Baffled by Word 2007's new interface? Join the club. Making the switch to Word 2007 can be exceedingly disorienting -- like coming home and finding out that not only has all your furniture been rearranged, but the house itself has been moved to the next county.
Despair not. We're here to help. We'll guide you through all the major changes in the interface, offer tips and tricks for getting the most out of Word 2007, and clue you in on how to use the best of the new features. Whether you've already made the move to Word 2007 or are only considering switching, there's something in this article for you.
When you're done, not only will you know where the new virtual furniture is, but you'll also know the way around your new neighborhood -- and you might very well find it a better place than your old one.
Get the Lay of the Land
When making the move to Word 2007, throw away everything you know about the interface. Just about everything has changed. Whether you're opening files, changing the document view or using the menu, you're about to enter a brave new world.
Here's a quick guided tour to the Word 2007 interface:
The Microsoft Office Button. The big button on the upper left-hand corner of the screen replaces the old File menu from previous versions of Word. You'll find familiar features for opening files, saving files, printing files and so on, but there's a lot more here as well, as you'll discover later in this guide.
The Quick Access Toolbar. Just to the right of the Office Button is the Quick Access toolbar, with buttons for using Word's most common features, including Save, Undo, Redo, Print Preview and more -- but you can add and remove buttons for any functions you please. More on that later.
The Ribbon. Love it or hate it, the Ribbon is the main way you'll work with Word. Instead of old-style menus, in which menus have submenus, submenus have sub-submenus and so on, the Ribbon groups buttons for common tasks together in tabs on a graphical interface. So, for example, when you click the Insert tab, a Ribbon appears with buttons for items that you can insert into a document, such as clip art, a hyperlink, a picture or a table. Even if you hate the Ribbon, it can be your friend; check out the section "Learn to Love the Ribbon" for details.
The Scrollbar. This is largely unchanged from previous versions of Word; use it to scroll up and down. There are a couple of minor changes -- at the top, there's a small button that looks like a minus sign that lets you split your screen in two, and just below that, there's a small icon that displays or hides a ruler when you click it.
The Status Bar. This is in the same place as in earlier Word versions and has the same function -- to display information such as the number of pages in your document. It has one nice little extra: It displays the word count of your document as well. If you highlight an area of text, it will display the number of words in the highlighted area.
The View Toolbar. The View toolbar, which used to be on the lower left-hand side of the screen in earlier versions of Word, moves over to the right in Word 2007. It lets you choose between print layout, full screen, Web layout, outline and draft views, just as it did in earlier Word versions. There's also a nice addition -- a slider that lets you zoom in or out on your document.