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Welcome to Microsoft Word 97. The latest release of Microsoft's flagship word processing program brings even more power and features to a program that was already considered to be the best of its type. No matter what kind of document you need to create—a simple memo, a World Wide Web page, or a 500-page report—Word can handle it, and make you look good in the process!

Word is surprisingly easy to use, but any program with so much power cannot avoid being somewhat complex. How do you go about learning the ins and outs of Word so you can start using it to get something done? You could go to a bookstore and buy one of those 1,200-page books that covers every single part of Word in excruciating detail—but do you have time to read a 1,200-page book? What you need is a quick way to learn the important parts of Word, those parts of the program that you'll need most often in your day-to-day word processing tasks. Let me say modestly that you have chosen exactly the right book!

The 10 Minute Guide to Word 97 is designed for people just like you. In these pages, you will learn the basics of Word in a series of short, easy-to-understand lessons. Each lesson is self-contained and can be completed in 10 minutes or less, permitting you to start and stop as your schedule allows. There's no padding in this book—it's loaded with clear, concise information that you really use.

What Is the 10 Minute Guide?

The 10 Minute Guide series takes a different approach to teaching people how to use a computer program. We do not attempt to cover every detail of the program. Instead, each book concentrates on the program features that are essential for most users, the features that you need to get your work done. Our goal is to teach you, as quickly and painlessly as possible, those things you need to start using the program for productive, real-world work.

Using this Book

The 10 Minute Guide to Word 97 contains a total of 27 lessons. Ideally, you should work through them in order. After reading the first five lessons, however, you can skip around to find specific information as quickly as possible. When you complete the book, you should have a good knowledge of the most important parts of Word, and should be able to complete almost all word processing tasks with ease.

Several special elements are used throughout the book to highlight specific types of information.


These are helpful suggestions to get you working more efficiently.

Plain English

Non-technical definitions of terms that may be unfamiliar to some readers.


Warning of possible problems, and information on how to solve them.

Several other of the book's features are designed to make your learning faster and easier:

  • Numbered steps provide exact instructions for commonly needed procedures.

  • Menu commands, toolbar buttons, and dialog box options that you select are printed in blue for easy recognition.

  • Text that you enter is boldface and blue.

  • Messages that appear on-screen are boldface.


While this book has but a single author, it is in many ways a team effort. Faithe Wempen, Product Development Specialist, and Theresa Mathias, Production Editor, were instrumental in converting my rough chapters into a finished product. Rick Brown, Technical Specialist, made sure that no technical errors slipped through. Thanks, everyone.

The Author

Peter Aitken is a widely read computer book author, with more than two dozen books to his credit, including 10 Minute Guide to Lotus 1-2-3. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is employed at Duke University Medical Center.


All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks have been appropriately capitalized. Que cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

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