Cover Pages: Cool Things In Office 12 (Part 1)

Today, I'm starting an ongoing series on some of my favorite things in Office 12. 

Maybe you'll hear marketing talk about some of these features down the road and maybe
you won't; I'm not really concerned about that.

The only criteria I'm using for inclusion in my list are:

    1) It's something new in Office 12

    2) I personally think it's useful or cool or interesting

I mean it's my blog and I can write about what I want, right?

Put another way, I'm making a list of those things I miss when I'm stuck using a
previous version of Office.

I'm going to start with something that I've recently found to be a timesaver when
creating more formal, professional documents and memos in Word: the Cover Pages

From the Insert tab in Word 12, click "Cover Page."  A gallery of pre-made
cover pages appear, organized from most snazzy to most business-like.

(Click to view full picture)

Choose the one you want and Word automatically adds it to your document,
including all the necessary formatting and layout.  All you have to do is enter the title
(which can optionally be picked up from the document properties.)

Making a cover page manually was always kind of a pain for me, because it
requires using text boxes and tables and borders and honestly I don't really
have the patience or flair to design something nice.  With the ready-made
cover pages in Word 12, I have something good looking in just a few seconds. 
I've used it a number of times already to make professional-looking printed
documents.  In fact, just last weekend I used Word specifically to make a
cover page to add to a musical score I created in
Sibelius 4.  I picked the design,
changed the default text,
saved to PDF,
and sent it to Kinko's online.  It was all very seamless and it looked
great on paper.

(Click to view full picture)

As with all features built on the new Document Parts architecture in Word 12,
you can define your own cover pages and they will appear in the gallery as well. 
Or maybe your company will define official cover pages with your corporate logo
on it that everyone's supposed to use--you would also see that design integrated
into the gallery.  Even if none of the designs
are exactly right, you may be able to find one that's pretty close and then
tweak it to look the way you want in short order.

This is an example of how a feature, presented as a gallery, makes it easy to
get quick, tangible results.  More people can create good-looking documents
without being experts in using Word.

Comments (14)

  1. Will says:

    I just want to say that’s awesome. And this new series also promises to be awesome. Wish I had the beta!

  2. I have the beta and love this series. Thanks so much!

  3. L.Hernandez says:

    Ordered from most snazzy to most business-like? Can we customize that ordering? Will there be more flexibility about removing Microsoft-provided cover pages (content) in the gallery? One of my pet peeves in Word XP was that the company templates didn’t take clear visual precedence over the built-in Microsoft-provided templates in the templates gallery, the built-ins were not easy to remove, and the unistall process offered no flexibility about which built-in templates to remove.

  4. PatriotB says:

    Does inserting a cover page automatically take care of adjusting page numbering in footers?

  5. Andrey Petrov says:

    With this first beta I finally have one more rare product where developers really have end users in mind. Excellent job!

  6. Ross Tregaskis says:

    Looks very good!

    Slightly off topic, I notice a new equations drop-down – is this just an interface thing, or have you finally fixed the Equation Editor? It’s the one thing that makes writing scientific reports in Word a real pain, so if you’ve made it any better it would be a great help.

  7. Orion Adrian says:

    Also off topic, but I was wondering if they fixed the problem with forced page breaks where the style of the preceding paragraph continued to the next page. Why does it do that? I find myself always having to add an extra paragraph.

  8. Ross, the old Equation Editor is being replaced — maybe that will be one of Jensen’s ‘cool’ topics. Whether it’s ‘finally fixed’ is open to interpretation; like any new feature in its first Beta 1, it seems kind of rough at the moment but will surely get better. Under NDA, I don’t think I can say any more just yet.

    Orion, the behavior of the style of a manual page break is still the same. The reason the style appears on both pages is that the manual page break is really just a character, which exists in the same paragraph as the text that follows it — unless you insert another paragraph mark between them. The better solution is to avoid using manual page breaks, and instead use the "Page break after" formatting in the paragraph that starts a new page. You can include this in the paragraph style, for example if you want Heading 1 always starting a new page.

  9. LarryOsterman says:

    Well, I’ve got mixed feelings about this.

    I welcome the new cover sheets, but I cringe at the thought of seeing another bazilion virtually identical stock cover sheets, just like I see the same 5 stock resume formats and the same 5 powerpoint templates…

    Oh well, I guess that’s the price of "progress"…

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