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Keywords: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, word processing

Title: Word Annoyances

Author: Guy Hart-Davis

Publisher: O'Reilly

ISBN: 0596009542

Media: Book

Level: All

Verdict: Recommended


Regular users of Microsoft Word might be surprised that there's only one volume of 'Word Annoyances', and even that is a fairly slim affair. There's also many that might balk at the subtitle - how to fix the most annoying things about your favourite word processor. Truth be told, this reviewer users Word because it's the corporate standard not through choice, but hey, that's life. That said, there are plenty of users who are devoted to Word but get the heck annoyed out of them every so often as Word kindly 'helps' them by reformatting, reworking or plain trashing their documents. Which means, of course, that there should be a huge audience looking for the tips, tricks and plain good advice that Guy Hart-Davis manages to squeeze into this book.

There are a wide range of annoyances that are tackled, starting from installation problems right through to macros, mail merge and OLE, via the more mundane tasks of editing, formatting, printing and so on. There's even a section devoted to Word on the Mac.

There's a range of advice and help on offer on the various issues. In some cases the advice is blunt but to the point, for example avoid master documents at all costs. Anyone who's ever struggled with master docs will appreciate the pain and suffering that could have been avoided if they'd known in advance that Word master documents are broken. Other advice is more direct and usually entails rooting around some of the more obscure reaches of Word's options. What's good is that in most cases this advice will also cover different versions of Word, generally Word 2000, XP and 2003.

Also worth a mention is the good quality of the writing and the sense of humour that's displayed throughout. Only a cruel person would suggest that a sense of humour is what's needed when working with Word, but we're not like that here at TechBookReport. What we can say is that this is a really useful little volume to have around and that even the most expert of users is going to find something new and useful here. Recommended.

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Contents © TechBookReport 2005. Published September 28 2005