I've used Word and Excel. Do I need the other Office products?
Only you can answer that question because only you know whether you need a program to keep track of your appointments and contacts (Outlook) or your database (Access). Only you know whether you will be called to present a topic in a meeting or at a conference (PowerPoint). For example, you might need to generate simple Web pages, and perhaps Word is all you need because with Word, you can save your documents as Web pages. Nevertheless, for Web pages that you need to customize in greater detail, you'll probably want to utilize the power of FrontPage.
If you need word processing and worksheet computing only, you might not need the other Office products. In that case, you need to install only those programs that you want to use. If you have truly mastered Word and Excel, however, you will be glad that Microsoft kept the same uniform interface throughout all the Office products. This uniformity enables you to use what you already know.
Suppose that I want to keep track of names and addresses. Which Office product do I use?
This is actually a trick question. Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook all track names and addresses! Word keeps track of names and addresses for mail merging (sending the same letter to many people); Excel includes a simple database feature that can track items such as names and addresses; Access's primary purpose is to track virtually any data in an organized list; and Outlook records all your name and address records. Generally, use Outlook for your names and addresses (all the other Office products can read Outlook's data), and save the other Office products for their primary purposes.
Is it true that the Office programs are simple after I learn one well?
The Office programs share common interfaces, such as uniform menus and dialog boxes. After you learn how to use one Office program, you already understand the basic interface of the others. Therefore, you can concentrate on the specifics of each product instead of learning a new interface in each program.