PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2006
Pages: 490

Like every other application in Microsoft Office suite, PowerPoint is loaded with features. So many, in fact, that even veterans don't know where to find them all. Microsoft solved this problem in PowerPoint 2007 by redesigning the user interface with a tabbed toolbar that makes features easy to locate and use. PowerPoint 2007 also boasts improved graphics, additional templates, the ability to save custom layouts, and improved collaboration through SharePoint. One thing Microsoft hasn't improved is its poor documentation. To learn the ins and outs of all the features in PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft merely offers online help. If you're familiar with previous versions of the program, you may be lost the first time you fire up the new PowerPoint; or you would be if it weren't for PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual.

This book, written specifically for this version of the software, not only offers the basics of how to create, save, set up, run, and print a basic bullets-and-background slideshow, but takes you into the world of multimedia, animation, and interactivity. You'll learn how to add pictures, sound, video, animated effects, and controls (buttons and links) to their slides, along with ways to pull text, spreadsheets, and animations created in other programs. You can also create your own reusable design templates and learn to automate repetitive tasks with macros. Learn how to take advantage of advanced functions (such as adding custom background images) that existed in previous PowerPoint versions, but were so cleverly hidden that few people ever found them.

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4.0

PowerPoint 2007 The Missing Manual

By Rich Black

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual:

PowerPoint 2007

The Missing Manual

Review by Richard Black, NOCCC

Summary: In PowerPoint 2007 The Missing Manual, author E.A. Vander Veer presents a comprehensive view of PowerPoint 2007. She gives practical tips and some common sense advice for both creating and giving presentations, many of which work in earlier versions of PowerPoint. Her writing style makes for fairly easy reading. One of the techniques she uses is to introduce concepts followed by step-by-step instructions, a very useful teaching technique.

A 16-page introduction discusses new features for PowerPoint 2007, such as the ribbon, a multi-tabbed toolbar that replaces the previous menus for commands. Rather than going into deep detail in the Introduction Vander Veer gives enough information about the ribbon to allow the user to get started. Details are given throughout the book. The ribbon is something that will make learning Office products easier for new users, but requires users who are familiar with earlier versions to relearn where commands are stored.

New graphics, templates, and the reduced ability to collaborate are also introduced. There also is a comparison of the new file formats vs. the older formats, and the beginning of her hints for using PowerPoint as a tool. One of the many reasons I like the book is because I agree with many of her ideas, such as "PowerPoint is supposed to support your presentation, not be your presentation" and "just because you can, doesn't mean that you should."

The 30 pages of Chapter One introduce creating slides from scratch, using templates and themes, and it introduces speaker notes and handouts. Throughout the book the author uses a technique common in commercial (versus academic) training classes: she discusses a concept and then gives step-by-step instructions to accomplish the task. It is a technique that can make learning easier.

The Introduction and Chapter One give users enough information to create basic slides. The next fourteen chapters go into the details of creating more effective slides by modifying text; adding charts, diagrams, and tables; printing slides, handouts, overheads, and speaker notes; adding images, sound, and video; creating transitions and animating slide objects; creating slide masters and layout masters (which are new); and more.

Some areas receive more attention than I expected. It is unusual, if not unique, for a PowerPoint book -- or even an Excel book -- to suggest which type of chart to use based on the type of data and what the presenter wants to convey. The discussion in The Missing Manual is no match for a dedicated book such as How to Lie with Charts, but it does have more to offer than the majority of Office books. As usual, remember that such discussions often are based on opinions. Vander Veer also points out that the available chart styles and the creation techniques depend on whether the user has Excel loaded. If so, Excel can be used to create charts; if not, PowerPoint falls back on default Microsoft Graph, the "old way" of PowerPoint charting.

The author also gives more attention to the drawing toolbar than I expected, possibly because they are often used more in PowerPoint than in other programs. I know a number of people who use PowerPoint for its graphic abilities; they don't give presentations, they print the slides.

On the inside of the back cover of The Missing Manual is the statement "There's no CD-ROM with this book; you just saved $5.00." However, there is a Web link to http://www.missingmanuals.com for shareware and additional information, including indirect links to Microsoft tutorials.

Although there are books written specifically for new users that may be better introductions, I can recommend this book to both new users* and to more experienced users who want to get up to speed in PowerPoint 2007 quickly and easily. There is plenty of information in this book for reference, and it is written in such a way that it makes for a good training tool. That, plus the links make this a worthwhile book, especially if one takes advantage of the publisher's discount.

E.A. Vander Veer

Paperback of 455 pages

Published by O'Reilly

ISBN-10: 0-596-52738-1 ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52738-1

List price $29.99 (before O'Reilly's user group 35% discount)

For more O'Reilly information on this book, go to: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596527389/index.html.

*O'Reilly also publishes a "For Starters" book by E.A. Vander Veer (list price is $20, but discounted). See: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596528317/index.html.

 
5.0

Powerpoint The Missing Manual

By JoeK

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual:

PowerPoint 2007, The Missing Manual

E.A. Vander Veer

Pogue Press/O'Reilly

Reviewed by Joseph Kluepfel, Director

Broward Personal Computer Association, Inc.

This book is written for those who have some experience in using PowerPoint, but it is not restricted to that class, because the clear and concise instructions can help a rank beginner use the application. E.A. Vander Veer has another "Missing Manual" out, PowerPoint 2007 For Starters, The Missing Manual, which is for those "starting out" using Power Point.

The Introduction starts with information about the changes Microsoft has made to earlier versions of PowerPoint, namely, the new user interface. As in all of the Office 2007 applications, the Ribbons at the top of the work space have replaced the old menu bars and drop down windows. There are a lot of changes and some will cause experienced users headaches, but the benefits will be quickly evidenced. All of the keystrokes utilized in earlier versions will work in PowerPoint 2007, and they have been improved so fewer strokes are needed. One example is the appearance of key tips, tiny letters that appear next to the options in the Ribbons, when you press the ALT key. Another great tool is the Mini Toolbar which appears when you select text in your slide. It contains the same icons that are in the Ribbons for changing the font, color and alignment of the text. Hover the pointer on an icon and the text will be shown with the indicated action. Click to make the change or move off the icon to make the Mini Toolbar go away, and no changes will be made. It is much better than making a change and then have to change again. More Theme Options are available (they used to be called templates) and they can be applied to any file created in an Office program.

There are four parts in PowerPoint 2007 The Missing Manual:

Part1: Slideshow Basics

Chapter 1: Creating A Basic Presentation includes the basics of creating a slide, from adding and editing text to adding charts, tables and diagrams. You can start from scratch,..from a blank sheet, and stop-by-step, add each of the items, or you can use a theme (template) already prepared. These are available within the program or are downloadable from Microsoft Office Online. The chapter includes the use of text boxes and title or subtitle placeholders, the tools to transform them and how to add them. Moving around in the presentation and navigation with the scroll bar are only touched on because these are fully covered in later chapters.

Chapter2: Editing Slides covers the many steps of changing and polishing the text in your slides. Cutting, pasting, moving, deleting are basic, but finding and replacing fonts, checking spelling, translating words, even researching are addressed.

Chapter 3: Formatting and Aligning Your Text goes into the fine points of making your text look good. You can manually format the text but the program has the AutoFormat and AutoFit capability. The details of changing fonts and color are given, as is the addition of special effects.

Chapter 4: Formatting and Laying Out Your Slides shows us how to lay out the whole picture, the whole slide, from the background color to gradient colors in the text.

Chapter 5: Editing your Slide Show takes us to the tools of PowerPoint to move slides, delete them, add them, and edit them, and to create Slide Masters and Layout Masters. Adding Headers and Footers to slides is covered as well as adding Notes, Pages, and Handouts.

Chapter 6: Adding Charts, Diagrams and Tables gets you into creating and adding these important features of a good slide show. This is a highly detailed course on the many types and parts of these objects and how they are built. We are given the steps to insert tables and how to tweak and add special effects to them.

Part2:

Presenting Your Slide Show

Chapter 7: Delivering Presentations gives us the many options in presenting a slide show, from the typical "stand-up in front with a laser pointer" to a web page presentation, to a delivery on a CD, or to an email presentation. The all important setting up is well covered, it really is a great check list for making sure everything is working right and there are no "oops" in the slide show. The author has provided a complete course on how to make a professional and memorable presentation.

Chapter 8: Printing Presentations addresses a possible but frequent problem, a breakdown of equipment or a change in the room environment. Having printouts of the slides available for handouts is one solution, having transparencies for overhead projection is another aid. You might want to have some handouts ready with information that is in addition to the slide show.

Part 3:

Beyond Bullet Points:

MultiMedia, Animation and Interactivity

Chapter 9: Putting Images and Documents on Slides is where we learn how to add pictures and effects to our slides to get away from the dull and boring 'text'. We can bring the slide to life or give it interest or emphasize a point. Many effects are available in PowerPoint and we are also shown how to create them.

Chapter 10: Adding Sound and Video continues with adding audio or video effects to the slide show. Voice Over narration can be added, or a Video/Audio clip inserted to provide a break from the usual text slide, or to emphasize an important feature.

Chapter 11: Slides Transitions and Animated Effects gives us some more tools to make the presentation attractive and interesting. PowerPoint supplies many slide transitions and they can previewed from the Animation Tab and easily inserted between slides. We are shown how to use animation in a slide, when a slide appears or leaves, and how to create custom animation effects.

Chapter 12: Make Your Slides Clickable shows us how to use clickable links on our slides to bring up other slides or references, or add an action such as playing sounds, or highlighting an object or text. You can add action buttons or clickable images as well.

Part 4:

Working Faster and More Efficiently

Chapter 13: Customizing PowerPoint gives us the ways to make some changes. Not Many! We can't change the ribbons by adding or removing tabs, but we can customize the Quick Access Toolbar. This sits next to the Office Logo Button (top left corner). We can choose to open all documents in a certain view and save them in a particular location. There are more changes that can be made and they are discussed briefly.

Chapter 14: Putting Slide Show On Autopilot is a short course on writing macros using Microsoft's Visual Basic Editor, should you have an interest in this activity. It also gives you the warnings about macros.

Chapter 15: Collaborating With Others explains the points of sharing the work with others to get their input. Sending out the slide show and receiving the reviews are discussed. Microsoft Office Share Point 2007 (not included) can be used for network collaboration and its use is briefly mentioned. More details are given for security, passwords, and digital signatures to protect your work.

The Missing Manual series from Pogue Press/O'Reilly provides the written guides and manuals that should have come with the program. E.A. Vander Veer has given us another great book.

 
5.0

PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual

By Frederick J Eccher Jr

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual:

Title: PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual

First Edition: December 2006

Series: The Missing Manuals

ISBN 10: 0-596-52738-1

ISBN 13: 9780596527389

Pages: 488

By E. A. Vander Veer

The introduction tells in general about:

Improvements like Keytips, Less customization, Live previews, MiniToolbar, Improved scree tip help, new file formats, improved graphics, more theme options, and XPS [eXtensible Paper Specification] which is a file format like PDF but a new Windows only option to control slides better.

Microsoft dropping revision tracking in PowerPoint 2007. Do it yourself or purchase MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) [or acquire another revision tracking program] are your new options.

There are four parts, each having several chapters:

Slideshow Basics

Presenting Your Slideshow

Beyond Bullet Points: Multimedia, Animation, and Interactivity

Working Faster and More Effectively

This book starts out with a quick success: Creating your first PowerPoint 2007 presentation. Basic but satisfying.

I liked the following chapters quite a bit:

Chapter 11 Slide transitions and animated effects

Chapter 14 Macros: putting slideshows on autopilot

Part Four was the best overall with two outstanding chapters

Chapter 13 Cutomizing PowerPoint

Chapter 15 Collaborating with others

Chapters 13 and 15 were the very best in the book, depending on whether you were more interested in customizing or collaborating.

This book is worth 5 stars. Well done.

I really like PowerPoint 2007 and find it to be an impressive communication and collaboration tool.

Frederick J Eccher Jr

MBA

M.S. Management of Information Systems

A.B. Psychology

B.A. Biology

CIO, Community Partners

President, Board of Directors, Saint Louis Visual Basic Users Group

 
5.0

Want to be creative?

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual:

If you are serious about learning Powerpoint or just want to update your skills then this is definitely the book to consider.

Well illustrated with a good tour of the new interface, a book that would suit most users.

Everything you need to know from beginning your presentation, choosing/creating themes, formatting, layout, charts, diagrams/tables, flash animations, sound and video, saving, printing, packaging and delivery of your presentation.

Even covers customizing your Powerpoint application the way you want to work.

Want to be creative in your presentations then this book is for you with plenty of options to explore to make your presentation the best it can be.

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