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#11809 by joshhuggins
Thu May 25, 2006 3:18 pm
Microsoft released the public beta version of it's next Office suite of applications, and boy is it going to be a change. The interface has had a complete make over from the tons of toolbars and menus of the past. You can read more from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite review more in depth his Beta preview.

My personal view on it after a couple of days or so, I really like it. I think that for the average business user it will take a little time to get use to the new features, and re-finding that unique sweet spot that each user has. The "Ribbon" replaces the menu & toolbar aspect uses clear, large icons, which I couldn't seem to re-size. It's doesn't seem to intrusive, as they are contextual, so you use about the same amount of screen space as before with all the misc. toolbars. Now they are relative to your task, and allows more room to click when you mouse over to them, saving you time because you don't have to slow down to hit a 1/8" icon.

The dynamic interface oozes with the feel of Microsoft's next OS Vista. Moving or resizing images shows a nice smooth preview and the image actually displaying instead of the little marquee box.

Some of the free plug-ins are nice little bonuses. Like being able to print to PDF without the need of an external app. The connection between the program and Microsoft's online resources finally seems to be worth using. The built in photo effects are really nice too. (See excel image) It does look like the apps don't even look at XP's interface and are completly designed for Vista.

Word 2007 - Main Menu Windows XP Blue

Word 2007 - Full Screen Windows Vista Grey

Excel 2007 - Full Screen Windows Vista Grey & Image effects

As mentioned in Paul's review, there is no way to bring back the old interface completely, but you can have one toolbar that resembles the old system and should be able to fill it with icons until you get comfortable with the new "ribbon". If the ribbon was a little more customizable it would be great, but I think with the dynamic contextual aspect of it, it would be hard to customize without just making it another toolbar/menu.

Watch Paul's site and here for more info.
Last edited by joshhuggins on Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
#11846 by Ted B
Sun May 28, 2006 8:03 pm
I've been experimenting with "Open Office" as a replacement for MS Works and MSWord, especially as the version that I have can create .PDF's internally without a ".PDF printer" or Adobe. One feature that I like about OpenWriter is that the 'footnotes' are live on-screen, since I use them for Code citations and references while I'm composing reports to clients or Code Review commentaries. It always me to rough-draft sideways into the footnore without losing my train-of-thought.

Though I'm still saving "OO" documents in "MS"-format usually. The next step to to better integrate the Datacad-portions of my construction documents "set" with the typed and spreadsheet components in teh notes, specs and schedules.

Since I can't seem to raise my fees much-higher; I have to get more creative and productive.
#12034 by joshhuggins
Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:32 am

Office 2007 is due to be released sometimes on 2007. Office 2007 will have two major changes to the office file format. For the first time Microsoft will have file extensions with more than 3 characters, but more importantly it will move from the well know .doc, .xls and .ppt file extensions for the popular Office documents.

Office 2007 will have a new, XML-based file format for Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007. The New file formats will be the default file formats for Office 2007 but they will also be backward compatible to Microsoft Office 2000 using Office 2007 Compatibility Mode.

Here are the new file formats

Word 2007 Supported File Formats
Word Document (.docx) - Default format
Word Macro-enabled Document (.docm)
Word Template (.dotx)
Word Macro-enabled Document Template (.dotm)

Excel 2007 Supported File Formats
Excel Workbook (.xlsx) - Default format
Excel Macro-enabled Workbook (.xlsm)
Excel Template (.xltx)
Excel Macro-enabled Workbook Template (.xltm)
Excel Binary Workbook (.xlsb)
Excel Add-in (.xlam)

PowerPoint 2007 Supported File Formats
PowerPoint Presentation (.pptx) - Default format
PowerPoint Macro-enabled Presentation (.pptm)
PowerPoint Slide Show (.ppsx)
PowerPoint Macro-enabled Slide Show (.ppsx)
PowerPoint Template (.potx)
PowerPoint Macro-enabled Presentation Template (.potm)
PowerPoint Add-in (.ppam)

Not all file formats will be backward compatible only the following formats will be backward compatible down to Office 2000.

Word Document (.docx)
Word Macro-enabled Document (.docm)
Excel Workbook (.xlsx)
Excel Macro-enabled Workbook (.xlsm)
Excel Template (.xltx)
Excel Macro-enabled Template (.xltm)
Excel binary Workbook (.xlsb)
Excel Add-in (.xlam)
PowerPoint Presentation (.pptx)
PowerPoint Macro-enabled Presentation (.pptm)
PowerPoint Slide Show (.ppsx)
PowerPoint Macro-enabled Slide Show (.ppsm)
PowerPoint Template (.potx)
PowerPoint Macro-enabled Presentation Template (.potm)
Office 2007 will also support export to PDF (ver 1.5 which is compatible with Acrobat version 6) and XPS . XPS will support rights management for secure document managements, PDF export will not support rights management

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