Subscribe to our e-mail newsletters
For more info on a specific newsletter, click the title. Details will be displayed in a new window.
Computerworld Daily News (First Look and Wrap-Up)
Computerworld Blogs Newsletter
The Weekly Top 10
More E-Mail Newsletters 
Computerworld 2007Subscribe to Computerworld
40 years of the most authoritative source of news and information for IT leaders.

Review and Visual Tour: Microsoft's 2007 Office Beta 2

Word menus and toolbars are now 'ribbons'
 

Sign up to receive Security Resource Alerts

May 23, 2006 (Computerworld) -- When Microsoft released the first beta of Office 12 in November, many features were promised but not ready. With 2007 Office Beta 2 released today, most of those promises are fulfilled. One thing is clear: Office's big push is for collaboration, and SharePoint is at the core of this movement.

There are plenty of changes to the Office applications. Let's start by looking at what an application user will see, then we'll explain the move to SharePoint. Finally, we'll consider several important issues IT managers need to weigh when deciding whether to upgrade.

Goodbye Menus, Hello Ribbons

Right from the start, you'll notice the most significant change to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and many screens in Outlook 2007. Gone are the familiar toolbars and menus; they've been replaced by "ribbons" that house a variety of buttons, icons and graphics (see Figure 1). The ribbons have a dual purpose: to highlight features that users are likely to use most often or want most (but have trouble finding), and to promote features at the point they're most useful.






Figure 1: Word's "Home" ribbon contains most
of the editing tools you're likely to
access most often.
(Click image to see larger view)




For example, the Home ribbon in Word offers shortcuts for the clipboard (cut, copy, paste) and font formatting (font and font size, underlines and superscripts and so on) -- the kind of everyday tasks most of us use in Word. If you click inside a table, Word presents a special ribbon with just table options. When you move away from the table, the ribbon disappears. It's a good example of providing help right when you need it and staying out of the way when you don't.






Figure 1A: Here's what happens when you place a table in a Word document, then click inside that table. Note in the upper-right corner that the ribbon bar has a Table Tools contextual tab.
(Click image to see larger view)




The Word on Word

Hands down, Word is the Office application that has changed the most in this release. Given that it's the most used application in the suite, that comes as no surprise.

A large portion of the main ribbon in Word is devoted to styles, using preview icons to show the principle characteristics of the style. For instance, the Heading 3 style icon shows a small, plain (that is, not bold) font. These style buttons work in tandem with a "what you see is what you get" feature. Select some text (or an entire document) and hover over the Heading 3 style icon, and Word immediately applies the Heading 3 style in a "preview" mode. The text adopts the style characteristics so you can see the effect in your document, but the style isn't applied until you click on the style icon (see Figure 2). If you move away without clicking, the text returns to its original state. It's a great way to do quick, interactive previews.






Figure 2: You can see how text will look (here, it's the red text)
if you were to apply a style using the new preview mode.




Continued...
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | NEXT  



Print this Story Send Us Feedback E-mail this Story Digg! Digg this Story Slashdot this Story
" Second Life includes just about everything, so it shouldn't have surprised me to encounter a group of avatars..." Read more...
" When the newest version of SimCity, SimCity Societies, comes out on November 15, the guts of an important part of..." Read more...
Read more Desktop Applications posts or See all Blogs
BEA calls Oracle acquisition offer too low
Microsoft explains Windows URI patch strategy
UK government draws criticism over ID data-merge plan
More top stories...
Oracle offer will freeze new BEA business, analysts say
Storm Trojan flaunts crazy cat to build out botnet
Red Hat, Novell sued for patent infringement
Consumer devices and services pose threats to security and infrastructure stability. Which are the worst, and what can you do about it?
We asked usability experts to compare the iPhone with two competitors to see if Apple's device matches its hype. They came up with an unequivocal answer.
Can Apple make even a spreadsheet cool? Our reviewer examines the new office productivity suite for the Mac.
With IT's unfettered access to both professional and personal data, should "follow your conscience" be part of the job description?
Tech Dispenser is Computerworld's new human-powered technology blog network and news aggregator, with sites and links hand-selected by Computerworld's editors.
What's hot now:
Reviews, analyses, how-tos, visual tours, hot issues and predictions about Microsoft's new OS.
Four years from now, the IT field will be a vastly different place. Will you be ready?
All Zones
Customer Experience Management Zone
Performance Management Zone
The SAS Zone
Software Zone
Strategies for Achieving a More Efficient Data Center Zone
The Vulnerability Management & Policy Compliance Zone
The Web Conferencing Zone
ITIL Best Practices Zone
Application Development Optimization Zone

Ads by TechWords

See your link here
The Power of Integrated and Automated SCCM
Download this white paper, compliments of Borland.
(Source: Borland) Software Development lives and dies by its ability to cope with change, yet teams are often thrown off-track by unexpected change. Find out how you can handle any change by centrally managing assets and activities in a central repository and synchronizing them across the lifecycle for repeatable results.
Download this executive briefing download
Embracing Innovation - The Business Case for PC Blades
Embracing Innovation - The Business Case for PC Blades
Watch this webcast now!
Go to the webcast 
The Visible Supply Chain: Ensuring End-to-End Optimization
Get this white paper now!
(Source: Epicor) Today's supply chain is the primary processing mechanism of every manufacturing company. Supply chain visibility is a tall order, but some of today's IT systems can meet it. This paper will describe the characteristics of a visible supply chain, explain why having one is important and discuss the technology resources that can deliver it to you.
Download this white paper go
White Papers
Read up on the latest ideas and technologies from companies that sell hardware, software and services.
The 4 Essentials of WAN Optimization
Best Practices Handbook for Ensuring Network Readiness for Voice & Video Over IP
How to Offer the Strongest SSL Encryption
View more whitepapers