As office productivity suites grow more capable and network-wise, the demand placed upon their users--who typically are everyday office workers with no particular interest in software technology--grows dramatically. That's why a carefully compiled manual, like Microsoft Office XP Inside Out, is invaluable in an organization that expects its employees to use the new features of Microsoft Office XP. This book won't hold your interest if you attempt to read it straight through, and indeed it may strain your back when you lift it off the shelf. On the other hand, if you want a concise but comprehensive tutorial on the use of Excel's PMT function or FrontPage's new ability to output XML code--or any of hundreds of other details--this book has your number. Just check the jumbo-size index.
The book could have paid more attention to automating Office XP with Visual Basic. Even though more space is devoted to the programming language than most of the competition and the book does a good job of explaining the core language and key objects, a lot of its capabilities go unmentioned.
Otherwise, the authors do a wonderful job of explaining procedures and concepts whose power lies in their details. In explaining features, they'll typically present a procedure that covers the generic case, then discuss variations on that theme in longer paragraphs and special sidebars. As is the trend in books like this, screen shots are augmented with labels and instructions--this aids clarity and speeds up the answer-finding process. --David Wall
Topics covered: Everything that the programs in the Microsoft Office XP suite--Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Exchange, FrontPage, and Publisher--can do, including customization via Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to an extent. Creating, formatting, editing, sharing, storing, and the rest of the work that Office assists in is covered.
OFFICE XP INSIDE OUT
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