Common Concerns in Word 2007

Word 2007 Logo

These topics were singled out by Library staff early in their exposure to Word 2007. They grow out of frustrations for folks new to the Ribbon-based interface and probably represent questions most new users would ask.

The most efficient way of getting a feel for differences between older Word versions and 2007 is to look at Microsoft's magic command converter. There, you can perform an operation in the Office 2003/XP interface, and have it transform into the same command performed in Word 2007.

Setting Margins, Portrait vs. Landscape, Page Size: Page Setup

Inserting Page Breaks

Saving in a format that older versions of Word can read


Formatting text: beyond the basics

Headers and footers

Paragraph spacing oddities in Word 2007

Page Setup

Dialog box launcher arrowMost commands (Margins, Page Orientation—portrait vs. landscape, Page Size) gathered under the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group. If you want the old interface, click the right diagonal-pointing arrow (called the dialog box launcher) in the lower right corner of the Page Setup group.

Page Breaks

Control-Enter still works. Or look on the Insert tab, Pages group. Or on the Page Layout tab, Page Layout group, where you can also choose a Section break.

Saving/save as/convert

The Office Button

You have to open the Office button to get to these commands. This topic touches on the thorny issue of the new file formats for Office 2007 applications. Look at the Compatibility Problems page for details.


Save As

Gives you the option to save as a backwardly compatible Word 97 – 2003 document with a .doc extension. Or:
Save to .rtf (rich Text format)
which allows you to save all but the most proprietary features in a format the any word processor can open.

Word 2007 users can download a free add-in that allows saving to PDF format and makes it one of the options under Save As.

Convert allows you to change a document in an earlier format to Word 2007, giving the file a .docx extension.

To go the other way (2007 -> earlier versions of Word): There is a free converter for folks with earlier versions of Office to be able to open Word 2007 files with its native .docx extension. Otherwise they are out of luck. Links to the converters:
For Windows:



Print commands (including Print Preview) are under the Office Button.


Most of the obvious things (Bold, italic, Underline; Font and size choice, etc) are on the Home tab.

As usual, to see part of the old interface, click the right diagonal-pointing arrow in the lower right corner of one of these groups. font effects

Clicking the arrow at the bottom of the font group, for example, brings up this familiar window, with choices including strikethrough and sub- and superscript that you can apply to highlighted text.


Headers and Footers

Always a bit weird.

Simple: In Print View (from the View menu), where you can see the edges of the page, just double-click inside a header or footer area. Then you are in roughly the same place you were after going to View Headers and Footers on Office XP/2003. You can enter text, format it as you wish, move to the next header or footer, and insert standard placeholders like page number or current date.

New: Insert a pre-formatted header or footer from the Insert tab or Header/Footer groups. Most of these have graphics and, often, places for you to insert your own text. They are more or less configurable depending on what you’ve chosen.

Header & Footer Tools: In either case, while you are in the header/footer you’ll see a context-sensitive tab above the regular ones with its own Design tab showing. Use it to insert common header/footer items and set common options (e.g. Different First Page). To exit Header/Footer mode, tap the Esc key or double-click in the body of the document.



The standard Normal style is now set to have slightly expanded line spacing. That’s probably why there is a No Spacing icon right next to the Normal style icon on the Home tab.

To reset to single-spacing:
Highlight any text that you want to reset to single space and click the No Spacing icon .

Line spacing icon - single spaceOR:
Highlight text; then, on the Home tab, click the Line Spacing icon on the Paragraph group and choose 1.0








Word Styles

In Word 2007 Styles are placed front and center and are worth looking into.

For example: To make the No Spacing option stick for documents other than the one you're in, you must use Styles.