If you deal with sensitive information--in a private diary entry, a resume, or a company financial statement, for example--Word 2007 allows more control over buried data, such as the original author's name or your supervisor's cursing comments. Office 2007's Prepare options step you through inspecting that metadata, as well as adding a digital signature and encrypting a file. You'll also find some of these options under the Review tab's Protect button. However, should you plan to black out text, you'll have to turn to Adobe Acrobat 8 to make secure redactions (highlighting the font in black within Word won't do it).
Editors who collaborate on documents with others can make use of the Review tab. The new Compare pull-down menu lets you look at two versions of the same document side by side, as well as merge changes from several authors and editors into one file. Administrative assistants and those charged with mass-mailing tasks should find those features much easier to access than in Word 2003. Bloggers can now compose and post entries to their Web sites without leaving Word.
While Corel WordPerfect has traditionally offered better features for managing longer documents, Microsoft Word 2007 has improved a bit in this regard. For those working on a dissertation or book report, the References tab lets you manage citations and bibliographies in styles from APA to Turabian. Just click Next Footnote, and the cursor takes you there. However, the Table of Contents feature still isn't easy to figure out.
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