Create incredible documents more easily using Office 2010
Each version of Microsoft Office introduces new tools and new methods for creating content. But when you have a limited amount of time to get things done in the programs you depend upon every day, is that change a good thing?
Yes, actually. That change is a very good thing when it gives you easy ways to create better documents in less time.
Microsoft Office 2007 introduced several important new features for working with documents, such as themes and SmartArt graphics for use in multiple programs, building blocks in Microsoft Word, and customizable slide layouts in Microsoft PowerPoint. See the article Beyond the Ribbon: Create better documents using Office 2007 for more about these and other document-centric features introduced in that version.
Now, Microsoft Office 2010 introduces extraordinary new technologies that give you the power to create the content you’ve always wanted. From flexible, easy-to-use features that help your ideas shine to tools designed to save you time and give you better results, you might be amazed at how easy it is to create incredible documents.
This article introduces some of my favorite new features for creating beautiful documents and working more easily with Office 2010.
Create content that gets your ideas noticed
From multimedia PowerPoint presentations to letter-perfect Word documents and stunning new ways to visualize data in Microsoft Excel workbooks, Office 2010 offers many new features that help you make exactly the statement you want to with every document you create. Take a brief look at a few of these great new tools.
Embed and customize video in your PowerPoint presentations
When you insert a video from your files into a PowerPoint 2010 presentation, it’s now embedded by default. So you no longer need to manage multiple files when you share multimedia PowerPoint presentations electronically.
Customize and edit your video right in PowerPoint with a range of tools including video trim, fade, effects, and more. You can trigger animation of other objects on the slide to begin when a specific point in your video is reached during playback, such as to display captions on key points in the video. Or use the new Poster Frame feature to display a picture or a frame from the movie in the video area when it’s not playing, to add to the visual story and to avoid printing black slides.
Compress video with just a couple of clicks to reduce the size of the presentation for easier sharing and better playback performance.
Edit and format video from directly within PowerPoint 2010.
Many of the new tools for working with video in PowerPoint are also available to the audio files you insert on your slides, such as trim and fade.
PowerPoint 2010 also enables you to insert videos that you have uploaded to a website, for playback directly in your presentation.
Learn more about working with video in your PowerPoint 2010 presentations.
Give text as much impact as graphics in your Word documents
Word 2010 introduces two powerful new features to help you easily format document text like a professional designer.
OpenType typography. Create the look of professional typesetting with support for typography features that are stored in many OpenType fonts, such as the ligatures and stylistic sets shown here.
Use ligatures to combine character pairs and stylistic sets to add flourish to your fonts.
Learn more about OpenType typography features in Word 2010.
Text effects. Apply many of the same effects to text that you do to graphics and pictures, including custom shadows, bevels, reflections, and more. You can select from many preset formats or customize your own. Because you apply these text effects directly to document text, you can still spell-check text that uses effects or add text effects to styles.
On the Home tab, in the Font group , find the Text Effects gallery. For even more text effect options, press CTRL+D to open the Font dialog box and then click Text Effects to open the Format Text Effects dialog box.
Apply effects, such as gradient fills, bevels, and reflections, directly to document text.
Note: The command named WordArt that you find on the Insert tab in Word 2010 now inserts a text box that uses these same effects. Text effects were introduced in PowerPoint and Excel in Office 2007, and are called WordArt in those programs.
Add a spark to your Excel data
Excel 2010 introduces several new and improved tools for visually expressing your data, but my hands-down favorite is the new Sparklines feature. Sparklines are tiny charts that you insert directly into a worksheet cell. They’re easy to create and to customize, and they go a long way to helping your data tell the story.
On the Insert tab, find column, line, and win/loss Sparklines. When you insert or select a Sparkline on a worksheet, the Sparkline Tools Design tab becomes available. From there, you can customize many aspects of these great little charts.
Learn how to create and use Sparklines.
Use Sparklines in Excel 2010 to visualize trends in your data.
Customize and perfect your pictures across your Office 2010 documents
Office 2010 helps you get the right picture every time, in practically no time, with advanced picture editing tools in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook. When you select a picture in your document, the Picture Tools Format tab provides a wide range of new and improved features. Here are a few of my favorites:
Improved picture cropping. See the whole picture in shadow as you just drag to crop or resize the image within the crop area and quickly zoom in on the piece you need. You can also crop your image to a shape or to a specified aspect ratio.
Artistic effects. Apply professional-quality artistic effects, such as paint strokes, plastic wrap, or glow edges. You can just click to apply an effect from the gallery or customize effects for exactly the look you want.
Remove background. Quickly and easily remove unwanted parts of your picture.
Learn about working with these and other new and improved picture editing tools.
Work more easily on your own or with others
Office 2010 isn’t just about creating beautiful content that helps you express your ideas. It’s also about having tools that help you work more easily—whether you need to get things done on your own or with a team, from your office or from the other side of the world.
When you accidentally close a document without saving, would you like to get that work back instead of starting over? Would it save you time if you could edit a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file at the same time as other people on your team? Now you can.
Recover files that you close without saving
In earlier versions of Microsoft Office, you could often recover unsaved changes if the program closed unexpectedly, such as if the power goes out and shuts down your computer. But if you closed the file yourself without saving (and who hasn’t done that at some point or another?), you were out of luck. The time you spent and the work you created were lost. Well, not anymore.
If you work for a while and then accidentally close the document without saving, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint now enable you to recover content—even if you never saved the file.
Access drafts of documents that were never saved. To do this, in Backstage view, on the Info tab, click Manage Versions.
You can also access up to the last five autosave versions of your previously saved active document from the Info tab in Backstage view. By default, the last autosave version remains available temporarily if you close the document without saving.
Access recovered unsaved files and autosave versions in Backstage view, on the Info tab.
Tip: Right-click an available autosave version for the option to compare it to the current version of your active document.
Learn about enabling autosave functionality and using other AutoRecover features in Office 2010. For more information about working with the new recovery features, see the Power Tips sections in the Word, Excel and PowerPoint product guides.
Get to your information faster with improved find and navigation tools in Word
The improved Navigation pane in Word 2010 (formerly called the Document Map) gives you several new tools for organizing and finding content in your documents.
Drag headings to rearrange portions of your document. If you’ve used Outline view to rearrange long documents in the past, it’s even easier to do in the Navigation pane, with a consolidated outline of headings and the ability to easily drag those headings within the pane. When you move a heading, the content under that heading moves with it automatically.
View a linked summary of search results. Find is now integrated right in the Navigation pane (in fact, the familiar CTRL+F keyboard shortcut now opens the Navigation pane to the Search box). A new results pane shows you a summary of all search results. Click any result shown in this pane to move to that point in the document.
Automatic highlighting of search results. When you search for document text in Word 2010, results are highlighted automatically throughout the document. You also see highlighting in the Navigation pane: Headings are highlighted when those portions of the document contain search hits, and you can see highlighted search results at a glance on the thumbnails pane.
View a summary of search results in the Navigation pane and click any result to move that point in the document.
Tip: To access the familiar Find dialog box with advanced find options, in the Navigation pane, click the arrow beside the search box, and then click Advanced Find. Or, press CTRL+H to open the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
Enable the Navigation pane from the View tab, in the Show group.
Watch a brief video to learn more about working with the navigation pane in Word 2010.
Simultaneously edit files with other people in different locations
Want to get things done faster when working with others on projects? With Office 2010, you no longer need to wait your turn to edit a document.
Simultaneous editing, or co-authoring, as it’s known in Office 2010, is available for Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. Just save the file to a SharePoint 2010 site or to a Windows Live SkyDrive folder. Then, open the file for editing in Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010 at the same time that someone else has the same copy of the file open for editing, and you’re automatically co-authoring. Other editors see changes that you make when you save the file.
Simultaneous editing for Excel workbooks is available using Excel Web App. You can use Excel Web App via SharePoint 2010 if your organization has installed it. Or, use Excel Web App on SkyDrive using your free Windows Live ID.
Simultaneous editing of shared notebooks was available in OneNote 2007 for use with others on your computer network. Now, you can edit the same OneNote notebook with virtually anyone using OneNote 2010 or OneNote Web App when you save the file to a SharePoint 2010 site or to SkyDrive.
To get started, save the files you want to share and edit with others to your SharePoint 2010 site or to docs.live.com.
Learn more about co-authoring in PowerPoint.
Watch a video about co-authoring in Word.
Learn more about using Office Web Apps on SharePoint 2010 or on SkyDrive.
Learn more about simultaneous editing in OneNote.
To learn more about what’s new in Office 2010, visit Microsoft Office Online.
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