How to Search Lynda.com

Looking for a specific course on Lynda.com?  Or looking to learn a particular skill or piece of software, but aren’t sure which course teaches it?  There are all sorts of ways that you can search for things on Lynda.  This tutorial will show you how.

How to search Lynda.com

  1. Go to www.lynda.com in your web browser and log in.
  2. Click in the box with the magnifying glass beside it and start typing in what you want to search for.  As you do, Lynda will open a drop-down menu with some suggestions on popular things that people search for (at the top of the list) and some courses that most closely match your search terms (at the bottom of the list).

    Click on a keyword suggestion to search using those keywords, or click on a course suggestion to go right to that course.  Or, you can click the magnifying glass (or press the “Enter” key on your keyboard) to search for exactly what you typed in.

  3. This is your results screen.  The most important filtering options are at the top left, where you can decide whether the results whose titles, descriptions, or transcripts match your search terms are:

    – anything on Lynda.com
    – playlists of videos created by Lynda
    – courses
    – individual course videos
    – specialty blog articles
    – general website pages

    If you’re looking for courses or videos, you will also have additional filtering options.  These include:

    – the estimated skill level required for the video or course
    – the general topic that the video our course covers
    – the software, application, or technology that the video or course covers
    – the company that makes the software, application, or technology in the video or course
    – the author of the video or course
    – whether or not the course or video has closed captioning options

  4. In most cases, you can simply click on the name of a result to go to it.  However, the last few steps will cover some extra things that you can do, depending on what kind of content  you’re searching for.

    If you’re looking for courses, click the course name or Watch Now in the video thumbnail to go to that course.  You can also click Preview to watch an introductory video to the course, or — depending on how you’re searching — click on the name of a video in that course to go straight to that video.

    You can also click the plus sign next to the arrow to add a course to a playlist (see our How to Take a Lynda Course tutorial for more on creating and viewing playlists), or click See More Courses to see more results that are similar to this one.

  5. If you’re looking for playlists, click on the playlist name to go to it and see what courses it contains, or click the plus sign in the top-left corner of the thumbnail picture to track this playlist on your account.  (This will change the plus sign to a checkmark; click it again to stop tracking the playlist.)

  6. If you’re looking for videos, click on the video name to go to it, or click on the name beside “From Course” to go to the course that contains the video.

Those are the basics of searching on the Lynda website!


How to Take a Lynda.com Course

Now that you’ve signed up for Lynda and indicated some preferences for things that you’d like to learn about, it’s time to find a course to take and start learning!  Each course consists of a series of video lectures, with a number of tools at your disposal that can help enhance your learning experience.  Read or search through transcripts of the lectures if there’s one specific thing that you want to know how to do.  Read answers for common questions that people have about the course, or ask your own question.  Take notes on points from the various lectures that you want to remember later.  For some courses, you can even download sample materials and use them to follow along and practice!

To take a course on Lynda.com

  1. Go to www.lynda.com in your web browser and click Log In in the top-right corner.

    A window will pop up with the log in form.  If you signed up by using your LinkedIn account, click Log In With LinkedIn and use the credentials from your LinkedIn account to log into Lynda.

    Otherwise, click in the box labelled “Username” and type in the email address that you used to sign up.  Then click in the box labelled “Password” and type in the password that you chose to protect your account with.  Then click the Log In button within the window.

  2. Once you’re logged in, it’s time to pick a course that you want to take!  You can find one by searching for it (see our How to Search Lynda tutorial), or by browsing for it.  For now, let’s pick a course based on the recommendations that you got when you signed up.

    Move your mouse cursor over your name in the top-right corner, and click Recommended.  Then, click on the name of a course that you want to take (or move your mouse over it and then click View Course).

  3. Click on the video player to start playing the currently-selected video for the course.  When you move your mouse cursor over it, options will appear at the top and bottom of the screen.

    With the options at the top, you can move to the previous or next video in the course, or decide whether or not the next video in the course will automatically play when the current one ends.

    The options along the bottom allow you to start or stop the video, rewind the video 10 seconds, bookmark the video (or a particular part of it), adjust the volume, change the playback speed, enable or disable closed captions, adjust other settings (like the video quality or what technology is used to play it), or change how the video displays (small or large, in a pop-out, or taking up the full screen).

  4. In the lower-left is a list of the videos in the course.  Click on the name of one of the videos to go to that video, or click the bookmark icon next to it to mark that video as one that you want to remember (you can access it easily by moving your mouse over your name in the top-right corner and clicking Bookmarks).

    Videos that you have already watched will have an eye icon next to them.  You can click on this icon for the option to mark a video (or every video in the course) as having not been watched yet.

    You can also click in the box labelled “Search This Course” and type in key words that you are looking for in the video transcript.  Then click Search to see a list of where these words appear.

  5. In the lower-right are a series of tools that can help you with taking the course.  For example, click Transcript to see a script of what is being said in the current video.  Click on a sentence to jump to that point in the video.

  6. If you click FAQs, you can see a list of questions that people have asked about this course.  Click on a question to see the answer to it, or click Ask a Question to ask your own question (click in the box labelled “Message”, type your question, and then click Send).

    You can also click in the box labelled “Search FAQs”, type in some key words, and then click Search to see if anyone has asked a question about a particular subject.

  7. If you click on My Notes, you can bring up a notepad where you can write down important things that you may want to remember about what you see in the videos for this course.  Simply click in the box labelled “Start Typing Your Notes” and write down whatever it is you want to remember.  That’s it!

  8. If you have a premium-level Lynda.account (see our How Much Does Lynda.com Cost article for different subscription options), you can click Exercise Files to download a set of files that you can use to practice the skills that you can learn in this course (if they’re available).  Usually, one of the videos in the course will show you how to specifically use them.

    Simply click on the name of the file folder in the window that pops up (it ends with “.zip”), and follow the download prompts to save it to your computer (make sure you select “Save File”).  If you don’t know how to extract “.zip” files to get them back into a form where you can use them, follow these instructions.

  9. If you want to make this course part of a group that you want to take, click Playlist and then click the name of the playlist that you want to add the course to (or remove it from).  Or, click Add to a New Playlist to add this course to a new playlist that you’ve created from scratch; simply click in the box labelled “Name” and type in a name for your playlist, then (if you want) click in the box labelled “Description” and type in a little bit about what’s in the playlist, and then click Save.

    If the current course is part of one or more playlists, those playlists will have checkmarks beside them instead of plus signs.  Simply click the name of a playlist that the current course is a part of to remove it from that playlist.

    You can access your playlists by moving your mouse cursor over your name in the top-right corner, and then selecting Playlists from the drop-down menu.  From there, simply click on the name of the playlist that you want to view, and then click on the name of the course in that playlist that you want to return to.

Those are the fundamentals of taking a course on Lynda.com!


How to Get a Lynda.com Free Trial

As we explained in our article on how much Lynda.com costs, you usually have to pay for Lynda.com in order to use it.  However, when you sign up for the first time, you can get a free trial for 10 days.  After that time period is up, though, you’ll be charged the regular rate for the plan that you chose.  If you decide that you don’t want to use Lynda.com during this period, be sure to cancel your account to avoid being charged.  We’ll go over how to do that in our How to Cancel Your Lynda.com Account tutorial.

How to register for a Lynda.com free trial

  1. Go to www.lynda.com in your web browser and click Start a Free Trial in the upper-left corner.

  2. You will be taken to a screen where you will be asked to choose which subscription plan you want.

    Click Start Your Free Trial below the plan that you want. We’ll be picking the “Premium Annual” plan, since we want to show off all of the cool features of the eLearning website.

  3. You will begin the process of creating your account on the next screen.  If you have an account on LinkedIn (the website that owns Lynda), you can click Connect with LinkedIn at the top of the form to log into your LinkedIn account, and use the information from it to create your account.

    If you’d prefer to do things the old-fashioned way instead, click in the boxes shown in the screenshot above and type in:

    – Your first name
    – Your last name
    – The name of your organization (optional)
    – Your email address
    – A password to secure your account with
    – A copy of the password that you chose

    When you have entered all of this information, click Continue.

  4. On the next screen, you will have to decide how you would like to pay for your membership after your free trial is over.  “Credit Card” should automatically be selected; if you wish to pay with the online transaction service PayPal instead, click the button next to “PayPal”, click the Check Out with PayPal button, log into your PayPal account, and confirm your purchase.

    If you want to pay with a credit card instead, click in each of the boxes and drop-down menus shown in the screenshot above and type in or select:

    – Your name as it appears on your credit card (it should already be filled in)
    – Your credit card number
    – The month and year that your credit card expires
    – Your credit card’s security code (click What’s This? for help finding it)
    – The country in which you live
    – Your address and (optionally) your unit number
    – The city in which you live
    – The state or territory in which you live
    – The mailing code for the area in which you live

    When you’ve entered all of this information, click Submit.

  5. On the next screen, you will be able to review your order.  If any of your billing information is incorrect, click Edit and repeat step 4.  Otherwise, click Complete My Order.

  6. Once your order is complete, click Create My Recommendations to start finding courses that you might want to take.

  7. You will be brought to a screen that will display some general categories for courses on Lynda, as well as some specific topics that courses in that category will cover.  Click the check box beside a category or topic to select or deselect it.

    If you’re looking for something in particular, click in the box with the magnifying glass and type in some key words.  Lynda will come up with some similar-sounding topics as suggestions; click one to add it to your preferences.  When you’re done, click View Recommendations.

  8. You will be taken to your list of recommended courses; we will discuss how you can take them in our How to Take Lynda.com Courses tutorial.  You can get back to this screen by clicking your name in the top-right corner and then clicking Recommended.

In the meantime, congratulations on signing up for a free trial, and enjoy discovering new things to learn!