Most everyone who knows me knows how much I adore Excel and how I use it daily. If there’s a way to organize my thoughts in Excel, you can bet I’m doing it. It’s basically the way I keep track of everything, including my review and giveaway schedule. Since I have been using it daily for work and personal use as long as I can remember, I have taught myself a great deal and can now create complex formulas and tables within minutes. The same is also true of the rest of the Microsoft Office Suite, and I really don’t know what I would do without it.
In fact, there was a short period of time when my computer had a series of programs called “Star Office” and didn’t have Microsoft Office installed. My husband can attest to how angry I got at these programs and cursed whoever thought they would be an adequate substitute for the Microsoft Office Suite. It was a matter of days before my computer was updated to include the Excel, Word, and Publisher programs I rely on.
Since I am such a huge fan of Microsoft Office, it would be surprising for most to find out that I was still running on Office 2003 up until a few days ago. Sure, I had used other versions here and there, but on my home computer and laptop I had the old antiquated versions running.
Most of my experience using the newer Office versions was at my last job when my boss was having a hard time with his upgrade to Office 2007 and would repeatedly call me in to help him out. Ironically, my old work computer was also running Office 2000, but I have always been pretty good about figuring things out for myself and the newer Office Suite was no exception.
Even though I had never worked on Microsoft Office 2010 before, it really only took me a few minutes to familiarize myself with the new menu functions and find all my old standby tools I use daily. In fact, I found the 2010 to be much better looking and easier to navigate than my boss’ 2007 version which seemed very foreign at first and never got to the point where it felt natural. The basic change between the two that I found was in the top menu bar which, in the 2010 version, is more of a mash-up of the old programs I adore and the newer Office Suites, which I think makes it far superior to the 2007 version.
Those that have not made the upgrade from the old versions of Microsoft Office will adapt fairly easily to the 2010 version after a few days. The hardest part for me was relearning the top navigation bar (or “ribbon interface”), but I found it very intuitive after only a day or two. Instead of the huge change from 2003 to 2007, the switch to 2010 is more akin to getting a new laptop with all your old programs on it and then having to learning where to find your favorites.
It even adds some features I am really excited to try out and hopefully teach myself how to fully utilize them as well, like OneNote and Microsoft Access, both of which I am completely unfamiliar with. I am also thrilled to finally have PowerPoint (yes, I am a bit behind on the curve here) and create my own presentations.
The new release is also designed to help you use web applications more effectively and import information into your documents. I haven’t found all that useful so far, but I am really excited to explore them more, especially between Office and my smartphone using Microsoft Office 2010 Mobile.
Another big change is the document sharing options. Since I share documents with numerous other users, I like that the sharing options for your files are easier to navigate, which makes it more seamless to track changes and see everyone’s additions. But, by far the best sharing option is the fact that you can now share documents and open them simultaneously on different computers instead of getting the “read only” notification.
The one issue I do have with Microsoft Office 2010 is the fact that the other 4 computers in our house are not updated which makes sharing documents completely annoying. The new Microsoft Word .docx files cannot be opened by older Word versions, which means that you have to save your document differently if you are going to be using it on un-updated workstations. The same is true for Excel, which is a pain when I move from the laptop to the desktop and back. While 2010 can open older documents just fine, going the other way causes quite a few headaches.
Although I know how to save my files to avoid this incompatibility, the issue comes when you are sharing with other people via email and you don’t know what version of Office they have. I would love it if the upgraded versions worked more seamlessly with the older versions, which would be much better than what I currently have to do just to move from each of my computers at home. Hopefully I will be updating all of my computers this year, because it’s hard to remember to save my documents correctly to open them on all of my computers and this incompatibility might get old after a few months.
Microsoft Office 2010 Professional is available now and can be purchased with one license or you can get a bundle pack and install it on all of your computers at once. I would highly recommend the bundle pack so you and other family members can share documents more seamlessly. If you skipped the 2007 update, I would highly recommend upgrading to the 2010 version to see the new features and usability of the Microsoft Office Suite.
Check out the Office Blog for more holiday inspiration and ways you can use Microsoft Office everyday:
•Save your recipes to OneNote 2010. Back up all your family’s favorites in this digital notebook, and never lose a recipe again using key word search to locate that eggnog recipe.
•Check your shopping list twice with Excel 2010. Organize your holiday budget and keep track of wish lists for family, friends and loved ones. Access your shopping list on the go with Excel Mobile 2010 on your Windows Phone 7.
•Use the photo editing tools in Word 2010 to create your own greeting cards with real refrigerator status this year.
Price: Microsoft 2010 Home and Business single version download is $199 or $279 for the 3 user license. The Microsoft 2010 Professional single version download is $349 or $499 for the 3 user license. It should be noted that there is no longer an upgrade price, Microsoft has decided not to offer upgrade pricing anymore.
A huge thank you to Microsoft for finally upgrading my computer and making me love Office even more. All opinions are 100% ours and no form of monetary compensation for this Rave Review.