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Ten Tips to Survive the Word 2007 Upgrade

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Thinking about moving up to Office 2007 — or have you already? Microsoft made some big changes. Among new features and formatting modifications, the entire interface has been revamped. To help you through the transition, Eric Geier shares ten tips on using Word 2007. You’ll meet new features, spice documents with new art, discover how to work with documents and people using older formats, and more.

Whether you’ve used Microsoft Office periodically or regularly, you’ll notice some big changes when upgrading to the 2007 version. Not only has some features been removed and added, but the entire interface has been overhauled. In this tutorial, you’ll discover ten tips for Word 2007, to help ensure you have the smoothest transition possible. Now let’s get started.

Tip #1: Welcome (Don’t Hate) the Ribbon

As mentioned, the Office 2007 applications have been extremely redesigned, with the exception of Publisher and Outlook which were spared from the massive overhaul. Gone is the traditional toolbar and menus such as the File, Edit, and Format. Part of Microsoft’s so-called Office-fluent user interface is the Ribbon, shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1 See the new look of Word 2007.

This new tabbed menu groups features according to their task, into what is called Galleries. If you want to insert something into the document, click the Insert tab; if you want to change the page design and formatting, click the Page Layout tab; and so on. The main text formatting and editing tools are sported on the Home tab. Keep in mind that not all the settings for some categories can be displayed directly on its Gallery. In this case, you can click the little shortcut button that appears in the lower-right corner of the Gallery box, which will open a dialog box or pane.

If you’ve been a regular MS Office user, this new interface at first may be annoying, to say the least. It’s going to take some time to learn it and for navigating the features to become natural. Try not to hate the Ribbon too much; you’re pretty much stuck with it. However, if you really want the old interface back, you can use the add-ons from Addintools.

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