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Windows 7

New work laptop has it. It’s quite nice. Fast and easy to navigate. Office 2007, however, blows chunks. Well, the ribbon interface does.

18 Responses to “Windows 7”

  1. Mad Man Says:

    My first exposure to Office 2007 was in a class. I found once I got used to the ribbon interface, it was much faster and easier to find the options I wanted.

    If you don’t like the ribbon, you can always turn it off.

  2. Curtis Lowe Says:

    I just got Office 2007. Hate it. When it takes 5 minutes to find the “print” icon on Word and Excel, something is worng…

  3. Laughingdog Says:

    I’ve only found one thing that I hate about Windows 7: the search function. Somehow, reducing the available filters to just “date modified” and “size” is an improvement over the search function in XP.

  4. smijer Says:

    Yeah, but does it blow goat chunks?

  5. Jake Says:

    Mad Man, if you turn off the ribbon, do you get the old Office interface (menus and toolbars)? I was under the impression that you couldn’t do that.

  6. Stormy Dragon Says:

    There’s always OpenOffice.org

  7. ExUrbanKevin Says:

    The standard for a good interface isn’t “It’s easy once you get used to it,” the standard for a good interface is “It’s easy, and you don’t have to get used to it.”

  8. Jake Says:

    I second the mention of OpenOffice.org. I use it at home myself. It does most of what Word does, and for the most part it does it better. It can also save in Word format for when you have to send a file to someone else.

    I had to deal with Word 2007 for a class, and I hate it – especially the ribbon. Things are in places that don’t really make sense, and have no relation to the menus they were in in previous versions. Unfortunately, I still have to take the second part of the class, which is the rest of Office 2007. I’m not looking forward to it.

  9. Ian Argent Says:

    I have to disagree with ExUrbanKeith; both in general and in specifics.

    By his standards, an automatic transmission is a strictly better interface for a car and a Glock has a strictly better interface than a 1911 (Now, where’s my nomex again?) Simpler interface is not necessarily related to more complicated interface, but they’re not orthogonal either.

    Specifically, the Office 2007 interface is an attempt to get around the limitations of a menu-driven interface. I’d like it if the ribbon was a bit more customizable – but I find it a *much* superior interface for generating and editing documents with only a small learning curve.

  10. Rustmeister Says:

    I’m with Curtis – I had to go on Google to find out how to “Save As”.

  11. Blake Says:

    I’m using Windows 7 64bit and Office 2010.

    The jump from previous versions of Office to 2007 was a big leap. I hated at first…but…got over it.

    2010 was a decent leap. I haven’t hated it as much as I did when I first used 2007, but it still seems they moved stuff around for no reason.

  12. Mike Says:

    I agree! I quit using MS Office as soon as Google Documents came out. Google docs now even reads .docx files.

  13. Sigivald Says:

    Office 2007’s ribbon is superior. I don’t mean “I think it’s pretty” – I mean they did huge piles of usage analysis and put on the ribbon those controls that people actually used most.

    This is why, as Jake noted, “it’s different from previous versions”. Things are not in the same places; they’re in places that better fit how people actually use the software.

    See here.

    (The whole series there is vastly informative as to the thinking behind the 2k7 Office UI changes… suffice it to say, the reasons were not “because it looks cool” or “because we needed to make it look different so people would know we updated”.

    Sometimes MS makes ridiculous mistakes or does stupid things. But at the same time, they have lots of very sharp people and huge amounts of data about how people use their products.)

    (“What we didn’t know until we analyzed the data was that even though so many people do use CTRL+V and do use “Paste” on the context menu, the toolbar button for Paste still gets clicked more than any other button. The command is so incredibly popular that even though there are more efficient ways of using it, many people do prefer to click the toolbar button.”

    That’s why “Paste” is the first button, and so big. Because it’s the MOST USED one.)

  14. Jake Says:

    Sorry, Sigivald. Having used both, I just can’t say that the Ribbon is superior.

    With the “old-style” menus and toolbars, all the most common basic functions were there in the default toolbars, visible all the time. If you needed something that wasn’t in the default toolbar, you always had the option of either adding it to an existing toolbar, or even adding a new toolbar.

    With the Ribbon, you have to switch tabs to get to some of the more common functions that were right at the top of the screen in the old-style interface. The you have to switch tabs again to go back to the “main” tab for the most commonly used functions. As far as I know, there is no way to customize the Ribbon like there is with the toolbars, and there’s no way to add, say, another ribbon or toolbar to the side for frequently used functions that aren’t in the default setup (like I have done in both Word and OpenOffice, for things like the insert menu, or the form fields toolbar).

    That’s why “Paste” is the first button, and so big. Because it’s the MOST USED one.

    That shows a big flaw in their thought processes, right there. You have to copy before you can paste. Paste is used more because you can copy once and then paste the same thing multiple times. The button layout for these functions just does not make sense based on the logical flow of how they are used.

  15. Ian Argent Says:

    With the old interface, *everything* was 2 clicks away at all times (once on the menu, once on the command). I wish there was a way to customize the ribbon interface, but I’ll live with it. Powerpoint is MUCH better; and excel isn’t bad. I don’t do much with Word usually.

  16. Tom Says:

    Guys, I agree the initial impression of the ribbon is crap. Once you get used to it, I know that this is problematic for some people, it is much much better. Simply being able to dump more then 64k lines is useful enough for me to switch. 2007 will allow you to use much simpler formulas than 2003. IFERROR being one of my favorites. All of the normal menu items are still only a couple of clicks away, hell, you can even put your own menu commands on the top line so it is completely customizable to your liking and all the cool stuff is on even closer.

    I am probably labeling myself as a computer geek, but 2007 is way, way better than 2003.

  17. Phenicks Says:

    Use the classic menus w/ “classic menu for office” at
    http://www.addintools.com/

    Makes getting around a whole lot easier.

  18. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “You have to copy before you can paste. Paste is used more because you can copy once and then paste the same thing multiple times.”

    It’s also the most used because can write data to the paste buffer using either cut or copy.

    The real problem is exactly what Jake pointed out. They moved all the choices into specific menus and no longer concentrate the common ones in a general menu. This is not efficient as I have to navigate menus to do anything.

    If I have to format a chart in Excel, I now have to navigate multiple menus to change colors, line settings, data point shapes, etc. It doubles the number actions I perform and therefore the time it takes, because for almost every change I also have to shift menus. The good news is that I can make fancy shiny charts as easy as I can do simple ones now. The bad news is that I still don’t want to make fancy charts because I value simplicity and so do the people I present data to.

    They also seem to have done away with a lot of the wizards which were very efficient ways to create simple graphics. And the replacements for them like saving chart formats, often don’t work well enough to buy back my lost productivity.