Microsoft decided to upgrade not only the operating system, but also their Office suite on the same day. I’ve already weighed in with my thoughts on Vista. Now it is time to tell you my thoughts on Office 2007.
This decision is a no-brainer for me. Office 2007 is a must-have upgrade if you are using Microsoft Office. The last upgrade was four years ago and many users are using even older versions. In that time, a lot of things have changed in the computer world, particularly file formats.
Clearly the first time you use Office 2007, you will see a huge difference. Gone are the drop-down menus found in nearly all Windows and Mac programs. They are replaced with the “ribbon”. It is a dynamic toolbar that shows icons for the functions you desire. At first, it will be a little strange and you might not find your favorite function. Within a couple of days, you’ll not only be doing your normal tasks, but also tasks that you couldn’t figure out in the past. If you know the Property Bar in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, then think of the ribbon as an expanded Property Bar.
From a design standpoint, you’ll find that the quality of the templates and styles supplied with Office 2007 are a huge improvement over previous versions. This won’t solve the PowerPoint presentation that has meaningless content, but it will help to ensure that the presentation looks good. Even better, the same styles are available across the Office suite so that your documents will have consistency.
Throw in the new features, improved security and this is a must-have upgrade. I was so sold on it when I started using it last June that I immediately decided to write a book on PowerPoint 2007. If you still aren’t sure, you can download Office and use it for 60 days for free. Try it, you’ll love it! Make sure you also download the PDF Export add-on and then you can make PDF files directly from Office applications for free!
If you’re ready to buy, we have a page with all of the Office packages available for sale. You can also find books to help you with the suite.
There is one little gotcha. Microsoft has also introduced new file formats. You have the option to continue using the old formats if you like. They won’t support all of the new features, but they are compatible with previous versions of Office. Another option is that users of the older versions can download the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. This allows Office XP and Office 2003 to read the new file formats, but you won’t have all the new features.