Book Review - PowerPoint 2003 Personal Trainer by CustomGuide
O'Reilly has a new series of titles out called the Personal Trainer series. I had a chance to review PowerPoint 2003 Personal Trainer, and it's pretty good for what it's setting out to accomplish.
Chapter List: The Fundamentals; Editing a Presentation; Formatting Your Presentation; Drawing and Working with Graphics; Working with Tables and WordArt; Working with Graphs and Organization Charts; Delivering Your Presentation; Working with Multimedia; Working with Other Programs and the Internet; Advanced Topics; Index
The theming of the book is supposed to be muscle/superhero-related, but it's a pretty light application of that theme. You don't see a lot of efforts to fit everything into that motif (which is probably good). Each chapter starts out with a list of objectives, followed by a target task for the chapter. There's a short list of prerequisites you should know/have in order to be able to do the lessons. What follows is then anywhere from 4 to 18 lessons that clearly walk you through activities and features which are directly applicable to the tasks you'll do when using the software. Each lesson is followed by a quick reference (one of the few places you see the superhero motif), and the entire chapter ends with a summary, a quiz, and some homework you can do in order to enhance your learning and stretch your wings. The writing is clear and concise, and I think just about anyone should be able to follow along without feeling like an idiot.
The other nice feature is that the book comes with a CD that contains a simulation of PowerPoint. You can use the CD to work on the exercises, without the worry that you'll mess up your real software. This could also be used as true "homework" in order to learn skills you may use in the office without necessarily having the software at home.
The simulation software definitely makes this book stand out from most other "teach-yourself" type books on the market. While the cover might make you wonder how serious it is, the content is solid and useful. If learning PowerPoint is on your list of "to do's", this book will help you get there.