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on 29 August 2007
As a business user I don't really have anything good to say about Office 2007. The new interface now requires 3-4 mouse clicks where 2-3 were needed previously. Many of the keyboard shortcuts no longer work or don't work the way they used to (I don't use the mouse very often). It's not possible to customise the menu structure to any extent as Microsoft have imposed the "ribbon" structure with it's fixed content.

Many of the highlight colours just don't stand out e.g. highlighting text is pink on a white background but highlighted buttons are a sort of yellow colour. There are also only 3 colour schemes available, blue, silver or black. None is particularly attractive and none is particularly clear. Differentiating between several windows often not easy because they are all similar colours.

As a heavy office user, I found the new version of office restrictive and un-instinctive, as if Microsoft have told me how i will work and what commands I will have easily available instead of me being able to select my own. Oh, and you can't even customise a macro button image now! Instead you have to use the ones provided which are an anonymous bunch at best.

you are restricted to a single row of custom buttons - the "quick access toolbar" but if you want the traditional icons on the bar (font, size, style) then you can only fit another 10 or so on the bar - which is restricted to a single line only. when visible, the ribbon occupies a massive amount of space (about 30mm of vertical height) thus restricting the amount of text that can be seen. There appears to be no option to relocate the ribbon, it's always along the top. Hiding the ribbon then needs a double click to bring it back.

I am struggling to express how frustrating I find this software. I am currently in the process of requesting a refund from MS and going back to Office 2003. Note that I can't find anything that 2007 does which 2003 didn't already do for me.
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on 31 October 2007
I've added an edit to the end of my original review:

It's just awful. I have been using office suits for years and this one is dreadful. Slow to load, too many graphics, not intuitive. From a compatibility point of view it doesn't use existing macros and templates, it has a new file format which thankfully can be overwritten but worst of all it messes up Outlook Express (unless you happen to be French). During the installation it installs a new English dictionary which is incompatible with Outlook Express which then defaults to French - c'est terrible (which ironically means brilliant in French). The new version of Outlook also changed my phone speed dials so for example my daughter's mobile phone speed dial was changed to her house line. Should have a safety warning - INSTALL AT YOUR OWN RISK - take a look at it's free and probably more compatible with earlier versions of MS Office.

EDIT: When I last changed PC I decided to give 2007 another try. On my new laptop it runs fast enough. At first I hated the user interface and I still struggle to find things sometimes. However if you haven't used MS office before it's fine. If you have plenty of time to learn, it's fine. If you are upgrading from 2003 or XP and you need to do stuff in a hurry you're probably going to struggle.
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on 15 October 2008
I'm writing this review after buying 4 copies for my company. As an advanced user (PowerPoint & Word) I used to give presentations for others on how to use the software to increase productivity.
I'll be short and focussed about my opinions. Firstly, the ribbon interface! It looks very pretty and is a great idea for anyone new to Office. For any advanced user though its a different story. Firstly it cannot be customised (by default), so if you built your own toolbars in earlier versions then you're out of luck. Secondly, and most frustratingly, is where all the icons are positioned. I think Microsoft, desperate to appear to be doing something new, have just randomly mixed up the icons! Luckily the right-mouse button is always as useful and contains the same contents as earlier versions. If you don't believe me, here's a very quick example: In Excel you want to add a new row. You click on INSERT, but there's no mention of it. Instead its under HOME (possible the most ambiguous name possible).
Another niggle is the endless amount of formatting options for emails. Given that Outlook uses its own Word format to code the message, its highly unlikely anyone reading your emails without the same Outlook version won't see anything near as pretty as the one you composed. Come on Microsoft - let's work to web standards please!
And as for the XPS file format... Dear Microsoft, the world uses PDF for read-only formats. Why try to re-invent the wheel and add yet another download for your IT department to deal with?
Once the confusion of the buttons passes, there's not much left to warrant the new release. It's new, it's flashy, but it just doesn't push the boundaries forward in the way that previous versions have done.
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on 3 April 2008
When I got a copy of this new version of Office I was eager to try it out, but luckily I was cautious enough to select the install option that keeps 2003 live in your computer. The results of using 2007 were atrocious, and the only program I did not have an issue with was Outlook (by the way, you can't keep Outlook 2003 if you are installing 2007), and I did not see any real improvements with it either.

There are three huge issues with the new version of Office. First, performance goes down big time. You will feel like your PC is crawling and even though I doubled my RAM to 2GB I still experienced issues with this. I was also affected by frequent fatal errors that caused the programs to close, especially with Excel. Second, backwards compatibility is a joke, both PowerPoint and Excel files are messed up when saved in the old format and opened with 2003. A clear case was an Excel file that I saved in 2003 and sent to a client, and when discussing over the phone he mentioned that the scale was off. I opened the file from my Sent Items (using 2007) and everything looked OK, but when I did the same with 2003, the chart was all screwed up. Also, if you paste a chart as an image in an email using 2007 and send it to someone that has 2003 they will just see a black rectangle. Finally, your productivity will be cut in half, because Microsoft completely changed the layout of the menus, and to tell you the truth, these are less intuitive than before. They have a more "futuristic" look, but that is just about it.

Bottom line is that after a couple of weeks of trying to make it work, I decided that I was not going to make the effort. I will put it off until I absolutely have to move to the newest version. Microsoft basically made these programs harder to use and limited their performance. Just a horrendous effort on their part!
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on 5 January 2009
I have happily been using Word and Office professionally since Microsoft first launched them but I can only say, DO NOT BUY OFFICE 2007 under any circumstances unless you have never used any of the Office products before.
The new Ribbon interface essentially hides all of the familiar menus and shortcuts so that you will have to spend hours (yes, really hours of your valuable life-time) searching for how to do things that you have known for years. It is as if your car manufacturer moved the gear-lever to the roof. All your hard won knowledge and expertise is made useless at a stroke.
There is no way to revert to a more familiar interface so even months after you installed Office 2007 you will still be pulling your hair out with frustration whenever you want to do a task of the slightest complexity.
I even had to look up the help files to find out where the version number info had been hidden tonight (No more Help/About...)
I can't say politely how bad and insulting to Office users this product is.
This review applies to all versions of Office 2007.
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on 2 April 2008
I use excel all the time at work and at home. When I bought a new vista laptop with this on it I loaded the new excel and I thought I'd pulled up the wrong program.

Now, have a quick ponder at the first thing you want to do when you load excel, or any spreadsheet package? Yep, load the file you want to work on. Can you find the file open icon or any command that might lead to it? Can you 'eckerslike!

I had to load windows explorer just to load an office 2003 file.

After about 15 minutes of searching I finally found how to open a file actually from withing the program. Heres how, follow what I do carefully:

At the top of the screen you will see undo/redo icons; yes, icons you can't use until you have a file open and have worked on it. Now, what you do is you put your face right up against the screen against these icons. If you have eyes like the preverbial hawk you will be able to make out a microscopic little arrow, apparantly designed by the KGB to alert spies working in the West during the cold war. Hover your mouse very carefully over this, if in the unlikely event you manage to "hit" the spot, you will be able to click up a box which will allow you open a file. Not only that, but it will let you put the file open icon on permanent display! Imagine that! The most vital and screamingly obvious icon you will possibly need and you can fiddle about for an age to display it! Revolutionary stuff!


Two stars only because other reviewers assure us that "once you get used to it" it's fine. Making it nigh-on immposible to track down the most fundamental thing you can do, open a file, is in my eyes quite spectaculaly stupid and inforgivably negligent.
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2007
I took out a 60 day trial of this product and was impressed with the strides forward that have been made in Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, and Word since 2003. The overall look to the above four programmes is clearer and more pleasing on the eye than the 2003 version.

The Document Recovery Tool in Word is probably the most useful of the newer features, and gets rid of that old fear of losing documents and not being able to retrieve them. The Document Inspection Tool in Word comes a very close second though and allows you to edit documents for personal details etc.
Outlook features improved anti Spam measures and a useful To Do Bar which can be a very effective diary/calendar and can be utilised while reading or writing email.

I bought a Full Standard Version Disk rather than just activating my trial version on the Microsoft website. Using the Activation code on the box, I was able to activate my Trial Version without having to install the version on the disk. My recommendation is to trial the product first of all and for that you can get your 60 day free trial from the Microsoft website.
After the trial period has elapsed or just before, I would then shop around and purchase a Full Standard Version Disk rather than just activate it from Microsoft and pay the fee for that. Why? Prices tend to start around the £300 mark for these disks. By shopping around, I was able to pick up a new Standard Office 2007 Disk for just over £100.
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on 25 November 2008
If you are used to older versions of Office, then do yourself a favour, and stick with them. Do not upgrade to this.

The following issues are apparent elsewhere on the internet so are common issues...

1) The new user interface is a real pain. Instead of having all the options and settings available to you in the tool bar and drop down menus, MS have removed the menu and "categorised" the options and settings in different panes. This makes it much harder to find what you usually can get to in one or two clicks. I sometimes spend ages trying to find options and settings I need. Its a ridiculous step back.

2) Having two or more Word documents open causes a pause when switching between the two. This becomes really painful when you are switching often (such as copying and pasting from one to another).

3) Outlook insists in "updating cached messages" everytime I switch to my IMAP folders, I have to wait for 5 minutes while Outlook processes messages. Outlook also hangs while it is fetching new messages, so if you are in the middle of reading old mail, or writing new mail, you have to just stop what you are doing and wait until it finished before you can carry on. The more messages the longer. I have over 6000 in an IMAP folder, it takes about 5 minutes before I can use Outlook again.

The above 3 problems are the most frustrating things I have come across in any Microsoft software to date, and these were not apparent in older versions. I wish I did not upgrade.

As a result Office 2007 reduces productivity.
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on 24 September 2007
I was very disappointed with this Office 2007 "so called" upgrade from Office 2000. The "" templates are not updated, so any macros, autotext and styles created in earlier versions are not supported and updated. These need to be redone - a complete waste of time. The main menus have all but disappeared and have been replaced with a "ribbon". The scrolling marquee signature I used in Outlook 2000 no longer works, and the default date format in Word that I chose does not display when I press ENTER. All I see is 24 September 2007-9-24. Who in the right mind would want to see this? If I don't press the spare bar, before the RETURN key, I see a garbled date appear as stated above. In my opinion, this is change for change sake, rather than a creditable upgrade. In other words a "retrograde". I wish I'd upgrade to Office 2003 instead.
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on 14 May 2008
Why oh why oh why do they have to mess around with things (Ok you don't need to answer that it was a rhetorical question - it's the only way Microsoft can sell the same thing over and over again).
I have never written a review on here before but this new version of office is so utterly galling i felt i had to warn other people away from it.
Gone are the menus that we have all been learning to use for the last 10+ years, as are the shortcut keys that drive them. I used to use shortcuts for speed all the time (hardly ever use a mouse) and now these have all changed - it's like starting again. I spend more time on the online help thingy that tells you where the old commands can be found on the new version than i do using the products, and i am (was) pretty fast on all MS office applications.
They may say that i am being a dyed-in-the wool old fuddy duddy, but there was nothing wrong with the old version and the new version has absolutely nothing better to offer. Imagine if someone suggested rearranging the alphabet - they would get laughed at cos it would be pointless and would make everyone's lives hell.
(furthermore They haven't fixed any of the bugs left over from the old versions!).
Worst of all they have been so arrogant as to not even provide an option to roll back to the old interface. If anyone from microsoft is listening then PLEASE add this feature on a patch at least before you annoy too many more people.
I could go on. .. and on.. and on but i think you get the picture. NOT Happy!
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