Scott Hanselman

Office 2007 - Everything you know is Different?

May 24, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Musings | Tools
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2007hotkeysI downloaded and installed Office 2007 Beta 2 and I'm on freaking Mars. I'm totally lost. Everything's changed, it's like someone broke into my office and moved everything.

Good stuff:

  • 2007statusbarOffice 2003 Hot keys and Menu keys work - I typed Alt-T|O to get to Tools|Options and got a nice tool-top letting me know that I was on the right track. (see image)
  • One you accept that everything's be moved, you can find most stuff in two clicks. For example, I always want to select cells in Excel then "Zoom to Selection." Now I click View and there's a big "Zoom to Selection" button.
  • Hotkeys Galore - Just press Alt and you'll get subtle, but obvious overlaid hotkeys on all the actionable things. Now you can more easily string together Hotkey Streetfighter Combos like "Alt-V,Z,T" enter for "Zoom to Text Width" in Word. (see image)
  • Awesome tooltips - Giant help for nearly every thing you could hover over.
  • Live Preview - Finally something for my Pentium 4 with 2 gigs of RAM to do. This rocks.
  • 2007hotkeysgaloreNew Outlook - The new Outlook is better in a number of subtle ways.
    • Calendar - Much softer, easier to look at and better use of space.
    • The To-Do Bar is brilliant, showing me what's coming up no matter where I am.
    • Much better category support (see image)
  • RSS Support in Outlook ala Newsgator -

Weird stuff:

  • The installer said it would uninstall Office 2003, and it didn't. I ended up in a weird side-by-side place where I could run everything but Outlook 2003. So, I ran the Office 2003 uninstaller. Mistake #1. That boogered up Office 2007 - however, when I ran 2007 again, the MSI installer repaired all of Office 2007's stuff automatically (albeit slowly) and I was back in business.
  • The new Office Button - I'm used to double-clicking on the upper left corner of the window and closing the application.
  • Good luck with your Outlook Add-ins, nearly all mine totally freaked out and are now disabled.
  • Right click on the Status Bar in any application and tell me what the checkboxes on the left mean versus the "On|Off" on the right. Now ask your non-technical spouse. (see image)
  • 2007tagsWord Documents that have extensive existing styles don't get those styles respected in the "Quick Style Set" ribbon bar. Instead a default set of themed styles are suggested. This could cause one with a rich existing set of styles to shoot themselves in the foot. They could fill the "Quick Style Gallery" with lots of manual right-clicking though then save the "set." It'd have been nice to have a better way to specify existing styles en masse as a set.
  • The mini-toolbar that pops up as you select text is great for simple docs, but promotes bad habits (not using styles) in larger documents.

Very weird stuff:

  • Outlook 2007 Beta 2 registers itself as a system-wide handler for the feed:// protocol, a 'protocol' that the IE7/RSS Team disagrees with and has decided against supporting. I'll post about this oddity separately.

All in all stability of Beta 2 is iffy (I've crashed 6 times in 60 minutes and got a "not implemented" dialog four times) but I'm VERY excited about the possibilties of this new User Interface style and what it means for the future.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:14:21 PM UTC
Outlook stopped giving me notifications when recieving emails after I installed Office 2007 beta 2, which is something really annoying.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 4:22:31 PM UTC
Hey Scott. I'm one of the people working on improving add-in compatibility for Outlook 2007. Think you could shoot my a list of what add-ins you are having problems with?
Friday, May 26, 2006 2:37:34 PM UTC
"Good luck with your Outlook Add-ins, nearly all mine totally freaked out and are now disabled. "
"All in all stability of Beta 2 is iffy (I've crashed 6 times in 60 minutes and got a "not implemented" dialog four times) but I'm VERY excited about the possibilties of this new User Interface style and what it means for the future."

Fortunately I've been lucky, my WebEx outlook addin works perfectly. Also I've been running since Tuesday with outlook on all the time through multiple hibernate/resumes and haven't had a single crash. *shrug*
Sean
Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:39:15 AM UTC
Interesting - It was Outlook (and outlook only) that got me to upgrade to office XP and 2003 on my personal machine. I've been using Office 2007 since Beta 1 and I hated the interface changes for word, excel and powerpoint initially, but after a month or so, I'm cool, and actually appreciate the changes. I gave up on Outlook in early 2005, and only use it for long term work related needs. The new outlook is too little and too late. But the latest changes to word could make life a little bit easier managing big documents especially with people who don't understand, or care to understand style sheets. But those are 1999 problems.. old news. Most people learned (long ago) that the big problems are with managing 'their' data and workflow and those folks are getting tired of waiting.

Do I like office enough to pay for an upgrade? Hell No. But enough to accept a mandatory upgrade... yeah - and isn't that what this is all about? Once people are given the opportunity to work without it, office will die a very quick death. We should all start planning, or saving now. Choose your medicine. If you haven't already made your millions, then don’t start pricing yachts. You’re fucked. Upgrade your skill-set, Now.

Of course it’s only fair to admit that its beta software and not fair to review – but really folks, if you can’t feel the gentle breeze of death on this coffin that is Office, then you are likely to end up in the ‘catch-up’ line, learning how to use the latest Google or Yahoo acquisitions from dummies books. I am an MS Platform guy – have been for 15 years. Smell that? It’s called death. It hurts. And even .Net can't save us.

Cheers!

Friday, June 02, 2006 12:50:08 AM UTC
I totally agree about the "office button". Drives me nuts. I can't believe that the wailing on this one hasn't caused them to handle it yet -- double-clicking the button does NOTHING, so why not have it close the friggin' thing like everyone on earth is used to?
Ken Getz
Friday, June 02, 2006 12:50:11 AM UTC
I totally agree about the "office button". Drives me nuts. I can't believe that the wailing on this one hasn't caused them to handle it yet -- double-clicking the button does NOTHING, so why not have it close the friggin' thing like everyone on earth is used to?
Ken Getz
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.