Microsoft Office 2007

Squeeze more productivity out of your day by maximizing your office suite of choice.

Customize the Toolbar
Office 2007’s “Ribbon” paradigm succeeded at surfacing some functions but at the expense of burying others. Fortunately, you can use the Quick Access Toolbar (the round Office logo in the upper-left corner) to resurrect them. Simply surf to the feature you want, right-click on its icon, and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”.

RSS in Outlook
Outlook 2007 has numerous improvements over its previous version, and one of our favorites is the ability to read RSS feeds right in the e-mail client. Just click on the orange RSS logo in the upper-right corner to add your feed.

Organize with Colors
If you manage multiple projects at once, each involving e-mail threads, calendar entries, and tasks, Outlook 2007’s Color Categories feature can be a huge help. It lets you flag related items with the same color, so disparate items have some cohesion. Simply right-click on an item, mouse to Categorize in the shortcut menu, then click a color.

Let Word Do the Beautifying
Spending too much time formatting your document and not enough on the content? (That’s not a hypothetical – you are). Let Word help. Use Quick Styles (located on the Ribbon toolbar, in the Home tab) to automatically improve the look of a document.

Blog in a Click
Oh great, now it’s even easier for anyone with a PC and too much time on their hands to post blog entries. In Word, simply click on the Quick Toolbar button and scroll down to Publish. Select Blog Entry, and your missive gets saved directly to your blog.

Make Your Own Chart Template
Perhaps Excel 2007’s biggest advancements are the look and usability of its charting module. The stock templates are much improved, but you can tweak one (say, to match your corporate colors) and save it as a template you can use again. Just click on your completed masterpiece, click on the Design tab, and above Type hit Save As Template.

Go Wide with PowerPoint
If you know you’ll be using your widescreen laptop or another non-square display device to present, choose PowerPoint’s new 16:9 or 16:10 slide formats. From the Design Tab, choose Page Setup, and make your selection from the drop-down list under “Slides sized for”. If you do wind up using a 4:3 projector monitor, the slides will be presented in letterbox format.

Customize Stock Photos
Make stock photos in PowerPoint look less store-bought and more custom-made with the handy Recolor feature. Simply insert the photo and click on Recolor in the Picture Tools tab. As you hover over each color choice, the photo shows a preview of the monochromatic effect.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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