Software

Microsoft releases Service Pack 1 for Office 2007

Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released on December 11, 2007. This comes roughly a year after the release of Office 2007 to businesses -- but earlier than the Q1 of 2008 date that Microsoft predicted for Office SP1.

Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released on December 11, 2007. This comes roughly a year after the release of Office 2007 to businesses -- but earlier than the Q1 of 2008 date that Microsoft predicted for Office SP1.

The Microsoft Office 2007 SP1 contains significant security, stability, and performance improvements. It also makes the server components of Office fully compatible with the forthcoming Windows Server 2008 update.

According to CNET News.com:

"These enhancements span the software applications and servers that home and office workers use each day and will make the 2007 Office system an even more robust and effective productivity tool," Office product manager Reed Shaffner said in a feature posted to Microsoft's Web site. "In essence, SP1 targets the issues that customers told us mattered to them most."

Microsoft says the download is available now. Customers can also order a CD with the update.

Are you using Microsoft Office 2007 at the moment? Are there any features that you actually use in Office 2007 that are not present in Office 2003?

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

63 comments
Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

I think like all MS products, Office 2007 is a pain in the rear. Instead of trading on 20 years of usability and menu standardization, they just had to develop instantaneous frustration. It's not intuitively obvious to any user, PC or Mac, and very stilted. Listen, I'm a long time user, from the days before they had versions. This software really stinks. And I hate to say that, because I'm sure it was not meant to. I don't want a repeat of 2003 I want a more intuitive and usable 2007. Here's some good examples. I want to turn off the styles in the ribbon, you can't. I want to make the ribbon smaller, using less screen real estate, you can't. Oh, I can turn it off, but I can't make it smaller. I want to dock some of the special menus, can't do it anymore. Now I have to look under two to three menu items to accomplish the same thing, yeah that really increased my productivity! :( Every body and there brother that has designed windows based software has designed it with a specific menu order, and certain items to be found under the menus. Even Adobe adopted those standards in Acrobat for heaven's sake. Microsoft clearly did not do a usability study before they redesigned Office 2007 or after. It never would have passed muster in the real world like this. I am so disappointed. I'm even looking at Open Office now as an alternative.

willpd13
willpd13

Microsoft did quite a lot of testing with the interface on office 2007 and to quote "Taking into account extensive usability data and recent advancements in hardware and software, the team has delivered the most significant update to the Microsoft Office user interface in more than a decade." from the fluent interface overview for office 2007. They have designed the interface to allow users to find features easier than with menus and while you may be used to where things are in 2003 a lot of users do not and find it difficult to find the features they require. Just because you do not like the new interface does not mean that it is not good for the majority of users everyone I know who uses office 2007 would not want to go back to 2003 after they get the hang of it which to be honest does not take long.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

An vice versa, just because you find it simpler to use doesn't mean the majority does. I do usability and feasibility studies for the introduction of new software at my place of business (over 10,000 employees) and almost to the person, they love hate 2007 as I do. Like the interface hate the functionality. And, you missed the who point of the post. A great deal of PC SW GUI DEVELOPMENT has gone into developing GUIs that emulate the MS menu system, from layout to order. That's the only comment I was making. There is absolutely no need for you to be so snarky. ltc

Bob G Beechey
Bob G Beechey

People resist change to 2007 until they try it and then do not want to change back => that is MY experience and that of those I work with and talk to outside. I was a heavy user of Office and it took half an hour to an hour to get used to the new interface when I first loaded the beta - after overcoming a natural tendency to want to do it the old way (like you I expect things to be in the same place on the same menu until I shake my head and get over it). There are still a FEW things where I prefer to bring up a context menu than to find the equivalent operation on the ribbon. I have occasionally had to use Help, eg to find where to find the "Insert alignment tab" for a header, but usually intuition has been enough. The "in-place preview" for many formatting changes is the most attractive productivity enhancement. In the few (very few) places where an operation is used extensively but takes an excessive number of keystrokes (eg quick print) then it can be placed on the Quick Access bar.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

With all due respect, I am a bit put off by your insinuation I am a person that resists change. I embrace change. I am not advocating reversion, I am advocating simplistic interactive function. I too am a long time user and an occasional beta site for the software. Extra keystrokes are not an option, less keystrokes should be the standard. ltc

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

Thanks. I actually got that watching kids play Guitar Hero at Fry's. You should listen to the youngsters when they are playing games or if your town has a youth kiosk and they are doing their homework. It's amazing how many ideas they talk about and improvements they would make because that's how they work.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Extra keystrokes are not an option, less keystrokes should be the standard.[/i]" I like that phrasing. Good work.

roystreet
roystreet

Hello, ...I have been using office 2007 since it was a BETA version. So, I'm looking around a year or so that I've been using it. I will not say I'm anything close to being an expert using it. Nor will I say that it is the only version to use. I'm a firm believer, if you are happy with what you have & you don't see the need to upgrade, then don't. That is perfectly justified and reasonable. I will say part of the reason I jumped into it was because I wanted something new & refreshing. ...I do find that the new interface is user friendly - That is one are I do disagree with. I don't know the exact amount of commands that office has, but I have seen documents listing how many there were. From the days office first came out to now they have increased dramatically. There is no way I will ever know all of them. One of the things I will say about the ribbon concept is that it brings together commands associated with items/objects that you may never have used before, possibly because you didn't know they were available. For instance, click on a picture or a box, etc - You will see a contextual tab show up that kinda "Groups" commands together that are associated with what you have selected. ...I find many times that it takes less "Clicks" to use/find a command that once was much more difficult to find in previous versions. The old (If you will) way of doing things involves using (I believe is called) textual commands. You click on the menu, then a sub-item, then another item, etc. This can be a long & drawn out process. Although, granted it's not that difficult for every command. I tend to create macros or use VB to make command combinations available with the click on one button, which I still do in office 2007 as well as older versions. ...I definitely welcome the new GUI, it is much more comfortable on my eyes & has "Fresh, new look" (Purely my preference & it isn't the only reasonable preference out there) ...I love the "Live preview" option which allows me to highlight (For example) text & then roll my mouse over various fonts to see what that text would look like. Live preview can be used in several areas, including font colors & styles, etc. ...Of course converting to PDF is something I like a lot & it seems to do a very good job at it. At one time this was something that entreating to check out OpenOffice because they've been able to do this for awhile now. ...Yes, you can minimize the ribbon & you can put custom items above or below the ribbon - By customize, I mean buttons that you use a lot or that run macros, etc. ...I do like the new docx format or it's equivalent in excel, etc. It does allow the file to have a much smaller footprint. You can also open a docx file & pull out various things, including the images from a document without ever opening word. This is done by renaming the docx file to a zip file. It's now like a folder containing several components of the document. I do wish that MS had used the open standards for xml files, but as many businesses, they are proprietary. They may have more reason than purely making money for doing that, but I'm not sure. ...It also has a quick little toolbar that appears when you highlight text that has common commands like bold, italics, etc & shows up right next to what you've highlighted. It fades away as you move away from the item. I would prefer that you could customize that menu, but the last I know - You couldn't. ...From a designers point of view, I would say that they have innovated office & I believe it's about time especially for a "cosmetic overhaul" (If you will). There are several commands now that have icons instead of purely text. ...I've had good success with the stability of the (2007) applications before I totally migrated over to it on the network that I work with. I use 2003 at work, but to me it is more basic & the functionality isn't is good. ...Now, this is all in my own opinion & what I've found works for me. What works for you or what you are more comfortable with may be different. You are no less "Smart" for using or preferring an older version. I tried to migrate at one time over to OpenOffice, but how things worked wasn't exactly the same as office XP/2000 (What I was using at the time) - Which was a learning curve to me & it was one that didn't always make sense. When making or working with documents in OO & MS Office, the document formatting changed many times for me & I would have to make corrections many, many times. I also found that conversion to PDF from OO weren't always very clean, but acceptable (Usually) Although, these problems could've mostly been associated with the specific types of documents I was working with. ...If you are very comfortable with the way office 2003 or previous works & don't want to learn or are not willing to learn a new way, stick with the one that works for you. I'm one of those people who are willing to look into something new & see how it profits me. That's why I even tried OpenOffice. ...In ending, I would (& do) suggest moving over to 2007. I will say that there was a lot of user input before the final release candidate came out. So to say that they 'should've' gone to the users to see how they liked it, well I would say - They did. Although any application is going to basically look the way that company wants it to look. I believe I do see a change at MS where they are leaning towards the user community more for ideas - Finding out what people want! Will it make everyone happy, no way! I enjoy office 2007 P.S. When I've needed to use the help in 2007, I've found it to be quite effective. Thanks, ---roystreet

Bolinas Road Creative
Bolinas Road Creative

Good points, Roy. I agree with much of what you've said. I think the Ribbon is much easier for brand-new users. The menus and dialog boxes in programs like Word had become disorganized from all the added features. You needed a treasure map to find things. The Ribbon is much better organized by task. The fact that the Ribbon isn't as customizable is a two edged sword. As a power-user I liked being able to whip together my own macros and put them wherever I wanted in Office menus. On the other hand if you're supporting a corporation full of Word users, its easier with the Ribbon. If you need to help someone, you know exactly where the commands and boxes are. And your users can't change that. Custom features are relegated to Add-ins, the Quick Access Toolbar or custom built tabs. The Office 2007 keyboard shortcuts are pretty nice too. They kept almost all the old commands, so if you invested brain cells memorizing those, fine. But added a new a cleaner system. Press the Alt key and you see little pop-up badges. Press the keys that correspond with the badges and you can perform any command, without touching the mouse. Use the shortcuts a few times and your fingers remember the path. I'm also using both Office 2007 and Office XP on a regular basis.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There are a few of us in IT using it so we can learn how to eventually support it. We haven't put it on any user systems yet, but we do load the Compatibility Pack for our O2003 users. I don't know anyone running it at home. Maybe this will trigger a new wave of installs. Most large organizations try to wait until the first SP before installing any new MS product.

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

About 50% of our users already run Office 2007 now, and this SP1 is a welcome event, which should prepare us to Windows 2008 advent and which definitely will trigger a new wave of 2007 upgrades. We decided that Compatibility Pack is about the same hassle to install as Office 2003->2007 upgrade is. So why waste time on two upgrades when we have better things to do, like preparing for Exchange 2007 deployment. Almost all our users working from home run Office 2007 at home already. We don't like "naysayers" and actively argue with people who think 2007 is bad. Most often they just repeat what they've heard and can't even argue properly, because the facts are against them and they don't know the facts. I think it's best to start early and get real experience while others sit on their thumbs and ponder whether to dive or not.

Lawhead
Lawhead

smx69, it sounds like you work for Microsoft in some capacity. Most businesses don't see the 'value' with upgrading from 2003 to 2007. Sure, the search feature is powerful but there aren't many features that will drastically increase a general end users productivity. Power users maybe. With that said, if your company stays 'current' with MS volume licensing then by all means move forward at the right time. If your business can't afford to constantly pay MS subscription fees, I see little value to upgrade at this point in time.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I can download any number of free search tools without paying to get a bunch of other features my users will ignore.

apotheon
apotheon

I'm not saying people shouldn't upgrade to Office 2007 at this time. I'm just taking issue with a couple of your statements in and of themselves: "[i]We don't like 'naysayers' and actively argue with people who think 2007 is bad.[/i]" I don't understand how admitting that you determine someone is "wrong" by nothing more than that they fit your definition of "naysayer" supports your thesis -- that upgrading to 2007 is better than not doing so. I smell a logical fallacy. "[i]Most often they just repeat what they've heard and can't even argue properly, because the facts are against them and they don't know the facts.[/i]" Why do I suspect that using those "facts" involves a lot of repeating "what [you've] heard"?

apotheon
apotheon

I specifically chose to avoid making any judgments about whether it's worth "upgrading" to Office 2007 at this time. The fact that you've chosen to "backroom" test makes sense, and is very reasonable, regardless of whether Office 2007 turns out to be a great leap forward in functionality.

barrie.duke
barrie.duke

Now let me see. Everything is working fine with XP and Office 2003. High productivity, low support requests, users concentrate on the work in hand. Choice:spend more money now in order to ??? or leave well enough alone. Decision: budget to upgrade PC's in a couple of years time or so and backroom Office 2007 software trials whilst support is quiet.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You seem to be sold on 2007, and yet you also say, "...this SP1 is a welcome event...". What features of the SP do you welcome to an application you say you're happy with? "We decided that Compatibility Pack is about the same hassle to install as Office 2003->2007 upgrade is." The CompPack takes less than 30 seconds to install. How do your 2003 users access the files generated by your 2007 users? Do you have 2007 set to save in a 2003-compatible format? "We don't like "naysayers" and actively argue with people who think 2007 is bad." I don't think it's bad, but I also don't see any new features useful enough to warrant upgrading at this time. "I think it's best to start early and get real experience while others sit on their thumbs and ponder whether to dive or not." Agreed. That's why we've deployed it within the IT department for the support team. I think we should have real experience with it before we unleash it on our users. We're not pondering whether to dive in. We looked at the new features and decided there was no reason to even put on a swimsuit. What features does 2007 offer your company that 2003 didn't?

apotheon
apotheon

I've had a similar reaction to MS Office ever since I discovered Vim.

JohnSmith2000
JohnSmith2000

Saves just so much time and there are a lot more, like for example the new formatting tools, the smart art.... After having been using Office 2007 for a while now, every time I happen to touch a machine with Office 2003 I cannot stand it anymore!!!!

paulmah
paulmah

Are you using Microsoft Office 2007 at the moment? Are there any features that you actually use in Office 2007 that is not present in Office 2003 anyway?

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

This is a prime example of what I was speaking about. No one is twisting your words, and your explanation only solidifies what not one, but two posters have read. Your discussion writing skills need polish. No big deal really, except that you come off as a smart a$$, An honorable person would just own up to their mistake and move on, as I am. Merry Christmas to you, and may you all get all the toys and other cool stuff to play with you've ever wanted. :) ltc

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

He normally expresses himself quite well; well enough to host a column here at TR. I do have to agree that if two people misinterpret a statement, it may not be the readers that are in error.

apotheon
apotheon

I tend to employ a simple rule to such situations: Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Thrice is a trend. There are modifiers that come into play. For instance, if Absolutely (someone I respect, as I do you, Palmetto) joined this discussion and stated that he didn't make the same mistake you did, and rickk (someone I'd expect to disagree with me for no other reason than to try to make me look bad, all else being equal) popped up to take the side that I don't have any clue at all, I'd probably discount rickk's statement as statistically insignificant, thus leaving it at still probably a coincidence -- plus a reputable statement that counteracts the weight of evidence of the two people who misread my intent to some extent. I've gone back and re-read the statement I made several times, and I still don't see how one could come away with an interpretation other than that you and "Lets Take Control" both made a significantly unnecessary assumption about my meaning -- especially since the assumed meaning was irrelevant to the point I was making at the time. If you can provide some more explanation for how I've led you astray, I'd be happy to revisit the issue, but for now it's probably worthwhile to just accept my explanation of what I actually meant and either respond to the comment as I intended it or drop the subject of how I've so badly misled you two. . . . and thanks for the vote of confidence in my skills.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

I cannot believe that you folks would distort such a thread. I unfortunately maxed out on the other thread line. First, throwing the Webster's definition in my face was crap. I already admitted the word was used incorrectly in the software development community. Second, I am probably old enough to be a father to all of you. Let me pose this question. Can that maternity ward full of computer virgins read or communicate? The ability to communicate is the key to understanding. If you don't remember anything else from this thread remember that. Do you honestly expect these children to be able to use a program growing up in a vacuum? How will they know how to turn the computer on? How will they know what the program is for. I'm sorry, but this is the weakest argument (actually there is none here) you could possibly make. Finally, The world full of them, come on, again, is the GUI written in there culture? Do they have a need? If they did would they be able to start using the MS Word without PC or Mac indoctrination? Boys your arguments are very poor and indicative of letting your emotions run away with your brain. It is one thing to be passionate about a subject, and another to have a cogent discussion. Honestly, I'm very disappointed in you. You are responsible in one way or another for bringing a tool to the aid of a user, and you foist your own tool use and expectations on each customer you are serving. This is truly disappointing, not unexpected, but disappointing none-the-less.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

go to the last message one level up and reply to it. That way your reply gets added to bottom of the next-to-last-level along with the others. Since this can get confusing about who's replying to whom, put the name of the person you're addressing in the subject. If you admitted the software community is misusing the word "intuitive", I missed it. I did see, "Intuitiveness as used in the world of Software is learned.", but I interpreted that as defining the word, not as an acknowledgment of its misusing. "I am probably old enough to be a father to all of you." And how is this relevant to the discussion? You could be 85, but may have been using computer for only a couple of months. You haven't completed your member profile, so we have no idea about your professional background. That carries more weight around here than your age. "Do you honestly expect these children to be able to use a program growing up in a vacuum?" No, but that's what intuitive means. Since we apparently both agree the word is misused by the industry, it doesn't look we disagree. "You are responsible in one way or another for bringing a tool to the aid of a user,..." I'm also responsible for making sure the company doesn't waste money on a software tool that it doesn't need. Office 2007 may have an excellent interface if you're a new user and don't bring the baggage of experience with previous versions. It may have a bunch of new features, but my users don't use 90% of the ones in O2003. If my users are going to lose productivity to learn a new interface that doesn't bring any additional tools they'll use, where's the payback for upgrading, regardless of the roll out of a service pack? "This is truly disappointing, not unexpected, ..." You've been less than two months and you've already developed expectations of our responses? You going to be even more disappointed if you continue to expect us to live up to them.

apotheon
apotheon

You two are assuming [b]way[/b] too much. Try this on for size: "If you ever have any children in the future, [b]regardless of whether you already have any children[/b], they will be 'computer virgins'." Clear enough? I didn't realize you would jump to conclusions, putting words in my mouth so that you read it like this: "If you ever have any children in the future, [b]because you don't already have any[/b], they will be 'computer virgins'." I'm pretty damned sure I didn't say that. Refer back to the earlier version if you're confused. (How is it [b]my[/b] fault that [b]you[/b] jumped to entirely unwarranted conclusions?)

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

Not that I really care, but really guy. All you had to do is read your previous post. "If you have any children in the future, they too will be "computer virgins". " I think that just about says it all. ltc

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Oops, I missed apotheon's remark. Your point.[/i]" Uh, what? Do you mean that he thinks I told him to "wait until" he has children? I did no such thing. I referred to potential future children, with no comments one way or the other about whether he already had any. Please, both of you, refrain from putting words in my mouth.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Although I don't know why you think the "Max Replies" work around is blocked. I use it daily. "I was told to wait until I have children." Oops, I missed apotheon's remark. Your point. "I have completed my profile..." Nah, your full profile. Click "My Workspace in the upper right, the Profile tab, then the Edit Profile button. If you put some details in your Professional Biography, we have a better idea of where you're coming from. In any case, thanks for coming off "lurker" status and chiming in. We always need more reasoned responses around here.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

Uh, I am aware of the going up a level, but that bug has been plugged and you can no longer do that. Now let's take YOUR discussion point by point. #1 ""I am probably old enough to be a father to all of you." I was told to wait until I have children. In fact, I have grand children. I have completed my profile and it indicates the following: Job Role: Executive IS/IT Management (CIO, CTO) Location: plano, Texas Member since: 10/23/2007 #2 "I'm also responsible for making sure the company doesn't waste money on a software tool that it doesn't need. Office 2007 may have an excellent interface if you're a new user and don't bring the baggage of experience with previous versions. It may have a bunch of new features, but my users don't use 90% of the ones in O2003. If my users are going to lose productivity to learn a new interface that doesn't bring any additional tools they'll use, where's the payback for upgrading, regardless of the roll out of a service pack?" Uh, Palmetto that was my original point, way back when. If you are not enhancing or adding functionality, what's the point? And, I'll go you one better my point is they took functionality away and made it more difficult to use. We are on the same page brother. No worries. There is a famous line in Star Trek III by Scotty: "the more they overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." #3 "You've been less than two months and you've already developed expectations of our responses? " I have been monitoring the board for many years. I finally decided to share. And yes, if you call yourself an IT professional, I DO have expectations. I am human after all and humans have expectations. Just because I expect a high standard does not mean I always get it, but I can always hope. ltc

GSG
GSG

They will pry Office 2003 out of my cold dead hands before I will go back to office 2007. That was the most @ss-backwards mess that I've ever seen. OK, I'll give credit that people who've never used it before can jump right in and go, but those of us who use it all of the time here hate it. Why, oh, why did they not put a check option in there called "Classic Menus"? The ribbon is horrible as it either takes up 1/4 of my screen, or, if you do as I did, take extra time to try to make a toolbar that won't hold everything you need. And that darn ribbon will flash up with no provocation. Not to mention that despite trying it on 1 workstation and 2 laptops, it caused blue screens on all of them.

pgm554
pgm554

It self configures email and Exchange setup with fewer mose clicks and less user input. It has a calendering feature that allows you to share out on M$ Live website. Save as PDF from word is nice too.

willpd13
willpd13

The feature that I have found really handy is in word 2007 which is the references feature for anyone doing documentation that requires content to be referenced this is excellent. Also the "Ribbons" while they have taken a while to get used to (I have been using office since it was DOS based and was a little stuck in my ways) is very good and far easier to find options you do not use very often and even better all of the keyboard shortcuts are the same as they were.

rasilon
rasilon

I installed Office 2007 on my work machine and at home. I administer a Citrix PS4 based network at an upstate NY Hospice. We currently use Office 2003. It is unlikely that we will install 2007 on the servers for the general population any time soon (read 2009 at the earliest). This is due to cost (150 licenses is $$ we don't have), the fact that our client base doesn't even use a frastion of the features in 2003 and the learning curve required. We have, though, installed the Compatibility Pack so that we can read documents from early adopters we deal with who insist on sending out DOCX and XLSX files . Overall, I really like it over 2003. Like any other interface, it's very frustrating at first finding the functions you use. They removed one function that I had come to depend on (directly imbedding a scanned image indo a word document), but things like dynamically changing the document as you select a font are really neat. Hank Arnold

marvan
marvan

Yes your right there are some things that word 2007 do not have from 2003. My question is how will I make microsoft office 2007 files compatible to the 2003 program when uploaded???

Bolinas Road Creative
Bolinas Road Creative

When you're running Word 2007, you can save documents in one of the previous Word file formats. Choose Save As and then select the file format you want. Choose the "Word 97-2003 Document" option to save your files in a format that your friends and colleagues can use on their computers. You can change your Word options so that Word 2007 always saves files in the 2003 format.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Look at MS's web site for the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack. It loads on O2003 systems and allows them to open files saved in the 2007 default formats.

Digicruiser
Digicruiser

I think it's about time Government departments in Australia start considering the security risks etc of Open Office and use it. Micro$oft charges this and that, can only use it on so many machines, you have to activate it, Micro$oft dictates what other brand software is not allowed if it competes with the one installed etc etc etc. Why bother with such an expensive, intrusive product and at one stage Micro$oft wanted to remotely shutdown any Office products that didn't seem to be legal and lock all your documents (Peladium OS???) if an administrative error occured at their end. With Open Office, you have at least some compatibility with word, excel etc and get a myriad of other features - and it's free as we all know!!! If it's secure enough for networked computers (no backdoors etc) then taxpayers won't have to fork out trucks of money for those greedy Microsoft people to do our daily business. I bet if someone wanted to spend a bit on advertising Open Office, there would be a rush on by the public and some would still be shocked to know it is somewhat free. Even though Open Office is very featured, there are a ton of people who just want to type letters and do simple budgets - they don't need an expensive product like Micro$ofts. OpenOffice will still have patches but it seems more acceptable with Openoffice to get them as they have the "Open source" umbrella over it so we expect further refinements. With Micro$oft, the money they get should be enough to quality control their products to such an extent that we shouldn't have a Service Pack for at least a year or two after release of the original Office product. New features I can understand for a Service Pack but 100s to 1000s of bugs to fix???

RushTX
RushTX

There is something missing in Office 2007, and that is the addition of address barcodes in Word 2007. I used this feature always for addressing envolopes and mailing labels. I wish that I could find an Add-in to Word 2007.

Bolinas Road Creative
Bolinas Road Creative

From what I've read elsewhere, the post office has changed their requirements for barcodes. As a result, even the barcodes in previous versions of Word aren't up to the new specs. Hopefully this will get sorted out and some sort of add-in will be available.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

I think like all new MS products, Office 2007 is a pain in the rear. Instead of trading on 20 years of usability and menu standardization, they just had to develop instantaneous frustration. It's not intuitively obvious to any user, PC or Mac, and very stilted. Listen, I'm a long time user, from the days before they had versions. This software really stinks. And I hate to say that, because I'm sure it was not meant to. I don't want a repeat of 2003 I want a more intuitive and usable 2007. Here's some good examples. I want to turn off the styles in the ribbon, you can't. I want to make the ribbon smaller, using less screen real estate, you can't. Oh, I can turn it off, but I can't make it smaller. I want to dock some of the special menus, can't do it anymore. Now I have to look under two to three menu items to accomplish the same thing, yeah that really increased my productivity! :( Every body and their brother that has designed windows based software has designed it with a specific menu order, and certain items to be found under the menus. Even Adobe adopted those standards in Acrobat for heaven's sake. Microsoft clearly did not do a usability study before they redesigned Office 2007 or after. It never would have passed muster in the real world like this. I am so disappointed. I'm even looking at Open Office now as an alternative.

mike_patburgess
mike_patburgess

Intuitive MS Products... Now there is a novel concept. Microsoft products are NOT intuitive and never will be. Neither are they user friendly. You will probably find out the hard way the Open Office products have the same malady. We definitly need to have more control over the products that we use and once we set them they should stay that way until WE decide to change them to something else. You know of course that we are stuck with the necessary nuisance.. MS Office.

skidale1
skidale1

Jeeze. You'd think that IT professionals could at least spell and know the difference between your, you're and yours. I'd be totally embarrassed to stick my name AND company name out here where others can read my ignorance. C'mon folks, learn some English/American!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"# spontaneously derived from or prompted by a natural tendency; obtained through intuition rather than from reasoning or observation" - wordnet.princeton.edu "Knowing, or perceiving, by intuition; capable of knowing without deduction or reasoning." - dictionary.com In both cases the key phrases are those indicating learning is not involved: "rather than from reasoning or observation" and "without deduction or reasoning". "Intuitiveness as used in the world of Software is learned." I agree that most current computer users are more comfortable with the XP GUI than an single other interface. They learned how to use it through formal training, observation, or trial and error. They weren't born intuitively knowing how to double-click an icon but single-click a web link, preface a command parameter with a / or -, drag and drop an object, or press the Enter key to execute a command. If those acquired habits are what the GUI developers refer to when they use the word "intuitive", meaning their interface conforms to your learned skills, then they misuse the word the same way advertisers use "hypoallergenic" or misuse "new and improved". None of them have any real meaning in the context in which they are being used; they're just Orwellian double-speak. Intuitive" doesn't mean skills acquired after birth; check the dictionary. The word for that is "experienced". "...there are VERY few computer virgins..." Odd, I thought the hospital maternity wards were full of them, with millions more arriving every day. In your own words, "Children are imprinted on computers at a very early age,...". That's not intuition, that's learning. They're not born with the skills required to operate a computer. They're born knowing how to suckle, sleep, poop, and watch everything that goes on around them so they can learn how to do it. One of those things they observe and learn is the use of computers. Children are taught to use computers, and it's always easier to teach a neophyte something than someone with experience in a related but different area. The neophyte doesn't have any learned habits and practices to override. That's why people run into trouble when they try to switch operating system GUIs. That doesn't mean any one interface is more or less "intuitive" than any other. They all have to be learned, and while some are easier to learn than others, having one behave similarly to another doesn't make either "intuitive".

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]However, there are VERY few computer virgins, and thusly, through the rest of your argument you make the point.[/i]" Incorrect. The vast majority of people on this planet are "computer virgins". If you have any children in the future, they too will be "computer virgins". Most future computers users have not even been born yet. The matter of whether supposed "intuitive" interface design in a given OS is truly intuitive or merely a result of familiarity is, thus, quite important. In any case, you don't seem to be rebutting Palmetto's core point -- just chasing tangents.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I'm so waiting for the rebuttal of the rebuttal rebuttal. I agree with you though. I'm in network admin for a living, I like building pc's for fun, my side business is deal with small business networks end to end...computers, macs, apples, unix, linux, microsoft, gates, jobs, linus...they all svck and none of them would know an intuitive interface if it jumped up and bit them. I should have been a lawyer, a doctor or a magician. I should go back in time and kick my 4 year old butt for wanting to work with those "ivory white boxes." :)

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

On the surface your argument has merit. However, there are VERY few computer virgins, and thusly, through the rest of your argument you make the point. Children are imprinted on computers at a very early age, yes through what else, phones and video games. Intuitiveness as used in the world of Software is learned. It is cultural. For example, if you lived in a large city all your life you not be as intuitive about surviving in the wild should a catastrophe happen. Likewise, a person from a rural area would not be as adept at surviving in a large city. Living is learned. When enough reinforcement has taken place, you become intuitive. Unfortunately, for us intuitive is sometimes defined as knowing without learning and spontaneous. How many people do you know would open a program that had never used it before and not look for something familiar from past experiences with which to measure or confirm understanding? Please be aware this is not the same as innateness or instictiveness the ability to which you seem to be making reference. So experiences do matter and do matter a great deal. How would you look for something if it hadn't already existed in some form or another some where else? The tool would be completely useless. Which is an oxymoron, since tools are made to be used. ltc

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"...when it should be intuitive to a PC user (because there are so many of us)..." When someone first started using a desktop computer, they have to be shown how to manipulate the interface. This is true regardless of the operating system and user interface involved. The Windows skills you have were learned through training; they aren't intuitive. Expecting an application to conform to those skills is due to experience with a particular GUI, not intuition. If Windows (or any other interface) was truly intuitive, it wouldn't matter what experience a Mac user had. They'd be able to intuit the operation of the system regardless of their previous experience.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

Actually, I would have to disagree with you on this one. Computers are very intuitive, it's the people that design the GUIs that we have to worry about. In my experience "computer intuitivness" has always been defined by SMacHeads. (Mac developers) Hence, when it should be intuitive to a PC user (because there are so many of us), it is counter-intuitive to a Mac user and vice versa. Unfortunately, many program interfaces are designed with ... Mac oriented or first run software. Chiefly Adobe and Macromedia. They are first and always designed for the Mac and ported to the PC. I know this from first-hand experience. So it's really not surprising that it is not intuitive. I just wish MS would get off its fat smug bum and listen to the people that have to use there products for a change. Maybe if they stuck some of those R&D dollars into real-world focus groups instead of developing a $300 keyboard (unbelieveable) they would have more satisfied software customers. Oh btw, I don't advocate the use of Macs. Worked with both a PC and Mac side-by-side. Macs no comparison to PC. Sorry guys nothing personal just my experience and opinion. ltc

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Those marketing goobers who refer to their products as intuitive are usually assuming a background of basic Windows experience.

Bolinas Road Creative
Bolinas Road Creative

Not sure if this is what you meant, but you can make the Office 2007 ribbon smaller by double-clicking on any of the tabs. Then, only the Tabs show, giving you more real estate. You can view the Ribbon under each tab with a click. Choose your option and the ribbon hides again.

Bolinas Road Creative
Bolinas Road Creative

Maybe I'm unclear on what you're trying to do, but if you want "your" custom styles to appear in the Ribbon Styles group when you start Word, here's the step-by-step that works for me: 1. Under Home->Styles right click on the style you want to change and choose Modify from the pop-up menu. Make the changes you want. 2. Repeat that for every style you want to change...normal, heading 1, heading 2 and so forth. 3. Click the Change Styles button to the right of the styles and choose Style Set->Save as Quick Style Set. A Save Quick Style Set dialog box opens. 4. Give your new style a name and click Save. 5. To finish off, go back to the Change Styles button, make sure your newly names style is the one selected. Then, click Change Styles->Set as Default. Once you've done that, every time Word starts up it should show your custom styles on the Ribbon in the Styles group. At least that's my experience.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

Thanks for the additional. I was aware of that but it does not address my issue. It does not replace the auto styles Word opens with. : ) Merry Christmas ltc

Bolinas Road Creative
Bolinas Road Creative

Glad the ribbon tip was helpful. I like getting the clutter off my screen. Helps me think better. You can set new defaults for fonts, paragraphs and styles. Make your changes then click the little box in the lower right corner of fonts and paragraphs. A dialog box opens with a Default... button. For Styles, choose the style using the Home->Change Styles button, then under the same button, click Set as Default.

Lets Take Control
Lets Take Control

Obviously one of the "undocumented features" thanks. One of the things I would really like to do is substitute "my" default styles and such to the ribbon, instead of having to open task panes to gain access to "customized" features. Thanks again for the tip. ltc

sylerner
sylerner

I suspect that the original poster wanted to be able to scale down the size of the ribbon, but what you described is even better.

ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898
ByteBin-20472379147970077837000261110898

I never have any problems using OpenOffice.org instead. It does what I need it to. Writes PDF files, will open and correctly display (as well as save) MS Word Documents and Excell-type spreadsheets (so that my boss who uses I think Office 2003 can read them as well). OpenOffice.org's suite is free and includes a database, word processor, spreadsheet, illustrator, and a presentation program that is said to save to shockwave flash files (whouch I haven't tried to save any as I don't use presentation programs as much anyway). My laptop came with a DEMO of Microsoft Office 2007. After backing up the hard drive when I got the machine, I then immediately erased the demo and installed OpenOffice. For those looking for an ical compatible calendar I recommend Mozilla Sunbird. And whlie I'm not personally crazy about Thunderbird, some are for newsgroups and email. I don't know if it links to Sunbird or not though.

ENG21
ENG21

Office 2007 has a plug-in that can be downloaded and installed to save Office documents as PDF files. Simply go to office.microsoft.com and search for "Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS"

abdul.lateef.03
abdul.lateef.03

Yes, we all in the IT support team are using Office 2007. What feature that I personally like the most which is not present in Office 2003 is the search capability in Outlook 2007. Its just amazing!

ken.tarr
ken.tarr

Ever since Office 2007 came out I have been using the product at home. I picked it up at one of the Microsoft Live events at no cost, and since installing it on my machine at home I have been pleased with it's performance. Yes, it took a little while to figure out where all the controls were, but now that I have, I can see how the "Ribbon" does make things easier. I convinced my church to get Office 2007 as well, primarily for the PowerPoint for the slides used at Sunday services. It has made it easier to run (previously it was cumbersome to have to switch slides at the sudden change of a service order, but in PowerPoint 2007 it's a breeze, and those who aren't that computer savvy actually commented on how much easier it is to use). So far however, my work has resisted moving to the newer product. We use Office 2003 products (and in one instance, Project 98 due to compatibility issues). Work has been slow to adopt the newer software, primarily due to the nature of new releases, and has a wait-and-see approach to upgrading. That wait-and-see is usually sometime after the first service pack comes out. It may be some time before we move to the Office 2007 suite; it's not high on our radar right now with all the other changes forthcoming. Even Windows 2000 is getting replaced on the last 100 or so PCs in the company that are still on it with Windows XP. Vista isn't even on our radar and may not be. Bottom line: While I embrace the newer software so I can "kick the tires", my company (and I am sure others) are slower to adopt because they have to look at the bigger picture...all the changes that are needed before they can bring it to the masses. And when you're midway into other projects, upgrading the software you use to do your work daily just has to wait because it takes time away from those projects. We have tight deadlines right now; why jeopardize it with a software upgrade that doesn't directly relate to it?

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