here's your new office

Depending on your point of view, Microsoft Office 2007 either changes everything or leaves everything basically the same. The new Ribbon interface looks completely different from all previous versions, but if you've learned to control Word or Excel or Outlook by using keystrokes, these will work the same as they did before. New "galleries" display thumbnail images of formatting and other options, but most galleries give you quick access to features that were always present but known only to hard-bitten experts.

how to fix problems

Many people come to this site looking for solutions to file problems. If that's you, read on. If not, go on with the rest of the lessons but remember that at some point in the future you may need to come back to this.

Before you go too far and waste too much time, please note that there is a fix for problems where Office file have been accidentally deleted or corrupted.

Cimaware Software offers a series of tools called OfficeFIX to repair any Office application. There is even a tool called DeleteFIX Photo to undelete photos if you need it.

For a full description and download, see OfficeFIX.

OK. Now that that is taken care of you can go back to the business of running your business.

the ribbon

The Ribbon interface is here to stay. You can press Ctrl-F1, or double-click on a tab, to toggle it out of sight, but you can't bring back the old hide-and-seek menu system (not that you would want to anyway). Most of what you want to do in a document you can do from the default Home ribbon, but you can click on a tab to display other ribbons.

When you work in a table, header, footer, or other special part of a page, a ribbon with useful format options appears automatically. It all looks different, but it's so easily navigated that you'll wonder why Microsoft didn't think of it before.

In place of the old drop-down menu you now have the Office button to give you access to all the ususal functions to open, close, save or print your files. The button is common to all Office 2007 applications.

The two-panel interface pops up when you click the Office button. In lieu of the old drop-down menus, a full list of options appears in the right-hand panel as you navigate through the dialog.

The Office button allows you to customize each application: color scheme, language, etc.

The Quick Access Toolbar is still there. With a right-click you can choose to display it below the Ribbon. You may want to add frequent operations to the toolbar - it's easily customizable.

zoom, zoom

Need a quick overview or close-up? Just slide the button that's at the lower right-hand side of every Office window.

keyboard use

When you open the Office button with Alt-F (as you did the old File menu), Office displays shortcut keys in little boxes in case you want to use the keyboard.

older formats

If you're sharing files, consider changing the default Save format to Office 97-2003. If you forget and send a new-format document to an old-format user, don't panic. When old-format users double-click, Office 2003 will prompt them to download a converter pack.

wysiwyg formatting

Select a text formatting style with a mouse-over on a displayed format. You can see immediately what the text will look like. Or you can select a style from the drop-down list provided.


Use Excel's ribbon and galleries to apply any prebuilt color-coding to data, or invent your own color-coding scheme.

Microsoft Office Access 2007 helps knowledge workers start tracking information quickly, create meaningful reports with ease, and share data more securely using the Web. Its new library of pre-built solutions & new information-sharing capabilities let you track and report information with ease. The prebuilt database solutions allows you to modify and adapt them to your changing business needs.

Get the best prices on Microsoft Office 2007 from