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Microsoft Corporation's Office products have an installed base of millions of licensed users. More than 90% of the Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Office. Microsoft designed the latest Office 2003 to be easier to use than previous versions and added more integration among applications and the Internet. You won't regret your decision to learn and use Office 2003. With the Office 2003 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 2003 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 2003 users. Readers rarely believe that lofty claim for good reason, but the design of this book and the nature of Office 2003 make it possible for this book to address such a wide audience.

Readers unfamiliar with Windows–based software will find plenty of introductory help here that brings them quickly up to speed. This book teaches you how to work within Office 2003 as well as how to manage many of the Internet-based Office 2003 elements that you need to use Office 2003 in today's online world. 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 2003. Keep in mind that Office 2003 is similar to previous Office versions but includes new features, improvements, and Web-based add-ons to keep Office gurus intrigued for a long time. This book primarily teaches the Office 2003 Professional Edition, the edition that includes all the Office 2003 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 2003 from a typical user's point of view. Office 2003 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 2003 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 2003 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 2003 actions you need to make Office 2003 work for you.

Can This Book Really Teach Office 2003 in 24 Hours?

Yes. You can master each chapter in one hour. (By the way, chapters are called hours throughout 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 2003 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 2003 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 indicates that you select the Save As option from the File menu. All menus in this book appear in full even though Office 2003 users can elect to display only the personalized menu options they use most.

In addition to typographical conventions, the following special elements 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.


Take some time out of your 24-hour tutorial to sit back and enjoy a more in-depth look at a particular feature. The sidebars are useful for exploring unusual Office 2003 features and uses and show you additional ways to utilize the hour's material.

When you learn about a new feature in Office 2003, a New icon will appear in the margin as you can see here. The New icon indicates that the feature is either new in Office 2003 or that the feature is redesigned to work differently from previous versions. Microsoft attempted to make Office 2003 simple to move to from previous Office versions but the new features and simpler tools make Office 2003 better than ever.

Start Your 24-Hour Clock

You are about to begin. Let's synchronize our 24-hour clocks and turn the page to enter the world of Office 2003.

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