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Microsoft Corporation's Office products have an installed base of more than 22 million licensed users. More than 90% of the Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Office. Microsoft designed Office XP to be more user friendly as well as more integrated among applications and the Internet. You won't regret your decision to learn and use Office XP. With the Office XP skills that you master in these 24 lessons, you will know the most popular application software on earth.

You probably are anxious to get started with your 24-hour Office XP tutorial. Take just a few preliminary moments to acquaint yourself with the design of this book, as described in the next few sections.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book is for both beginning and advanced Office XP users. Readers rarely believe that lofty claim for good reason, but the design of this book and the nature of Office XP make it possible for this book to address such a wide audience. Here's why: Office XP is a major improvement over the previous Office products.

Readers unfamiliar with Windows–based environments will find plenty of introductory help here that brings them quickly up to speed. This book teaches you how to start and exit Office XP as well as how to manage many of the Internet-based Office XP elements that you need to use Office XP in today's online world. If you are new to the Internet, this book helps you get started and shows you how to make the most of the Internet and Office XP. This book talks to beginners without talking down to them.

This book also addresses those who presently use a Microsoft Office product. With your fundamental Office understanding, you will appreciate the new features and added power of Office XP. Keep in mind that Office XP is similar to previous Office versions but includes plenty of new features, improvements, and Web-based add-ons to keep Office gurus intrigued for a long time. This book teaches the Office XP Professional Edition, the edition that includes all the Office XP products and the one that sells the best.

What This Book Does for You

Although this book is not a complicated reference book, you learn almost every aspect of Office XP from a typical user's point of view. Office XP includes many advanced technical details that most users never need, and this book does not waste your time with those. You want to get up to speed with Office XP in 24 hours, and this book helps you fulfill that goal.

Those of you who are tired of the plethora of quick-fix computer titles cluttering today's shelves will find a welcome reprieve here. This book presents both the background and descriptions that a new Office XP user needs. In addition to the background, this book is practical and provides more than 100 step-by-step walkthroughs that you can work through to gain practical hands-on experience. These tasks guide you through all the common Office XP actions you need to make Office XP work for you.

Can This Book Really Teach Office XP in 24 Hours?

Yes. You can master each chapter in one hour. (By the way, chapters are referred to as hours in the rest of this book.) The material is balanced with mountains of tips, shortcuts, and methods that make your hours productive and hone your Office XP skills.

Conventions Used in This Book

Each hour ends with a question-and-answer session that addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about that hour's topic.

This book uses several common conventions to help teach the Office XP topics. Here is a summary of those typographical conventions:

  • Commands, computer output, and words you type appear in a special monospaced computer font.

  • To type a shortcut key, such as Alt+F, press and hold the first key, and then press the second key before releasing both keys.

  • If a task requires you to select from a menu, the book separates menu commands with a comma. For example, File, Save As is used to select the Save As option from the File menu. All menus in this book are shown in full even though Office XP users can elect to display only the personalized menu options they use most.

In addition to typographical conventions, the following special elements are included to set off different types of information to make them easily recognizable:


Special notes augment the material you read in each hour. These notes clarify concepts and procedures.


You find numerous tips that offer shortcuts and solutions to common problems.


The cautions are about pitfalls. Reading them saves you time and trouble.

Coffee Break Sidebars

Take some time out of your 24-hour tutorial to sit back and enjoy a more in-depth look at a particular feature. The coffee break sidebars are useful for exploring unusual Office XP features and uses and show you additional ways to utilize the hour's material.

A glossary in the back of the book provides any definitions you need in one handy location.

Start Your 24-Hour Clocks

You are about to begin. Let's synchronize our 24-hour clocks and turn the page to enter the world of Office XP.

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