Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Preparing to Switch

Eventually, Office 2007 will replace Office 2003. I've talked about it before and gave some suggestions about the differences. And I've just discovered something that will make the transition easier.

But first, as is my wont, a little history. I wrote previously about Lotus 1-2-3 and how Microsoft had to work to detrone it as the standard spreadsheet. One of Microsoft's techniques was to let you type in Lotus commands and have Excel translate them and give you a quick demo of how to do it in Excel. Soon users learned the new commands and had very little downtime.

Microsoft is doing something similar with the Word 2007 demo. They have both a web-based and downloadable Flash presentation that shows what a give Word 2003 command looks like in Word 2007. The short clip below shows how it works. I've chosen the "Headers and Footers" command, since it's one of the least logically located one in Word 2003.

Blogger made this display too small to use. To see the full-size demo, go to the demo link. (Requires Windows Media Player)

You can find the online demo at and the downloadable demo at It's actualy kind of fun, and a nice reference (Tip: You can download the downloadable version and it will work nicely on your computer. Very easy install: only one file.)


Rene Molineaux here at I&TS has pointed out that Microsoft has similar interactive demos for all the Office 2007 products. A full list can be found on their website.