Design Goals and Approach
The 2007 Microsoft Office was designed to enable users to accomplish tasks easier and faster. As a result of usability data, the new user interface (UI) makes the use of core applications straightforward.
Key Features of MS Office 2007
Microsoft Office Word 2007, Office Excel 2007, Office PowerPoint 2007, Office Outlook 2007 and Office Access 2007 feature an aesthetically-clean, organized and streamlined work space.
The Ribbon in MS office 2007
The traditional toolbar has been replaced by the Ribbon, a construct that organizes commands into a set of tabs. The commands are grouped in such a way as to correspond to the tasks people perform. For example, the Home tab (group of commands) contains the most frequently used commands.
The Microsoft Office Button
The Microsoft Office Button is a new (sometimes distracting since it pulsates) feature that brings file-level features and authoring features into one single location.
Some commands are only needed when certain objects are being edited. Contextual tabs only appear when needed, making it easier to find and use commands relevant to the action at hand.
Rather than a complex dialog box, Galleries offer a dynamic, graphical, clear and simple set of potential presentation appearances for a user’s document, spreadsheet, Access database, etc. Although the traditional dialog box interfaces will still be available for those wishing to directly manage the end-product, Galleries simplifies many operations by presenting an array of possibilities that users can simply “pick and click.”
Live Preview feature
Along with the gallery feature comes Live Preview, which is aptly named. When you move the mouse over the various selections in a gallery, your document takes on the formatting attributes of the current selection — just as a preview. So you can flit from one choice to another and try on the various sets of formatting without committing to anything until you’re ready. In the image below, I was spinning through the offerings in the gallery of table styles.
The streamlined and dynamic UI is results-oriented, enabling users to spend more time focused on their work and less time looking for the tools/commands. Correspondingly, commands can still be executed via keyboard shortcuts – exactly as was accomplished in previous versions of Office. Accordingly, users will produce powerful and effective documents, spreadsheets, presentations and/or desktop database applications quickly and effortlessly.
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