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QuickBooks Pro Essential Training: Part 9 of 10
Using the Navigation and Icon bars
By Suzanne Robertson

Before we get started in all of the other functions associated with QuickBooks like invoicing or setting up your Chart of Accounts or billing somebody, we should really talk about the environment itself and what you're looking at here and how you find things within QuickBooks. And I'm going to be defaulting a lot to referencing to the dropdown menus and the Navigation bar as far as directing you where to find all of these different functions within the software. So let's cover that first before we get involved in all the other aspects. If you look at the top you have these buttons up here and this is called a Navigation bar.

And the Navigation bar is used to jump to these particular areas within QuickBooks that has all these other features associated with it.

We learned about the homepage in a previous movie. And if we click on the Customer Center you can see that that takes you now to a new feature within QuickBooks that has to do with everything for our clients. And this is where later on were going to be getting into adding new clients, adding new customer jobs, invoicing, you name it.


But for now we're going to go ahead and close this window. And again, each one of these buttons on the Navigation bar, it would take us to that center where you can perform functions associated with those types of transactions. In addition to the Navigation bar you're going to have the dropdown menus. Under the dropdown menu, it contains many of the same things you're going to find in the Navigation bar but not everything. When we go under Company we can see that you have the homepage which is also contained on the Navigation bar. But then you have other information that's pertinent just for the company itself.

If we go to where it says Customers, again you can all see Customer Center which is a button on the Navigation bar. And then you have additional options of different things you can do for your customers. Most of these items are contained in the Customer Center but as we go along you will see that there are some things that are only found under the dropdown menu.

If we go to View on the Menu bar, you can see that the word Navigation bar is there with a checkmark next to it. What that means is the same that the Navigation bar is in view on your desktop.

Click Play or press spacebar to start or stop video

By deselecting or taking away the checkmark notice the Navigation bar disappears. Now at any time you see this in your own view at home, it means you have just deselected the Navigation bar. And by going back to View and selecting it again, it will come right back so you haven't lost it. It's just that you deselected or you didn't want to show that in View any longer. The same goes for what they call the Icon bar which is located directly to the right of the Navigation bar. If you see here next to Help there's this little bar. This separates the two. Everything to the left is considered the Navigation bar and everything to the right is considered the icon bar. The reason that they've differentiated the two of these is the Icon bar you can customize. You can add your own buttons to it.

The Navigation bar is a default set by the program, and you can't really change that other than making it appear and disappear. But the Icon bar, you can add your own buttons to it so if there are repetitive tasks you're doing all the time, and you just want a button you can click on to bring that up, you can add it to the Icon bar. If we go up to View and we go to where it says Customized Icon Bar, we're going to bring up this window. And in here if you look at the names, these are the items that are already listed on the Icon bar.

If we wanted to add our own, let's say " I do invoicing everyday," and it would sure be nice if I just had a button that said invoicing.

I'm going to click on Add and it takes me into this list of available functions I have that I can add to the Icon bar for myself.

So I can see here what says Create Invoices. And I'm going to left- click to select that. And notice is kind of gives me this nice little picture here. You can choose any graphic you like to represent your Invoice button. Also it gives you a default for the label which you can change to anything you may like. We're going to go ahead and leave it as Invoice and then the description is a little pop-up flag you get when you hover over the button.

So we're going to say, "That's all good for me," and I'm going to click on OK. And then if you'll look right here on the Icon bar, it has created my Invoice button.

I'm going to go ahead and say OK here and now if I go up and click on my button, I'm taken right into the Create Invoice window. So it's just a way of customizing the environment for me for tasks that I may do on a daily basis that I just want a quick reference to. We're going to go ahead and close that window.

We're going to go back to View again and Customize Icon bar.

Now if I have any icons on the bar that I don't want, the same can be held for getting rid of them. I can go ahead and hit Delete any choices on there that I'm not currently using because I can always go back and add them later. So if I'm currently not using Payroll, I can go ahead and select that and click on my Delete option and it takes it off the Icon bar. Don't worry, it's not gone good. You can always go back to Add and find it back in the list. You can see it's located right here and I can always re-add at a later time.

So again you customize it for your own needs. Put up there the things that you probably use most frequently. It's a great tool. The last one we're going to do is we're going to add Bill. Because we do a lot of bill paying and unfortunately it's not all about billing people and collecting money, but we also have to pay it out.

So we're going to go ahead and look for the Enter Bills. And again, it's defaulted to this graphic and it's labeled it for me with my description. I'm going to say OK and now that's been put up there as well.

So we're going to go ahead and close our customization.

And we can look up here and it says Enter Bills and by clicking, it takes us to our Enter Bills window.

There's only a couple more things I want to show you as far as customizing of your environment. I'm going to click on the Customer Center and bring that window open, and then I'm also going to click on the Vendor Center and bring that window open. Now notice the Vendor Center goes right on top and I can no longer see my Customer Center window.

If I go up to Window on the Menu bar, you'll notice that Vendor Center has a checkmark to it and that is the window that is in view. And if I click on Customer Center now that brings that on top of it and I can now see that. That's one way of moving between windows but I don't necessarily think that's the best way. There are a couple other options that are available to you. If you go back to View on the Menu bar and you left-click you'll see Open window list.

And if I select that, this bar comes in on the left-hand side. And notice here I show my Customers Center which is the active window, but it also shows me Vendor Center. This shows any windows that you have open and by simply then selecting that it will bring that window forward.

So it's also nice if you're having a lot of windows going at one time and you want to quickly be able to change between windows. Keep your Open windows list on your desktop and then you can just quickly switch between the two at any time.

If you don't want it, you simply click on the X. It sends it back away but you can always bring it right back by going back to View and reselecting it under Open window list. We're going to close that.

The last thing I'd like to show you under View is one window versus multiple window view. Currently the system has us defaulted to multiple windows view. If you look you're on the screen it says Customers Center and again, we can't really see anything behind it. However, if you take your pointer to the blue Title bar, you left-click and hold, and drag down, a-ha! There appears Vendor Center. And I'm able to move this window around the screen.

I can also then go to my window behind, left-click on that, make that the active window and bring that forward. If you look down here towards the bottom you can see the other window kind of peeking out below it. And again, I can left-click and drag this around my screen. I can also resize the image. So there's a lot of things you can do as far as movement wise to be able see multiple layers within your window. Different than one-window view.

If we choose One-window view notice it maximizes the window. You no longer can see anything behind it. If I click and hold, I'm trying to drag but I can't move the window anywhere and I cannot resize. I don't get my double- headed arrow and I can't resize anything.

So really, again, it's a matter of preference. Some people prefer multiple windows so that they can move around and kind of put things next to one another and be able to see two things at one time. Some people preferr to have it just a single view only and then use the Open window list to kind of go between. For our exercise purposes today, we're going to go ahead and we're going to use the One-window view. And we're going to go ahead and close these right now.

Understanding your environment, being able to customize shortcuts, knowing where to find things in the dropdown menus. These are all things that will limit frustrations as you begin working with the program because it will help make it faster for you when you're trying to locate a function to be able to process that particular transaction. You won't have to do the hunt and peck method of where is that? Where did I last see that? You'll know right away because it's sitting right here on your Icon bar and you can just click right to it.

So I strongly advise that when you have time on your own, you go later to look through the features and really choose what it is that you want to see on those Icon bars and how you want to set up your environment in QuickBooks.

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As both an experienced artist and an accomplished professional in finance, Suzanne Robertson possesses a unique combination of creative and analytic talents. She utilizes her 20 years of business experience and 10 years of teaching experience, along with a distinct affinity for software, to teach complex subjects in a way that is both easy to understand and applicable to the real world.

Suzanne is happily married and lives in California, where she enjoys being a mother to two beautiful children. She works as a consultant, assisting small business owners in creating and maintaining successful financial practices.


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