In order to get us started, answer the following question: in Word 2003, how many commands do you need to use to insert a watermark (in case you don’t know it, a watermark is a transparent background text which appears in all pages – for instance, “confidential”, “draft” etc.)? The answer is seven commands, or menu options. In word 2007 only two menus will be enough.
Another classical question: When you have a text you’d like to format (changing font style, text color and size, for instance), in Word 2003 you usually select the text and the desired format using the format bar. This is undoubtedly the best and the fastest way to do it, and surely you must have had the same idea. There is a “but”, though: in order to see the final result you need to actually select the new format in the format bar. If you don’t like it, simply use a new format, and in case you don’t like it for the second time, just click once more on the font style, for instance, until you get a result you’re satisfied with. However, Word 2007 is much simpler, because you select the text and the format. The huge difference is that as you go through the font styles with the mouse or the keyboard, you can already have a glimpse, in real time, of what your text will look like with that particular format. This spares us a huge amount of time and allows us to test many kinds of fonts with a simple click. Finally, when you find a font which satisfies your needs, you just have to click on that font’s name to accept the formatting. The good news is that this process of real-time selection and visualization is part of every application in the Office suite 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc). Check an example on Figure 1.
Figure 1 – Text formatting in Word 2007
Still on formatting: what about selecting a text and being able to format it quickly through a Smart Tag, without having to resource to the toolbar? This is exactly what you can see in Figure 2.
Figure 2 - Formatting Smart Tag
As for menus, now we have in every Office 2007 application what we call a context-sensitive menu – that is, a menu which adapts to the user’s situation and enables the execution of context-related tasks. If you have a table, for instance, the menu shown will be related to operations involving tables; if you select a figure or any other object, the menu will adapt to the new context.
And since we’re talking about menus, check out in Figure 3 the all-new menu style: everything is new, from design to context. The objective here is to have all resources in the palm of your hand, just a mouse-click away. This new menu style is called a Ribbon. In case you want to show/hide the Ribbon, just double-click on the menu option.
Figure 3 – Redesigned menus
Do you see the shape and style applied to the image in Figure 4? If you think I’ve copied the image to an image-treating software and applied a style, you’re totally mistaken. All I’ve done is select the image, open the style list and select a style, as you can see in Figure 4. And all that with a single click. As I regularly write articles, books and presentations, this was one of the resources I liked the most, because you have a library with many styles just a click away from you.
Figure 4 – Image style
Have you ever needed to generate a PDF file from, let’s say, a DOC, PPT or XLS file? Certainly you must have used a PDF-generating application. However, the PDF format is native to Office 2007. In other words, you can just save the file as PDF. Check out this menu option in Figure 5.
Figure 5 – Save as PDF
This English version has been translated from Portuguese into English by Guilherme Braga (email@example.com)