The Barnes & Noble Review
Microsoft Office XP has arrived, full of brand-spankin'-new task panes, wizards, Smart Tags, XML support, collaboration features, and other goodies. If you're a power user -- the person everyone else comes to when they're confused -- you'll be answering a lot of questions. No doubt, you'll have your own, too. Here's where to find the answers: Microsoft Office XP Inside Out.
Microsoft's all-new, 1,580-page book covers every program in nearly every version of Office XP: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, FrontPage, Access, even Publisher. The basics are here, but in the authors' words, they're "taught as they would be in a graduate seminar rather than in a freshman 101 course -- quickly and concisely." The heart of the book is intermediate-to-advanced coverage for folks who've been around the block with Office.
For Excel, "advanced coverage" means (among other things) in-depth coverage of organizing data with lists, filters, and pivot tables; managing shared workbooks; and a chapter on advanced business analysis with Goal Seek, the Solver, and the Scenario Manager. For Word, it means in-depth coverage of the completely revamped mail merge feature, and a full chapter on managing document review across workbooks. For Outlook, it means how to juggle email accounts, handle junk mail, organize meetings, and import contacts from your new SharePoint team web site. (Speaking of SharePoint, there's a full chapter on these new workgroup collaboration tools, too.)
Been intending to get serious about writing macros? Now's the time. Four chapters carry you through all the techniques most macro writers will ever need: variables, operators, functions, control structures, message boxes, and dialog boxes.
The accompanying CD-ROM contains the whole book in electronic format, four bonus chapters from other Office XP "Inside Out" books, plus several cool Office XP add-ins. Our favorites: the Web Template Maker, which lets you copy any open web site as a reusable template; and the MSN Money Central stock quotes add-in, which lets you embed automatically updated stock quotes in any Excel worksheet.
Bill Camarda is a consultant and writer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.
This reference offers hundreds of timesaving solutions, troubleshooting tips, and handy workarounds in a concise, fast-answer format. Halvorson (Microsoft Office and Visual Basic expert) and Young (software developer and author) present 57 chapters that help readers get started with Office; explain the shared features of the Office applications and the ways to take advantage of Office application integration; provide in-depth coverage of each of the major Office applications; and cover the common macro and development language of the Office applications, Visual Basic. (VBA). The included CD-ROM features an intuitive HTML interface, Microsoft add-ins, third- party utilities, demos, and trials; macros and sample code; additional files and templates; and more. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: An Office XP Overview
A Rundown on Office XP
The Microsoft Office XP suite provides more applications and utility programs than ever before. Which ones you have depends upon which edition of Office XP you own or which individual Office applications you've obtained. This book covers all the major Office XP applications:
- Microsoft Word (Part 3)
- Microsoft Excel (Part 4)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (Part 5)
- Microsoft Outlook (Part 6)
- Microsoft FrontPage (Part 7)
- Microsoft Access (Part 8)
- Microsoft Publisher (Part 9)
The book also covers many of the valuable utility programs and add-ons that are included with Office XP (or are available on the Web) and that help you work with the main applications:
- Office Shortcut Bar (Chapter 4)
- newfeature! Clip Organizer (Chapter 6). See Figure 1-1 on page 4.
- Microsoft Graph (Chapter 6)
- Microsoft Equation (Chapter 6)
- Save My Settings Wizard (Chapter 9)
- Office Resource Kit, including the Custom Installation Wizard (Chapter 2)
Figure 1-1. You can run the new Clip Organizer program in its own window, shown here, or through the new Insert Clip Art task pane. (Image Unavailable)
Even if you don't have one or more of the applications covered in this book, you might want to read some of the information about these applications to help you decide whether to add an Office program to your software collection or whether you're better off using the applications you already have.
Advantages of the Office XP Suite
Obtaining and installing the Office XP application suite, rather than acquiring individual applications here and there, isn't just a way to economize by buying programs "cheaper by the dozen." The real advantages of a software suite such as Office XP lie in the common user interface and the application integration features.
In Office XP, the individual applications share more common features than in any previous Office version. An obvious advantage of a common user interface is that once you learn one application, it's much easier to learn another. Also, as you switch between applications, you won't have to switch working modes quite so radically. And, perhaps most important, a common user interface frees your focus from the individual applications and their idiosyncrasies and lets you concentrate on the documents you're creating. The following are examples of important common features in the Office XP suite:
- The menus, toolbars, shortcut keys, and the methods for customizing these features.
- The common dialog boxes (notably, the Open and Save As dialog boxes), with shared features such as the Search command that now lets you find either files or Outlook items.
- The task panes (described later in this chapter). See Figure 1-2.
Figure 1-2. The new Search task pane, which is available in most Office applications, lets you locate either disk files or Outlook items. (Image Unavailable)
- The methods for displaying and setting document properties.
- The speech and handwriting interfaces.
- The drawing features (Drawing toolbar, AutoShapes, Diagrams, WordArt, and others). See Figure 1-3.
Figure 1-3. The new Diagram Gallery dialog box lets you quickly insert a variety of ready-made conceptual drawings. (Image Unavailable)
- The proofing tools (Spelling, Thesaurus, AutoCorrect, and others).
- The help interface and the Detect And Repair command.
- The Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming features.
- The ability to store and share documents on SharePoint team Web sites.
The Office XP applications are also more tightly integrated than ever. Application integration extends the usefulness of the individual applications. It lets you combine applications in a synergistic way to solve more complex problems and to easily accomplish otherwise difficult tasks. The following are examples of application integration features available in Office XP:
- The Office Shortcut Bar, as well as the New Office Document and Open Office Document commands on the Start menu in Windows, which let you create or open any type of Office document
- The ability of Office applications to import and export each other's documents (using the Open and Save As dialog boxes, as well as special purpose commands for importing and exporting documents or data)
- The capability of using data stored in Outlook or Access when creating mail-merge documents in Word
- Commands for linking and embedding data from several Office applications in a single compound document
- VBA, the common programming language of the Office applications and the most powerful way to create solutions using multiple Office applications
An Office XP Map
If you're not sure where to start with Office, you can use Table 1-1 to select the best Office application to use for creating the type of document you want or for performing the task you need to complete.
For a more detailed rundown on an Office XP application, see the first chapter in the part of the book that covers that application.
Table 1-1. The Best Office XP Application to Use for Performing Specific Tasks
|Office XP Application to Use ||Task |
|Word || |
- Create general printed or online documents of all kindsfor example, memos, letters, faxes, reports, contracts, résumés, manuals, theses, and books.
- Enter and organize research notes, outlines, and other types of free-form text information.
- Generate form letters, envelopes, labels, and other mail-merge documents (see Figure 1-4, on page 9).
- Print individual labels and envelopes.
- Create general-purpose, relatively simple Web pages, which can include almost any Word document element, plus movies, sounds, forms, frames, visual themes, navigation bars, and components for accessing information on a SharePoint team Web site. Use templates to create personal Web pages and other types of pages or use the Web Page Wizard to create simple Web sites.
- Save, organize, calculate, analyze, and chart numeric business or personal data in a spreadsheet (row and column) format. For example, balance checking accounts, prepare invoices, plan budgets, track orders, or maintain general accounting ledgers.
- Store relatively simple text or numeric data in lists that organize the information into records (rows) and fields (columns)for example, a product inventory or descriptions of members of your ski racing team. Sort, find, filter, automatically fill, summarize, group, outline, or subtotal data. Display data in varying combinations using pivot tables or pivot charts.
- Publish static or interactive spreadsheets, charts, or pivot tables, for displaying numeric, text, or graphic information on the Web. Publish forms on the Web for collecting data in lists or other databases.
- Create multimedia presentations consisting of sets of slides to teach, sell, communicate, or persuade. Include text, graphics, animations, sound, and video in your presentations. Present multimedia infor-mation using 35 mm slides, transparencies for overhead projectors, speaker notes, printed handouts, or live slide shows on a computer or computer projector.
- Publish presentations on the Web that consist of a series of multimedia slides displaying text, graphics, animations, sounds, or videos.
- Send, receive, and organize e-mail messages. Exchange instant Internet messages.
- Store and manage personal information (appointments, names and addresses, to-do lists, journal entries, or free-form notes).
- Communicate and coordinate with members of your workgroup (schedule meetings, manage group projects, and share information and files).
- Access files on local or network disks and explore Web sites.
- Publish snapshots of your calendar on the Web.
- Create entire Web sites using templates or wizardssuch as a site for establishing a corporate presence, displaying personal information, conducting an online discussion, managing a project, or accessing shared information stored on a SharePoint team Web site (see Figure 1-5). Use visual themes to apply consistent formatting to all pages in your site.
- Manage your Web site (maintain files and folders, display reports, create and update hyperlinks, track tasks, publish your site, or control the source in workgroups).
- Create a Web page quickly using a template or wizard (for example, a page containing a bibliography, a feedback form, or a table of contents).
- Create or edit a Web page using a full-featured HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) editor, which supports all standard Web page elements and provides ready-to-use Web-page components (date and time stamps, comments, hover buttons and other dynamic effects, forms for searching the site, spreadsheets and charts, hit counters, galleries of photos, included files, link bars, tables of contents, site usage statistics, views of information stored on a SharePoint team Web site, and controls that display information from Web sites such as MSN).
- Store, organize, select, and present data in a relational database, which allows you to easily manage large amounts of complex or interrelated data and to divide data into separate, related tables to maximize storage efficiency.
- Publish an interactive form on an intranet that allows users to view or update information from a database.
- Use wizards to create brochures, flyers, signs, greeting cards, business cards, menus, catalogs, newsletters, and other relatively short documents that have precise page layouts integrating text and graphics.
- Create coordinated sets of publications (business cards, letterheads, envelopes, fax cover sheets, and so on).
- Use wizards to create graphical Web pages.
Figure 1-4. Word's new Mail Merge task pane makes it easy to create and print form letters, envelopes, labels, and other mail-merge documents. (Image Unavailable)
Figure 1-5. In FrontPage you can create a new team Web site on a Web server running SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft. This figure shows the home page of a newly created team site. (Image Unavailable)
What's New in Office XP The following sections briefly describe many of the new features and enhancements found in Office XP. (Office XP has so many new features and enhancements that it would be difficult to list them all!)
New Common Office XP Features
Each of the following new features is available in mostor manyof the main Office XP applications....