Thursday, 21 May 2009

Office 2007 rant

OK,OK, always wining I know. My company works with another which use Office 2007 extensively, but we still use Office 2003. Previously, our IT did not provide us any tool to convert from the .x formats to the old one (This has changed now).

However, we have at work a program which allows employees to buy Office Pro for their home for a very inexpensive price. I bought it (but did not installed the 207 versions of the apps) thinking it could be handy. And so it did. No more for the context.

So I installed Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and was able to open the .pptx file that I received at work. Fine.

Except that I never used the Ribbon before. The beginning were not easy, as nothing was in a place I was used for in the previous Office 2003 version (the one I use at work everyday). After a while I get used to it, but I still don't think it's entirely a good change:

  • No more direct access to the old File menu, you have to go through the new oversized Office button to access to all File actions different from the simplest save (and you are not saved from numerous clicks to do what you want)

  • Very difficult to customize what as replaced the toolbar. For example with Office 2003 if you often used at the same time basic editing tools (such as the brush to copy text attributes in word or PowerPoint), and revision features, it was very easy to have both at the same time; now you have to go through a tedious process of customizing the interface (which is absolutely not what you want to do) to achieve the same result. Bottom line is: yo don't do it and you switch a million of times from one tab to the other.

  • Knowing where an action is is not always easy.

  • And why, why designing such a huge cryptic Microsoft button for the File actions? It means that nobody will be able to stick to the same UI for the similar actions for accessing to File actions in their own apps. One more time, it seems that Microsoft did something only to erase every possible competition.