The business world relies on many types of software programs to get work done. Businesses produce documents in word processors, calculate profits and losses on spreadsheets, and communicate via e-mail. Being able to transfer information easily among all software avoids duplicating effort. The Microsoft Office Suite offers that advantage, among many others.
The Microsoft Office Suite bundles several applications to improve productivity at home and office. Depending on the version you buy, you get an e-mail program, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, desktop publisher and database. They all sport a consistent interface and allow importing and exporting of information.
As of September 2009, the cheapest version, Office Home and Student 2007, retailed for under $100 but contained only four programs. The most expensive, Office Ultimate 2007, has 10. In addition, business versions exist that save money on multiple licenses. You can also buy individual programs separately, though in some cases, an individual purchase is more expensive than the Suite.
The word-processing software, Word, eliminates any guesswork with documents by ensuring that what you see on the screen looks exactly like what you print out. You can control the layout of entire documents and adjust the font, size and color of individual text. Automated features include page references, indexes and table of contents. As with all other Suite programs, extensive help and support from Microsoft and users make learning and using the software easier.
Excel's ability to efficiently manipulate numbers has made it the most popular spreadsheet in the world. You enter text, numbers, functions and formulas into cells that are arranged into rows and columns of a table. Changing a piece of data can automatically change all related information. A variety of charts can display numerical data into more comprehensible graphics. As with other Suite programs, macros, which can include sophisticated programming codes, can automate repetitive tasks.
With PowerPoint, you can create interesting presentations that include text, sound, animations and video. You can turn these creations into standalone executables that can be run remotely or print them on transparencies for overhead display. Document themes enforce consistency among your slides while libraries let you store and reuse content. A built-in review function makes it easy to track, review and manage changes from several people.