Microsoft Office Student & Teacher Edition

Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity tools containing a good assortment of word processor, mail and other tools for the student, small business and even home user. Yes it is a bit expensive but the mail handling, spam filtering and other features for Outlook as well as the word processing program Word make it worth the cost.

I was getting very tired of the spam and junk E-mail I was getting. Especially the ones that were supposedly from Ebay, PayPal and others who were phishing for my account information. I just hate when I get email from some bank that I don’t even have an account with saying my account has been flagged or otherwise is in deep trouble, I need to log in and give away my password and account information.

And I am so glad that Microsoft knows this and has included some very good filters to stop this and other junk mail from flooding my inbox. That is one of the good features of the Outlook portion of Microsoft’s Office 2003 suite of productivity tools. The Student Teacher edition of Office includes Outlook 2003, Word 2003, PowerPoint 2003 and Excel 2003. In a nutshell this simple set of productivity tools is a great set of student or even small business tools for word processing, E-mail handling and presentations.

The Outlook 2003 is more complex than the Outlook Express that has been coming with many copies of Microsoft’s Operating Systems. The e-mail filtering is so much better and handling numerous accounts is made much easier. My family has three e-mail accounts and this program handles all three without having to switch users or change pages to deal with the separate accounts. This makes it easier for one of us adults in the family to keep an eye out for some of the junk mail that does get through the filtering. My younger son is thirteen and I really don’t need him reading all kinds of ads for Viagra or some such.

We are having a good amount of E-mail right now due to a 4-H project he is doing and the program makes it easy to create folders and separate sections to hold all the e-mails he is sending out and receiving. He is sending out one e-mail to every county in the United States and expecting many of them to reply, that’s over 2000 counties in the U.S. and it could be a bit hard to handle if it weren’t for the easy to use setup of Outlook.

I had no trouble importing my old folders from Outlook Express and setting up the accounts all happened in a matter of minutes. The program is easier to setup than Outlook Express as all the settings don’t take you step by step but are on one easy to fill in page.

Outlook also includes a calendar and appointment book section that is handy to jot down important times and dates of things like appointments and meetings. You can set a reminder to let you know the appointment is coming up and you don’t forget.

I also wanted to get Word, Microsoft’s word processor program for, of course word processing. As almost every writer will be able to tell you many businesses, agents and publishers use Word as their staple format for any submissions and work. Word 2003 has many great features including grammar and spell checker. Just like spell checker if your word or sentence doesn’t make sense or sound right to the program it underlines it for you to check on it. Red for spell check and green for grammar check.

Word comes with a dictionary and thesaurus as well as some not commonly used things like a language translator. There are several sites under a section called Research for quick and easy searching while you’re in Word to help you with whatever project or paper you’re working on. Word has many customizations for how to use things like the grammar, spell check and even the default fonts. There are a wide range of fonts and other helpful things that come with the package; highlighting, automatic document saving and style settings.

Word and Outlook were the main things I wanted but the package also includes Excel and PowerPoint. Excel is simply spreadsheets with some very handy and easy to use features. The formulas for tallying columns or rows are explained well and there are tutorials for help on how to use them available through the online help section. You can create all kinds of charts, graphs and other information gathering and tabulating forms to gather and show off the data you collect and use in spreadsheets.

Office 2003 also comes with PowerPoint, the presentations program to help show off your research or present information to groups and others. Whether it’s just a simple slide show to show friends your recent trip or that final student assignment for school PowerPoint is an easy to use presentation program with step by step instructions and online tutorials to help you along. The website for Microsoft Office has all kinds of help along with free templates to help you create professional slideshows and presentations.

The whole suite of productivity tools from Microsoft comes neatly packaged and has all kinds of on line tutorials and information for you to get any help you might need. Microsoft is constantly testing and updating their software to keep up to date with any problems and especially the security and e-mail safety we all want to have. Outlooks filtering works great, it has caught about 80% of the spam and junk that Outlook Express did not get from my e-mail accounts.

If you need some good tools for word processing, e-mail and other student or even small business related programs, Microsoft’s Office 2003 may be a good choice.

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