Today I wanted to mention two cool Office 2007 features that you might not have heard much about.

SmartArt

The first one is called SmartArt. Think of it as a way to represent information graphically with about as much work as typing a simple bulleted list.

More than a simple diagramming tool or organizational chart maker (although it does these things great as well), SmartArt is one of the features that was designed from the ground up to take advantage of the new UI. As such, it is very slick and very useful and makes you look like you have a personal graphic designer working for you.


An example SmartArt in Office 2007

My esteemed colleague Matthew Kotler is writing a series over on the Excel blog all about SmartArt, so I thought I would let you know in case you're not following it yet. SmartArt works in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook (not just in Excel.)

You can read all about it here on the Excel blog. (In case you're wondering, SmartArt is the official feature name for the feature code-named IGX in earlier betas.)

Blog Support in Word

The second cool feature, a new addition in Beta 2, is the introduction of blog support in Word. Word has become a first-class blog editor and publisher, with the ability to write in Word--taking advantage of all of the great features of Word--but outputting totally clean, blog-compatible HTML. And Word can handle publishing the article and pictures to many common blog servers. It even has support to let you edit your existing posts!

Joe Friend has all of the information about Word's blog support over on his blog. The feature is in extremely early stages in Beta 2 (in particular, you UI aficionados may notice that the Ribbon UI is a little rough) but I think it's very promising. Check it out.