Tuesday , April 23 2024
Microsoft Office, the old work-horse, gets an update for 2010.

Book Review: Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out , by Ed Bott and Carl Siechert

Learn what’s new in the Microsoft Office suite for 2010, with Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out. The book covers Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and PowerPoint. Start with the “What’s New – What’s Changed” section if you want to dive right in to the software’s new features, or explore all 900 pages in this comprehensive volume.

Those ready for cloud computing will be interested in using Office 2010 via a web browser, or Windows Live SkyDrive free service, for online document storage, which is also explained in the book. Corporate users can get up to speed on collaboration, file sharing and security issues. It isn’t easy to use these features, but Bott and Siechert explain the steps with great care.

Within each of the book’s major sections, the features, functions and tricks of 2010 Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook and PowerPoint are fully explored.

If you’re a power user of the Microsoft Office suite, you’ll be glad to know it now has multiple paste formats and the ability to control the fly-away cursor when trying to cut or copy text.

Because this book skips all the cartoons, jokes, and fluff in other publications, you’ll learn much more than you could just browsing through the programs. For example, speech recognition is a built-in function of Windows 7 computers, so dictating in the Office suite now works through the operating system interface. If you still use Windows XP, you won’t be able to use speech recognition if you upgrade to Office 2010.

Another change you many not like is the default paragraph spacing in Word. Why would they change that? I wish I could tell you why, but of course, the book shows you how to return it to the default. In Office 2010 instead of single space, the paragraph spacing is now 1.15 lines after each paragraph. You can change the style back to Word 2003 if the extra spacing doesn’t suit you.

As expected, Word is now a more congenial tool for blog posts. Since the 2007 version, Word can publish straight to your blog. Once you set up your log-in information, clicking “Publish” in a document will post to your blog account. In fact, you can add custom blog templates to your Start menu as a document format. An added advantage to composing your blog posts in Word, of course, is that you can save them locally, or write them offline and upload when you’re ready.

These are the kind of tips you get from reading this Microsoft Press book, instead of being frustrated when the new Office 2010 suite doesn’t do what you want. Throughout Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out “Notes” and “Inside Out” boxes guide you to major software changes, shortcuts and quirks. Both Bott and Siechert are highly regarded authors of many other Microsoft titles.

If you’re not familiar with OneNote, spend some time on this section. OneNote has been around for a few years, mostly ignored in the Office Home & Student version. Now, it’s been promoted to a module in every edition of Office. I’ve used OneNote for four years and can confirm it is a powerful virtual notebook, and is virtually inexhaustible. Organize anything by topics and tabs in a notebook, then fill it with text, handwriting, paste from the web, print, snip and clip and dictate.

If you’ve viewed a PowerPoint presentation lately, you may have noticed the software received a huge upgrade in 2007. The appearance is vastly improved, and now you have easy tools to create slide masters, photo albums, broadcast your presentation and even save it to video format and record narration.

Each chapter in Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out shares the authors’ first-hand knowledge in the form of “Tweaks and Tips.” Use them to ensure your Office 2010 experiences will include some of the new powerful features, instead of using Office the same way you always did in the older versions.

About Helen Gallagher

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