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Beginning OpenOffice 3: from novice to professional

 
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Author/s: Andy Chanelle
Publisher: Apress
Review by: Campbell Ritchie
Rating: 8 horseshoes

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and how much I learned: all the things I never realised OpenOffice could do for me.

How to write a newsletter, write a web page, embed spreadsheets in a presentation. It's all in there, and much more. I now need an opportunity to use these new-found skills.

OpenOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet, drawing module, and database which are all covered in this book, starting with and giving most attention to the word processor. There is also a mathematical formula editor, which Chanelle doesn't describe.

Chanelle assumes OpenOffice is already installed, also that the reader can do a few basic things with an office suite. Then he takes us on a journey through its capabilities. Some features have to be described very briefly because of space limitations, others get a deeper discussion. His style is easy to read, chatty and humorous, and mixes British and American grammar and spellings. Although the book is easy to follow, it doesn't "talk down", but assumes the reader is awake and alert.

I only noticed two mistakes: ctrl-P for paste, and brackets = (), which is normal British usage. There are other errors (e.g. about Christmas on page 24) which I suspect are intentional!

The book is a paperback, with lots of clear illustrations, even though some contain small print.

Anybody interested in using open-source for their letters or budgets or presentations will find this book a great asset.
 
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