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is it beneficial to upgrade to MS office 2007? Are there any real advantages for simple users/students to switch to the new file formats i.e. docx, etc. versus. the 2003 version of Office
As with all software “upgrades” there are a host of pluses and minuses with Office 2007, some of them subjective.
I now run both 2003 and 2007. In my view you cannot replace 2003 with 2007 because there are some things that 2007 no longer does; in particular the macro recorder has been removed form PowerPoint.
A few observations (mine, but I have confirmed I’m not the only one that suffers):
2007 is slower to start;
It is not as stable, particularly Excel which will partially hang if you leave it running in the background but not actually using it, after a few hours;
If you’ve never used Office before, you will learn to use the ribbon faster than the previous menus. If you are used to 2003, you have to completely relearn where everything is (I still have a long way to go).
Excel has far more rows, but is so much slower overall, that I doubt you could usefully employ a million by 256 spreadsheet full of complex equations.
There are a lot of pretty things in all parts of it and I love things like the new templates in PowerPoint.
You can’t have your own toolbars anymore, so you have to park your macros under one of the tabs on the ribbon. Thus what used to take one mouse click to find something, now takes two.
A big plus is that the docx (etc) formats give far small file sizes, and, if you download the correct add-ons, you can generate pdfs directly.
You can save files in the “old” 2003 formats so others can still use your stuff; or the others can download a 2003 upgrade that enables them to read docx formats.
So for me, 2007 is prettier, slower, less stable and in some cases requires more operations to get what you want.
For some reason, I am always wanting to fiddle and “upgrade” so I “have” to have 2007; if you are like me, then buy it, but as I say, run both together. If you are only interested in actually writing (etc.) and don’t need the dubious 1 million rows, and perhaps have other thing to spend your cash on, don’t buy 2007.
Oh, and although you can run most parts together, you can only have one version of Outlook.
Install the converter then you'll be able to open .docx files. I use Office2000 and they open fine with the converter.
Thats useful to know that you can open *.docx with Office 2000 convertor. Thanks David
thanks for your comprehensive responses. It doesn't look as if its worth upgrading for an average useer like me. But in addition to the smaller file sizes that skeletal mentioned, is there any additional benefits to the .docx format?
In terms of the document format itself, well it’s just a format! I can’t really think of anything to say about formats apart from how secure they are, their size (i.e. ability to compress data) and how easy it is to open.
Thus, providing you have the docx reader for Office 2003, the only advantage I can see is the smaller file size.
Something to think about with regard to the docx converter: if you need to open files on a university owned computer, their IT people may not have installed it (assuming they aren’t using Office 2007 either), and such computers may be protected to prevent you from installing it.
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