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Like most updates of mature software, Office 2010 is an incremental upgrade rather than a "from the ground up" rewrite. With its introduction of the Ribbon and abandonment of menus, Office 2007 was the last significant rewrite. By adding the Ribbon to Outlook, Office 2010 completes the Office 2007 transition to the new interface.

In addition to the changes listed above, Office 2010 offers many smaller enhancements, such as new conditional formatting options in Excel, support for presentation sections and video editing in PowerPoint, and Outlook's new conversation view and Quick Step macros to simplify common message-handling chores. Do my Top 10 and the other new features, touchups, and tweaks warrant an upgrade? As usual, that decision is up to you.

Steve Schwartz ( is the author of nearly 60 books, including 15 on Microsoft Office and other Microsoft software. All features mentioned in this article are discussed in his Peachpit title Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide.

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