Tagged With office 2007

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Rather than spend money on a commercial tool for designing floor plans, interior design, or laying out your landscaping, you can tweak Microsoft Excel to make an adequate replacement.

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The concept of freezing the header row or leftmost column is pretty familiar to Excel users, but it turns out there's also a parallel feature in Word that lets you work on long documents while drawing on information from two sections.

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Windows only: Office 2007's Ribbon interface remains a love-it-or-hate-it affair for money, and for those of you who miss the Microsoft Office 2003 menu that's entrenched in your muscle memory, UBitMenu can help. This plug-in adds a new Menu entry to the Office 2007 ribbon (specifically in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). When clicked, your ribbon displays the classic Office 2003 menu, complete with the buttons and file menus you're used to from your old Office 2003 install. As Samer from FreewareGenius points out, not every single bit of functionality remains in the UBitMenu toolbar as is available in Office 2003—due mostly to changes in Office—but most of the features you're used to remain in all their glory. Even if you're keen on the Office 2007 ribbon, UBitMenu is a nice tool to ease the transition from 2003 to 2007 while you're polishing your new Office mojo.

UbitMenu

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Word 2007 includes a built-in comparison feature for working out what has changed between two documents, but the menu option for invoking the comparison includes so many options you can quickly get confused. The Word blog includes a comprehensive rundown on how the options work. While the default is to compare everything, unless you're proofing a document for formatting it makes sense to de-select some options: who cares about white space if what you're worried about is if text is changed or removed? For a cloud-centric way of comparing documents, check out how to compare documents in Google Docs.

Advanced Comparison of Word Documents

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The Microsoft Office Word Team blog runs down how you can see inside the contests of a Word 2007 file (essentially, renaming it to a .zip extension and then looking inside at the collection of XML files; the details are in the Appendix). The same technique can be used on any Office 2007 file, and could prove useful if a file gets corrupted and you're trying to extract some key data. It also provides an insight into how Office files are structured, though casually parsing XML is not for the faint of heart.

Microsoft Office Word Team Blog

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In Office 2007, Word automatically defaults to full print preview mode, which is fine if you're a design obsessive but a big waste of screen real estate if you just want to get some words written. Fortunately, you can make Word default to draft view, though it's a very obscure option. (Proving the point: while Microsoft notes how to fix this in its online support site, somewhat remarkably this information isn't included in Word 2007's own online help.)To make Draft the default view, select Word Options from the main Office menu (or just type Alt-T then O), and scroll down to the General section. Tick 'Allow opening a document in Draft view' (despite the confusing phrasing, this actually affects new documents as well). In my experience, you need to exit and relaunch Word to make the setting stick. To really maximise your available screen real estate, you can also minimise the Ribbon (an option under the nearly invisible 'Customize Quick Access Toolbar' downward arrow button to the right of the Office button).

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Microsoft Australia is currently running one of those "visit our site and we'll give money to charity" promotions, promising to donate $1 to the Smith Family for every viewer (up to a $100,000 ceiling) of a site which promotes Office 2007 (and is also a sneaky way to get people to install Silverlight, Microsoft's Flash wannabe). I can't help thinking Microsoft would convince more people to use 2007 if the cursed Ribbon got dumped, but still, why not direct some more of Bill's money towards a worthy cause? (Handy tip: don't try this on a slow connection, on my Next G link it was beyond painful.)

Microsoft Smith Family Office Charity