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In this introduction

Who Should Buy This Book

How This Book Is Organized

What Is Que's Special Edition WOPR XP/2002 Pack?

Conventions Used in This Book

Arguably, Microsoft Office XP is the most important software upgrade in the history of personal computing. Consider the evidence:

  • Microsoft Office is the best-selling business application in the history of personal computing, with more than 70 million copies sold.

  • More than 2.6 million developers have built custom applications that tie directly into Office programs.

  • The two oldest Office programs—Word and Excel—are undisputed standards in the business software category.

  • Newer members of the Office team—notably FrontPage and Outlook—are among the best choices in their categories as well.

In Office XP, Microsoft has largely delivered on its promise to integrate the different programs that make up Office—toolbars, task panes, and other interface elements don't just look alike, they use the exact same code—and when you learn how to customize one application you can generally transfer the same skills to other Office programs.

Yes, Office XP still has odd inconsistencies, as well as bugs, features that don't work as advertised, and basic interface elements guaranteed to drive expert users crazy. But there are also startling usability improvements, including major improvements in some of the most basic features of Word and Excel, the oldest and most popular Office applications.

The deeper you go into Office XP, the more you find, including a sophisticated programming language—Visual Basic for Applications—that lets you automate tasks and tie together business processes in ways that are literally limited only by your imagination. Office XP also speaks fluent Internet, with superb support for Internet standards—a remarkable achievement when you consider that the World Wide Web didn't even exist when Office debuted less than a decade ago.

Given the considerable changes in Office XP, we worked long and hard to completely revamp our previous edition of this book. What you see in Special Edition Using Microsoft Office XP is meticulously reworked, sentence by sentence, to bring you the latest, most accurate, most complete information available.

Who Should Buy This Book

If you need an Office XP reference book you can rely on—one that won't bore you with the obvious, pull punches when Office comes up short, or turn mealy-mouthed when you hit the really hard parts—you have the right book in your hands.

As with other titles in Que's best-selling Special Edition Using series, this book focuses on the unique needs of business professionals and business users. We assume you're experienced with Windows, the Web, and, for the most part, previous versions of Microsoft Office. We know that Office is an absolutely essential part of your everyday working life. We're also certain you've experienced your fair share of Office bugs and annoyances firsthand. Because we're confident you've already figured out the basics, we've spent our time figuring out how these programs really work. Trust us—Office has plenty of bugs and poorly designed features, and Microsoft doesn't always make it easy to see how you can combine features or customize applications to increase productivity.

What you'll find documented here is the raw Office, in all its glory, seen through the eyes of experts who have been pushing Office to the limit for years and years. We don't gloss over the rough spots. We show you what works and what doesn't—giving real-world examples and advice for the former and, whenever possible, workarounds for the latter.

We built this book from the ground up as the first Office reference category killer. You'll find page after page after page of previously undocumented material—key details, insight, and real-world advice you can't find anywhere else. And it's all arranged so that you can get in, find the answer you need, apply it to your work at hand, and get out, in record time. There's never been a computer reference book like this: dead-on accurate, encyclopedic, but accessible and usable. It may weigh a ton, but if you need the straight scoop on anything related to Office, this is where you should look first.

If you use Office every day, the book should pay for itself in the first hour—maybe in the first ten minutes. As far as we're concerned, the only correct answer to Microsoft's "Where do you want to go today?" is "Home"—you want to get your problem solved and get home on time. We know that. Even if it seems that Microsoft doesn't.

To top it all off—to seal this book's reputation as a category killer and the best value on the market—we've included a full license of the award-winning Office add-on "Woody's Office POWER Pack," or WOPR (pronounced "Whopper") XP/2002, which you can download from Que's Web site. Tens of thousands of copies of WOPR have been sold for $49.95. The latest version, WOPR XP/2002, is available only on Que's Office XP Web site.

We hope you agree that Special Edition Using Microsoft Office XP "raises the bar" for Office reference books.

How This Book Is Organized

Special Edition Using Microsoft Office XP is organized into 8 parts. Naturally, each of the major applications in the Office suite gets its own section. Before diving into specific features of Outlook, Word, and Excel, however, we recommend you read through the sections that cover the techniques common to all applications.

Part I, "Common Tasks and Features," covers the essentials of Office, including techniques you can use to transform the Office interface into your own personal productivity center. We show you how to customize Office XP's Open and Save As dialog boxes so that you can find your working files with the fewest possible clicks (an innovation that Microsoft, er, borrowed from the WOPR 2000 utility we introduced in the previous version of this book). This section also covers Office XP's stellar graphics and document-scanning tools. Clippit, the annoying Office Assistant, has a diminished role in Office XP; if the pesky paper clip somehow survived the upgrade process on your computer, we show you how to make it disappear, permanently, in Chapter 6.

Office 2000 was no slouch at creating and editing Web pages; Office XP is even more skilled at HTML editing tasks. Turn to Chapter 7, "Using Office on the Web," for in-depth instructions on how you can create, edit, and publish sophisticated Web pages without having to tangle with HTML tags.

Outlook 2002 earns the award for most improved Office application. After you master its sometimes overwhelming interface, you'll use it to tie together contacts, calendars, tasks, and e-mail. In Part II, "Using Outlook," we'll help you tame the flood of e-mail, banish spam forever, keep your address book up to date, and set up reminders so that you never miss another appointment.

Part III, "Using Word," covers the oldest and most polished productivity application in Office. We'll walk you through every customization option (including a few you probably never even knew you needed). We'll show you how to supercharge your text-editing and formatting skills, how to manage long documents, and how to automate everyday documents so that they practically write themselves.

Part IV, "Using Excel," shows you tricks you never realized you could perform with this incredibly versatile tool. Check out the examples in our formatting chapters to see how you can turn drab rows and columns into eye-catching data graphics. We'll explain how to master any of Excel's 300+ functions, as well as which ones are worth memorizing. If you struggled with PivotTables in previous versions of Office, turn straight to Chapter 27. PivotTables (and their graphics cousins, PivotCharts) will change your life—we promise. And we'll show you how to use Excel to create bulletproof worksheets and data-entry forms that you can safely share over a network, with even the most clumsy co-workers.

Of all the Office applications, PowerPoint is probably the least appreciated. In Part V, "Using PowerPoint," we explain how this program really works, and we'll help you create compelling presentations that you can deliver in front of a large audience or a small one—or completely unattended over the Web.

In Part VI, "Other Office Applications," we focus on two extra-strength programs found in selected Office versions. Access is Microsoft's industrial-strength database management program. Beginning with Chapter 34, we explain how to build tables, forms, and reports, as well as simple (and not-so-simple) queries to find and filter data. We'll also clue you in on techniques you can use to automate everyday business tasks without having to become a programmer.

FrontPage, another high-end Office application, makes the grade as a comprehensive, useful tool for Web site designers at almost all levels of expertise. In Office XP, its integration with the rest of the suite is complete, and every serious Office user with Web aspirations should take the time to learn it. Check out Chapters 36 and 37 for details.

If you've tinkered with Word and Excel macros in previous Office versions, Part VII, "Automating Office with Macros and VBA," will take you to the next level. We explain the core concepts of VBA, and we'll help you build up a library of useful macros and mini-programs that you can use to become more productive.

If you need to install Office on one PC or several hundred, we'll run through all your options in one of two appendixes at the back of the book. In the last appendix, we'll show you how to use the valuable utilities you'll find in Que's Special Edition WOPR XP/2002 Pack (available exclusively over the Web to purchasers of this book).

What Is Que's Special Edition WOPR XP/2002 Pack?

WOPR XP/2002 (pronounced "whopper") is available exclusively through Que books. WOPR is the #1 Office add-in, providing a custom set of tools to enhance Office XP. The copy of WOPR XP/2002 available on Que's Web site is fully licensed at no additional cost to you, the owner of this book. This isn't shareware, freeware, trialware, demoware, or limited in any other way.

For more information on WOPR, see Appendix B, "What's on Que's WOPR XP/2002 Pack."

Conventions Used in This Book

Special conventions are used to help you get the most from this book and from Office XP.

Text Conventions

Various typefaces in this book identify terms and other special objects. These special typefaces include the following:

Type Meaning
Italic New terms or phrases when initially defined. An italic term followed by a page number indicates the page where that term is first defined.
Monospace Information that you type, Web addresses, or onscreen messages.
UPPERCASE Typically used to indicate Excel objects, such as functions and cell references.
Initial Caps Menus, dialog box names, dialog box elements, and commands are capitalized.

Key combinations are represented with a plus sign. For example, if the text calls for you to enter Ctrl+S, you would press the Ctrl key and the S key at the same time.

Secrets of the Office Masters

While using Office, you'll find many features that work well together or others that simply don't work well at all without some poking and prodding. We've used this chapter-ending element to point out some key areas in which you can combine features or find startlingly productive new uses for everyday features.

Special Elements

Throughout this book, you'll find Tips, Notes, Cautions, Sidebars, Cross References, and Troubleshooting Tips. These elements provide a variety of information, ranging from warnings you shouldn't miss to ancillary information that will enrich your Office experience, but isn't required reading.

Ed and Woody's "Signature" Tips

Tip from

Tips are designed to point out features, annoyances, and tricks of the trade that you might otherwise miss. These aren't wimpy, run-of-the-mill tips that you learned the first week you used Office and don't need us to tell you. Watch for our signatures on the tips to indicate some industrial-strength—and in many cases never-before-documented—information.



Notes point out items that you should be aware of, although you can skip these if you're in a hurry. Generally, we've added notes as a way to give you some extra information on a topic without weighing you down.



Pay attention to Cautions! These could save you precious hours in lost work. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Troubleshooting Notes

We designed these elements to call attention to common pitfalls that you're likely to encounter. When you see a Troubleshooting note, you can flip to the "Troubleshooting" section at the end of the chapter to learn how to solve or avoid a problem.

Cross References

Cross references are designed to point you to other locations in this book (or other books in the Que family) that will provide supplemental or supporting information. Cross references appear as follows:

→ For a full discussion of the wonders of PivotTables, see "How PivotTable and PivotChart Reports Work".


Want to Know More?

Sidebars are designed to provide information that is ancillary to the topic being discussed. Read these if you want to learn more about an application or task.

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