Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 15th Mar 2006 16:26 UTC, submitted by DigitalDame
Features, Office On Monday, Microsoft updated the four-month-old Beta 1 version of Microsoft Office 2007 with a "Technical Refresh" version. Office has shed the preliminary name "Microsoft Office 12" for its final name, Microsoft Office 2007, and sports an improved version of the new ribbon interface. This Technical Refresh represents the first version of Office 2007 to run under Windows Vista.
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Best upgrade in years
by Hae-Yu on Wed 15th Mar 2006 22:37 UTC
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Monday night, I ran through Jensen's blog that OS News linked to a week or so ago and the product really surprised me. Thanks for linking that, it really is the best place to discover the new Office. Under "Post Categories on the left, the #2 and #3 links are the richest."

At first I was "whoopee!! another set of screenshots?" But then I read!!!

First off, every day I use Office I discover some new functionality. Considering I switched from WordPerfect around Office 97, and used it at work since Word 6, I'm pretty proficient. I learned to stop asking "I wish Office would do feature xxx" and look for it. After a while my gripe was having to look for it and taking so many mouseclicks to get anywhere.

The redesign makes sense. People who don't want to learn a new paradigm stop complaining and don't upgrade. The paradigm made sense within 10 minutes. That's a lot faster than Office XP's 5 paradigms. Each of the tabs makes sense. I don't see the problem.

Try teaching someone how to edit styles & templates. "Oh look yet another nested dialog window opening on top of the task pane" (possible 4 nested dialogs at my count for some Styles & Formatting options).

Yes it does kill the ability to use toolbars as floating pallets. No getting around that. But the Ribbon is no larger than the default 2 toolbars+menu in Office now.

Benefits I see -
-Far most importantly, all those buried features are given daylight. The Jensen site really brought out a lot of that too.
-Symbols are easily accessible!!
-Conditional formatting isn't a pain.
-You have one paradigm. Office XP is a trainwreck of multiple paradigms.
-Instead of shoehorning everything into File Edit View paradigm and then forcing users to guess which feature is where, each application has its own clearly marked tabs. Some people complain about the loss of consistency across apps, but I think it works. I would rather have clearly marked categories for each app than consistent categories across multiple apps.
-Zoom slider!!!
-Live Formatting and the Gallery mode of selecting are very well done.
-Outlook's Task Manager is finally getting some lovin'.
-Lots more. Before you oan it, read and don't judge from the screenies alone.

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