The Active Network
ActiveWin: Reviews Active Network | New Reviews | Old Reviews | Interviews |Mailing List | Forums 
 

Amazon.com

  *  

Product: Microsoft Office XP Professional With FrontPage
Company: Microsoft
Website: http://www.microsoft.com/office
Estimated Street Price: Various
Review By: Byron Hinson & Julien Jay

Microsoft Word 2002

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Word 2002
3: Excel 2002
4: Outlook 2002
5: FrontPage 2002
6: Access 2002
7: PowerPoint 2002
8:
Speech
9: Conclusion

Microsoft Word is probably the most commonly used item in the Office series. Well the fact is that in Small Business as well as Corporations, writing letters is always done with Microsoft Word: every secretary of the world should at least know how to use Microsoft Word to be employed. Word is also used widely by customers, which probably bought the Office pack just for it. Once again Microsoft has aimed to get people more productive using Microsoft Word and making it easier to use. The actual look of Microsoft Word has changed much and is intended to be fully integrated with Windows Whistler: the background of the toolbars being a light grey and the highlight with your mouse over it going to a light blue colour with a light grey vertical line on the whole menu length. Toolbars are now absolutely flat and just like in Microsoft Word 2000 you can choose to hide or show buttons clicking directly on the arrow to check or uncheck commands you donít want to use. Hopefully these cosmetic enhancements are not all since there are many changes under the hood. A lot of Smart tags improvements have been used throughout this Suite. There are AutoCorrect Option Smart tags, which provides an easy mechanism for you to control and modify automatic behaviour that takes place within Word. You can undo an automatic correction, choose to not have that correction take place in the future, or access the AutoCorrect Options dialog box. Also put in there is the Name, Address and date smart tag which now will identify a name or address being written in the same way that at the moment Office recognizes an email or URL address being written and highlighting appropriately.

To help out with the productivity of Office, Microsoft has added a few more Document Formatting features to make things easier. One of these features is Reveal Formatting where at any point during the document you can see the current font, paragraph, spacing, image, table properties, and more. Also you can compare the formatting of two different sections of a document and apply the formatting of one to the other. As well as this you can open the Styles and Formatting Task Pane, which gives you the ability to see the formatting in use in their document (both styled and direct formatting), recently used formatting, and all the available styles. You can select all text in the document with the same style or direct formatting, and easily apply a new format or style all at once. You will benefit by being able to easily reuse formatting within their document without needing to create styles. New to Word 2002 is a small fancy feature that lets you change line spacing directly from the main toolbar by pushing a small button. Creating tables is always easy and you can obviously draw tables of your own simply using the outstanding table drawing feature. One feature I am really impressed with is the Multi-Selection feature! Youíve dreamt about it, Microsoft did it! This feature lets you easily select multiple areas of a document at once simply using your mouse cursor with the CTRL key of your keyboard, thereby saving time when formatting the document. Additionally, with the Find feature, you can simultaneously select similarly formatted text and reformat it. The double click and type feature is still present in Word 2002 so you can double click in any area of your blank page and start typing right away without worrying to push several times the enter & space key to reach this area!

Just like in Microsoft Word 2000 fonts are previewed directly in the font list so you know what your text will look like choosing that font instead of one other. Thanks to the IntelliSense technology when youíre typing the beginning of a font name in the list, Word will guess the end showing the font name you are looking to use. Office 2000 introduced a long awaited enhancement named the Office clipboard where users can store up to 12 parts of text, pictures, etc. If it was really great feature there were some drawbacks; indeed users werenít able to know what was exactly stored and finally only 12 pastes is too small! So Microsoft Office 10 comes with super Office clipboards that can store up to 24 different scraps of selections. But if it wasnít enough in Word (like in the other Office 10 applications) you can choose to activate the clipboard view pane that will list the stuff you put in and youíll even be able to preview text, pictures or graphs. So inserting the paste is not a nightmare anymore. Security for documents has also been rethought so users can digitally sign their documents to ensure unauthorized persons canít modify them. A new feature call Ďsend for reviewí appears in Word and other Office application: this lets users diffuse a document defining each recipient role: if you choose to send a document for approval this will enable following & modifying tools. When recipients send back their documents, the author can choose to include into the final document each modification one after the other so he can keep total control over it. As usual users can move, delete, replace their texts directly from the print preview window so they don't lose time switching from the print preview to the edit mode to make the text appears as they want.


Microsoft Word XP in Email/Search mode

One thing that Microsoft has listened to and acted upon is Reliability and Data Recovery. There is nothing worse than working on a document and just as you get to the end have your computer crash and lose all the information. To help fight against this there is now a Document Recovery option where Word 2002 gives you the option of saving their current files at the time an error occurs in an application. As a result, you spend less time recreating their documents. But thatís not all since Word 2002 also makes automatic backups of the file youíre working on so if a fatal error occurred and word canít offer you to save it, after youíll have restarted your computer (probably kicking it and uttering insanities about modern world and its damn modern technology) when you run Word 2002 again, a small pane will appear on the left of the application showing the last file you were working on when the crash occurred: I you click on it, itíll instantly be opened and youíll be glad to see everything has been saved! Office related crashes are now smarter since a nice dialog box says you have encountered a crash and due to the Application Error Reporting it offers you to get back a report of the error to Microsoft or the userís corporate IT department. This gives Microsoft (or organizations) the data needed to further diagnose and correct these errors, and provide users with direct access to workarounds or other information on the error. Application and Document Recovery provides a safer method for shutting down Word if it is not responding. Users can choose to shut down while initiating recovery of the document. They can report the problem to Microsoft or their corporate IT department at the same time. Repair and Extract is where Word can automatically invoke this corrupt-document repair and recovery functionality in the event of an error or a failure to load a file. Users can invoke this functionality by choosing Open and Repair from the File Open dialog box.


Microsoft Word in action with the new clipboard and the multi selection feature

Word 2002 also adds new language features such as Translation: Word offers basic bilingual dictionary and translation capability, as well as access to translation services on the World Wide Web. Insertion of symbols and international characters: Word now offers improved ways to add these types of characters to your document, either through the improved Symbol dialog box, or by using ALT+X keyboard shortcuts. Support for additional character sets: When used with Microsoft Windows 2000, Word now supports typing Thai, Hindi, Tamil, Georgian, Armenian, Vietnamese, Farsi, Urdu, and other complex languages.


Translation in action

Reviewing Word 2002 isn't particularly difficult when it comes to actually writing the review you don't need to go from one application to the next and just about everyone has used Word at some point so it is not like you are explaining it all to users who have never tried it before. There are still in our view, no other word processing programs that can come close to Word 2002 and this new version just strengthens Microsoft's hold on word processing, but yet again we have to ask the question does a new version warrant you, the user a good reason to upgrade over the last version?

If you are happy with what you do in Word 2000 (simple word processing) and can do without all the bits and pieces such as translation and the improved grammar then there isn't really a great need for you to upgrade, but if you prefer to use Word in the workplace in terms of sharing documents and working on the web, then it is well worth the upgrade.

 ę Introduction Excel 2002 Ľ

 

  *  
  *   *