To continue with a deeper analysis of Office for Mac 2008, I'd like to share with you some thoughts on the enhancements made to each individual app. I don't think any review can fully grasp how much of a joy it is to use the new product, hopefully a discussion on a few great features will peak your interest.
Desktop Publishing View
Tools are at the top in desktop publishing mode. Text and pictures are no longer linked and can be placed independently like painting on a canvas. This mode is great for creating marketing collateral like brochures and pamphlets. I almost feels like Microsoft Publisher but much less heavy and more agile.
This view is conducive to its named intent -- creating notes. Interestingly, the view borrows a lot of ideas and concepts from Microsoft OneNote, my favorite Microsoft application. Users can do things like sort lists and tables while using it like a word processor. Also, the layout and UI is tweaked to give a look and feel of a binder with full amenities like section tabs and coloration. The biggest disappointment is that it is not compatible with native OneNote files which is a shame because I think OneNote has huge potential on the Mac platform.
Print Layout View
Designed for reports, bibliographies, research documents, formal documents. Templates can be auto-customized using "themes." "Themes" retain the styling elements of template while subtly changing colors and fonts to personalize the look.
Creating a "table of contents" hierarchy is easier with quick access in the UI.
Bibliography are made easy by using the "Citation" tab. By simply filling in the blanks of a form, students, researchers and professionals can add appropriately formatted headers, footnotes, and bibliographies in the standard format used in journals. The citation feature goes so far as to eliminate the need to lookup format styles so regardless of what format you need to use, your references will always be italicized, bold, or underlined when necessary as defined by the standard. I wish I had this feature in high school!
Old-style Toolbars are retained! This should please many legacy users that don't like or want to learn the new user interface. This is actually an amazing feat considering the Windows version of Office dropped the old toolbar system all together. I find it interesting that a peanut sized team in the MacBU could create a new UI and support the old style while the behemoth Office team couldn't. Maybe there is a good reason. If I were a betting man, I would put money that Office 14 will add back in the old-style toolbars pre-Office 2007 due to customer demand *speculation* even though I think standard toolbars are useless.
Amazing templates and themes make this an overall a worthy update to Word!
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