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Chapter 1: A Quick Tour of Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office 2000 Premium is a state-of-the-art application suite containing seven application programs for Microsoft Windows and several powerful utilities that will improve your productivity both at home and at the office. In this chapter, you’ll learn what to do with the applications included in Microsoft Office and how to launch them using the Start button. You’ll also learn how to switch between Office applications using the Windows taskbar and how to use the Office Help system when you have a question or need a little guidance. After you get the lay of the land, you’ll be ready to explore a few essential skills that are useful in all Office applications.
Introducing Microsoft Office
Welcome to Microsoft Office 2000 for Windows, Microsoft’s best-selling application suite containing the latest versions of Microsoft’s most popular business software products. If you’re like most users, you have probably had some experience using one or more of the applications in Office. For this release, each program has been enhanced with new features and fine-tuned to publish information on the Web. If you have the Premium edition of Office 2000 (the software described in this book), you have the following application programs:
- Microsoft Word 2000
- Microsoft Excel 2000
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2000
- Microsoft Access 2000
- Microsoft Outlook 2000
- Microsoft Publisher 2000
- Microsoft FrontPage 2000
- Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000
- Microsoft business tools, including Small Business Bookshelf, Small Business Financial Manager, Direct Mail Manager, and CustomerManagement Application
If you have the Professional edition of Microsoft Office, your application suite doesn’t include the Web publishing program Microsoft FrontPage and the graphics program PhotoDraw. If you have the Small Business edition of Microsoft Office, you’ll be without Access, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and PhotoDraw.
What are the benefits of Microsoft Office 2000, in a nutshell? By combining Microsoft’s flagship programs into one unified application suite, Microsoft has created a general-purpose tool that can handle virtually all the data processing, forecasting, communication, and Web publishing activities of a modern business or organization. Each Office application shares common commands, dialog boxes, and procedures, so once you learn how to use one application, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to all the rest.
In addition, the Office applications have been designed to work together, enabling you to combine text from Word, a chart from Excel, and database information from Access into one compelling presentation. Office applications also support a variety of file formats (including HTML), present similar formatting tools and macro languages, and provide full support for electronic mail and workgroup activities, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you start a new project. In short, Microsoft Office 2000 is designed to adapt itself to the way you work.
What’s New in the Software?
If you’ve used a previous version of the Office software, you’ll notice that Office 2000 has a number of new features and improvements:
- A desktop publishing program called Microsoft Publisher, a graphic arts program called PhotoDraw, better Web integration, improved international language support, and hundreds of new commands and options will make your workday more productive and enjoyable.
- Essential toolbars, menus, and Web publishing tools have been standardized across applications, making Office programs even more accessible and easy to use.
- Finally, each application in the Office software suite has been redesigned to save files in HTML format for better integration with the Internet and corporate intranets. When you’re ready to share your documents with a colleague down the hall or with a friend on the other side of the world, Office 2000 will make it as simple as clicking a button.
Microsoft Office 2000
The following features are common to all Office programs:
- Year 2000 Compliance
Office 2000 has been carefully tested for adherence to the Microsoft Year 2000 Compliance Standard and for handling date issues in general.
- Microsoft Publisher
Office now includes Publisher, a popular desktop publishing software program that creates newsletters, brochures, and Web pages.
- Microsoft FrontPage
Office Premium also includes FrontPage, a Web publishing application that helps you build and customize Web sites.
- Microsoft PhotoDraw
In Office Premium you also get PhotoDraw, an electronic artwork program designed for editing and customizing photographs and illustrations.
- HTML File Format
Each application in the Office 2000 software suite can now save files in HTML, or Web page, format, so you can immediately deploy them on the Internet or corporate intranets. The traditional application file formats are also still available.
- Better Web Publishing
Office applications now have a standard Save As Web Page command that lets you seamlessly save your document as a Web page and set useful Internet publication options. A new Web Page Preview command also allows you to view your HTML document immediately in Microsoft Internet Explorer or another browser.
- Better Hyperlinks
Enhanced Hyperlink commands allow you to link to electronic mail addresses, new Internet resources, and hot-spots in documents.
- Clipboard Toolbar
You can now save several blocks of cut or copied text to the Clipboard (up to 12), and then paste any of these blocks into an Office document. A Clipboard toolbar facilitates the pasting process.
- Multilingual Support
Most Office 2000 applications can now automatically detect foreign language text rather than requiring you to mark all blocks of foreign text using language formatting. The proofing tools will then use the appropriate dictionary for correcting text in each language.
- Online Collaboration
In creating documents, you can work together with other people on the Internet or on a company intranet using the commands on the Online Collaboration submenu of the Tools menu in most Office 2000 applications.
- Total Cost of Ownership Features
Office 2000 is now easier for system administrators to customize and install, and it adapts to your work style by using install-on-demand features, self-configuring menus and toolbars, and improved IntelliSense (natural-language processing) technology.
Word now includes the following new features:
- Additional Support for Web Pages
The Web page features are now tightly integrated into Word. You can save any Word document in HTML format—that is, as a Web page. You can view the page in Web browsers, and you can later reopen it in Word without losing any features. Word also provides a large collection of templates and wizards for creating documents designed specifically as Web pages, or for building entire Web sites.
- Web Tools Toolbar
Word now features a Web Tools toolbar, which allows you to add scripts, forms, movie clips, background sounds, and scrolling text to Web pages.
- Click and Type
The new Click and Type feature lets you add text to an empty place in a document by just double-clicking that place and then typing the text. Word adds all necessary space characters and formatting to position the text where you double-click.
- More Table Features
Word tables have acquired new features derived from Web-page tables. For example, you can create nested tables and tables that are automatically resized to accommodate the text they contain or the size of the window, and you can have text flow around tables.
- Visual Themes
You can now quickly modify the overall appearance of a document by applying a visual theme. The theme will apply a consistent look to elements throughout the document. You can choose from a list of more than 25 themes provided with Office.
The following new features make Excel an even more dynamic program:
- Interactive Web Publishing
The new Save As Web Page command creates HTML documents that you can use interactively on the Web via Internet Explorer. Interactive features are provided in Internet Explorer by ActiveX controls called Microsoft Office Web Components.
- Pivot Charts
Excel 2000 can now create pivot charts from pivot tables, so you can graphically manipulate the rows and columns in a database list.
- New Date Formats
You can now set date entries using two new formats that help combat the year 2000 problem.
- Euro Currency Symbol
You can now use the new Euro currency symbol and accounting format to manage European financial transactions.
PowerPoint includes a lot of new features, too:
- New Presentation Views
PowerPoint now includes an enhanced Normal view—which combines Outline view and Slide view—for easier editing and slide organization.
- Improved Tables
Tables are easier to create and format in presentations, and PowerPoint now handles them internally, which makes them faster.
- Web Publishing
The Save As Web Page command creates HTML documents smoothly and efficiently, and offers the same user interface and publication options as Word and Excel.
- More Printing Options
The Print dialog box has new Grayscale, Handouts, and Print Hidden Slides options.
- Online Presentation Broadcasting
You can now broadcast your presentation, complete with video and audio, over the Internet or your corporate intranet.
Access includes the following new features:
- New Database Window
The Database window now includes a customizable Shortcut Bar like the one used in Outlook, it provides different ways to list objects, and it contains icons for quickly creating new database objects.
- Data Access Pages
A new database object, the data access page, is similar to a form but allows users to manipulate a database in a Web browser as well as in Access.
Datasheets can now include subdatasheets, which allow users to view related information from other tables.
- Access Projects
You can now use Access to create front-end interfaces, known as projects, for other databases such as SQL Server.
And finally, here’s what’s new in Outlook:
- Web Views
You can now assign a Web page to any Outlook folder, and you can display that page when the folder is opened.
- Favorites Menu
You can browse Web locations stored in your Favorites folder using the new Favorites menu. You can now open Web pages directly in the Outlook program.
- Personal Distribution Lists
You can now create personal distribution lists in your Contacts folder so that you can e-mail a message to a group of people by inserting a single entry in the message form’s To field.
- Mail Merge
You can take advantage of Word’s mail merge feature to print form letters, envelopes, or labels using selected items from your Contacts folder.
Choosing an Office Application
The following table shows you the purpose of each Office application and the type of document you might create with it. The tasks performed by the Office applications fall into several general categories, such as word processing and database management, though in many cases you’ll find that you can best solve a particular problem by using more than one program. You’ll learn considerably more about each of these programs as you work through the chapters in this book....