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Office 2008 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual [Paperback]

Jim Elferdink
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Description

About the Author

Jim Elferdink is co-author of "AppleWorks 6: The Missing Manual," wrote "iWork '05: The Missing Manual," and owns Macs for the Masses, a Macintosh consulting company. In former lifetimes a commercial photographer, farm owner, carpenter, and cabinetmaker; currently he enjoys gourmet cooking, digital photography, and racing sports cars. College introduced him to the Mac Plus and to comely professor Joy Hardin. He bought one and married the other. They share a home in the redwoods of far Northern California.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ya, good book Dec 8 2009
All of the Missing Manual books are pretty good, some better than all, but all of them are indeed worth the price. This one is no exception. Office 2008 introduced significant changes from previous version, this missing manual guides you completely through the new Office. Ideal for beginner or migrator.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars office 2008 for macintosh Aug. 22 2009
as i am a tyro at this computer game , i can not write an intelligent review. I can say, however, that i am impressed with the weight. once i get into the material i can probably write a better review, maybe even offer some thing constructive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good manual--had most of what I needed Aug. 17 2008
By R. Kyle - Published on
A tip: don't buy manuals for your new software until you have used it for a while. Use 'help' functions built in your software as much as possible. Document your big questions in a list and when you've got maybe 4-5 questions, that's the time to check out the manuals.

When shopping, I pull out every manual I can find for the software and sit down and read. The key aspects of a good technical manual are organization and ease of reading.

Ultimately, I buy the book that answers all or most of the questions I still have after working with the software for a while.

This is a good manual. It's got both a book and an online form. Note the online form is available for free for a limited time, then you will need to pay a subscription fee.

It's not a bad idea at all to have an online version as well as the book:

Online is available if you're traveling and don't have the book in hand.
Online searches can be quicker than the book.
An online version will be updated when new versions of the software come out and/or new issues about the software arise. <Very important>

The downside of this manual--it's got a lot more information than I currently need. It didn't answer the one pressing issue I had about resuming a document at the last edit and both my husband and I searched for that one question.

Still, my very technical husband and I both like the O'Reilly line of software manuals because they tend to be some of the most complete out there. Add in the online versions and you have a book that should last beyond the first blush of software use.

Rebecca Kyle, August 2008
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly focused on Word July 21 2009
By Mitch Haile - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first 348 pages of this book are on Word. Then there's 158 pages on Entourage. 132 pages on Excel and then a scant 80 on PowerPoint.

That's too bad--I was mostly interested in Excel and PowerPoint. I use Office pretty heavily--my use of Word is limited to making small modifications to existing documents and sending those documents back to my colleagues.

However, I do a lot of original document creation with Excel and PowerPoint. Altogether, this book weighs in a little shy of 900 pages but only 212 of them apply to me.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about the PowerPoint section is that the first chapter discusses presentation basics that have nothing to do with PowerPoint. I suppose that's not terrible, but there are many better books out there about how to build and deliver a presentation. There's very few if any other books out there about PowerPoint 2008 for Mac. I give a _lot_ of presentations and I was looking for a tool to help me wield PowerPoint better--little tips and tricks to avoid all the clicking, to better link my spreadsheets into PowerPoint, or how to set up my own Quick Theme artwork or best practices of dealing with OmniGraffle figures in my PowerPoint slides...

The book is well written, well organized, makes good use of screenshots--the team did a great job. I did learn a few things from this and I'm sure I will get more out of it in the coming weeks--and at this price, there's no downside even if there is so little information applicable for me today.

Perhaps I am being unfair here, perhaps there really isn't so much to say about Excel or PowerPoint. But I suspect that's not the case--the Missing Manual for the _Windows_ version of PowerPoint is 488 pages. So I would guess more real information about the Mac PowerPoint could have been put into this book.

I'm sure I will find the Word stuff handy one day, and I'm sure many people do spend the bulk of their time in Word. But if you're looking for a definitive guide to Excel or PowerPoint on the Mac, this book isn't it.
48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft Office 2008 - a good manual April 28 2008
By Pierre - Published on
This is a very comprehensive manual and a most valuable resource for anyone changing over from Office 2003 or 2007 (for PC) to Office 2008 (for Mac), as a manual is needed to assist with the changeover. For me it is particularly useful regarding Word 2008, Excel 2008, Entourage and PowerPoint; I have no need for Messenger. However, as Excel 2008 is a dumbed down version of Excel 2003 (for PC), Excel 2008 is not very user friendly when it comes to manipulating scientific and financial data, especially with regard to graphs or charts. An appendix to the manual, showing how to work around the various problems created by Microsoft in the Office 2008 suite, would be invaluable. With a great deal of difficulty and with much experimentation I've managed to do some of this myself.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thorough BOOk not missing much July 23 2008
By Karin A. Lubin - Published on
I have been greatly impressed by the writing and knowledge of this author. He is thorough in his descriptions and can lead even the most novice or computer illiterates find their way through the book and get some things done on their computer! This is a MUST have book as a resource and useful "buddy" to help walk you though this software. It is even entertaining and can get you to smile!
Highly recommended!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for people looking to do complex stuff Dec 12 2009
By Hal Jordan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are new to Macs (as I am) or new to Office (there probably aren't many of those folks around these days), this book is not for you. The author assumes that a) you know OS X very well; and b) you know the Windows version of Office very well. I was looking for a book that would quickly get me up and running in Office 2008 for Mac after I recently bought my first iMac. This book was definitely not what I needed. He has no explanation of some of the simple stuff I need to know, such as how to create new folders. Apparently, it doesn't work the way is does with Office for Windows, where you can create a new folder as part of the process of saving a file. Or if it does work that way, it's not evident. A couple of the other reviews note other simple stuff that he doesn't bother to explain. His intended audience is apparently people who have fairly complex documents to create and who need to know how do that on a Mac after having already become familiar with OS X. If that describes you, this book may be useful. What's a bit misleading is that some of these Missing Manual books actually do lead you through the basics (I'm thinking here of the iPhone book in particular). I should probably have bought the For Dummies book, which is what I'm about to do.
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