Before this, I would use Word only as a basic text editor. All I would do is click the bold/italic buttons, change some fonts, etc. I'm glad to see that I can do a lot of other things with it.
I was perfectly happy running OS/2 and doing all my writing using a text editor, and had been for years. In a matter of months I had to buy an XP computer, learn Windows, Word and Excel 2002, and produce a 75 page booklet compiled from a disparate collection of .doc, .xls, .pdf and wordperfect files, emails, and hard copy. The booklet pages were 5.5" x 8.5" but all the copy was formatted for 8.5 x 11. Couldn't just shrink the pages, every single one had to be reformatted.
I did it all in Word, converting Excel sheets into tables. It was a nasty crash course, and knowing I'd have it to again the next year I put time into learning the software. The following year went much smoother, but had I not had such a pressing need I would never have learned so much so fast.
Let's say I wanted to put together a nicely formatted booklet. Would I use Adobe InDesign (which I like, but don't know how to use yet), MS Word, or both? Shouldn't InDesign be able to do all these things like managing styles, fields, etc.?
I know you can make a decent booklet using Word 2002, but I don't know if or how much InDesign would make that easier. Perhaps someone familiar with both programs?
What is the best forum to get answers to Microsoft Word questions? I like the tutorials shown in this thread, but a lot of what they say is for Word 2003 or older. And while they may apply to 2007 also, i want to know for sure. For example, the experts say to avoid using tables because of instability issues, but I wonder if that is fixed in 2007. Also, I want to know if some of the fancier features, like Building Blocks, are ok to use, or if they are also unstable. Thanks.
The microsoft.public.word newsgroups are good (the excel newsgroups are better) for getting questions answered. I find for general things I'm better off checking all the MVP and Word guru sites for articles when I'm delving into something.
Re tables, I don't know about unstable, but they can be a real pita. Perhaps in Word 2007 it's better (I seem to remember talk of improvements here), but table styles
don't work well at all. This is different from using paragraph styles and character styles in tables, which work fine (except watch out for endpara marks in table cells, not necessary).
What I have read is unstable is the whole Master document scheme, but I've never had a reason to find out.
I spent huge amounts of time learning this stuff (and I don't know that much but what I do know has been helpful). I did most of it on my own time, either when I was self-employed or when I was working in an office. No way would a boss pay me to put that kind of time in on his nickel.
I also got a broadband connection when I was learning Windows, Word, and Excel. Boy did I learn to love Google.