Sunday, 27 April 2008

Where's that command gone?

I have been using Microsoft Word professionally for quite a long time - since Word 2 on Windows 3, if you want to get historical about it. Each time Microsoft have presented a major upgrade I've got a little annoyed - sometimes more than a little - because they keep moving the commands. Just when you get used to finding something on particular menu, they go right ahead and bring out a new version, and - where's that command gone again?

Microsoft Office 2007 brought in a huge redesign of the user interface, and there's been a lot of criticism because of it. People just don't like change. Worse still, from Microsoft's point of view, is that organisations and individuals have been slow to upgrade to this new version, because it looks and feels so different from its predecessors. I myself am still sitting on the fence, with Office 2003 on my desktop machine where I do most of my work, and Office 2007 on my laptop.

There is a lot of help available if you want to (or have to) make the transition from Office 2003 to Office 2007 - much of it on the Microsoft Office Online web site. One item that's particularly useful for Word users is an interactive tool that maps Word 2003 commands to their Word 2007 equivalents. (While you wait for it to load you might like to reflect on the irony that this tool has been built with Adobe Flash.)

I'm trying to share my knowledge and expertise as widely as I can, and because of this I've recently started a Microsoft Word Users Club on Ecademy, which is a social networking website for business and self-employed people. Ecademy is more than just an online network as there are regular real-life Ecademy meetings all over Britain and in many other countries as well. This new Ecademy group isn't in competition with the existing Word user lists and forums, it's just an extra way of spreading some useful information.