Visual QuickProject Books
Visual QuickProject Books
Creating Resumes, Letters, Business Cards, and Flyers in Word
Following this brief yet thorough introduction, the author gives straightforward tutorials on: creating a letterhead template, writing a letter, preparing a resume, creating business cards, producing a flyer, printing an envelope and creating return address labels.
Maria Langer takes the mystery out of many of these tasks, guiding the reader safely through the myriad toolbar and dialog box options and formatting choices. This is a very good book for someone starting a home office or small business. Langer covers all the tasks needed to accomplish office chores quickly and efficiently.
Managing Your Personal Finances with Quicken
Negrino covers both the Mac and PC versions of Quicken 2005 and includes instructions and screenshots for both. He steps through creating the initial data file, setting up accounts (checking/ savings/credit card), setting up paychecks for scheduled deposit into Quicken, manipulating transactions including money transfers, writing/printing checks, managing online accounts, tracking credit cards and mortgage, creating reports and graphs and tracking investments. He includes invaluable advice on deciding how best to manage one’s finances and how to use categories to track the flow of money.
This is an excellent book for anyone who would like to take charge of their finances with Quicken, even if all you have is checking and savings.
Retouching Photos in Photoshop Elements
Hester quickly moves along to detail how to use the File Browser to find existing photos on your computer, how to retrieve photos from digital cameras and import them from scanners, and how to get photos from iPhoto.
The next four chapters give lessons on how to use the Quick Fix mode to make quick photo adjustments (fix red eye, rotate and crop photos, fix lighting and colors, and sharpen,) how to use the Standard Edit mode to correct exposure problems (lighten shadows, reduce contrast, use levels, and add fill flash,) adjust colors (fix hue with layer, fix skin tone with mask, remove color noise and warm or cool colors,) and how to use special Elements tools to repair and transform photos (remove dust/scratches, fix blemishes, restore areas, remove objects, combine photos and create panoramas.)
The final chapter explains how to print and email photos and how to save photos for the Web.
If you use a digital camera or a scanner and need to manipulate photographs, then get Photoshop Elements 3 and this book. You won’t regret it.
Upgrading to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
Negrino describes how to prepare your system for upgrade; system check, driver and utility check, backup strategy and tools and how to execute the upgrade;(hard drive check, upgrade selection and options, how to set up Tiger software reinstallation, user setup, printer setup, and how to customize Tiger finder windows, sidebar, toolbar, desktop, dock, Exposé.
He continues with a description of what’s changed (Safari, Spotlight, Dictionary) and takes closer looks at Spotlight, Dashboard and Automator. I especially liked the author’s section on Automator and building workflows. This short introduction is enough to get the beginner addicted to creating his own workflows.
Negrino also includes a selection of freeware and shareware applications that add productivity value to your existing OS X system: TigerLaunch, LaunchBar, Default Folder X, iClip, PDF Browser Plugin, GraphicConverter, and TextWrangler, among others.
Overall, this is a terrific book for the Panther (or Jaguar) user who would like guidance on achieving a problem-free upgrade to Tiger.
Each of these books is well written and full of precisely the information that will enable a novice to become proficient in the chosen subject. Each book has a clearly defined goal and the authors capably lead the reader from beginning to end in a clear fashion. There are enough tips (“extra bits”) to encourage the reader to explore further but not so many to cause confusion or to stray too far afield. Each book contains references to additional titles for further learning. These books show that the Visual QuickProject Guide series is a worthwhile addition to Peachpit’s family of books. And don’t forget that User Group members qualify for discount purchases from Peachpit!
Review by NCMUG member Mary Norbury-Glaser