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Electronic Keyboarding Applications

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Learning to key is of little value unless one applies it in preparing a useful document–a letter, a report, and so on. Three basic kinds of software are available to assist those with keying skill in applying that skill electronically.

Word Processing Software
Word processing software is specifically designed to assist in the document preparation needs of individuals or business. Word processing software permits the user to “create, edit, format, store, and print document.” (Fulton and Hanks, 1996, 152) The software can be used to process a wide variety of documents such as memos, letters, reports, and tables.

This software has special features such as automatic centering and wordwrap that reduce time and effort. It also permits easy error correction, format and sequence changes, and insertion of variables “on screen” before a copy is printed. These features increase efficiency by eliminating document rekeying.

Database software
A database is any collection of related items stored in computer memory. The data in a database may be about club members, employee payroll, company sales, and so on. Database software allows the user to enter data, arrange it, retrieve and change it, or select certain data (such as an address) for use in documents. (Tilton, et al, 1996, 112-113)

Spreadsheet Software
A spreadsheet is an electronic worksheet made up of columns and rows of data. Spreadsheet software allows the user to “create, calculate, edit retrieve, modify, and print graphs, charts, reports, and spreadsheets” necessary for current business operations and in planning for the future.

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