I started at a new technical writing gig two weeks ago and I recently discovered 2 things about Microsoft products (specifically Office 2007). In fact, chances are that I will buy a copy fairly soon. It only costs $115.
- MS Word is really incredible. A lot of its improvements have to do with user interface to make it easier for users to make use of advanced features. The styles features is much easier to use than Office 2003. I am now a big fan.
- Here’s a test. Pretend you don’t know your work email. Using MS Outlook, try to discover what your work email actually is. How long will it take you? Obviously you can send an email to your personal email and check the headers, but that would be cheating–try using only Outlook to find out.
More on MS Word. Quibbles/fun facts:
- MS Office now has some incredible demos/video tutorials on their website (They also did with Office 2003). However, they mix the demos with help topics in their online help. Big mistake.
- Did you know MS Office 2007 contains a free plugin to save as PDF? (In fact, there are several free third party plugins, not to mention Zamzar online converter. Fun fact, if you change the PDF setting to ISO-19005-1 PDF/A, then the fancy Office 2007 fonts will be embedded in the PDF (so you don’t have to worry about readers not having the right font installed).
- You don’t have to buy MS Office to obtain MS Word 2007. In fact you can buy MS Office Word Home and Student 2007 for $115. (This is not an academic version).
- It is amazing that MS Word doesn’t let you save as OpenDocument format (which is an ISO standard). Really, how hard can it be? Amazingly, MS’s own OfficeOpenXML standard was resoundingly rejected. Although I can justify spending $100 on MS Word 2007, it is hard to imagine state agencies opting for software packages that don’t have ISO standing behind them.