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Word 2008: Elements, Notebook, Publishing, more

updated 08:55 pm EST, Thu January 3, 2008

Word 2008 preview

Users eagerly await the release of Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac, especially those that use Intel-based Macs, as this will be the first incarnation of the suite to include Universal application support. The suite has been redesigned to be more "available" to users, introducing a number of new elements, as well as reconfiguring old features to make them more obvious to new and regular users alike. While Office 2008 doesn't ship until the start of Macworld on January 15th, Microsoft has provided MacNN with a preview of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage ahead of the announcement.

Word is almost certainly the most frequently used application the world over, finding use in both business and home environments for reports, letters, and fliers, among other document types. Users are now able to quickly and easily construct rich documents using Document Elements, Quick Tables, Charts, SmartArt Graphics, and WordArt; these options are readily visible from any document underneath the various formatting buttons.

Document Elements offers a wide selection of literary elements, such as cover pages, table of content styles, headers and footers, and bibliography variations. Elements are easily added, requiring only that the user click on the desired item, and it will automatically insert itself into the document. Elements can be customized by either modifying the existing parameters for generated graphics, or by adding in your own images.

Redesigned Document Elements section

Word's Publishing Layout View allows users to create documents in a method similar to how Pages works in Apple's iWork suite. Written content wraps around images when placed in a body of text, while templates allow users to create their documents around a starting point. Guides cling to elements, enabling users to create uniform designs and layouts for flyers, catalogues, or other stationery.

Publishing Layout View

The Notebook Layout View allows users to take free-form notation in a well-organized manner. Creating a Notebook presents a default three-tabbed page with a "plus" tab that generates extra sections. The Notebook section is a welcome addition for students and professionals, enabling those users to quickly generate paragraph- or point-based documents with hand-drawn pictures and diagrams. Notebooks can have a number of different styles as well, changing the appearance of tabs, rings and pages.

Notebook Layout View

Word's redesigned Mail Merge Manager provides step-by-step assembly of documents for use as a mailer, or where multiple recipients are expecting a letter. Word presents a small floating window with six sections that represent different levels of customization. Once all of the desired fields are complete, Word sends the document to Entourage to be distributed.

Redesigned Mail Merge Manager

Microsoft's Mac Business Unit have made numerous improvements to Word, and in the process, have made it more accessible and Mac-like. The new Open XML file format adds a lot of versatility and customization to documents, while the lack of macro support makes Word more secure against macro virus attacks.

by MacNN Staff





  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wonderful words

    "Eagerly await" --

    Yeah, right.


  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Looks like they did a bit borrowing from Apple's iWork.

  1. adrian_milliner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no vba

    "lack of macro support makes Word more secure against macro virus attacks"

    and almost useless to big corp environments (ie those that can afford it).

  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fixed Image-Handling?

    I hope that comment about images and reflowing content means that they've finally fixed Word's awful handling of in-line figures and tables. I just *love* it when I have to delete figures and attach them to other (largely random) paragraphs to keep them from getting pinned to the top of bottom of a page (the physical page, not the working area) by Word's attempt to reflow text.

    Having started to use cross-referencing and some of the other more obscure features of Word I've started to warm to it a bit (though it's nowhere near as powerful as LaTex).

    So yes, robttwo, if they've fixed the broken stuff and haven't seriously screwed up the working stuff then I *will* be eagerly awaiting the next release. Especially with my student discount as a PhD person.

  1. bfalchuk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    lack of macro

    I love how nixing a useful makes it a better product (lack of macro support makes Word more secure)

    "The lack of any way to get online makes this new computer even more secure"

    Does that sound right? No, of course not. So why is it ok for Word to lack Macros?

  1. Mr. Fartleberry

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not worth a dime

    I thought the same thing - "eagerly await"? LOL

    But of course the Microserfs that show on stage at MWSF will be cheered by the glassy-eyed fanboys as usual. You can buy a lot of applause by handing out a free copy.

    I'm sure MS will find a way to occupy half my 24" with toolbars again.

  1. mullum

    Joined: Dec 1969



    waiting to download a pirated copy

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why cant someone make a WP that has a clean window for typing, normal (not the stupid coca/textedit) font controls, an "adobe" style palette for formatting, and leave out all the outlining etc etc etc etc c***?


  1. Double_UK

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: why

    Just out of curiosity, robttwo:

    is 'Doofuses' your signature, or do you happen to come to the same conclusion, every time you post a comment?

  1. jeepskank

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's ugly

    brushed metal? ugly.

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