Archive
Tag "Office"

The excel­lent Google Docs ser­vice has already thrown the gaunt­let in the Office doc­u­ment edit­ing space. If your needs are to have a basic Word or Excel doc­u­ment with­out auto­matic pag­ing, or foot­notes, or Table of Con­tents, and such, then Google is already a pretty sound option to do your doc­u­ments and save them as DOC or PDF files.

The best part is the live col­lab­o­ra­tion that Google or the likes of Zoho have made pos­si­ble. Online col­lab­o­ra­tion among team mem­bers was some­thing in which Microsoft has also dab­bled, but in its typ­i­cal man­ner of releas­ing "Enter­prise" fea­tures. No sur­prise that that has never really become the norm out­side some cor­po­rate microcosms.

Today, Google has upped the ante in the war for online doc­u­ment edit­ing by launch­ing the tem­plates. Sim­ple addi­tion to their rapidly grow­ing arse­nal, but a shape of things to come. From wed­ding invites to busi­ness let­ters, it's an eas­ily expand­able ser­vice. The API and "open source" exten­si­bil­ity think­ing of Google will make sure that you or I can con­tribute our own tem­plates to the gallery. Nifty.

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So I finally got around to installing Office 2007. This is what it looked like:

Office 2007 - First Look

Office 2007 — First Look

Now I don't know about you, but to me this bloo-ey look is hideous.I am not on Vista yet, by choice, so that sky blue gra­da­tion thing going on the top was not my cuppa. Why soft­ware designed for a cer­tain plat­form can­not honor a user's gen­eral sys­tem UI pref­er­ences is beyond me, but Office 2007 does insist on hav­ing it's own look and feel. As though the new rib­bon clut­ter was not enough.

I wanted to get rid of those rib­bons to begin with. So I down­loaded the the free ver­sion of Rib­bon Cus­tomizer. They offer some Pro ver­sion but it does things I don't par­tic­u­larly care about. Alter­na­tively, there is Tool­bar­Tog­gle, but on their site I did not seem to catch a free ver­sion, and I was unwill­ing to pay for this stuff.

The Rib­bon­Cus­tomizer install is pretty straight­for­ward and when you start Word 2007 after its instal­la­tion, here is how Word looks. There is an addi­tional item in the View menu at the end:

Word 2007 after RibbonCustomizer

Word 2007 after RibbonCustomizer

I clicked on the obvi­ous menu option to make Clas­sicUI my first menu tab. This is what this does:

Classic 2003 interface

Clas­sic 2003 interface

That's a good start, but I now wanted to clean up some other stuff. For­tu­nately, Microsoft chose to include the addi­tional "Min­i­mize Rib­bon" fea­ture, which con­tex­tu­ally hides the rib­bon when your focus is on writ­ing inside the doc­u­ment. So let's do that:

Minimize the Word 2007 ribbon

Min­i­mize the Word 2007 ribbon

Now to get rid of the forced Blue. Click on the "More Com­mands" option in the menu shown in the screen­shot above. Choose Sil­ver and make other adjust­ments to your taste:

Choose silver

Choose sil­ver

Now this is what Word 2007 looks like, with min­i­mized rib­bon, clas­sic 2003 UI, and a some­what less intru­sive sil­ver gradient:

Phew. I also rec­om­mend set­ting the default "Save" options as your reg­u­lar Word ".doc" instead of the new ".docx" (or other .xlsx and .pptx equiv­a­lents) as that is a bit more stan­dard even today in 2008.

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Have slow load­ing Word doc­u­ments, or pass­word pro­tected Excel spread­sheets for which you have for­got­ten a pass­word? Who'd have thunk of this solu­tion to your MS Office woes..

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Two great tools that pro­vide the info in great detail.

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Here's a cool, handy macro to auto-generate a Table of Con­tents for any Excel file.

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So you have Office XP, but can­not get it to update from Microsoft's Office Update web­site? Here are some ways to patch­ing MS Office in such a way that it accepts all cur­rently released updates as well.

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