Sebastopol, CA--What if you took the good things about working with a personal trainer (a customized workout plan, friendly and competent third-party assessment of your progress, and all the recordkeeping handled for you) and eliminated the bad (costly rates, pressure to improve, and guilt when you have to cancel training sessions)? You just might have the ideal learning environment. Suppose, then, that you applied that approach to other areas in which you'd like to improve: software skills, for example? You could find yourself achieving goals you once thought were unreachable.
O'Reilly's Personal Trainer guides offer all the advantages of working under the guidance of a qualified trainer without any of the disadvantages. The newest books in the series, Word 2003 Personal Trainer, Outlook 2003 Personal Trainer, and Access 2003 Personal Trainer, provide short, focused lessons on specific tasks that can be read in any order, depending on your objectives and skill level. The task-specific lessons--or "workouts"--are laid out in two-page spreads designed to boost individual learning and retention.
Each Personal Trainer comes with an interactive CD that provides a simulated application environment where you can safely flex your developing skills; there's no need to worry about permanently damaging your preferences, losing data, or any of the other things that can go wrong when you test your skills in the unforgiving world of a real application. Nor do you need to own the application you're learning. With your Personal Trainer, you can hone your skills in advance for a software upgrade you know is coming at the office or learn new programs in preparation for that career move you've been planning to make. And, each lesson is fully interactive, giving you feedback and guidance as you work through the exercises--just like a real trainer.
The newest Personal Trainer books from O'Reilly are:
Word 2003 Personal Trainer: With these short, focused exercises you can become the Word superhero in your circle. You'll master Word basics, working with tables, drawing and working with graphics, performing mail merges, and working with forms. Then, when you're ready to go to the next level, you'll tackle topics like using document collaboration and creating web pages with Word.
Outlook 2003 Personal Trainer: With your Outlook skills in tip-top shape, you can manage information efficiently, you're more organized, and a better communicator: an Outlook champion all around. Develop your strength in each of the key Outlook muscle groups: understanding the basics, organizing your Address Book, exploiting your Contacts List, managing your Calendar, implementing the Task List, using the Journal, finding information with Search Tools, and collaborating with other users. Master exactly what you want at your own pace.
Access 2003 XP Personal Trainer: Access 2003 has plenty of muscle of its own--so much that even Access experts upgrading to this latest version spend hours wrestling with its new capabilities. But that's no reason to hold back. Beginners and experts alike can build Access skills as they master its new features like automatic error checking, automatic property updating, and the expanded ability to import, export, and work with Extensible Markup Language (XML) data files. You'll work through Access fundamentals, then move up to tables, fields, queries, forms, reports, and advanced topics like linking information from an external source. "Access 2003 Personal Trainer" includes detailed diagrams, dozens of task-oriented lessons, and a fully interactive training simulation CD--everything you need to become an Access pro.
The new Personal Trainer Series is based on content from CustomGuide, a leading provider of computer training materials. Founded by instructors who grew dissatisfied with the industry's dry course materials, CustomGuide offers courseware for instructors and students, quick references, software bulletins, and e-learning courses that are fun, flexible, and easy to use.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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