It took me so long to write my eBook about using Microsoft Word 2007 to write you scientific thesis or paper that a new version of MS Office has been released in the meantime. The new version is called Microsoft Office 2010 and comes with a number of new features and a polished Ribbon.
When my brand new Office 2010 Professional DVD arrived in the mail I was pretty excited already. I took it out of the padded envelope and noticed immediately that the DVD “case” is no longer a rigid plastic box but has been substituted by a more environmentally friendly cardboard sleeve. However, Microsoft kept the characteristic rounded corner. Inside that sleeve I found a light-weight plastic box (there goes the eco point) that contains the heavily counterfeit-protected DVD as well as a Quick Start guide and the obligatory product key.
Difference in packaging between the new MS Office 2010 Professional and its precessor 2007
Obviously, I didn’t wait long to install the new software because I was a bit skeptical that I got a legal and properly functioning Office 2010 Professional suite for under $100. So naturally I was a bit nervous. Anyway, DVD in and setup start “click”. First thing, enter the product key. After a few seconds I got the green check mark indicating that it is a valid key and it has been accepted. Woohoo! The actual installation menu was very similar to the 2007 version. One significant difference was that I had the option to install the 64-bit edition but it comes with a lot of warnings. Basically, if you don’t have special needs for the 64-bit version don’t do it! It produces more problems than it has benefits. Besides the regular decision making of which components and features to install (always double-check to make sure you have everything you want) I could choose which individual products I wanted to keep from Office 2007. Since my eBook is about Microsoft Work 2007 and I intend to write something similar for Excel 2007 I chose to not upgrade these two programs but install the 2010 counter parts separately. Please note that Outlook and SharePoint cannot be installed in two different versions. After I made sure everything is the way I wanted it to be I started the installation process.
The first tab offers the options to upgrade individual programs of the office suite.
I didn’t actually stop the time for the installation process but it was somewhere around 15 minutes. This, of course, will differ from machine to machine . Since I checked the option to automatically activate the Office 2010 suite that was already done for me. Before I could dive into the new experience I had to restart the computer (it’s always a good idea to also check for updates before the restart). Finally I could use the new software!
I already knew from the test version that the design has been further modified since the introduction of the Ribbon in version 2007. After using Word 2007 for years I have to admit I miss the Office button in 2010. I always click on the Word icon now instead, which is basically just a window control button. The functionality of the Office button has move into the File tab. Although it is not really a moving since the old-fashioned menu that was displayed through the Office button has been replaced by what Microsoft calls “Backstage™ view”. (Note: As you can see, one of my first tasks in the new Word 2010 was to customize my Quick Access Toolbar as I pointed out in my eBook).
Selection from the updated Word 2010 Ribbon
The Backstage™ view takes some getting used to. Instead of the classic menu it shows a lot of options right away without the need to dig deeper. For example, the default option is the Info view which displays document properties and a thumbnail of the actual document.
The default screen when the new File tab is selected.
This default selection will change if it’s not an empty document that you are looking at but one that already has been saved. Another great example is the print menu. Instead of having separate screens for the print preview, a small but fully functional preview is shown directly when the Print option is selected.
Example for the usefulness and user-friendliness of the new Backstage View. The Print menu gives a preview automatically.
A big step forward from old versions are the explanations that accompany the menu items. Let’s take a closer look at the very handy new feature “Save & Send” option. This feature prevents the mistake that I (and presumably many others) made often: sending a document before saving the changes. Besides a list of online publishing options Word 2010 offers you to attach the document in several ways to an email. The differences of the options are listed neatly below the option.
Options for sending a Word document.