In-Depth

Word 2007: Not Exactly a Must-Have

Some sing its praises, but compatibility problems and the new interface leave others cold.

Microsoft rolled out Office 2007 with huge fanfare last fall. So far, though, most users can only come up with one or two new features they like. For most, those features fall short of convincing them to upgrade to the new version.

For one thing, Word 2007 uses the entirely new ribbon interface. Power users say it takes too much time and patience to learn. Couple that with the fact that its new format makes it difficult to share documents with those using earlier versions of Word, and most say they'll wait to upgrade.

"People will get used to the new interface, but at major efforts in time, training and cost," says Mike McCullough, director of systems at Cooling Systems Technologies (CST) Inc., a parts manufacturing company in Mount Carmel, Ill.

When McCullough switched one of his WordPerfect users over to Word 2003 years ago, the interfaces were similar and she got up to speed fairly quickly. When it came time to move her from 2003 to 2007, he quickly ran into problems. "I might as well of hit her over the head with a bat," he says. "I could see anger and frustration."

He expects his experience won't be unique. "Companies are spending money just getting the new [2007] product in the first place, but now you have to pay someone to sit there and show people how to use it," he says. "And not everyone learns at the same speed. Even after that, it's a lot of hand-holding to get people to learn new things."

The new interface takes away from a major selling factor for Word -- its ease of use. "That's why everyone uses Word -- because everyone knows exactly where everything is," says Phil Collett, IT manager at Citrus Motors, a car dealership in Ontario, Calif. "But this interface is such a shock, it's like having to learn a whole new program. In fact, if people were looking to go to something open source, like StarOffice or OpenOffice, this would be the perfect time. It's no different than learning the new Word."

McCullough agrees. "There are 100 million users who understand the old interface. And now they introduce a brand new interface for what, 10 people?" he says. "It's not worth it."

What's New in Word 2007

Though not enough to inspire them to upgrade, readers like these key new features of Word 2007 the best:

Preview: The ability to hover the mouse over selected text and view font changes and style changes is a definite plus, say readers. "Preview is amazing," says Steve Hohman, IT director for Gray Information Solutions Inc. "I can hover over the style and it will change what I've highlighted before I even click to save it."

Format painter: Instead of going to a different menu item or toolbar, every format option is within the ribbon. "All those little tools you normally use are right there, including formatting for your fonts, your size, your format painter, bold, italic and underline," Hohman says. "It's all there, instead of having to jump back up the top and take it off the toolbar. It's much faster."

Grammar and spell check: Both of these features are now much more unobtrusive, which makes them more user-friendly, says Mike McCullough, director of systems at Cooling Systems Technologies Inc. Hohman says the spell check is especially improved because it can more easily discern typing mistakes, and the grammar check is more useful. "Now, it's also taking a look at context to see where maybe you'd be better off using this word instead of that one," he says. "It's more helpful." -J.C.

New and Improved
Other readers feel it's worth taking the time to learn the new interface. Once you do, they say, it actually makes creating professional-looking documents much easier for the average user.

Steve Hohman, IT director for Gray Information Solutions Inc. in Spring Hill, Fla., likes 2007's ribbon interface because it makes features that he wasn't even aware existed in 2003 easier to find and use. "The reference ribbon is amazing," he says, noting that he writes a lot of research papers and he can use that to create source references and easily add citations. "I go into my paper, click one button and say insert citation," he says. "It goes right into the document in the right format. I can do the same thing to insert a footnote or insert an endnote."

The ribbon interface also makes it easier for him to use cross-references to link a table of contents or a table of figures with references in a document. "If I move a figure inside the document and it goes from page five to six, that automatically updates in the table of contents," he says. "It makes managing your references and managing your tables and indexes much easier. These are all things you probably could do in 2003, but you didn't see it because it wasn't in front of your face on a ribbon."

Readers also like Word 2007's SmartArt graphics. This capability helps them create tables and graphics within Word. In the past, Hohman says he would create shapes and figures in Visio, then import them into Word. "They would come over well, but they didn't format or match the style I was using in my document," he says. With SmartArt, Hohman says he just has to create the diagrams in Word and everything matches.

"SmartArt is especially great if you're doing presentations, putting together a proposal or some sort of document that would benefit from any type of chart or diagram," he says. "It looks so professional and it's so easy to put in that it's just a matter of picking what shape looks best to you and putting in the text. Then you can change the colors, the 3-D look, rotate it and plant it right where you want. It's easy."

Format Formalities
The standard Word 2007 file format is no longer the well-known .DOC format. It's now the new XML-based .DOCX format. The change makes it difficult to collaborate and share documents with users of earlier versions of Word, but readers see how the new format could ease document sharing in the future.

In order to share documents with 2003 users, 2007 users must use a "Save As" command instead of a simple "Save." This adds an extra step to sharing documents with earlier versions. "It's a pain to downgrade and save as 2003," Collett says. "You have to teach people on 2007 to do that so people with earlier versions can use it. Sometimes people forget."

Others agree and note that some 2007 functionality is lost during the conversion for earlier Word versions. "I do a lot of schoolwork in 2007, but school uses 2003 and I have to down-convert my documents to 2003," Collett says. "One thing I lose when I do that is SmartArt. I may not be able to adjust it or change the shape or color of the object."

CST's McCullough says he downloaded a free Compatibility Pack program from Microsoft's Web site that lets 2003 users save their documents in 2007 format. "It upgrades 2003 to 2007 file formats, so I can actually continue to use 2003 and interchange my documents with 2007," McCullough says. "It saves everything in the new format."

It's a bit slower than a regular 2003 save, he says. "But what's neat is that it's interchangeable, so if you want to maintain this new .DOCX standard, you don't need to buy 2007 for everyone."

McCullough says he's interested in the new XML format for its promise of easy reuse. For example, if someone embeds a .JPG image within a Word 2007 document, you can easily share and reuse that image. It retains its .JPG format and isn't locked within the Word document.

"Now we can pull these pictures out of documents for whatever purposes and reuse them," he says. It also makes it easier to conduct searches on individual portions of a Word document. "We can do much improved searches on text within documents than we've ever been able to do before," he says. "I can see why Microsoft did that."

One feature that some users consider reason enough to switch is Word 2007's ability to save documents as PDFs. This is another key method of easing document sharing. To use the PDF feature, download a free add-in from Microsoft's Web site. Once you've downloaded and installed the add-in, it does work well.

"How many of us paid good money for a PDF converter?" says Hohman. "Now, you can download this for free and save as a PDF. And there are no conversion errors I've found yet. I've converted documents with formulas, equations and it all comes over nice and clear."

Microsoft Word 2007

Slow Change
Even a fan of Word 2007 like Hohman admits that it will be some time before everyone makes the change. This is especially true since most of his firm's customers are still on Word 2003. "A lot of our clients can't upgrade because they're being told that their applications can't support 2007 yet," he says.

For now, most are trying out the new Word on their own PC, but not yet rolling it out companywide.

More Information

To download a free Compatibility Pack program from Microsoft that lets 2003 users save their documents in 2007 format, go here. To use the PDF feature, you have to download a free add-in from Microsoft (see here).
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Reader Comments:

Mon, Jul 16, 2012 booberandpuzz florida, usa

The MS Office suite of "productivity" applications has been severely crippled for all but the beginner class of users. Unhinged stupidity and greed rule at Microsoft these days. (Used to be just greed.) Simply offer the "Classic" option and this massive, costly problem is solved. Is it really that hard for MS to admit that this was a misfire? There really is no good excuse for so forcibly hindering my productiviy.

Sun, Apr 1, 2012 Anon

It has now been over 2 years since I first started using Office 2007. For the first year I avoided it as much as possible, going so far as to use another PC to use 2003 (I have two PCs on my desk). I am not a novice, but I don't consider myself to be a power user. Today, in sheer frustration at not being able to find what should be on the (2003) Format menu (lots and lots of help on the net about this function, all of it says to go to the Format menu ... ) I found this page. I am depressed and sad. Soon, my old PC will need to be 'updated' and I will lose XP and Office 2003. Office 2007 makes me want to scream in sheer frustration. I have nearly broken down crying more than once. I have resigned myself to simply not being able to do what I used to do in the old Office. I know more than 20 languages. I work with windows, linux, unix and macs. I have worked with lots of different software in the last 20 years. MS Office 2007 is killing me, slowly. It is as though they designed it to be as frustrating as possible. Worst of all, part of my job is to write small How-to and Help information for others. How utterly and completely stupid is it that there is no one answer for dealing with Office. For example, we have had several people (in one case literally) screaming in frustration over that they can't 'see' tables in office without setting the borders to '1' (which they don't want to do, they just want to see where the table borders are while editing it. Turns out that you CAN do this in Office 2007 - it's just that the option to do so is hidden on one of the tabs. Great. Example: Create a new table. Now, go HUNT for how to disable the borders. So, find that icon, or google for 'microsoft office word no border icon' and follow someone's instructs and select "No border". Right. Your table completely disappears. So, you can't see your table at all. Wonderful. So, you need to display hidden tables. What is that called? Now, do NOT click outside of your table, or you are stuffed. Go to the DESIGN tab and click on "Borders" then "View Gridlines" and your table will now be visible. Now, why are table gridlines disabled by default? Frustrating. Try this one though: Click outside of your table. Go on. Click some text outside of the table.. and the whole design tab changes and the design tab disappears. How is this logical? I use photoshop on a regular basis. It uses pictographic menus for shortcuts, and it is possible to memories the 10 or so most often used functions. For the rest I still use the photoshop menu system.. mostly as I don't want to waste time hovering over pictorgrams to discover functions. So, that you so much Microsoft. You have seriously crippled my ability to produce. You have made working with .DOC and .XLS documents painful and in some cases just down right nasty. After 2 years I am still despising your vaunted ribbon menu and I really wish that we go to open source sooner rather than later because this is really terrible.

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 Rob Swain UK

Basically just to re-iterate what most people above say: Ribbon is too big. In the wrong place. Not intuitive. Not customisable. Not backwards compatible. Just plain wrong, pointless and useless. The fact that MS didn't put a 'use classic interface' option in Word shows just how much confidence they had in the ribbon: they KNEW everybody would turn it off and use classic menus. There are features I used to use in word that I now simply can't find. Where is 'insert number of pages' for example? Used to be a simple button int he header/footer editor. Then again, when I did find it the other day it said I was viewing page 5 of 3 - yes that classic bug (Word 95, 97 and 2000) is back! I use Word 97 SP2 whenever I get the choice. Small(ish), fast, complete and reasonably free of superfluous crap!

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 Me To obvious Microsoft Employee

You need to listen to your users, not arrogantly claim everything's fine and dandy and that you 'really find it difficult to believe that anyone would have a hard time with the ribbon'. There alternative versions of an office suite (such as openoffice) - granted they have to be downloaded, but a lot of people these days have their own computers so a lot will probably eventually download openoffice

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 PJ

For the past 30 minutes or more, I've been trying to find out how to create a survey in Word 2007 (unfortunately my university uses it - despite I.T. staff not knowing how to use it) and still haven't found out. I'm going to have to find an online alternative instead.

Sat, Jul 16, 2011 John Franks California

Power user of MS office for years. Stupid move by MS this time. I came across the Wiki entry for MS ribbons. It seems that the Ribbon was a move by MS to patten it as "ART". Therefore they can claim righs over it. Just too greedy in my opinion.

Wed, Jan 5, 2011 Reid Utah

The ribbon is so dysfunctional that 90% I have to bypass it and use the ? icon to get help with how to do things. The ribbon has slowed my productivity down by at least 30% other than for the most simple items. And did you notice that there are two "insert" functions and that it is necessary to try them both out in order to find the "insert" you really wanted? GARBAGE, GARBAGE, GARBAGE.

Wed, Oct 20, 2010 pokern http://www.online-poker-spielen.biz/

I HATE Word 2007. Yes, it has a few advantages, such as saving as a pdf, but the inaccessibility of the options and the way the menus are put together just isn't logical. 'm finding that it is taking me forever to find functionality that was very easy to find in previous versions.

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 Chris Vancouver

I have used generations of Word and MS Office and transitioning has always been a breeze. As a power user (I write my own macro code and fully customize my stylesheets etc.) moving into 2007 was just SUCH A PAIN. And the worse part is having been forced to do it because of forced obsolescence. Well done, Microsoft. It will be a great day when you lose your grip on the software of the world.

Thu, Sep 16, 2010

.............

Thu, Sep 16, 2010 Zerene LA

It's not that bad, but it also has a few disadvantages. It's hard to adapt at the new look. You have to memorize new buttons and new names.2003 is still the best.

Sat, Aug 7, 2010

I like the ribbon. Granted I'm not a huge user of keyboard shortcuts, but the keyboard shortcuts I do use for copy/paste etc still work so I'm fine with that. The ribbon helped me find features that I never new existed, especially for editing that I miss when I have to go back to 2003 on another computer. They reminded me of tabs, so once I learned that tab X was roughly equal to pull down menu X, it wasn't hard to navigate. Plus, it meant like tasks were all together. If I'm formatting a paper, all the buttons I need are in easy access on that tab together. If I'm editing for the next bit, well, the editing tab has everything I need. It's a little big for my tastes, but I have a small screen. A simple way to minimize the tabs/ribbon when not in use would be nice, but otherwise I rather like the ribbon.

Thu, Jul 29, 2010 marian Alabama

I hate this one (Word 2007) too. I've just spent several hours doing something I could have done in much less time. I wonder if there's any way to get 2003 instead of this thing. I don't make business reports or any other such, and I was quite satisfied with 2003, but Dell put this thing on this new computer, and I didn't know what a monster it was!!!.

Sun, Sep 27, 2009 John Bryntze France

Must say I like Office 2007, I had problem to find Insert -> Picture -> From Scanner or Camera... but manage to add it with Macro: http://www.john.bryntze.net/jbkb/index.php?title=Office-kb4_%22Insert_-_Picture_-_From_Scanner_or_Camera...%22_in_Word_2007

Thu, Sep 17, 2009 John

Yes Max, good point. This Word 2007 thing is especially frustrating when you have to use it on some other computer when you have to perfom some very basic tasks urgently. It can make you scream in frustration!

Thu, Sep 17, 2009 max

Recently I've been to a public Internet Caffe with Vista and Word 2007. It made me furious !!! The time-money I spent in order just to use a few basic word-processing utilities! I urgently had to edit a simple Word doc document that I brought on my memory stick. I needed 15 minutes just to figure out how to "save it as" under another name. And then I forgot to change the default format from docx to doc. And so my partners could't read it. I hate it !!! I guess Internet Caffes owners love it because it brings them money with all the time we spend trying to figure out how some basic functions behave.

Wed, Sep 9, 2009 ANONYMOUS VANCOUVER BC

I HATE WORD 2007. Can't do any of the (only slightly) more advanced functionalities that I always need. Its not like I need the extremely advanced stuff but do need to insert tables, functions once in awhile, format documents, work with headers footers. working with tables - bloody awful. How to get editing markups to disappear permanently from the view - who knows. Somehow despite all the extra ribbon space there seems to be less functionality. What the %^% typeface is Calibri? the autoformatting - driving me crazy. Learning to use new word is not the biggest problem - the biggest problem is need to spend a ton of time just figuring out how to get rid of their crap autostuff. The ribbons are fine - no big deal - if only they actually had functionable stuff in them and any kind of logical arrangement. Hate it hate it.

Wed, Jun 24, 2009

After using Office 2007 for over a year now, I am even more frustrated (and furious) then when I first started using it. What would've taken 1 day in office 2003 is taking weeks in office 2007 due to missing functionality and lack of testing of the new version. Things simply don't work if you are doing anything more advanced than basic text. It is also unbelievable that Microsoft's own program (so called "Word") is not even compatible with itself. 90% of my job now is consumed by testing compatibility in all the different versions of Word, just so that we can send documents to our clients that work. It is unbelievable that my company (which is certainly not alone) is spending huge amounts in personnel time wasted & software costs on this program. As an IT company, I know that if we delivered a product like that, we would get sued. Where is the accountability?

Wed, Apr 29, 2009 Anonymous Denmark (Europe)

Thank you.
This was the only somewhat critical article I could find about Office 2007 (and especially Word), which I needed for my school project. Great article too.
(To "Beyond frustrated" - have you tried pressing the F1 key?)

Mon, Apr 13, 2009 Beyond frustrated Anonymous

For all the geniuses that love this absolute piece of crap - a simple question. For someone trying to understand how to work with and use this new version, where do you find the "Help" feature?

Fri, Apr 3, 2009 Rebecca Florida State University

One more vote for "HATE THE WORD RIBBON" I'm not averse to change. I starting using Windows the year it first came out. I ordered a mouse when no one else had ever heard of one. This ribbon thing is not just new. It's truly awful. I have to use in frequently to teach my undergrad students how to do things and to assist my grad students. I stand up with this ribbon thing on the teaching computer, trying to figure out how to do the simplest things. Part of my students have menus and part of them have this godforsaken ribbon. Everyone it totally confused. I've been irritated with MS from time to time over the years. This time I'm FURIOUS. This is an agony. I can't just go home to my nice menu bars and forget it. I HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT. I hope all of the developers get crabs.

Mon, Jan 26, 2009 Anonymous Anonymous

Office 2007 is a piece of crap. Totally unusable and not user friendly. I will stick to Office 2003.

Thu, Dec 4, 2008 Mark St. Louis

Power Users? Word? Any real power publishing or documentation person uses Framemaker, not Word. MS has never truly understood writing documents. They do well on letters or essays, but real documents need a real documentation tool.

Word has had some neat tools that work well, and Framemaker has stayed in the past far too long, but FM will let you design and build a document your way instead of MS's way. Word only works when you do it the MS way. Design your own and it comes apart.

Office 2007 occupies far too much real estate on the top half of the page. Documents are created vertically, or in portrait mode, not horizontally or landscape. Does MS think we only do spreadsheets?

They put in MS's flavor of XML but forgot that single sourcing documents requires conditional text.

We unfortunately bought Mac Office 2008 for an iMac on the network since we couldn't come up with a copy of XP to partition, and was that a mistake. Cutesy, but a real pain for compatibility.

And like one person mentioned, keyboard shortcuts are much faster than mouse clicks, that is if you can really type and not just hunt and peck.

Sun, Nov 23, 2008 Bryan Keating Belgium

Office 2007 better?
I am open to change and progress.
BUT;
If it was possible to format the ribbon I could be mollified.
Those items I DONT use and clutter the screen cannot be deleted, scrubbed nor purged.
Adding the ones I WANT to the Quick Access Menu gives an inferior result.
Using STYLES is not the HOLY GRAIL Grail Microsoft profess; Disapointing.
Font Calibri is nice, continually re-surfaces in text despite my efforts. Pity my clients in the Oil & Gas want documents in THEIR chosen format, not the preference of a Microsoft nerd.
One day the frustration will drive me back to Office 2003 in line with the rest of industry.
I use the computor as a working tool, not an item of worship.
Got the impression some of the gushing reviews are from those on funny mushrooms or spanish fly
VERDICT;
A pretty toy for IT playboys
After 4 months use I am not impressed nor convinced.


Fri, Nov 21, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

Power users ? It is amazing how people who are just reluctant to change (no matter how good the change is) want to teach the world that their logic is the best. The Word 2007 interface has obviously been designed by dozens of people and the result is absolutely amazing from an ergonomics's point of view. You were able to learn where your hitchy-titchy option lies in Word 9.0 incredible mess? I am impressed. You can learn that with a better interface. Just compare the clicks count.

Sun, Nov 2, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Microsoft! Admit you got it wrong and give the thousands of professionals with years of experience some way to continue to use the tools we loved to use! At least let us have a "Classic" option if we can't remove the E-Fluent or whatever your sales people have decide to call it!

Thu, Mar 27, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

I'm writing this in Word 2002. Microsoft really laid an egg with Office 2007. It’s much, much more difficult for a power user to customize Word in VBA. Word has always had its strange quirks, but, in spite of them, it’s been a very usable program.

It appears as if Microsoft does not care one iota about its customers. I initially chose Word over WordPerfect or Star Office because it can be so highly customized via VBA macros. I chose it somewhat reluctantly because both Corel and Sun Microsystems are far more ethical companies than Microsoft. However, Word had better customizability than either of its two competitors.

I was actually relieved to finally use Word after resisting it for years. My two previous programs, WordStar and Lotus Word Pro, both excellent products, failed in the marketplace. I had experienced the frustration of my chosen word processor being orphaned. Now that I finally chose Word, I knew I at last had something that would not be orphaned. Wrong! The new version of Word is so radically changed that it’s not even the same program! Microsoft has orphaned Word and replaced it with an inferior product, Ribbon Word.
It appears that Microsoft has chosen to cater only to novice users who might find it a little easier to use the ribbon to type up a 500 word document.

For power users, Ribbon Word is a giant leap backwards. They’ve added absolutely nothing that I want and have made it much more difficult to use. A Chinese company had created an add-in that will restore the menu system. However, why would I shell out more money to Microsoft and to the Chinese company to get a word processor that is not even marginally better than Word ’02? I have no reason to do that.

I’m going to keep using Word ’02 for the time being. Any new features I want, I’ll just have to program in myself in VBA, if the feature is worth my time and effort. In the meantime, I’m keeping my eye on both WordPerfect and Star Office to see if they improve their products to the point in which it’s worth it for me to pay money for them.

What’s even more frustrating is that Microsoft has also ruined the other one of their products that I finally decided to use, Visual BASIC 6. They’ve orphaned that in favor of a new language that is the same language in name only, Visual BASIC.net. The new language is incompatible with the old, which MIGHT not be a deal breaker if it was worth my time to learn it. However dot net executables can be easily decompiled by any snot-nosed kid who wants your code! One of VB 6’s strengths was that executables compiled in it could not be decompiled. There’s no way I would ever code in a language in which my intellectual property could so easily be stolen.

I’ve switched to REALbasic, which is more similar to VB 6 than VB.net. And unless Microsoft at least makes the menus optional, I’m using the last version of Word I’m going to use. If MS doesn’t bother to improve their products in ways that benefit power users, it’s Corel or Sun Microsystems that will earn my money.

Sat, Jan 5, 2008 Kev Anonymous

I found this page by searching the phrase "hate Word 2007." I've been using Word continuously since 1989 -- starting with Word 3.0. I am a dead-serious user with presently 968 (no joke) VBA macros that I've created myself in operation, all connected to custom keystrokes. (I am professional writer with a computer programming background.) The only reason I can think of that Microsoft would make a new version of Word (i.e. Word 2007) discontinuous from the previous version -- and with no way to revert to Word 2003 menus -- is greed. It's profoundly disappointing. I am now going to avoid purchasing Microsoft products (to the extent that one can), and will encourage others to do so as well.

On a related subject: A wise person once told me years ago that keystrokes are faster and ergonomically easier than mouse movements or clicks. It's true. And yet Microsoft appears to have removed keystroke functionality from the menus -- or what had been menus -- in Word. Maybe the ribbons are great for middle school students, but removing keystroke functionality does nothing but slow down professional users.

Mon, Dec 3, 2007 Pablo PHX

Leave it to Microsoft to fix that which wasn't broken as a previous person commented. I've used office for over 15 years and for the first time I'm finding that it is taking me forever to find functionality that was very easy to find in previous versions. This is extremely counterintuitive, unless you're the computer illiterate type that has to learn everything from start, your productivity will suffer greatly.
I'm switching to OpenOffice. Buhbye Microsnot... First you pull the .NET shit on us, and not this crap?

Thu, Nov 1, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

I hate Word 2007, too!

I'm a power user (a writer), and I've been using it a long time, but even after mastering it, I still prefer Word 2003. I can't say that publicly though, because I do a lot of work for Microsoft. They tried to fix something that wasn't broken.

Thu, Nov 1, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

I absolutely HATE Word 2007. Yes, it has a few advantages, such as saving as a pdf, but the inaccessibility of the options and the way the menus are put together just isn't logical. I bang my head on my desk every time I try to save down-convert a document. I just don't get it, and Microsoft doesn't make it easy to understand the differences. I had no idea that there was a .docx format until I came here. I had no idea how to save documents so that the REST OF THE WORLD could access them (ie Windows 2003). It's the biggest nuisance and I'm going to go back to my old version of Word. I absolutely hate the new version.

Sat, Oct 13, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

The biggest problem with the ribbon is it's location and size. I only work on laptops and the ribbon takes up too much real estate on the screen that makes it difficult to see much of a page in your document.

I know you can hide it but it would be better to be able to move it to the side as a vertical ribbon. I would like to see all menubars and toolbars have the option of going to the side of the screen.

Mon, Oct 8, 2007 George Richmond, VA

Word 2007 is, by far, the best version of Word. Loaded with features that EASILY accessible from the ribbon, it blows every version of Word out of the water. I really find it difficult to believe that anyone would have a hard time with the ribbon. It is one of the most intuitive user interface elements I've seen. Couple that with the live preview, the templates and general ease of use and you have one killer application. As for the SAVE AS, c'mon! You can tell Word to save in any format it supports. Click the ORB in the upper left, then OPTIONS and finally SAVE. On the right is a drop down selection. Choose the format and click OK. From that point on, when you click SAVE, it will save in the format you want. No having to click SAVE AS everytime. I believe that most, if not all, of the old keyboard shortcuts are still there as well. All this is that people see something very different than what they are used to and they freak out. It took me about a half hour to get comfortable with the ribbon. Now I hate to use anything else. The menu interface is dead, it is time to bury it.

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