Apps and Software Guide

Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Office 2010

Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Office 2010

Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Office 2010

Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Office 2010

Microsoft Office, love it or hate it, chances are you use it. It's been three years since the launch of Office 2007, so we're due for an upgrade this year. Office 2010 comes with a list of new features and changes, none of which looks especially radical, but come off overall as welcome improvements. Here are 10 of them you can look forward to in Office 2010.

1. Office Web Apps

Similar to Google Docs, Office Web Apps lets you review, share and edit office documents, which have been saved online, straight from the browser. Unlike Google Docs however, Microsoft promises 'high-fidelity', which simply means Web Apps won't mess up your formatting and documents should appear in the browser just as they do in Office. Web Apps aren't full-blown ports of their desktop counterparts though, think of them as basic, streamlined versions instead.

The downside? Not every Web App will be available at Office 2010's launch. OneNote Web App and editing via the Word Web App, co-authoring for Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, and OneNote 2010 will become available only in the second half of 2010.


2. Recover Unsaved Documents

We've all been there, maybe via an accidental click or a power outage, closing Office without saving all our hard work. Office 2010 now auto-saves and keeps the version you didn't save until your next editing session. The downside? This feature is not turned on by default.

3. Paste with Preview

According to Microsoft, the most commonly used command in Office is Paste. The second most commonly used command is Undo after Paste. That's because Paste can be such an unpredictable beast, making pasted text look all odd or normal depending on its 'mood'. The new Paste with Preview feature solves that by showing previews of what your pasted text will look like using different settings before you commit.

4. 64-Bit Office

You and I may not crunch 16GB of RAM while working on Excel. Microsoft assures us however that there are statisticians, businesses, scientists, analysts, basically users who work with extra large datasets and will appreciate having the ability to address more RAM in a 64-bit environment.

5. Conversation View in Outlook

Also known as threaded email, this is hardly new to the rest of the world but it's a welcome addition (at last) to Outlook. Conversation View pulls together all the separate emails in one single email thread and consolidates them into one single email, de-cluttering your inbox and making the entire conversation easier to read.

Even better, if the folks are chattering about something you don't want to know, simply click the Ignore button and all further emails in the thread go to the Deleted folder automatically. The downside? Conversation View isn't switched on by default.


6. Quick Steps in Outlook

Custom build single-click buttons that will launch multi-step commands with Quick Step. With a single click, you can create a new email that already has a populated list of your favorite people to email to. But it doesn't stop there and there's much more convenience awaiting once you identify a chain of repetitive tasks which you can accelerate with Quick Step.

7. Surf Facebook Even Without Facebook

The all-new Outlook Social Connector lets you plug social networks into your inbox. See everything, including status updates, messages, even view shared photos all in Outlook, including profiles of the people you email. Perfect for the offices where Facebook is banned. The downside? While some third-party plug-ins are already available, Facebook is still in development. Also, do we really want to mix work and private lives that much? It's certainly convenient, but we'll let you decide if you would like to take that step.


8. Embed and Edit Video into PowerPoint

Gone will be the days when presenters had to switch between PowerPoint and Media Player just to show a demo video. Videos can now be embedded right into PowerPoint slides and it even has simple editing controls within PowerPoint itself. Believe it or not, changes are saved almost instantaneously as they don't directly alter the raw embedded video. So now we can watch less of the boring stuff and have more of the exciting bits.

9. Customize Your Ribbon

We know how that sounds, but it's not what it is. Office 2010 lets you customize a tab on the 'Ribbon', the user interface that sits on top of your document. Now you can have all that you need right where you need it (and no more blaming Microsoft for bad UI, now it's your own fault entirely). The downside? The process to customize a tab looks less easy with complicated ticking of multiple checkboxes instead of the old 'drag and drop'.

10. Backstage

Replacing the old print preview windows and the old File drop-down window is an entirely new page called Backstage. It's your new one-stop centre for document management all in one page, including print options, previews, version recovery and save to options.