Microsoft Word has long been the standard word processing tool in Windows, and Word 2010 is no exception. It sports the same ribbon-like interface as its immediate predecessor, albeit one that’s been tweaked and is more customisable than before.

Word 2010 introduces several new features of note: the security conscious will be pleased to learn that content deemed “untrusted” is opened in Protected Mode, which disables all kinds of editing until you deem otherwise. It’s a great way to safely preview content without opening up your PC to possible attack from macro viruses or other malicious code.
Accidentally closed a draft without saving it? Word 2010 now allows you to recover your document via its “Backstage” view, accessible from the File ribbon, which replaces the Office button found in Word 2007.

There’s a new Navigation pane to help the process of getting around your document that much easier – the Find tool is now incorporated into here too, providing search results in the form of matches, allowing you to jump between them quickly and easily.

Collaboration is easier too, with a raft of new features including “co-authoring”, which allows two people to edit the same document simultaneously. Word 2010 also features better graphics editing tools, with new colour, correction and cropping tools to make it easier to edit your imported images directly in Word itself. Finally, there are new styling tools for adding striking effects to your text, plus a wider range of themes and SmartArt graphics to help produce more visually striking publications.

Word Home and Student 2010 is aimed at non-commercial and educational users, and can be installed on up to three computers in the home. Professional users should look at the standalone version of Word 2010 instead. 

Note that there's no trial version of Word as a standalone product. You can try the Office 2010 suite.


Word 2010 isn’t as revolutionary as its immediate predecessor, but the changes are mostly welcome and make it a worthwhile purchase.