The “ribbons” in Microsoft Word 2007 and Excel 2007 are better organized than the menus and toolbars in Office 2003, but I’m also going through odd moments of confusion or frustration. I’m still not ordering Office 2007 on new office computers.

A few random examples:

  • Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional is polished and wonderful – but it does not integrate with Office 2007 yet. No toolbar buttons to create or e-mail a PDF with Acrobat until Adobe releases a patch later this summer. (Microsoft has a free add-in to create PDFs from Office 2007 programs but it’s pretty barebones.)
  • The envelope feature in Word is virtually unchanged from Word 2003, so it’s still nearly impossible to print a customized return address with a company logo. (There’s an old workaround that goes back to Office 97. It still works – but why is it this hard?)
  • There’s a bug somewhere that’s causing files to become read-only while they’re open in Office programs. Lots of people are reporting that files opened from a network share in an Office 2007 program can’t be saved without multiple error messages about “network or file permission errors.” It happened to me today. At one time it appeared that Windows Desktop Search 2.6 might be to blame; now it might be a Vista bug, or it might be an Office bug, or it might be offline files, or it might be sunspots.
  • The new ribbon organizes a lot of commands, but it’s oddly difficult to get to the commands that aren’t on the ribbon. Maybe they’ve been left off because I shouldn’t need them any more, but I’ve had to go through an exercise a couple of times now to find a command that disappeared.

You won’t be unhappy if you get Office 2007 but I’m still searching for reasons that you’ll think things have improved since Office 2003.

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