Saturday, December 09, 2006

Microsoft Office 2007

I'm blogging this from Microsoft Word 2007. It's got blogging capability and supports several blog providers like Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, SharePoint Blog, Community Server, TypePad, and WordPress. There is also an Others option with which you can post to a provider which is not available in the list. The latest feature of Microsoft Office is the sparkling new Ribbon. This replaces all the toolbars that were prevalent in the previous versions, with a one inch tall bar which can be changed according to the type of operations you do. There are tabs above the ribbon, and additional tabs appear as you work with certain objects. The tabs categorize the buttons, and only one tab can be open at a time. This helps reduce clutter, yet keep the most used functions of Word easily accessible. Excel and Powerpoint follows the same method.

Another new feature about the 2007 Office System is the new file format. But Microsoft took a bad decision to force the format onto the users. The default should have been the older format, and users should have been given a choice to migrate to the newer format if they're ready to do so. Many users still use the older versions of Office, so if you create documents in Office 2007, I would suggest that you save them in the old format. You can change the default format of each application in the Options dialog. Compatibility issues are solved properly by Office. Even if you save in old format, information about latest features that are used in the document are saved alongside, so when you re-edit the document, it is edited as though it is in the new format. It will take some time before everyone starts sharing documents and presentations in the new format.

A new feature which cannot be properly saved in the old format is the SmartArt. You can create lists of information and format them into a visually appealing chart. There are a lot of options on how you want to represent the data, and you can format the whole SmartArt according to your preferences. These are the most important new features of Microsoft Office. You'll discover more as you work with it. Download the Trial version at the Office website: http://office.microsoft.com.

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