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  1. #1
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    What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    I am still using Word 2000 and it serves me well. However, after so many years I have an itch to "upgrade". So should I move to 2007 or 2003?

    I have one specific question: Has automatic list numbering been fixed or is it still a pain in the neck?

    I am a freelance technical writer and I'm wondering whether Word 2007 will help me or hinder me. All comments are appreciated.

    Bountiful TIAs,


    David

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    The main feature of Word 2007 is a radically changed interface: the traditional menus and toolbars have been replaced by the "ribbon". This is great for new or inexperienced users, but many power users dislike it because commands you've used for years aren't in the place where you expect them, and many actions take more mouse clicks than in previous versions.

    Numbering is more or less the same in 2007, I think.
    (A great article about outline numbering: How to create numbered headings or outline numbering in your Microsoft Word document.)

    So unless you have pressing reasons to upgrade or can't suppress the itch any longer, I'd stay with Word 2000.

    PS This is just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>, others may well offer different opinions!

  3. #3
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    I agree with Hans and I have been a Power user of the "Right Click" in the earlier versions. Almost ALL of the items that were in the right click are now GONE. Now one MUST find which ribbon bar did they put that command!

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  4. #4
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    Thanks Hans and DaveA for your responses. Definitely sounds like Word 2003 would be better.

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    And is it no longer possible to customise the right-click menus?

    Ian

  6. #6
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    Not in the interface, but you can still use VBA to customize shortcut menus. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    So if you don't use VBA, can you customise the buttons etc available at all? <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15>

    Ian

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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    Only the Quick Access Toolbar can be customized in the Word 2007 interface.

    There's a third-party tool to customize the ribbon: RibbonCustomizer. The Starter Edition is free, the more extensive Professional Edition is commercial.

  9. #9
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    Well, I suppose you have mentioned before the "dumbing down" in Word 2007. <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>

    I think I'll be hanging on to my Office 2003!

    Ian

  10. #10
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    Office 2007 is a very ambitious project:
    <UL><LI>Transition from a proprietary binary file format to an "open", XML-based format. I think this is very welcome. It has become much easier for developers to create Office documents from scratch, and to modify or repair Office documents without opening them in an Office application. The file size of Office 2007 documents is generally smaller than their pre-2007 counterparts.
    All in all, this appears to have worked well, despite some inevitable glitches.
    <LI>Transition to a radically new interface. After more than 10 years, the old menu, toolbar and dialog structure was due for a serious overhaul. Users have long complained about the lack of logic in this structure. For example, a tab in the Tools | Options dialog often contained a mixture of settings - some for the active document only, others for the application as a whole, and the distinction wasn't clear.
    So I applaud the attempt to come up with something better. But I fear that Microsoft concentrated too much on making things easier for absolute beginners, forgetting the needs of long-time users. And from my limited experience with Office 2007, the new layout often isn't more logical than the old one - earlier this week I was helping a neighbour with a spreadsheet in Excel 2007, and I found that two commands that seemed closely related to me had been relegated to two different tabs on the Ribbon.[/list]It's understandable that redesigning the file format and user interface has a large impact on the way the application can be customized and programmed. I have the impression that Office 2007 was released too early, before all this had been taken into account. The developers have no doubt been under immense pressure from the marketing department to get the product out the door - in the past, there was a new version about every 2 years (95 - 97 - 2000 - 2002 - 2003), and this new version had already been delayed. But as a consequence, support for customizing and programming the new features is half-baked.

    Perhaps the next version will restore some of the features that are lacking in Office 2007...

  11. #11
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    (Edited by HansV to make URL clickable - see <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>)

    For those who need the hand-holding of the 2003-style toolbars, there are also add-ins like Toolbar Toggle: http://toolbartoggle.com
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  12. #12
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    And although the functionality is more limited -- just menus -- I routinely deploy Guy Gallo's free add-in to our Word 2007 users. Word Menus @ Indelible Ink.

  13. #13
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    >> I'd stay with Word 2000.

    I have a recollection of Microsoft suspending support for further Office 2000 security patches. Is my recollection correct?
    Regards
    Don

  14. #14
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    Office 2000 is currently in the so-called "extended support phase", which will last until July 14, 2009. Security updates will still be released during this phase.

  15. #15
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    Re: What's the consensus on Word 2007? (2007)

    I've recently moved from XP to Vista on a new machine and was offered Office 2007 at a reduced rate as part of the package. I use Office primarilly at work (2003) but also occasionally at home (2002). I don't find much of a difference between 2002 & 2003 and there's not much that i know of 2007 that I find enticing, other than the increased columns and rows in excel, which would be really useful!

    I don't forsee a 2007 upgrade at work any time in the distant future, so declined the 2007 package for home. I don't like to feel left behind, though I think I will skip 2007, at least for now, and maybe see what MS comes up with in future versions. I've read many articles and forums of disgruntled 2007 users, does anyone know of Microsoft's intentions for the future?

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