When you first open up Microsoft Office Word 2007, Excel 2007 or PowerPoint 2007, you will see a lot of features that look familiar, such as your Word document workspace or Excel worksheet. But you'll also notice a brand new look at the top of the window.
The new Office 2007 products have a new ribbon interface instead of the menu bar found in previous versions. The ribbon is an area across the top of the screen that is divided into tabs. Each tab contains the commands that you already know how to use. The organization of the commands may be a little bit different from before, but this change greatly improves the user's ability to use and find features in this new version. With a little time and exposure, you'll find that the ribbon is simpler to use and the commands easier to find. Click here for a short overview of the ribbon interface. Here are links to reference materials published by the University of Victoria Students Facilites Group (PDF):
Office 2007 also introduces new XML-based file formats. Documents created in the Office 2007 versions will have a x at the end of the filename extension – .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx instead of .doc, .xls, and .ppt. Documents created in Office 2007 will not open in older versions of Office unless you have the Microsoft Office 2007 Compatibility pack installed. If you are using Office 2003 on Windows XP, you may be prompted by Office to automatically download the compatibility pack as you attempt to open a document created in the 2007 version. If you would like to have Office 2007 installed, please contact the IS&T Call Center at x5050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are resources that can facilitate a smoother transition to Office 2007: