COM 115 (COMPUTER APPLICATION PACKAGES 1)
Computer Software is the complete set of instructions designed to help the hardware to perform
its functions. For a computer system to function, the software components have to be installed into
the hardware. Software is essential to a computer because it controls everything the computer does.
A programmer, or software developer is a person with the training and skills necessary to design,
create, and test computer programs.
CATEGORIES OF SOFTWARE
The tree diagram below illustrates the different categories of software and relationships to each other.
Figure 1.1: Classifications of Computer Software
There are two (2) general categories of software;
1. System Software
2. Application Software
The System software is a program that is responsible for booting or starting up the computer system
i.e. load instructions to memory, execute and schedule computer resources, retrieve information or
data, and perform series of utility functions. These programs protect the user from the enormous
complexity of the computer system, and enable the computer to be used to maximum effect by a
wide variety of people, many of whom will know very little about the inner workings of computers.
CLASSIFICATION OF SYSTEM SOFTWARE
System software is classified into the following;
a. Operating system(OS)
c. Utility programs
A. OPERATING SYSTEM
An operating system is an integrated set of control programs designed to manage computer
resources and maximize the overall operation and effectiveness of the computer system. Operating
systems usually come pre-loaded on any computer you buy. Most people use the operating system
that comes with their computer, but it's possible to upgrade or even change operating systems.
Examples of common operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, Mac
OSX, and Linux.
A mobile operating system, also called a mobile OS, is an operating system that is specifically
designed to run on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, PDAs, tablet computers
and other handheld devices. Common operating systems for mobile phones are Android OS by
Google Inc., iPhone OS / iOS by Apple, Symbian OS by Nokia, and BlackBerry OS by
Research In Motion.
B. PROGRAM TRANSLATORS
A translator is a program, or a system, that converts input statements written in one language to
statements in another language, which can be understood by the computer.
C. UTILITY PROGRAMS/UTILITIES
A Utility program is a program that allows a user to perform maintenance-type tasks usually related
to managing a computer, its devices, or its programs. Most operating systems include several utility
programs for managing diskdrives, printers, and other devices and media. You also can buy utility
programs that allow you to perform additional computer management functions. Various examples
include file management(copy, paste, delete, file searching), Formatters, diagnosing problems and
finding out information about the computer , disk fragmenter, disk cleanup, you can also use
autility program to transfer digital photos to an optical disc and Editors which permit the creation
and modification of source programs and data files. Without the help of such dedicated programs,
operations such as these could be extremely time-consuming and consequently expensive.
Application software refers to that category of programs used by the computer users to perform
specific tasks. They allow people to perform specific tasks using a computer, such as creating
letters, preparing budgets, managing inventory and customer databases, playing games, watching
videos, listening to music, scheduling appointments, editing digital photographs, designing homes,
viewing Web pages, burning DVDs, and exchanging e-mail such as word processing, Payroll, and
invoicing. They are infact the programs with which the user interacts most in a computer system.
There are two main categories of applications software. These are
A. Tailor-made programs and
B. Commercial Software Packages.
Tailor-made programs (or bespoke programs) are written to perform a unique task for an
organization. They are not usually freely on sale. The programs may be contracted out or may be
developed by internal programming staff.
Experience has shown that when packages are available, most organizations would prefer to
purchase them instead of developing theirs.
COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE PACKAGES
These are Suites of Programs written by specialist software developers for open sale. Many of
them are available for a wide range of variety on computers. Areas for which packages are
available include Word processing, Spreadsheets, Accounting packages, Database management
a. Word Processors: These are program packages that allows a user to create, edit, and
format textual documents. Examples of popular ones include Microsoft Word for Windows, Word
Perfect, Word star.
b. Spreadsheet: spreadsheet provides a matrix of cells, in which each cell can be a number,
a line of text, or a calculation involving the values in other cells.They allow numeric information
such as forecasts, budgets, and regression analysis to be manipulated according to in-built or user-
c. Accounting packages: They are available in a wide variety. The most common ones
include purchase ledger, sales ledger, incoicing, payroll, manufacturing systems, order processing,
d. Graphic processing software: These types of package help us to typeset, draw and
manipulate graphical object as well as other desktop publishing activities. E.g. CorelDraw,
PageMaker, PowerPoint, Microsoft publisher, AUTOCAD, instant Artist among others.
e. Database management software: These type of programs help to record and manipulate
information about people, paces, things and manage reports of all types. E.g. Oracle, Microsoft
Access, Dbase III & IV, FoxPro etc.
f. Education Packages: These classes of software helps in handling variety of learning and
tutoring tasks. Sometimes by using E-learning or Collaboration learning. E.g. Computer Aided
learning (CAL), Super Tutor and Net Meeting.
g. Multimedia Packages: This types of package help us to handle variety media, Audio,
Video and entertainment packages. E.g. Windows media player, Nero Express and CD player.
STEPS IN EVALUATING AND PURCHASING SOFTWARE
1. EVALUATE THE INFORMATION SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: In
evaluating the system requirements, the following need to be considered;
Identify the key features the system must have.
Know the current volume of transactions and forecast changes over a three-to-five year
Specify any hardware constraints because the software must run properly on your
current or proposed hardware platform.
Prepare a request for proposal or quotation
2. IDENTIFY POTENTIAL SOFTWARE VENDORS: Identify popular products and
strategies by contacting software vendors, industry sources, and IT consultants.
3. EVALUATE SOFTWARE PACKAGE ALTERNATIVES: In identifying software
package alternatives, the following occurs;
a. After identifying possible software packages, compare them and select one to fit
the company’s needs.
b. Obtain information about the packages from as many sources as possible (vendor
presentations and literature, product documentation, trade publications), and
companies that perform software testing and evaluation.
c. Obtain information from existing users, test the application, and benchmark the
package if necessary.
4. MAKE THE PURCHASE: When you purchase software, usually you do not own it- what
you are buying is a software license that gives you the right to use the software under
5. INSTALL THE SOFTWARE PACKAGE: After purchasing the software package, the
final step is installation. Installation should be planned well in advance, especially if any
disruption of normal business operations is expected.
CUSTOMIZING SOFTWARE PACKAGES
To customize software package means that the company acquires a package that can be
customized/modified to meet the needs of an organization. Steps involved in customizing a
software package are
1. Purchase a basic package that vendor will customize to suit your needs
2. Negotiate directly with the software vendor to make enhancements to meet your needs by
paying extra charge
3. Purchase the package and make your own modification.
Program generators: These types of software program enable and individual to easily create a
program of their own with less efforts and programming knowledge. So, with this software, you
can only require to specify the steps or rules required for his/ her program. E.g. Yoyo game,
Adventure Maker, Stage cast creator among others.
1. Stage Cast Creature: This program generator enables users to create an interactive
simulations, stories and games.
2. Yoyo game: this program generator enables an individual to come and play, make and
share online casual games.
WEB APPLICATIONS (WEB APPS)
Web Applications are applications that normally runs on a web server, and access by user through
a web browser with an active internet access. Examples are Web mail, online banking, E-learning.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD WEB APPLICATION
1. Meet users requirement or Appropriateness: Find out whether the application satisfied
the users requirements.
2. Reliability: the user should confirm whether the application is use for a considerable
period of time. This should check from those who have used the App to confirm that is
error free. E.g. Data Conversion, Buffer overflows & underflow.
3. Portable or flexible: The Software should be able to accommodate further amendment
and further development i.e. additional features should be added to the application without
4. User friendly: software interface that is easy to use. i.e. it is not different to learn and
The Keyboard: It is a keyboard device with buttons or keys that a user presses to enter data
(character) and commands into a computer. Keyboards emerged from the combination of
typewriter and computer terminal technology. However, a slightest touch of the function or control
keys automate communication with the CPU and performs the desired instructions. When a key is
pressed on a keyboard, its corresponding character will be displayed on the screen.
A keyboard is connected to a computer system using a cable or wireless connection. Most
keyboards have a very similar layout. The individual keys for letters, numbers, and special
characters are collectively called the character keys. The layout of these keys is derived from the
original layout of keys on a typewriter. Thus, the most widely used layout in the English
language is called QWERTY, named after the sequence of the first six letters from the top left.
These keyboard buttons includes the following:
1. Alphanumeric keys: These are the Letters, numbers, and symbols.
2. Numeric keypad: These are the keys at the right side of the keyboard used to enter numeric
copy and perform calculations.
3. Function (F) keys: Used to execute commands, sometimes with other keys. Commands
vary with software.
4. Arrow keys: They move insertion point up, down, left, or right.
5. ESC (Escape): A key on a computer keyboard that allows someone to stop an action, leave
a program, or return to a previous menu. This key marked as “esc”.
6. TAB: This is a key on a computer keyboard that when you press, it moves several spaces
along the same line.
7. CAPS LOCK: A key on a computer keyboard that is used to make all capital letters.
8. SHIFT: The key that you press on a computer keyboard when you want to write a capital
letter and allow the symbols shown at tops of number keys to appear.
9. CTRL (Control): A key on computer keyboard that is used in combination with other keys
for doing particular operations. This keys is usually marked “Ctrl” on a computer keyboard.
10. ALT (Alternate): A computer key that you press together with another key so that the
other key does something different from what is usually does. The key is marked as “alt” on a
keyboard. E.g. (ctrl+alt+delete).
11. Space Bar: A long narrow bar at the front of a computer keyboard that Inserts a space in
12. ENTER (return): Moves insertion point to margin and down to next line. Also used to
13. DELETE: Removes text to the right of insertion point.
14. NUM LOCK: Activates/deactivates numeric keypad.
15. INSERT: Activates insert or typeover.
16. BACKSPACE: The key that you press on a computer keyboard that Deletes text to the
left of insertion point.
WORD PROCESSING PACKAGES
A WORD PROCESSOR is a computer program that allows you to create, edit, format, and print
documents, store it electronically on a USB or on a computer, display it on a screen, modify or
format it by entering commands and characters from the keyboard, and print it on a printer. It
allows the user to insert pictures, tables, charts, drawings & features that will make the text richer
& more interactive. Multiple applications bundled together as a package are sometimes
referred to as an APPLICATION SUITE. Microsoft Office, which bundle together a word
processor, a spreadsheet, and several other discrete applications, is a typical example.
The separate applications in a suite usually have a user interface that has some commonality
making it easier for the user to learn and use each application. And often they may have some
capability to interact with each other in ways beneficial to the user. For example, a Spreadsheet
might be able to be embedded in a word processor document even though it had been created in
the separate spreadsheet application.
Some examples of commonly used word processors - WordPerfect and MS Word, Word Star,
Lotus Word Pro, iWork Pages. A growing number of online word processors are available and
include Google Docs and Microsoft Office Web Apps.
The main advantage of a word processor is that it provides a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What
You Get) interface, which helps you make changes quickly and easily to your documents.
2.1. FEATURES OF WORD PROCESSORS
1. File Management: Many word processors contain file management capabilities that allow
you to create, delete, move, and search for files.
2. Font specifications: Allows you to change fonts within a document. For example, you can
specify bold, italics, and underlining. Most word processors also let you change the Font
size and even the typeface.
3. Footnotes and cross-references: Automates the numbering and placement of footnotes
and enables you to easily cross-reference other sections of the document.
4. Graphics: Allows you to embed illustrations and graphs into a document. Some word
processors let you create the illustrations within the word processor; others let you insert
an illustration produced by a different program.
5. Headers, footers, and Page numbering: Allows you to specify customized headers and
footers that the word processor will put at the top and bottom of every page. The word
processor automatically keeps track of page numbers so that the correct number appears
on each page.
6. Layout: Allows you to specify different margins within a single document and to specify
various methods for indenting paragraphs.
7. Macros: A macro is a character or word that represents a series of keystrokes. The
keystrokes can represent text or commands. The ability to define macros allows you to save
yourself a lot of time by replacing common combinations of keystrokes.
8. Merges: Allows you to merge text from one file into another file. This is particularly useful
for generating many files that have the same format but different data. Generating mailing
labels is the classic example of using merges.
9. Spell checker: A utility that allows you to check the spelling of words. It will highlight
any words that it does not recognize.
10. Tables of contents and indexes: Allows you to automatically create a table of contents
and index based on special codes that you insert in the document.
11. Thesaurus: A built-in thesaurus that allows you to search for synonyms without leaving
the word processor.
12. Windows: Allows you to edit two or more documents at the same time. Each document
appears in a separate window. This is particularly valuable when working on a large project
that consists of several different files.
13. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get): With WYSIWYG, a document appears on the
display screen exactly as it will look when printed.
2.2. USES OF WORD PROCESSORS
Word processors have a variety of uses and applications within the business world, home,
education, journalism, publishing, and the literary arts.
Within the business world, word processors are extremely useful tools. Typical uses include: Legal
copies, letters and letterhead, memos and reference documents. Businesses tend to have their own
format and style for any of these. Thus, versatile word processors with layout editing and similar
capabilities find widespread use in most business.
While many homes have word processors on their computers, word processing in the home tends
to be educational, planning or business related, dealing with assignments or work being completed
at home, or occasionally recreational, e.g. writing short stories. Some use word processors for letter
writing, résumé creation, and card creation.
In education word processing is used in a variety of different ways in the production of
assignments, notes, exams, and for practicing its uses.
Novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, and essayists naturally gravitated toward word
processing once the technology became widely available.
MICROSOFT WORD (MS-WORD)
MS Word is a word processor that is part of the Microsoft Office suite. It is the most widely used
word processing software. Microsoft estimates that over 500,000,000 people use the Microsoft
Office suite, which includes Word.
Microsoft Office Word helps you produce professional-looking documents by providing a
comprehensive set of tools for creating and formatting your document in a new interface. Rich
review, commenting, and comparison capabilities help you quickly gather and manage feedback
from colleagues. Advanced data integration ensures that documents stay connected to important
sources of business information.
MS- Word is a word processor. The extension name of MS- word is .doc or .docx. It is an
application used to create, edit, print and save a document. It allows the user to insert pictures,
tables, charts, drawings & features that will make the text richer & more interactive.
INTRODUCING MICROSOFT WORD 2013
Microsoft Word 2013 is a sophisticated word processing program that helps you quickly and
efficiently author and format all the business and personal documents you are ever likely to need.
You can use Word to:
1. Create professional-looking documents that incorporate impressive graphics such as charts
2. Give documents a consistent look by applying styles and themes that control the font, size,
color, and effects of text and the page background.
3. Store and reuse ready-made content and formatted elements such as cover pages and
4. Create personalized e-mail messages and mailings to multiple recipients without repetitive
5. Make information in long documents accessible by compiling tables of contents, indexes,
6. Safeguard your documents by controlling who can make changes and the types of changes
that may be made, as well as by removing personal and confidential information. Word
2013 builds on previous versions to provide powerful tools for all your word processing
COMPONENTS OF THE MSWORD WINDOW
An MS word window has several unique elements identified in the figure below:
1. WORD BUTTON: In the upper-left corner of the screen, the Word button offers a
menu for restoring, moving, sizing, minimizing, maximizing, and closing the Word window.
2. TITLE BAR: This is located at the very top of the screen. On the Title bar, Microsoft
Word displays the name of the document you are currently using. At the top of your screen, you
should see "Document1 – Microsoft Word 2013" or a similar name.
3. THE RIBBON AND TABS: MS Word 2013 uses the Ribbon and Tabs to display
commands for use in the creation of your document. The Ribbon will change as you click on a
new Tab. The Ribbon is located underneath the Quick Access Toolbar in the top portion of the
document. It has eight tabs: File, Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, View
and PDF that contain many features of Word. Each tab leads to a new ribbon which is divided into
groups. The groups are logical collections of features designed to perform functions that you will
utilize in developing or editing your Word document. Commonly used features are displayed on
the Ribbon. To view additional features within each group, click on the arrow (Dialog Box
Launcher) at the bottom right of each group.
DIALOGUE BOXES ON THE RIBBON:
If there are more commands available for a group on the Ribbon than can be displayed, there will
be a button to open a dialogue box with more options.
In the Home Tab Ribbon there is a font category. This category has extra commands available.
To access the extra commands click on the button on the bottom right of the category.
4. THE FILE TAB: The File Tab is located on the top left hand side of the screen once
Microsoft Word 2013 is opened. Clicking on the File Button will open a menu where you will find
the following commands:
Save- Saves your document to the default location.
Save As- Use this option to name a file when you save for the first time and choose the
location to save the document to.
Open- Opens a Word document you have saved on your computer or USB stick.
New- Opens a new document for Microsoft Word and gives you access to templates from
Print- Prints your document or previews what it would look like if your printed it (Print
Save & Send- Use this option to send a document over your e-mail (your computer must
have an e-mail program set up for this to work- this does not work with webmail).
Exit- Use this option to close the word program after you have saved your document.
5. QUICK ACCESS TOOLBAR: The Quick Access Toolbar is located in the upper
left corner of the window. The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that contains
commands that you will probably use frequently. You can place the Quick Access Toolbar above
or below the ribbon.
To change the location of the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the arrow at the end of the toolbar
and click on Show below the Ribbon. You can also change the icons within the toolbar by clicking
on various commands within the dropdown.
6. MINIMIZE, RESTORE, AND CLOSE BUTTON: These three magic buttons
are found on the upper right-hand side of the screen. They make it very easy to shrink, enlarge,
and close the window you are working in.
7. FULL SCREEN MODE BUTTON: Clicking this button switches to Full
Screen mode so that you can get a better look at your document.
8. HELP: Clicking this button (or pressing F1) opens the Help program.
9. STATUS BAR: This bar appears at the very bottom of the screen and provides such
information as the current page, current section, total number of pages, inches from the top of the
page, current line number, and current column number.
10. VIEW BUTTONS: Click one of these buttons — Read Mode, Print Layout, or
Web Layout — to change your view of a document.
11. ZOOM CONTROLS: Use these controls to zoom in and out on your work.
PERFORMING OPERATIONS IN MS WORD
1. OPENING MS WORD
To start Word, we perform the following
I. Click Start
II. Select Microsoft Office
III. Select Microsoft Word
A blank document is opened.
2. CREATING A NEW DOCUMENT
A new document is created by default when you open MS Word. If you need another blank
document at any time after starting MS Word, you can create it by following these steps:
Click the File tab click New. The New Document dialog page appears
The New section of the New Document task pane contains the following options:
I. Blank Document: Enables the creation of a new document with default settings for
text and colors
II. From Design Template: Enables you to display a collection of templates
(predefined formats) that you can use to design a document
3. SAVING A DOCUMENT
Saving a document is similar to saving any file in Microsoft office (Excel, power point, etc.). After
adding data to a document, you need to save it for future use.
Steps to save a document;
(i) Select the File tab Save command from the Microsoft Word Window (Save As dialog box
(ii) Enter a file name in the File name text box of the Save As dialog box
(iii)Select the type of file that has to be saved from the Save as type drop-down list
(iv)Click the Save button to save the document
4. OPENING AN EXISTING DOCUMENT
To open an existing document,
I. Select File Open command (open dialog box is displayed)
II. In the drop-down list, browse for the document file you want to open
III. Select the file that you want to open
IV. Click the Open button to open the document file.
5. TYPING TEXT
When you create a new, blank document, you can begin typing text to ﬁll the page. As you type,
each character appears to the left of the blinking vertical insertion point. You can use the
Backspace and Delete keys to delete text, the Spacebar to enter spaces, and all the other keys that
you’re using for typing.
MS Word also enables you to start a line of text anywhere on the page using the Click and Type
feature. To take advantage of Click and Type, move the mouse pointer over a blank area of the
page and double-click
6. TO UNDO AND REDO CHANGES: You can quickly undo most
commands you execute by using Undo. If you then change your mind, you can use Redo. This can
be done quickly and easily in two ways. You can also Undo and Redo using Shortcuts. CTRL+Z
is Undo. Redo typing is CTRL+Y.
7. SELECTING TEXT: In order to change anything about text once you have typed
it in, the text must be highlighted. Select the text by dragging the mouse over it while holding
down the left mouse button or hold down the SHIFT key on the keyboard while using the arrow
buttons to highlight the text.
8. FORMATING TEXT: Changing the style or appearance of text in a document is
called formatting. You can format text in a document by:
CHANGING THE FONT, SIZE, STYLE & COLOR: Text can be formatted using the buttons
on the formatting toolbar. Font of a cell, font size can be changed. The font style can also be
changed to bold, Italic etc.
Select line 1 of your story, Then go to the HOME TAB select Matura MT Script Capitals font,
Font size: 36, color: green, and make it bold.
Select line 2 of your story, Then go to the HOME TAB select Times New Roman font, Font size:
30, color: red, and make it Bold, and Underline it.
9. ALIGNING TEXT: The paragraph alignment allows you to set how you want text
to appear. Alignments on the Paragraph group includes;
ALIGN LEFT: The text is aligned with your left margin
ALIGN RIGHT: Aligns your text with the right margin
CENTER: The text is centered within your margins
JUSTIFY: Aligns text to both the left and right margins.
To change the alignment;
STEP 1: Click the Home tab
STEP 2: Choose the appropriate button for Alignment on the Paragraph group.
10. ADDING GRAPHIC ELEMENTS TO A DOCUMENT
Some documents that you create in Microsoft Word 2010 are straightforward and require nothing
more than words. Others might benefit from the addition of graphic elements to reinforce their
concepts, to grab the reader’s attention, or to make them more visually appealing.
You can insert digital photographs or pictures created in almost any program into a Word
document. You specify the source of the picture you want to insert by clicking one of these two
buttons, which are located in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab:
Picture: Click PICTURE on the INSERT TAB to insert a picture that is saved as a file
on your computer, or on a device (such as an external hard drive or a digital camera) that
is connected to your computer.
Shapes: Click SHAPES on the INSERT TAB to insert one of hundreds of clip art
images, such as photos and drawings of people, places, and things.
Create this Organogram, using shapes
STEP 1: Open Microsoft Word
STEP 2: Click on the page
STEP 3: Select Rectangles, Lines and Arrows in SHAPES on the INSERT tab to create the boxes
STEP 4: Type the words in the boxes.
11. ADDING TABLES
To create a table;
I. Place the cursor on the page you want the new table
II. Click the INSERT TAB
III. Click the arrow under TABLE
IV. Click on INSERT TABLE and specify the number of rows and columns your table will
Create a Table that has 5 Columns and 23 rows. Populate it with details of your Classmates.
12. PRINTING A DOCUMENT
To print a document;
I. Click the PRINT command on the FILE TAB
II. Select the number of copies
III. Select the name of the printer
IV. Click Print
13. CLOSING A DOCUMENT
You need to close a document after you finish working on it. To close a document, perform the
(i) Select the File Tab Close command.
If the document has any unsaved changes, the Microsoft word message box appears and asks that
all unsaved changes be saved.