is Communication ± a Definition? Many people who rightly avoid getting entangled in intellectual disputes prefer describing communication to defining it. This is because an attempt to define communication ends in a description of it. Those who feel communication is something definable usually fall short of recognising it as a two way process by claiming that it µ« is the transmission of «¶ while others say it µ« is the transmission or exchange of «¶ thereby purporting that µtransmission¶ means the same as µexchange,¶ which is not exactly the case.


The process approach which this module adopts gives freedom to explore communication as a way of doing something rather than a something. However, we will acknowledge that communication is the process of exchanging information, ideas feelings, emotions, beliefs, values and other human possessions between two parties. As a definition this is clearly in adequate because it leaves out various elements that exchange complete. That is why in order to discuss communication more comprehensive, we will proceed by describing what the process entails. 2. Ingredients for Communication In order for communication to take place, the following ought to be present: Figure 11.1

Information/ideas/ feelings etc





a) Participants Roles and Functions There should at least be two parties one playing the role of sender and the other that of audience. Their respective functions are in Table 11.1 below:


Table 11.1
Sender Feels the need to communicate Collects or gathers information Composes the massage Identifies and defines the audience Chooses the medium and channels Transmits the message Monitors impact of the message Audience Recognises the self as the target audience for the particular event Receives the message Interprets the message Acknowledges receipt of message Accepts/rejects message

y y y y y y y

y y y y y

b) Information/feelings/ideas etc These are what kick start the communication. Usually one who has special information, feelings, ideas, or emotions would like to share them with another person or people, thereby giving the need to engage in communication. Information may be described by: i. Subject:  Organisational: - concerning the whole organisation e.g. the conditions of service;  Technical/Operational: - concerning performance of a particular task, e.g. salary scale for working out salaries  Personal: - concerning an individual employee, e.g. letter of promotion for an employee. ii. Security  Confidential: - that with restricted circulation. organisational, or technical or personal; It may be 

Non confidential: - that which every employee and client may need to know; iii. Time frame  Current: - that which is fresh and relates to the present;  Semi current:- information referring to the immediate past and may be relevant over a period including the immediate future.


Archival/non current.- no longer of immediate use but providing part of the organisation¶s history/legacy. It helps explain some policy Note that any piece of information can meet all the criteria. For example organisational information can be confidential, or open as well as current or semi current or non current. c) Purpose There are many reasons people engage in communication for. Look around you and think of any one of the many instances you have had to initiate communication. What was the motive for that? Most likely what you may have wanted to fulfil would fit into the following range: i) To share information, thereby reduce the information/knowledge gap that existed between you and your audience whether real or perceived ± the informative purpose; ii) To get the other person/people to do something for you ± the instructional or persuasive purpose; iii) To create the sense of being appreciated as a close ally or member of the family, thus the integrative role. This is responsible for creating unity, harmony and social stability; iv) To see to it that the other person is contributing correctly to activities hence the regulatory or control function of communication. d) Medium and Channels Quite often, the two terms are used so loosely that they begin to appear interchangeable. However, in this module we wish to maintain a distinction in what they are and what role they play in communication. Medium will be taken to refer to the method used in a given communication event while, Channel will refer to the route the message will follow to get to the ultimate audience. Details are given below, under Element 1.4 and 1.5, respectively. 3. The Context of Communication Communication takes place in a setting which is characterised by a host of factors. The various factors will determine the direction as well as outcome of the communication. Whereas the ingredients of


communication (Element 1.2) form part of the context, two others which we label a types and levels of communication will be considered here. a) Types of Communication Focus is on the number of people in the audience, opportunity for audience to share stage with sender, contact methods. These influence communication in their own way. The types in this regard are: i) Intrapersonal Communication: This is the internal thought process where the two parties involved in the communication event are both within the same person. The two are the conscious and sub conscious segments of a person¶s brain. Its main characteristics are:  Takes place twenty four hours a day ± deliberate thoughts as found in planning or involuntary in the subconscious when the individual entertains ideas some of which are out of this world. However, in the subconscious everything is possible. Look at how many times you have found yourself attending meetings with high profile personalities in your dreams;  May be in writing, e.g. diary entries, work plans; or vocal as in people talking to themselves or µthinking aloud¶, or physical seen when people stop in mid step when they remember something which compels them to change direction, etc  Much as the type manifests itself in written, vocal or physical ways, other people have no access to the ideas, feelings or whatever is going on in the communicator¶s mind;  The quality of intrapersonal communication is seen through the quality of pronouncements or utterances and decisions made, actions taken, and interpersonal relations achieved. To reveal these the individual comes out of himself and begins to interact with others. ii) Interpersonal Communication Communication) (also called Dyadic

The individual comes out of the inner self to interact with the people around. In this situation, the sender and audience:  Deal with each other on a one on one basis;


Are in direct contact with each other;  Share the stage equally ie each is able to talk as much as the other;  Both are able to seek or provide clarification;  Find it easy to negotiate meaning, i.e. they can bargain to arrive at a shared interpretation;  Reach out to each other orally or in writing, etc Interpersonal communication is directly responsible for interpersonal relationships that people create, uphold and enjoy. iii) Small Group Communication  One person is addressing a small group at a time;  May be orally (as in committee meetings) or in writing (as in office memos);  Enables people to make collective resolutions on matters of corporate or technical nature;  Some members of the small group audience may begin to hide behind other members;  Decisions from small group communication are more of majority based (and may suffer politics of group interaction), etc. iv) Public Communication  One person addressing a crowd;  There is direct contact between sender and audience;  May be oral as at rallies and other public addresses, or in writing as in standard letters or circulars;  In the oral set up, audience participation is restricted to vocal and/or physical through applause/jeering;


In such cases, the speaker is faced with the challenge to read the mood or atmosphere closely so that he/she adjusts the message or tone accordingly;  In the written set up, individuals in the audience are not necessarily required to respond let alone reply;  Chances of providing and seeking clarification on the part of the sender and audience, respectively is are extremely slim;  It is therefore quite risky to make mistakes in this type of communication. v) Mass Communication  The individual deals with a perceived but unconfirmed audience, i.e.;  The sender has an idea of who the message is meant for but cannot ensure that only those or all who qualify for the message receive it;  The participants are separated in space and /or time, as;  The contact is through the media ± print or electronic;  The sender has no idea who the real audience of the message are and therefore cannot tell immediately how the message is received;  It is extremely dangerous to make mistakes as the media such as newspapers, radio and television have potential to reach out to many more people than the intended audience;  Feedback is usually delayed and can be overwhelming. The need to understand types of communication lies in the need for the message to be as neutral as possible the wider the audience because negotiating meaning becomes more challenging with the increasing number of the audience.


b) Levels of Communication The focus under this is the relationship between participants and the message on the one hand and that between the participants themselves. Of course it is in the business context determined by the degree of formality. The options include: i) Formal Communication This is the level where:  Interaction is officious and conventional (procedural);  The outcome is binding and actionable;  Produces record of the interaction;  May be slow in getting things done due to procedure;  May be oral as in meetings and mostly in all written forms in the office;  Common in upward channels of communication where appointment has to be made with the superior by the subordinate and reveals marks of etiquette. ii) Informal Communication Here, the interaction is:  Less officious hence less procedural as it takes place in a relaxed environment;  Usually takes place anywhere any time;  Gets things done faster as protocol is set aside;  A sign of healthy staff relationships and is therefore encouraged in most organisations;  Common in downward channels where superiors encourage subordinates to feel free with them as well a in team action groups;


Usually the starting point for many business contracts a people discuss more freely with mutual trust for each other in a casual atmosphere;  Formalised to materialise into binding contracts by producing records of agreements entered into under informal settings; iii) The Grape Vine The grape vine is a complex phenomenon with more potential for destruction yet with a positive side. For a better appreciation of the grape vine let us discuss it in terms of its characteristics, consequences, causes and ways of managing it: Table 11.2 Profile of the Grape Vine
Characteristics  illegally accessed information  usually incomplete information  unqualified audience  information treated as special (classified or privileged)  spiced when retold  spreads very fast  roots of not easy to trace Consequences/Effects Causes j constrains relationships j poor flow of information j consumes a lot of production time j too many confidentials j spoils quality of work j poor processing of j creates instability information j misguides concentration j curiosity & interest in life around us j desire to be at centre of things j Managing the GV  Smooth flow of information  Improve interpersonal relations  Mind your own business  Discourage rumour mongers by promising to confirm with subject  Think of the negative effect of the grape vine before indulging in it


Rumour mongering is of human nature and cannot be eradicated completely without inflicting fatal results on humanity. However, instead of being negative it can be converted to the advantage of management intelligence whereby employees¶ feelings on a proposed change can be accessed through the speedy grapevine.

4. Medium As seen above, medium refers to the method used to communicate in the particular event. The various options of medium are in figure 11.2 below. However, choice of medium depends on a number of factors such as the nature of the message and audience. However, each one of the options is given more detailed coverage in latter Units.


Figure 11.2

Oral Communication

Written Communication

Non Verbal Communication

Visual Communication

5. Channels As highlighted earlier, the term Channels of communication here is used to denote direction the communication takes. The direction or route is based on the relationship that exists between the sender and the audience as follows a) Internal Channels This is the direction taken when communication is among workmates. Usual internal channels may be summarized as follows: Table 11.3 CHANNELS Upwards Vertical Downwards AUDIENCE Superiors PURPOSE To request Seek permission Report, etc To instruct Consult Persuade, etc To consult To advise Update, etc To request Seek permission Report, etc



Upwards Diagonal Downwards 

   Subordinates    Colleagues   Colleagues to superiors  (one¶s seniors who are  not in the direct line of  command) Colleagues to  To instruct subordinates (one¶s  Consult juniors who are not  Persuade, etc accountable to him)




Element 2 Communication Skills Communication skills are basically those skills which enhance/promote effective and efficient communication. To achieve efficient and effective communication, one needs to have both grounding in theoretical knowledge and the technical application i.e. the actual practice. Before we look at communication as a skills based process let us look at skills as competence on the one hand, and skill as performance on the other. 1. Skill as Competence Competence is associated with the knowledge on a subject that enables one to understand it (subject) in detail and hence be able to do it well. Infant the Oxford Advanced Learner¶s Dictionary defines competence as ³the ability to do something well.´ 2. Skill as Performance Performance looks at the process of doing something. It may be taken to the application or implementation of a particular skill or skills to achieve desired or predetermined goal. 3. Communication as a Skill Based Process As a process, communication demands both competence and performance. Performance is perhaps the most demanded of the two since one is expected, in fact required to communicate flawlessly. However, for us to communicate flawlessly, we need to possess an average level of understanding communication. Element 3 Communication Process and Strategies 1. Key Stages in the Communication Cycle The communication process comprises clear stages which when followed well would ensure smooth communication. Various models have been advanced by different people all of whom, however, share the basic two way nature of communication. One such model that is most satisfactory is presented by Elizabeth Kenrick et al in their book Longman Guide to Examinations: Business Communication. The model captures the essential elements of the complete communication cycle (Figure 11.3).


Figure 11.3








Figure 11.3 might spark controversy especially that it attempts to separate concepts that have all along been taken to be one and the same. Two sets of such are presented here. However, the distinction between medium and channel has been clarified in earlier sections. What might be the difference between reaction or response, reply and feedback, if any? May be there is no distinction as all refer to ways the audience acknowledge having received the message. It is more a question of at what stage does each one of them come in and what form it takes. Let us consider this scenario:

Your colleague in one corner of your open plan office calls your name out and asks you to pass over to him the tax index table. Without pausing in your work or looking up you tell him that is fine. However, five minutes pass and your colleague walks over to pick up the tax index

There was complete communication in this short episode. However, of the three ways of acknowledging receipt of message, one clearly took place whereas the one was totally absent and the other was implied. Study the table below and try to identify the three ± reaction/response, reply and feedback.


Table 11.4 Acknowledgement Response/reaction Explanation The physical or vocal action confirming that the message has been heard and understood. One never really thinks about this as it is reflex. It is not planned. This is the planned answer you give to someone who speaks or writes to you. This might mean what you really feel or may be for public relations only i.e. to maintain good or bad relations without really hurting or deliberately hurting feelings of the other person. This is what the audience declare in the answer they give. This is the acknowledgement which reflects whether the purpose of the message has been accepted hence followed/acted upon or it has been rejected and therefore ignored. This means then that feedback will always be there because it can be positive (accepted and worked on) or negative (rejected and ignored). Also, it is for the sender to look out for the feedback rather than for the audience to declare it.



Element 4 Barriers to Effective Communication 1. What is a Communication Barrier? A barrier of communication may be defined as anything that disrupts smooth communication. It is the scapegoat or excuse for uncompleted work or misunderstandings. 2. Nature of Barriers of Communication Consider the several occasions when communication breakdown has been the excuse for failure to have certain things done, or having wrong things happening. Can you build up an exhaustive list of causes of the communication breakdown?


Figure 11.5

Inexhaustible list

Barriers of communication Barrier in one situation not necessarily a barrier in another Vary from situation to situation

3. Handling Barriers (Barrier Analysis) Given that Figure 11.5 is true, attempting to list down standard barriers of communication is not only unnecessary but can also be a fruitless effort. It will therefore be more beneficial to work out more profitable approaches which receive universal application and are practical. One such approach is the three factor analysis encompassing People, the Environment and the Message itself ± the PEM model of analysing causes of communication breakdown. a) People In many ways, communication breakdown is as a result of the human factor. Notwithstanding psychological interpretation of personality, we can look at some specific aspects of the human being with a direct influence on the success of communication. Have you thought about MASK? Aspect Influences Moods are a very temporary state of the mind. They turn on and off. A good atmosphere can be instantly spoilt by a silly remark from one of the participants in the communication. Moods are closely associated with the self concept. They tend to distort an individual¶s perception of things either in the extreme positive or negative sense to make one blind to the truth or seriousness of the issue at hand. Attitudes are sustained moods ie moods which have an established pattern thereby becoming more regular as a feature of one¶s state of mind. Attitudes develop from recurrent experience and like moods can make one blind to the true meaning of what is going on.






Examples of attitudes include prejudice, stereotype, jealousy, envy, to mention a few. Skills relate to the ability to do something. Communication is about competence and performance. The sender needs the ability to design a message suitable to the well defined audience, choose the right medium and channels, transmit correctly and accurately assess the impact of the message so as to make relevant follow-ups. The audience on the other hand needs skill in interpreting, acknowledging and applying the received message, as well as seeking or providing appropriate clarification when necessary. Knowledge of the subject matter relates to correctness and accuracy of the material in the message. The audience is usually trusting of the sender and will take what is said for the truth. Poor knowledge on the part of the sender will usually mislead the audience resulting in wrong things being done or the right things not being done.


The Environment The environment works on the people¶s moods to either turn them on or off. Such aspects of the environment as physical noise, technical noise, furniture, lighting, air conditioning and distance (both proximity and proxemics), have potential to spoil the communication process if not supportive or conducive.


Message Once released, the message becomes an entity of its own quality independent of the sender. In order for the audience to interpret it correctly the message must be: i) Clear i.e. neither ambiguous nor vague ii) Complete: - providing information to answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions; iii) Concise ± despite being so complete, the message should be as brief and to the point as possible. People have a tendency to see supporting information like examples more easily than the actual point thereby swaying the direction or focus of the communication elsewhere; iv) Concrete ± being specific of quantities, time, values, etc. For example, instead of ³The meeting will be in the morning´, better say ³The meeting is at 10.00 hours´.


v) Courteous ± the audience need to be taken into consideration in terms of their capabilities, interests, dignity/pride, etc. Anything that might injure the feelings of the audience would lead to the message being ignored or taken differently. Things like information overload or indeed inadequacy will overburden them or dilute their interpretation capacity, respectively. Even when one has made a mistake, correcting such a person positively would inspire them into feeling grateful that you corrected the mistake what people would mean by ³«telling your friend to go hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip´. vi) Correct ± the Audience are always willing to believe what one stands up to tell them such that if what they are told is not correct, they will all be misled. One should therefore strive to verify facts before passing them on to the audience.

Element 5 Steps to Effective Communication 1. Benefits of Effective Communication Benefits which accrue to the individual and organisation with good communication practices are many. The table below highlights some of the benefits arising from effective communication: Benefits to the Individual  Improved knowledge levels  Improved performance  Healthy interpersonal relations  2. Benefits to the Organisation  Customer satisfaction  Increased sales  Higher turn over  Good will from customers  Good public image  Improved business opportunities

Proactive Approach to Barrier Analysis The proactive approach to the barriers of communication is perhaps the most practical way of keeping the causes of communication breakdown under control. The cornerstone for this approach lies in the individual¶s attitude toward what ever they undertake to do, which will oscillate between the serious and the casual.


The casual attitude encourages one to take everything lightly to such an extent that no serious thought on what might lead to communication breakdown will be considered. This is usually associated with the liaises fair management style in which ³fate is left to take care of itself´. Usually this is more of a reactive approach. On the other hand, the serious attitude towards work takes deliberate measures to ensure that every situation is previewed closely even critically so that all likely sources of trouble are identified and corrective action taken. In this way one does not wait for communication to break down first before taking action. Thus, by being proactive through evaluating a coming communication event for likely sources of breakdown, we achieve efficiency and effectiveness. 3. The KISS and PASS Models i) KISS refers to Keep It Short and Simple. Effectively this principle requires the communicator to keep his message within reasonable length determined by necessity of detail presented. Although people are always willing to listen to a speaker or read whatever is sent to them, the length of the message could have less inspiring effects. Similarly, a message that is too complicated to comprehend will be resented by the audience. To avoid being to complex, one should adopt a language that is ordinary, common and familiar to the audience. A text which needs a dictionary to be understood will certainly be unpopular. Refer to the following section for more on suitable language. ii) PASS For communication to be successful and effective, serious consideration of the purpose, audience, structure and style of the communication must be made: i) Purpose: What is the communication meant to achieve ± is it to inform, advice, request, soothe, hurt, or what? All effort and detail will be directed towards achieving the set purpose which acts as the motive for the communication. The sender must therefore be clear of the purpose so as to be relevant; ii) Audience: Who is the intended audience of the message? The various methods of analysing the target audience of the communication should be applied so that one can achieve the six Cs discussed above. The audience may be:


j Internal ± the middle set in figure 11.6 (also refer to Element 1.5 above); j External ± as clients to the organisation being suppliers or consumers of the goods or services the organisation offers or those who monitor quality or standards Figure 11.6 Full spectrum of Audience in terms of relationship with sender








j The audience may also be considered in other terms such as:       Age:- children, teenagers, adults, elderly people; Size: ± how many (one, two, small group or crowd) Gender composition:- male/female Professional levels Social standing Personal or corporate


iii) Structure: a suitable form or design must be adopted to most effectively and efficiently deliver the message. This is in line with the level, purpose and audience of the communication. When dealing with a corporate client, for example, a letter would be used to document formal arrangement. The sender must therefore think about the safest way to present their material to ensure effectiveness. We shall deal with the various structures in succeeding sections. iv) Style: the language employed will vary from situation to situation and from individual to individual. However, style in this case refers to the use of language. The sender has to find a language that is made of words which meet the PADCAP profile: Figure 11.7









The 10 Commandments Model Another model towards effective communication is that looking at the sender¶s attitude in the whole communication event. The sender¶s attitude must be that which emphasizes the ³you´ rather than the ³I´. In this regard he sender must: i) Seek to clarify his/her idea before communicating; ii) Examine the true purpose of each communication;


iii) Consider the total physical environmental and human setting whenever communicating; iv) Be aware, while communicating, of overtones as well as the basic content of the message; v) Take the opportunity, when it arises, to convey something of help or value to the recipient; vi) Follow up the communications; vii) Be sure actions support the communications; viii) Seek to not only to be understood, but to understand; ix) Be a good listener. Element 6 Electronic Communication 1. Focus Our main focus in the area of electronic media is to explore the various options of transmission available to communication beside the conventional face to face and paper based options. These are the options pertaining to oral and written communication, respectively. This is the communication between people who are separated in time and/or space. 2. Options for Oral Electronic oral communication centres on the use of the phone system which has experienced great improvement over time. People in for away locations from one another are able to converse just like in face to face settings. Distance has been compromised. Major developments in the phone system have brought about: a) The telephone The Switchboard allows several offices (extensions) to be connected to the same line in the building or premises. Thus people do not have to leave their offices to talk to their colleagues. The switchboard itself has improved from the Private Manual Box Exchange (PMBX) to the Private Automatic Box Exchange (PABX).



The PMBX  The switchboard operator routes all calls ± incoming or internal from extension to extension;  Only one conversation is allowed to take place at a time.


The PABX  Operator deals with incoming calls only;  Extensions automatically connect one another;  Many conversations are allowed to take place at the same time;  Operator can alert or even interrupt extension engaged in conversation when an incoming call comes.

b) The Intelligent Handset The telephone handset has been further developed to include facilities such as: i) Answering:  phone can be programmed to provide information that might be helpful the caller when the person being called is not in the office;  the caller is not totally frustrated at not finding the person being called. ii) Voice Recording:  Allows the caller who does not find the person being called to leave a message on the hand set;  Allows the person being called to access the message left by the caller, which could have otherwise been missed. c) The Radio The radio is popular among security personnel. However, it is a loud speaking facility which allows other people to hear the full conversation


d) The codeless phone This allows one to converse with customers within a radius of say fifty metres from the desk where the receiver is. It means then that one does not have to be in the office to talk on the phone as long as he/she is within the premises. The codeless is common and popular in plants or warehouses where the supervisor is expected to be different work points all the time. e) Pagers This facility was (and might still be) commonly used by people on call. These are people whose services are required twenty four hours, like doctors, site engineers. It is an alarm system which prompts the person that they are needed and should either quickly get to the office/site or to the nearest phone to obtain full details of the emergency. f) The Cell (mobile) Phone The mobile phone has replaced the paging machines as well as the telephone in many instances. Among other advantages:  Allows all round access (twenty four hour and anywhere);  Allows full conversation;  Provides for voice message when out of coverage area or the phone is switched off. The main challenges of oral electronic communication in addition to those of oral communication in general (see Unit 12) centre on: a) Associated costs:- procuring and maintaining the electronic devices, time based billing ie the longer you take on the phone, the more you pay b) Distance:- being separated from the audience, the sender may not really present the ³right´ message in the little time he/she has on the phone.



Options for Written Electronic communication in writing evolves around two major concepts ± soft copy and hard copy. The hard copy is a print out of the soft copy. a) The computer and the mobile phone.

List down some of the advantages of using the computer and the mobile phone in written electronic communication. Did you include the following in your list?  The sender has the opportunity to view and edit his message before transmitting it;  The same message can be transmitted in a fraction of a moment;  The same message can be transmitted to a number of recipients at the same time at the click of a button;  The message can be stored and retrieved easily. b) The Fax Machine: The fax is one of the developments of the telephone. It allows transmission of any form of paper based information to anywhere in an instant.



Oral communication

Oral communication is perhaps the commonest medium of communication ever known. It is illiterate ± one does not need to go to school in order to be able to use oral communication; it is usually option one before written; it can be formal; is usually informal; is face to face or on the phone; applies under all types ± intrapersonal, interpersonal, public and mass. Oral communication depends on the two major skills ± Listening and Speaking. The various circumstances under which oral communication takes place will be explored in this Unit. However, people in offices turn out to be more productive when they spend more time interacting orally than we do in writing: Oral communication is the life blood of our personal and business lives. We do it so naturally and frequently that there is a danger in taking it for granted. (Shirley Taylor 1999:17)

It is for this reason that this unit focuses primarily on the two key skills (listening and speaking) and their attendant challenges. LEARNING OUTCOMES/OBJECTIVES Element 1 Effective Listening Skills We should perhaps begin with listening skills because they are receptive ± they enhance our chances of accessing more knowledge, experience and wisdom. After all we are expected to receive more information from other people than we give out ± consider the myth of two ears as compared to only one mouth! In fact it is held that people at work spend about 80% of their time communicating and approximately 60% of this time is spent listening to what others say. 1. Circumstances and Value of Effective Listening a) Oral Communication Events In most cases the situations challenging us to listen effectively are brief yet with long lasting implications. The oral communication


events usually fit into the picture in figure 12.1. The listed characteristics pause various challenges on the listener, hence the need for us to look at the specific barriers affecting effective listening.

Listening is active, whereas hearing is passive. b) Effective Listening, among other things: i) Produces better relationships and better understanding among parties communicating; ii) Provides information i.e. elevates levels of knowledge in people; iii) Stimulates new ideas iv) Motivates others to improve their listening c) Poor Listening results in: i) misunderstandings, especially if the message is to be relayed or conveyed to others; ii) individuals missing appointments or failing to grasp salient issues in a conversation; iii) fatal outcomes, in emergencies, and can undermine the whole essence or development of a business or enterprise


Figure 12.1



Oral Communication Events Starting point for more formal interaction



2. Table 12.1
Key Barrier a) Human Capacity

Key barriers of Effective Listening

Nature of the Barrier There is a discrepancy between the human capacity to listen as compared to the capacity for speaking. Speech is slower than listening perhaps because it is more physical. Due to this the listener¶s mind has the tendency to wander away from the listening event, during which he/she might miss some critical points; Since most listening events are live, chances of distracters like noise, third parties (other human beings), objects and events, are high thereby pausing threats to the successfulness of the oral communication. This is a particularly difficult barrier especially that the eyes and ears are so stubborn when they see or hear what they are not supposed to, drawing them away is practically impossible. However, remember that distracters compete four your attention; As seen somewhere above, the tendency to emphasise examples or other supporting information at the expense of the main point is high. The listener is therefore tempted to neglect the main issue at times because the example given is easier to understand. Common because: i) We receive (hear) a lot of information at any given time; ii) Because we are rarely attach practical application and relevance what we receive. iii) When we fail to back up our listening with record of what we received

b) Distracters

c) Distinguishing main points from supporting detail d) Retention



Achieving effective listening a) Involves i) Active listening which requires understanding of the message and the ability to make effective judgments on what has been said; ii) Listening to what is actually said, not what you would you like to hear or what you expect to hear. b) Is characterised by: i) Positive body language ii) Attentive body pose iii) Summarising during various stages of a conservation to ensure all parties share the same meaning. c) May be classified into i) Attentive listening ± for important or highly relevant information. ii) Empathetic listening ± to adjust oneself to the speakers levels is feelings, emotions and attitude. iii) Casual listening ± for pleasure where we may respond in a light hearted manner using figurative expressions as a mean of enjoying the language used. d) A good listener i) Listens to facts and remembers key words. ii) Listens for feelings, interprets the speaker¶s point of view, observes his non verbal communications and listens to what is not said (filling in) iii) Does not allow own emotions and prejudices to determine value of what is being said. iv) May paraphrase speaker¶s message to confirm correct interpretation.


v) Is willing to listen; vi) Has a genuine and positive interest. vii) An active listener has the positive attitude. viii) Is prepared for the event. When one does not put himself in the right frame of mind listening will fail; ix) Does not interrupt the speaker any how i.e. allow the speaker to finish saying what they have to say before coming in with questions or other contributions Familiarises him/her with the subject of discussion. This is particularly important because when you are familiar with the topic it will be easy to follow the speaker through his/her message. Keeps the speaker in sight so that you receive both the verbal and nonverbal message ± the nonverbal comes through body language which the listener must access. (It is not possible to establish and keep eye contact because the speaker¶s gaze sweeps through the entire audience not just the one listener;



xii) Distinguishes main points from supporting detail because not all that is said weighs the same. Some detail is to make the main point clearer; xiii) Does not allow your existing knowledge about the subject or the speaker interfere with your listening. Previous or old knowledge can influence your interpretation of the message; xiv) Seeks clarification when appropriate i.e. the speaker may use the pause as signal for questions, or may directly invite the questions; xv) Makes note of salient points. Element 2 Effective Questioning Skills 1. Circumstances and Value of Efficient Questions Questions are a way of seeking information from other people. This means that there is an information gap in one that hey would like to fill up.


The information sought through questions may be for use in specific situations such as performing a particular task or decision making on a particular matter, Questions may be asked as one off or in a scheduled manner as during an interview. At times they may be asked as part of a casual conversation. 2. Possible interpretation of Well Meant Questions Questions may not always be understood in the same manner. Quite often the question can be misinterpreted by the audience, depending on the circumstances. For example, one would consider some question as being sarcasm. The real problem is in fact the defensive stance adopted by the people being asked. To a large extent, past experience, timing the questions and relationships between the participants in the communication as well as the message or topic of enquiry. At times questions are posed as a way of suggesting something. 3. Types of Questions Two major approaches can be applied in analysing or classifying questions: Table 12.2
Class 1 Closed Questions ± direct, Yes/No answer questions or one word answer questions, e.g. ³Where do you live?´ or ³Do you know how to work in Microsoft Excel?´ b) Open Ended ± have no specific answer, let alone a short one. They leave it to the respondent to give out whatever detail they may have, e.g. ³How can we protect client information?´ c) Leading questions ± drive the respondent in some direction so that they may confirm the assumption or hypothesis, e.g. ³You are the one working on the MD¶s case, aren¶t you?´ d) Follow up questions ± used to elicit information from reluctant or uncooperative respondents. They normally take a slightly different direction from the one adopted at the beginning. e) Loaded questions ± seeking more detail than a single item of enquiry, asking about many things within one question a) a) Class 2 Identification Questions ± help name the point of enquiry e.g. ³What is the formula do you use to work out personal tax?´ or ³Who is responsible for Accounts Payable?´

b) Location Questions ± these place the item of enquiry in time and /or space, e.g. i) In space ³Where are the invoices kept? ³or ii) In time ³When do we do the banking?´ c) Justification Questions ± providing reasons for the point of enquiry, e.g. ³Why are our expenses in excess of the revenue?´

d) Outlining Questions ± help provide appearance or design or composition of the point of enquiry, e.g. ³How do you go about creating the customer data base?´


We will revisit the topic in 12.6 (Interviewing as a communication tool) below. Element 3 Note making/Note Taking 1. The Difference between Note Making and Note Taking Is there a real distinction between note making and note taking? Many writers on the subject seem to use the two interchangeably. Others suggest that Note making is when you jot down brief notes from a written source while they associate note taking with oral sources. However, here we want to take the two a step further by looking at what the terms Not Making and Note Taking allude to: a) Note Making  Making notes from whatever the source (written or oral)  Constructing something new from the original source ± may be shorter than the source but usually containing all key information from the source. b) Note Taking  Writing down notes that have been given as in dictation, or copying down a text that has been given for the purpose. In this text we shall use Note Making to denote the activity that makes the effective listener retain the core of the message received whether from an oral source or a written one. 2. Barriers to Efficient Note Making Note making especially from an oral source is hampered by two major problems ± speech speed visa vis Writing Speed and Interpretation. a) Speed Discrepancy This is the discrepancy between the speed at which the speaker speaks and the pace at which notes may be written. Writing is more physically involving than speaking and is therefore naturally slower. Besides, to come up with good notes one has to think and judge as well as write in such a way that he/she is not left far behind by the speaker.


b) Interpretation Interpretation refers to making the right decision on meaning from the received text. Not everything uttered is the substance of the message. The listener (as well as reader in making notes from written sources) only retains what contributes to the message and not everything. 3. 4. Improving Note Making a) Overcoming the Speech Speed/Writing Speed Variance i) Thinking ahead of the speaker: - predict what the speaker is likely to cover in the next part of the presentation. This is possible when the listener is familiar with the topic of discussion; ii) Develop a ³Short hand´: - by short hand we mean a form of compressed writing where the outcome notes are shorter than the original text. This entails:  Using abbreviations ± writing short forms of words so as to avoid worrying about correct spelling, which can really slow you;  Using acronyms ± shortening long titles into word sounding expressions made up of key letters or sound segments of the full title, such as ZICA, ZAMIM, NIPA, UNESCO. Note that these are different from abbreviated forms like GRZ for the Government of the Republic of Zambia, WHO for the World Health Organisation which are not pronounced as single words;  Using symbols ± using some form of graphics to reflect meaning units i.e. relationships between various words to give an idea;  Using bullet points ± writing short forms of main points/ideas without using full sentences. Full sentences will slow you down as you worry about correct grammar;  Using numbered outlines ± presenting the text by way of using numbered and headed sections and bulleted points. This is what you do when you write an essay plan or report outline.


NOTE j Abbreviations and symbols can be personal or standard. Personal are those that only you the user would understand while standard ones are those with universal meaning, such as scientific and mathematical symbols j Outlines require accurate interpretation.

iii) Overcoming Interpretation The solution to accurate interpretation lies in understanding patterns of scientific thought! Thought comprises components which can be scientifically analysed, such that if the listener is able to recognise segments, accurate meaning would be discerned. The components are: Table 12.3 Component
1. Information Structure ± equated to the sentence the shortest of which is made up of two words e.g. ³Jesus wept´ 2. Point Development ± similar to the paragraph in written communication j j j

Basic Part
naming part e.g. ³Jesus´ telling part e.g. ³wept´ Theme statement also called the Topic Sentence Supporting Detail j j j j

identifies the subject of the idea says something about the subject An assertion or claim which provokes question of completeness ± who, what, where, when, why, How? Details which provide answers to the questions raised in the theme statement A very brief statement that throws light on what the text/message is all about (the subject). It must provide very smooth continuity to ³I am talking about «.´ It provides a smooth opening of the text Gives the speaker¶s or writer¶s purpose of the communication, may refer to any previous communication on the matter, and it will indicate the scope of coverage for this text/indicates what the text will cover or include. All in all, the introduction brings the audience to the same level as the





3. Textual Organisation ± the way a message is organised, whether spoken or written











speaker/writer; Takes the audience through the contents step by step, developing each point as completely as possible in line with ³point development as above; Reviews the contents of the text by highlighting the key issues raised in the text, in a more matter of fact way thereby confirming or rejecting the applicability/correctness or accuracy of the ideas covered. It may advise on the way forward or ³What next?´ or advise on how best the ideas given can be applied or be of benefit to the audience. Ultimately, it provides a smooth end to the text.


It should be noted that paying attention to the opening part will allow the audience to apply prediction and outline formats. Element 4 Effective Public Presentations and Speaking There are many occasions that demand of the accounting person to make public presentations to different audiences ± internal and/or external. Public presentations and speaking are therefore an integral part of the accountant¶s job. Whatever the occasion(s), public presentations are about speaking skills. 1. Circumstances/the Context of Public Presentations Elements of the context of public presentation events may be described in terms of the following:


(see Unit 11.1.2c)


(see Fig 11.6 Unit 11.5 ) Public presentation event




The first two elements of the context in the diagram have been adequately explained in the parts of this text highlighted. The others are given in table 12 below. Table 12.4
Element of Context Explanation

a) Occasion b) Theme/focus

c) Time

d) Venue

What is the setting of the event ± briefing, reporting, business meeting, consultative meeting, product launch, etc? This helps set the mood/atmosphere to follow. Theme provides a point of focus for the event. At least each event/occasion has a point of focus if not theme. This is usually in line with the purpose and helps maintain relevance. Two aspects of time will apply in the circumstances of public presentations: i) Duration of the presentation or talk ii) Period of the day Both aspects are significant to the presenter as they have some influence on his/her performance. Duration guides in length/amount of information of the presentation while period of the day holds some explanation to audience performance Where the presentation takes place will influence the performance, mood and attitude of both the audience and the presenter.



Challenges of Public Speaking All occasions requiring one to speak to others as individuals or representative groups present the speaker with a number of challenges arising from the whole context of the event. The key challenges arise from: a) Audience input ± this is usually restricted to physical and/or vocal (nonverbal behaviour) the larger the group one is addressing. In fact number itself becomes a challenge because one has to touch everyone in the group with his/her special message; b) Interpreting non verbal signals ± since audience input is limited to nonverbal performance, interpreting the signals may not be that simple. The non verbal signals to watch out for relate to: i) Voice ± various aspects of the voice would signal different messages. Such vocal variety as pitch (volume), tone, intonation, and accent as well as silence (absence of voice) all emphasise something whenever they occur. Appearance ± one¶s looks can be interpreted to mean different things. The physical build, wardrobe (dress and make up) and grooming (tidiness, hair styles, the step, mannerisms, etc) suggest something about the audience which you must pay attention to. Primarily, it reveals a lot about the nature of your audience. Body Language ± touch (hand shakes, pats, hugs), facial expressions, gesture (hand, arm movements, etc), posture, pacing up and down, etc all constitute body language that the speaker must observe closely. These come from deep down and would reflect one¶s true feelings, emotions, towards something, such that if followed, they would enable the speaker to adjust his performance so as to address the concerns reflecting through the body language. Space ± the use of space also signals something of the person¶s moods, attitudes, and feelings towards what is being said or the speaker. Being too close suggests friendliness while keeping a distance may suggest some reservations.




c) Holding the audience ± this is perhaps the most delicate challenge facing the speaker. The audience want both your verbal and nonverbal messages, i.e. both what you say and how you say it matters to your audience.


i) Content of your presentation is what might draw your audience to you initially. The way this is organised will hold them further; ii) Articulation will contribute to audience satisfaction and keeping them will be more guaranteed. Your voice coupled with fluency and command of the language ± pronunciation, stress, rhythm and pace, clarity, etc will help keep your audience. iii) Strategy ± your approach to the whole presentation would probably be the pivot for holding your audience. This relates to presentation variation and audience interface ie what goes with your spoken word and how much do you involve your audience? 3. Dealing with the Challenges A good speaker is one who makes listening easy for his/her audience. To successfully deal with the various challenges: a) Plan your presentation Set your objective(s) clear ± what is the desired outcome; Research your subject, audience and venue thoroughly; Identify the key points in your presentation; Arrange your points into a desired sequence so as to achieve impact; v) Decide and design suitable audio and/or visual aids to use; vi) Prepare the presentation outline as reading word for word may not only be unnecessary but boring for your audience also; vii) Rehearse your presentation so as to master the major stages. b) Face your audience i) Arrive early and take note of the arrangements and identify items/objects that you may use to your advantage; ii) Mount your presentation aids if any and test them to ensure they are in perfect operating order; iii) Give your self enough physical space to manoeuvre and move about if you will deliver your presentation from a standing position; i) ii) iii) iv)


iv) Be yourself ± take a position that allows your audience to see you and you them; v) Keep your audience under your gaze as this shows how confident you are and how much interest in them you have, otherwise you might lose them once they realise you are not watching them; c) Make your presentation i) Speak with confidence ii) Use a tone, pace and voice level that are suitable for the subject, purpose, audience and venue; iii) Stick to your plan:  Give a powerful opening where you gain audience attention; establish credibility, state your purpose and steer up audience interest in you and your presentation;  Ensure each point you give contains a statement of fact, supporting material and a logical ending;  Ensure smooth transition between points;  End with a memorable pronouncement after reviewing of key ideas or arguments and linking these to your opening purpose. You may even call audience to action!  Use a language befitting of the event ± the PADCAP way. d) Engage your audience There are various ways of engaging your audience so that they can be part of the presentation:

Keep them in your gaze as a sign of interest in them

ii) Invite them to supply examples from their own environment iii) Pause rhetorical questions which keep them thinking along iv) Use your vocal variety effectively e) Use your presentation aids effectively Introduce your audio visual aids appropriately where they are relevant and enhance understanding.


REMEMBER Your presentation is meant to be understood by the audience the first time!

Element 5 Preparing for Meetings, Seminars, Conferences and Interviews Meetings, Seminars, conferences and interviews are some of the special activities that the accounting technician may be required to organise, for the employer and employees. A good understanding of each one of the events will assist in appreciating the necessary steps towards their arrangement. 1. Meetings a) Definition Let us consider a meeting as ³a formal conversation´. In this definition both the words µformal¶ and µconversation¶ provide the basis of the special nature of meetings in the business organization. b) Characteristics A meeting is characterized by the 5 Ps Figure 12.2



People Powers

Roles and Functions

Various meeting documents


i) Purpose: what is the main function of the meeting? ii) People: what are the roles and functions of the people attending a meeting ± Chairman/chairperson; Secretary or Member (hence conversation, at least three people). The personality of the people attending the meeting will determine the flow of business of the meeting. However, the Chairman/person is generally responsible for maintaining order and discipline in the meeting; iii) Procedures: rules and practices governing the structure and conduct of the meeting. These determine the formality of the conversation. Procedures vary from meeting to meeting and the Chairman/person ensures that they are enforced during the meeting; iv) Papers: these are the documents which are associated with meetings such as the Notice, Agenda, Minutes and other reports or correspondence that pertain to the business of the meeting; v) Powers: what can the meeting do or how far can it go in implementing/enforcing its resolutions? Some meetings have the capacity to direct implementation of resolutions while others are just a recommending forum;


c) Organisation Organisation of meetings can be considered in three stages ± before, during, and after the meeting. Organising meetings is usually the duty of the Secretary in conjunction with the Chairman/person. Some of the specific things expected of the Secretary in preparation for (before) a meeting include: i. Determining the specific purpose of the proposed meeting which may be to:  Instruct (command meeting)  Advise (advisory meeting)  Brainstorm ± generating ideas or solutions to a problem (brainstorming meeting)  Consult (consultative meeting)  Corporate plan (planning meeting)  Negotiate (negotiation meeting)  Club members¶ meeting (general meeting),  Provide dialogue between members  Monitoring and evaluating performance  Making policy and other decisions, etc. ii. Determining the people to attend the meeting and inviting them; Determining who is to attend the meeting is quite important in organising meetings. Are these going to be workmates (internal), clients (outsiders), combination of workmates and outsiders, regular members (e.g. of a committee) or proxies and guests or a combination? Is it Board members or Shareholders? Method of invitation will depend on who the people to attend the meeting are.  Workmates (poster)  Clients memorandum or display notice

letter or card

Depending on the nature of the meeting, notice should be adequate in line with the organisation¶s standing orders or at least one week for committee meetings, at least two months for general meetings.


The less formal meetings and calendared meetings, however, notice may take other forms such as word of mouth by phone or in person, informal notes like the complimentary slip. The notice must clearly indicate:  The type of meeting ± Annual general meeting, Ordinary meeting, Standing committee meeting, occasional advisory committee meeting, or ad hoc meeting;  People involved (whose meeting);  Venue, time and date of the meeting;  Focus of the meeting (may refer to the agenda);  Any additional information deemed necessary. iii. Preparing the venue; Preparation of the venue depends on type of meeting, how many people are to attend the meeting, size of the room, presentation aids and anticipated duration of the meeting. Preparations will include:     iv. Seating arrangement; Positioning of presentation aids; Taking attendance; Refreshments if any;

Budgeting for the meeting Every meeting should go with a budget which provides for refreshments, stationery, and any other expenses that may be necessary from situation to situation.

d) Roles and Functions Fill in the table below by writing down at least three functions of each of the three roles you may play in a meeting: Table 12.5 Chairman/person Before During After Secretary Member



Seminar and Conference Seminars and Conferences are skills and knowledge sharing and a)imparting the organiser Role of occasions where people of a trade or occupation meet experts who present papers on various aspects of their areas of The organiser needs to carry be a number of tasks: trade/specialisation. They mayout considered as training sessions.


Role of the organiser i) Planning: identifying all requirements for the seminar such as stationery, presentation aids, catering, transport, secretarial services, equipment, funding/budget, etc: ii) Identifying and inviting participants iii) Identifying and inviting resource persons or speakers; iv) Choosing the venue; v) Designing a programme indicating day, time, event/topic, discussion/event leader or speaker for the whole duration of the seminar/conference. vi) Prepare certificates of attendance to be issued to all the participants at the end of the conference or seminar; vii) Ensuring that the programme is followed as closely as possible all the duration of the event. The organiser must always ensure that the programme is followed and that there are enough people to assist in the running up and down during the seminar/conference so that there is nothing lacking. b) Follow up activities i) Evaluation: - the seminar/conference will need to be evaluated by the participants ii) Draw an action plan from the resolutions made; iii) Prepare reports and other documents on which people might base their next actions; iv) Monitor implementation of the action plan tasks, etc.



Interview a) Nature of an interview The interview can be defined as ³a structured conversation´, ie it is oral. The major function of an interview is to gather information from people by talking to them. The information thus collected may be used to direct decision making and guide actions. Details of the areas of application of interviews are in Element 6 below. However, its key characteristics are summarised in table 12. 6:

Table 12.6 Characteristic j Interviewer
Explanation  Seeks information by asking specific questions  Knows exactly what information is required  Stirs the interview in a particular direction to elicit the information being sought  Provides information to the interviewer  Does not know the exact information sought in advance  Feels intimidated because the direction of the interview is determined by the interviewer  Arrangement and flow of questions from beginning to the end;  Opens with establishing rapport, explaining purpose  Beginning with friendly low key questions building into sequence of increasingly more specific questions ending up with invitation to the interviewee to ask any questions;  The structure of the interview will vary according to the specific purpose(s)  Who does how much talking depends on the purpose of the interview but it is important to allocate adequate time for each participant to air their views.  The character of the room ± arrangement of furniture and props;  Number and even ender of people interviewing,  Appearance of the interviewee All contribute to the atmosphere of the interview The purpose will determine the way in which the interview is conducted:  Standardised ± following a predictable sequence of questions based on a questionnaire   Individualised ± interviewer uses wide range of questions designed to lead to an in depth exploration of the problem;  Stress ± interviewer deliberately aggressive and unpredictable in order to test interviewee.

j Interviewee

j Structure

j Balance

j Atmosphere

j Procedure/manner


b) Role of the organiser The organiser of interviews operates on the two stage process: i) Preparation:  Identify the particular objectives;  Gather and organise relevant information thus being conversant with the subject area of the interview;  Gather and consider information about the person to be interviewed so as to help develop general lines of questioning;  Arrange and set the venue i.e. notification, reception arrangements and establishing an environment that will be supportive of the objectives;  Run through what you as the interviewer are going to say;  Determine type of interview ± one on one or panel? ii) Conduct Conduct the interview as a four part event on the WASP model:  Welcome: put the interviewee at ease, explain the purpose of the interview, explain any special restrictions and/or privileges;  Ask: use questions prepared in advance based on the objectives of the interview and circumstances of the interviewee;  Supply: provide full and honest responses to interviewee¶s questions ± back up assertions with examples and be reasonably concise (interviewer should only do 20 ± 30% talking;  Parting: end the interaction on a positive note ± summarise the conclusions and identify when, what and how any action arising from the interview will be communicated. c) Follow up activities i) Prepare the report on the proceedings during the interview; ii) Write appropriate correspondence to formally communicate specific recommendations arising from the interviews.


Element 6 Interviewing as a Communication tool Interviews play a very important role in the business organisation. It is the most effective interactive method of collecting information from different quarters of the organisations. In the process of collecting information, the interviewer creates confidence in the interviewee by demonstrating how important he/she holds the interviewee by talking to them. In this regard, interviews create the sense of unity and recognition among the staff. Specific areas where interviews play a significant role are: 1. Selection These are the interviews on whose basis job applicants are hired. The way applicants (and hence new employees) feel about the organisation will be influenced by the way their selection interviews are conducted. The interviewer¶s main goals are to determine the applicant¶s suitability for the job, to give him the correct picture of the job as well as to create and maintain the good will of the organisation. He will therefore include the following topics: a) Work experience, emphasising jobs recently held; b) Educational background, including both formal and informal training. c) Outside interests, especially those that might affect the individual¶s job performance. d) Physical characteristics, if such factors are important for the job The seven point interview plan is a useful guide to conducting selection interviews. The interviewers explore the applicant¶s key areas as they would each contribute in one way or the other to accurate assessment of the candidate:


Figure 12.3 The DISCGAP Interview Plan

Disposition One¶s personality, availability & drive Physical appearance How does the applicant look physically, in relation to the job Interests Activities on which one spends his free time as a way of recreation

Attainments The applicant¶s certificated qualification ± both academic & professional

Seven point Interview Plan

Special Aptitudes Any special skills of significance to the job that the applicant might have

General Intelligence How knowledgeable and sharp is the applicant?

Circumstances The applicant¶s domestic (family) responsibilities ± these suggest one¶s commitment

2. Orientation To acquaint new employees with their jobs and with the range of duties involved. It also looks at the organisation so that the new employee may fit into the new environment well. The interview if well conducted will provide the new employee with a desire to learn and be a good member of the organisation. 3. Performance Appraisal Conducted on the employee by the employee¶s immediate supervisor to measure the employee¶s performance of the job.


The interview is strongly evaluative in nature and may provide merit to pay awards of the employee. It identifies employee¶s achievements during the period under review, failures which might have been experienced, their causes and possible remedies. In the process, the interview identifies the employee¶s potential, training and development needs, job- person mismatch, etc. The performance appraisal interview should be conducted periodically so that it serves as a powerful instrument for monitoring performance standards and creating the organisation culture. However, both appraiser and appraisee need to be adequately briefed on the exercise. The interview has come as a good replacement for the Annual Confidential Report Forms that used to be filled with little input from the employee. 4. Disciplinary The interview is conducted when an employee has errored in his conduct or his performance to the extent that they require disciplinary action. The interview seeks to establish what offence was committed, the circumstances under which it was committed, whether or not it could have been avoided, the costs of repairing the damage, and perhaps the most suitable disciplinary action to be handed down. The interview allows the employee the opportunity to objectively look at his case with his superiors. 5. Grievance This interview is conducted ideally by the employee¶s supervisor who recognises the existence of a grievance in his subordinate. During the interview, the complaint is identified, causes highlighted and remedies explored. 6. Counselling This interview is corrected in nature and may be conducted by a panel or individual interested with the behavioural aspect of the personnel (a councillor). It is often conducted when recurrent deviant conduct is detected in an employee.


The interview seeks to identify, among other things, the unbecoming deviant conduct, what cause it, its effects and why it becomes necessary to change. 7. Exit This interview is conducted whenever an employee leaves employment due to dismissal or resignation. It may be conducted by the employee¶s immediate supervisor or one responsible for the human resource of the organisation. a) Dismissal: explain backgrounds of dismissal and assure employee that the dismissal is in the interest of both the employee and the organization and that it is not the end of the world. b) Resignation: determine reasons for the resignation and give encouragement to employee in their new endeavours. Whatever the case, the interview sets out to establish improvements in the job on order to maximise staff retention.



Written communication

Written communication may take many forms. It occupies a very special position in the organisation due to the several characteristics visa vis oral communication. It often works as a confirmation or endorsement of oral commitments, it has a permanency and contractual status, as evidence of previous transaction/agreement, provides a history of an activity and provides back up proof. Written texts make information easily available to an unlimited audience as it can be reproduced. Written communication allows us time to plan our message or indeed study the message closely to make out the desired interpretation. Once written down, words are themselves pinned down, selected, representative, deliberate, permanent and important in their own right. LEARNING OUTCOMES/OBJECTIVES By the end of the unit, we should be able to a) b) c) Plan the written communication effectively; Choose the appropriate form of written communication in the given situation; Send precise texts closely edited and proof read.

Element 1 Types of Written Communication Written communication in offices can be discussed in terms of informal and formal levels. There are many instances when writing in the office can be informal.


1. Informal written communication Table 13.1 below summarises the common types of written communication: Table 13.1
Level Type Explanation/example  Diary Entries  Work plans  ³Things to do´  Prompters, etc  Informal notes e.g. on complimentary slip  ³While you were away´ messages etc

Intrapersonal Informal Interpersonal

2. Formal written communication Unit 11.6 above outlines major characteristics of formal communication. However, all written communication in offices (even that which we have described as informal) should be treated with some degree of formality i.e. a) Structure should be in accordance to the type of document chosen b) The language should meet the PADCAP model c) There should be no short forms like can¶t, don¶t, won¶t or abbreviations, except acronyms (ZICA, ZAMIM, UNZA, NIPA) and abbreviations like GRZ, UNDP, EU, etc. d) It should be free of colloquialisms such as false starts, slang, etc. Element 2 Drafting Methods and Techniques 1. Planning the Formal Writing a) The formal written message requires serious planning because       It will be the official stand on an issue; It will be the basis for action It will remain on record for ever It will be circulated to many and It will always remain the same such that Its contents will be interpreted in the same way all the time.


b) The planning should look at PASS Table 13.2 Focus i) Purpose Content  What exactly is the purpose of the current effort ± is it to advise, to inform, to regulate/control/correct, to instruct/request/persuade, or what?  Understand or define the problem/subject in order to identify the purpose easily ii) Audience  Who are you addressing yourself to ± is it the end user/implementer or channel, is it someone within the organisation or a client, is it one or more people, etc? iii) Structure  What is the best format to use on the subject ± a memo, letter, report, or what?  Organise the material you have on the subject logically so that it may serve the purpose. iv) Style  Being formal, the formal message lacks the direct non verbal message. However, through your language, non verbal undertones, tone, attitudes, emotions and other non verbal elements will surface so as to give your message its full meaning. 2. Table 13.3 Category Primary Source People Characteristics  Always there  Stay in organisation limited  Can change statements e.g. can deny having said anything  Limited memory  Affected by emotion, attitudes and other personality aspects  Storage place for various documents e.g. invoices, quotations, orders, memos, letters, reports, minutes of meetings, etc  An invaluable history of operations and transactions  Permanent since written  Vulnerable to physical damage Methods of collection j Interviews j Questionnaires j Observation j Focus groups or panel discussion groups (e.g. committees) j Experimentation. j Desk or library study Sources of and Collecting Information





Demands systematic maintenance.  Permanent record of j Desk or library study transactions e.g. books of prime entry  Permanent source of theories, standards, etc e.g. text books and manuals


Note Making As seen above note making is necessary at all stages and levels of one¶s work. The skills explored will apply here, too.

Expand notes within 24 hours of writing them

However, considering that the notes are jotted in a short hand, chances are that the abbreviations, symbols and other graphical methods will be confusing to notes maker if they are not revised or revisited within a short period after writing them. This short period would be within 24 hours of writing the notes. Verifying and Validating Information In view of the fact that people see things differently, it is likely that the information gathered whether from primary or secondary sources may not be the only perspective on the topic of interest. It is therefore important that the gathered information is verified through double checking facts with other related views and validated to determine the truth of it.



Organising the material: The collected information, in line with the analysis should be ordered into a sequence that makes sense and gives a smooth or logical flow. Most of this information will make the body of the text but will help make the introduction and point to areas further which needs research/ investigations. a) The Introduction This entails writing the document following the appropriate format/ layout. The introduction should clearly state the purpose, background and scope of coverage.


b) The Details This section is designed to explain the purpose tying it up with the background to the points under scope. Each point will be developed in full so as to reveal the essence of writing. c) The Conclusion The conclusion highlights of the key outstanding issues thus confirming the official position (at least according to the writer). Expected action or the way forward or recommendations or suggestions will float there. This will create a smooth ending to the piece. 6. Drafting Drafting entails developing the ideas into the complete message according to the document to be produced. The major tasks here involve a) Expanding the ideas into Complete Words full and well structured sentences well coordinated, coherent texts, b) Choosing the Correct Format ± memo, letter, report and other minutes 7. Proof Reading and Editing a) Proofreading involves ensuring that the draft document is free of error of expression and those of coverage. When an error free document is sent, the audience will not spend valuable time correcting it. Areas like spelling, grammar and meaning are sorted out to achieve rhetorical effectiveness through choice of words that are precise, appropriate, dignified, colourful, active, and popular (in common usage) i.e. the PADCAP model of diction. b) Editing ensures that the report is: i) Complete i.e. covers all areas of concern with appropriate detail (answering the 5 Ws and 1 H); ii) Coherent i.e. all parts are held together in harmony; iii) Thoroughly researched and contains no unverified or invalidated information.


8. Organisational Models Writing may be organised according to how you anticipate the audience to react to the message. The audience may react either favourably or unfavourably, hence the direct or the indirect approach to organising the text, respectively. Table 13.4
Direct Approach Applicable when: Indirect Approach Applicable when: 

You expect the audience to consider the  You expect the audience to react unfavourably message favourably or in a neutral way; /negatively to your message, or  The information is considered easily  You feel the information is somewhat understandable. complicated and may not be easily grasped. Open with the main idea, or best news, followed by all necessary explanatory details in one or several paragraphs as the situation might dictate. The ending is with an appropriate friendly paragraph. It is also called the Deductive approach. This is common when you are offering the audience some relief or something of direct, if not immediate benefit to the audience. The ending should be equally well calculated so as to appeal to the sympathy of the audience and win acceptance. Bad news and persuasive messages use this approach. Words and tone used should be that which will influence the audience into the desired direction. Open with some relevant pleasant, neutral, or reader beneficial statement (a buffer) before introducing the main idea which is unpleasant. The explanation which precedes the main point is intended to arouse interest and show the inevitability of the negative point.

Element 3 Reports and Report Writing (containing 13.3, 4 & 5 of Syllabus) 1. Background a) Definition Consider the two views below:
Organised, factual and objective information brought by a person who has experiences or accumulated it to a person or persons who need it, want it or are entitled to it. (Weisman 1996:138) A communication of information and advice from someone who has collected and studied the facts to someone who needs to be informed «. (Kenrick, 1997:93)


Both views, though by different people agree that a report must have information, which contains facts that has to be passed from one person to another or others. This information is acquired and analysed (studied) and presented in a systematic way. The foregoing is true of reports at any level in the organisation. b) User Expectations The report is always written for someone else who ought to have some use for it. The user is confident that what the writer will give is useful and correct. The common expectations include: Table 13.5
Expectation i) Informational Details  Monitoring information in circulation  Disseminating received information among team members  Being the contact person on behalf of the team (spokesman or spokesperson)  Being figurehead  Being leader  Acting as the liaison/contact with outside world  Entrepreneurial  Resource management  Negotiation  Conflict handling

ii) Interpersonal

iii) Decisional


Types of Reports a) Form Based Reports Quite often, information is passed on by way of filling in forms. Form based reports are an appropriate way of submitting reports on i) High frequency operations like receiving cash, making payments by cheque, etc ii) One off complex happenings, like accidents; The idea is to come up with a standard way of seeking and receiving information from those reporting. Forms also make reporting and interpreting reports easy.


Information for form based reports may be collected by: i) Direct questions: - e.g. what is your name? ii) Instructions: - e.g. Write your name iii) Labels: - e.g. Name. Ways of seeking/guidelines for supplying and cues for interpreting information i.e. Questions, Instructions and Labels do reflect the type of audience/people who are expected to supply the information. For example young respondents would be more comfortable with questions rather than labels while the semi literates would find both questions and instructions friendlier than labels. However, when designing forms, ensure that enough space for providing answers is provided and that the purpose of the form is clearly defined. Also, ensure that no other form exists for the same purpose. No two or more forms should exist for the same purpose

b) Narrative Reports These are the reports that the one reporting designs in line with the nature of the task and the material at hand. They generally fall into two categories Table 13.6 Informal Report  Based on a simple and single subject  Relies on the writer as the main source of information using observation and secondary data collection methods  Intended to be read in one sitting i.e. short  May take memo or letter format  May be slightly longer than the memo or letter  Methods of collecting data for the Formal Report  Based on a long and complex matter  The writer uses extensive investigation/data collection methods ± interviews, questionnaires, observations, experiments, discussion groups/panels and/or desk study  Is much longer and not intended to be read in one sitting  Presented in outline form with numbered and headed sections  Can be read in parts according to the section the reader is interested in at any given time


report may be used as the main  May take the short formal (schematic) format indicator that the required report is or the long (book format) the informal one.  Usually the report following an investigative assignment.


The Process of Writing the Report Like all formal writing, report writing can be better done when certain steps are followed judiciously. The key steps are those in the preparatory stage since planning is the key to effectiveness. a) Interpreting the situation This involves understanding the environment surrounding the report, such as:

i) ii)

Guidelines calling for the report; Instructions outlining the extent and limitations ± scope of coverage; The information needed:     Primary/Secondary; Organisational, Technical (operational), Personal, Confidential, Non confidential; Current, semi current, archival.



User expectations ± the various users expect information for various purposes and at various levels. Of the users, we may consider management interest in the submitted reports in line with their role in the running of the organisation:


A good job here results in well designed ³Terms of References´ or ³Introduction´ to the report b) Sourcing and Collecting information This involves: i) Identifying and classifying sources of information into:  Primary ± people; events  Secondary ± records (files and books)



Develop tools and instruments for collecting the needed data as:  Primary ± interviews, questionnaires, focus/discussion groups, experiments and observations (participating);  Desk/library study


Apply the data collection tools and instruments on the identified sources relying on skills in:  Reading  Listening and  Note making

c) Data Analysis This entails processing the collected raw information into meaning units and manageable clusters. This can be achieved through: i) ii) Classification: grouping information according to some criteria; Comparison: establishing similarities between sets of information gathered; Contrast: highlighting key variations or differences between sets of information collected; Implication/import: establishing long term implications of the indicators in the collected data to form a basis for proactive steps to avert disaster; Cause ± effect relationships: establish the causality of certain things on the others; Taxonomy and other relationships in the information ± how can the information be further broken down to its lowest meaningful clusters? Action orientation, etc ± put those findings which inspire action on their own so that they may be easy to test.






d) Organising the Information The collected information, in line with the analysis should be ordered into a sequence that makes sense and gives a smooth or logical flow. Most of this information will make the body of the report but will help design the introduction and point to areas for further research/investigation.


Bearing in mind the purpose of your communication, you may organise your test using the Direct or indirect approach. e) Drafting the Report This entails writing the report following the appropriate format/layout. The points will be expanded and presented in full form consistent with the three phase design of the Introduction ± stating the purpose, background and scope of coverage; facts/details ± information processed and analysed as collected from the source independent of the writer¶s opinion; Conclusion ± highlights of the key or outstanding issues contained on the facts as well as the writer¶s opinion/judgement on issues thereby confirming or refuting claims inherent in the information collected from the respective sources. The way forward or recommendations or suggestions are floated here. It is advisable to pass on the draft to someone else to help identify shortcomings of the report. If no one is available, the writer should put it away for some time before beginning to proofread and edit it for the purpose of achieving objectivity. f) Proofreading and Editing You must read your draft objectively from the view point of your intended audience. Make sure that the text meets all the principles of good writing in content as well as the mechanics of writing. Read paragraph by paragraph to ensure continuity of ideas and check every sentence, word, figure and punctuation mark to ensure the smooth flow and presentation of the message. You may consider passing on your draft to colleagues for an independent opinion on content and mechanics. g) The Camera Ready Copy Effective proofreading and editing produces the camera ready copy which can be circulated or disseminated as may be appropriate ± to a live audience or using a covering minute (memo) to relevant offices. 4. Layout of the Report Information in a well laid out report will fall under the following sections a) Heading/title


This gives the gist of the report high lighting the focus of reporting. b) Introduction i) Terms of Reference Outlining the essence of the report ± who asked for it & how? what did he/she say must be done & when? Whether recommendations were asked for or not, etc

ii) Procedures Indicating what methods were used to collect information and why. The procedures will also reflect what kind of information was collected from which source using what methods. c) Facts/findings This presents the information which was sourced. The information may be grouped under separate categories. The writer of the report should not bring out his/her opinion on the information presented here. It must be raw information as it was collected but processed and analysed d) Conclusion i) Conclusions Passes judgement on whether the information gathered is true or false, right or wrong and so on. This is where the report writer¶s opinion on the information comes out. ii) Recommendations Presents any suggestions as to how the situation can be improved upon. This section inspires action and would be considered central in the discussion of the report.
NB The informal report may use the section headings while the short formal (schematic) report must use the five italicised section headings numbered 1 ± 5, respectively. On the other hand the long report which assumes the book format will have additional sections or parts: the title page, table of contents, executive summary/abstract, table of contents, list of tables/pictures etc, chapters 1, 2, «, appendices, etc


Element 4 Office Correspondence 1. Table 13.7
The Memo  For internal use only,  Less formal yet formal in its own right  Sent in any direction within the organisation, i.e. up, down, horizontal, diagonal (refer to channels of communication)  Can thus be written by any employee at any level within the organisation  Can be sent to an individual or group or all staff  Used on non personal information i.e. for organisational and/or technical information  Always sent to a third party  Serves a wide and flexible range of purposes ± to report, inform, alert/caution, a covering minute, etc The Letter  Used in all external correspondence;  May be used internally on personal matters like promotion, transfer, discipline, etc;  Written between the client and the Chief Executive (e.g. Managing Director, Permanent Secretary etc) or the proxy (official representative);  Written between the employee and the Human Resources Manager or the proxy;  Very formal written communication;  Serves a variety of functions in the various areas of business (see below);  May be but rarely sent to third person except in disputes;  Usually sent to individuals but can be sent to several recipients as a standard (circular) letter;  Most organisations use headed paper for letters.

Major Characteristics of The Memorandum and the Letter


Parts and Layout of the Memo and the Letter a) The Memo

Plate 13.1 (Insert authentic memo, eg from ZICA)


i. Table 13.8

Parts of the memo explained 
Indicates which organisation the memo is internal to. Some sources propose that this part can be left out but it is important. However, a number of organisations use specially designed memo headed paper  Reminds the users that this document is for internal circulation only  Shows the title/designation not so much the name of the recipient of the memo since the memo is on non personal issues;  Shows the title/designation of the author of the memo;  The filing code top facilitate record keeping in the organisation. May not always be used;  Shows the date on which the memo was written. Important as it helps determine how current the information is;  Gives the title of the message. This needs not be flagged off/signalled by the word ³subject´ as the practice used to be n the past.  This is the substance of the memo which falls into three parts not necessarily paragraphs, i.e. introduction, details (body) and the conclusion.  Shows the signature and name of the author. Note that the title is already reflected under origin. The signature is important in order to declare authenticity of the document otherwise anyone in the organisation can purport to write in the name of someone else.  Shows all the third parties to whom the memo has been copied to. It is important for everyone who receives a memo to know who else has received a copy of the same document  Indicates something has been sent along with this memo. Details of the enclosures will be contained in the message

a) Name of the organisation: -

b) Document identity: -


Destination: -

d) Origin: e) Reference: -


Date: -

g) Subject line: -

h) Message: -


Signature block: -


Circulation checklist: -


Enclosure indication: -


b) The Letter Plate 13.2 (Insert authentic letter, eg from ZICA)

ii. Table 13.9
i) Letterhead

Parts of the Letter explained 
The sender¶s contact details including the name (and logo) of the organisation, postal contact, physical contact, electronic (phone numbers, email addresses, websites, etc). note that the sender¶s name and/or title should not appear at this point  Filing code as in the memo. However, there is provision for ³Your ref «.´ (the recipient¶s filing code) & ³Our ref «.´ (the sender¶s filing code);  Shows how current the letter is. Should be written in full, eg 21 June 2007;  The recipient¶s name/title and the applicable contact details. This is what appears on the envelope;  Draws reader¶s attention to the fact that the message is about to begin. It also reflects a friendly relationship or at least some good will;  Gives the title of the message. It is more easily constructed by completing the expression: ³I am writing regarding . . . .´

ii) Reference iii) Date iv) Inside Address v) Salutation

vi) Subject Line


What comes after regarding and smoothly completes the statement will make a very good subject line. We should note that a good heading is brief and throws light to the contents/purpose of the letter..  vii) Message viii) Complementary Close The details on the heading opening with the introduction, then the details and ending with the prayer ± an earnest appeal by the sender for action from the recipient; 

Signals the end of the message. It reflects good relations with the recipient or good will and wishes. It matches with the salutation ± no salutation, no complimentary close;  Contains the signature, name and designation of the author. There is no designation if one is not writing in an official position;  Where applicable it reflects details of third parties to whom a copy of the same letter has been sent;  Where the letter is a covering minute ± introducing another document, say a report, another letter, quotation, invoice, cheque, etc, this par indicates that there is some enclosure to the letter.

ix) Signature Block

x) Circulation checklist xi) Enclosure indication

c) Special Notes on the Letter i) Influences some parts have on others The opening line of the Inside Address determines the form the Salutation takes. This in turn influences the complementary close. Table 13.10
Inside Address 1. by Name e.g. Dr L Musonda Zambia Institute of Management PO Box 31735 Lusaka OR Ms E Chilwalo Zambia Institute of Management PO Box 31735 Lusaka 2. by Title The Director Zambia Institute of Management PO Box 31735 Lusaka Salutation  Dear Dr Musonda Complementary Close When applicable

OR  Dear Ms Chilwalo  Dear sir OR  Dear Madam (Dear sir/madam is not only unnecessary 

Yours sincerely

When the contact person is known, especially in inter organisational correspondence 

Yours faithfully

When the gender of the contact person is not known (external) or as appropriate when the gender of the contact is


but cumbersome and outdated) 3. by Organisation  Dear Messrs ZAMIM Zambia Institute of Management PO Box 31735 Lusaka  Yours faithfully Or  Dear ZAMIM Mmes

known (internal)

When no contact person is known whether by title or name

ii) Extensions of some parts Some parts of the letter take additional features depending on the situation of the letter. Some of the parts with extensions are as below:  The inside address: this experiences two major extensions Table 13.11
ufs (under flying seal of) e.g. The Registrar Zambia Institute of Management PO Box 31735 Lusaka ufs The Principal ZAMIM Lusaka Used in internal letters where the letter must follow the official channels of communication, i.e. following the line of command. A letter addressed to the Human Resources Manager should pass through the employee¶s supervisor so that the supervisor may append his/her opinion on the matter. In this situation, the employee will for example put two copies of the letter in the same envelope addressed to the immediate supervisor and the supervisor will endorse both copies and prepare a covering minute containing his comments on the subject then forward the one copy to the Human Resources Manager. In the example, the letter is addressed to the registrar but to pass through the Principal. Attention line, e.g. The Director Zambia Institute of Management PO Box 31735 Lusaka Attention: Mr Siakavuba The contact person (one handling the case in the organisation) is known but the letter is addressed to the chief in line with the requirement that letters between client and the organisation be addressed to the Chief executive of the company. The attention line means that the letter will be received by the person to whose attention it is marked, i.e. Mr Siakavuba in the example. Also, the address on the envelope will include the attention line. 

Signature Block: - may experience extensions based on the availability of the author


j for/Managing Director is used when the MDs proxy is writing the letter. The proxy will append his/her signature, name and designation. The convention indicates that the author is writing using delegated authority, not as the chief executive officer. This is the person who will be intentioned to when the reply is sent. j pp is used when the author of the letter is not available to sign the letter in person. In this era of technology, the superior may dictate a letter over the phone and the letter is to be dispatched at once. The subordinate (the secretary, for example, will sign but the author¶s name and designation will feature. To declare that the signature is not for the designated author, the abbreviation pp is used to denote per proxy. j Signed is used when the original signature cannot be accessed, neither can the signature be retrieved. This is least likely but a letter of the pre computer popularity period of tremendous influence can be retyped verbatim, and instead of the signature, the word signed will be used. 3. Style and Presentation The term Style in correspondence relates to three major elements ± expression, punctuation and display. a) Expression Since the letter and the memo are both office documents, they must be presented in formal expression devoid of all colloquialisms ± see above. b) Punctuation Consideration of punctuation evolves around two options, one of which is associated with the modern practice while the other belongs to the old school of writing ± open punctuation and the punctuated, respectively. The punctuation option shows itself more in the cases of the addresses, initials, dates, etc.


Table 13.12
Open Punctuation The Education Secretary Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) PO Box LUSAKA 21 June 2007 The main variations relate to i) the absence of commas in the address and date (open punctuation) and their presence in the punctuated); ii) the absence of the periods (full stop) in the initials ± ZICA, PO Box and the date, and their use in the punctuated. Note the mandatory space after each period, thus taking more space for each entry; iii) absence of the ordinal number system in the date ± 21 June under open punctuation, as contrasted to the 21st June in the punctuated. Beware of the general tendency to adhere to old methods. The world is dynamic! Punctuated The Education Secretary, Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (Z.I.C.A.), P. O. Box 32005, LUSAKA. 21st June, 2007.

c) Display The major contenders in this aspect of style are the blocked and semi blocked styles. The semi blocked style is a compromise between the blocked and the indented style. Note the particular differences in the positioning of the various parts of the memo and letter. The models given above are in the blocked style. Here we shall illustrate the semi blocked and the indented.


Semi Blocked Letterhead Date Reference Inside Address Salutation Subject Line

Indented Letterhead Date Reference Inside Address Salutation THE INDENTED STYLE All the paragraphs of the Message are indented thereby creating problems of determining how wide the indentation should be. At times the indentation would be wider than usual. Also centring can be a problem, especially when one is writing the letter by hand. Generally, the indented style does not give the most impressive appearance. That is why the blocked style is being popularized. Complementary close Signature Name designation cc encl

Message (blocked)

Complementary close Signature Name Designation

cc encl

Element 5 Other Forms of Office Writing 1. Minutes a) Purpose Minutes have two major purposes ± as a record of a meeting that was held, and as a report on the meeting that was held. b) Types and Layout


Table 13.13
i) Reports of meetings This format extracts and summarises main conclusions of a meeting and why. The type is mainly used to report results of meeting or conference proceedings in one organisation to participants or other organisations that may be interested. The report may also be sent to the press especially after newsworthy meetings or conferences. These minutes present decisions and votes as well as a summary of discussions leading to those decisions and votes. They are more detailed and could be a source document on issues pertaining to the meeting. Other types of minutes can be derived from these. The meeting Secretary is usually required to produce narrative minutes while any other member can produce other types. Examination questions usually ask candidates to discuss or even illustrate narrative minutes. iii) Resolution Minutes These are a summary of the meeting showing the resolution of a meeting not how these were reached. The type usually takes the format of a list. The resolutions can be extracted from narrative minutes This is a summary of the meeting which highlights any jobs or assignments that were handed out at a meeting. The minutes take the form of a table with columns covering the tasks, who should perform the tasks and by which date the tasks should be completed ± on the lines of Action Plans. These can be extracted from the resolution minutes bearing in mind that not every resolution informs action.

ii) Narrative Minutes

iv) Action Minutes

c) Layout and Contents of Narrative Minutes These are modelled on the agenda of the meeting. However, since the agenda was projective and minutes are reflective, there is much more detail in the minutes than in the agenda. A template of Narrative minutes would look like this:


Plate 13.3
Heading e.g. MINUTES OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON « ATTENDANCE Present ± names of members present beginning with that of the Chairperson and ending with the Secretary; Apologies ± names of all those who were not able to attend the meeting but had sent word to that effect; In Attendance ± names of those people present at the meeting of which they are not regular members. Such people as the ex officio (those who by virtue of their positions are free to attend the meeting) or guests ± invited to either clarify a certain technical mater or receive the technical clarification; Absent ± names of those who missed the meeting without any apologies. 1. APOLOGIES: Gives summary description of how the chair went about opening the meeting ± calling the meeting to order (time for this must be shown), announcing apologies and introducing the ³in attendance´, outlining procedures governing that particular meeting, adopting the agenda,, declaring the meeting open. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING Indicates how the minutes were corrected and confirmed. Note that minutes are circulated ahead of a meeting and are taken as read by the time of the meeting. All those present take part in correcting the minutes while only those who were present at that meeting whose minutes are being looked at take part in their adoption. For this reason, names of those who propose and second the adoption should be reflected. Minutes are only signed after receiving approval or adoption by the meeting! 3. MATTERS ARISING Here any issues that were left unresolved at the last meeting will be raised, clarified and closed. MAIN BUSINESS Presents summary of each new item that was tabled, discussed and resolved (by vote). The length of this section depends on how many such new business was presented. ANY OTHER BUSINESS A summary of any business that was relevant to the meeting but was not on the initial agenda is presented. Such are the items which end up being carried forward because most members may not have any details to justify responsible discussion. DATE OF NEXT MEETING This section describes how the Chairperson closed the meeting after highlighting key aspects of the meeting, thanking the members for their participation and advising on what to do with the deliberations ± broadcast them or keep them classified until further notice. Chairman¶s Name & Signature Secretary¶s name & Signature







Briefs a) Purpose and Usage These are notes prepared for another person to follow or implement. They are commonly used during hand over or when a job is to be completed by someone else b) Special Characteristics Special feature is that Briefs are written in bullet point form. The bullet would be numbered for ease of reference!


Notices a) Purpose The main functions of the Notices are: i) To give details of something such as an event (announce) ii) To invite people to the function/event b) Contents A good notice is supposed to produce a good attendance to the function ± be it a meeting or otherwise. It must therefore provide information that will make it possible for the audience to take the appropriate action: i) details of the event     what event ± so that the affected can attend; date of event ± ³on´ venue ± ³in/at´ time ± ³at´

ii) author ± who is announcing and inviting in case of query; iii) date of the notice ± to help determine how current the announcement is so that people can attach necessary attention;


c) Types and Layout Table 13.14
Type i) Display Features  Meant for posting on the notice board and other public places eg windows, walls and tree trunks;  Should standout among other materials so as to be easily spotted out;  Suitable for open events as opposed to closed group events;  An aspect of mass communication (see Unit 11.3a, v)  Should have capacity to attract attention, stimulate interest, provoke a desire and produce action ± the AIDA model of sll publicity materials, etc  Sent to specific people;  Suitable for closed groups;  Rarely mounted on public display for a like notice boards;  Is a form of interpersonal communication (see Unit 11.3a, ii);  May take the forms of a card (when target audience are many but known eg all share holders (invited to AGM),the informal note, a memo, letter, etc.

ii) Personalised

Element 6 Public Sector Written Communication
Public sector organisations usually have an elaborate reporting system and stakeholder structure and are consequently very formal in their operations. The organisations may be found as Civil Service (Central and Local Government) and Public Limited Companies as well as societies and Cooperatives. Written communication here is critical as it is the basis for all managerial activity. Needs for information are perhaps greater than in the private sector where the employees deals directly on daily basis with the owners of the business. .


Internal Minutes/Memo a) Characteristics of Public Sector Organisations b) Informational Needs in Public Sector Organisations

2. 3.

Cabinet Memo Ministry Circulars Highlight/emphasise elaborate extensions


Element 7 Effective Curriculum Vitae and Application Forms 1. Purpose Both the Curriculum Vitae (CV) and the Employment form are self portrayal documents which are used in job procurement (application). They give the potential employer a brief but factual summary of the job seeker¶s relevant life ± private and public as may be relevant to the job. The documents give particulars of the applicants¶ events in their lives in some chronological order. The more modern practice, however, is to start with the latest and move backwards to the earliest. However, the CV is designed by the applicant while the Application Form is by the employer. In fact, the two are essentially the same except that the latter is the CV modelled to the particular organisation¶s requirements and specifications. 2. Major Features and Parts One¶s life is complex, however short it may look. The individual has to select from the many events those that will sell them most effectively. The CV and Application Form are therefore structured to guide both the supplier and the user of the required information. They are generally broken into clear sections seeking specific detail.


PERSONAL DETILS/BIODATA Name: Sex Year of Birth Place of Birth Marital Status Contact Details EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Period Institution Qualification

WORK EXPERIENCE Period Institution Job Title

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Give details of other skills and capabilities not included elsewhere. Things such as your job challenges, what aspects of job you specialise in, workshops and conferences attended,

INTERESTS Your pass time interests. The employer would like to engage a human being not a work machine. A human being accumulates pressure from work and should have somewhere to dissipate that pressure through. REFEREES Contact details for at least two and up to three people drawn from educational, employment and other activities like church, clubs, etc. Consult them to seek their approval to vouch for you.



Visual communication

Based on the old theory that when I hear, I forget, but when I see I remember, Visual Communication occupies a very prominent role in communication in the business world. LEARNING OUTCOMES/OBJECTIVES From this Unit we should be able to 
Apply visual communication as a better option of medium in various complex situations.  Design various visual communication instruments fit for use in given situations

Element 1

Principles of Visual Communication 1. Special Attributes of Visual Communication a) Independent of language ± i.e. you do not need any language to understand a diagram; b) Appeals to sight thus it is easily noticed; c) It stays longer in the mind thereby enhancing memory (when I hear, I forget, when I see, I remember!); d) It can be easily interpreted as the audience can approach it from any direction; e) When used well it helps keep the text short; f) It takes burden of creating vivid verbal picture off the sender by appealing to the mind of the audience to fill up any gaps ± it speaks volumes more than words can! (No amount of words can fill a basket); g) Very useful when dealing with complex information, such as objects/people, processes, places, statistical data as well as safety information;



Types of Visuals a) Objects/people Pictures will make it easier to introduce an object or person to another. Imagine the effectiveness of mail selling using full colour brochures and even leaflets, fliers or handbills. Sketches may also be used to achieve the same effect. b) Processes Flow charts are perhaps the most effective means of showing the various stages of a process or operation. Consider the various spider diagrams and the communication cycle used in this text. They show the concepts more explicitly. c) Places Directing people to certain localities is most effectively done using maps and such other drawings than verbal descriptions. Imagine giving directions to your clients for your new premises you have relocated to within the same vicinity. d) Statistical Data Most of the work in offices centres on statistical material of one form or the other. The most frequently used forms of presenting statistical data include lists, tables, graphs, charts, pictograms, scatter graphs, the Gantt chart, histogram, etc. These may be better defined or explained in the subjects where they are core concepts, such as papers T3 and T4 ± Business Mathematics and Statistics, and Economics, respectively. i) Lists:- vertically arranged and numbered collection of items, names of clients, transactions, etc Tables:- quantified or qualified raw data arranged in headed fields (columns) and records (rows) which may be numbered. For example financial highlights from the Zambian Breweries plc Annual Reports for 2007 were presented as follows:



Table 14.1 K million Group turnover Opening profit Profit before taxation Profit after taxation Total assets Current liabilities Shareholder¶s interest 2003 318, 572 33, 686 28, 595 15, 165 239, 034 89, 409 149, 625 2004 386, 294 41, 810 33, 053 20, 023 254, 255 98, 519 148, 197 2005 451, 465 61, 403 56, 758 33, 394 305, 644 133, 955 157, 661 2006 479, 847 75, 096 69, 042 40, 690 354, 983 166, 463 174, 327 2007 516, 371 69, 526 63, 713 44, 259 381, 401 151, 153 190, 103


Graphs: - interpreted data to reflect progression or a trend in the behaviour or trend of some activity. For example a graph can be drawn on the group turn over pattern over the period 2003 to 2007. Charts: - these mainly show comparison of the performance or characteristics of items or products over a given period. Charts belong to two major types ± the bar chart in three major classifications ± the simple, compound/multiple and the stacked/cumulative; and the pie chart based on values of the circle apportioned proportionate to the quantities of the items being displayed. Pictogram Histogram


v) vi)

vii) Gantt chart viii) Scatter graph e) Safety Information Safety may be taken to be in the (plant/workshop/factory) or on the road. i) production area

Plant/factory Safety: - various safety signs like of danger, operating equipment, directions, location of some facilities, etc; Road Safety: - the various road signs.




Challenges in Designing Visual Communication The visual displays should be: a) Relevant to the text: -should be used to explain particular complex concept in the message; Readable: - should not be clustered or crowded or congested;


c) Adequately labelled; d) Signalled at appropriate point in text; They work equally well with both oral and written communication. Before looking Element 2 Basic Components of Visual Communication a) b) c) a heading/title; labelled parts a key to explain parts/shadings to avoid clustering;

Element 3 Visual Aids for Corporate Identity 1. 2. The Logo Corporate Colour



Hardaway JM & F Hardaway (1978) Thinking into Writing, Massachesetts:Winthrop Publishers; Herfernan JA & Lincoln JE (1986) Writing: a college handbook, New York: WW Norton & Co. Kaitholil G (1994) You Can Be an Effective Speaker, Bombay: The Bombay St Paul Society Kenrick E et al (1987) Business Communication, London: Longman; Steinberg Sheila (1999), Persuasive Communication Skills, Pretoria: University of South Africa Weisman HM (1985) Basic Technical Writing, Columbus: Charles E Merrill Publishing Company Zambian Breweries Group, (2007) Annual Report Bovee CL, et al (2002) Business Communication Today 7th Ed New Delhi: Pearson Education Inc May CB & May GS (1999) Effective Writing: a Handbook for Accountants 6th Ed Prentice Hall


GUI, 12 A Application packages, 33 Arithmetic and logic unit, 5 Autocorrect, 67 B bar code, 21 Batch processing, 4 Bits, 7 C CD-ROM 18 Clipboard, 64 Conferences,157 Communication Skills, 126 Communication, 116, 139, 164, 190, 128 Computer, 1, 25 Correspondence, 176 Counselling, 162 CPU, 5, 26 Curriculum Vitae, 188 D DELETING, 58 Disciplinary, 162 DVD,18 E EDI, 15, 30 Editing, 168, 174 E-mail, 30 Excel Environment, 78 F Find, 66 Flash disks, 18 Floppy disks, 17 Formatting Cells, 84 G Grievance, 162 I Information, 118,173 Information Technology, 14 Input devices, 20 Inserting, 58 Internet,16, 30 Internet Service Providers, 30 Interview, 158, 161 ISPs, 30 K KISS, 132 L Letter,178 Listening, 139, 140, 141, 142, 173 M Mainframe, 1 Management information, 15 Medium, 124 Medium and Channels, 119 Meetings, 153 Memo, 176, 187 Memory, 6, 10 Menu, 39 Microcomputer, 1 MICR, 24, 25 Microsoft Access, 94, 95, 96 Microsoft Excel, 77 Microsoft Word, 33, 37 Minutes, 183 N Note Taking, 145 H Hard disk, 12, 13, 17 Hardware, 5 Headers and Footers, 71, 92


O Online processing, 4 Organisational, 118,169 Organiser, 157,159 Optical Character Recognition, 23 Output Devices, 26 Oral Communication, 139 P PASS, 132, 166 Performance Appraisal, 161 Plotter, 28 Presentations, 148 Printers, 1, 26, 27, 28 PRINTING, 55 Processing, 3,15,33 Processor, 2, 5 Proof Reading, 168 Public Speaking, 150 Q Queries, 97 Questioning, 143 R RAM, 7 Real-time processing, 4 Recycle Bin, 13

Replace, 66, 81 Reports, 169, 171,174, 184 ROM, 8 S Selection, 50, 69, 160 Seminar, 157 Software, 11, 12, 18, 28, 31 Speller, 67 storage, 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 29, 64 storage devices, 17 supercomputer, 1 T Tabs and indents, 60 V Video conferencing, 15 Voice messaging systems, 16 W worksheet, 83 Written communication, 164 Z ZIP disk, 18