Sincerely Office System Development Group did a great job with the 2007 version of the popular office suite, the new interface is a real success and the main applications are full of improvements
Although it may seem strange, this document details not small errors in operation or those small corrections that I traditionally make programs that come to my hands, but it documents some of the novelties of the new Office. However, the small details that I found in the process of drafting the present document, are properly documented.
1. Tape or "ribbon" of options
2. New functionalities
2.a) The mini toolbar
2.b) New open file formats
2.c) The Office button
2.d) Save as Adobe PDF or MS XPS
2.e) Quick Access toolbar
2(f)) Customizable status bar
2.g) Active previews
2.h) New graphics capabilities
2.i) Charts and SmartArt diagrams
2.j) Building blocks
2.k) Improved spell checker
2.l) Equation Editor
2.m) The use of the ALT key
3. MS Word 2007
4. MS Excel 2007
5. MS Powerpoint 2007
6. Other applications
6.a) MS OneNote 2007
6.b) MS Outlook 2007
6.c) MS Access 2007
6.d) MS Publisher 2007
7. Farewell of Clippy, Clippit or Clippit (1997-2007)
Tape or "ribbon" of options
The element that most stands out is certainly colorful bar that replaces thousands of tiny buttons and toolbars from previous versions:
I think that this evolution was almost natural since the 2003 version it was almost impossible to organize the thousands of functions of each of the Office programs. The first attempt at Organization came with Office XP, using those lists of collapsible options that were a nuisance more than a help, and even generated numerous confusion more inexperienced users:
The Ribbon is now elegant, orderly and dynamic. The last property refers to which adapts to various situations, especially by adjusting the size of the buttons:
And also adapting automatically to our selection, showing new commands only when they are needed:
It originally comes in three colors, but black loved me instantly and I never changed it:
Affecting most important Office applications also added functions:
The mini toolbar
This small bar contains quick commands for use with the selection and by default it automatically appears when you move the cursor upward after selecting some text:
I disabled the function to automatically show the mini toolbar (selecting text appears gently on the selection) because I never used it, but anyway it appears when you click on a selection, alternating its position with the traditional Edit menu.
New open file formats
The new formats are visually identified face normals (binary) by a Deputy to the extension equis. Thus we have the appearance of some new extensions will be:
However, the change of extension is just the tip of the Iceberg, a small example will clear leave this situation (and in particular for those interested in programming and compatibility with other applications). I wrote a small paragraph with its corresponding title and kept this document in two different formats:
The first difference is that the file doc is a little more bulkier twice as much as the docx.
Now I remember that I missed the end point of the paragraph and, for any reason, simply do not want to use Word to edit the file. Then as always, I open the documents in the hex editor:
Apparently both have a rather complex structure, however, only the first file (old format) I find the final word of the paragraph to which I would add the endpoint:
What happen if herein the blessed point directly?
The document is corrupted, as the format is completely closed and with "mysterious" structure, a small change and we lose the content (even using the repair option).
A time!, well look at the contents of the file docx You can recognize the structure of a file compressed (by the "PK" header), we could use up to the compressed folders feature of Windows XP/2003/Vista to open it:
Within all that structure, there is an XML file called "document.xml" within "word" where our document is defined, to simply add the point we need to change the file in question as if out one file to Notepad would add the final point in this case:
Although, of course it is, that this example is extremely specific, but shows concisely the big internal change of files.
The truth is that internally as a file compressed with ZIP as well as being smaller than a traditional binary format, it is very fault-tolerant. Additionally encryption and security settings that can be applied to this new format is many times higher against the old format.
The Office button
With the appearance of the Ribbon disappeared as traditional menus and emerged as a result, the Office button.
In fact the Office button is something like the menu "File", a little more organized and with some additional options:
Save as Adobe PDF or MS XPS
For many years Microsoft refused to add an "official" add-on to save files as PDF, now includes in addition to PDF, XPS, its own "open" format. To save documents in PDF or XPS plug-in must be installed (included as a supplement subsequently by legal problems) included in the Microsoft Office 2007 disk.
I think that for many will be a relief not having to install third-party add-ons to create pdfs, especially that megasuite Adobe (Acrobat) which blurs their options en masse by the staff, adding multiple bars of tools and things generally unnecessary.
For me it is not so much change, because it used a free extension (virtual printer) for this same purpose, although of course it is always welcome something more simple and integrated.
Quick Access toolbar
Unfortunately the Ribbon is dynamic but is not configurable the need for configurable things generated a small bar near the Office button (although repositioned under the Ribbon can be) in where we can add commands and options:
The Quick Access toolbar is very versatile, we could for example add complete panels from strap options or simply commands independent of this form would be feasible to minimize the Ribbon and add commands that we use to the Quick Access toolbar to have a large space of text editing:
And to give you an even more traditional appearance can be altered its position as shown below:
Customizable status bar
In previous versions of Office, the bar reported us certain things. On this occasion the status bar informs us exactly only what we want because it is fully adjustable:
Now to really see how some color will be, font or property in any selection not must apply changes and then undo them until you find the proper fit, we simply move on settings to see the result of temporarily in our document:
New graphics capabilities
Now you can apply effects to images, frames, reflections, glare, shadows, three-dimensional rotations:
Of course, that these improvements have a direct impact on the performance of applications, as a small example is that now when moving an image we can see the toned-down image (in previous versions a frame saw), this simple action requires a team and more powerful graphics card.
Charts and SmartArt diagrams
SmartArt graphics are dynamic diagrams so that they have configured their behaviors internally so that we can for example, add another element to the graph and automatically adapts to new conditions.
We can even use a style of diagram elements and subelements and then change the style of the diagram by a different one:
The building blocks are elements that can have some behavior of form with additional format features.
Various elements can be building blocks: AutoText, boxes of bibliographies, pictures of text, equations, headlines, watermarks, page numbers, footers, covers, tables and indexes.
Any element of "insertable" format, is a building block in Office 2007, for example, if we continuously create a type of cover but changed the date and the title of it, thanks to the design tools can create a template, save it as a block and then quickly access it from the "Insert" tab:
In the example of the cover, the elements are dynamic, for example the date has all their configurable fields easily with components of design (similar to those used in Visual Studio but simplified, for example there is a type of font style which means "source of replacement" to create those messages of "write here a...", text that disappears when you start writing):
Improved spell checker
This is something counter-productive (since, as detailed on the carelessness of Office document, the majority of failures are almost exclusively spelling and translation) but the corrector's Office now is much better than in previous versions.
In versions of several years back office (95, 97) the spelling checker was already unified for all programs of the suite and was quite good at spelling. Then with versions XP and 2003 called "grammatical correctness" was improved. Now Office 2007 incorporates context spelling correction, i.e., try to understand the context of paragraphs and phrases to make suggestions on the formulation of written ideas and how (from the manual) errors:
"The dress was very truck."
In theory Word would considered "truck" wrong in relation to the context of the sentence, the noun "dress" and "expensive", suggest clear that this is apparently a translation from the English then adapted the contextual spelling correction works much better in English and not especially that phrase cited in the manual.
By default contextual spell checking is disabled on computers that have less than 1 gb of ram. According to the manual, this feature on those computers can reduce the performance of the Office programs.
It took years until useful equation editor was retouched. This time it is not a simple tweak, but a completely new editor integrated into the tabs of the interface:
Equation editor also includes a list called "Math AutoCorrect" which allows you to write simple expressions only with text, for example int, iint, oint, sum, above, begin quadratic, between one thousand more.
There is also a selector of format that lets you exchange between a professional, linear equation and plain text format (although features may be lost when you switch to normal text).
The use of the ALT key
Gradually Windows and all your applications have moved away from the use of the keyboard for many functions, although in practice it is possible to operate the system only with keyboard, people opt for the intuitiveness of the mouse.
An example of this is that the latest versions of Windows (XP, 2003, Vista) hide the letters of access (those underlined, for example"TO"rchivo" or "Eediting") by default until the user presses ALT. Even the latest products from Microsoft and Internet Explorer 7 or the same Windows Vista hide the menu bar until the user presses ALT.
So Office 2007 includes an excellent functionality of the ALT key for almost all of its functions (does not include the status bar), similar to that used for the recognition of voice of Windows Vista for some operations. Pressing ALT displayed a few boxes with the following key and thus reaching the required function:
MS Word 2007
Certainly Word is the main pillar of the Office and must be one of the most used in the world programs. This also stands out as one of the best workers of the suite.
Personally, whenever I use my computer, open Word more than once, sometimes even simply is to quickly find a synonym or adjust some text in which I work.
The new Ribbon based interface shows to the fullest capabilities in this program, most of the people almost never will move away from the "Home" tab. One of the big improvements are those that have objective grouping schemes and templates, for example the adjustment of margins that in earlier versions was a form now has settings default:
Similarly, with the so-called design blocks many things can be stored as "templates" (in fact is quite easy to create them using the new features of design):
Word 2007 gives a more fundamental approach to the use of references was in previous versions almost a pandora's box, for example to create indexes, tables of images, footnotes is much more dynamic and accessible thanks to the "References" tab. Even now you can have a catalog of bibliographic sources and use them quickly at any time in cross references, notes, and bibliographies of course:
Compare documents also is improved, the most remarkable thing is that the scrollbars of the compared documents can be attached to advance at the same time by the text.
Something that will appeal especially to Web 2.0 addicts is the Word almost "hidden" ability to publish in various blogs and personal services with ease:
Automatically handles in uploading images, format, organize the categories and other tasks (especially interesting by combining the power of Word as a platform for writing and reviewing documents). By default adds support for Windows Live Spaces blogs (clear), Sharepoint blogs (again: clear), WordPress, Typepad and multiple generic services.
To access this feature simply must go to the Office button and select publish, Blog:
MS Excel 2007
In my case, Excel is also essential. Including tasks more foreign companies to create large lists of commands for different tasks to generate translation of passwords and code tables C# accompanying it shown as it can be seen in the next video.
Some time when I tried to use Excel to sort a large dictionary I found an unpleasant surprise that up to version 2003 support for thousands of rows and columns was rather limited. On that occasion after truncate damn dictionary to be able to organize it in Excel also noticed how slow that was to work with large lists, search, replace, and other operations were constantly blocking the return for seconds, which was very annoying.
Now Excel 2007 handles more than one million rows without problems and many of its capabilities are "according to the available memory", which means that almost the majority of elements has a nearly unlimited range (e.g. labels per cell). Also extremely improved control having on large amount of data (the dictionary tried again and was really pleased to find and replace in the new Excel) even with almost twice as many records that on the previous occasion.
According to the own program support:
To allow you to explore large amounts of data in worksheets, Office Excel 2007 supports up to 1 million rows and 16,000 columns per worksheet. Specifically, the grid of Office Excel 2007 has 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns, which offers 1,500% more rows and 6,300% more columns than you had in Microsoft Office Excel 2003. For your information, now the columns end in XFD instead of finishing in fourth.
Another feature that will appeal to everyone is predicting functions and commands, something already well known in the world of Visual Studio:
Each command support is instantly at hand by clicking on the reference:
Another detail is that the displacement now has a friendly acceleration which automatically activated a pause at the end of the data, thus never will fight with the mouse when trying to select a large-cell area, a comparison of Excel 97 and 2007 when select data:
MS PowerPoint 2007
Unlike Word and Excel, personally I do not use almost never PowerPoint. To write these paragraphs simply I checked a little program and tried the animations and other details that apparently did not change much from the XP version of the suite (in those times I remember having used much more PowerPoint).
Something that is very well suited for beginning to PowerPoint are the new SmartArt named above, mainly by the facilities that provide us to create schemas.
A new function is also called "view moderator", it is a display mode for when there are two available video outputs, e.g. display equipment and a digital projector. One can then configure one of these outputs, rather than show the same that appears in the other output, present useful information for the speaker, notes in large text and other data:
By the way, unlike Word and Excel, PowerPoint Ribbon interface emphasizes much less functionality because sometimes it becomes even confused with large buttons (definitely more appropriate within that dialog windows as here, on tape) "Close view...", "Return to..." and other functions that given the requirements of the application were necessary:
A true milestone of Office will be when all the applications have the new interface options and new XML formats tape, what will possibly happen with version 14, for the moment I will make a very brief assessment of other applications (where even I focused on the search button "oversights").
Unfortunately for the time of writing of this document I didn't have the chance to try one of them that more I interested, Microsoft Visio 2007.
MS OneNote 2007
The more "casual" tool of the package did not receive major changes, even the new Ribbon interface.
The changes focused on directly improving decision notes with new elements such as tables, attachments, drawing tools, calculator, extraction of text from images (OCR), search for words within audio (or video) and writing handwritten.
As management functions included the possibility of using different notepads, shared network and quick search.
The basic version for students now includes OneNote instead of Outlook, which I think is a very wise decision.
MS Outlook 2007
Neither received the benefits of the Ribbon and Moreover, looks more disorderly than the 2003 version because they sought to impregnating air of modernity (as opposed of OneNote for example that stayed with the style of the old version).
Generally has several enhancements and improvements, but none is surprising, and in general I think that Outlook urgently required a new interface, because it can be quite confusing to use.
A function that bothered me is to take control of the RSS feeds in IE7 by default.
Something quite curious I found in Outlook 2007, especially in a library called "Outlook Intl Pluggable UI" (corresponding to the file OUTLLIBR.DLL Directory Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice123082) it is the inclusion of an image with the name LINCOLN.jpg in your code:
The picture corresponds to the following historical fact:
The article "Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)" says:
Few weeks after it announced publicly its support for the limited right of suffrage for the black population in Louisiana. At the prospect of blacks to acquire the right to vote, the actor John Wilkes Booth, supporter of the Confederate cause decided (and brother of the also actor and theatrical Manager Edwin Booth), shot Lincoln on April 14, 1865, when he was in a stage of the Ford Theatre, in the city of Washington.
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
MS Access 2007
Account with the new interface based on the Ribbon, also has a splash screen similar to the MS Publisher (even of its older versions). It also has tabs in the style of Internet Explorer 7, much more powerful filters and other small options that make the creation of databases seem more a note-taking with OneNote to a cumbersome process.
MS Publisher 2007
This application is quite entertaining for small household jobs, but even I don't think that it is it powerful enough for larger publications. It has no interface Ribbon, but unlike Outlook, canned 2003 style, which is quite sober.
Among the innovations there is a function that allows you to switch between templates at any time, an Assistant to organize printing according to the size of the paper, distribution of publications by mailing lists and other AIDS related to marketing.
Farewell of Clippy, Clippit or Clippit (1997-2007)
Each version of the office suite included numerous new features that people generally did not use. Office 95 (which was released in conjunction with Windows 95) after the development team decided to include a friendly wizard that would deliver advice and offer assistance using an algorithm probability (bayes) to "understand" the questions that were on the program.
In theory the idea was fantastic, but even within Microsoft criticized the creation of the Assistant and Office was later ridiculed many times thanks to Clippit and its constant and annoying tips:
To tell the truth had several assistants other than Clippit, but recognised the outstanding "popularity" of Clippit for the simple reason that it was the only Assistant that, by default, had been installed and thus it was more complicated to have another Assistant without the installation disk at hand, consequently Clippit always will clearly be the most remembered.
In version Office 10 (called "Office XP") Assistant received several enhancements, removed the window (and Clippit was given a three-dimensional appearance) but on the basis remained the same. There was also a bar to ask a question without opening the wizard:
Then 11 (or 2003) Office Assistant not is installed by default, although it remained part of the Office System. According to the Office team, version 2003 package was so easy to use that a helper was almost unnecessary.
For happiness of many version 12 Office (call Office 2007) completely removed any vestige of Assistant and in consequence of the classic Clippit. Probably this Assistant was one of the first attempts to deliver an 'intelligent' support to an application, lived about ten years since its inception and now you can continue to do some of his antics in the following emulator:
"Clippit emulator", "Clippy Emulator" or "Clippit Emulator" simulates the version of Office 97 Clippit and includes about thirty animations and original sounds. To see an animation randomly click on the helper.
The source code is available below:
(for Adobe/Macromedia Flash 8 or higher)