Author: Stephanie Krieger
Technical Reviewer: Beth Melton
Publisher: Microsoft Press http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/9491.aspx
Paperback: 704 pages
Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.3 x 1.9 inches (22.6 x 18.5 x 4.8 cm)
Shipping Weight: 3 lb., 12 oz. (1.7 Kg)
List Price: USD$49.99
Ask not what your software can doÖ.Ask what you can do with your software.
Who would your boss rather have on staff: an expert on
Microsoft Office System 2007 or an expert on creating effective, easy-to-manage
Stephanie Kriegerís new book is based on the arresting and
gratifying notion that what your boss wants and needs is someone who can create
effective, easy-to-manage documents (including worksheets and presentations),
because such documents are the foundation of an effective organization.
Does this mean that Kriegerís book gives short shrift to the
capabilities of the new Microsoft Office System 2007? Not at all. It just means
that the book offers effective ways to think about documents, worksheets, and
presentations while showing how best to create and manage them with the
Microsoft Office System 2007.
The fact that the word ďAdvancedĒ appears in the title is
not an accident. The book doesnít tell how to save or print documents or check
spelling. Instead, it tells how to plan documents and how to stay in control of
them. It discusses special considerations governing documents that will be
distributed electronically. It describes how work teams can effectively collaborate
on documents. Within this conceptual framework, it offers detailed overviews of
features that are new to the applications in Microsoft Office System 2007, plus
step-by-step procedures for using those features to improve personal and
organizational efficiency and the quality of documents.
The book exhibits respect for the reader throughout. Each
advanced section starts by declaring what the reader needs to know ahead of
time in order to benefit from that section. Cross-references (to other locations
within the book and to other resources found elsewhere) are provided for
readers who need more information.
An abbreviated, high-level table of contents appears at the
beginning of the book, followed immediately by a more detailed table of
contents. A specialized index of troubleshooting topics is found at the back of
the book, just before the main index. A fully searchable electronic version of
the text is provided on an accompanying CD that also includes recorded webcasts
by the author and numerous other resources.
Experienced users of Office who are new to the Microsoft
Office System 2007 will appreciate the bookís focus on new features. They
neednít worry about becoming bogged down in discussions of features already
familiar to them from previous releases of Office.
The book covers the new Open XML file formats, the new Ribbon
interface, the new graphics engine, and the new Themes for managing the look
and feel of documents across applications and across document sets.
The chapters on Word 2007 cover new tools for managing and applying
styles, new tools for working with graphics, new Quick Parts for rapid assembly
of new documents, and new Content Controls for displaying data pulled from
external sources or entered by the user. The chapters on Excel 2007 cover new
tools for formatting worksheets, new charting capabilities, new refinements in
working with PivotTables and PivotCharts, and tips for generating Visio
diagrams from worksheet data. The chapters on PowerPoint cover new tools for working
with presentation graphics, new functionality for custom slide layouts, and new
tools for formatting text.
OneNote, Windows SharePoint Services Workspaces, and Groove
Workspaces are discussed only briefly, with an eye toward helping users
understand how these items can contribute to personal and organizational
In keeping with the bookís advanced level and its goal of creating
and managing effective documents, Krieger shows how templates can contribute
content, design, and functionality to such documents. She argues that even non-programmers
can exploit the new Open XML file formats and other new features of Office by
relying on the VBA macro language. Then she removes one possible barrier by
providing an impressively comprehensive (and comprehensible) introduction to
the VBA language and to the VBA editor built into Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The book contains occasional passages that could have been made
more clear by a knowledgeable editor, but for the most part Kriegerís writing
is not only clear and well structured but free of the overly technical
character exhibited by some books on software. Most readers will appreciate the
practical perspective that she brings to her subject, particularly when
addressing how to think about the formatting and organization of documents. (Many
readers will be left wanting even more guidance on these important yet
The book has an insider quality to it, which isnít
surprising, given that it was published by Microsoft Press. The positive side
of this is that Krieger clearly enjoyed frequent access to the development
teams responsible for Microsoft Office System 2007. Such access undoubtedly
contributed to the accuracy and completeness of her work. Krieger also
benefited from the insights of her technical reviewer (Beth Melton, a widely
respected authority on Microsoft Office).
The negative side of Kriegerís close association with the
development teams is that she sometimes includes gratuitous descriptions of her
interactions with them. She also includes a few personal anecdotes that will be
viewed by some readers as important foundations for her recommendations but by
others as a failure to separate herself from her subject.
In a crowded field that includes beginnersí step-by-step
tutorials and comprehensive but undiscriminating 1,200-page doorstops,
Kriegerís book stands out for its thoughtful effort to help experienced users create
and manage effective documents. Users who read her book are likely to find
themselves in a better position to please their bosses and move their