Training Manuals

Brushing up after a workshop or practicing on your own? All of the Software Training for Students manuals and class files are available to use outside the classroom as well. Not all workshops have a manual and/or files associated with them, but all of our current material is available for you to browse for free.

Access 1

Topics covered:

  1. Database Concepts
  2. Importing and Exporting Data
  3. Manipulating Tables
  4. Conclusion
  5. Appendix A: Tips for Creating Databases
  6. Appendix B: Referential Integrity

Access 2

Topics covered:

  1. Editing Relationships
  2. Queries
  3. Forms
  4. Reports


Topics covered:

  1. Navigating the Workspace
  2. Basic Audio Editing
  3. Audio Effects
  4. Saving and Exporting

Comic Life

Topics covered:

  1. Create a Comic
  2. Menu and Preferences
  3. Workspace Elements
  4. The Inspector
  5. Saving and Exporting


Topics covered:

  1. Basic CSS Structure
  2. Setting up a Workspace
  3. Implementing CSS
  4. Properties and Values
  5. Selectors
  6. Positioning
  7. Custom Fonts
  8. Additional Resources


Topics covered:

  1. Setting up a new site
  2. Accessibility
  3. Document structure
  4. Working with text and images
  5. Page layout with CSS

Excel 1

Topics covered:

  1. Navigating the Excel Environment
  2. Entering and Editing Data
  3. Using Formulas and Functions
  4. Basic Charts
  5. Importing Data
  6. Viewing, Sorting, & Filtering Data
  7. Saving and Printing

Excel 2: Analysis

Topics covered:

  1. Input Tables
  2. Subtotal
  3. Goal Seek
  4. Solver
  5. Analysis ToolPak

Excel 2: Data Visualization

This workshop introduces visual formatting options options to make your data and spreadsheets presentable. It also introduces many useful features that allow you to look at your quantitative data in a more visual and qualitative way.

Excel 2: Functions

Topics covered:

  1. Workbooks, Worksheets, and Linking
  2. Data
  3. Logical Functions
  4. Lookup, Array, and Summary Functions
  5. Text Formatting
  6. Formulas Tab

Excel 3: Macros and VBA

Topics covered:

  1. Macros
  2. VBA and the Visual Basic Editor
  3. Recording Macros
  4. VBA: The Basics
  5. VBA: Variables, Objects, and While
  6. VBA: If
  7. VBA: For
  8. VBA: Select-Case
  9. VBA: Debugging Our Macro


Topics covered:

  1. Web Technology Overview
  2. Basic HTML Syntax
  3. Getting Started
  4. Document Setup
  5. Formatting Text
  6. Document Structure
  7. Lists and Tables
  8. Links
  9. Pages
  10. Images
  11. Classes and IDs
  12. CSS Preview
  13. Quick Reference

Illustrator 1

Topics covered:

  1. The Illustrator Interface
  2. Navigating the Workspace
  3. Working with Shapes
  4. Combining Shapes with Pathfinder
  5. Drawing with the Pen Tool
  6. Gradients and Effects
  7. Effects
  8. Working with Type
  9. Saving/Exporting Final Artwork
  10. Essential Keyboard Shortcuts


Topics covered:

  1. Copyright and Fair Use
  2. iMovie Interface
  3. Basic Editing
  4. Advanced Etiing Tools
  5. Content Library: Music, Titles, Transitions
  6. Movie Trailers
  7. Saving and Exporting

InDesign 1

Topics covered:

  1. Page Layout
  2. Understanding the Workspace
  3. Navigating the Workspace
  4. Planning the Document
  5. Working with Shapes
  6. Working with Layers
  7. Working with Text
  8. Working with Graphics and Images
  9. Master Pages
  10. Extra: Create a Cover Page
  11. Saving, Exporting & Packaging

Intro to Programming

Curious about coding but don't know where to start? This workshop unpacks programming and coding from the ground up. It explains the terms and structures used in most modern programming languages and introduces some basic computer science concepts in an accessible, easy to digest format with no technical background knowledge required. If you're interested in picking up some coding skills yourself or are just curious about how programming works, this workshop gives you everything you need to get started. Note: this workshop doesn't go into detail on a particular programming language (like Java, Python, or JavaScript), but it provides background knowledge that will be helpful for anyone interested in learning more about specific languages later on.   Topics include:

  • What exactly a computer does and how programming fits into the picture
  • Essential programming concepts like variables, functions, data typesloops, and conditionals are and how they are used
  • How programs are structured and executed
  • Tools and apps that make programming easier

Intro to SolidWorks

This workshop teaches students the basics of creating models in SolidWorks, one of the leading programs for CAE and CAD in the engineering world. Students will learn how to design and create basic parts as well as combine parts together to create larger assemblies.

JavaScript 1

Topics covered:

  1. Introduction to JavaScript
  2. JavaScript Basics
  3. Variables, Functions, Objects, and the DOM
  4. ToDo List Web Application
  5. Documentation


Topics include:

  • MATLAB interface
  • M Code
  • Arrays and matrices
  • .M files
  • Graphing


Topics include:

  • Control logic
  • Function libraries
  • Loops
  • Vectorization
  • Custom functions and scripting
  • Images and color maps
  • Simulations

Photoshop 1

Topics covered:

  1. Photoshop Interface
  2. Navigating the Workspace
  3. Resizing, Cropping, and History States
  4. Basic Image Adjustments
  5. Image Retouching
  6. Brush and Type Tools
  7. Creating a Poster
  8. The Layers Panel
  9. Adding Shapes and T ext
  10. Saving and Exporting
  11. Next Steps
  12. Digital Image Glossary

Photoshop 2: Effects and Filters

Topics covered:

  1. Graphics Molding
  2. Lighting Effects
  3. Content-Aware
  4. Advanced Warping
  5. Photographic Blur Gallery
  6. Blending Modes
  7. Optional: Actions
  8. Optional: Batch Processing
  9. Blending Modes Glossary

Photoshop 2: Portrait Retouching and Color Correction

Topics covered:

  1. Color Correction
  2. Layer Masks
  3. Balancing Skin Tone
  4. Healing Tools for Retouching
  5. Colorizing Black and White Photos
  6. Beauty Enhancements
  7. Final Words


Topics covered:

  1. Slideshow Basics
  2. Building Slideshows
  3. Automated Content
  4. PowerPoint as a Design Tool
  5. Exporting Content

Premiere Pro

Topics covered:

  1. Interface and Navigation
  2. Importing and Organizing Media
  3. The Timeline
  4. Edits and Tools
  5. Titles and Transitions
  6. Exporting
  7. Appendix


Topics covered:

  1. Creating a Prezi Account
  2. Creating a New Prezi
  3. Adding Content
  4. Paths and Animations
  5. Presenting Your Prezi
  6. Additional Information

Python 1

Topics covered:

  1. Simple Data Types
  2. Sequence Data Types
  3. Creating Runnable Scripts
  4. Functions
  5. Standard Library


R is a free, open-source software and programming language for statistical computing and graphics. R has become one of the dominant software environments for data analysis and is used by a variety of scientific disciplines, including soil science, ecology, and geoinformatics. R is particularly popular for its graphical capabilities, but it is also prized for its GIS capabilities which make it relatively easy to generate raster-based models. Topics Covered Include:

  • Setting up R and RStudio
  • Basic Syntax
  • Vectors
  • Matrix and DataFrames
  • Importing Data
  • Working with Data
  • Basic Charting and Plotting


When using R and RStudio you'll find yourself using imported packages very frequently. There are so many shortcuts and easy tricks that have been developed and put into packages for our use, it'd be a waste not to utilize them. The most notable package is called tidyverse which is most useful in "tidying" up data that can initially be overwhelming. Topics Covered Include:

  • Installing R Packages (tidyverse)
  • Manipulating data frames with Dplyr
  • Visualizing data basis with ggplot


Create an account here: and click on "Start Modeling" SketchUp Free is the free online version of better known SketchUp 3D modeling software. It is used for architecture and interior design, landscape design, and can also be used for 3D printing. Topics Covered Include:

  • Navigating the Workspace
  • Mouse Functions
  • 2D Concepts and Tools
  • 3D Concepts and Tools
  • Basic Modifications
  • Groups and Components
  • Tags
  • Scenes and Animation
  • Beyond the Basics (Optional)


Topics covered:

  1. Connecting to Data
  2. Creating Visualizations with Worksheets
  3. Combining Worksheets with a Dashboard
  4. Publishing

Tech Talk: Algorithms and Bias

Welcome to our Tech Talk Series! A series of presentation-style workshops that focus on tech-adjacent topics to ensure greater tech literacy for UW-Madison scholars! Algorithms are a daily part of our lives; they detail a set of steps to complete some tasks. As big data algorithms penetrate deeper into our lives, bias finds its way into these algorithms which has huge societal implications. In this workshop, we will cover an introduction to algorithms, bias, and the ways they intersect and present within our society. How do famous social media algorithms perpetuate bias? How does bias even find its way into big data algorithms? Interactive examples will help further your understanding of these phenomenons in order to help mitigate the harms that persist from them.

Tech Talk: Data Privacy

Welcome to our Tech Talk Series! A series of presentation-style workshops that focus on tech-adjacent topics to ensure greater tech literacy for UW-Madison scholars! In this workshop, we will cover an introduction to data privacy. We'll cover how our data is collected and used, who uses it, reasons for us to even care, and provide best practices to protect our data.

WordPress 1

Topics covered:

  1. Creating an Account
  2. Interface
  3. Stats
  4. Publish
  5. Personalize
  6. Configure
  7. Conclusion