The new package offers helpful features and frustrating nuisances

As most software releases do, Microsoft Office 2000 offers new features that you'll love and other features that you'll find annoying. In this Top 10, I share some Office 2000 tips, tell you how to find and use Office 2000's coolest new features, and show you how to avoid the nuisances.

10. The Office 2000 installation requires a specific Windows NT and Windows 95 service pack level. To save yourself installation headaches, apply Service Pack 4 (SP4) to your NT system before you begin. An installation on Win95 requires SP1.

9. If you blindly select all the default Office 2000 installation options, you'll need to access your installation CD-ROM repeatedly. To avoid the reinstallation blues, take the time during installation to carefully choose the Office 2000 features that you want.

8. Office 2000's new Office Clipboard lets you use as many as 12 individual clipboard buffers. You can select View, Toolbars, Clipboard to display the Office Clipboard in any Office 2000 program.

7. Corrupted or missing DLLs can stop any application, including Office 2000. Finding and replacing the right files with the right versions can be a time-consuming chore. To reinstall the components that each Office 2000 application requires, run the Detect and Repair option from the Help menu.

6. A handy new Microsoft Word editing option displays synonyms for common words. Simply right-click a word and select Synonyms from the pop-up menu.

5. Automatic numbered lists is a feature that gets in the way more often than it proves useful. To turn off Word's automatic numbering feature, select Format, AutoFormat, Options. Then, in the AutoCorrect dialog box, clear the Automatic numbered lists check box.

4. Office 2000's Web Folders option lets you easily publish Office 2000 documents on your Web server, where users with a standard Web browser can share them. Simply select Web Folders from the Places bar, then choose Save as Web Page. To use Web Folders, you must install the FrontPage Server extensions on the Web server.

3. Microsoft Access 2000's Access Database Project (ADP) lets Access use Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Database Engine (MSDE) as a database back end (instead of Microsoft Jet Engine). ADP uses the high-performance SQL Server OLE DB provider to integrate Access' user-friendly and powerful database-query and reporting tools with SQL Server.

2. Adaptive menus are one of Office 2000's most exasperating new features. Adaptive menus change in response to frequent menu selections, thereby customizing your desktop. However, I've found that adaptive menus typically hide options I want to leave on the desktop—an annoyance that doubles the work and time required to find them.
Fortunately, you can disable adaptive menus. To display full menus, go to Tools, Customize, and clear the Menus show recently used commands first check box.

1. The universally irritating Office Assistant is back in Office 2000. To turn off Office Assistant for your current editing session, right-click the Office Assistant icon, select Options from the pop-up menu, and clear the Use Office Assistant check box. To permanently remove Office Assistant, use Office 2000's Add/Remove Components option.