Upgrading your Office suite? Week 2 – Word 2010
Microsoft Word is around 27 years old and there have been many versions in that time of which the latest is version 2010.
Upgrades of Word come in pairs and Word 2007 represented a big change to the user interface (from v2003) and introduced some new functionality. Word 2010 consolidated those changes and introduced some additional features. There are many subtle differences between 2007 and 2010 but not the radical changes there were in the previous upgrade.
The Word 2010 interface provides a pleasing user experience and the Ribbon offers quick access to commands. The Ribbon may be customised to suit the way you work by adding additional commands and macros which was not possible in v2007. Most keystrokes remain the same and KeyTips allow you to use the keyboard with the ribbon commands (press ALT to activate).
If your aim is to create professional and interesting looking documents and you could do with some creative support then Word 2010 provides a good balance of features and ease of use. Useful formatting features include various text effects, improved styles, improved table and header and footer formatting. Formatting is shown instantaneously via live preview to enable you to consider alternative formatting options and quickly select the most appropriate for the job in hand.
The graphical additions are well worthy of a mention as they provide various tools to help produce more exciting documents including SmartArt graphics to visually communicate complex information and ideas in a more interesting and easy to understand way.
The picture tools can then be used to make adjustments such as applying artistic effects, basic editing and removal of backgrounds. Built-in styles and effects can be easily applied and viewed with live preview until the perfect look is found.
The Navigation Pane replaces what was the document map in previous versions and has been smartly updated to provide a very user friendly way to easily navigate and search within large documents.
My personal favourite is the contextual tabs that appear only when they are needed and helpfully show the features that are available to be used with whatever you are currently doing. For example the table tools appear as extra tabs when using a table.
If you need to collaborate with your teams then Word 2010 in conjunction with SharePoint offers shared files functionality plus much more. Co-authoring functionality that enables simultaneous editing of documents by multiple authors is also available.
Backstage View (File Tab) has various file management type features grouped handily together which makes them very visible and discoverable. Useful features include recovering unsaved documents, save directly to pdf, managing versions and print\print preview within the same window.
Integration within the Office applications is nicely unified and the sharing of data within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote is straight forward. The ‘Paste with Live Preview’ feature supports this very well by offering and displaying a range of paste options when pasting data from the other applications.
In conclusion, if you work with long documents or need help to create more engaging, professional and standout documents then I would say that this version of Word provides a pretty user friendly way of doing just that.