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Brand new Office

Microsoft Office 2007 caused a massive upheaval with its brand-new Ribbon interface. In comparison, the 2010 version only has cosmetic changes to offer.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 29, 2010 15:51 IST
Jamshed Avari

Microsoft Office 2007 caused a massive upheaval with its brand-new Ribbon interface. In comparison, the 2010 version only has cosmetic changes to offer.

Firstly, the programs have gone back to their original names i.e. Microsoft Word and Excel rather than Microsoft Office Word and Office Excel. The Ribbon interface has been extended to every program. You can also reorganise the tabs.
The next big interface change is that the round ‘Office’ button is nowhere to be seen. Each app now has a colour-coded ‘File’ button, which rather misleadingly brings up what’s called the ‘Backstage view’.

Outlook
The neatest improvement is called Quick Steps. You can create Quick Steps to forward the current message to a particular person, compose a mail to a fixed set of recipients, etc. Mail display is the same, except for a new option to group messages into Gmail-style threads. A new People Pane tries to aggregate social networking sites.

Word
There are dozens of new SmartArt templates to create rich diagrams as well as a powerful photo editor. A neat Screenshot tool saves loads of repetition. International language users have many options to format scripts.

Excel
The biggest addition is Sparklines, a tool to make mini graphs that occupy only one cell. Frustratingly, a bug that causes blank windows to appear in the Windows task manager still persists.

PowerPoint
Now, you have some fairly powerful video editing tools in addition to photo editing. You can crop, trim, and filter videos and give them transitions and various other effects.

Web apps and online features
Microsoft is also launching the online Office apps (www.officelive.com). Each one is heavily integrated with its desktop application. Different applications allow for different levels of online collaboration between multiple users.