Microsoft Word 2007's document types, interface, and some features--very nearly every aspect of this word processor--have changed. With this update, Microsoft Word 2007 becomes a more image-conscious application. New picture-editing tools help you deck out documents and play with fancy fonts. Bloggers and researchers may also benefit. It's easier to get a handle on document security, but those who only need basic typing features may not want to relearn the interface or deal with the new file formats.
Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.
As integration has improved throughout Office 2007, you can click Send from the Office logo menu to attach a Word document to an e-mail message through Outlook's composition window. A message recipient using Outlook 2007 can preview that Word document within the e-mail message pane. And if you paste an Excel 2007 chart into a Word 2007 file, just right-click the chart and select Edit Data to launch Excel in split-pane view. When you change the source data within Excel, the chart adjusts in Word.
While it's a challenge to upgrade, those learning Word for the first time may find its features easier to stumble upon than they would have with Word 2003. For instance, the new interface better presents page view options that used to be a hassle to get to. From the View tab, now you can simply check a box to see a ruler or gridlines, or click the Arrange All button to stack various open Word documents atop each other. Although we sometimes mixed up the placement of commands within the Review and References tabs, those features were still easier to find than in Word 2003.
Microsoft placed a lot of emphasis on the wow factor of Office's galleries of graphics, which share the Aero look of Windows Vista and are found throughout the Office applications. Pull-down menus of fonts, color themes, and images let you preview changes on the page before making them. And thankfully, Microsoft killed Clippy, the cartoonish helper. Now a less-intrusive quick formatting toolbar shows up near your cursor. Keyboard shortcuts remain the same; pressing the Alt key displays the corresponding quick key for each Ribbon command. A running word count is always present in the lower-left corner, and the new slider bar for zooming in and out is a terrific, no-brainer improvement, particularly for the vision impaired.
Personalized digital studio: With CorelDraw X7 you have total control over your workspace and design process. Both CorelDraw and Corel Photo-Paint offer different types of intuitive layouts for designers of all levels. Workspaces range from minimalistic (lite), to familiar (default) and even allow custom setups. This means you can spend more time creating instead of fiddling. Adobe users will be able to hit the ground running with the Photoshop- and Illustrator-friendly layouts.
Complex script rendering: InDesign supports Unicode character encoding, with Middle East editions supporting complex text layout for Arabic and Hebrew types of complex script. The underlying Arabic and Hebrew support is present in the Western editions of InDesign CS4, CS5, CS5.5 and CS6, but the user interface is not exposed, so it is difficult to access.
Boxed editions of Microsoft Office 2007 include a decent, 174-page Getting Started guide. During the first 90 days, you can contact tech support for free, and help at any time with any security-related or virus problems also costs nothing. Beyond that, paid support costs a painfully high $49 per telephone or e-mail incident. Luckily, Microsoft's online help is excellent, although we're displeased that Microsoft and other software makers are increasingly promoting do-it-yourself assistance. We especially like the Command Reference Guide for Word, which walks you through where commands have moved since Office 2003. You can also pose questions to the large community of Microsoft Office users via free support forums and chats. Microsoft Office Diagnostics tool, included with the Office 2007 suites, is also designed to detect and repair problems if something goes haywire. sequential numbering using word