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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2010
As per usual with a Step by Step book, this is a great book at a great price. What you get out of the book is a great lesson on how to use the long time marketing application. What you don't get is even a single example in color and this hurts in this reviewer's opinion. PowerPoint isn't an Excel spreadsheet or code, it's splashy, fancy presentations that are supposed to get managers excited to throw money around, or to get consumers to want to throw THEIR money around. The book covers all the basics and more, like working with slides, creating tables, playing with animations, and does it in a nice job. Content is just over 400+ pages spread over 15 chapters, but black, white, grey, and blue just isn't enough.

If you need a PowerPoint reference, this does the job, but I just felt that if a little more cost went into adding color, it would have been money well spent.

**** RECOMMENDED
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on August 6, 2010
The previous Step-By-Step books for Office 2007 included a CD with PDF of the book that you could put on your laptop, smartphone, or convert to Kindle format -- the CD also contained the practice files. This 2010 version of the book does NOT include a CD. The practice files can be downloaded via an awkward hyperlink found in the early pages of the book. An online version of the book is available for free from another awkward hyperlik in the back of the book -- after you scratch off a lottery-style number and key in a 16 digit number -- what am I accessing, the Penatgon?. Once you see the online version, there are links to downlaod each chapter individually as a PDF file -- except that is not free -- you have to subscribe to O'Reilly's monthly service at $22/month -- but, the service will only allow 5 chapter downlaods per month -- the book is 15 chapters so you have to subscribe for 3 months at $66. The real cost of this book and PDF version is $86 -- a huge increase in price over the 2007 version. The free online version is slow if your internet connection is slow -- or unavailable if your internet service is down. Management at O'Reilly obviously wears paper and foil hats to work everyday -- it must be emabrassing for staff to attend meetings with these clowns. This has to be the stupidist idea in technology book publishing I've seen. I strongly suggest people buy Que or Weily published books as they do have a CD with a PDF of the Office 2010 book and practice files included with their books. O'Reilly is the real publisher behind the Microsoft Press Office 2010 SBS books and they are trying to use and abuse the buyer. In this digital age of content everywhere, O'Reily is in the stone age -- they seem to hold the customer in contempt.
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on August 13, 2010
To make a few key points about the preceding review:
1. Microsoft Press & O'Reilly Media are in a strategic alliance to produce Microsoft Press books and other resources. There are still lots and lots of people working at Microsoft who are at the center of Microsoft Press publishing.
2. Anyone who buys a print edition of this book gets a free, downloadable, fully searchable PDF of the book. You just follow the directions on a voucher card in the back of the book, register (completely free) at Safari Books Online, use the unique code on your scratch-off voucher card, and you'll be able to view the book online or download the book.
3. The link book's exercise files are here: h[...]/9780735626911-files/ (indeed, some readers have found the link descriptions a little hard to read; we're working to fix that in upcoming titles and in reprints).
4. The reason we replaced having CDs in books with making material available online is: bundling CD-ROMs means those media can get scratched and cracked, and even removed from books while at the store (not the case with Amazon, of course). Also, system configuration issues can get in the way. Someone sits down with their new book, the CD doesn't work, they're frustrated. We've switched to making ancillary files available online, which has been deeply appreciated by most of our readers (which isn't to de-legitimize the opinions of those who'd still prefer a bundled CD, of course.) As well, it makes it possible to update those files as necessary throughout the entire life of a book.
Hoping this helps,
--Steve Weiss, associate publisher, Microsoft Press / O'Reilly Media (steve[at][..].
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on January 23, 2011
I bought this book to prepare for the Powerpoint 2010 certification test. This is the perfect book for that process- I scored far above what was required to pass. The practice files are excellent and efficiently teach what you need to know about Powerpoint.

To address some comments I've seen:

- This book is not meant to be a reference book for Powerpoint 2010. If you want that, get Powerpoint 2010 Bible.
- I had no issues whatsoever downloading the practice files and accessing the free eBook copy.

This book accomplishes its purpose and I highly recommend it.
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on July 7, 2012
I'm learning a lot about PowerPoint. The book came quickly and the practice files work fine. Some of the features are kind of fun!

One practice file in Chapter 9 was a little odd. We were supposed to be learning how to format something with word art. The presentation already had the word art in the slide. I think it was supposed to be blank. I went through the steps anyway to see how it was done. Another option is to delete the word art and then do the assignment.

This would have been 4 1/2 stars for that reason, if Amazon allowed 1/2 points. But I didn't think 4 stars was quite enough. Before I bought this book, I knew nothing whatsoever about PowerPoint. So, 5 stars.
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on October 24, 2015
I had a very disappointing Experience. After receiving the book I was unable to download the files from on-line. Last time I purchased the Step by Step books was the 2007 version and it came w/ CD's to download the classes which was awesome. The 2010 version does NOT come with Cd's, you have to down load classes on-line. I tried several times to download the classes and came up with blank files. What's worse, there's no Customer Service phone # where you can talk to someone. The only option you have it to email Customer Service for help. After sending emails back/forth .. I give up. I can't reach a human! I got not where. What are you do? You throw the books away, waste your money, and find find another product that works.
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on March 9, 2013
If you have never used PowerPoint this would be a good introductory text. Especially since MS does not see fit to give any help when you purchase this high-priced program. However, once you get into actual production mode it provide scant help.
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on March 14, 2013
I purchased this book because the price was right. I must admit that I still more often go to Google to find what I need. Much quicker and easier going the Google route. Maybe one day I will sit down and go through the book.
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on October 25, 2010
Excellent book, well organized. It does not have the exercises in a disc and to download it is very difficult or impossible.
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on August 26, 2013
I would recommend this product to anyone studying to take the MOS exam or simply to learn more about what this software ap is capable of doing.
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