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For Seniors: Understand Microsoft Works for Your Laptop

Microsoft Works is a suite of multiple programs that often comes installed on Windows-based laptops. If your laptop includes MS Works, then you have a simple word processor, spreadsheet, database, and calendar program you can use to create reports, work with numbers, organize data, and track appointments and meetings.

If MS Works is not installed on your laptop, the program is relatively inexpensive (anywhere from $30 to $40, depending on where you shop), so it’s a good entry-level program you might want to have on your laptop.

If you don’t have Works and want an entirely free word-processing program to try, many of these tasks will work similarly with Google Docs, which you can use for free online. You can also access online versions of Microsoft Office applications if you want.

With the word processor included in Microsoft Works 9, you can create anything from simple letters to posters or brochures. You can use both text and graphics to add style to your documents. You can even use a word processor to print envelopes or labels, so you can send those holiday newsletters or fund-raising letters for the local food bank on their way.

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Microsoft Works 9 also includes a spreadsheet program that provides some pretty sophisticated tools for working with numbers and charts.

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A spreadsheet program allows you to organize data and automate both simple and complex calculations. You enter numbers and then perform actions on them such as calculating an average or generating a sum for a range of numbers. You can format the data in a spreadsheet and also generate charts based on the numbers you enter.

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