After I quit my job as a Word Support Engineer at Microsoft last spring, I ignored Word for a few weeks and then plunged into the task of writing a book about Word 6. The book, called "Word 6 Starter Kit for Macintosh Users" (Hayden, ISBN 1-56830-035-2) is the result of long days figuring out what was happening between the lines in the beta manual and help system in order to have a book ready when Microsoft shipped Word 6. Hayden, the publisher, having noted the success of Adam's various Internet Starter Kits, has decided to do a whole line of Starter Kits, and the Word 6 Starter Kit is one of the first to join the lineup.
The Starter Kit book is not an update to my previous "The Word Book for Macintosh Users" about Word 5.1. I will update "The Word Book," but for now, the Starter Kit comes in at about 300 pages and addresses Word from a beginning and intermediate level, with an editorial slant on helping people get started (including a chapter about installing and upgrading), avoid problems, customize commands, and have a clue about what's going on behind the scenes.
If you are considering using Word 6, read my review of Word 6 in TidBITS-239., and note that to use Word 6 effectively you need a 68040-based Mac or (until Word ships in native mode) a Power Mac 7100 or 8100. The main people I worked with at Hayden on the Starter Kit used a IIci and a Power Mac 6100, and they found Word 6 frustrating. I gave up using Word 6 on my Duo 230 and do not recommend it unless you have the CPU power.
That said, if you upgrade to Word 6 and decide you want a Starter Kit to help you figure out the new features (or the old ones!), they should arrive at bookstores this week, or you can get one at a 25 percent TidBITS reader discount by ordering direct through Hayden. The list price is $25 (Hayden just switched to whole-dollar prices, hooray!), so the discount price comes out at $18.75 (plus tax and shipping). To get the discount, give the magic code WOR6 when you order.
To read the introduction to the book (which includes a list of what I think are the top twenty new features) and receive a form for email or fax ordering, send email to <email@example.com>.
Hayden Books/Macmillan Computer Publishing -- 800/428-5331
317/581-3535 -- 800/448-3804 (fax) -- 317-581-3550 (fax)