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Introduction > About This Book

About This Book

The iLife programs may be simple, but they're not simplistic. They offer a wide range of powerful, flexible features that let you create music, movies, pictures, and DVDs worthy of professional work. Unfortunately, many of the best techniques aren't covered in the only "manual" you get with iLife—its sparse electronic help screens.

This book is designed to serve as the iLife manual, as the book that should have been in the box. It explores each program in depth, offers shortcuts and workarounds, and unearths features that the online help doesn't even mention.

The Sum of All Books?

I see that you've also written individual Missing Manual books on iTunes, iMovie & iDVD, GarageBand, and iPhoto. If I have this book, do I need those too?

Probably not.

iLife '04: The Missing Manual is adapted from those four other books, but it's not exactly the same. It's been slimmed down somewhat from the component source book. Otherwise, it would be over 1,400 pages long, which would put it over that 20-pound weight limit that bookstores are so picky about.

So what do you get in the individual books that's missing from this one? Here are some examples: iMovie 4 & iDVD: The Missing Manual includes three chapters about good camcorder and film technique. iPhoto 4: The Missing Manual has several chapters about how to use your digital camera for best results. GarageBand: The Missing Manual offers a crash course in music, plus two chapters on shareware plug-ins and add-ons for GarageBand. And iPod & iTunes: The Missing Manual includes lots more detail on the iPod, including a good deal of information for Windows PC owners.

If you find yourself spending most of your time in one particular program, it may be worth checking the relevant book out of the library to soak in the extra detail that's not in this all-in-one book.

Otherwise, though, everything you need is right here: The tips, the tricks, the shortcuts, the behind-the-scenes details on how iLife programs store your projects on the hard drive, and 500 illustrations. This book offers such complete coverage of the i-programs, in fact, it could have been called iBook—but that one was taken.

About the Outline

iLife '04: The Missing Manual is divided into six parts. The first five correspond to the iLife programs: iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand. At the end of the book, you'll find troubleshooting chapters that correspond to those programs.

About → These → Arrows

Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you'll find sentences like this one: "Open your Home → Library → Preferences folder." That's shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to open three nested folders in sequence, like this: "In the Finder, choose Go → Home. In your Home folder, you'll find a folder called Library. Open that. Inside the Library window is a folder called Preferences. Double-click to open it, too."

Similarly, this kind of arrow shorthand helps to simplify the business of choosing commands in menus, as shown in Figure I-5.

In this book, arrow notations help to simplify folder and menu instructions. For example, "Choose → Dock → Position on Left" is a more compact way of saying, "From the menu, choose Dock; from the submenu that then appears, choose Position on Left," as shown here.

About MissingManuals.com

At www.missingmanuals.com, you'll find news, articles, and updates to the books in this series.

But if you click the name of this book and then the Errata link, you'll find a unique resource: a list of corrections and updates that have been made in successive printings of this book. You can mark important corrections right into your own copy of the book, if you like.

In fact, the same page offers an invitation for you to submit such corrections and updates yourself. In an effort to keep the book as up-to-date and accurate as possible, each time we print more copies of this book, we'll make any confirmed corrections you've suggested. Thanks in advance for reporting any glitches you find!

In the meantime, we'd love to hear your suggestions for new books in the Missing Manual line. There's a place for that on the Web site, too, as well as a place to sign up for free email notification of new titles in the series.

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