My opinion of Office 2007
This is the software suite that contains PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook.
They spelled ‘Office’ correctly
First of all, I use Thunderbird for my email and Firefox for my browser. Both are Mozilla products. Both are free and both are grabbing huge market share from Microsoft.
The Office 2007 suite is essentially a new product with no advantages. It looks like MS just put it together to have something new to sell. If you read reviews, you will find a mixed bag. There are those that love it and there are those that hate it. I have never met, in person, someone that had a single good thing to say about it. My guess is that positive reviews are given by MS employees.
There is very little compatibility between Office 2003 and Office 2007. You can save a document from 2007 in the 2003 format but if you are going to do that, why have 2007 to begin with.
2007 has a ‘ribbon’ which is nothing more than a fat toolbar.
There is no help feature on 2007 unless you have access to the internet.
A typical problem: My office sends me a PowerPoint presentation made in 2003. I want to change the background using my 2007. Cannot be done. I have to send it back, along with my comments for someone else to fix.
Learning Office 2007 is like learning new, complicated software from scratch. I have had it for 18 months and I still have problems finding things that were easy to locate in 2003.
My Word 2007 will never shut down on its own. It crashes and reboots and crashes and reboots …all on its own. I now simply push the ‘off’ button on my computer so I can escape from the endless loop of crashing and recovery with Word.
I asked Microsoft to send me a copy of Office 2003 to install on my computer and had not heard from them. They may have thought I was joking. I was not.
I don’t have Vista but I have heard nothing good about it as well. I generally get a new laptop about every 2 years. My current one is 2.5 years old. I am putting off getting a new one simply because it will come with Vista and Office 2007, both downgrades.
I may switch to Mac.
July 10th 2008
I continue to fight with 2007. Its not a matter of having to learn new software. Its that 2007 simply does not work. It crashes constantly, especially when trying to be backwards compatible. It tries to be intuitive and never guesses correctly. For example...try to work with the data in a chart, then try to take that data and transfer it to a non-chart file in Excel and see what happens. Or, make a background for a PowerPoint presentation, then import a chart to the presentation. You will find it has no background. The assumption is that you did not want your original background applied to the new chart you just added. I have never, ever, ever, used a presentation that that logic would apply to. Open Powerpoint and then look at some chart data, then go to another slide and look at its data. Then open Excel and look at some random data...then go get some coffee. When you come back, try to guess which excel spreadsheet applies to which chart....good luck. PowerPoint highlights two charts on the left...the chart you last looked at an the one you have touched with your mouse in the side bar. Now click "delete" and see which one goes away.....this fun and game thing just goes on and on.
I went online to see if I could load Office 2003. You can but only if 2007 is deleted. There are conflicting reports on this. Some say it can be loaded along side 2007 and some say it cannot be done. In any event, if you have both loaded, you cannot make 2003 your default version so you will still have to manually switch back to 2003 from 2007.
I plan on trying some open source office stuff later this month.
I just tired to open up my book AWARE. I have not written anything in it for a few weeks. This is book 2 and represents about 80,000 words. When I tried to open it, Word told me it was corrupted. Corrupted! How does that happen? I have an updated virus package. I have firewalls...etc...nothing from the outside gets into my computer uninvited. So it has to be an inside job. However, I did nothing other than type in words. No importing of pictures or data or any of that other stuff that can confuse a Microsoft product. So, Office 2007 self corrupted my file. Fortunately, I have a backup copy on Writing.com. It is missing the last 10-20 pages but at least it is there. This software is awful.
I just bought a new phone...a Treo 755. It will not hotsync with Windows Vista nor with Outlook 2007. Typical Microsoft incompatibility issues.
An apparent guaranteed way to get Office 2007 to freeze is to try and insert a mathematical equation.
Here is my latest when working with Microsoft's leading productivity tool
I am in a hotel and I need to print a word document.
1. Copy document to memory stick and take to hotel computer
2. Hotel computer version of Word does not recognize Office 2007 version of word
3. Hook up computer to hotel printer
4. Office XP does not recognize Brother Brand computer so cannot load drivers
5. Rename document on laptop so I can save it in older version of word. This is a must since the icons look almost identical and I want to be able to tell which one is 2003 and which is 2007
6. Copy new document to memory stick
7. Call up document on Hotel computer version of Word only to find that all fonts are different as are all margins etc.
8. Spend 10 minutes redoing fonts to make up for lack of compatability
Total time...about half an hour....using Microsoft's best productivity tool to print a single word document.
I haven't checked in lately to say what a pain in the ass Office 2007 is.
More problems (not all inclusive)
Try saving a powerpoint from one version into the other version...takes a long time and tons of cautionary messages pop up to tell you where you have lost compatability.
Make a chart and try to nudge it. You can't. You must grab and drag it.
Make a chart, shrink it so it only takes up half a slide, then try to copy and paste it so you and put 2 small charts on one slide...can't be done.To do this you have to copy the slide, then copy the chart off of the new slide and then paste it back on the original slide. Note: When you do this, there is a better than 50% chance that the data you enter in the second chart will not change the chart bars. To make the new data change the bars, you must go into excel and change the range (to anthing) and then change the range back to where it was. I know this is confusing...part of the deal when working with Microsoft products.
Bad news. Office 2007 has become incompatible even with itself. I just got a new laptop and found that many of my Office 2007 documents on the old laptop will not open with Office 2007 on the new laptop. I researched this and it is a common problem that Microsoft actually calls a "feature". It keeps you from opening damaged documents. If fails to mention that the damaged documents were created by the very same software. By the way, these same damaged documents still open in my old laptop.
December 23rd 2008
I am now working with an excel 2003 document in excel 2007. I have a pivot table open with some criteria eliminated so the row numbers are not sequential. I tried to count the rows remaining by starting in a new column with a 1 then down to a 2. I grab the 1 and 2 cells and drag then down. They should begin to count. Instead, they repeat 1 and 2. The cell is formatted as numbers. I am the only one in the office with 2007 and I am the only one that has an excel program that cannot count.
Over the last week, I have had to share a lot of documents with people from other companies. The ability of Word 2007 to open any Word 2003 document appears to be inversely related to the importance of the document. The higher the importance, the lower the likelihood that Word 2007 will open it.
May 9th, 2009
It has been a while since I checked in on this and I think it is only fair to do so from time to time. I say this because perhaps my problems with Office 2007 are of my own making. Perhaps I just didn't just know the software well enough.
So, now that I know Office 2007 inside and out, I can say that THIS IS THE WORSE THING I HAVE EVER LOADED ONTO MY COMPUTER. I actually went out and bought the professional version a couple of months ago thinking maybe the problem was that I didn't have a robust enough version. There is no difference. Nothing is compatible backwards (to office 2003) and forwards (incompatibility with itself). There are so many things that you cannot do in Word, PowerPoint and Excel that you could do easily in 2003. It has been months and I have still not spoken with a live human that has anything good to say about this junk. They are not neutral; they hate it as much as I do. I can find forums online where someone says something good but it is typically a mircorsoft forum fan club type thing (translated to: an inhouse microsoft self promotion).
Microsoft is laying people off in droves. The reason they give is "Economic Slowdown". The real reason is that they cannot compete any longer. Firefox is the better browser. Thunderbird is better for email. The old version of Office is way better than 2007 so no one is upgrading. Vista is a dismal failure and Windows 7 looks to be more of the same.
Sure, people are not buying new computers. The reason for this is they don't consider a way faster piece of hardware with crappy software to be an upgrade. I have a cutting edge laptop and I spend part of each day watching Vista shutdown and restart Office 2007. Crashes are a way of life for Microsoft these days.
My next computer will be a mac.
May 11, 2009
I found an unopened copy of Office 2003 on the internet. It should be in my office by the next time I am in my office. I am really looking forward to downgrading from the best Microsoft has to offer today to their best from 6 years ago.