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Starters Missing Manual Series: Get Up to Speed Quickly with Popular Programs and OS

November 18, 2005

Sebastopol, CA--You've just bought a new PC bundled with software you have heard of, but you have no idea how to use any of it. Your new employer expects you to be proficient at Excel from the day you start. You realize a database could help you manage a project at work, but how do you begin? You're determined to get a handle on your personal finances, but you have no idea what to do to get started.

If any of these dilemmas sound familiar, you can find solutions fast with O'Reilly's new Missing Manual Series. These four guides to some of the most popular computer software on the planet--Excel, Access, Quicken, and Windows XP--are designed to save you time and get you up and running quickly, with no need for workshops or expensive training.

More than an introduction, but far less daunting than a heavy tech book, these hands-on guides get you up to speed, as they supply much needed guidance you won't find in overly simplified online help screens.

The Starters Missing Manual Series includes three of the most frequently used applications and the most widely used operating system:

Access 2003 for Starters: The Missing Manual (Chase and Palmer, O'Reilly, US $19.95) demystifies databases and shows you how to design and create them painlessly. Focusing on the most useful features of the most popular desktop data management program around, it explains all the major features of Access 2002 and 2003. This guide moves beyond designing and creating databases to organizing and filtering information, and generating effective reports.

Excel for Starters: The Missing Manual (MacDonald, O'Reilly, US $19.95) teaches you everything you need to know about using this ubiquitous spreadsheet program effectively, without bogging you down in details you'll never use. With humor and clarity, it explains all the major features of Microsoft Excel 2002 and 2003, including how to build spreadsheets, add and format information, print reports, create charts and graphics, and use basic formulas and functions. It also gives objective guidance on when to use Excel's features and when to ignore them.

Quicken 2006 for Starters: The Missing Manual (Biafore, O'Reilly, US $24.95) shows you how to set up Quicken to simplify all your financial management tasks--how to track your money, stay on top of important financial decisions, and compile tax data automatically. Highlighting the program's online features, this guide covers it all--from checks, credit card charges, and reconciling accounts to budgeting, and managing loans and investments. It even teaches you to work around Quicken's idiosyncrasies, as it helps you decide which features are most useful. Special sidebar materials address topics of interest to both beginners and power users.

Windows XP for Starters: The Missing Manual (Pogue, O'Reilly, US $19.95) helps the first-time PC user feel confident using the operating system that came pre-installed on their computer. It can also smooth the transition from previous Windows versions for anyone upgrading to Windows XP. Written by David Pogue, computer columnist for "The New York Times" and Missing Manual creator, this guide makes time spent at the computer safer, easier, and more fun. Easy-to-follow, it gives guidance as well as instruction, providing advice on when to use Windows XP features and when to ignore them. In addition to the operating system features and additional software programs included with Windows XP, this guide helps you use special Internet-related features, such as Outlook Express and Internet Explorer 6.

Ideal for office and household use, the Starters Missing Manual Series is based on O'Reilly's popular Missing Manuals and features:

  • Clear explanations, step-by-step instructions, and friendly, time-saving advice
  • Jargon-free, often humorous, explanations that objectively evaluate each program and teach you its best, most useful features
  • Larger type, bigger figures, and more examples make the content more accessible
  • If you've ever felt that your computer has a lot more to offer than you have time to figure out, O'Reilly's new Starters Missing Manuals Series will help you get the most out of your computer, quickly and painlessly.

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