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Not Many New Features in Word 2007 – Features and GUI of MS Word 2007

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/20/2010

Are there really that many Word 2007 new features? Word 2007 offers a faster way for working on documents. In addition, Word 2007 new features include better file handling - once you finish working on them. This article looks at the Word 2007 interface before discussing Word 2007 new features.

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    The MS Word 2007 Interface

    Change in GUI is just one of the few new features of Word 2007. Others include its capability to handle certain tasks without the need for third party applications.

    People say that the navigation in MS Word 2007 is entirely different from Word 2003. This is true to some extent – the “confusing" cascading menus are not present in Word 2007. The menu tabs remain as such. Instead of menus and sub-menus (as in Word 2003 navigation), you find easy to identify icons for each menu tab.

    This is what they call the Ribbon Interface of Word 2007 (See Fig 1). This is the best change Microsoft could bring in for the application and its users. The Ribbon Interface, as said above, comes with menu tabs and for each tab – a set of icons. The menu tabs and icons are self explanatory. The Home tab, for instance, contains most frequently used commands – formatting, find, and replace. Similarly, the Insert tab tells you that it contains commands related to import or embed external objects (images, tables, and more) into the current document.

    The Ribbon Interface of Word 2007 offers a clean environment to work on your documents. You can easily jump from command to another without going though a plethora of menus and sub-menus, neither do you need to keep a note of locations of your favorite commands. If you use certain commands frequently, you can add them to the Word 2007 Quick Access toolbar (Fig 2). The Word 2007 Quick Access toolbar is located just next to a button on top-right of the window. All you need to do is to right click on the command in Ribbon and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

    The button on the top-right of the windows is the Office 2007 button (Fig 3). Clicking on the button gives you general options to create, open, save, or exit the program. There are few advanced features too that we will look in the next section. If you wish to customize Word 2007, you can use the “Word Option" button in the menu that appears when you click the Office 2007 button.

    To further reduce the clutter, Word 2007 introduced contextual menus (Fig 4). These menus appear only when you need them. Most used are – image and table context menu. People frequently use images and tables in their documents. But there is no separate menu for table in Office 2007. You can insert table using the Insert tab. But when it comes to formatting the table, instead of an “evergreen menu", you find that a relevant menu appears as soon as you click on the table. Same is the case with images and other documents.

    The Office 2007 Basic Navigation Chart further sheds light on the new GUI.

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    More Features

    I will not take much time here. There are a handful of options that you can use from within Word 2007 instead of using Outlook or any other third party application (as in previous versions). These options include: uploading your document to a SharePoint or a blog, emailing the document without having to open Outlook, encrypting the document without using any third party application, digital signs, and much more.

    You can find all Word 2007 advanced features in the menu presented by Office 2007 button. To upload the document to blog, you need to have an existing blog. You can always create workspace at SharePoint on the move. You can access these options clicking on Office 2007 button menu and then clicking on Publish. Click on the Send option to send the document as email or fax. To encrypt or sign MS Word 2007 document, use the Prepare sub menu. You can also customize Word 2007 using the same menu.

    Word 2007 new features are nothing but: clean, easy, and faster options to work on your documents; and, performing document specific tasks without closing the application as against the previous versions. In short, Word 2007 new features help you save time while working on any kind of document, even if you are compiling a book!

    ♦Related Reading: Common Features in Word 2003 and Word 2007

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    Image References

    The Word 2007 RibbonThe Quick Access ToolbarThe Office Button and Corresponding MenuContextual Menu in Word 2007 - for Images