This is going to be a rave review.
I’ve been a fan of Microsoft Word ever since Word for Windows 2.0, the version that won me away from WordPerfect 5.1. However, in their struggle to improve it over the years, they’ve bloated it with a plethora of features only a few specialists could appreciate. Each successive upgrade always had some small thing here or there that made me think, “Okay, that’s cool.” But it’s become so much more than a word processor … you could use it to do almost anything.
All I want it for, is to write.
This upgrade, however, has got to be the smartest in years. Instead of throwing in another truckload of extraneous features, they concentrated on making the experience of using the software much better. The more I use it, the more I appreciate what they’ve done. And that helps me to concentrate on what I want to do.
The features they did choose to add, though, are also smart. Big case in point … I’m writing this blog in Word 2007, and it speaks directly to my blog’s native software (in this case, WordPress). I post directly to the blog from the word processor.
This is not to say that I wasn’t lost for the first few days. Everything has been rearranged, and that was — at first — aggravating. Some things that I couldn’t find were hidden from me in plain sight. I looked all over the place for the word count feature only to discover it’s right in front of me, on the bottom left-hand corner. Some other controls, like the AutoCorrect options, are buried deep in a very non-intuitive place … but you only have to find it once.
The most common controls are right at your fingertips. Literally. Across the top in their new “ribbon” interface, and also … and this is the real winner … almost everything you could possibly need when creating text is available in a pop up right-click menu, including the most common formatting controls. For those of you who like to keep your fingers on the keyboard and not use a mouse, you’re in for a treat. Hit the alt key and watch what happens.
All I can say is that it’s intelligent, a pleasure to use, and the working space is 100% oriented toward helping you concentrate on what you’re doing.
Very well done, Microsoft. Indeed. Kudos to you!