This book works fine as long as everything works fine! But how often do we not encounter problems that are not described in the manual and that you won't find described in the help-function neither online nor offline? Sadly this book doesn't help much either. It describes how to do all sorts of things, but when something unexpected happens, you're on your own. For instance, after I add sound to a slide and want the slide to fade into another slide, there's a white slide in between and I suddenly have to use two clicks to move on. There's no way this book will help you with problems of this kind. So unless you only want to do very basic things in Powerpoint, find a better book.
Anyone that's gone between Office 2003 and 2007 will have noticed a huge difference in layout.
Owing to this, I wanted a book to pickup and quickly see how to do what I did before. I'm all for experimenting with software before consulting the manual (I'm a guy!) but as someone who writes training material, this book was great for answering questions about changes to templates, etc.
The Help files in PowerPoint are very good and will tell you most things but I got this book to quickly refer to specific topics, see how things are done and get on with it.
For that reason, I'd recommend it. However, if you want to save some money, use the Help files. I'd also say it's good for beginners as most things are described with screenshots.
Beware of this publication, I had great difficulty in getting the CD to work. The files on this CD are essential to using the book, and if you can get the files (PowerPoint presentations) to display a presentation it appears to be an excellent way to learn PowerPoint. The CD never really worked in the sense that the installation wizard failed to work at all, and if you get directly at the files you need you have to ignore several error messages and hope they don't matter. I contacted Microsoft who failed to apologize but did give me a way round the installation problem. However trying to use the files throws up error messages, errors which can be ignored but for a novice user would be a complete no no. If you can confidently find your way round a computer this publication is OK, but if you are a bit of a novice and would have difficulty locating a specific file then avoid this book.