From the May 2007 Edition
of Windows IT Pro
April 25, 2007
Michael Otey
TOP 10
InstantDoc #95388
Windows IT Pro

I admit that at first I was no fan of Microsoft Office 2007 system. After a week or so, however, I came to like the new UI with its Ribbon interface more than the Office 2003 UI. Still, for much of that first week, I struggled to remain productive while I learned the interface. Some of the features I commonly use were easy to find, but I spent a lot of time searching for others. Knowing where to find some of the capabilities you really need can make you more productive from the start.

10. Recent documents—One thing you might wonder about in Office 2007 is where your list of recent documents went. In earlier versions of Office, the list of recent documents appears at the bottom of the File menu. To see Office 2007's greatly expanded recent-documents list, you need to click the Office button in the upper-left corner.

9. Saving documents in Office 2003 format—Users who still have earlier versions of Office will have trouble reading files that you save in Office 2007's new native file format. To save documents to an earlier format, use the Office button's Save As option. To change the default format, click the Office button, then the Options button; select Save; and change the Save files in this format setting.

8. Word count—My favorite feature of Word 2007 is the way it handles word counts. In Word 2003, you need to use the Word Count option in the Tools menu to see the current document's word and page count. In Word 2007, however, the word count is always visible at the bottom-left corner of the document window.

7. Excel pivot tables—The new UI has moved Excel's familiar PivotTable option. In Excel 2003, you create pivot tables by clicking Data, then clicking PivotTable and PivotChart Report. With Excel 2007, you can open the Create PivotTable dialog box by clicking the Ribbon's Insert tab, then clicking PivotTable.

6. Printing envelopes—Word 2003's Envelopes and Labels dialog box is under the Tools menu, in the Letters and Mailings option. Word 2007 moves the envelope printing function to the Ribbon's Mailings tab. Click the Envelopes icon in the Create group to display the Envelopes and Labels dialog box and set your printing options.

5. Access reports—One of Microsoft Access's greatest strengths has always been its easy-to-use report design tool. You can't miss the report designer in Access 2003 because it's always right in front of you on the Access main menu. To find the report design tool in Access 2007, you'll need to go to the Ribbon's Create tab.

4. PowerPoint design layouts—Microsoft Office PowerPoint's handy, preformatted design layouts were the first things I looked for in PowerPoint 2007. In PowerPoint 2003, you applied different slide layouts by clicking Format, Slide Layout. With PowerPoint 2007, you need to do a bit more digging. The slide layouts are on the Ribbon's Home tab under the Layout drop-down menu in the Slides group.

3. Word styles—In Word 2003, styles are under the Format, Styles and Formatting option. For Word 2007, styles have been moved to the Ribbon's Home tab. After clicking the tab, you need to click the arrow in the lower-right corner of the Styles group to display the Styles window.

2. Text to Table—Another feature that I use frequently is Word's Text to Table conversion feature. With Word 2003, you can convert text to a table by clicking Table, Convert, Text to Table. In Word 2007, the text-to-table conversion feature is available on the Ribbon's Insert tab under the Table, Convert Text to Table option.

1. Excel macros—Finding out how to edit your macros is something you'll probably need pretty quickly when you start using Excel 2007. To edit macros in Excel 2003, you choose Macro from the Tools menu. To record macros in Excel 2007, you need to use the Ribbon's Developer tab, which isn't shown by default. To display the Developer tab, you have to click the Office button; choose Excel Options, Popular; then select the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon check box. Macro creation and editing options are on the Developer tab.