We're back to live events, which is why I have fallen a little behind with my posting again. Tom from Chicago asked me about the Office 2007 interface at my event this week. Here you go, Tom! (And this is helpful for all the rest of you who are using Office 2007, too!)
The new interface (referred to as "the ribbon") in Office 2007 is actually called the Fluent Interface. It is designed in such a way that all the commands are exposed, rather than being hidden deep in the bowels of a menu structure. The idea behind this redesign is to allow "normal" users to easily use the software as efficiently as a power user. Rather than an arbitrary group of menus, the commands are all organized logically. Everything, for instance, which you may want to insert into a document is available on the "Insert" tab of the ribbon.
But, those of us who've been using Microsoft Office for a long time are quite familiar with the incredibly complex menu structures. I've even heard some people complain because they miss them. (You know who you are!) :) I have good news. I can't make those menus come back (and even if I knew how, I doubt I would tell you), but I can provide a translation. If you are looking for something that you knew how to do in Office 2003, then look no further! Use the resources available here. You have two options:
1. An interactive guide: this option shows you the menu from the Office 2003 program you select. It allows you to delve into the menu and choose a command. It then translates that into an Office 2007 command by showing you how to perform the same task in Office 2007. My guess is, once you see it, you'll realize how much sense it makes. :)
2. A mapping workbook: this option provides an Excel spreadsheet for each program, outlining all of the commands and showing you how they map from Office 2003 to Office 2007.
You can even download the tools and have them available to you right from within the ribbon!
If you were a power user in Office 2003 and you're feeling a little out of your element now, both of these resources can assist you in getting back to your former status as "office guru." (Because let's face it -- that's what it is really about, right?) :)