Product Reviews

Office 2010: Is It Worth an Upgrade?

Microsoft will release the next version of its stalwart Office suite next year. Will it bring enough to the table to warrant upgrading?

It was clear that, with the release of Office 2007, Microsoft focused on collaboration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. The Office 2010 Suite follows that same path, boasting improvements in integration with SharePoint Services and Windows Live. There's also the promise of Office Web Apps (not including Access), an online version of the suite that could potentially give Google Apps a bit of healthy competition. Users will now be able to access their files anywhere there's an Internet connection, save files directly to SharePoint and collaborate and edit documents simultaneously with other users. Microsoft also promises compatibility with a variety of browsers, including Firefox and Safari.

But will Office 2010, which is due in the first half of next year, provide enough of a change from Office 2007 to make existing 2007 users' mouths water? Or will it just be a better landing point for those who never made the move to 2007 and will be upgrading from Office 2003?

Universal Improvements
The most notable changes in Office 2010, compared to its predecessor, are the across-the-board modifications in navigating the applications. The highly criticized ribbon interface from Office 2007 is back and now graces all the Office applications, even Publisher and OneNote. As a compromise to the ribbon's many critics, users are now able to customize the ribbon without having to delve into XML to add their own tabs and commands. Just as with the Quick Access Toolbar, users can scroll through a list of commands and simply click Add, which will add them to the tab or group of their choice or create a new tab for their own commonly used commands (see Figure 1).

[Click on image for larger view.]
Figure 1. Customizing the ribbon.

Another change to the ribbon is the absence of the orb-like Office button. A new tab called Backstage View features a beautiful, full-screen menu containing all the actions that pertain to a file as a whole such as save, open, share, print and, of course, the file's properties. The most useful aspect of this view is the improved print view, which combines all the previously buried printing and layout options and places them next to a sleek print preview of your file (see Figure 2).

Microsoft has also beefed up its image and illustration tools. Most applications within the Office Suite now have the ability to insert a screenshot or screen clipping from within the application. PowerPoint, Word and Excel all have new and improved image-editing capabilities where users can apply a variety of artistic effects. Back in 2007, SmartArt replaced the diagrams gallery. In 2010, users can see some additional layouts to choose from, as well as more options for editing SmartArt, including the ability to convert SmartArt to simple shapes. But best of all, creating and controlling gradient stops when formatting the color within shapes is a lot easier to do than it was in previous versions. Rather than a drop-box controlling the color and position of a stop, users see a more intuitive sliding bar, which gives them a live preview of their gradient as they make changes.

[Click on image for larger view.]
Figure 2. The Print options from Backstage View.

One final universal addition to the suite is the Paste Preview feature, which allows users to see a live preview of what they're pasting before they actually paste it. We'd stick this in the list of improvements we didn't know we wanted but think are kind of cool to have.

As for the individual applications, new features and enhancements vary widely depending on the application, as does our take on each.

Installation 20%
Features 20%
Ease of use 20%
Administration 20%
Documentation 20%
Overall Rating:

Key: 1: Virtually inoperable or nonexistent  5: Average, performs adequately   10: Exceptional

Access 2010
In line with Microsoft's push for Web compatibility and sharing, users can now publish Access databases to the Web -- with some limitations, of course. But don't worry; the Access team has included a compatibility checker to identify items and settings that aren't supported on the Web. And continuing with the Web 2.0 theme, browser controls, buttons, tabs and other improved design elements make it a little bit easier for users to create Web-style database navigation.

Another big change to Access is a complete overhaul to the Macro Designer. IF statements are much easier and more intuitive to create. Designed to be more "logical" in appearance, Macro Designer looks like a programmer's version of Mad Libs: pick an action and then fill in the blanks. This will take some getting used to for longtime users of Access and may even be very difficult for newbies to grasp. Also new in the Macros functions is the ability to create Data Macros and Table Events, which centralize logic on the table rather than on the form.

One of the most welcome improvements to Access is the addition of IntelliSense to the expression builder, featuring AutoComplete, a dropdown list of suggested words, be it objects or functions; Quick Info, which displays the complete declaration for a function; and QuickTip, providing additional information about a UI component. IntelliSense makes expressions much easier to create and functions easier to locate -- writing expressions in Access 2010 is almost as easy as writing expressions in Excel.

Other additions include Application Parts, which allow users to reuse database parts built by others; a Navigation Form that allows users to drag and drop fields onto a form; and support for conditional formatting and data bars in reports. Plus, although this runs contrary to conventional wisdom about database design, users can now create calculated fields from inside a table.

Excel 2010
We're disappointed by the lack of visible new features in Excel 2010. With all the wonderful improvements and additions to the 2007 version, the 2010 release feels like igniting a roman candle after watching a glorious grand finale at a firework show. In fact, there are really only three additions worth mentioning here. The first are Sparklines, which are small column charts designed to fit snugly into a single cell to graphically and quickly display trends in adjacent data. The second are Slicers, which provide yet another, but slightly more visual, way of filtering PivotTables -- this expands the business intelligence client role of Excel. The third is Excel Web App, with which multiple users can edit a spreadsheet simultaneously.

However, under the hood, Excel has some improvements that are worth mentioning. Microsoft is releasing a 64-bit version of Excel, which will allow the spreadsheet app to address its current memory limitation of no more than 2GB. Without a doubt, this will speed up and improve performance. There are advancements to the calculation engine that will improve the speed and accuracy of math, as well as of financial and statistical functions. There's also a new version of Solver on the way.

Word 2010
Much like Excel, Word also lacks new visual features. The word processor offers the same text effects as Word 2007 and some new OpenType typography. There's also the same additional SmartArt Graphics, picture-editing tools and collaboration features that are available in the rest of the Office 2010 suite. On the plus side, Microsoft has done away with the Document Map and replaced it with a Navigation Pane. It's a bit more intuitive to use, thus making it much easier to drag and drop, or otherwise rearrange, sections of a long document. Microsoft is really touting Word's collaboration features; automatic offline editing and syncing of shared documents; and the Word Web App capabilities. These are all certainly steps in the right direction.

How We Rate Each Office 2010 App

Access: 9        Excel: 8
Word: 6            PowerPoint: 9
Outlook: 7        OneNote: 6
Publisher: 7     Complete Office Suite: 7.4

Outlook 2010
The new additions to Outlook are few, but Microsoft has made some significant improvements.

The best addition is the new Conversation View, which groups related messages and replies together and helps to keep inboxes clean. However, the icon representing the multiple threads isn't easy to spot. Currently, it's the standard open-envelope icon -- only there are two of them together. This function might work better visually if Outlook used a different icon or, at least, made the Conversation View icon a different color.

Another addition we're thrilled to see is Quick Steps, a feature that combines multiple steps into one single click. Think of them as macros in training wheels. By default, Outlook gives users nine basic quick steps. However, users can create their own custom quick steps. Among the most notable are Saved, which moves a message to a user's saved-messages folder; Meeting Reply, which automatically creates a meeting request to be sent to the recipients of an e-mail the user has selected; and Team E-Mail, which automatically creates a new e-mail to a specific group of recipients. But those are just a few examples of the improvements in Outlook 2010.

Other new additions include MailTips, a warning to new users before they commit an e-mail faux pas, such as accidentally clicking Reply All instead of simply Reply; a new Clean Up feature to combine related messages; a new Ignore feature that allows users to ignore and automatically delete threads that aren't that important; and, of course, new and improved experiences with Web and mobile devices.

Keep in mind that some of the features in Outlook 2010 will only be available with the use of Exchange 2010. For example, there's a new Archive Mailbox feature in Exchange 2010 that's only available in Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web Access 2010.

He Says, She Says: Backstage View

J. Peter Bruzzese: "I find this view to be a bit much. Taking up my entire screen when I just need a dialog is overkill, and the empty space becomes an excuse to flash me with the Office color scheme for that application. However, the Print options are a plus."

Heather Ackmann: "I personally find Backstage View most useful in Outlook, where previously printing a tri-fold style calendar involved clicking through multiple screens and swapping back and forth between print preview and print options screens. Now, with Backstage View, all the options are alongside the preview."

PowerPoint 2010
PowerPoint is the program that impressed us the most visually, because Microsoft improved every area we were hoping would see improvement. In addition to offering the same new features that appear across the other Office apps, PowerPoint now sports new and improved slide transitions, which look much smoother and are stylistically updated. Transitions and Animations are now separated on their own respective tabs, a change most welcome considering how frequently new users would confuse animations with transitions. Microsoft has also made creating and editing animations within the ribbon more intuitive. Settings such as duration, delay and triggers are a lot easier to find and manage. Plus, moving these options to the ribbon leaves more space in the Animation Pane to view the timeline. And for users who are fans of the Format Painter, there's now an Animation Painter that lets users easily copy transitions from one object to another.

An excellent addition for those of us who can't keep our presentation short and concise is the ability to create sections in the presentation. This lets users easily organize and navigate slides, dividing the presentation into more manageable sections.

Also revamped for the 2010 release is the eagerly awaited Create a Video option, with which users can convert their presentation to the .WMV movie file format. Along those same lines, PowerPoint users also have a variety of new media options for use in their presentations. Users can edit or trim videos from within PowerPoint (shown in Figure 3), and during a slideshow users can pause, fast-forward, rewind or jump to a particular section of the video by using bookmarks.

[Click on image for larger view.]
Figure 3. Trimming a video in PowerPoint 2010.

PowerPoint 2010 includes another eagerly awaited media option: the ability to view videos from online video sites like YouTube or Vimeo. All users need in order to show videos during presentations is a working Internet connection and the embedded code from the video-sharing site. For audience members who can't attend a presentation, PowerPoint presenters can broadcast their shows via SharePoint to someone's browser, even if that person doesn't have PowerPoint.

OneNote 2010
If the rumors are true, Microsoft is going to include OneNote in all editions of Office 2010. Like its big brothers and sisters, OneNote sports a number of multiple-user editing and sharing options, not to mention the ability to link notes to other files, whether it be a Web page, a PowerPoint slide or an Outlook Team Meeting.

He Says, She Says: The Ribbon Interface

J. Peter Bruzzese: "I've been working with the Outlook 2010 ribbon daily, and I find it incredibly confusing. I've embraced the ribbon in all other apps, but I'm not comfortable with it in Outlook."

Heather Ackmann: "I might be the only one, but I love the ribbon and am especially glad to see it at last in Outlook. Between all the different views and objects and the various commands that go with each, the ribbon really does make it easier to find those important commands and views."

Linking is a cool little feature. With it, users can take notes in OneNote while working in another application like Excel. From its notebook, OneNote will keep track of the working location in Excel of when the user took the note. The only criticism here is that the split screen and docked OneNote book is a bit cumbersome and takes some getting used to.

Other new additions to the program include Quick Filing. This lets users pick a notebook to send notes to as users insert them. OneNote 2010 also offers improved search navigation; co-authoring and simultaneous sharing; and versioning, which provides tracked changes and makes it possible to both undo changes other users make or sync changes with other users.

Publisher 2010
Publisher is a disappointment only because it lags behind the other Office applications. Publisher is now caught up with the 2007 version but lacks most of the cool new features that Word, Excel and PowerPoint have in Office 2010. Remember the awesome background-removal tool? Yeah, it's missing from Publisher, which is the one program that should have it. Publisher does, however, contain the basic new features of the suite, such as Paste Preview, OpenType Typography, some of the picture-editing tools and Backstage View.

On the plus side, there's a new Save for a Commercial Printer option. This lets users save documents for "high quality printing," "commercial press," "minimum size" or "standard" -- or create their own custom publishing options. It'll be interesting to note what professional printers have to say about this. They've generally shunned Publisher, and we're curious if this new option will change Publisher's reputation.

The Final Verdict
It's easy to see that Office 2010 has two important directions to pursue: collaboration and Web-based functionality. Microsoft is certainly focusing on those goals. However, the majority of users today may not need the collaboration aspects of Office 2010. For Office 2007 users, the lack of significant visual or functional improvements in some of the major applications -- such as Word, Excel and Outlook -- means that, overall, Office 2010 likely won't provide the same excitement that the enhancements in Access and PowerPoint might generate.

Office 2007 users may be better off staying with 2007, except in companies that bring the underlying infrastructure of SharePoint and Exchange to the 2010 platforms, in which case Office should match the servers. However, users still stuck on Office 2003 should upgrade. The combination of improvements from 2007 and 2010 are well worth the price.

Office 2010

Pricing TBA
Microsoft Corp.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 Lauren California

It is unbelievable that people are so reluctant to switch to 2010, even some comments recommending to stay with 2003. If you want a BASIC word processing program or spreadsheet, stay with '03. Now that I've gotten used to the ribbon and all the awesome new features, 2010 wins hands down. I spend 80% of my day using the Office products and would not go back.

Wed, Jan 11, 2012

Have been using office 2010 and Windows 7 for the past month on a new PC. Still find XP and Office 2003 to be better. Old menus used much less space and guided you through the shortcut keys. The Ribbon wastes space, needs far to many clicks and moves, hides features, and too often hides the actual document you are trying to work on.

Fri, Oct 21, 2011 js fl

windmillcrusader: why the $h!7 f%@k would you buy a windows phone? that's the better question. switch for an android!

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 windmillcrusader BC

Even worse, I bought MS Office 2010 BEFORE i bought the new smart phone so there would be access to all the upgrades i figured were going to happen. the retards at the phone center didn't know Sh*t about Office not syncing with a windows 7 smart phone. Jesus, what kind of retarded company does microsoft run. FU$%ing information sharing Sh*t heads. The only thing shared is they get my personal data.

Tue, Sep 20, 2011 windmillcrusader BC

I can't believe a bought a windows 7 smart phone and didn't realize that i wouldn't be able to sync with 2010, when my 6.5 smartphone could. i just blew $600 FU$%*ing dollars for a FU*&ing of Sh%$ program. Now i'm carrying around 2 devices instead of one. I hear the only option is for me to upload "ALL MY DATA TO THE INTERNET" for syncs. Why would FU$%ing microsoft market a smart phone that is retarded?

Sun, Jun 5, 2011 Julius D AL, joann fabrics coupons

I'm still using office 2007 and it's working great. I tried office 2010 as well and I think it's a great upgrade. More and more documents I received recent days are in office 2010, so I had no choice but to upgrade to save the trouble. I knew there's an add-on to view office 2010 docs but its just too troublesome. Cheers!

Thu, Mar 3, 2011 Fiaz

pls bring back tear-off option. this is really a pain. also.. previously double clicking on objects opened its properties window.. (for example: Access Empty Whitespace of the query window)... But, it doesn't now. I have to search for where the properties is.. or right click.. and choose properties.. Office 2007 / 2010.. HAS MADE THE USER INTERFACE CRAPPY IN MANY AREAS... MAY BE SUITABLE FOR NEW USERS.. FOR EXPERT USERS.. IT IS A REAL PAIN... IT IS SO IDIOTIC FOR MICROSOFT TO DO THIS.

Mon, Feb 21, 2011 Fiaz

Without the "Tear Off" for color, alignment, etc.. it is a real pain. Excel 2007/2010.. Please bring back the "Tear Off" option. Using "Tear Off".. the window will float on top of the spreadsheet.. you can keep on clicking a different cell and change color quickly.. align left, align top, etc. no need to reopen menu again.

Wed, Feb 16, 2011 jon

The direct cell coloring feature is fixed in 2010. It was broken in practice in 2007, and worked well in 2003. In 2003 you could tear off the palette and place it near the area you were working. You could not do this in 2007. In 2010, there is a work-around. You can now right click on a cell in 2010 and select a color off of the format menu that shows up. This is a significant improvement over 2007. My advice, if you want to upgrad from 2003, skip 2007 and go straight to 2010. 2010 works.

Fri, Feb 11, 2011 MIKE MICHIGAN

I must disagree with JJ. This is simply a case of Change Management. When we first deployed 2007, our users were very hesitant due to the significatly changed interface. However, after just a few weeks they entire user base became extermely excited about the new Office and the huge amount of improvements. Our move to 2010 has been no different. The learning curve is less owing to the fact that we embraced 2007 and the improved functionality of 2010 has been widely accepted. MS has done an excellent job of taking our comments about 2007 and improving those things that needed improvement. There simply is no good argument for remaining on 2003 and, if you are a SharePoint shop, no good argument for remaining on 2007 as you upgrade to SPS 2010.

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 JJ Oregon

I couldn't disagree more with the conclusion of this article. We have had Office 2003 for the last few years. We will be upgrading to Office 2010 soon. I've been playing with 2010 for a couple of weeks now. I can say without hesitation that if you have Office 2003 and are allowed to stay there, DO SO!!!! The problems with 2010 have nothing to do with learning curves for power users. I love learning new things. Also, I was primed to love the ribbon since another program I use also uses ribbons and a reviewer I trust likes them. No, my problems with 2010 have to do with lost productivity. Almost everything I have tried to date is either the same or harder to get to. (Almost nothing is easier or better.) If you use the keyboard, I'd say that at least 80% of the time, it is harder to get to what you need to do. What a true nightmare for someone who wants to get real work done. 2010 is a huge step backwards. If you are able to stay with 2003, get the compatibility pack and hold onto it like gold!

Wed, Sep 22, 2010

I love word

Mon, Sep 13, 2010 gareth Australia

To rebut Harrier from the bahamas comments. Having been a user of the Office suite since it first graced out computer screens, I have also been supporting and training users of these applications. And one thing is common amoungst all users I have trained in the 2007 version. After the days training, they are all excited about the product and amazed at how much easier it is to do the same things you can do in 2003, also how much deeper the features go. e.g. the way word now handles pictures. or how excel deals with pivot tables. the new version IS a bit of a change for older users, but once you get yoru head out of your butt and use it properly you find that it is a vast improvement over the old version which really is showing its age. Everyone loves to give microsoft a good bashing every so often, but credit where it is due .. 2007 was the best office yet .. 2010 looks to have stepped it up a touch and improved the product further, it has also finally made them all lok fairly similar. I never understood why outlook never got a facelift in 2007 so it is good to see that it now resembles

Sun, Jun 27, 2010 Harrier Bahamas

While I respect the writer for providing his personal opinions, I disagree with a few and feel compelled to provide a few corrections: I have been a power user of MS office products for over a decade. I can tell you the ribbon format is a disaster in the work place and does not offer a single additional or enhanced feature over Office 2003. The only additional feature 2007 did have was a new extention which was literally stolen (Court ruling) from another company and they were forced to exclude from office products. Despite this, Microsoft has managed to make a product that was finally working well and make it far more complicated, more time consuming and less useful to the point where is has completely baffeled even the strongest users. The 2007 offering was only made to try to prevent the competition fro getting a leg up on them. So to put the writer's last paragraph. If you had office 2003, you actually have a better vesrion than 2007. It works faster, doing the same thing and works like a charm.With respect to comparing it to Office 2010, all I can tell you is that Microsoft is as scared as hell that Open Office (which I also use) is taking an increasing share of their market because it also works across all platforms and has greater security. These new features are for only those users who are heavy on collaboration. That is all nice and dandy, but at this time, I don't see anything that MS has done that makes their products simplier to use. Tables made in Word cannot function like excel unless you import (Cut and Paste) excel into a word document. spreadsheet into word. So in other words, unless you are a power user and require that level of caliberation, your office 2003 will be just as nice as 2010.One of the problems MS has always had is that is connot innovate on its own. It will scan the universe for products and elements that are already out there and either steal them from smaller companies that cannot defend themselves for take their ideas. That is what they are known for and that is what they do best. These thinks that Microsoft are adding will not be hard to do for Open Office going forward. Microsoft is trying to develop products that require Open Office to expend more R&D in areas that is does not have expertise at. The problem they have is, there are simply not enough people who use those features. Keep office 2003. It is a great work product. If you have the time, you may want to check out and try Open office that is free.

Mon, Jun 21, 2010 Rory

I'm very glad that they brought back the file menu. 8.4 is a good rating for 2010, but I think it deserved a 9+. I just got done reading: Office 2010 seems pretty solid. I have to admit that I'm totally in love with it so far. And yes, Paste Preview is just drop dead sexy.

Sun, Jun 20, 2010 David Fickers New Mexico

I bought MS Office 2007 two months ago and was told by a big retailer I could pay a little more and get the upgrade to Office 2010 when it was available. What a rip-off! The retailer won't refund the money- I'm told to contact Microsoft for the link.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 kdock

Upgrading is expensive with no upgrade pricing available. It just doesn't do enough, differently enough to warrant the cost or the trouble. I would even go so far as to say that it might not be worth upgrading from Office 2003...

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 BOB

In my opinion, if you don't have 2007, then get 2010. If you already have 2007, it's not worth the upgrade.

Thu, May 6, 2010 R.D.Rush

Upgrading from 2007 to 2010 is a no-brainer. 2007 is fairly excellent. I've used Open Office for years, ABIword, and several others and must say that I became addicted to MS Office. Using the Beta Release 1 of Office 2010 Professional Plus I got spoiled with the simplicity and quick results. I recently purchased 2007 Ultimate and must say that the Beta 2010 shines over 2007 easily. Is the 2010 upgrade worth it; yes if you like or need office productivity as a little more than a tag line. 2010's ribbon bar is far more easily accessed than 2007 by a large margin. The real-time preview when styling your documents is far more accurate and responsive in 2010 than in the 2007 products. The upgrade pricing for 2007 Office product users to 2010 have been slashed dramatically and if you're like me you'll get a free upgrade. The only real questions: are you willing to buy and upgrade with time as the centric. This Office crap has actually become fun; Word processing used to make me gag. Word handles more like a desktop publishing system than a word processor and that's a good thing.

Wed, Apr 28, 2010

Microsoft Word will not print. Excel can not store data where you want it. I got disgusted with it before I tried Acess and removed it from my computer.

Wed, Sep 30, 2009

To be clear - This is a review of a pre-beta Technical Preview.

Tue, Sep 29, 2009 James K

Outlook 2010 ribbon just does not work. The tool-bar's were better for some functions. Outlook 2007 had it right with the ribbon only in compose window. The conversation mode is pretty nice but doesn't work as well as Gmail.

Mon, Sep 28, 2009 Damian McDonald Auckland, New Zealand

To start the new version has some great new functionality which is excellent, but I can see a couple of areas in PowerPoint 2010 that I think corporate clients are going to have major concerns with.

Importing of Videos. (Only Supports Embedded Videos)

Currently PPT2007 and below links to videos with an option to include linked videos when selecting Package for CD.

This is going to create significant concerns for IT.

If you have multiple 400 MB videos attached to presentation and you want different versions available for users, you currently link the videos and make sure they are in the same folder or required link location. The two PowerPoint files are say 2Mb each which means you have 2 x2MB PowerPoint files that link to the video. If you want to update the video you can do it externally by replacing the linked video.
Now with 2010.

I can only think that Microsoft have tried to make it as simple as possible for the user, so have decided to just imbedded all media. The problem with this is that you are going to create massive file storage problems locally and over a network. Each time a slide or presentation with a video is linked manually or via SharePoint it is going to include the video size as well.

With the same situation you now have two PPT files of 400 MB each, and each time the user wants to make a new presentation they create another presentation of 400MB each time, even though the may only have dropped in a client logo to customise the opening slide of the new presentation. As you can see this is going to consume disk space like you wouldn’t believe. The fact that Video can be optimised needs to also be left to the end user so ideally any PowerPoint Presentation on a corporate server i.e. share presentation need to be of a reasonable quality to start.

They need to have an option to link or embedded videos, Users should be able to override this setting in the Presentations Options window.

Flash in PowerPoint. (Native Support)

This is great new functionality in that PowerPoint supports it natively. In the technical preview I can see a couple of issues. Flash files are imported with a Black starting frame and have a black line on the right hand side when playing.

When importing it also doesn’t take into account the aspect ratio of the Flash file. It needs to calculate the flash aspect ratio, scale it down if required and place it on the stage accordingly for optimum viewing results. All imported Flash files appeared as a default box size in the centre of the slide.

PowerPoint 2010 Player.

It appears that the player now supports Flash through its native support, bar the above mentioned bugs. It would be great if it could convert any Flash ActiveX files on the fly to allow the player to support older presentation formats.

Mon, Sep 28, 2009 Brandon

The "publish to the web" feature in Access will be very interesting. When I first started playing with it, I thought it was light-years ahead of the flawed Access Data Project pages in 2000/20002. Access 2010 definitely shows Microsoft has learned from that experience, but I am a bit concerned that the large number of constraints on the web databases, and design mode quirks, may mean it takes another two releases to mature.

Fri, Sep 25, 2009

Re: "Backstage View features a beautiful, full-screen menu".

Sorry, but no full-screen menu is beautiful. Either the menu is overly cluttered with extraneous material to fill up the screen or most of the screen is blank. In either case important windows are likely to be covered up. Menus should be small and functional, not works of art.

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