Office 2010 – Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?

office2010thumb   Office 2010   Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?Microsoft Office is kind of a big deal. Yes, there are some pretty nice free office suites available these days. But if you’re creating documents for use in the professional world it is difficult to get by without them. Businesses almost universally use Office, and it’s hard to tell how your stuff will look without having a copy yourself.

Of course, the reason most people are reluctant to get a hold of Office is the price. A copy of MS Office Home and Business is usually between $200 and $300. If you already have Office 2007, you may also be reluctant to upgrade for this reason. Why lay down the dough when your older copy of Office seems to work fine? That’s a good question – and one that I hope to answer with a brief Microsoft Office 2010 review and comparison.

Interface Changes – There, But Not So You’d Notice

office2010 2   Office 2010   Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?

Office 2007 made some major changes to the Office interface. Microsoft introduced the ribbon concept, which replaced the older interface that relied on a traditional combination of small icons and expandable text menus. Although the ribbon interface can be a bit confusing at first, it starts to become clear quickly, and works well.

Microsoft hasn’t done a lot to change the ribbon interface. It’s a bit re-organized, and the entire application has a off-white appearance rather than the blue appearance of Office 2007. The biggest change to the ribbon is an addition – Outlook now has the ribbon interface. It is also possible to minimize the ribbon interface by clicking on an arrow icon in the upper right hand corner of your Office window.

office2010 1   Office 2010   Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?

The biggest interface difference that most people will notice is the new File button that replaces the big, round Office button found in the 2007 edition. While the old Office button was a gussied-up file menu, the new File button looks like a ribbon interface tab. It opens up a full-screen display that includes both file options (save, print, etc) and options to display recently opened documents, detailed document information, and more.

New Image Editing Features

office2010 3   Office 2010   Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?

Office isn’t Photoshop. The suite has always offered limited image editing features, but the results were always oddly unprofessional for a suite of productivity programs built to be the cornerstone of the modern office PC.

Microsoft has been working on these features, and has implemented better functionality in Office 2010. The image editing and WordArt features include new preset filters, shadows and themes that you can select to spice up your work, and the resulting images don’t have the super-grainy appearance that has been the trademark of images edited in Office for years.

office2010 4   Office 2010   Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?

PowerPoint users will also enjoy new transitions and animations. Transitions and animations used to be combined into one ribbon interface tab, but each now has its own tab with more options. You can finally edit videos, as well. Office 2007 treated them like images, which obviously limited what you could do with a video in a PowerPoint presentation, but now you can edit videos by cropping them, adjusting brightness, etc.

Office Catches Up With Web Applications

office2010 5   Office 2010   Is It Any Better Than Office 2007?Technology changes rapidly, and the most interesting new ideas are also often the least expected. The leaves Office flat-footed, as they come out with new versions once every three to four years. Google, Open Office and other free competitors simply update whenever they feel it’s necessary. Google Documents has been around for some time now, as has other collaborative document services like Zoho.

Now Office is getting into this game as well. The new Save to Web feature lets you save files directly to your Windows Live SkyDrive, which offers 25GB of capacity for free. Once you’ve uploaded a file you can retrieve it on other computers or you can share it with others. If you’re on a computer which does not have Office installed you can still edit the file using Microsoft Office Web Apps (provided the document is a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file).

PowerPoint has a new web feature, as well, called BroadCast Slide Show. It’s fairly self explanatory. This features lets you broadcast a slideshow on the web, making it easier to handle online presentations that make us of PowerPoint slideshows.

Conclusion

As you might expect, comprehensively detailing the many changes made between Office 2007 and Office 2010 would take more space than we have available here. The changes above are the ones that I feel the average user is most likely to notice or find beneficial, but feel free to leave your own favorite change in the comments.

The reason we came here, however, was to determine if Office 2010 is better than Office 2007 and worth an upgrade. In terms of “better than” Office 2010 offers clear advantages over the 2007 edition. The web application support alone is a big deal, never mind the more subtle changes.

Upgrading isn’t free, so you’ll have to ask yourself what you use Office for. The core functionality of creating documents, spreadsheets and slideshows has not significantly changed. The new edition of Office isn’t more intuitive, either. Users who don’t ask a lot from Office are unlikely to receive much benefit from upgrading to 2010. The main appeal of Office 2010 is to those who use Office for most of their working day – these users will appreciate the new features and subtle tweaks.

Let us know whether or not you will be upgrading, and if so, what features of Office 2010 made you decide to pay for it.

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28 Comments -

0 votes

Web Designing | GM Infotech

The security feature is lot more improved in Office 2010.

1 votes

Bob3000

Word has 2.000 features, most people use about 40 of them. I was happy with Word 2003 and am sticking with it. I don’t like the ribbon and I didn’t like the 2007 “Starter” installation that came with my new PC. To each his own I guess.

0 votes

Ohadts

With powerpoint 2010 we can now save presentation as video !
This is pretty complicated thing to do without the new built-in feature.

0 votes

Ohadts

With powerpoint 2010 we can now save presentation as video !
This is pretty complicated thing to do without the new built-in feature.

0 votes

ScottB

Not really… you just need another app to do it. Camtasia is wonderful for doing this very thing… and a site bit cheaper than Office 2010

0 votes

Ohadts

Sure you can record your screen. you can also record youtube video the same way and alot of other stuff, but you know that the results wouldn’t be that good as downloading the source file of the video. this is the same.
And if you already bought office 2010 – this is a nice addition, that will save you the time to install Camtasia plus the time to “manually” record the output.

0 votes

Andrei

Quick question,

0 votes

Dan

I’ve read that new users tend to like the ribbon interface more than those with experience with the older toolbar design. I, for one, find the new design too distracting so now I’m using an alternate suite called Softmaker Office. It’s cheaper than MS but definitely more expensive than the free office suites. I use it because it’s faster and has better MS document support than, say, OOo.

0 votes

M.S. Smith

It took me awhile to get used to ribbon. Same with my wife. We both had used 2003 a lot previously, so when Ribbon came along we were hunting all over the place for stuff. We’re used to it now, though, and like it a lot better.

0 votes

Anonimo

Office 2010 lets you make the Bibliograhy and citation process more simple and auto-updateable, when making science essays and thesis.

0 votes

Andrew Joyce

Yes-I think the student features are great in Office 2010–besides, when you’re a student, you get the whole suite for 80 bucks.

0 votes

PTEC

I think 2010 is better than 2007

0 votes

Saikat Basu

Using the Ribbon is all about habit and once you get used to it, it’s a breeze. It’s strange many of us focus on the Ribbon, when there are a lot of improvements under the surface from 2003 to 2007. We brought some of it out in the How-To posts on MS Office here. I am sure there are some more when it comes to 2010 too.

0 votes

Nicolasgreen17

My absolute favorite new feature is PowerPoint’s ability to live stream your presentation anywhere on the web. You just send viewers a link and you can give the presentation as if you were standing in front of them. Now I can have conference calls with a powerpoint agenda and it makes things so much easier and keeps their focus better than a paper agenda.

0 votes

Rodolfo

I most especially liked the little flag that now appears offering you to kill the automatic formatting of numbered lists.

0 votes

LarryEllison

more unwanted bell and whistle bloat. OpenOffice gets better every day, for free.

0 votes

Andrew Joyce

Well–I’ve tried both OpenOffice and Office XP and Office 2010. OpenOffice reminded me of Office XP–and I never got used to the location of the commands. Granted, it could be that I just didn’t give it enough time, but once I upgraded to Office 2010 I never looked back! It’s great–and way easier to do things.

0 votes

MyKitten

My kitten likes the shiny box it comes in…she jumps on it and slides off the other side. Ha Ha, what a hoot!

0 votes

Ebookssuchmaschine

I use the office 2003 with 2007 plugin

0 votes

Gouthaman Karunakaran

Office 2010 is definitely a great improvement over Office 2007. But, I would suggest MUO readers to upgrade only if they are on Office 2003 or an older version. If you’ve already got Office 2007, make sure that you upgrade to SP2 for that and you’ll be good to go.

1 votes

Bob

I will never install Office 2007 or 2010 on my corporate network. When the time comes time to upgrade office 2003 my decision will be made by one factor: If Office 2012 (or whatever the next edition is) has a “use ribbon / use traditional menus” toggle, I may buy it. If it does not there is no way I will ever buy a Microsoft office suite again. If my users have to spend time relearning where everything is then I might as well make the jump to a cheaper office suite. Microsoft has scored a major own goal with the ribbon. In ten years time I think it will be considered as one of their biggest mistakes.

0 votes

John

Bob–Even if you are in some position of managing technology for your company, I seriously doubt the decision will be based on the use of a ribbon bar or not. That’s just idiotic. It comes down to cost, standardization, and intergration with other corporate applications. Get over yourself.

0 votes

M.S. Smith

Ribbon was a big change, but it hasn’t hurt Office at all, and it makes a lot more sense then going deep into menu trees once you get used to it. It isn’t going away.

0 votes

Cheri00000

If it takes your employees more than an hour to figure out the ribbon as well as every other upgrade, fire them and hire chimps. Some people can’t stand learning anything!

0 votes

Ohadts

Sure you can record your screen. you can also record youtube video the same way and alot of other stuff, but you know that the results wouldn’t be that good as downloading the source file of the video. this is the same.
And if you already bought office 2010 – this is a nice addition, that will save you the time to install Camtasia plus the time to “manually” record the output.

0 votes

Conced07

I think it is horrible. It is not user friendly and I am not a stupid person. I will stick with 2007. The customer support is not there either.

0 votes

Avatar 03

Best office 2007

1 votes

Johnny

Microsoft needs to kill the ribbon, or at least give users the option of killing it.