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Back to the Future: Migrating to Office 2007

   May 20th, 2010

Office 2007 logoWe finally decided to bite the bullet at my library and upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2007*.

Office 2007 is being installed on all the staff computers first, so that when it's rolled out to the public we'll be able to help them with the new Ribbons menus. And thanks to a heads-up from Dean Baumeister (Memorial Hall Library, Andover, MA), we're going to use some great interactive tutorial guides developed by Microsoft to help make the switch easier.

The neat thing about these guides is that you use a standard Office 2003 menus to do the task you want, and then it shows you exactly how to do that same task using the Office 2007 Ribbons. We're going to put shortcuts to all of these on the desktops, to have easy ready-reference for locating Office functions:

I've only played with Office 2007, so I've been poking around with these guides to see where all the tools and functions I use every day have ended up in the Ribbons. The trickiest thing to find so far has been Word's options. It used to be at Tools > Options, and now it's oddly hidden up in the big round button.

Ah, the joys of learning new software (and trying to make it work as much like the old software as possible).


*Yes, I know Office 2010 is due out this summer, but lets not get ahead of ourselves (read more, see more).

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5 Responses to “Back to the Future: Migrating to Office 2007”

  1. schalken Says:

    So you folks are spending several hundred dollars at the least in order to upgrade to a proprietary, poorly designed office suite that’s about to be out of date in a few weeks? Good call! If you guys were actually concerned with having an office suite that shares the functional interface of Office 2003, should’ve gone with OpenOffice — which is quickly becoming the new standard, as evidence by the decision of countries like Denmark to migrate to OpenOffice’s file formats.

  2. Anne Says:

    We’ve been using 2007 for a while now. The most common question you will get will be “HOW DO I PRINT?! as that little glowing yellow orb in the upper left corner isn’t terrible intuitive…

    We’re upgrading to the next iteration later this year. yay.

  3. Brian Herzog Says:

    @schalken: that is what we’re doing, and here’s why:

    • Microsoft Office does have a price, but with discounts for non-profits and TechSoup, we pay about $20. While this is still a cost, it is negligable. Also, being that it’s 2010 and we’re still using Windows XP and Office 2003, and our public workstations are 7 years old, we need to keep in mind that once we adopt something, we keep it for a long time, so our investment is spread out over years (we’re also buying new Windows 7 computers, too)
    • The Office 2007 licenses we’re buying include a free upgrade to Office 2010 – so, when everyone has gotten used to the new interface, we will upgrade and be (more) current
    • Our IT staff is comfortable supporting MS Office
    • I’ve used OpenOffice at home for years, and while it’s fine for me, it isn’t quite as good as MS Office (feature- and usability-wise). In public libraries, where many of the patrons barely have any computer experience, even small advantages go a long way
    • Of the patrons who do have computer experience, most of them use MS Office at work, school, and home already. I know you can save to MS and open formats with OpenOffice, but a different interface could alienate many of those patrons. And along this same theme, most of the “learn computers” adult education classes in my area teach MS Office, and often people taking those classes come to the library or practice or do their homework – OpenOffice wouldn’t help them at all

    I’m certainly with you on the philosophy of open source. We use Firefox and other open source software, and also considered Userful. But in this case, after our evaulation (and I encourage everyone to read TechSoup’s Microsoft Office vs. OpenOffice.org review), we decided MS Office made the most sense for our library and community.

  4. Cari Says:

    Oooh, Brian, this is great. Yeah, I know 2010 is coming out (I’m in the beta!) but I’m still teaching 07 for now! As much as I love OpenOffice, really, having Microsoft products is more beneficial for the general public. They need to learn them because generally, offices are on 03 or 07 at this point. People either have them in their current workplaces or need the skills to get jobs.

  5. LiteralLibrarian Says:

    I luuuurve the 2007 version of Powerpoint, esp the cropping tool that comes up under the Format tab when you paste a picture into a slide. Makes it dead easy to integrate bits of screen shots into your presentation. I had to use the old version of Powerpoint a few weeks ago and it literally felt like something out of the dark ages….