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New features in Microsoft Office 2010!!

Lets start with a bit of introduction.

Microsoft Office 2010, codenamed Office 14, is a productivity suite for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, and is the successor of Microsoft Office 2007 for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X. Office 2010 includes extended file compatibility, user interface updates, and a refined user experience. It will be available for Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7 and Mac OS X. With the introduction of Office 2010, a 64-bit version of Office will be available for the first time, although only for the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. Office 2010 is not supported on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

With this background let us look into some of the new features in Microsoft Office 2010.

  1. Built in screen capture tool: A really handy addition & at the same time a beautiful implementation of the same. Word & Powerpoint both have the ‘Screenshot’ feature under ‘Insert’ & the useful part is that it caches screen shots of the currently open windows for one-click insert. At the same time also gives you the marquee select option. Screenshots would be easier to take and use now.
  2. Background removal tool: When I looked at this tool. I almost said,”Where were you for so long?”  This is one tool which a lot of people will find handy and it will definitely have wide application.Below there are two images which represent the power of the tool. One image shows with background and the other after using the background removal tool.
  3. The tool also let’s you have certain amount of background left with edges & effects.

  4. Protected Mode: Every time you download a document from the internet & open it, Word 2010 will open it in a ‘Protected mode’ that won’t allow you to edit the document unless you enable editing of the document. You can also edit and mention which types of files you want to be opened in the protected mode.
  5. New Smart Art Template: There has been significant addition to the existing categories of template and new categories have also been added to the templates. It cannot be denied that it is one of the most used tools in office portfolio.
  6. The ribbon: Office 2010 not only keeps the Ribbon; it has now been added to all the Office programs, including Outlook and OneNote. But don’t panic: The Office 2010 implementation is Ribbon Done Right. The difference is that now you have control over your Ribbon and what items appear on its tabs, and you can even add tabs of your own and put your favorite commands on there.
  7. Office Button: Office 2007 users are familiar with the Office button, the big round button in the upper-left corner of Office applications, from which you can select a variety of tasks and options.Figure in the right shows the Word 2007 Office menu. ==>The Office button in Office 2010 has a new look, and it’s been added to Outlook and OneNote, which didn’t have it before.Figure below shows what you see when you click the Office button (now implemented as a Ribbon tab) in Word 2010.
  8. Outlook Improvements: Outlook 2010 also makes it easier to manage conversations. When you view messages in Conversation View, you can right-click a conversation title and select from a number of actions that you can perform, as shown in figure below. If you select Clean Up Conversation, redundant messages in the conversation will be deleted.
  9. Drag and Drop navigation pane: One of the features in Word 2010 is the new drag-and-drop navigation pane. It’s a little like the Word 2007 document map — on steroids. Whereas the document map only gives you a view of your headers and document sections, graphics, etc., the navigation pane lets you rearrange your document easily by dragging and dropping within the pane. To turn on this feature, click the View tab on the Ribbon and in the Show section, check the box labeled Navigation Pane. If you want to move that third first-level heading (and all the text under it) up above the second one, without having to copy and paste it? No problem: Just drag the heading where you want it in the navigation pane, which displays to the left of your document, as shown in figure below:
  10. Excel sparklines and slicers: These are the two most notable additions to the office 2010. Sparklines are the tiny charts that fit into a cell. It is definitely going to enhance the data representation and handling of data in excel. The sparklines shown in the figure use the line format, but you can also create column or win/loss sparklines. You can edit the design of the sparklines, too, as shown in the figure below. Slicers are objects you can use to filter the data in pivot tables, which you can move around or resize on the screen. When data in the pivot table changes, the slicer is automatically updated. Both sparklines and slicers are created via the Insert tab on the Ribbon, as shown in the figure below.For a demo of the sparklines and slicers you can visit the site here.
  11. Simultaneous Editing: Simultaneous editing is an important aspect in today’s world where you get to work in collaboration with others. Often you get a “file in use” dialog box that gives me the option to open a read-only copy, create a local copy to merge later, or receive notification when the original is available. Office 2010 does away with that annoyance. Two people can edit a document simultaneously. A notification in the status bar tells you who else is currently editing the document, and where they’re making changes. Word can also cache shared documents so you can edit them when you’re offline, and any changes you make will automatically be synchronized with the original on the server when you come back online. Now you don’t have to remember to merge your document when you get back. This is an awesome addition to office 2010.

Office 2010 is having enough new features and improved functionalities, and it will definitely be worth considering an upgrade. What I have mentioned here are some basic new features in Office 2010. There are many more for your exploration. So tag along!

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