Microsoft has released many versions of Office over the past several years . Today, the majority of users use Office 2000. Those who have upgraded to later releases such as Office XP find that the upgrade process from Office 2000 is relatively simple because of the foundational power that Microsoft put in the Microsoft Office 2000 product.
Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One will focus on the Office 2000 version for its features, but if you use a later version, you'll be pleased to note that most of the features discussed throughout this book also work virtually identically in Office XP and versions that will be released later. One reason for this is because Microsoft put so much power in Office 2000 that the subsequent Office XP was more of a facelift than anything else. And the version released after Office XP is an even more minor upgrade from Office XP.
Office automates many of your computing chores and provides products that work in unison by sharing data among them. Office combines Microsoft's most powerful applications, such as Word and Excel, in a single package. The programs work well together and the final overall product, Microsoft Office, is called a suite of programs . You can still purchase the Office programs individually, building your own suite of products, but the Microsoft Office packages offer you the best deal.
Microsoft sells its Office suite in several versions. The three most common are
If any or all of Microsoft Office's component programs, such as PowerPoint or Excel, are unfamiliar to you, the rest of this chapter describes each one so that you'll have the big picture. The rest of this book explores each of the Office products in more detail.
You'll notice that office is used throughout this book to refer to general work and home office environments as well as Microsoft Office when Office is capitalized.