Office X for Macintosh: The Missing Manual
Posted: 4-Apr-2003

Mac Guild Grade

Publisher: O'Reilly


Reviewer: Stan Hadley $29.95

Office X for Macintosh: The Missing Manual

By Nan Barber, Tonya Engst, and David Reynolds
1st Edition July 2002
714 pages, $29.95 US

What the Book is About
"Microsoft's own studies indicate that most people don't even know about eighty percent of its programs' features, let alone use them all. Office X for Macintosh: The Missing Manual is not just for beginners; it's for everyone who uses Office X and wants to get more from this powerful suite of applications."

O'Reilly's above description is right on the mark for what this book is all about. It describes each of the four programs that comes with Office X: Word, Entourage, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also covers other features of Office as a whole and the mini-programs for graphics, organization charts, and equation editors. It sure beats trying to learn the programs through the online help system or "hit and miss" attempts.
Target Audience
This book is intended for people new to Office as well as people who have used it for years. New users will find the basics on using each program, and veterans are provided additional chapters on advanced features. With the wealth of features that these programs have, it is easy to overlook many of the time-saving features. The book has tips scattered throughout that can help anyone using Office X use it better.
What to Expect
The book goes into details on each of the four major programs included in Office X. For a given program, it starts with the basics, then has additional chapters on more advanced features. The chapters are well organized; it includes headings that are clearly visible as you thumb through the book, making it is easy to find a topic you are looking for. For example, Chapter 1 is "Basic Word Processing". As you flip through the chapter, the topic is broken down into sections on opening, editing, saving, and printing. Tips and FAQ's are scattered through the sections. Later chapters include information on formatting, styles, change control, and other advanced features. Similar organization, from basics to more advanced topics, is used for the other programs.
What I liked most about the book was that it was both very thorough on the different programs, and it provided good tips throughout that can help even a very experienced Office X user. I learned a number of great tips, even though I've used Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for years. The book also explained problems I've had with cross-platform problems on graphics, and possible work-arounds.
Mac Guild Grade
A Outstanding
Final Words
If you want a user's manual for Office v.X, this is the book to get. It opens up the programs in an understandable way so that you can be more productive with them. Both new and experienced users will get something from this book.