Microsoft® Office 2010 Beta

Microsoft Man

Extraordinary Member
With the release of the Microsoft® Office 2010 beta many people have been looking forward to the new changes and enhancements. Although it is too early to tell what Microsoft has planned for the final release of Office, a preview of the beta gives us a hint. The most noticeable changes made to the popular office suite are seen in the interface. Microsoft® Office 2010 features a new animated splash screen while starting any of the Office products. The ribbon toolbar has also been slightly modified, but it still looks much like that in Office 2007. The only distinct difference seen is the addition of the “File” tab, which replaces the Office button seen in Office 2007. Clicking on the “File” tab opens up a new view in Office 2010 called Microsoft® Backstage. It allows users to more easily find and access basic controls like printing and viewing documents, slides, or spreadsheets. Backstage along with the new ribbon toolbar have been added to Outlook and OneNote. The ribbon toolbar now allows for users to customize the ribbon, unlike Office 2007 where users were limited to only customizing the Quick Access Toolbar. Users can add new controls or hide the ribbon toolbar altogether. Here are some of the changes I noticed.

Text effects
: This feature is similar to the effects you can add to text using the WordArt feature in PowerPoint 2007. Unfortunately, Word 2007 still used the old WordArt effects as seen in previous versions of Office. Microsoft® Office 2010 fixes that issue by giving Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook the same WordArt effects.

Background Removal Tool:
This feature does exactly what it sounds like. It removes the background in images.

Navigation Pane:
This feature allows a user to navigate through the document by heading, by page, or by searching for text or objects.

Screen Capture:
This tool allows for users to select an area of the screen to make into an image of. The image is then placed into the document, spreadsheet, or slide.

This allows for Excel to insert data charts. Sparklines present trends and variations associated with some measurement. You have most likely seen one of these critters on TV or in the newspaper, showing trends in the stock market.

OpenDocument Format:
Although this feature is not new to Office, I thought it would be important to bring up. Office 2010 now supports OpenDocument format version 1.1. This format is a common format supported by various office suites (both stand-alone and web-based).

Protected Mode:
Office may enter this mode when opening files from an untrusted or potentially unsafe location (like the internet). It will hide the ribbon toolbar and restrict editing. Users can click the “Enable Editing” button to start editing the file.

Simultaneous Editing:
Office allows for a document to be opened and edited by different people (or the same person from a different computer). A notification in the status bar displays who is currently viewing your file and shows what changes are being made.

PowerPoint Broadcasting:
Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 can broadcast PowerPoint presentations to people on different computers around the globe. For people who don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint, presentations can be broadcast as videos.

Office 2010 64-bit
: Office 2010 will come in both 64-bit and 32-bit versions. This means people who own a computer capable of 64-bit can take advantage of the enhanced performance their computer can offer. Users can more easily open, save, and manage memory intensive documents easier.

PowerPoint Videos:
PowerPoint 2010 can more easily insert video files into slide shows. The quality of videos is much better than in previous versions of Office. Users can edit their videos right within the slide by trimming and adding effects. The following formats are supported:

  • AVI

  • WMV

  • WMA

  • MP3

  • MOV

  • H.264
The supported video formats can be extended by installing DirectShow codecs.



View Play Slideshow Office 2010?ref=1

It is difficult for me to pinpoint the specific change(s) that makes 2010 easier to use, but 2010 is clearly less confusing to maneuver around in than 2007 is. I personally loathe the ribbon system but it is easier to hide in 2010. It seems that a few ribbon items have been relocated bringing it closer to intuitive. Background Remover gets a big smiley face from me. Ease of hiding the @#$%^&* ribbon and the ability to customize the @#$%^&* ribbon get a small smiley. The ability to choose between the @#$%^& ribbon and traditional drop down menu would rate a huge smiley from me.