I’ve talked to a number of teachers recently who teach the Office Suite as part of a computer applications courses lately. A good number of them are preparing to update their courses to Office 2007 for next school year. That means some preparation time over the summer.
The biggest change that Office 2007 brought was the ribbon interface. Now the design goal, which honestly I think was successful, was to make many features more easy to find. The problem is that for many of us who are creatures of habit change does not come so easy. We’re used to some things always being in the same place. So while the new ribbon may make things easier for beginners it makes some things feel harder for us experienced (better work than older right?) users.
For some of us, and trust me I include myself, finding features we know and love can be a bit, well, less comfortable than we’d like. Ah but there is hope. My friend Edwin found a really great resource for people like me – and perhaps you. (See Edwin’s more detailed explanation here. He’s got pictures and everything.)
The Office team has created a set of interactive guides for the various products in Office. The way they work is to bring up an Office 2003 menu that lets you select an option. A display window then explains where to find the same or equivalent feature in Office 2007. It’s as simple as that. use it to find all your favorites or just that one feature that just can’t seem to be found the way your idea of intuitive works.
These can be run online or downloaded for use locally. For classroom use the download may be a good idea. In fact if I were doing tech support at a school that was upgrading I’d make sure all my teacher systems and general use systems (library for example) had it and that all the teachers knew about it.