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Images: Word 2007 beta 2

Microsoft hopes that Word 2007 will put more features at your fingertips. CNET editors review some of the changes.
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Quick Access

Microsoft wants Word 2007 to put more features at users' fingertips. Word 2003, in contrast, featured 300 menu items and 31 toolbars. Brandished atop each screen within Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access, the tabbed layout of the Ribbon of icons surfaces tools according to the task at hand.

You can find basic functions, such as opening, saving and printing files, through the Quick Access Toolbar, accessible via the logo in the upper-left corner of the screen.

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Add Quick Toolbar

If you're among the 2 percent of Word devotees that Microsoft considers power users, then you might be inclined to right-click your mouse on a chosen feature to add it to the Quick Access menu. Here, we've added the Paste Special function.

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Zoom in

The magnification slider bar in the lower-right corner of Word's interface lets you instantly enlarge a document up to 500 percent or shrink it down to 10 percent.

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Bottom edge

Another use of the bottom edge of the interface, especially for writers and students, is its display of a running word count.

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Extra view

The View tab clusters options for viewing your document in myriad ways--such as adding gridlines--a ruler and thumbnails of all your pages.

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Mini Toolbar

A floating Mini Toolbar appears near your mouse to anticipate formatting changes you might make. You can also bring up the Mini Toolbar and commonly used functions by right-clicking the mouse.

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Image tweaks

The Office 2007 system makes playing with images extremely intuitive. The Ribbon's Format tab provides features found in basic image-editing apps. You can preview changes, such as this 3D rotation, by mousing over a tool before you choose to apply it to an image.

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Rotate image

We added a beveled effect to an image with two clicks, then rotated it by clicking and holding down on the picture's attached green circle.

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Classic

While there is no way to revert to the Classic mode of Word 2003's dialog boxes, you can hide the dynamic Ribbon by clicking Ctrl-F1.

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Alt badge

The applications within Office 2007 support the same Alt-keyboard shortcuts as in the past. To jog your memory, hit the Alt key to mark functions with a badge displaying the letter or number needed to press in conjunction with the Alt key. We find this handy, though it may bewilder butterfingers who accidentally hit the Alt key--and the badges are too tiny for people with vision problems.

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Newsletters

You can create attractive page layouts with a few clicks through Word's graphical galleries--especially helpful if your work demands making custom presentations, such as newsletters. Unfortunately, we expect some users to find the Galleries confusing.

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References

From the References tab, you can add citations and a bibliography in styles from APA to Turabian, but we couldn't find an option for adding abstracts of research studies.

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Table Authorities

Legal professionals can add a Table of Authorites from the References tab.

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Resize to compress tabs

Resizing a document window compresses the Ribbon's tabs to save screen real estate.

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Shrink

Shrink a document window down to 250 pixels across, and all the functions of the Ribbon disappear to conserve space.

Read CNET Reviews' First Take and slide shows of the beta 2 versions of Microsoft Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007 and Outlook 2007.

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