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By Bonnie Bills | Thursday, June 03, 2010

Office 2010 for Business: Focus on Word

lynda.com has been rolling out training on Office 2010 since its launch last month. I’ve been talking with our Office 2010 authors about their experiences with the latest version of Microsoft Office. Today’s Q&A features Gini Courter, author of Word 2010 New Features.

Q: You’ve been working with Microsoft Word as a user and trainer for many years. How has Word evolved?

A: Although I’ve trained Word users for every version of Word, I moved (and only reluctantly) from WordPerfect to Word when Microsoft released Office 97, and I still used Quark or PageMaker for documents with complex design requirements. It always seemed that Word wasn’t quite enough to handle my publishing needs—which honestly, aren’t all that complex.

Then Word 2007 was released. Frustration with the ribbon at first, but wow! Finally, a Word version that has great publishing features: positioning that works for art, strong and easily accessible styles, and SmartArt so I don’t have to fire up Visio for simple illustrations. I’m not an artist, but with Word 2007′s picture styles and two or three good photos I can easily create a unique and immediately recognizable look—a brand of sorts—for my documents. The Manage Sources reference tool saves me hours constructing professional and academic articles as my library of sources expands. With Word 2010 the tool list is even richer.

A: For images, Word 2010 includes photo correction (sharpen/soften, brightness, and contrast), image compression and background removal, and a large gallery of artistic effects to turn your co-worker’s photo into a line drawing, pastel, watercolor, or plasticized version of your colleague. With Picture Positioning I can anchor my image to the page and wrap text around it with one click. Word 2010′s text effects like outline and reflection are the same types of effects that I applied to pictures in Word 2007. Now I can extend my custom look and feel to text so that my graphic elements and text elements complement each other and amplify my message.

Sharing documents is easy and free. I can share Word documents with friends and colleagues on my free Windows Live SkyDrive, or post them to “share” with myself. Because I’m an Office 2010 user, my SkyDrive includes the web version of Word so I can work with my documents anywhere I can access the Internet. I also use SharePoint, so any Word document is a collaboration platform. I don’t have to wait for a co-worker to finish editing a document so I can begin; with simultaneous editing, we can both edit the document at the same time and see each other’s changes on screen.

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