Microsoft Office Word 2007 at a Glance

The purpose of Office Word has not changed in its 2007 version, it is still a powerful authoring program that enables a PC user to create and share documents by utilizing comprehensive writing and editing tools. Although its function is static, the application has received a drastic overhaul.
This article will provide an overview of Office Word 2007, emphasizing new and improved features. More in-depth and topic-specific articles will follow in later newsletter issues to deliver confidence and savvy with this new word processing system.
Upon launching Microsoft Office, many changes are immediately apparent. Now, let’s get to work, first, by getting our bearings.
Most startling is the new Ribbon system. The ribbon is Microsoft’s new format replacing the standard “File, Edit, View…” menu system that has graced the top of Microsoft Office products in the past. The Ribbon replaces the current system of layered menus, toolbars and task panes with a simpler system of interfaces optimized for efficiency. This new effect adds an overall soft, “soothing” feel to the default appearance that has been missing from Microsoft’s Office products.

Where has the File menu gone?
After adjusting to the new ribbon concept, some critical menu items might appear missing, like the Open, Close, Save and Print features, previously located within the File menu.
Microsoft has radically changed the concept of the File menu item by ridding Office Word of this feature. Formally a cascading menu, these menu items are now accessed by clicking the circular Microsoft Office button. This updated “Start” button is conveniently located in the top left of your Word application window. Let’s check it out…

    • Click the Office 2007 icon.

    • Now, take some time to peruse the menu. Notice some familiar commands? This is your station for opening, saving and printing documents. Other commands like Import have been moved elsewhere.
    • The Save As item contains a cascading option list located in the right pane. These include:
      • Word Document: offers the choice to save an Office 2007-compatible document.
      • Word Template: an extremely convenient option which allows a user to save their document as a template for later use if existing templates are found wanting.
      • Word 97-2003 Document: provides the option of saving your document so that it is fully compatible with other Office versions, including Office 97-2003. With this convenient feature, emailing or transferring documents via removable disk is made convenient and hassle-free by delivering well-suited documents.
      • Find add-ins for other file formats: such file formats include PDF and XPS for high-quality graphics and performance.
      • Other Formats: provides many options for saving documents under different format types from an extensive list located within the Save as Type drop-down box.

Printing Highlights
Word’s new categorization of the Print option is a breath of fresh air. Microsoft requires its users to choose to either print with a default printer or to choose a new printer. This printing concept is very convenient especially for home-office laptops where users are constantly switching between different printers. The new categorization will cut down on print jobs sent to the wrong printer.
Additionally, the Print Preview item has been stashed within this Print menu for easy access.

A New Take on Preparation
The Prepare item is a Microsoft innovation with a collective functionality which allows the user to prepare their work for the publication, distribution or storage of finished documents. Options include: adding a digital signature to insure the document’s integrity, checking for the document’s compatibility with other Word versions and adding meta data. Now, let’s take a closer look at each available option within the Prepare menu.

    • Properties
      This option enables you to add meta data to descibe a document. The fields allow you to attach publication information with Author, Title and Subject; highlight subjects with Keywords, classify documents with Catagory, define a document’s condition with Status; and use Comments for creating abstracts. Not enough options? If you click on the down arrow beside Document Properties you can launch the Advanced Properties box which allows for more detailed information such as for whom the document is created and who first typed the document.

    • Inspection
      The Inspect Document function checks for trackable information hidden within your document. This is an extremely important tool if your document has hidden text such as meta data used internally to classify a document. When clicking the Inspect Document function, a display box appears which allows the user to select the desired type of document inspection. Checking small documents of 100-200 words with all five options is fast and easy. However, for longer documents, inspections for comments, annotations, versions and revisions are recommended for a faster examination.

    • Encrypt Document
      Use this function to protect a document with a pasword. Simply type the password, and then re-type it to make a document encrypted.

    • Restrict Permission
      Selest to grant specific rights to viewers of the document, such as allowing a reader to view a document without the permission to print.

    • Add a Digital Signature
      With this option you can sign your document. Digital signatures are gaining ground and many companies empower these with the same authority as their hand-written counterparts.
      To create a digital signature, either create your own digital signature or purchase one from a third party. The latter hold greater credibility because they are independently verified by a third party. These digital signatures are invisible and do not visually appear within a document.

    • Mark as Final
      This option transforms a document to a read-only file.

    • Run Compatibility Checker
      Use this tool to check for your document’s compatibility with other Office versions, most convenient if you forget whether or not you saved the document as a compatible file.

Sending Documents to Others
Choose to email or fax documents to family, friends or a client.
Document Distribution
These options include: Blog for built in blog publishing, Document Management Server and Create Document Space to place documents in a public location.

Quick Access Toolbar
Located to the upper right of the circular Microsoft Office button. Three options come standardly installed on this toolbar, but you can otpimize this toolbar bar clicking the drop-down button to the right of the menu bar.

The Ribbon System
Microsoft’s ribbon system is catagorized by a tabbing feature that sprawls along the top of Word 2007’s menu bar. The menu options include:

    • Home: Clip board, Font, Paragrpah, Styles and Editing
    • Insert: Pages, Tables, Illustrations, Links, Header & Footer, Text and Symbols
    • Page Layout: Themes, Page Setup, Page Background, Paragraph and Arrange
    • Refernces: Table and Contents, Footnotes, Citations & Bibliography, Captions, Index and Table of Contents
    • Mailings: Create, Start Mail Merge, Write & insert Fields, Review Results and Finish
    • Review: Proofing, Comments, Tracking, Changes, Compare and Protect
    • View: Doncument Views, Show/Hide, Zoom, Window and Macros

There are a great number of items within these tabs, and that will be individually addressed in upcoming newsletters.

Status Bar
Word 2007’s status bar has received a facelift as well. The features found on the status bar are:

    • Page count dispalying the current page that is being viewed along out of the total number of pages.
    • Word count conveniently located for the first time at the bottom left of your screen.
    • Spell Check in the form of a book icon which warns of misspelled words. To fix any spelling mistakes, simply click the book icon and an option will appear with spelling suggestions.
    • View option for a document which include: Print Layout, Full Screen Reading, Web Layout, Outline and Draft.
    • Zoom slidebar to zoom in and out on your document.

      Wish that there were more features conveniently located on this status bar? No worries, simple right click on the space following the Spellcheck icon to access the Customize Status Bar, and a menu will appear with a list of other shortcuts for your status bar.

Does Your Document Measure Up?
When you first open Office Word 2007, you might notice that the ruler which ran across the top of documents is missing. It’s not missing, rather, Microsoft has merely relocated it. To view the horizontal ruler across the top of your Word document and the vertical ruler along the left edge of your document, you must be in Print Layout view. Otherwise, click the View Ruler button located at the top of the scroll bar to make the horizontal ruler appear at the top.
I hope you have enjoyed our first look at the new Office Word 2007. There is a lot more to explore, so make sure that you catch our next newsletter.

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