Upon opening any of the programs in the Microsoft Office 2007 suite, you'll notice something very different about the menus at the top of the screen. First of all, there is a new feature called the Microsoft Office ribbon. This feature, in the upper left corner of the screen, has replaced the File menu. By clicking on it, some of the old familiar actions such as Open, Save, Save As, Print, and Send can be found. It's a nice feature, but believe me, it takes some time to get used to it.
Another new feature that mirrors similar changes made to Internet Explorer is the tabbed menu feature. Instead of having a lot of drop-down menus, there are tabs across the top of the screen with menus that display directly below them once clicked. If you're used to the drop-down menus that were used in Office 2000, XP, and 2003, it's going to take quite a while to find some of the popular commands.
The final new feature is the hovering effect. I really like this feature because it allows you to preview what something would look like before actually making the change. For example, if you wanted to change some text in Word or Excel from size 12 to size 20, you would highlight the text and click the size drop-down. When you hover over the size 20 (before clicking), it will give you a preview by changing the actual text until you move the mouse off the text size. This is a really cool feature that I'm sure many people will like.
Saving for previous versions
To keep it real short and sweet, there are two ways of saving for previous versions of Microsoft Office. One way is to click the Microsoft Office ribbon and select Save As>97-2003 Document.
The other way to do it is to set your default save method as 97-2003. To do this, you click the Microsoft Office Ribbon in the program you want to use and then select “_ Options", where the blank is the name of the program, i. e. Word, Excel.
From there, you click save and change the format that it saves in to 97-2003. This will save all of your documents to this format if you use the normal Save command.
It's generally a good idea to save documents to previous versions because users who don't have Office 2007 won't be able to open any of your documents unless they download a compatability pack.
Upgrading to 2007
There are several options to look into here. One of which, is going to the Microsoft Office website and purchasing from one of the six vendors listed. You can also purchase a copy at a local computer store (CompUSA, Best Buy, etc). Lastly, if you're fortunate and you're a student, staff member, or faculty member of a university, you may be able to get it free if your university has a campus license agreement for the software.
Devin Dabney is a computer consultant, author, speaker, and entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of DabneyWorks Computer Consulting. DabneyWorks provides remote and in-person computer assistance , website design and auditing, and business consultation.
For more information, visit http://www.dabneyworks.com