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Sun StarOffice 5.1 for Windows Paperback – 1 Jan 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Tech (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761526935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761526933
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 18.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,569,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The big question is always 'Why am I going to want this book?'. In this case the answer is simple. StarOffice is a big program with features that will seem strange to Windows users. When, as a Windows user, you first open StarOffice you will want a friend at your shoulder. 'StarOffice 5.1 for Windows' can be that friend.
The book is divided into five sections which each take you through one of the main areas of the StarOffice software. Unfortunately, the section titles do not make this clear so, unless you read the introduction carefully, you may miss this point. That, and the the feeling that the author is not fully happy in the Windows environment, are my main complaints about the book. These niggles aside, in my opinion each section provides a practical, hands on guide to exploiting the StarOffice modules. Sections start with the basics and build up to more complex tasks with worked examples, hints and explanation to help the reader along the way.
I found my problem using the book was that once Brian Proffitt had got me started I went racing ahead on my own. At that point a whole new side of the book came into play. It became a reference into which I started to dip into so that I could find out more about the workings of StarOffice.
The fact that the current version of StarOffice is 5.2 doesn't mean this book is out of date. Forget the '5.1' in the title - it's not a problem (the difference between the two versions seem to be mainly about the Microsoft file formats that are handled). I've just taken the book as a handy introduction to the current version and it has worked!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f0bd57c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90acffc0) out of 5 stars Get it now! A must have. 10 April 2000
By R. Guerra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Proffitt's book offers excellent help on using all facets of StarOffice and tips on utilizing SO to it's full potential. Not only is it great because it's the only book for Windows users (that I could find), but it also covers info that appeals to beginners and advanced users. Proffitt practically holds your hand while instructing where to get SO and how to install it. I highly recommend purchasing this book before installing SO. He offers tips on how to avoid mistakes and helps correct mistakes that were already made. With Proffitt's help, you'll soon be configuring StarOffice's desktop to your taste and mastering each component. Much better (and faster) than searching Sun's website for help. Small price to pay for learning to use a well integrated office suite that has much to offer.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f795030) out of 5 stars You Must Be Joking 24 Nov. 2000
By Conard Spoke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The notion that this book is good for beginners is an absolute joke. I have been typing since I was 13, and I have no trouble following instructions. But figuring out how to do simple things with StarOffice has been a nightmare, and Brian Proffitt's book is no help at all.
Just like the program itself, this book assumes that you must already know how to use it in order to use it. In this book there is no STEP ONE. There are scores of pages telling you how "powerful" this suite is, but the word TAB does not appear in the index! Typewriters have had tab buttons for about a century, but nowhere does the word appear on the StarOffice desktop. Brian Proffitt seems to think this basic information will be magically imprinted in our brains when we turn on the program.
I am sick of bloated programs that brag about how user friendly they are, only to present you "help" features that drive you around in circles. And I am sick of computer books that have no beginning point.
Maybe someday someone will write a book for StarOffice that explains its bewildering array of features in a logical fashion for someone who has no idea what is in there. Computer books seem to be either of the condescending "Dummies" variety, or of the you-already-have-to-know-before-you-start-reading variety. Proffitt's book it definitely in the latter category.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f795468) out of 5 stars Covers subset of StarOffice 22 Nov. 2000
By Elizabeth Andrews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's an okay book for what it does. It covers selected features in simple,well explained procedures, step by step. Some people might enjoy the advice on how to create well designed presentations and Web pages. But it's far from complete. It's as if the author decided to cover the top 20-30 tasks in most of the programs and just leave out the rest. How do I put in a portrait page in a landscape document? I still have no idea. The author also completely left out StarImage (for graphics editing, changing pixels, stuff like that). I would think that someone other than myself might notice that an entire program didn't get covered.
HASH(0x8f795834) out of 5 stars You Must Be Joking 24 Nov. 2000
By Conard Spoke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The notion that this book is good for beginners is an absolute joke. I have been typing since I was 13, and I have no trouble following instructions. But figuring out how to do simple things with StarOffice has been a nightmare, and Brian Proffitt's book is no help at all. Just like the program itself, this book assumes that you must already know how to use it in order to use it. In this book there is no STEP ONE. There are scores of pages telling you how "powerful" this suite is, but the word TAB does not appear in the index! Typewriters have had tab buttons for about a century, but nowhere does the word appear on the StarOffice desktop. Brian Proffitt seems to think this basic information will be magically imprinted in our brains when we turn on the program.
I am sick of bloated programs that brag about how user friendly they are, only to present you "help" features that drive you around in circles. And I am sick of computer books that have no beginning point.
Maybe someday someone will write a book for StarOffice that explains its bewildering array of features in a logical fashion for someone who has no idea what is in there. Computer books seem to be either of the condescending "Dummies" variety, or of the you-already-have-to-know-before-you-start-reading variety. Proffitt's book it definitely in the latter category.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f795918) out of 5 stars Absolutely the worst! 5 April 2001
By Scott B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the worst computer book I have ever read. Proffitt jumps from thought to thought with no real regard for flow of task, idea or thought. The coverage on each topic merely scrapes the surface and always leaves you wanting more. I agree with another reviewer in the idea that the author pretty much assumes you know how word processors, spreadsheets, etc. work and says "StarOffice is great for this" without explaining the how-to of what he's talking about. The order in which topics are covered is really out of wack. He covers advanced things like customizing toolbars and menus before explaining the basics of creating and editing documents. There are statements made that leave you wanting more explanation, but alas, Proffitt offers none. For example: "Every icon on the Taskbar has a context menu associated with it. To access these context menus, you must right-click the icon." Well, would you mind covering these context menus and telling me about what they do? Nope, not in this book. Fortunately I got this book at a closeout store here in town for dirt cheap. I wouldn't have bought it had I known what it was like. If I could have rated it 0 or 1/2 a star I would have. Get "Special Edition Using StarOffice" instead. It may be a little more, but it is SO much better.
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