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Microsoft Office has penetrated the business world with a universality rivaled only by the personal computer itself. In most Mac- or Windows-based corporations, anyone not using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint at work is considered a weirdo. For that matter, a few people use them at home, too.

Office has been on the Mac in one form or another since 1989, but it gained greater acceptance with the release of Office 2001, which was the debut of Entourage—the all-in-one email-cum-personal-information-manager-program. But before the year 2001 was even torn off the calendar, Office X exploded onto the scene with some of the first—and best—productivity programs available for the Mac's new operating system, Mac OS X. With each new version, Microsoft has not only given Office greater speed and more new features, but has strived to make them all work better together. The result is the topic of this book—Office 2004.

P3.1. Keeping Up with the Macs

Building on Office X, which incorporated new Mac OS X features like Quartz graphics, Office 2004 includes more innate Mac OS X features than ever. For instance, there's now Unicode support and thus the ability to use the Mac's Character Palette (see Figure I-1). The Thumbnails pane in Word is a dead ringer for the Thumbnails pane in Mac OS X's Preview program (not to mention Adobe Acrobat). Finally, Microsoft has outfitted Office 2004 with full AppleScriptability.

Furthermore, much of what's new in Office 2004 is unique and innovative. From the new Notebook layout and audio notes features in Word, to the all-encompassing Project Center in Entourage, there's less reason than ever to click out of Office to get things done on your Mac.

Other new features are more modest in size but carry substantial timesaving potential. You'll now see onscreen Smart Buttons pop up offering immediate help with error correction or formatting cleanup. The new Toolbox palette offers instant access to features that were once hidden away—like the Dictionary and Clipboard (now called Scrapbook). And talk about speed, Excel now has one-click chart building.

Figure I-1. The Navigation pane (left) is a fast new way to navigate your Word documents. Interfacing with the Mac OS X Character Palette (right) further enhances Office X's integration into Macdom. To use it, choose Edit Special Characters in the Finder, pick a character, and then click Insert.

P3.2. More Integrated Than Ever

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint started out as individual, disparate programs, but beginning with Office 2001, Microsoft began to design the programs of the suite as a cohesive whole. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have grown to look and work more alike, and even share each other's components. With Office 2004's new Project Center, you can both do your work and organize your life without leaving the comfort of Office, especially if you work from home or run a small business. For example:

  • Entourage's new Project Center allows you to formulate, track, and modify projects across the entire Office 2004 spectrum. This clever feature not only tracks your PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, and Excel files, but keeps a project-specific calendar, organizes your email, and keeps your project-related clippings in one handy location.

  • The improved Project Gallery lets you start a new Word, Excel, Entourage, or PowerPoint document from within any of the other programs.

  • In your Entourage email, you can use Word features like AutoCorrect and AutoFormat for bulleted lists and other fancy formatting. You can also check your spelling with Word's spell checker, so no more excuses!

  • The names and addresses entered in Entourage become AutoText entries in Word, so that you can type just a few letters of a person's name to paste in the full address when typing a letter. In fact, the Contact toolbar lets you select, find, update, and use contacts in any Office program, without even launching Entourage.

  • You can drag and drop any text, picture, or other object you create from any Office application into any other—or even to the desktop. If you've ever needed to put clip art in a spreadsheet, here's your chance.

  • Office 2004 has an abundance of drawing tools and picture-editing tools (red-eye removal, cropping, and so on) that you can use in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • By clicking a flag icon on Word, Entourage, Excel, and PowerPoint toolbars, you can set up onscreen reminders that get added to the Entourage calendar. When the time comes, a dialog box appears onscreen to remind you when to follow up on a specific document or project.

  • Smart Buttons in Excel and Word help you match formatting and incorporate automatic features in both programs.

  • A single spelling checker looks over your Word essays, Excel spreadsheets, Power-Point slideshows, and even Entourage email.

  • You can scan or import digital camera images directly into any of the programs.

    Rather than marketing the programs individually, Microsoft pushes the Office suite for the same reason that there's one Missing Manual that covers all four programs: If you use only one of the Office programs without the others, you miss out on a lot of timesaving shortcuts.

Office's Three Delicious Flavors

Office 2004 comes in different versions for different needs—three to be exact. This book is based on the Standard Edition, which is your plain, vanilla Office. Just the four main Office programs—Word, Excel, Entourage, and PowerPoint—and a bunch of supporting mini-programs. It retails for $400, which is less than buying any two of those programs individually.

The Professional Edition is the pumped-up, supercharged version for those whose work requires not only Office, but a Windows PC. It includes everything found in the Standard Edition plus Virtual PC 7, which essentially gives your Mac the power to run Windows and most Windows programs (sold separately). This version goes for $500, but don't bother unless you have the 700 MHz Mac with 3 GB extra space to run it on.

For the academic world, there's the Student and Teacher Edition. It's the same as the Standard Edition at the pared-down price of $149, but you must be able to prove that you're a teacher or a student (or the parent of one).

If you own Office 98 or later, you can upgrade to Office 2004 and save yourself $160 for the Standard Edition ($180 for Professional). Consult www.microsoft.com/mac for additional information.

P3.3. What's New in Office 2004

The shimmering, Aqua-enhanced splash that Office X made on the scene was a hard act to follow, but Microsoft gave Office 2004 significant improvements over its predecessor, Office X. Some, like Notebook Layout view and the Project Center, are eye-catching, but others are less readily apparent. Here's a list of the most interesting new features.

P3.3.1. Word

  • Notebook Layout view. More than just a new view that looks like lined paper, Notebook Layout view is a quick way to take, outline, and organize notes. The view features a formatting palette that's slimmed down to the essential functions, and the ability to take audio notes right in your document with a single click of your mouse. Just the ticket for those long social studies lectures or business meetings.

  • Improved Change Tracking. Change Tracking is now much more stable, and boasts a revamped toolbar that makes its features more accessible. You can now display changes in balloons that float in the document margins, which makes them easier to spot. On the downside, inserted and deleted text can be harder to deal with. (If you don't like the change, worry not. You can always tell Word to track changes more like the old-fashioned way.)


    If you're just now switching from Windows to Mac, give thanks. Word's Change Tracking feature now looks and works more like its Windows counterpart.

  • Remodeled Formatting Palette. Subtle changes makes text syles easier to apply and modify. The new Add Objects panel means fewer trips to the menu bar to insert things like AutoText and Drawing objects.

  • Smart Buttons. A Smart Button pops onto your window just after Word makes an AutoCorrection. With a quick click of the mouse, you can choose to accept or reject the suggestion. Smart Buttons also let you determine the formatting of pasted text.

  • Send as HTML mail. With one swift command, you can plunk your fully formatted Word text into the body of an email, ready for sending.

P3.3.2. Excel

  • Page Layout View. The cool Page Layout view that you've used in Word is now available in a tasty new Excel 2004 flavor. You can review, change, and redesign your workbooks onscreen, confident that they'll print just as they're displayed.

  • Cool Charts. Now you can add charts to your Excel spreadsheet with just a single click in the Formatting Palette. You'll find everything from area charts to line graphs waiting for your instant gratification.

  • Smart Buttons. Just as in Word, these small pop-up tools let you perform quick formatting-on-the-fly without a side trip to the menu bar.

P3.3.3. PowerPoint

  • Presenter Tools. These new tools help keep presenters organized by displaying, in a private window, the slide currently being shown and what's in the queue. There's also an onscreen clock and a place for notes that only the presenter can see.

  • Better Transitions. Microsoft has worked hard to make PowerPoint prettier, and it shows. PowerPoint includes smoother transitions and more than 200 animations. That's enough to dress up even the Gettysburg Address.

  • New Design Templates. Can't get started? Just don't have any ideas for your presentation's format? PowerPoint now has over 100 templates for your presenting pleasure.

P3.3.4. Entourage

  • The Project Center. The big kahuna for people who use Entourage to organize their lives. The Project Center provides the ability to organize and track any kind of pursuit, project, or endeavor in one convenient location. Better still, the Project Center works across the entire Office suite, so it can keep track of your files, remind you when meetings and milestones occur, share documents with fellow employees, and more. (Sorry, Entourage still can't write the final report for you.)

  • New View. Entourage now offers a three-pane view, with the preview pane on the right side of the window. Microsoft claims that people read short lines more easily, so their three-pane view is the way to go.

  • Archiving. If you're buried in email overload, Entourage has made it easier to store away old email, contact, and project data in exported archive packages, keeping your hard drive clean and your data safe.

  • Improved Calendar Printing. With improved calendar printing, you gain more control over more layouts.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server. You can now connect to an Exchange Server, just like all those Windows Outlook people you work with. (Unfortunately, this book doesn't tackle the behemoth that is Exchange Server; see page 380.)

P3.3.5. Office as a Whole

  • Unicode Support. Now that Office has jumped on the Unicode bandwagon, you can type in virtually any language using the Mac's keyboard layouts without any additional software. It also helps make Office work with Exchange Server (see above), and the Mac OS X Character Palette (Figure 1-1).

  • Toolbox. The Toolbox provides a window into Office's new Project Center, a gateway into a set of improved reference tools, a method to check the compatibility of your documents, and quick access to your Scrapbook (another new feature in Office 2004). You can drag snippets of text, pictures, and lots more into the Scrapbook, and then access them from your other Office programs.

  • Compatibility Reports. Although Office 2004 can open and work with documents from Office 98, 2001, and X for Mac; Office 97, 2000, and XP for Windows; and AppleWorks 6, certain program features can hamper the process. New compatibility features help you find—and fix—such problems.

  • New Project Gallery options. As described on page 657, the Project Gallery offers a wider variety of templates and wizards, in addition to new options that let you access the Project Center, customize the Project Gallery to suit your tastes, and avail yourself of new Office training tools.

  • AutoUpdate. Don't be left behind when Microsoft comes out with a stability-enhancing or bug-fixing update. This new mini-program lets you know as soon as one's available. (See the box on page 8.)

P3.4. The Very Basics

You'll find very little jargon or nerd terminology in this book. You will, however, encounter a few terms and concepts that you'll see frequently in your Macintosh life. They include:

  • Clicking. This book offers three kinds of instructions that require you to use the mouse or trackpad attached to your Mac. To click means to point the arrow cursor at something onscreen and then—without moving the cursor at all—to press and release the clicker button on the mouse (or laptop trackpad). To double-click, of course, means to click twice in rapid succession, again without moving the cursor at all. And to drag means to move the cursor while keeping the button continuously pressed.

    When you're told to

    -click something, you click while pressing the c key (next to the Space bar). Such related procedures as Shift-clicking, Option-clicking, and Control-clicking work the same way—just click while pressing the corresponding key in the lower corner of your keyboard.

  • Menus. The menus are the words in the lightly striped bar at the top of your screen. The menu titles are slightly different in each of the Office programs. You can either click one of these words to open a pull-down menu of commands (and then click again on a command), or click and hold the button as you drag down the menu to the desired command (and release the button to activate the command). Either method works fine.

  • Keyboard shortcuts. Every time you take your hand off the keyboard to move the mouse, you lose time and potentially disrupt your creative flow. That's why many experienced Mac fans use keystroke combinations instead of menu commands wherever possible.

    -B, for example, is a universal keyboard shortcut for boldface type throughout Office 2004 (as well as in most other Mac programs).

    -P opens the Print dialog box,

    -S saves whatever document you're currently working in, and

    -M minimizes the current window to the Dock.

    When you see a shortcut like

    -W (which closes the current window), it's telling you to hold down the

    key, and, while it's down, type the letter W, and then release both keys.

  • Pop-up buttons. The tiny arrows beside many of Office 2004's buttons are easy to overlook—but don't. Each one reveals a pop-up menu of useful commands. For instance, the arrow button next to the Undo button on the Standard toolbar lets you choose any number of actions to undo. Meanwhile, the arrow next to the New button in Entourage lets you specify what kind of item you want to create anew—an appointment for the calendar, an address book entry, and so on.

  • Choice is good. Microsoft wouldn't be Microsoft if it didn't offer you several ways to trigger a particular command. Sure enough, everything you could ever wish to do in Office 2004 is accessible by a menu command or by clicking a toolbar button or by pressing a key combination. Some people prefer the speed of keyboard shortcuts; others like the satisfaction of a visual command array available in menus or toolbars.

One thing's for sure, however: You're not expected to memorize all of these features. In fact, Microsoft's own studies indicate that most people don't even know about 80 percent of its programs' features, let alone use them all. And that's OK. Great novels, Pulitzer Prize–winning articles, and successful business ventures have all been launched by people who never got past Open and Save.

On the other hand, as you skim this book, be aware that the way you've been doing things in Word or Excel since 1998 may no longer be the fastest or easiest. Every new keystroke or toolbar you add to your repertoire may afford you more free time to teach ancient Greek to 3-year-olds or start your own hang-gliding club.

As for the programmers in Redmond, let them obsess about how many different ways they can think of to do the same thing. You're under no obligation to try them all.

P3.5. About This Book

Office 2004 comes in a shiny, attractive package adorned with a distinctive stylized "O"logo. What you won't find inside, however, is a printed manual. To learn this vast set of software programs, you're expected to rely on sample documents in the Project Gallery, a PDF guide, and built-in help screens.


You can learn how to use Office's Help system in this book's Appendix B, which you can download from the "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanual.com.

Although Office Help is detailed and concise, you need to know what you're looking for before you can find it. You can't mark your place (you lose your trail in the Help program every time you close an Office program), you can't underline or make marginal notes, and, even with a laptop, reading in bed or by firelight just isn't the same.

The purpose of this book, then, is to serve as the manual that should have accompanied Office 2004. Although you may still turn to online help for the answer to a quick question, this book provides step-by-step instructions for all major (and most minor) Office features, including those that have always lurked in Office but you've never quite understood. This printed guide provides an overview of the ways this comprehensive software package can make you act like a one-person, all-purpose office.

P3.5.1. About the Outline

  • This book is divided into five parts, each containing several chapters.

  • Parts 1 through 4, Word, Entourage, Excel, and PowerPoint, cover in detail each of the primary Office programs. Each part begins with an introductory chapter that covers the basics. Additional chapters delve into the more advanced and less-frequently used features.

  • Part 5, Office as a Whole, shows how the programs work together for even more productivity and creativity. For example, it covers the Project Gallery and Toolbox, the graphics features that work in all Office programs, how to customize Office's menus and keystrokes, and more.


Three appendixes await you on the "Missing CD-ROM" page at www.missingmanuals.com in electronic form: Appendix A explains the Office online help system; Appendix B offers guidance in installing, updating, and troubleshooting the software; and Appendix C, “Office 2004: Menu by Menu” describes the function of each menu command in each of the four major programs, with cross-references to the book in your hands (where these features are discussed more completely).

Office Up to Date

Writing complex software is never easy—and few companies write more complex software than Microsoft. It's also no wonder that few companies issue more "Service Packs" and updates than Microsoft—with the possible exception of Apple. You'll do yourself a big favor by making sure that you have the most updated versions of both Office 2004 and Mac OS X).

To get the latest Office update, go to www.microsoft.com/mac and look under "Quick Downloads" at the right of the page. When you reach the download page, follow the instructions onscreen.

Of course, you can avoid all that hassle if you wish. When you install Office 2004, it automatically installs Microsoft's AutoUpdate for Mac. After that, your Mac will periodically check Microsoft's Web site and prompt you to download the latest updates to your Office suite. You can determine how often you want to check for updates by double-clicking the Microsoft AutoUpdate icon in your Applications folder—daily, weekly, or monthly. Or turn on the Manually radio button. That way, AutoUpdate will run only when you launch it and click Check for Updates.

With the help of AutoUpdate, you'll always have every update and fix that Microsoft makes to Office 2004, including the first and most important update, Service Pack 1. Among other things, you'll find that Word crashes a lot less often.

There's no downside to installing Service Pack 1 (although it did interfere with Word's ability to insert hyperlinks into documents, an effect which is hopefully only temporary; see page 300). In fact, this book assumes that you've already done so.

P3.5.2. About These Arrows

Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you'll find sentences like this one: "Open the System folderLibrariesFonts folder."That's shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to open three nested folders in sequence. That instruction might read: “On your hard drive, you'll find a folder called System. Open that. Inside the System folder window is a folder called Libraries. Open that. Inside that folder is yet another one called Fonts. 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-2.

Figure I-2. When you read "Choose ViewToolbarsDrawing" in a Missing Manual, that means: "Click the View menu to open it; click Toolbars in that menu; choose Drawing in the resulting submenu." (If you read "Choose EditPreferencesMail tab," that means you should click the tab called Mail in the dialog box that appears.)

P3.5.3. About MissingManuals.com

At the missingmanuals.com Web site, 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 Errata 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 own 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.

P3.5.4. Safari-Enabled

When you see a Safari®-enabled icon on the cover of your favorite technology book, that means the book is available online through the O'Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf.

Safari offers a solution that's better than e-Books. It's a virtual library that lets you easily search thousands of top tech books, cut and paste code samples, download chapters, and find quick answers when you nee the most accurate, current information. Try it free at http://safari.oreilly.com.

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