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When Microsoft Office 2007 first made its appearance last year, there were lots of comments on its revamped interface, with its radically different look. Microsoft had bitten the bullet and made usability changes which require its customers to relearn the ways they set about everyday tasks.

The functions that were originally all on drop-down menus are grouped together in full view at the top of the screen. The whole interface is a lot more graphical and immediate, as you can directly get at many functions you used to have to dig down to reach.

It's not just about looks, though. Office uses a new file format, based on XML, which makes it more directly compatible with other applications. According to Microsoft, it also produces smaller documents, separates out macro scripts, making it easier to block rogue code, and makes documents less susceptible to corruption. Word 2007 still opens and saves Word .doc files, though, so you can create and edit the mass of files you probably already have in the older format.

Getting the most out of the new version of Word involves a bit of learning, a bit of exploration and a bit of knowing where to look for the best bits. Hopefully, this feature and its accompanying videos will provide at least two out of the three.

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