Continuing in the Books for Dummies style that has proven so successful, Office XP for Dummies is well written and very easy to read. All concepts and program features are explained thoroughly for people who aren't complete idiots but who may not be comfortable with technical computer terms. There are ample screen shots to keep you on track, along with visual aids that highlight important areas.
Each of the six Office applications are covered: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and FrontPage. Chapters begin with a quick overview and then get right into the good stuff. Everything is explained in a step-by-step manner, often with bulleted and numbered lists. The book concludes with a couple of chapters on general Office XP tips that all Office users will find helpful.
Considering that the author is also a stand-up comedian, it was a little disappointing that the pages weren't littered with satire and irreverent jokes. However, each of the nine parts does begin with a mildly humorous cartoon that may or may not raise a chuckle. If you take the time to read the various screenshots, you will find that some of them contain amusing content. One screenshot will bring back fond memories for many readers, in an essay in Word entitled "How to drink for four years and get your parents to pay for it: It's called College".
Office XP for Dummies can also be used as a valuable reference. The index allows you to find exactly what you are after with little fuss. A tear-off cheat sheet explains the functions of the toolbars and shortcut keys.
If you have used Microsoft Office in the past then you will probably be familiar with most of the concepts explained in this book. For those new to the application suite, Office XP for Dummies will turn you into an Office expert in no time.