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Workplace Software and Skills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license, which means that you can distribute, remix, and build upon the content, as long as you provide attribution to OpenStax and its content contributors.

Because our books are openly licensed, you are free to use the entire book or select only the sections that are most relevant to the needs of your course. Feel free to remix the content by assigning your students certain chapters and sections in your syllabus, in the order that you prefer. You can even provide a direct link in your syllabus to the sections in the web view of your book.

Instructors also have the option of creating a customized version of their OpenStax book. Visit the Instructor Resources section of your book page on for more information.

Art attribution

In Workplace Software and Skills, most art contains attribution to its title, creator or rights holder, host platform, and license within the caption. Because the art is openly licensed, anyone may reuse the art as long as they provide the same attribution to its original source. Screenshots from Microsoft and Google are credited with the figure. Please retain that attribution when reusing the images. To maximize readability and content flow, some art does not include attribution in the text. If you reuse art from this text that does not have attribution provided, use the following attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY 4.0 license.


All OpenStax textbooks undergo a rigorous review process. However, like any professional-grade textbook, errors sometimes occur. In addition, the wide range of topics, data, and technology in business software change frequently, and portions of the textbook may become out of date. Since our books are web-based, we can make updates periodically when deemed pedagogically necessary. If you have a correction to suggest, submit it through the link on your book page on Subject matter experts review all errata suggestions. OpenStax is committed to remaining transparent about all updates, so you will also find a list of past and pending errata changes on your book page on


You can access this textbook for free in web view or PDF through, and for a low cost in print. The web view is the recommended format because it is the most accessible—including being WCAG 2.0 AA compliant—and most current. Print versions are available for individual purchase, or they may be ordered through your campus bookstore.

About Workplace Software & Skills

Workplace Software and Skills covers applications from the Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office) suite and Google Workspace. Coverage of both suites aligns with contemporary business use and prepares students for workforce needs, especially introductory students who have had limited exposure to these software programs. By teaching their basic and advanced features, users of all levels can learn the skills necessary for success in their jobs.

Applications covered in depth from Microsoft 365 include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access, as well as overviews of integrations with Outlook, Calendar, and Teams. Applications covered in depth from Google Workspace include Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as overviews of integrations with Gmail, Calendar, and Meet. The text also provides overviews of additional collaboration and conference applications, as well as in-depth coverage of content management software such as WordPress.

With this selection of applications, Workplace Software and Skills provides a holistic exposure to common tools of business practice and prepares students for additional focused training that may be required for specialized fields. In addition to technical skill development, the text covers conceptual topics related to ethics and security; and technology advancements, such as the Internet of Things and generative artificial intelligence. These topics are discussed as they relate to business and everyday life, reflecting their importance to contextualizing business computer application use within the modern business world. They emphasize responsible use and considerations for collaboration across a virtual network.

Across each chapter, conceptual and technical skill is anchored in real-world examples and applications. This ensures that students are prepared for entry into the workforce with a portfolio of completed examples relevant to positions requiring these skills.

Pedagogical Foundation

Learning Objectives

Every module begins with a set of clear and concise learning objectives, which are designed to be both measurable and closely aligned with current teaching practice. These objectives can help the instructor decide what content to include or assign and guide student expectations of learning. After completing the module and end-of-module exercises, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives.

Key Features

  • Cross-chapter Scenario: Presents students with a mock business simulation that continues from Chapter 1 through Chapter 15. The scenario focuses on a multi-division business and provides a variety of work-related tasks, such as preparing a memo or creating a slideshow for an entry-level employee, as well as longer projects, such as a marketing report that a mid-level employee might need to create. Additional scenarios showcase green technology, non-profit organizations, and entrepreneurship. Students will be exposed to everyday business needs as related to the chapter topic. Integrated projects and capstones will also pull from this simulated business scenario.
  • Real-World Application: Discusses the practical applications of software and related technology in our everyday lives, whether in or out of the workplace.
  • Mac Tips: Calls out brief notes where commands or tools for macOS and Windows differ.
  • Spotlight on Ethics: Highlights an ethics issue related to the concept, skill, or activity being taught in the text. These features may discuss a real-world case, dig deeper into an ethical concept being discussed, or present an ethical dilemma for the student to think through.
  • Link to Learning: Includes a few sentences of introduction to a website with an interactive activity, animation, or video that helps improve student understanding.
  • Final Project: The last chapter includes a complex final project assignment. Students are given a dataset and asked to create a detailed business report that uses product integrations, tools, and skills learned across all fifteen chapters.

Section Summaries

Section summaries distill the information in each section for both students and instructors down to key, concise points addressed in the section.

Key Terms

Key terms are bold and are followed by a definition in context. Definitions of key terms are also listed in the Glossary, which appears at the end of the chapter.


A variety of assessments allow instructors to confirm core conceptual understanding, elicit brief explanations that demonstrate student understanding, and offer more in-depth assignments that enable learners to dive more deeply into a concept, tool, or topic.

  • Review Questions test for conceptual apprehension of key concepts and tools.
  • Practice Exercises ask students to apply the program content they have learned so that they can both learn by repetition and extend the practice through critical thinking exercises.
  • Written Questions require students to explain concepts in words, as well as asking students to explain when a concept should be applied in the workplace, and respond to non-technical concepts, such as ethics.
  • Case Exercises ask students to come up with creative solutions to a new problem; these exercises may draw from real-world examples or fictional scenarios.

Answers to Questions in the Book

The end-of-chapter Review Questions, Written Questions, Practice Exercises, and Case Exercises are intended for homework assignments or classroom discussion; thus, student-facing answers or solutions are not provided. Sample answers are provided in the Instructor Solution Manual, for instructors to share with students at their discretion, as is standard for such resources.

About the Authors

Senior Contributing Authors

Headshots of Tammie Bolling, Angela Mitchell, Tanya Scott, and Nyrobi Wheeler, left to right.
Figure 1 Senior Contributing Authors (left to right): Tammie Bolling, Angela Mitchell, Tanya Scott, Nyrobi Wheeler.

Tammie Bolling, Pellissippi State Community College

Dr. Tammie Bolling holds the rank of tenured Professor at Pellissippi State Community College. She has obtained master’s degrees in business administration, healthcare management, and psychology, as well as postgraduate certificates in varying information technology areas and a doctorate in Leadership. In addition to teaching, she manages the Industry Recognized Credential and Major Field Test testing program for the Business and Computer Technology department. Dr. Bolling’s other areas of interest include the development of cultural competence and the internationalization of curricula in a wide range of disciplines, and is an avid mobile technology researcher. Dr. Bolling was named a Fulbright Scholar to Ireland in 2022-2023 in Computing, which was one of the highlights of her professional life.

Angela Mitchell, Wilmington College

Dr. Angela Mitchell is department chair and professor of business and economics at Wilmington College. She primarily teaches finance and statistics courses, and serves in various leadership roles at the institution. Her primary research interests are focused on nonprofit management and efficiencies and student intercultural development through travel opportunities. Dr. Mitchell holds a master's degree in Business Administration and a doctorate in Operations Research. Dr. Mitchell is involved in her local community by serving on several nonprofit boards and volunteering regularly for community events. Prior to Wilmington College, Dr. Mitchell spent five years in product development at Procter & Gamble, spending time in the manufacturing environment and leading trials to test new processes and product formulations. The combination of business experience and technical background provides a unique perspective that Dr. Mitchell brings to the classroom and to her research.

Tanya Scott, Achieving the Dream

Dr. Tanya Scott is the director of program innovation at Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization that partners with community colleges to help achieve student success. Dr. Scott's experience spans teaching, program development, and leadership in middle school, high school, community college, and university settings in Canada and the United States. She holds a master's degree in Education and a doctorate in Business Administration-I/O Psychology. An active practitioner, she has extensive undergraduate and graduate teaching experience in teacher and curriculum development, instructional strategies, and integrating technology in the classroom, as well as business, change management, strategy, and leadership. She is also a fervent advocate for open educational resources and open pedagogy.

Nyrobi Wheeler, Bellevue University

Nyrobi Wheeler is a full time online adjunct professor of Business, Human Resources, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Bellevue University, as well as an online instructor of Business at Jesuit Worldwide Learning in Geneva, Switzerland. Nyrobi holds a master's degree in Business Administration in Leadership and Finance, as well as a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources Management. Nyrobi is a self-publishing author of several e-books and articles on career advice, as well as the co-author of several anthologies on workplace and hair discrimination among Black Women.

Contributing Authors

Bridget Lepore, Lehman College

Janine Walton, Louisiana State University Shreveport

Timothy Burgoyne, Wilmington College

Valeree Falduto, Broward College


Adam Gorski, New York University

Alex Katrompas, Austin Community College

Angela Heath, Baptist Health System

Betty Fitte, Tidewater Community College

Bill Nantz, Houston Community College

Brian Pusateri, University of Scranton

Bryan Broussard, Central Louisiana Technical Community College

Caleb Williamson, Pellissippi State Community College

Carmen Montanez-Rodriguez, Allan Hancock Community College

David Collins, Bellarmine University

Deanna Bartee, Grand Canyon University

Glenn McQueary, Houston Community College

Heather Beatty, Ashworth College

John Christie, Regis College

Julie Goff Lindsey, Linn Benton Community College

Laura Bantz, McHenry County College

Lawrence Chui, University of St. Thomas

Lisa Breaux, San Jacinto College

Mariya Breyter, New York University

Michael MacLeod, Austin Community College

Reni Abraham, Houston Community College

Saverio Iaconis, New York University

Sue McCrory, Missouri State University

Terri Lukshaitis, Ferris State University

Additional Resources

Student and Instructor Resources

We’ve compiled additional resources for both students and instructors, including an instructor’s manual, test bank, and lecture presentation slides. Instructor resources require a verified instructor account, which you can apply for when you log in or create your account on Take advantage of these resources to supplement your OpenStax book.

Instructor's answer guide. Each component of the instructor’s manual is designed to provide maximum guidance for delivering the content in an interesting and dynamic manner.

Test bank. With nearly 2,000 true/false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions in our test bank, instructors can customize tests to support a variety of course objectives. The test bank is available in Word format. Authored by Amit Shah, Frostburg State University.

PowerPoint lecture slides. The PowerPoint slides provide learning objectives, images and descriptions, and feature focuses as a starting place for instructors to build their lectures.

Data files. Some chapters are accompanied by downloadable data files (typically in .xlsx, .docx, or .csv format) that provide students with the data needed to perform certain assessments, exercises, or in-text examples. Providing the data files to students reduces the amount of unnecessary typing and allows the student to jump right into manipulating the data.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity builds trust, understanding, equity, and genuine learning. While students may encounter significant challenges in their courses and their lives, doing their own work and maintaining a high degree of authenticity will result in meaningful outcomes that will extend far beyond their college career. Faculty, administrators, resource providers, and students should work together to maintain a fair and positive experience.

We realize that students benefit when academic integrity ground rules are established early in the course. To that end, OpenStax has created an interactive to aid with academic integrity discussions in your course.

A graphic divides ten items into three categories. The items "Your Original Work" and "Quoting & Crediting Another's Work" are in the "Approved" category. The items "Checking Your Answers Online", "Group Work", "Reusing Past Original Work", "Sharing Answers", and "Artificial Intelligence, Chatbot Apps" are in the "Ask Instructor" category. The items "Posting Questions & Answers", "Plagiarizing Work", and "Getting Others to Do Your Work" are in the "Not Approved" Category."
Figure 2 Visit our academic integrity slider. Click and drag icons along the continuum to align these practices with your institution and course policies. You may then include the graphic on your syllabus, present it in your first course meeting, or create a handout for students. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY 4.0 license)

At OpenStax we are also developing resources supporting authentic learning experiences and assessment. Please visit this book’s page for updates. For an in-depth review of academic integrity strategies, we highly recommend visiting the International Center of Academic Integrity (ICAI) website at

Community Hubs

OpenStax partners with the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) to offer Community Hubs on OER Commons—a platform for instructors to share community-created resources that support OpenStax books, free of charge. Through our Community Hubs, instructors can upload their own materials or download resources to use in their own courses, including additional ancillaries, teaching material, multimedia, and relevant course content. We encourage instructors to join the hubs for the subjects most relevant to your teaching and research as an opportunity both to enrich your courses and to engage with other faculty. To reach the Community Hubs, visit

Technology partners

As allies in making high-quality learning materials accessible, our technology partners offer optional low-cost tools that are integrated with OpenStax books. To access the technology options for your text, visit your book page on


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