Learning Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a web-based subscription service that provides a set of productivity and collaboration tools (Apps) hosted in the cloud. These tools include the Office desktop apps that you are already familiar with (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), as well as their online versions, Exchange online for email and calendar (Outlook), OneDrive for personal file storage, Office 365 Groups for collaboration and much more.

We provide, and recommend, a number of different resources to help you work more effectively with Microsoft Office and Office 365. Some of these are provided by the University and others by external organisations offering free access to good quality online tutorials. If you're looking for help with writing a thesis (or any similar large document in Word) why not have a look at our new online video course?

Microsoft Office desktop apps: Word, Excel & PowerPoint

Self-study materials

You will find a number of University of Bristol resources, suitable for self-study, on the following pages (note that any resources currently for Office 2013 can also be used effectively for Office 2016 or O365):

Word icon Microsoft Word

Excel icon Microsoft Excel

PowerPoint icon Microsoft PowerPoint

Access icon See Microsoft Access learning and support.

Also see IT Services' Office 365 website (which includes links to Office 2016 support resources).

Word icon PowerPoint iconAcademic uses of Office

Our Academic use of Microsoft Office page highlights some courses, video tutorials and pointers to other learning resources that may be of particular interest to students and academic staff. Currently these are:

Recommended online learning resources

The University has subscribed to Lynda.com until at least September 2019. However, this is only being made available to staff (including honorary) and postgraduate research students currently. For further information on accessing and using Lynda.com please see the landing page

We've evaluated a number of other free online resources for IT Training which are accessible to all.  If you have a specific problem and require an immediate answer a Google search will often provide some solutions via resources such as You Tube. However, if you're after a more structured resource for learning about an application the following sites are worth investigating.

Want to find out more about learning online? Read our intro guide.

1. Microsoft support resources


Microsoft provides comprehensive Office and Office 365 business training and tutorials.

2. GCF Learnfree.org



GCFLearnFree.org offers 125 tutorials, including more than 1,100 lessons, videos and interactive resources. It covers a number of IT related subjects but has a section dedicated to Microsoft Office - http://www.gcflearnfree.org/office which provides well presented tutorials on a wide variety of subjects for all the latest versions of Office.

3. Alison



Alison.com offers a large number of Digital Literacy and IT Skills courses

Want to find out more about learning online?  Read our intro guide

Outlook icon Outlook online and desktop: email & calendar

Recommended online learning resources

UoB learning resources:

  • The Outlook support site (UoB login required) contains a number of tutorials specific to the use of Outlook within the University context, for example using shared mailboxes, booking rooms and equipment, etc.

External learning resources:

  • Microsoft's Outlook help center (opens in new tab) is a good starting point if you are new to Outlook. It features a mix of step-by-step articles and short video tutorials on all versions of Outlook (online, Windows and Mac desktop and mobile apps).


  • Lynda.com offers many video courses on all versions of Outlook. We have curated a list of the most relevant Outlook courses (opens in new tab) covering the latest versions of Outlook online, for Windows and Mac.

Taught courses

OneDrive icon OneDrive for Business: personal file storage

OneDrive for Business is where you keep your personal, private files in Microsoft Office 365. It is a direct replacement for MyFiles and Google Drive.

Recommended online learning resources

UoB learning resources:

External resources:

  • Microsoft's OneDrive for Business help (opens in new tab) is a good starting point if you are new to OneDrive for Business. It features a mix of step-by-step articles and short video tutorials on all aspects of OneDrive, including how to use the sync apps for Windows 10 and Mac OS X.


Taught courses

Office 365 Groups icon Office 365 Groups: Team file storage and collaboration

Groups is a feature within Office 365 that:

  • lets you define collections of people who need to share files and collaborate for a specific purpose (e.g. managing a project; running a team, a community of interest or practice);
  • provides a set of tools (e.g. conversation space, calendar, document library, tasks management, etc) to achieve it.

Recommended online learning resources

UoB learning resources:

  • The Office 365 Groups support site (UoB login required) contains a number of tutorials specific to the use of Office 365 Groups within the University context.

External resources:

  • Microsoft's Learn about Office 365 Groups (opens in new tab) is a good starting point if you are new to Office 365 Groups. It explains what an Office 365 Group is and takes you step by step from creation to using the different apps that you get as part of it.


Taught courses

We regularly run the following courses to help you get started with Office 365 Groups. Follow the links below to see details and book a place:

Other Microsoft Office 365 apps

Microsoft Office 365 provides many other apps that you may want to explore and use. Most of them are fairly easy and quick to learn by yourself using Microsoft's online resources.

Chief among them are:

  • OneNote - a digital notebook to make a quick note of thoughts and ideas
  • Forms - create surveys, quizzes, questionnaires and more
  • Yammer - internal social network for sharing information, tips and ideas with colleagues

For an overview of all apps available see the UoB support site Office 365 apps page (UoB only - opens in new tab).