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Digital Skills Check

You can use the form below to brush up on your digital skills. This will help you to make the most of your online course.

Click on each of the skills that you would like to learn more about.

Once you have clicked your options, scroll down the page and you will see a selection of links to relevant resources. 

Please note that these resources are external to RBGE, and we do not control them. They are suggestions that we hope you will find helpful.

If you would like to revisit any of these resources in the future, please also click the "Bookmarking a Webpage" tick box, which will show you how to save any useful links.

Please click the Submit button when you are finished - this will help us to keep track of which areas of IT our learners struggle with.

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Students taking our Diploma courses will require the following skills:

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Those taking our Botanical Illustration Diploma and Certificate courses will additionally need the following skill:

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Garden History Diploma students will additionally need the following skill:

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If you feel you need more basic help getting started with IT, the following option may suit your needs best:

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Links to information about your chosen topics will appear below


For a basic introduction to email, visit digitallearn.org and click on "Intro to Email".


Try visiting this link to see a video uploaded by RBGE: youtube video. Once you have watched this video, you may wish to visit YouTube yourself and search for a video. Go to www.youtube.com and search for "RBGE herbarium collection" to find videos about our herbarium. www.vimeo.com is another site where you can practise searching for RBGE videos to view.


If you have Microsoft (MS) Word on your computer, you can get started with creating documents by visiting resources on The MS Office Training Centre. Once you have worked through the introductory steps, there is a 'what's next' list at the bottom of the page, if needed.

If you do not have MS Word, you might consider downloading some free equivalent software such as Google Docs.


For practise inserting images into your Word documents, visit this MS Office training resource.

Large images can increase the size of your word processed documents, so that they take up more file space. If you need practise compressing images, try this tutorial.


It is possible to compress images using word processing software (see “Inserting/manipulating images in word processed documents” tick box above). However, you may wish to adjust the size of an image file before uploading it or emailing it to someone. To do this, you can use the basic image processing software that usually comes free with your computer. Guidance on doing so is available for Windows users: Paint or Editing in Microsoft Photos and for Mac users.


If you have not used/opened PDFs online before, here is a Adobe resource on how to open PDFs in your browser. You may need to install software such as Adobe Reader to view PDFs


The University of Edinburgh library have produced an excellent resource on making the most of your online searching skills: Finding information online. It provides tips on using Google and also evaluating website content.


If you are using a Windows PC, this tutorial gives step-by-step guidance on transferring images. For Mac users, this Apple Support page explains how to capture images, videos and sound clips from devices.


If you wish to use others’ images in your work (e.g. copied from the internet or scanned from books), you need to ensure that they are free to use. Even if they are free to use, you normally still need to acknowledge the source. There are many free-to-use images to be found online, such as Creative Commons , You can also change setting on Google Images, Advanced Google Image Searches. This guide to attribution explains how to cite the source of a creative commons image.


If you are choosing a scanner for the first time, this guide from BBC Webwise might help. Different scanners will have different operating instructions, but some general features are explained here. For scanned images to be submitted as work for your online RBGE course, we suggest scanning using an A3 flatbed scanner at 300 dpi (dots per inch), in JPEG format. Images of around 1200 pixels across will have a file size, once saved, between 200 - 900 KB. Any larger and your image files will quickly fill up your online portfolio storage space.


Each web browser looks slightly different. Here are links to guides on how to bookmark webpages on the three browswers we recommend for viewing our courses: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari (Apple Mac).


This guide to using Google Maps should help you get started. In the Garden History course you will be looking at map progression, and Google Maps is used for searching modern maps in order to compare them with historical maps.


Wherever you are based, your local library is always a good starting point to find out about computing courses near you.

In the meantime, you could try digitallearn.org for some useful 'absolute beginners' tutorials.