There’s a video on the MS web site explaining the Office 2007 user interface.
The best way to get an understanding of the upcoming Office 2007 user interface is the video that is available on the Microsoft web site
The new UI is hard to describe in either words or pictures, so the video is a good move. The video will give you a better idea of how some key features work like:
- Live Preview
- Office Menu
- Better tooltips
- Pop-up toolbar (which works better in reality than even the video indicates)
- IGX Graphics (aka diagrams)
Hopefully the video will also put to rest the fears about contextual menus being too intrusive when you see how they work.
You’ll also see some examples of Galleries which, as we’ve said before, is a classic two-edged sword. It will let you format documents, tables, footers and other elements using pre-defined selections. Picture Position is an example of a useful gallery and the way Live Preview will be useful.
Galleries also bring the risk of ‘Powerpoint disease’ spreading. If you’ve become bored with most Powerpoint presentations looking the same, imagine that pre-packaged formatting spreading to Word and Excel as well. Microsoft says it’ll be easier to make good looking documents, however the problem is that most of those documents will then look the same.
Despite what it says on the video, Office 2007 Galleries will not make documents look exactly how you want, it’ll impose one of a set of pre-defined styles that you may not exactly want, but to do something else is too hard or time-consuming. That isn’t Microsoft’s fault, it’s the reality of people and the world we live in.
The video is the next best thing to trying Office 2007 for yourself. I’m not so sure that people will be ‘very comfortable’ with the new UI in a few minutes because people are more wary of change than software developers would like.
As you’d expect, the video is a professional production with all the usual Microsoft catch phrases including:
- ‘Excited’ a staple of Microsoft scripts is which is spoken on the video before even 15 seconds are up! – this is an overused and usually inappropriate term by ‘softies and really should be placed on hiatus.
- ‘Results Oriented’
Watching the video will also let you see just two of the smart people who have worked on the new look Office 2007. Look out for Julie Larson-Green and Jensen Harris showing off their handiwork – these are people who know their stuff.