Ask the Internet (Google):
Start by asking a question, in plain language, on the Internet. Simply type the question into the URL/search box at the top of a blank Web browser page. Since Google ranks pages by their popularity with other users, the search results are likely to be helpful.
The second largest search engine on the planet. Like Google, YouTube indexes an incredible number of videos on just about any topic you can imagine. Asking questions like “How do I …” will often provide useful information.
Subscribe to a tutorial provider:
There are many companies who provide tutorials ranging from the general to industry or application specific. Many offer free tutorials to get you started, and subscription fees are usually modest. Here are a few I like:
Lynda.com – One of the best general purpose tutorial providers. It covers nearly every software application, is useful for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android platforms, and even has instruction on business and education topics. The University of Texas provides Lynda.com to all current faculty, staff and students.
Screencasts Online – Apple specific with tutorials for both Macintosh and iOS. Subscription model with new tutorials every month. One of the best for Apple platforms.
MacPro Video – Especially useful for the studio musician with series on Apple Logic and Pro Tools, but also with instruction for Apple Final Cut, Web and graphic design.
YouTube – Many subscription-based providers post a sampling of their videos on YouTube to attract new subscribers. More than once I’ve found excellent information in these freebies. Also, there are quite a few amateur-produced tutorials. They can vary widely in quality, but I appreciate the generous impulse they represent — sharing a bit hard-won information with the Internet.
Check with Hardware and Software Vendors:
Companies want you to like and use their products, and often provide instructional articles and video to promote them. Vendor provided information is often all you need to get started. Here are a few examples:
Apple – There is much help built into Apple products. There is always a “help” menu in the menu bar of the Macintosh desktop with extensive help for the OS and applications. iOS applications often have a “?” icon that reveals embedded descriptions for the various buttons and icons. There is also a “tips” app in iOS that provides periodic, well, tips that are of general interest. More help can be found online at support.apple.com.
Windows – Similar to Apple, there are embedded help menus in the Windows OS and applications. support.microsoft.com provides online help.
Here are a few 3rd-party vendors I use:
- Macphun – Photo editing software for Mac. Aurora HDR is also available for the Windows platform. Tutorials and other help for Aurora HDR, Intensify, Snapheal and others that work as stand alone photo editors or Photos plugins.
- Serif – Tutorials and other help for Affinity, a very capable photo editor for Windows, Mac and iPad.
- Pixelmator – Graphic editor with many of the best Photoshop features for a fraction of the price. Great Tutorials.
- Google has extensive online support for its many products at support.google.com. Snapseed is a must-have for all iOS and Android photo enthusiasts with excellent help here. There are many tutorials on YouTube as well.