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Author Topic: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted  (Read 10848 times)

zridling

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Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« on: March 13, 2008, 10:16:59 PM »
In my word processor review last year, I found a lot of things to love about Office 2007, and now that the program has been out a while, I'm wondering how users like it so far, and what things they would change now that Office 2009 is in development.

scr-office2007-2.gif

J-Mac

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 02:06:41 AM »
Hi Zaine.

I just got a new notebook last week with Office 2007 Professional but I haven't used Office enough yet on that machine to get a good feel for it.

Two things I can say so far:

  • First, I am not very fond of the ribbon interface just yet. BTW, I know that MS does not want us calling it that, but what the heck else can you reasonably call it?


  • Second, I created a spreadsheet in Excel 2007 and tried to upload it to Google Docs so I could print it later from my desktop PC.  (While I was able to get the new notebook to connect wirelessly to the internet through my router, I have not yet solved the problem of getting this Vista Notebook to share with, or even SEE, the XP PC's on my network). However it could not be uploaded to Google Docs - error (from Google) says that it could be a few issues but the most likely seems to be that Excel 2007 has data validation turned on by default. And try as I might, I cannot get it turned off. That's a real bummer.

Jim

justice

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 05:01:50 AM »
I would really like the interface if there was also a search tool built in that would search through all options. It was there in the betas but then removed as research found that people didn't need it. But the help is extremely good so I can always find what I want through that. Apart from that, and the fact that office is getting more resource intensive (not a problem on modern pcs that are supposed to run vista/office 2007) it works really well and especially Outlook 2007 is very much improved and an excellent tool.

johnk

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 08:26:31 AM »
As I said elsewhere, I dislike Outlook 2007 with a passion. It's one thing producing a bad product, but it's even worse to take something decent (Outlook 2003) and then spend four years making it worse. Months later and I'm still annoyed (and using Windows Live Mail for email/contacts -- still the best IMAP client I've found).

As for Word, I switch between 2007 and 2003. I use 2003 most of the time as it's much quicker to load. No other reason really.

Best thing about Office 2007? The new font collection that came with it. In particular, Constantia and Consolas are superb, on screen and in print, and I use them all the time. I like Calibri too. But of course you don't need Office 2007 to get the fonts. If you have Vista, they're part of the package, and if you're on XP, I believe the latest version of the Powerpoint viewer will install the new font collection.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 08:30:38 AM by johnk »

CWuestefeld

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 09:36:28 AM »
Unlike some others here, I really like the Ribbon. But there are other things to dislike. Just yesterday I was frustrated (and still am, I haven't found a solution yet) because I can't see the style definition of a piece of text. It used to be back in Word 2003 that the task bar would show you the effective style even for ad hoc formatting that hadn't been assigned a named style. I've been trying to figure out why one bulleted list has extra space between the items, and I don't see any way at all to determine in one place all of the formatting settings for the offending list.

I think your question focused on Word, but let me add my complaining about Outlook as well. Its stability is abysmal. I can't imagine why they removed the shared folder for small workgroups feature. Its threading model is horrible: not only does it freeze up when doing Send/Receive but it freezes the whole darned computer (and it's a dual core CPU, so I think that means that it's freezing the Windows message pump itself). And when I send email from another application, that blocks all access to Outlook.

Rover

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 10:44:37 AM »
I have Outlook 2007 at work.  I'm not sure what it does any different than Outlook 2000.  It looks different, but that's about it.  Oh, I can create business card looking signatures.  Woo hoo.

As far as Word goes, I haven't actually used the 2007 version, but I haven't seen anything in the last 3 or 4 versions that were compelling reasons to change.  If anything, they decrease productivity while you re-learn how MS wants you to do things. 

Overall, I'd still rather use WordPerfect 5.1  :P    It was fast and efficient; it let you type for content w/o worrying about formatting up front (The correct process IMHO) and then allowed for easy formatting of your text.  I suppose easy is a relative term and depends on the person.  Plus it had "User Friendly" stamped right on the box, does Office 2007 have that?!!
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J-Mac

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 12:23:13 PM »
Oh boy!  You all are really getting me pumped up to dig into this.  I only use Outlook 2003 for calendar and contacts currently - all but one of my email accounts are IMAP and Outlook just doesn't do IMAP.

Word and Excel are my staples, so once I get into them more heavily I'll be able to comment with some experience.  Office 2003 is still on my desktop PC, which is where I do most of my Office work; typing is tough enough for me on a full-size keyboard - notebooks slow me to a speed that would make the Comcast turtle family jealous!

Jim

J-Mac

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 12:24:20 PM »
BTW, I cut my teeth on WP5.1 also.  With the codes showing, it was probably the absolute best teacher of word processing!

Jim

Hey!! My 500th post!  I haven't written THAT much, have I?   :P

CWuestefeld

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 12:26:07 PM »
all but one of my email accounts are IMAP and Outlook just doesn't do IMAP.
Are you saying that you've had some particular problems with IMAP in Outlook? Because it certainly does support IMAP, I use it at home that way.

J-Mac

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 12:30:54 PM »
Outlook has an extremely crippled IMAP feature. Take a look at, say, Thunderbird, where you can see ALL of your folders in any number of IMAP accounts, real time.  I believe Outlook allows you to subscribe to and view THREE folders at a time - and then you have to mark what you want to view and then download the bodies. That is not IMAP support, IMO.

Jim

davej123

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2008, 03:23:53 PM »
The ribbon took a while for me to get used to. But for people who are not so familiar with office it is almost intuitive. For example to spell check or use a thesaurus are all under the Review tab.

rno2

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2008, 09:31:29 PM »
It works okay for me. I dislike the ribbon, the bar was better and took less space. But I cannot complain. Microsoft gave me the Ultimate Edition for free.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2008, 10:02:34 PM »
I just bought a laptop which came with 1Gb of RAM and running on Vista Home Premium. I have also bought a cheap copy of MS Office 2007 Ultimate Ed (they were practically giving away student copies of this - and it can be installed on a desktop machine and a laptop).

First thing to say is that 1Gb is not enough - the memory usage was horrendous - Vista was using 78% of memory without loading any other apps, and already the hard disc was thrashing almost constantly - not good.

I splashed out on another Gb of Crucial RAM and now it seems to be working MUCH smoother - and startup time has reduced about 4 or 5 fold.

I haven't played with Office much yet but I was prepared to hate it - but I don't!

Given that you can set all of the apps to use backwards compatible formats by default that is less of an issue than I first thought. I was under the impression that Outlook upgrade was one way because the file format changes - well it is easy enough to create an old format file and copy your emails to that. I haven't used it enough yet to hate it!

I have played a bit with Word and PowerPoint and was fully prepared to hate the 'ribbon' but actually I don't. Once you get over the fact that the usual menus and dialogues have all changed I think the interface is actually cleaner and clearer. OK there is a bit of relearning to do and initially I thought that a lot of things had disappeared but nope they all seem to be there (at least what I use). A lot of people complained about the ribbon taking up too much space but actually the quick access bar is very handy and setting the ribbon to auto hide means you can actually get away with rather less real estate lost.

In Word it is useful for me that other OLE apps now work quite seamlessly - so eg. I use MathType quite a bit and it now just appears as another tab on the ribbon and you create the equations directly in the word page rather than the 2003 and earlier clunk window interface that opened up.

Too early to say what I'd like to see in 2009, but if I can't get another cheapo student copy I will probably stick and jump a version.

I still have 2003 installed on my desktop machine - but that is mainly because I am having so many hassles at the moment.

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 12:42:48 AM »
My experience is very similar to Carol's - faculty version of Office 2007 Enterprise for $16 - and the same learning/experiential curve. Bottom line: there is more to like than to dislike for me, and I am finding that each of the remaining "peeves" with it are falling by the wayside as I map out the interface.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Grorgy

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 08:34:57 AM »
I bought the ultimate version using the MS promotion to students.  From what I've seen so far it looks good and works well, takes me a while to find things but the things I use all seem to be there.  I ran into an initial problem with taking forever, well 10 seconds or so, to let me start typing again after going to some other program, turned out to be incompatibility with some add ins, text aloud and pdf ones, none of which I had ever used. So i disabled them and that solved that problem.

It was also quite slow to load and since its fun to clear things up sometimes, i was looking around for things I either didn't need or never used.  PS tray factory was one of those (a didn't need, I was using it) .  After I closed it word loads in about half the time (I'm mainly using a 1.5ghz Celeron M laptop with 760 mb of RAM, ohh and a HDD that spins at a liesurely 4200rpm, its adequate for my needs but was never fast)  Also outlook has become more responsive.


cthorpe

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2008, 06:21:16 PM »
I have used all of the major iterations of Office since 97 due to licensing agreements with the University my wife and I are affiliated with.  I recently picked up Office 2007 Enterprise edition for a mere $20 (and yes, like Darwin's faculty license, it is a 100% legit).  I find that it just works.  I can load any of the applications in less than 5 seconds (though I am on an extremely fast PC), and I love the live previews as you scroll through options.  I have found the ribbon to be rather intuitive, and I rarely have to search for more than a few minutes to find some option that I haven't used in 2007 yet.  Once I find it, it makes sense to me why it is located where it is in the ribbon, so I don't have to hunt for it again.

I did run into a nasty bug the other day, however, but it may have been a combination of Office and Vista rather than just Vista.  After a couple of weeks worth of daily use, I suddenly found that when attempting to double click on any files saved in older Office format (doc, ppt, etc), Office would tell me that it was not installed for the current user and that I should run setup again.   I could start all of the applications from the start menu with no problem, as well as double clicking on any file that was saved in the new Office 2007 format (docx, pptx, etc).  Running setup did nothing to solve the problem, nor did Office's repair or diagnostic functions.  I never did solve the problem under Vista.  Instead, I finally found all of the XP drivers I needed for my machine and installed XP.  Office 2007 is back to running perfectly fine.

zridling

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2008, 10:26:26 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the feedback. Here's a follow-up: Are any of you using Office 2007 in the workplace? (Rover mentioned Outlook '07 at work.)

J-Mac

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2008, 11:51:41 PM »
Sadly, Zaine, I no longer have a "workplace"!   :(

I can say, though, that not many companies have upgraded to Office 2007 yet. At least not as many as Microsoft would like.  Corporations are usually slow to upgrade their office suites.  Office 2007 upgrades are priced exceedingly high, despite the comments by many here about the academic discounts. That is, for personal consumers, home users, etc.  I know that corporations with multi-seat licenses get fairly substantial discounts, and I am virtually certain that Microsoft is discounting it even more deeply now because of the relatively slow sales. But for large corporations, it is the training costs that are prohibitive. While the software purchase itself is a capital expense, the staff training is not - it is an O&M expense item and does not get the beneficial tax treatment that new software purchases get.  And the training for Office 2007 is much more intensive than previous upgrades to Office. When I was in the business, we had an abundance of administrative personnel who were not overly "computer literate" except for the specific applications(s) that were required for their jobs.  So working through such a drastic UI change can be a true killer from a productivity standpoint! You'll see some secretaries in tears struggling for hours to get a report typed that would have taken them a few minutes previously.

I think that all will eventually settle in with the new version, but not for quite a while. Of course I may be way off here, but I don't think so.   8)

Jim

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2008, 12:05:05 AM »
My employer is in the process of switching from Office 2003 to Office 2007... Haven't actually seen any machines with it installed, yet, but the changeover is scheduled to be completed mid-April.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

cthorpe

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2008, 12:05:50 AM »
My workplace is 100% Mac with Office 2004.

justice

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2008, 04:24:37 AM »
Yep I'm using office 2007 / vista in the work place although most of the workplace is and will be on 2003 / xp for at least another year.

zridling

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2008, 12:27:54 AM »
Talked to my IT manager friend who works for a large insurance company — over 30,000 employees. They rolled out Office 2007 last Fall expecting training on the new UI would take a month. He said the average was three months and when he fills in with Helpdesk work, he's flooded with "where is ___ feature?" calls. Otherwise, most seem to like it to date once they find their way around.

Armando

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Re: Microsoft Office 2007 users, your opinions are wanted
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2008, 09:59:30 AM »
The only time I tried Office 2007 (and more specifically, WORD), was when I was testing the ability of different word processors to deal with huge documents.

Results: I won't buy Office 2007 (Word 2007), even if discounted, because it just failed to open at least one of my huge documents, and was unable to handle many of them gracefully.  :(