About the Author Alison Barrows has taken the long route to .For Dummies writing, most recently thinking she would have a career in economics. A serious computer user since high school, she found herself irresistibly drawn into technical support, training, and documentation with help from friends who are .For Dummies authors. Since finding herself in a career as a writer, Alison has authored or coauthored seven books for IDG Books including Dummies 101: WordPerfect 8 and Excel 97 Secrets. During her career in technical writing and training, she has designed and written software courses and taught hundreds of computer users how to make computers work for them. In addition to writing books, Alison teaches custom computer courses and writes technical documentation and training material. Alison has a master's degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University and a B.A. from Wellesley College. In real life, she loves to sing, watch Star Trek (the newer versions), cook, and dabble in yoga, rock climbing, and Ultimate Frisbee. She currently lives in Boylston, Massachusetts, with her husband, Matt, and the newest member of the family, their Portuguese Water Dog puppy Jake.