Friday, September 15, 2006

Beta Two Technical Refresh - Right!

That didn't take long!

I am switching between Word2000 and Word2007, as usual.

The BTTR (Beta Two Technical Refresh) has started to sulk, going through a lengthy configuration process whenever it discovers I have been flirting with Word2000.

In particular, if Word2000 is loaded, Word2007 gets stroppy about fonts.

If I persist, I get bored, so I choose Abort in the message box shown above.

The Word2007 gets more than obstreperous; it refuses to talk (below)

I elect to "End Now", and what do I see refusing to go away?

Compatibility Checker


Alarming news at first sight.

I don't like seeing a preface "Significant loss of functionality".

It turns out that Excel2007 is better than earlier versions, (what a surprise), and this message is trying to tell me that if I save this Excel2000 workbook as an Excel2007 workbook, It won't look as good if I reopen it in Excel2000. Assuming that I change the colours on the graph.

I'm puzzled. I can see no reason for displaying this message.

I am opening an Excel2000 workbook in Excel2007. Unless I change the colours to take advantage of the extra colours in Excel2007, how can I lose any functionality, no matter how I save the workbook?

Crawl And Click

None the less I decide to take them up on their offer of help. Non-context sensitive help, by clicking the blue hyperlink on the pop-up message.

I am taken to a general information desk, where I must crawl and click to locate relevant help.

Given that office2007 is a revamped user interface, wouldn't it have made more sense to take me to the most appropriate article related to "functionality" instead of trusting me to know what I must locate? If I'm new to office2007 and need help, I'm not likely to know the best article, but office2007 is.

Take me to your leader (Editor's joke)

Non-retentive help

In preparing this article I went back and tried it again, to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Loaded the workbook, saw the pop-up, chose Help, got General Information, and then discovered that I had to retype my search term.

I know it is Friday and I'm complaining again, but would it have been too difficult to remember my most recent search term and place it in the search text box. Highlighted, of course, so that typing a new term clears it automatically.

Beta Two Technical Refresh

The patches are 500 MB in size. That's the largest of any file I've downloaded. Ever:

I began the installation at 7:50 PM 9/14/2006, and watched the drive light remain lit for an awfully long time.

The run completed at 8:05 PM 9/14/2006, just 15 minutes. It was painless, compared to the good old days of shoveling floppy disks into the maw of the machine, one after the other.

Now to see how well it performs.

Word's Back Button


I am still struggling to locate my beloved green "back" button that used to sit on the web toolbar.

The lack of that button is a primary reason for my continuing use of Word 2000/2003 to develop these hyperlinked web documents.

This lunchtime I thought I'd found it:

Previous Window. Seemed to do what I wanted. Then I noticed the shortcut key combination was listed as Ctrl-Shift-F6, and being suspicious by nature, I essayed with four documents open. Sure enough, it is the old "Shift into reverse gear" trick applied to tabbing on a carousel of open documents.

That is, if you have opened documents 1, 2, 3 and then 4, previous window will take you from document 4 to documents 3, 2, 1, 4 etc. in that order.

It is not the back button.


I hope that this is just a Beta-Bug:

I experienced some corruption in Word and received the traditional “Word has experienced a problem; we are sorry. Would you like to …?”. No, Thanks.

Of course, I had previously made changes to Normal template, but the recovery process, shown in the image above, futilely tries to save the Normal template, unable to overcome the lock which presumably is still on it.

Nothing for it but to re-boot Windows XP and start again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Word2007 - the Home tab, darn it!

Word 2007 loads with the Home tab of the ribbon as the dominant tab.

I have found that much of my work involves running macros from the Add-Ins tab.

Consequently the first thing I normally do is to click on the Add-Ins tab and choose a macro.

Providing the macro remains in the current document (for example a macro that merely types text in the current document), the Add-Ins tab remains dominant. But as soon as I run a macro that involves another document (easy example is Make Envelope From Selection), the default Home tab is dominant.

I covered this earlier in Asking For A Default Ribbon, and that would work for my Startup scenario, but here I think I’d like the option to disable Word’s management of tabs completely – let me be the one who decides whether tripping to the Home tab saves me clicks, or whether remaining on whatever tab I’m working in saves me clicks.

Here is another scenario: suppose you are dabbling in tables. You have the Layout tab activated.

You decide you need a table from another document. You open the document and would like the layout table to remain visible so that you can select a table in your document and do something with it. You can’t. Word 2007 has hidden the layout tab from sight.