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PowerPoint has been the premiere presentation program for more than a decade. Because PowerPoint is a mature program, readers will come to this version of the program, and to this book, with varying levels of expertise and expectations.

Therefore, we've aimed this book at several audiences—we want it to truly be the “mother of all PowerPoint books.”

Who Should Read This Book

If you're just getting started, you're introduced to PowerPoint from the ground up in the first hour, yet by the end of the hour, you're ready to actually edit and present a sample presentation.

For more advanced users, we've concentrated on enhancements and tips that will enable them to include content—images, diagrams, movies, sound and animation—using the latest features of PowerPoint 2003. More important, we provide examples of how these techniques will work in your presentations in a practical way.

Even if you're a seasoned presenter, we're confident that by introducing the new features of PowerPoint 2003 for multimedia and the Web and covering sophisticated PowerPoint techniques in detail, we'll give you some valuable insights.

What This Book Does for You

This book gives you the power to communicate complex ideas to any audience using the full potential of PowerPoint 2003. Whether you just want to master the basics of outlines, titles, and bullets or use video case studies, before-and-after images, and animated charts and diagrams, you'll accomplish these tasks with confidence.

All you need to do is focus on the task at hand in each hour, and you'll “get” it. Even complex ideas such as animation and video will make sense because we cover them from a project perspective and provide insights about how to use them most effectively and how to prevent problems before they occur.

We also show you how to work smarter by using multiple presentations, template, and folder strategies, take advantage of the new PhotoAlbum and media control features, and make the most of the Diagram Gallery and animated custom diagrams.

Can This Book Really Teach PowerPoint 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 PowerPoint 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 use 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 2003 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.

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 PowerPoint 2003 features and uses and show you additional ways to utilize the hour's material.

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 PowerPoint 2003.

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