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The 25 best new Office 2010 features

The productivity suite gets even better

Even after 20 years, Microsoft is finding useful capabilities to add to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. We look at the 25 best features in the latest version of the productivity suite.

PowerPoint 2010

Video editing
PowerPoint 2010 now has the ability to edit embedded video, so you don't have to go to an external video-editing program. The editing tools aren't incredibly capable just yet, but they do allow for trimming the video (found on the Playback contextual ribbon under Editing) and adjusting the brightness, colour, and style.

Broadcast slideshows
Deliver live presentations over the internet to remote users by using the new Broadcast Slide Show feature. Note: You need a Windows Live ID for this to work.

Distribute slideshows as video
Now you can convert your presentation into a video that you can upload to a site such as YouTube or distribute easily as a file for others to play.

Animation painter
This very cool feature lets you take the animation settings of one object and paint them onto another object or selection of multiple objects.

This feature allows you to break your slide deck into sections. You can create the sections and move them around, which helps with organisation and collaboration quite a bit.

Transition improvements
The transitions and animations features now each have their own ribbon to work from. There are a ton of new transitions to choose from, and the older transitions look better than ever.

Outlook 2010

Conversation view
This feature allows you to manage your email correspondence through groupings where you can condense and categorise the emails you receive. This feature can be enabled/disabled through the View ribbon under the Conversations group with a single click. You can even ignore a conversation that perhaps has become boring or irrelevant to you.

Sometimes you need a little help when sending an email. For example, when you are blind-copied on a message, you often don't want to reply-all, as doing so exposes the fact that you were secretly in the loop. In Outlook 2010, if you do reply-all to a message you were blind-copied on, a MailTip appears to let you know you are about to reveal your having been in the loop. This is one example of the many helpful MailTips.

Social connector
Although not completely baked, this feature is excellent for keeping you connected with your SharePoint 2010 world. Ultimately, the goal is for you to see at-a-glance information about people who are emailing you. The SharePoint connection is strong in that you can view your colleagues' information (you might see a picture of the person, communication history, meetings, attachments, and activity feeds). Downloadable connectors allow you to reach out to social media sites such as Facebook www.facebook.com for additional news about the person you've selected.

Quick steps
Sometimes you have an entire ritual when it comes to handling emails. Quick steps are like little macros that allow you to simplify the tasks. You can use the built-in steps located on the Home ribbon, or you can create your own. Configure these to make your common "rituals" that much easier to perform.

Sometimes your mailbox is cluttered with redundant messages. Use the new Clean Up option (located on the Home ribbon under the Delete group) to tidy the folder or conversation.

Are there more features in Office 2010? Absolutely. These are just the ones I believe are outstanding and worth considering.

See also: How to: use and edit video in PowerPoint 2010

  1. The productivity suite gets even better
  2. Word 2010
  3. PowerPoint 2010

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