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Ten Reasons to Upgrade to Office 2010

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Steve Schwartz, author of Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide, reviews 10 features in the various Office 2010 modules that give current users some impetus to upgrade. Whether you're champing at the bit to get the newest version or you're skeptical about needing to upgrade, you may find some of these improvements enticing.

I was going to call this article "Ten Reasons to Get Excited About Office 2010." However, it occurred to me that only a handful of features in any new software release are actually exciting. Most are generally just improvements. Although they're not necessarily exciting, collectively such changes often provide a solid incentive to upgrade. Re-titled, this article now lists what I consider to be some of the major reasons why you'll find Office 2010 more useful and working with it more productive than Office 2007. The following new features and improvements aren't all the changes you'll find in Office 2010, but they should suffice to pique your interest, whet your appetite, and get those "gotta upgrade" urges surging.

Office-Wide Feature: Microsoft Office Backstage

One of the first changes you'll notice is that the glowing blue Office Button has vanished. (Apparently some Office 2007 users didn't recognize that it was a button.) In its place, the Ribbon in each application now has a File tab. When you click the File tab, the main window is replaced by an area called the Backstage, in which you can perform file-related activities such as opening and saving files, setting permissions, sharing the current document, and printing (see Figure 1). This is also where you set preferences and exit from the application. Compared to the unnamed area that appeared when you clicked the Office Button, you'll find the Backstage better organized and easier to use.

Figure 1 When you select Print in the Backstage, Office automatically generates a print preview for the document that reflects the current print settings.

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