Sunday, January 06, 2008

Very mild super powers not quite up to scratch...

MS Word 2007

When I bought my new computer a few months ago, it came with Vista. My old software didn’t like the change so, of course, I needed to upgrade my MS suite to the latest version. Grrrr! It’s not that I don’t like change. Really, I love learning new stuff, but MS Word 2007 has got me by the short and... well, let’s just say that it has not been fun.

I’ll grant that I am slowly learning where the programmers/designers (whoever comes up with the torture techniques) have hidden everything, but it has never been so difficult (or so torturous) before. I will absolutely not cede that I’ve reached an age where lots of things get just that little bit harder. I am, and always have been, a dab hand at getting things to work and ferreting out the different language and usage of software packages. I consider it one of my “very mild super powers”

Let me show you a few examples.

1. The menu bars are completely different from anything I’ve used before. Even the customising dialogue boxes have me scratching my head. I don’t see the point of the change and several buttons I always used in previous versions are either no longer available or are in clever disguise.

2. I have to go looking for formatting buttons that are supposed to be Quick Access but in reality are slow access. First I need to figure out which section our formatting tool is now categorised under, then sort through the selection on offer. I’ll find it eventually, and it’s a given that also eventually I’ll get faster at locating my preferred formatting options, but in the meantime, sooo painful!

3. New commands. I don’t recall seeing commands such as “Learn from document...” in previous versions of MS Word – and I’ve crawled all through the commands lists on many occasions – and I’m not sure why I would want to “Insert Spike” into my work... I found these searching for my old formatting favourites among a few dozen other choices I’ve never heard of. Has Word suddenly become complicated or have these been lurking in the underbelly of the Word formatting world this whole time?

At any rate, I know that I’ll set up Word just the way I like it and when I'm forced into upgrading to the next version I'll be grumbling about how I've only just come to terms with this one. I admit right now that writing this article has helped immensely. I’ve now found a lot of my favourites. Perhaps it’s a comment on time or the lack of it and patience (and lack of it) rather than on change, inevitability and growing old. I just want to write stuff. I don’t want the hassle of figuring out anew how to format everything.

I’ve yet to attempt the latest versions of MS Powerpoint and Excel. One day when I’ve got an hour or two to spare (hah!) I’ll take a look at what they’ve become. For now, I’ll just muddle through with MS Word 2007.


Carol Burge said...

Well, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one! I got my new computer with Windows Vista in April and have yet to figure stuff out in Word! I hate it, I really do! Why do they feel the need to change everything around, just when you've gotten used to it? Grrrr!

Beginnings, Middle and Ends said...

Thanks for dropping by, Carol, and commiserating with me.


Kathy said...

I'm no fan of Office 2007, but have actually found their in-program Help to be, well, helpful. So when you get nuts about something, like I do at least once a day, click that little white question mark in the upper right corner and see what you can find.

Beginnings, Middle and Ends said...

Having got so used to not using the "help", I hadn't thought of that! Thank you very much for the tip.


mjh said...


If it helps, all the old keystrokes work as before. Also, most items you find on the Ribbon can be to the Quick Access toolbar in the title bar -- either by editing using the tiny drop-down to its right OR by right-clicking over a given button/icon in the Ribbon. HTH.