Thursday, November 29, 2007

Microsoft Office 2007 takes some getting used to ...

I have recently taken the plunge and upgraded to Office 2007 at work, while I continue to use Open Office at home. As part of the upgrade experience, I've had to get used to whole new ways of doing things. The interface is quite different and not very familiar. Armed with my copy of Office 2007 for Dummies, I have gradually become used to it.

The biggest change is use of the ribbons. Microsoft have given the interface a radical overhaul and they have done a lot of work in the architecture. Unfortunately I've found that some of the functions that used to be easy to find are sometimes now hidden. I sometimes find myself wanting to return to classic view and minimising the ribbon which does sometimes tend to get in the way. However once you memorise where things are it becomes much easier.

For me, importantly the new version fixes some specifically annoying bugs in older versions even though I had kept my office up to date.

I used to find placement of some images almost impossible. You'd put them somewhere and they would mysteriously jump around on the page. Formatting seems to be greatly resolved in 2007.

Interoperability between applications is also improved. It practically used to crash my PC every time I tried to embed an Excel object into a Word page. I haven't had that problem (touch wood) with this new version.

The office concept, however, is a pretty mature one, and most of the enhancements are pretty superficial. Overall I'm pretty satisfied with the speed and performance of the new Office and I'll share some tips and techniques with you as I discover them.