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  1. #1
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    After 10 years, dare I advance to 2013?

    I still use Office 2003 because I'm scared of the ribbon! I have customized every toolbar and menu, written dozens of macros, made scores of keystroke redefines, added hundreds of auto-text entries, and who knows how many other little tweaks that I've moved between versions of Word since before Win95.

    My NORMAL.DOT file is 700+ KB.

    Does anyone know how much of this I'll lose to that darn ribbon?

    I assume the toolbars are toast. Auto-text and auto-correct can be moved, can't they?

    But what about my keystrokes? It's been 20 years since I've removed my fingers from the home row! I don't have a touchscreen, nor do I want to waste time repositioning my hands continually to use one!

    Has anyone made this transition? Tell me it's possible. (I know it's too much to ask that it would be easy! <grin>)

    Thanks for any help to a poor out-of-date but efficient Wordie.

    AL

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Office 2007 is in very wide use. Why not upgrade to that?

  3. #3
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    There is a massive number of users who have made the transition from Word 2003 up to the later versions so you won't be treading new ground. Yes it can be done. If you are worried about it you should read the short book "Who moved my cheese" (or watch it on Youtube)

    Yes you will lose productivity initially. This productivity loss may never be made up by the (potential) productivity gains you experience once you are back up to speed. But on the up side - you will have learnt new skills and will be better able to adapt to future learning demands imposed by other software.

    You can convert your Normal.dot template to the newer Normal.dotm will bring across the macros, toolbars and autotexts. It may even bring over the keyboard shortcuts (I can't remember). You will however want to move the toolbars to the newer ribbon interface since the old toolbar buttons all end up dumped into an Addins tab.

    Moving auto-corrects is going to be just as problematic as moving them between 2003 machines. I believe you will be able to find instructions online which describe how to do that.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger
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    Adjusting to interface changes is like driving a new car after 10 years. Most essential things operate much like what you are used to in your old vehicle, but the new stuff initially seems overwhelmingly distracting: the electric seat adjustment is slower than the old lever; the lens for the backup TV camera gets dirty so the rearview mirror just displays a blur; the GPS tries to guide you on ridiculous routes...

    But then the new things start to grow on you: you discover that a single button sets all of your preferred seat positions and the channel and volume of the radio; you learn that wiping off the camera lens when you get to your car in a parking lot makes it really useful for backing up in tricky situations; you find the settings for the GPS to prefer faster instead of shorter routes... And meanwhile, you easily and seamlessly adapt to the things you just expect in a car -- road stability, responsiveness, good visibility, etc.

    After a while, getting back into an older model reveals how much you value the improvements. Ever try driving a car with foot-powered headlight dimmers that get clogged up with sand or salt? Or with a window washer button on the dash?

    Word's ribbon interface certainly takes getting used to, and as Andrew said, your productivity will probably suffer at first. I was initially dismayed to lose some of my familiar custom toolbars, but soon found that the important functions could find new places. I skipped over Word 2007 because it seemed clunky, but I'd upgraded my computers by the time I started using Word 2010 and the response time for the context-sensitive ribbon switching was much smoother. Word 2013 is not significantly different, but the responsiveness seems better.

    My advice for transitioning would be to take Word 2013 on a "test drive": open an old -- and non-critical -- document and see how it feels when you make changes to tables or reposition figures. Don't try to learn on a new and time-sensitive document. Don't be too hung up on the interface changes because all (well, almost all) of the old function is still there. Don't rely on the often-useless Microsoft Help; use Google search and find forums (like this one) to learn about the differences.

    Before you know it the ribbon interface will seem normal -- and although you may feel nostalgic about Word 2003, you probably won't want to go back to it.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the good advice. I don't mind learning the new interface, it was the loss of keystrokes and efficiency that bothered me. You've assured me that I don't have to lose them. Now to find a few days without a deadline.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You might want to look at Woody's column on Office 2013 before taking the plunge:
    http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...h-office-2013/

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    You might want to look at Woody's column on Office 2013 before taking the plunge:
    http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...h-office-2013/

    Jerry
    ... and take it with some grains of salt .

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Make up your own mind.

    It was enough to dissuade me from considering an upgrade to Office 2013 but I have no use for the cloud. The screen shots I've seen are butt ugly.

    Jerry

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Make up your own mind.

    It was enough to dissuade me from considering an upgrade to Office 2013 but I have no use for the cloud. The screen shots I've seen are butt ugly.

    Jerry
    C'mon Jerry, you don't need 3rd party opinions, you can very well make your own mind on your own .

    I don't think the article portrays Office 2013 in a fair manner. I can tell you I wouldn't go back to Office 2010, even though there are some wrinkles in some apps. I would also offer that it's not about the looks, but functionality. Other than the better integration with SkyDrive, there are no revolutionary changes, but there are small changes that are quite interesting and that one discovers from time to time. My favorite OneNote app has a few delicious improvements considering how I use it.

    Is it worthwhile to upgrade if you have no upgrade agreements or do not buy a new computer? Probably not, unless the cloud is relevant, but Office 2013 is a better Office than the previous version, no matter how acid some reviews may be. It's always better for one to make one's own mind. I started using 2013 when it RTMed and everybody in my office went along. No one would go back now.

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Download the trial version and see for yourself. There are issues (all quite adequately documented elsewhere) about running multiple versions of Office on the same computer. If you have a "spare" computer or if you've ever used Virtual PC, VirtualBox or VMWare, you can keep 2003 on your main computer and run the trial on another PC, real or virtual.

    Personally, I found 2010 to be better than 2007, but did not feel 2013 was better than 2010 -- though I'm interested in the "delicious" enhancements to OneNote that ruirib mentioned.

    Best, Kim

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmurdock View Post
    Download the trial version and see for yourself. There are issues (all quite adequately documented elsewhere) about running multiple versions of Office on the same computer. If you have a "spare" computer or if you've ever used Virtual PC, VirtualBox or VMWare, you can keep 2003 on your main computer and run the trial on another PC, real or virtual.

    Personally, I found 2010 to be better than 2007, but did not feel 2013 was better than 2010 -- though I'm interested in the "delicious" enhancements to OneNote that ruirib mentioned.

    Best, Kim
    I use OneNote as a central "repository" of info on projects, and that means I can have docs of multiple types linked (Excel, Visio). I use Visio frequently. OneNote now allows you to insert a Visio diagram and have the diagram displayed in OneNote. The good thing is that you can edit the original document starting from OneNote and the diagram will be automatically updated when updated in the original document. You can also force a document refresh. This is much more interesting that what happened before, that you needed to open the attached document to see document contents.

    This is probably the one feature I like the most in OneNote 2013.

  12. #12
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Very cool. Thanks! I love OneNote and will take a look at that.

    K

  13. #13
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    There is also a new "full screen" mode, that is quite handy when working in my laptop, with the pen. There is a small icon that you click and all the OneNote interface" goes" away. All you have is writing space .

    I have said it before, there are no revolutionary new Office features, but there are a few incremental features that are very nice. Whether that is a reason to upgrade or not, well that's for each user to decide. I think some "angry" Office reviews I have read are thoroughly without justification.

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger kmurdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I think some "angry" Office reviews I have read are thoroughly without justification.
    I'm not so much angry as irked. I feel some of the UI choices to be a bit backward. But if one doesn't have 2010 (or even 2007) already, there's nothing wrong with jumping to 2013.

    I find the licensing to be much more irksome than the program. The original install-on-a-single-computer-and-if-it-dies-you're-out-of-luck license was a non-starter. I'm not a cloud person (at least right now) and was going to ride it out until MSFT changed their policy. Turns out it hasn't taken that long, but I still have a desktop and a laptop and it irks me to pay another $400 to run 2013 Pro on both. I didn't pay anything near $400 for 2010 and it's licensed for 1 User/2 PCs, which is what I'm waiting for. As a precaution, I'm not holding my breath.

  15. #15
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    I agree, the licensing was not the smartest move. There should be options for people who have no use for 5 licenses. I think another subscription level around $50 / year for two licenses would go a long way to make it reasonable. Like this $100 / year for 5 licenses is way too much if you have one or two computers where you want to run Office.
    I understand they want to push people to the subscription model, but alienating your user base is never a good way to go about it.

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