Taking a Microsoft CertifiedApplication Specialist Exam Desktop computing proficiency is becoming increasingly important in today’s business world. As a result, when screening, hiring, and training employees, more employers are relying on the objectivity and consistency of technology certification to ensure the competence of their workforce. As an employee or job seeker, you can use technology certification to prove that you already have the skills you need to succeed, saving cur- rent and future employers the trouble and expense of training you.The Microsoft Business Certification Program The Microsoft Business Certification program is designed to assist employees in validat- ing their Windows Vista skills and 2007 Microsoft Office program skills. The following certification paths are available: l A Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) is an individual who has demonstrated profiency in Windows Vista or in a 2007 Office program by pass- ing a certification exam in Windows Vista or in one or more of the 2007 Office programs, including Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, and Microsoft Office Access 2007. l A Microsoft Certified Application Professional (MCAP) is an individual who has taken his or her knowledge of the 2007 Office system and of Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies to the next level and has demonstrated by passing a certification exam that he or she can use the collaborative power of the Office system to accomplish job functions such as Budget Analysis and Forecasting, or Content Management and Collaboration. xix
xx Taking a Microsoft Certified Application Specialist ExamSelecting a Certification Path When deciding which Microsoft Business Certification path you would like to pursue, you should assess the following: l The program and program version(s) with which you are familiar l The length of time you have used the program l Whether you have had formal or informal training in the use of that program Candidates for MCAS-level certification are expected to successfully complete a wide range of standard business tasks, such as formatting a document or worksheet. Successful candidates generally have six or more months of experience with Windows Vista or the specific Office program, including either formal, instructor-led training or self-study using MCAS-approved books, guides, or interactive computer-based materials. Candidates for MCAP-level certification are expected to successfully complete more complex, business-oriented tasks that involve using the advanced functionality of the combined 2007 Office suite of products, as well as SharePoint. Successful candidates generally have at least six months, and may have several years, of experience with the programs, including formal, instructor-led training or self-study using MCAP-approved materials.Test-Taking Tips Every MCAS and MCAP certification exam is developed from a set of exam skill standards that are derived from studies of how Windows Vista and the 2007 Office programs are used in the workplace. Because these skill standards dictate the scope of each exam, they provide critical information about how to prepare for certification. This book fol- lows the structure of the published exam objectives; see “Using This Book to Study for a Certification Exam” for more information. The MCAS certification exams for the 2007 Office system programs are performance- based and require you to complete business-related tasks in the program for which you are seeking certification. You might be told to adjust program settings or be pre- sented with a file and told to do something specific with it. Your score on the exam reflects how well you perform the requested tasks.
Taking a Microsoft Certified Application Specialist Exam xxi Here is some helpful information about taking the exam: l Keep track of the time. You have 50 minutes to complete the exam. Your exam time does not officially begin until after you finish reading the instructions provided at the beginning of the exam. During the exam, the amount of time remaining is shown at the bottom of the exam interface. You can’t pause the exam after you start it. l Pace yourself. At the beginning of the exam, you will be told how many questions are included in the exam. Some questions will require that you complete more than one task. During the exam, the number of completed and remaining questions is shown at the bottom of the exam interface. l Read the exam instructions carefully before beginning. Follow all the instructions provided in each question completely and accurately. l Enter requested information as it appears in the instructions, but without duplicating the formatting unless you are specifically instructed otherwise. For example, the text and values you are asked to enter might appear in the instructions in bold and un- derlined (text), but you should enter the information without applying these formats. l Close all dialog boxes before proceeding to the next exam question unless you are specifically instructed otherwise. l Don’t close task panes before proceeding to the next exam question unless you are specifically instructed otherwise. l If you are asked to print a document, worksheet, chart, report, or slide, perform the task, but be aware that nothing will actually be printed. l Don’t worry about extra keystrokes or mouse clicks. Your work is scored based on its result, not on the method you use to achieve that result (unless a specific meth- od is indicated in the instructions). l If your computer becomes unstable during the exam (for example, if the exam does not respond or the mouse no longer functions) or if a power outage occurs, contact a testing center administrator immediately. The administrator will restart the computer and return the exam to the point where the interruption occurred, with your score intact. Strategy This book includes special tips for effectively studying for the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist exams, in Strategy paragraphs such as this one.
xxii Taking a Microsoft Certified Application Specialist ExamCertification Benefits At the conclusion of the exam, you will receive a score report, which you can print with the assistance of the testing center administrator. If your score meets or exceeds the passing standard (the minimum required score), you will be contacted by e-mail by the Microsoft Certification Program team and mailed a printed certificate within approxi- mately 14 days. The e-mail message you receive will include your Microsoft Certification ID and links to online resources, including the Microsoft Certified Professional site. On this site, you can order a welcome kit and ID card, view and send your certification tran- script, build a personalized certification logo, and access other useful and interesting resources, including special offers from Microsoft and affiliated companies. Using the Logo Builder, you can create a personalized certification logo that includes the MCAS logo and the specific programs in which you have achieved certification. If you achieve MCAS certification in multiple programs, you can include all of them in one logo, like this: You can include your personalized logo on business cards and other personal promo- tional materials. This logo attests to the fact that you are proficient in the applications or cross-application skills necessary to achieve the certification.For More Information To learn more about the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist exams, the Microsoft Certified Application Professional exams, and related courseware, visit: www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/msbc/
Using This Book to Studyfor a Certification Exam The Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) exams for individual programs in the 2007 Microsoft Office system are practical rather than theoretical. You must demonstrate that you can complete certain tasks rather than simply answering questions about program features. The successful MCAS certification candidate will have at least six months of experience using all aspects of the application on a regular basis; for example, using Outlook at work to send messages, track contact information, schedule appoint- ments and meetings, track and assign tasks, and take notes. This book has been designed to guide you in studying the types of tasks you are likely to be required to demonstrate in the MCAS exams for Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Access 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. Each part of the book covers one exam. The coverage for each exam is divided into chapters representing broad skill sets, and each chapter is divided into sections ad- dressing groups of related skills. Each section includes review information, generic procedures, and practice tasks you can complete on your own while studying. When necessary, we provide practice files you can use to work through the practice tasks. You can practice the procedures in this book by using the practice files supplied or by using your own files. (Keep in mind that functionality in some 2007 Office system programs is limited in files created in or saved for earlier versions of the program. When working in such a file, Compatibility Mode appears in the program window title bar.) As a certification candidate, you probably have a lot of experience with the program you want to become certified in. Many of the procedures we discuss in this book will be familiar to you; others might not be. Read through each study section and ensure that you are familiar with not only the procedures included in the section, but also the con- cepts and tools discussed in the review information. Graphics depict the tools you will use to perform procedures related to the skill set. Study the graphics and ensure that you are familiar with all the options available for each tool. Throughout the book, you will find Strategy tips presenting additional methods of study you can pursue on your own to ensure that you achieve mastery of a skill set and are successful in your certification effort. xxiii
xxiv Using This Book to Study for an ExamFeatures and Conventions of This Book You can save time when you use this book by understanding how special instructions, keys to press, buttons to click, and other conventions are indicated in this book. Convention Meaning This icon at the end of a chapter introduction indicates information about the practice files provided on the companion CD for use in the chapter. 1 Blue numbered steps guide you through step-by-step procedures. 2 ➜ An arrow indicates a procedure that has only one step. See Also These paragraphs direct you to more information about a given topic in this book or elsewhere. Tip These paragraphs provide a helpful hint or shortcut that makes working through a task easier, or information about other available options. Important These paragraphs remind you to install the practice files or to reverse settings when you have completed the practice tasks. Strategy These paragraphs provide additional exam study tips. Interface elements In procedures, the names of program elements (such as buttons, and and keyboard keys commands) and keyboard keys, are shown in black bold characters. Ctrl+Enter A plus sign (+) between two key names means that you must hold down the first key while you press the second key. For example, “press Ctrl+Home” means “hold down the Ctrl key and press the Home key.” User input and Terms you should become familiar with and anything you are supposed emphasis to type appear in italic characters.Additional Resources If, after reading the book and completing the practice tasks, you later need help remembering how to perform a procedure, the following features of this book will help you locate specific information: l Detailed table of contents. Scan a listing of the topics covered in each chapter and locate specific topics. l Detailed index. Look up specific tasks and general concepts in the index, which has been carefully crafted with the reader in mind. l Companion CD. Install the practice files needed for the step-by-step exercises and consult a fully searchable electronic version of this book and other useful resources.
Working in the Microsoft OfficeFluent User Interface Many of the programs in the 2007 Microsoft Office system feature a new look and a new way of interacting with the program that is designed to make the commands you need, in the context of the task you are currently performing, easily available. Called the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface, this new set of features is available in Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Access 2007, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. Special features of the Office Fluent user interface include: l The Office menu. This menu, which appears when you click the Microsoft Office Button located in the upper-left corner of the program window, contains commands related to working with entire files (rather than the file content). l The Office Fluent Ribbon. Probably the most visible element of the Office Fluent user interface, the Ribbon replaces the menus and toolbars found in earlier versions of Office programs. Commands are arranged on the Ribbon on task-specific tabs. l The Office Fluent Quick Access Toolbar. This toolbar provides easy access to the commands you use most frequently. You can change its position, add and remove commands, and create custom command groups for specific documents. l Contextual commands. Commands you use for working with specific objects, such as tables, graphics, headers, and footers, appear only when you select one of those objects. A Mini toolbar displaying formatting commands appears when you select text. l Office Fluent Live Preview. This feature displays the effect of a formatting change on the selected text or object without applying the format. l Quick Styles, Layouts, and Formats. These features provide professionally designed color palettes, themes, and graphic effects. l SmartArt graphics. These graphics and new styles and formatting methods greatly simplify the process of creating and formatting a variety of diagrams. l Document inspection and finishing tools. This collection of tools provides a way to safely share information with other people. See Also For information about the Office Fluent user interface elements in a specific program, refer to the program-specific Step by Step book. xxv
xxvi Working in the Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface If You Are Running Windows XP The graphics and operating system–related instructions in this book reflect the Windows Vista user interface. However, mastery of Windows Vista is not required for Microsoft Certified Application Specialist exams 77-601, 77-602, 77-603, 77-604, or 77-605. The differences you will encounter when working through the practice tasks in this book on a computer running the Windows XP operating system center around appearance rather than functionality. Some of the differences are as follows: l The Windows Vista personal documents folder is the Documents folder. The Windows XP equivalent is the My Documents folder. Document s l On a computer running Windows XP, some of the dialog boxes you will work with in the practice tasks not only look different from the graphics shown in this book but also work differently. These dialog boxes are primarily those that act as an interface between Office and the operating system, including any dialog box in which you navigate to a specific location. For the most part, these differences are small enough that you will have no difficulty completing the procedures in this book on a computer running Windows XP. Managing the Practice Files The instructions given in the “Using the Companion CD” section are specific to Windows Vista. On a computer running Windows Vista, the default installation loca- tion of the practice files is DocumentsMicrosoft PressMCAS. On a computer running PressMCAS. Windows XP, the default installation location is My DocumentsMicrosoft Press MCAS. MCAS. If your computer is running Windows XP, whenever an exercise tells you to navigate to your Documents folder, you should instead go to your My Documents folder. Important Important If you need help installing or uninstalling the practice files, please see the “Using the Companion CD” section later in this book.
Using the Companion CD The companion CD included with this book contains practice files you can use as you work through the practice tasks at the end of each study section. By using practice files, you won’t waste time creating samples and typing large amounts of data. Instead, you can concentrate on testing your knowledge about the programs. Digital Content for Digital Book Readers: If you bought a digital-only edition of this book, you can enjoy select content from the print editions companion CD. Visit go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=113688 to get your downloadable content. This content is always up-to-date and available to all readers. In addition to the practice files, the CD contains some exciting resources that will really enhance your ability to get the most out of using this book and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, including the following: l Microsoft Certified Application Specialist Study Guide: 2007 Microsoft Office System Edition l Sample chapters from Microsoft Office Word 2007 Step by Step by Joyce Cox and Joan Preppernau l Sample chapters from Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Step by Step by Curtis Frye l Sample chapters from Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 Step by Step by Joyce Cox and Joan Preppernau l Sample chapters from Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Step by Step by Joan Preppernau and Joyce Cox l Sample chapters from Microsoft Office Access 2007 Step by Step by Steve Lambert, Dow Lambert, and Joan Preppernau l Sample chapter and poster from Look Both Ways: Help Protect Your Family on the Internet (Linda Criddle, 2007) l Windows Vista Product Guide l Microsoft Computer Dictionary, Fifth Edition Important The companion CD for this book does not contain the 2007 Office system software. You should purchase and install the software before using this book. xxvii