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© 2010 Ugur Akinci
MS Office is in a way like McDonald’s for me… They are both Great American Institutions. But that’s not all. They are also both the kind of icons that some people love to hate…
However, show me someone who is trashing McDonald’s and I’ll show you one who has not been to a McDonald’s store for decades. Likewise, whenever I hear someone lambasting MS Office, I immediately realize that I’m looking at someone who has not used MS Office for quite some time. Even though I do use other office suites (like OpenOffice), MS Office 2010 once again made me realize what a great product it is and how much intense development is built into each of its releases.
Let’s take MS Word 2010 for example… The new interface is built on a series of TABS that I’ve never seen in any other text editor. These tabs are the kind of productivity boosters that once you get used to them you wonder how you did it for all these years without them. Human mind… so easy to spoil a creature 🙂
(Click on the images to enlarge them)
The first tab FILE is what greets you by default when you create a new document.
It allows you to assign a password to the new document and version it. It provides all kinds PROPERTIES information, including author’s name, etc.
COOL TIP: if you press the ALT key while you’re in this tab, Word displays HOTKEYS (shortcut keys) above each File menu command:
The HOME Tab displays the blank new document as well as many useful FORMATTING buttons. Font family and sizes, alignment and justification options, paragraph styles, are all here. (Click to enlarge.)
One particular button I like on the HOME tab is the ENCLOSE CHARACTER button which enables you to DRAW a CIRCLE or BOX around any character you like!
Bravo Word! In the past, to accomplish the same thing required quite a bit of a circus act. Now you can do it at the click of a single button.
Next comes the wonderful INSERT tab. If you want to insert anything into your Word document (images, math equations, Date, time, signature, charts, a screen shot, cross-reference, booksmark, header, footer, page number, etc.) you place your cursor in the right spot and CLICK a BUTTON. It’s as simple as that. (Click to enlarge.)
The PAGE LAYOUT tab accomplishes easily what it used to take several separate operations when I used to page layout full-time back in the early ’90s. This is such a smooth feature for a text editor that is not really well suited for page layout. For professional layout jobs I recommend Adobe InDesign. But still I have to admit that there are a lot you can do inside Word 2010 by just using the options (buttons) provided here:
The REFERENCES tab will I’m sure be welcomed with gratitude by all students, professional writers, and scholars who need to provide precise references in their documents:
You can insert footnotes, end notes, bibliography, citations, Table of Figures, captions, cross references, Table of Authorities, Index, Table of Contents, all with one click. Very convenient.
The MAILINGS tab aims to make a previously painful Word operation as palatable as possible: mail merging. This also intelligent tab divides the operation into sub steps, each represented from left to right by different tab sections: (1) Create envelopes and labels, (2) Start the mail merge, (3) Write and insert fields, (4) Preview Results, and (5) Finish.
The REVIEW tab brings order and more clarity to a vital technical communication process: reviewing a document by multiple writers and/or Subject Matter Experts. In addition to the familiar Word review marks and accept/reject options, Word 2010 also enables the user to dive into the Thesaurus, check spelling, do content research, count the number of words, do translations, and compare two Word documents, all from the same tab:
Lastly, the VIEW tab offers all the traditional MS Word viewing options. Nothing shocking there except the easy with which, for example, one can trigger asynchronous scrolling, view pages side by side, launch a new window or split the existing window, record a Macro, etc.
MS Word 2010 is the SHREK of word processors… it’s a MONSTER in terms of its heft but it’s a sweet and friendly monster that can help you tackle great writing and editing tasks with ease and flair.