On January 30, 2007, Microsoft announced a new version, Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows. It has a totally new "RibbonX" user interface that is designed to improve productivity. Before you switch, here are a few things you need to know:
- If you are going to buy Office 2007 or pay to upgrade an earlier version, you'll have to decide which suite you need because the "editions" have changed from previous versions. Click here for a comparison.
- The new RibbonX interface is quite a change from previous versions. This 13-minute video, "Demo: The new look of Office", helps a lot in making the transition.
- At Office Online, you will find interactive reference guides for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, to help you find familiar 2003 commands in the new 2007 interface. There are also free "Up to speed" video training courses, and other learning aids.
- By default, all Office 2007 programs save their documents in the new Microsoft Open XML format, with filename extensions like .docx, .xlsx, .pptx. (Learn more about this at Microsoft.com.) For compatibility with earlier (and Macintosh) versions of Office, you can save your documents in the old (97 - 2003) formats, and change each Office 2007 program to make that the default. Or, you can download and install into earlier Office versions the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for 2007 Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint File Formats (a free download).
- As with other versions of Microsoft Office, Carleton has licensed it for "Work At Home" use for faculty and staff. That means faculty and staff can get a copy of Microsoft Office for a Carleton employee to use on one home computer to do Carleton-related work. (Faculty and staff only; sorry, not for students, alumni, or visitors.) Office Enterprise 2007 is now available under this license agreement; it requires Windows XP or Vista, an optical drive that can read DVD discs, and more than 500MB of free hard disk space. To take advantage of this, contact Candyce Lelm, x4286, CMC 132, to arrange to fill out the required form and pick up the appropriate Office DVD disc.