Online Computer Tutorials

Learning your way around the Internet and programs like Microsoft Word or Excel can be pretty intimidating when you're just starting out. At Bossier Library we offer classes on things like Internet and Email, and programs like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. However, these classes have been on hiatus; first while we installed brand new computers at every branch and now to make way for the Summer Reading Programs. Classes will start again in September, but if you have a computer and an Internet connection you don't have to wait to start learning about computers! There are many online tutorials available that can help you master the basics. This week we are going to list the top three free online tutorial sites that we found just by searching on Google. Not all free tutorial sites are created equal, so we're going to rank our favorite results.


Home and Learn is a site based in the United Kingdom, which is why it's address may look a little different than the ones you're used to seeing. However, all of the information is the same for programs in the United States. They offer tutorials on Beginners Computer, Word, and Excel. There are even a few classes on Web Design for those who are looking for something more advanced. Each Tutorial is divided into shorter lessons to make it easy to take it slow and cover all the information. Each lesson has screenshots so users can see exactly what they are describing. The only problem with this site is the many ads on the tutorials. There are banner ads at the top and bottom of each step in most tutorials. Because they are related to computers, sometimes users may find them misleading or confusing. Unfortunately ads are a necessary evil for most websites. Luckily, the ads do not take away from the usefulness of the website.
Overall: The tutorials on this website are easy to find and to follow. There are no video tutorials available.


This site offers tutorials on Windows XP, Vista and 7, as well as on programs like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It's fairly easy to navigate with links on the left hand side to each lesson. There are pictures for every lesson that explain step by step the basics of the operating system or program.
The only downside to this website, in our opinion, is the number of ads. Though ads are a necessary evil on most websites, they can be distracting or even misleading.
This site also provides free video tutorials on YouTube or you can purchase individual lessons on CD/DVD through the website, if you prefer.

Overall: Easy to understand lessons and easy to navigate website make this a great site however the abundance of ads may be off-putting for some users. The free video tutorials make this a great resource for beginning computer users.

1. GCF Learn Free

This website offers tutorials on Basic Computer Concepts, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and even Access. You can also find tutorials on email and Internet basics. This site isn't just limited to computer topics, either. You can find tutorials on topics from the Workplace, like filling out tax information to basic math and grammar lessons. And they're all free!  Many of the classes are video based, making it even easier for beginning users.
 Registration is not required, but is available for users who want to return to lessons or track their progress. Registration requires a valid email address. Don't worry if you'd rather not register, all the lessons are available without registration. There are even classes with instructors available for users looking for Continuing Education Credits. Registration is required for those classes
GCF Learn Free also has free mobile apps so you can learn on your smartphone or tablet. This means you can take a lesson about iPads on the iPad itself! No other free tutorial site we found offered free mobile apps..
Overall: The variety of classes, clean layout of the website, engaging lessons and free mobile apps make this the best free computer tutorial site we found. We highly recommend it for anyone looking to expand their knowledge on computers and many other topics.

Stay tuned for more information about our Patron Computer Classes coming in September!
Have ideas on topics you'd like us to cover? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook or Twitter.

Please note: These are the opinions of the blog writer only, and not necessarily of Bossier Parish Library staff or patrons. No compensation was received from any of the above websites. (in fact, we'd be a little surprised if these websites even knew we were writing about them!)