Microsoft Word 2007 - New Look
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Microsoft has done a great job with the new graphic user interface in Microsoft Office 2007. It has a brand new look and feel. The focus behind the change is an optimized, task oriented approach which translates to better documents prepared in less time. Let us take a look at some of these new features in Microsoft Word 2007:
  • Office Button
  • The Ribbon
  • Quick Access Toolbar
  • Mini Toolbar
  • Shortcut Menu

Office Button

The Office Button in Microsoft Word 2007 replaces the File menu available in previous versions of Word. The new Office Button is shown below.

The Office Button provides functionality common to all Office applications, including opening, saving, printing, and closing a file. Commands are listed on the left, and recently opened documents appear on the right side. When I click on the Office Button in Microsoft Word 2007, this is what I see:

As you click on the various commands, you will be given related options. For example, when I selected the Print command, I was given the flyout menu with additional print options like Print, Quick Print and Print Preview. Here is a screen shot shown below.


The Ribbon:

In Microsoft Word 2007, the old Menus and the Toolbars have been replaced by what's called the Ribbon. The Ribbon is what Microsoft is calling the new user interface. The idea is to give the application user a task oriented user interface where one will spend more time working on the actual document and less time looking for specific commands.  Here is a screen shot of what the Ribbon looks like.

The Ribbon in Microsoft Word 2007 is broken down into Tabs that deal specifically with a certain task. For example if you're trying to insert an object, you will find the related commands under the Insert Tab. The tabs are further broken down into logical groups. For example if you're in the Home Tab, all the text formatting commands will be found under the Font group. The Tab (top) and the Group (bottom) areas are shown in the figure below and highlighted using red rectangles.


Quick Access Toolbar:

The next new feature in Microsoft Word 2007 that we are going to look at is the Quick Access Toolbar. The Quick Access Toolbar is a global toolbar which is present regardless of what tab you are on. Out of the box, Quick Access Toolbar has the Save, Undo, and Redo commands. Here is what the Quick Access Toolbar looks like on my screen.

You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar to add the more often used commands. Let us say that you wanted to add the Bold command to this Quick Access Toolbar. If you can, browse to the Home Tab and then the Font group. Next, move the mouse over the bold icon, right click and then select Add to Quick Access Toolbar. This will add the Bold command  to the quick access toolbar and will be present at all times. This is shown below in the next two figures.


Mini Toolbar:

The Mini Toolbar is also a big time saver as it also contains commonly used commands in Microsoft Word 2007. If you highlight some text using the mouse, you will see a faded Mini toolbar.  As you move the mouse towards the faded area, it will become solid and then you can select one of the commands on it.  Here is a screen shot of what I'm talking about.

Example:  we're going to change the color of the quoted article to blue. In order to do this I'm going to highlight text and then use the Mini Toolbar to change the font color. This is shown below in the illustration.


Shortcut Menu:

The last thing I want to cover is the Shortcut Menu sometimes known as the Right Click Menu or Context Menu. The concept for the shortcut menu is similar to the Mini Toolbar. The idea is to have common commands available to you as you're working on your document. However there is one BIG difference. The Shortcut Menu changes depending what screen and application you are in. On the other hand, the  Mini Toolbar does not change. Here is a screen shot of what it looks like on my document.

If you notice the Shortcut Menu not only has formatting commands for text, paragraphs settings, line numbering etc. you can also view features such as finding synonyms, translating to another language, inserting a hyperlink and reference features. Also notice that on top of the shortcut menu, you will find the Mini Toolbar for easy access and use.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, please visit Microsoft's Word home page