Computer Boot Camp for Genealogists: Become a Power User in 4 Weeks

Wonder what the second button on your mouse is for? Haven’t discovered the joys of Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V? Constantly asking your nephew to help you with your computer? Our Computer Boot Camp will help you work more independently and save time, online and offline. This class is geared toward absolute beginners as well as researchers who need a refresher on their computer skills.


$99.99 ($89.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

4 Weeks


Lisa A. Alzo

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.


  • Basic computer terminology and file formats—no more alphabet soup!
  • How to customize your computer’s workspace for your needs
  • Shortcuts and hints for using your computer online and offline
  • How to go online safely and avoid spam and scams
  • Specific tips for your operating system: Windows 7, Vista, XP or Mac OS X


  • People who want to gain confidence with basic computing tasks and skills (if you can organize your desktop and hard drive with ease, and have common keyboard shortcuts memorized, you’ll likely find this course too basic)
  • Computer users who would like to feel more comfortable using the internet, including shopping, watching videos and using new web technologies
  • Researchers who quickly get confused or frustrated when trying to use electronic genealogy resources
  • Genealogists who want to work smarter and faster
  • Genealogy librarians and FamilySearch Center volunteers looking to assist patrons who have trouble using computers


  • A computer and an internet connection


Lesson 1: Basic Training
A. Terminology
    I. Operating systems
    II. Computer types
    III. Glossary
B. Power Mousing
C. Keyboard Shortcuts
D. Desktop
    I. Shortcuts
E. Control Panel
F. Perfect Printing
    I. Printer Options
G. Customizing Your Workspace
    I. Resizing Windows
    II. Minimizing and Maximizing
    III. Changing font size
    IV. Screen savers
H. Files and File Formats
I. E-mail
    I. Web-based vs. POP
    II. Attaching files
    III. Forwarding e-mails
J. Power User Tip
K. Exercise

Lesson 2: Web Ready
A. Browsers
    I. Browser parts
    II. Tabs
    III. Bookmarks
    IV. Navigating a Web Page
B. Easy Searches
    I. Google Basics
    II. Tips for Better Searches
    III. Searching from the Address Bar
C. Complex Searches
D. Passwords
    I. How to Create a Great Password
E. Shopping Online
F. Online Communities
G. Saving Info from the Web
    I. Web Pages
    II. Photos
    III. Screenshots
H. Advanced Browser Functionality
I. Power User Tip
J. Exercise

Lesson 3: Software and Operating System Advice
A. Word Processing Software
    I. Basic Functions
B. Genealogy Software
    I. Picking Genealogy Software
C. Image Editing and Storage
    I. Folder Advice for Windows XP
    II. Folder Advice for Windows Vista and 7
    III. Folder Advice for Mac OS X
D. Power User Tip
E. Exercise

Lesson 4: Troubleshooting
A. Avoiding Viruses
    I. Anti-Virus Software
    II. 5 Tips for Staying Safe
B. Avoiding Spam
C. Avoiding Scams
    I. Example Scam E-mails
D. How to Spot Spoofs and Urban Legends
E. Computer Error Messages
    I. Hardware error messages
    II. Internet error messages
F. Power User Tip
G. Next Steps
H. Exercise

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