Office 2010 introduces new tools that improve the efficiency of the notoriously bloated productivity suite. Here, we look at time-saving tips for all versions of Office.

Microsoft Office 2010 is expected to go on sale in the next month or so. Available in beta since late 2009, Office 2010 introduces new tools that improve the efficiency of the notoriously bloated productivity suite.

These include the ability to preview paste options and edit images within a Word document; create Sparkline charts in Excel - tiny graphs within a cell that summarise data in preceding cells; and broadcast a PowerPoint presentation without first setting up a web meeting.

Outlook also gets a revamp, with the ribbon interface first introduced to other Office programs in the 2007 suite looking likely to make email management easier. You'll be able to view threaded conversations, too.

But the biggest change of all is the introduction of Office Web Apps. This online dimension to the suite is Microsoft's nod towards the cloud. Using this, you'll be able to view, edit and share Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote documents online.

You don't need to have Office 2010 installed to use Web Apps; documents can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection and in any web browser.

This first iteration of Web Apps will have limited functionality, but it's a move we're happy to see Microsoft make. The online version of Word will offer basic functions such as printing documents, copying and pasting text, inserting images and hyperlinks, creating tables and spellchecking. Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will have even fewer features.

Another provision for working online sees Office 2010 integrating the Windows Live SkyDrive storage service, offering up to 25GB.

Microsoft has promised a free Office 2010 upgrade voucher to those who buy Office 2007 between now and 30 September. Editions purchased with an educational discount are excluded from this offer.

For new users, Office 2010 will cost £109 for a Home and Student three-user licence, £239 for a Home and Business two-user licence and £429 for a Professional two-user licence.

Here, we look at time-saving tips for all versions of Office.

Use Microsoft Word more efficiently

Step 1. It can be irritating to copy and paste text from the web into a Word document and find that hyperlinks remain intact. Right-clicking each link and choosing ‘Remove Hyperlink' can be time-consuming if you have multiple instances; instead, select all the text (Ctrl, A) and press Ctrl, Shift, F9.

MS Word step 1

Step 2. It's possible to increase font sizes by double-clicking to select the text you want and then choosing from the options available in the ribbon toolbar. A faster method is to hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to select the text, then press ] to increase or [ to decrease the font size in 1pt increments.

MS Word step 2

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Also see:

Get to grips with Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office 2010 review

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps review

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Office 2010 introduces new tools that improve the efficiency of the notoriously bloated productivity suite. Here, we look at time-saving tips for all versions of Office.


Step 3. Shuffling paragraphs around using normal cut-and-paste methods can be fiddly. To save time, place the cursor anywhere within the paragraph you want to move. Press Alt, Shift and the Up arrow to swap the paragraph with the one above it or Alt, Shift and the Down arrow to move it down.

MS Word step 3

Step 4. Tables can be tricky to edit and format. To release the text, highlight it, choose the Table tab and click Convert, Table to Text. When you've finished editing, separate your columns with Tab breaks and click Convert, Text to Table. You'll be presented with options to adjust the width of columns and rows in the table.

MS Word step 4

Step 5. If you want to create a document with some parts invisible to some readers, the Hidden text function is ideal. Select the text you want to hide, then click Format, Font and select ‘Hidden'. To view it, click Tools, Options, View and tick ‘Hidden Text'. To print the whole document select Options, Print and select ‘Hidden Text'.

MS Word step 5

Step 6. Microsoft Office comes with a number of document templates; if you can't find what you need, more can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/4oraj. Alternatively, create your own. To save a document as a template, choose Save As and select Document Template in the ‘Save as type' field.

MS Word step 6

>> NEXT PAGE: Helpful downloads

Also see:

Get to grips with Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office 2010 review

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps review

More productivity suite reviews

PC Advisor Software Shop

Office 2010 introduces new tools that improve the efficiency of the notoriously bloated productivity suite. Here, we look at time-saving tips for all versions of Office.

Helpful downloads

Xobni is a free add-on that runs in a sidebar and makes it easier to find messages, contacts and anything else in Outlook. Emails between you and each of your contacts are shown as threaded conversations, listing every message and file exchanged.
Stat fans will enjoy Xobni's running total of how many messages you've exchanged, along with more inconsequential information.

Outlook can quickly become very bloated, storing all its data, including messages and attachments, in a single .pst file. This results in the email client loading and running more slowly, and may even lead to system crashes. Kopf Outlook Attachment Remover reduces the size of your .pst file by moving attachments to a less crowded home and replacing them with a link to the file in your inbox.

Older versions of Microsoft Office are unable to open documents created in Office 2007 and later unless they have been specifically saved in a compatible file format. Microsoft's Office Compatibility pack is a free download that enables Office 2000, XP and 2003 users to open, edit and save files using newer versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Also see:

Get to grips with Office Web Apps

Microsoft Office 2010 review

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps review

More productivity suite reviews

PC Advisor Software Shop