Word 2007: Ribbons Part I

As discussed in last week’s article, Word 2007 has abandoned traditional menus for a ribbon-based organization. These Ribbons are filled with commands and options. They have also replaced the toolbars of previous Word versions.
How do Ribbons work? Each Ribbon is divided into different sections; similar commands are then grouped within these partitions. Don’t see what you’re looking for? More options can be accessed by clicking on the arrow in the lower-right corner of a section, located beside the section title.
Now, let’s take a look at each panel on located on the Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review and View tabs.
To start, the Home panel contains many text formatting options that are most familiar to an Office user. These features are divided up into several sections for efficient retreival of each. Such divisions are given specific designations such as:

The Office 2007 Clipboard allows you to copy multiple text and graphical items from Office documents or other programs and paste them into another Office document. The function is unchanged from other Office predecessors plus a couple of extras that provide the Clipboard with more visibility and features.

Located within this section are several options such as:

    • Cut: Highlight or select the material that you desire to cut. Next, click the scissor icon to cut the material to the Clipboard.
    • Copy: To copy material, select the material and click the copy icon to place a copy on the Clipboard.
    • Paste: The paste option has been changed up a bit. To simply paste text, click the Paste icon. For more options, click the down arrow underneath the Paste icon, you can either choose Paste Special to paste pictures, html, RTF and others or select Paste as Hyperlink to add a link to your favorite website.

    • Format Painter: Click the whisk-broom icon to copy text formating from one place to another. To apply the same formatting to several pieces of text, simply double click the icon and then select the desired text.

If you would like to see all material that has been copied, pasted or cut, click the button located within the lower right of the Clipboard partition

. This will show the Office Clipboard Task Pane.

Once the task pane opens, you have several options: Paste All items located on the Clipboard, Clear All objects or set new Options. This Options menu allow you to control where and when the Clipboard partition and Task Pane appears.

Reminiscent of the Formatting Toolbar found in earlier Microsoft Office versions, You can surmise from the symbols on the various buttons the functions that each performs. However, there are a couple of surprises. The Font partition offer the following formatting options:

    • Font Face
    • Font Size
    • Grow and Shrink Font:These easy-to-use up and down arrows streamline your efforts to change the font size. The font sizing moves up or down by incriments of two and is a faster alternative to the font-size drop-down box that is accessed by the size icon.
    • Clear Formatting:Click this formatting options to clear all formatting from text. To do so, simply select the desired text and click the Clear Formatting icon.
    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline:For standard underlining, simply click the Underline icon. Otherwise, click the downward arrow to choose from a variety of underlining styles using the scroll tool. If you don’t see a style that strikes your fancy, select More Underlines… or click Underline Color to give your document an extra special touch.

    • Strikethrough: draws a line through selected text
    • Subscript and Superscript
    • Change Case: Change selected text to all uppercase or lowercase. Click the attached downarrow for other case options.

    • Text Highlight Color: Click the attached downarrow to change highlight color.
    • Font Color: Click the attached downarrow to change the font color.

For any other options, click the lower right button of the Font panel


For more formatting options specific to paragraph customization, the Paragraph partition offers several options:

    • Bullets, Numbering and Multilevel List: Select to create a bulleted and/or numbered list. Otherwise, click the individual downarrows to access the libraries. Below these catagories you are allowed to Change List Level or Define New Bullet. If you select the former, a new pane opens which allows you to designate bullets with a Symbol…, Picture… or Font…. You can also configer the Alighnment: to be Left, Centered or Right.
    • Decrease and Increase Indent
    • Sort: Click to aplphabetize or order numbered texts
    • Show/Hide Paragraphs
    • Align Text Left, Center, Right and Justify
    • Line Spacing: Use to change the spacing between lines of texts. Click the attached downarrow and select the desired spacing measurement. Otherwise, select Line Spacing Options… for more detailed changes. Two other helpful options have been placed within this cascading menu such as Add Space Before Paragraph and Remove Space After Paragraph.

    • Shading: Color the background behind texts. Select the downarrow to reveal color choices.

    • Border: Click the adjoining downarrow to reveal a plethora of format options for borders and tables. The first twelve formatting options are self explanitory. Below, several important options are listed, including:

        • Horizontal Line: This option will place a horizontal line which spans the entire width of your document.
        • Draw Table: Upon selecting the Draw Table option, the mouse pointer is transformed into a pencil with which you can draw a box by clicking and dragging. Once set, the Home ribbon will change to the Design ribbon. This ribbon contains Table Tools which aide in formatting and overall design of our table. This particular feature within Word 2007 operates very differently from past versions. Therefore, an in-depth look at Draw Table will be provied in a later news article edition.
        • View Gridlines: Allows you to view the gridlines of a table.
        • Borders and Shadings…: similar to its prediscessors, you won’t encouter too many surprises with this feature if you are a seasoned Windows XP user. More will be written on this feature at a later time.

    Need more formatting options? Simply click the lower right button

    within the Paragraph section.

    By using this feature, you can save time that you might otherwise spend formatting your document and give your documents a consistent look. When you change the formatting in the style, all paragraphs that are formatted with this style will automatically change. This particular function is very similar to those within earlier versions of Office but are placed differently as large square icons. Each font style is tailored to a particular need, and are accessible through the up and down arrows along side the style-choices window. Microsoft has done something particularly convenient. Rather than being forced to choose a formating without surety, simply select the text and wave the mouse pointer over a particular style for a preview. Wave your mouse pointer back over the Normal style to return to standard formating. If you are certain of a particular style, simply select the text and click on the correct style.

    For more style options, click the Change Styles button. This cascading window provides several options:

      • Style Set: Provides additional formatting options with Reset and Save options located below.

      • Color: Offers you several color-themed groupings.

      • Fonts: Suggests stylish font pairings to make mixing-and-matching easier.

      • Set as Default: Allows the user to select a particular style as the standard default setting for Word documents.

    More style options are located in the Style Window Pane. To access, simply click the arrow located in the bottom right of the Style partition. This pane offers several other style options. Simply wave your mouse pointer over each to view a detailed description of each.

      • If you don’t see any options that meet your expectation, then simply click the New Style icon

        . An easy-to-follow window allows you to create, name and save your new style.

      • Click the Style Inspector icon

        to find out whether text was manually formatted instead of formatted by using styles.

      • To manage and organize your styles, click the Options…


    This partitionoffers several features that aid your search process such as the Find and Replace buttons. These features are unchanged from those found in earlier Office Word versions.

    The Select feature allows the user to highlight pieces of text. These options speed your selection process by offering you the following options:

      • Select All
      • Select Objects
      • Select Text with Similar Formatting

        Now that we have explored the features found on the Home ribbon, we’ll take a look at the Insert ribbon next time—until then.

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