Computer Techniques

Power-User Computer Techniques

This presentation is available for CSI groups interested in increasing and enhancing the construction professional's knowledge of computers.

Power-User Computer Techniques for Construction Professionals (Windows-Based Systems)


Christopher E. Grimm, CSI, CDT, CCS, SCIP

Available for a team presentation: David E Lorenzini, FCSI, CCS, SCIP

Taming email and files: MS Outlook - Using rules & alerts and custom search folders to create hierarchy of unread messages. Using view settings for at-a-glance overview of new messages. Simplified fast storage and retrieval of information, using techniques such as optimizing categories, custom-defined views, follow-up flags, and revising subject headings. Pros and cons of subfolders and categories, and conversation view. Using and optimizing search tools in Windows and Outlook. File naming strategies.

Reducing repetitive tasks: MS Word Macros - Recording, and editing using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and creating custom toolbars, buttons, and hot-keys. Organization of macros, using templates and styles.

Avoiding over-dependence: Assorted strategies to avoid being at the mercy of your computer. Some of these techniques can also help reduce fatigue and liberate you from being tied to a desk. Synchronizing files and backing up stand-alone (non-server) systems. Using multiple displays, portable devices, and docking. Exploring the benefits of hot keys, assigning custom keystrokes. Alternative pointing devices such as trackballs and touch screens.

Using the right application for the right job: When to use (and not to use) Excel, examples of advanced formulas; and when to consider a relational database; or XML-based systems such as SpecsIntact; or traditional word processing approach. Converting spec documents from manufacturer and other formats.

Handy system tools: Some little-known time-saving and capability-expanding tools included in the operating system or available for download.

(The focus is on time-saving techniques that apply to a wide range of construction industry professionals. This will not cover BIM or CAD software, but does pertain to specifications software to some extent, and applications we all deal with. This topic could be done as a 1/2 day workshop where attendees bring their own laptop and work interactively, or it could be condensed from what is listed here in order to attempt to fit in the standard 1 hour program format, and possibly divided into two programs: Time-Saver Computer Techniques…, and Power-User Computer Techniques….)