I received a Microsoft Office 2013 for Dummies book to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own

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I’ve been using Microsoft Office since the first Macintosh OS was released in 1989. It’s always been my go-to software for word-processing, presentations, and crunching numbers. I’ve used every version since then and switched to the Windows version in 1992 and never looked back.

But with every new version comes changes to the way the software works and new features are added as technology changes. I generally just stumble my way through them as I did when I recently upgraded to the Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium Software (which I highly recommend), but when it comes to making full use of the software, I pretty much failed at that.

So when I was offered a new book, Microsoft Office 2013 for Dummies, I said why not! I love the For Dummies format and I would love to learn more about the software I use every day.

So what does Microsoft Office 2013 for Dummies cover? Just about everything that the beginner Office user could use as well as the expert user. It covers Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, as well as Access. There’s information on how to configure your email settings for Outlook (my personal favorite email software), and walks you through creating databases.

What?!? You don’t think you need to know how to create a database? You’d be surprised at the number of things you can do with it – do a household inventory, keep track of business or personal expenses, track the kids’ appointments and sort by date, time, type of appointment, and more. There’s really so many things you can do beyond what you might think of like budgeting or balancing your checkbook.

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But there’s plenty of information on how to create attractive documents like invoices, receipts, flyers, newsletters, and more and many of them can be published online. If you volunteer for PTSA or your kids’ football team, you’ll find a plethora of ideas to make your documents wow.

The book is written in a format that’s easy to look up just what you need or read it from front to back. The chapters are well defined with diagrams, notes, as well as hints and tips. It’s a format that works for me and I find myself referencing back to these books time after time.

Check out the Microsoft Office 2013 for Dummies book and up your game when it comes to creating documents, presentations, and more. My favorite chapters? Chapter 19 is a must- read for newbies. “Ten Tips for Using Office 2013” covers everything you’ll need to know to customize the software and make the most out of it. Chapter 20 is for the advanced user. It covers building your own apps for Office and encrypting files.

Visit Dummies.com for how-to videos, step-by-step examples, and more. Dummies books are available nationwide at book retailers and online. They cover everything from crafts, to gardening, and more.

Microsoft Office 2013 for Dummies

  • By Wallace Wang
  • ISBN: 978-1-118-49715-9
  • 432 pages; paperback; March 2013
  • US $24.99