5 Cool new things in Office 2010

I’ve been using the new Office 2010 (specifically Excel, Word, Outlook and Powerpoint) for about two weeks now. What follows is a short list, in no particular order, of the new features which make the upgrade worthwhile.

  1. Multiple excel window for easy multi-screen setups: Ever since Excel existed you were forced to open two or more excel document inside the same excel-process. If you wanted to compare two large worksheets, arranged over multiple screens, you had to manually resize each sheet so that it would fill up one screen. This made life unnecessarily difficult. Finally this is over! Just open each sheet in a separate process and of we go.

    By default Excel 2010 still opens each new sheet in the same process. However, you can now start a new Excel process through the start-menu (or by right clicking in the taskbar on excel and choosing to start a new Excel).Et voila!

  2. Insert screenshot in mail: The Outlook blog recently made an article on sending screenshots through email (http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/archive/2010/04/28/sending-screenshots.aspx) . Although they focussed on the screen clipping part (which is not new as far as I know?) what caught my attention was in fact the part right above it in their screenshots. When composing a new e-mail, you can choose Insert->Screenshot. A dropdown list shows with …’lo behold…showing thumbs of each window currently active. Both minimized and hidden windows are shown.

    Clicking on a thumb will result in a high-res screenshot of that window. You don’t need to manually clip, etc. It’s a shame that this little functionality isn’t in Word, Powerpoint and OneNote (you can only insert a screen clipping’, butt still have to manually select the region you wish to add.

  3. Multiple exchange accounts: For a while I had two bosses at two different companies. Both companies used Exchange and both didn’t allow e-mail forwarding. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this greatly diminishes productivity on the e-mail reading part. One account was integrated in Outlook, the other had to be manually checked through the webclient. In the end, the webclient-mail was seldom checked and gradually ‘died off’. (lucky my coworkers were kind enough to mail t my ‘outlook-account’-email. To make a short story shorter: finally you can add 2 or more exchange accounts to Outlook 2010. Hooray! (check out: http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/archive/2009/08/25/multiple-exchange-accounts-in-outlook-2010.aspx)
  4. Sendto specific OneNote folder: Visio and OneNote finally also have their own Office Ribbon. In the past these two always were a strange: they didn’t really fit in the Office theme. OneNote itself was already pretty good in ‘playing’ along with the other office apps. However, one small addition to Outlook 2010 will make my life so much easier.
    In the past, if you wanted to ‘copy’ an email somewhere in OneNote, you dutifully clicked the ‘Send to OneNote’ button. This resulted in the page being placed in some unnamed folder, after which you manually had to move the new page to its intended location.
    ‘Say no more!’ When clicking the OneNote-button in Outlook, you are now presented with a neat ‘Select Location’ windows, showing your whole OneNote-map structure. It’s the little additions that make Office 2010 so much fun to use (by the way, I am not paid by Microsoft ).

  5. Pinning recent places: The ability to ‘pin’ recently opened document in Office 2007 was a very strong, new feature. Gone were the days that you had to search to that one important document after a session in which you had to open 20+documents: resulting in the fact that your important doc didn’t show up on the recent list. In 2010 you now can also pin recent places; i.e. folders you’ve recently opened a document from. Sweet or what?

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