Who Loves Office 2007?

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Posted by tribeofa | Posted in MS Office 2007 | | Posted on 06-01-2009

Don’t all respond at once – your silence is deafening me.

2007 is a shock to the system. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what you need to be prepared for: Microsoft has taken the “language” we’ve known since the mid-eighties and changed it. They’ve moved from a single menu system to tabs (which they call “panes.” I call them “pains.”) The menu bar is a list of the pane choices. Once you choose a pane, you see the tool bar appropriate to that pane.

Below you see the “Home” pane in Word.
 Word 2007 Tips,Word 2007 Tables

If you were to click on the “Insert” pane, you would see this:

 Word 2007 Tips

 

Get it?

When I tested it, it seemed familiar enough that I thought I would adjust pretty easily, but it’s been a chore. I encourage you to spend some time attempting complex tasks before you have a 42-page PowerPoint due in an hour.

The things that really flummoxed me were things like finding borders for a table in PowerPoint. They’re taken formatting backwards a couple of decades. You have to choose a pen color, choose a pen size, then drop-down to each side you want a border on, one at a time. No more just opening a window and clicking the borders you want. Oy! The real stopper was finding where the heck the borders were (Table/Design pane).

The truth is, new things stink. They aren’t the old things, therefore they’re wrong. Forget how much you yelled at the old thing, this new thing stinks. In a year, this will be the old thing and the only right way to do it, but it in the meantime, it stinks!

While you’re waiting for it to become the old thing, I have a few tips for saving yourself in an emergency. First of all, the answer is, it’s under that picture on the top left. When you’re losing you’re mind, look there. Basically, it’s the old “File” menu. It tends to flash in some programs, which makes me block it out – I don’t even see it as something to work with.

The next important thing is right next to it: see that little group of icons on the top left? There’s a pull-down arrow next to them. Pull down to “More Commands.” On the left side, highlight “Customize.” You’ll see a pull-down box, probably saying “Popular Commands.” Pull down to “All Commands.”  All available commands will be listed in alphabetical order. Choose the ones you expect to use often and click the arrow to put them into the pane on the right. You can highlight them and use up and down arrows to arrange them. When you finish, click OK and all those icons will be at the top left, next to the big round (possibly flashing) icon. You may not want them there forever, but at least you’ll be able to find things.

And when all else fails, “Help” is that teeny, tiny blue question mark that blends right in located in right corner of the toolbar, er, pain.

While you’re swearing, think about this: the Mac version of Word 2008 is much, much worse. There are no tabs – you have to pull down every single palette, one at a time from “View” one the toolbar. A pallet pops up and floats around, in the way. You have to keep minimizing and maximizing it. New things stink.

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