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Overview of Key New Features in Office 2010

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With the latest edition of Office due out this summer, Microsoft adds some significant and interesting enhancements. A new Backstage View in the major programs provides new functionality and exposes important options and features, and all of the apps get some new key features. PowerPoint in particular provides new functionality for presenters that prevents for effective communication. In this article, Tom Bunzel, author of Easy Microsoft Office 10, summarizes the key new highlights and points the way to using the new Office 2010 to its maximum potential.
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When I wrote about the last update for Office, I was still unconvinced about the utility of the Ribbon, and while there were new features, they did not seem very compelling in Office 2007.

Office 2010 surprised me in that there are some nice enhancements in all of the programs, and particularly PowerPoint has garnered some features that are worth noting.

Working in the New Word

If we start with Word, there are some key features that apply across all of the main Office programs; those would be the new Backstage view and Copy and Paste Preview.

Backstage view is accessed with the new File tab on the Ribbon, and provides a comprehensive tabular interface for performing many tasks that pertain to managing the current document, including conversion, printing, saving, and preparing to share (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 Backstage View provides numerous options for working with your document.

Copy and Paste Preview is an interesting feature that varies in how it appears contextually, depending on what is in the Clipboard to be pasted and the formatting of where it is to be placed. Essentially, hovering the mouse over the options shows the user a Quick Preview of how the paste will be formatted—either in conformity with the source or destination file or as plain text in the case of Word.

Perhaps the most interesting feature in Word is the Navigation pane, which is on the left side and can be opened or closed with the View tab. The Navigation pane organizes your document by heading styles, lets you browse pages by their appearance, and also provides a useful interface when search terms are placed in the top field. It is actually a very nice way to find what you need in longer documents and (re)organize your thoughts.

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