The book you now hold is an insider's guide to Microsoft Office 2000, an exciting collection of application programs and accessories that every business and home can use. We have designed this guidebook with the practical goal of making you an expert in Office 2000 commands, procedures, and techniques. When you're finished, you'll have all the skills necessary to create a wide range of professional and personal documents, and you'll know a few tricks that have been practiced only in the enigmatic halls of Microsoft. The most innovative refinements in Office 2000 are related to the Internet, so if you're looking to leverage your work with Web publishing or online collaboration, just power up your modem, sit back, and relax: We'll show you all the Web tricks right here.
Office 2000 Small Business contains Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Outlook, and a collection of powerful small business tools that integrate directly with the Office 2000 software suite. This book shows you how to get the most from these best-selling applications and describes ways that you can use them together to create professional-looking reports, presentations, financial models, and Web pages. We've designed this book to help get you up and running quickly, learn the basics of the Office applications, and then build on your new skills by exploring advanced concepts. If you follow the tips, tutorials, and examples in this book, you'll be creating and printing documents the very first day you use the Office software. As you gain experience with Office, you can also use the book as a reference to the advanced features and capabilities of your applications. A comprehensive index, the table of contents, and our cross-referencing system will guide you instantly to the solutions you need.
Because Microsoft designed the applications in the Office suite to be used together, you'll be pleased to find that many of the skills you learn in one application will be useful in another. Rather than simply listing the features of each Office application, this book shows you how to accomplish useful work with the Office tools. When it's advantageous to do so, we show you how to use your Office applications in concert to build a special document or create a report. To structure the presentation, we've divided the book into eight major parts.
Part 1 of the book shows you how to master essential skills using the Office software. You'll learn how to start and use each Office application, how to manage programs using the Windows taskbar, and how to perform essential skills such as navigating windows, completing dialog boxes, naming and saving files, and printing documents. You'll also learn how to open, share, and search Office documents on the Internet World Wide Web (a mouthful we'll simply abbreviate as the Web). If you're new to Office applications or the Internet, this is the place you can learn the fundamental skills used in all Office documents.
Part 2 of the book covers Microsoft Word, the word processing application that you can use to create memos, newsletters, reports, and other desktop publishing projects. The first few chapters in this part introduce Word and its newest features; the remaining chapters teach Word's intermediate and advanced features, including document formatting, using styles and templates, designing columns and pages, creating mailing lists, customizing Word, and working in workgroups. If you're an avid user of Word, this could be the only product documentation you ever need.
Part 3 of the book presents Microsoft Excel, the electronic spreadsheet that you can use to create ledgers, invoices, charts, and powerful financial models. If you're new to spreadsheets, you can learn the basics in Chapter 15, "Building a Worksheet" After this foundation chapter, Part 3 introduces you to the depth and breadth of Excel. You'll learn how to use workbooks to organize information, build sophisticated formulas and functions, create presentation-quality charts, manage database information by using lists, customize Excel to suit your needs, analyze business data by creating "what-if?" scenarios, and increase your productivity by using Microsoft Visual Basic macros. Check out Chapter 23, "Analyzing Business Data" if you've never used Excel's Solver feature, and learn how easily you can apply it to help you make complex quantity and pricing decisions.
Part 4 of the book covers Microsoft Outlook, an information management program that allows you to send and receive electronic mail, manage your schedule, make appointments, and track daily tasks. Outlook has gained in popularity significantly over the last year, so we've enlarged and enhanced this part of the book considerably to provide the most comprehensive coverage available.
Part 5 presents Microsoft Publisher, a new addition to the Office Small Business software suite. Publisher is a desktop publishing software package, designed specifically for the newsletters, flyers, brochures, and posters created in small businesses. In this section, we show you how to work with Publisher commands and layout tools, walk you through several desktop publishing wizards, and share our favorite secrets for distributing publications on the Web. If you've never used Publisher before, consider this your introduction.
Part 6 explores the four small business tools that are essential components of Office 2000 Small Business: Microsoft Small Business Financial Manager, Microsoft Direct Mail Manager, Microsoft Small Business Customer Manager, and Microsoft Business Planner. These tools work in conjunction with Excel to help you manage typical transactions in a small business (the sort of tasks you probably handled in the past with ad-hoc ledgers or general-purpose spreadsheet programs). If you need to track invoices, payments, paychecks, or business mailings, give these small business tools a try.
Part 7 of the book focuses on using the Office applications together to prepare reports, presentations, and other projects that benefit from integrated use of the Office tools. In this part of the book, you'll learn how to share data among Office applications, and how to use the Office Binder to store several files in one convenient location.
Part 8 provides some practical icing on the cake: a complete discussion of writing Office application macros with a built-in programming language called Visual Basic. In this part, you'll learn how to record macros in your applications and edit them in the Visual Basic Editor, a powerful programming environment with its own menus, commands, and toolbars. Next you'll learn how to write your own macros from scratch, which lets you significantly increase your day-to-day productivity in Office. These macros will allow you to open and close documents, build tables automatically, process text, display custom dialog boxes, send electronic mail, and browse the Web.
Running Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business is for active business professionals who create or use electronic documents as part of their job. We designed the book to teach fundamental skills to beginners and to provide ongoing, essential information for experienced users of the Office software. Most Office users are familiar with one or two applications, but are less familiar with the remaining programs. To cover all the possibilities, we start from the beginning in each section, and then we move quickly to intermediate and advanced topics that will be helpful to readers who have a variety of skills.
The book contains step-by-step instructions and examples that cover the breadth of each Office product so that you can use this book as either a tutorial or a reference. After you learn the skills you need, we hope that you'll keep the book by your computer to consult when you have a question about your software or want the challenge of using advanced options to make your work product even more professional and attractive. To give you many entry points to the material, we've included sidebars, tips, notes, warnings, and cross-referencing information to help you get the most from your purchase. By the time you finish using this book, your colleagues might think of you as some sort of "Office guru."
This book contains concise descriptions of the commands and features in Office, plus step-by-step instructions (often beside a picture of an actual application window) that you can follow to complete a task or solve a problem. Most of the instructions rely on mouse actions, so you'll see the directives click, double-click, right-click, and drag a good deal. If you're not familiar with the mouse or with running commands in Windows 98, we recommend that you read Running Microsoft Windows 98 (Craig Stinson, 1998), a tutorial and reference published by Microsoft Press, or a similar guidebook about working with the Windows operating system.
Occasionally, we give you shortcut key combinations for running commands in Office applications. For example, Ctrl+S means that you hold down one of the Ctrl keys on your keyboard and press the letter S. If we have important information or a helpful tip to show you, we'll include it in a shaded box that has a Tip icon. Finally, wherever you encounter the See Also icon, you find references to other sections in the chapter or the book that provide additional, related information.
Microsoft Press has created a Web site especially for this book, and we invite you to use it extensively as you read Running Office 2000 Small Business. On the Web site, you'll find the book's sample projects and exercises, frequently asked questions about the book and the Office 2000 software, contact information, and useful Office links and resources. We believe this is the best way to keep you informed about Office 2000 and the dynamic nature of our subject, so please keep in touch!
To connect to the book's Web site, browse to the following address using Microsoft Internet Explorer or another Web browser:
After you are connected to the site, click the Reader's Corner icon for a list of interactive options.
The sample files on the Running Office 2000 Web site are designed to give you hands-on experience working with Office application files. You can use them to experiment with the techniques shown in the book, as templates for your own projects, or as starting points for your own exploration of Office. You can download the files by individual application from the book's Web site, or as a group. To download the sample files, follow these steps:
Alternatively, you can download all of the sample files by clicking Download All Files. The sample files are stored in a compressed format to reduce download time, and the files are self-extracting. (A program runs automatically to place the uncompressed files on your system.) Detailed instructions for using the individual files are located in the book.
If you choose to download all of the sample files, the compressed data file will take up about 1.4MB on your system. The files are compressed in the WinZip format.
As our computers and electronic devices count down (or, more precisely, up) to the year 2000, computer experts, industry analysts, and social commentators have concerned themselves with a threat known as the year 2000 problem (also called Y2K or the millennium bug). In this section, we'll briefly investigate the year 2000 problem, which can briefly be described as a family of related software defects that collectively have the potential to hinder or completely disable software systems that cannot properly process dates in the twenty-first century.
As you learn about the year 2000 problem, and prepare for its consequences, there are a number of points we'd like you to consider. First, despite dire predictions, there is probably no good reason to prepare for the new millennium by holing yourself up in a mine shaft with sizable stocks of water, grain, barter goods, and ammunition. The year 2000 will not disable most computer systems, and if your personal computer was manufactured after 1996, it's likely that your hardware and systems software will require little updating or customizing.
Second, the year 2000 problem is probably best seen in the context of our general use of computers. Although the year 2000 represents something unusual and threatening to many computers, virtually all of our electronic systems encounter significant problems from time to time, and managing these glitches is simply part and parcel to working with computers, and especially to developing sophisticated application software.
The year 2000 problem is not our only technical speed bump on the road to computing paradise. Remember that not too long ago rogue computer viruses were receiving the same banner headlines that Y2K is now receiving. Before that we had the threat of computer-managed stock transactions on Wall Street, grave concerns about the potential inaccuracy of spreadsheet calculations, and of course infamous concerns about glitches in the world's bank of automated defense systems.
Our point is not that Y2K is a negligible threat to our information infrastructure—in fact, it is a serious threat—but that basically by definition computer engineering (like other scientific pursuits) will predictably bring with the wonderful gains a short list of potential problems that need a watchful eye. Accordingly, it's probably best to think about your computer as a faithful friend who, though devoted to your success and happiness, can occasionally drop the ball big-time. In our opinion, the best strategy with these devices is to remain vigilant about backing up important data files, contact lists, electronic mail, and other information in anticipation of a problem like Y2K. In addition, you should plan broadly when a problem like Y2K has been announced, by learning about the threat, analyzing your systems, and finding the necessary technical resources.
The year 2000 problem boils down to some pretty trivial mathematics. By custom, most consumers don't bother writing the current century in business or personal transactions, and so checks and casual notations typically feature an abbreviation for the date, such as 1/1/99 for January 1, 1999. Computer programmers have also used this shorthand method in their code over the years, especially when designing financial software packages that processed thousands of dated entries. This shortened date format seemed intuitive enough at the time for programmers, and also saved them significant memory resources. In addition, some earlier computer languages, like IBM OS/VS COBOL, didn't even have date formats that supported a fulsome four-digit year, so planning for the future millennium wasn't really an option.
One legacy of this problem for personal computers is that most PCs use this shorthand date format in their internal system clocks, so when the year changes from 1999 to 2000, some computers will fail to update the century portion of the date and will interpret January 1, 2000 as January 1, 1900. (In other words, the year portion of the date will increment but the century portion—which the BIOS stores in another memory location—will remain the same.) If this happens, the day of the week will also be wrong because January 1, 1900 was a Monday, but January 1, 2000 is a Saturday.
Under MS-DOS and early versions of Microsoft Windows, the operating system will likely view the year 1900 as an error, and will reset the system date to 1980—an important clue that your system needs a BIOS adjustment. However, there is some variation in the behavior of older personal computers to the year 2000 problem. Different "clone" manufacturers have used different BIOS configurations and operating systems over the years, so it is impossible to know exactly how all personal computers will respond to the year 2000 when it comes. (However, more recent computers have been fixed so that this will not be a problem—the concern is mostly older systems that won't know what to do with dates in the new millennium.)
The concern among industry analysts is that with so many systems recording the wrong internal date in the year 2000, financial calculations could be thrown out of sync. A mortgage payment made promptly on 4/1/2000, for example, could suddenly seem 100 years late if an accounting package responsible for recording the payment incorrectly identifies it as due on 4/1/1900, or a banking system could conceivably issue checks on the wrong day of the week if it incorrectly sees January 1, 2000 (a Saturday) as January 1, 1900 (a Monday).
The good news is that most personal computers produced since 1996 are compliant with year 2000 standards, and older computers that have problems can be updated with relative ease using software tools from a variety of locations on the Internet (see below). In addition, Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft NT 4.0 automatically update most BIOS routines with the proper date information, so if you're running one of these systems, your computer will automatically display the correct date and time when the year 2000 comes.
Even so, dates in the year 2000 will cause problems with some older application programs, and you may need to abandon some of these older applications for newer versions. (Alternatively, you may be able to set your clock back several years and stop it from encountering dates in the twenty-first century, but this isn't a very elegant or practical solution.) One major (albeit older) program that won't work well in the year 2000 is Microsoft Word 5.0 for MS-DOS, which has trouble opening documents that have dates in the twenty-first century, and displays incorrect summary information when you examine the files. Microsoft has identified these and other problems with older software on a Web site dedicated to the year 2000 problem, and other software vendors have created similar lists on their own corporate Web sites. The jury is still out on how large corporations with older, more complex systems will respond to the crisis, but in most cases the direct impact on customers should be manageable. (However, we do expect a few fantastic stories of computer crashes from businesses that planned poorly for the problem.)
Microsoft Office 2000 is fully compliant with the Microsoft Year 2000 Specification, and includes date formats specifically designed to address the year 2000 problem. In this book you'll see detailed information about preparing for the year 2000 problem. However, most of the work has been done for you in these applications. By thoroughly testing a variety of dates and twentieth-century formats, Microsoft has been able to verify that Office 2000 is fully compatible with the new millennium.
In addition to a thorough exploration of the features in Office 2000, we recommend the following resources to you as you ponder the implications of computing in the twenty-first century:
For support information regarding Microsoft Office, you can connect to Microsoft Technical Support on the Web at:
In the United States, you can also call Microsoft Office technical support at (425) 635-7056; in Canada, (905) 568-2294, weekdays between 6 AM and 6 PM Pacific time.
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the book and the contents of the Web site and sample files. If you would like to post a comment or concern about the book, please use one of the following e-mail addresses.
You can also send your comments via postal mail to:
Attn: Running Series Editor
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
Please note that product support isn't offered through the above addresses.
Let's start Running Office!