Press Room

Press Release: November 30, 2004

O'Reilly's Personal Trainer Series: Shape Up Your Skills in Excel, PowerPoint, or Windows XP

Sebastopol, CA--Personal trainers aren't just for the already buff. Under the guidance of a qualified trainer, even those who don't see themselves as especially able-bodied will find themselves doing amazing things: committing to a regular plan of exercise, making steady progress, and achieving goals that they once thought were unreachable. You stop wasting your time with inefficient workouts; instead, your personal trainer provides a custom plan to help you achieve maximum results in minimum time.

So if personal trainers are so great, you're probably thinking, "Why limit them to the gym?" Why indeed? O'Reilly's new Personal Trainer books can get you started on your own championship training program right at your desk, in essential software programs such as Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, and Windows XP.

These friendly, gym-themed guides will tone up the skills of beginners and seasoned pros alike. The Personal Trainer series utilizes a set of workouts that reflect the tasks people really want to do--whether they're as simple as resizing or as complex as integrating multimedia components. Each workout breaks the task into a series of steps, showing you exactly what to do to accomplish the task. At the same time, the interactive CD provides a simulated application where you can practice what you learn in a completely safe environment; 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're testing your skills in the unforgiving world of a real application. And, it's fully interactive, giving you feedback and guidance as you work through the exercises--just like a real trainer.

The first Personal Trainer books from O'Reilly include:

Excel 2003 Personal Trainer--Beginners and experts alike can become Excel black belts, quickly and easily--no marathon training exercises required. You'll master spreadsheet basics, editing and formatting worksheets, working with formulas, creating charts and graphs, automating tasks with macros, and working with other programs and the Internet. Then, when you're ready to push the envelope, you'll move on to advanced topics like data analysis and pivot tables--and you don't even need a copy of Excel to learn!

PowerPoint 2003 Personal Trainer--Focus on each of the key PowerPoint muscle groups as you develop your strength in the basics, editing and formatting a presentation, drawing and working with graphics, working with multimedia, using PowerPoint with other programs and the Internet, and then on to advanced topics. These bite-sized, pain-free workouts will get your PowerPoint skills pumped in a hurry.

Windows XP Personal Trainer--Tired of being an XP lightweight? Start with the basics or build on your existing strengths as you master working with programs, managing files and folders, customizing windows, optimizing and maintaining your computer, exploring the Internet, using digital cameras and audio, and networking with Windows XP. You can quickly navigate to the topics you want to learn, and the hands-on guided simulations reinforce what you read, to offer a total learning experience.

The new Personal Trainer Series are 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, and software bulletins and e-learning courses that are fun, flexible, and easy to use.

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