Microsoft Office 2007 (beta): First thoughts (with screenshots of Ms Word)

June 3rd, 2006

Just over a week ago, Microsoft announced the availability of the beta 2 version of Microsoft Office along with Windows Vista.

I downloaded and installed the Office 2007 beta yesterday and here’s some first thoughts:

  1. Very heavy installation
  2. It took just under 1hr to install on my 1.6 GHz Pentium M running XP Pro (SP2) with 1GB RAM.

  3. New ‘Ribbon’ interface
  4. ms word ribbon
    Click to enlarge screenshot.

    The ‘ribbon’ interface makes it easier to access toolbar items by automatically displaying the toolbar relevant to what you are working with. For example, if you are editing an autoshape in Microsoft Word, the toolbar will automatically change to display the adjustable parameters for the autoshape. I see this as a definite improvement in Office as it makes more efficient use of space on your screen, something which is very precious nowadays with all the existing menus, task panes, etc. It also saves you time you would otherwise spend finding your way through context menus in search of a function.

  5. New Fonts to improve readability
  6. New fonts that take advantage of ClearType technology have been introduced in Office 2007. They have also optimized the spacing of the fonts, which combined with the new document styles ribbon makes it easy to produce more professional looking documents.

    fonts
    Click to enlarge screenshot.

    I’ve found the styles very easy to use: Simply hovering your mouse pointer over a specific style will give you a preview of what your document will look like before you even apply it.

  7. Opening, Saving, Printing and Publishing Files
  8. The commands for opening, saving, printing and publishing files is now accessed through the rounded (vista style) button:

    menu

I shall be posting my first thoughts on the new Microsoft Outlook (beta 2) in the next few days. In the mean time, check out Microsoft’s own overview of Windows Vista here. Just don’t ignore the presenter (Tom Skerritt) during the show or he will come and get you! (your attention that is!)

You can download the Office 2007 (previously known as Office 12) beta 2 for free here. (Microsoft Live ID and registration required) While the beta hasn’t harmed my computer in any noticeable way, I recommend you go though the Disclaimer from Microsoft before downloading it.

Extract from Microsoft’s Page:

Beta software does not necessarily display the same high level of stability of shipped Microsoft products.

Entry Filed under: Computing

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. techpaedia » Adobe &hellip  |  June 3rd, 2006 at 10:06 am

    […] The new Microsoft Office 2007 beta offers the option of saving your word, excel and powerpoint documents directly in pdf format. However, Adobe Systems see this as a threat to their business and have threatened to file a lawsuit against Microsoft for introducing this feature! […]

  • 2. techpaedia » Micros&hellip  |  June 13th, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    […] Following on from our post on the new Microsoft Word 2007 beta, here are some first thoughts about the new Microsoft Outlook 2007 beta. I realise (and apologise) that more than just ‘a few days’ have passed since the last post on Microsoft Word 2007. However, this has given me the time to put the new Outlook to the test under the conditions in which it would have really been used by someone on a daily basis instead of a simple tryout of the software. […]

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