Word 2007 Cheat Sheet

Microsoft Word 2007's new interface is likely to confound veteran Word users. Here's everything you need to know to make the switch.

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3. Turn Off the Ribbon

Here's what may be the best tip you'll ever come across for Word 2007 -- how to turn off the Ribbon. Doing this will get you back plenty of screen real estate, as you can see in the screenshot below.

no Ribbon

It's easy to make the Ribbon disappear and reappear. Click to view larger image.

The Ribbon will still be available when you want it -- all you need to do is click on the appropriate menu (Home, Insert, Page Layout, etc.) and it appears. It then discreetly goes away when you are no longer using it.

There are several ways to turn off the Ribbon:

  • Click the Down arrow to the right of the Quick Access toolbar button and select Minimize the Ribbon.
  • Press Ctrl-F1. (Press Ctrl-F1 to make it appear again.)
  • Double-click the current tab above the Ribbon.

4. Use Macros

At first glance, macros -- ingenious shortcuts you can create for performing repetitive tasks -- seem to have been banished from Word 2007. But they're still there; display the Developer tab, and you'll find them in all their glory. In fact, the Developer toolbar puts the macro tools at easier reach than they were in previous versions of Word.

You'll find everything you want in the Code group on the Developer tab. Record a macro by clicking the Record Macro button, manage your macros by clicking the Macros button, and configure security for a macro by clicking the Macro Security button.

no Ribbon
All your macro controls are in the Code group on the Developer tab.

(See Microsoft's Online Office site for more information about working with macros in Word 2007.)

5. Find Your Old Friends

In Word 2007, no features or functions are where they used to be. But it's easy to find them. Use our Word 2007 Cheat Sheet Quick Reference Charts for an extensive list of where to find your old friends. You can also download a complete spreadsheet of the list from Microsoft.

New Features in Word 2007

There's plenty new in Word 2007, and a complete description of all that's new is beyond the scope of this article. The Ribbon and the Quick Access toolbar are key innovations, as you've already seen, but also useful are the new mini toolbar, Live Preview and other features. The following are the most important ones.

The Mini Toolbar

Having to move back and forth between the Ribbon and the body of your document is a big time-waster, and annoying to boot. So Word 2007 includes the clever mini toolbar. Highlight text and point the cursor at it, and a nearly transparent mini toolbar appears above the text, with a set of commands relevant to the text you've chosen. Move your cursor to the mini toolbar and it becomes solid; click a command to use it.

For example, as you can see below, if you select text, a mini toolbar will appear with various text-related commands, including font face, size and color, indentation, and list options. If the mini toolbar disappears for some reason, right-click the selection or reselect the text, and it springs back into action.

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