Microsoft Office 2007 with Excel , Word 2007, PowerPoint & Outlook . July 2009 . Vol. 15 No. 7

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

June 2009 - -Adobe Contribute CS4, Adobe Soundbooth CS4 & After Effects CS

May 2009 --Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Adobe OnLocation CS4 and Adobe Encore CS4 plus My Electric Guitar and My Violin from eMedia

April 2009 -- Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3, Set, Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Adobe Flash CS4 Professional from Adobe Systems Inc.

Microsoft Office 2007 with Excel 2007, Word 2007, PowerPoint 2007 & Outlook 2007
By Howard Berenbon

Microsoft Office 2007 is the latest edition of one of the most widely used and best known suites of business applications for the PC.  It’s just about everything you’d need to make your office function right including their Excel spreadsheet to record , manipulate and analyze data, Word 2007 for simple or complex text documents, PowerPoint to make that perfect presentation and Outlook, for Internet e-mail communication with calendar, contacts , time management and more.  Over the years, various incarnations of these office applications have taken root into most IBM compatible and Macintosh personal computers as a foundation for taking care of business in this age of computers.  It’s hard to imagine using a mechanical typewriter to create documents and presentations, but before Microsoft and other early word processor designers, that’s what everyone used.  Now, you wouldn’t think of running a business without a computer.

I originally reviewed Microsoft Office Professional 2000 in April 2001 and have used it over the years on newer computers with upgraded operating systems without problems.  This new version, Office 2007, is a total redesign with a new look, and some new features that make it better than ever.   I was eager to see the differences because I’ve heard the critics say, “It’s more difficult to use, and they shouldn’t have changed it.”  But I totally disagree with the criticism and was pleasantly pleased with the new edition.   Microsoft Office 2007 is much easier to use, and the changes are welcomed.  I do agree that at first, it felt a little odd to work with, but it didn’t take much time to get used to, and to realize that the tabs menus and other changes made everything better.

After a quick installation from a single CD, I noticed an improved on-screen look.  The workspace in Office 2007 is now bordered in blue and seems clearer, while the tool bar at the top offers many more options, and is easier to read.  I also couldn’t help but notice (or not notice), that the Office Assistant (a paperclip with eyes) was nowhere to be found.  In Office 2000, it would always pop up for your attention.  Okay, it was a help feature, but it turned up too often and was eventually annoying.  The new help feature (Help and How-to) is very through, and is accessed by clicking on the ? icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen in Excel, Word and PowerPoint, and near the top middle of the screen in Outlook.

What’s New and Improved

Microsoft Excel 2007

Excel 2007 is the latest and greatest spreadsheet application used to help with repetitive calculations.  A single spreadsheet, or worksheet, can hold thousands of cells of data in the form of numbers, text and mathematical formulas, each located by its column and row.  Simple and complex applications can be designed for your business needs including data lists, reports and complex accounting systems with charts and graphs.   The chart feature, accessed from the Insert tab, offers more chart options than ever including Column, Line, Pie, Bar, Area, Scatter and more.   You can design your own spreadsheet, or purchase spreadsheets already designed for your own needs: business or personal. For example, a single Excel worksheet can be designed to project future product sales from past sales entered with a bar chart so you can visualize those projections.  All functions are available from the new top tabular menus, with Home, Insert, Page Layout, Formulas, Data, References, Review, View, Add-Ins and Acrobat.

Microsoft Word 2007

Word 2007 has everything you need to create most documents for your business and personal applications.  It allows you to add and remove text, change fonts and character size, now right in the spot where you’re editing.  You can add graphics and save your files in various formats including PDF, the default Word format, as a template, for use in older Word versions (97-2003) and more. Other features allow you to check and correct spelling errors (even as you're typing), get some advice on your grammar and look up the best word in the thesaurus.   If you use other languages to communicate, like German, French, Italian or Spanish, Word supports you with language specific proofing tools for checking and correcting spelling and grammar.  It supports more than 80 languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and over 200 if you count the different language dialects.  Now with the new and improved tab menu system, it’s quick and easy to get to the spelling, grammar and translate features.  At the top of the page you’ll see Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, View, Add-Ins and Acrobat.  To get to the Thesaurus, just click on the Review tab, highlight the word you want to replace, and then click on Thesaurus at the top left. A vertical Research box will open on the right and you’ll see the related word.

Word 2007 also makes it easy to add and create tables, add photos, shapes, clip art, WordArt, add Internet hyperlinks and much more.  And it’s very easy to access all these enhancements just by clicking on the Insert tab menu.  When you’re done creating your document, it’s simple to save and print.  To save, just click on diskette icon at the top of the screen, or you can click on the Microsoft logo (also known as the Office Button) at the top for other options including printing and saving in a number of different formats.  One nice and needed new feature allows you to open more than one document at a time so you can cut and paste data from one to another easily.  Word 2007 is a powerful word processor that lets you design complicated pages with text and graphics that you can use for publishing, similar to a typesetting program.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2007

PowerPoint 2007 lets you design professional looking presentations for business or education. You’ll build your slides, one by one, adding text, graphics, tables, charts, animation, music and sounds (voice and sound effects) until you've created that perfect presentation to help get your point across. After you run the program, at the top of the page you’ll see Home, Insert, Design, Animations, Slide Show, Review, View and Acrobat.  And the Office Button is at the top far left, for saving and printing your work. You also find new themes and background designs from within the Design tab.   PowerPoint 2007 offers much more, and is easier to use than earlier PowerPoint programs.

Microsoft Outlook 2007

Outlook 2007 is Microsoft's business e-mail client offering e-mail and more.  It has everything you need to work online and off including a calendar, contact list, tasks, appointments and more.  After you run Outlook, you’ll see the standard drop-down menus with File, Edit, View, Go, Tools, Actions, Help and Adobe PDF.  The tab menu system as seen in Word, PowerPoint and Excel, is mostly missing.  Though, I did find the tabular menus when accessing Account Settings.  Outlook 2007 looks a lot more like the older versions of Outlook, but with more features with a new and improved search feature, which is appreciated.

Microsoft Office 2007 offers a great new set of re-designed programs for any home or business application.  It sells for $287.63 and will run on any multimedia PC, 500 MHz processor or higher, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, Vista, Windows Server 2003 with SP1 or later,  256 MB RAM , 1.5 GB hard disk space, Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher with a 1024x768 resolution monitor and a CD-ROM or DVD drive.  For more information, or to order, visit

Howard Berenbon

Software Companies Mentioned

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: 1-206-882-8080