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on 2 December 2000
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The fact that the current version of StarOffice is 5.2 doesn't mean this book is out of date.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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