Major Changes - The Office 2007 Interface

A lot of the changes in Office 2007 are in the interface. If you are changing from Office XP or Office 2003, you will find at least the same functionality - but a different path to it. For example, the screens in the Mail Merge Wizard are exactly the same as those in the earlier versions, but now you access the Wizard from a separate Mailings tab.

Microsoft's online Intro to new Office 2007 features:

To download a document summarizing Office 2007's new features, right-click on the PDF link and choose "Save link as" or "Save Target as": [PDF]

Online Guides: Microsoft has also provided cool interactive guides where you can use your browser to try an Office command the old way and have the page respond with the way to do the same thing in Office 2007. Try them! You can even download to your own computer.

Word: - PowerPoint: - Excel:

Here's what you used to do and what you do in Office 2007

Old (Office XP/2003)

Office 2007

The Menu bar

You clicked at the top of the screen to pull down a long list of commands, many with further pop-out menus....

The Ribbon

Commands are displayed graphically, arranged in groups under separate Tabs.


The File menu and the Tools menu

The File menu held the key to saving files choosing file formats and locations and all the print/Print Preview commands.

The Tools menu allowed you to configure all kinds of parameters for the application under it's Options choice. In Word you could also change other settings under Tools > Customize.

The Office Button

Office buttonClicking the Office Button reveals all the old File Menu choices and more.



The Word Options buttonAll the options for configuring the program are available when you click the Options button at the bottom of the Office button display.


Trial and error

Wonder what your document would look like with another set of fonts? Or a different PowerPoint Template? To see in older Office versions, you'd have to manually try it out—and hope that nothing broke.

Live Preview

In Office 2007 for many changes you just have to hover your cursor over a choice on the Design menu and your document changes provisionally. If you like the change, click. If not, move on.

Read more....

WordArt, Lines or Callouts

That's about what you could do with the obscure drawing tools—you knew about the drawing toolbar, right?

New Graphics

SmartArt allows you to change bulleted lists to labeled diagrams implying progress or hierarchy. And the full Excel Charting module is available from other applications.



To add a password to a document, you had to change your doc to a pdf and use Adobe Acrobat's password feature. Or post your document inside a Learning Management system that only registered students could access

Built-in Password Protection

Now, from the Office Button's Prepare option, you can encrypt your document and give it a password. So you can include your textbook publisher's protected information in an online document with impunity.



Online Tutorials and Help

Microsoft has an incredible number of online tutorials on Office 2007. Their new technology allows you to:

  1. See images and videos with sound and text on using Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  2. Download practice files so that you can follow along.

Sounds pretty standard - but here's the big difference with these downloaded files: you also get a popup window giving step-by-step instructions. The instruction window stays in view while you work so that you can always see where you are and what to do next.

Here are the tables of contents for tutorials in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.