This week we needed to create a document for our children's teacher. Given the lack of free time -- or the desire to spend what time I have at home with my family and not in front of the computer composing a layout for a school project -- I took the content and headed over to http://office.microsoft.com/.

There, on the Microsoft Office Online site, I searched for templates in the search bar and came to the Office Templates page. From slide design, to OneNote pages and Word templates, chances are that you can find something to kick off a project... and spend more cycles concentrating on the content.

In the end, I ended up quickly finding the right template: of all things, a Publisher template for a Wedding program in a Renaissance theme, that made for a great teacher appreciation card. It's not all work with Office... maybe at home Microsoft Office should be Microsoft Home Office 2003.

Added bonus: my favorite online personality, the Crabby Office Lady, has a  preview of 2007 Microsoft Office system (aka "Office 12" or "O12"). I'm using the version of Office in my office on a Vista PC along side my tried and true Windows XP Tablet PC with Office 2003: The Release Version (sounds like a movie, doesn't it) and am having a great experience.

From Crabby: 

"What I'm dancing around here is that, yes, there are some pretty big changes with the upcoming 2007 release, but I can guarantee you that it will be worth your time and effort to explore what these changes are, and learn to get used to them. In the end, the changes we've made will make you more productive and efficient at your job (and that is the point, isn't it?)."

I have yet to try Groove or Infopath in O2K7, but I am looking forward to trying it as I live in Office Communicator during the day. (See "Crabby gets into the Groove with virtual Office" as she notes how you can launch an Communicator instant messaging session right from a Groove 2007 workspace.) I whole-heartedly agree with Crabby's assessment: the UI is lovely, Word's Quick Styles rock and the improved charting in Excel.

Although, I must say: for credibility, I've found that a chart's believability is often inversely proportional to its slickness, so maybe improving the visual enhancements in Excel is a bad thing. Same thing applies to Powerpoints: if you are going for a more believable presentation, go black and white and keep the colour gradients to a minimum. (With an acknowledgement to Dilbert on the subject...)

More info:

Tags: , , , , .