Is upgrading from Office 2000 to 2007 worth it?

I’ve been using MS Office 2000 (Small Business) since, well, probably 2000 or earlier. It works fine for me, and I have no major complaints. But now it turns out there’s one little thing I could do in Outlook 2007 that I can’t in 2000.

So, if I upgrade to Office Professional 2007, will I see significant improvements? Will all my macros and other customizations still work? Will it run slower? Will I be happy or sorry? (Please don’t answer que sera sera!)

I use most of the apps in the suite: Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, Publisher, FrontPage. (PowerPoint, not so much.) I use them all pretty heavily, so it’s important that all are either improved or left more or less alone. If the new version of any of them represents a serious step back in any way, that will be a problem.

This .docx thing in Word: you don’t have to save as .docx, do you? You can set it to save as the old .doc format by default, right?

Has anyone tried the free trial? Does it leave the original apps intact, and allow you to revert to them gracefully if you uninstall the trial and don’t upgrade?

Please, no recommendations to switch to other suites, or a Mac, or Google Apps, or such. I’m sticking with MS for now.

Thanks.

Where I work we recently upgraded to Office 2007. We did have some trouble getting some of our older apps to adapt. A few were shelved and new versions had to be created. I’m not an IT guy so I can’t get any more specific than that.

Access kept giving a message re:macros which confounded everyone for a little while until it was determined that all you have to do is allow macros in whatever directory you are storing your files in. It took a few weeks but everything began running smoothly after that. The interface seems more intuitive. I would say it is a nice upgrade.

I especially like Outlook. It seems smoother and faster, but that may be in part that I also got a PC upgrade when I got the 07 upgrade.

I would give it a thumbs up if you have the cash to shell out for it.

One other thing you may want to consider. As far as I know, if you save a file as a 2007 document you can’t read it with the older software. You can, however still save your files in the older format. I have to do this when sending documents to clients and/or vendors in anticipation that they may not have the upgrade.

From first appearance, it will be a significant difference. The look and feel of a top navigation and drop down menus has been replaced with what Microsoft calls a ribbon. You will need to relearn where to find things.

The standard .docx extension can be changed from its default to .doc files if you want.

After using Office 2000 (and Office 2003 at work) for the last several years, I tried the free 30 day trial of Office 2007 when I bought my laptop. I hated it. I couldn’t find anything. In Word, I had to spend a lot of time hunting for even the simplest and most often-used formatting buttons that are RIGHT THERE and easy to find in older versions. I didn’t find the organization of the menu to be very intuitive at all. Functions that you would expect to be grouped together, weren’t.

YMMV.

They’ve got a converter: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en

Ah, nice. I didn’t know about that. Still, if you are sending docs to clients or friends or family members or whatever it may not be a bad idea to not make them jump through this hoop. Fortunately it gives you that option.

It did take me a while to relearn where everything is, but the learning curve was small. It is the most intuitive interface in office software I’ve ever worked with. I would buy it if Open Office & Thunderbird didn’t suit my home needs. Also, it looks good.

I like Office 2007 a LOT. I think it is a vast improvement- especially when it comes to formatting.

However, it does have quite a learning curve.

I just upgraded my work laptop to 2007 from 2003. I find the ribbon to be reasonably intuitive but I am still learning where things are on the menus.

My biggest complaint so far is Outlook 2007 is really slow on my laptop. I’m going to bump the memory up to 2gig and see if that helps increase performance. I’ve not noticed the same performance issues with the other Office 2007 applications, just Outlook 2007.

MeanJoe

I knew that Word files under 2007 had a new format, .docx, which is why I asked about it. I had received a .docx file from someone and had to get the converter, which I resented.

Have they changed the file formats for other apps? Which ones?

Can you customize the ribbon to resemble the old menus? I have several customized menu buttons with macros or other features I use regularly. I take it they won’t be imported automatically? But can I go in and re-create them if I want to? If not, that may be a deal killer.

DJ Motorbike: you say the new arrangement was intuitive. Were you a user of previous versions of Office, or new to it?

Tangent: You didn’t like the new version. I take it you were a longtime Office user? Did you stick with it and get used to it?

Duckster: How hard did you find the transition?

That’s how I found out about it too.

2007 is a PITA for me. Of course, I’m a, “get off my lawn you whippersnappers”, aged guy. There is probably a option somewhere that I’ll stumble upon to change the menus back to drop down but it will be an accident if I find it.

Excel has a different extension but also saves in the “classic format”. I really don’t mess with Powerpoint except to read endless presentations.

There are probably terrific new features with Office 2007 and Word in particular but the basic stuff is all the same. This new-fangled stuff is just bloatware to me.

There are some programs that you can buy that will give you the old interface back. *E.g., *http://www.addintools.com/english/menuword/

I have no idea whether the linked program or any of the others are:

  1. Any good; or
  2. Worth the money.

I’m a heavy computer user, not a get-off-my-lawn type, and I hate it. My company switched us over about 2 weeks ago. The learning curve is a pain in the ass. I’m sure that once I am used to it, I will save a quarter second here or there, but that does not make up for the hours of time wasted getting used to it. Everything is slower and it crashes or locks up more often, even though our workstations are quite well equipped (recent vintage dual core processors, 4 GB RAM) There is no provision to switch to the old menu and button system. The new features seem to be centered around making flow charts and ‘prettying up’ documents. Since we are only interested in using Word to make readable text documents with a few pictures and tables inserted; and using Excel to make purely utilitarian spreadsheets, all the new features are useless. The only nice things I can say are that Excel now supports 1 million rows, and you can set the default save in Word to .doc.

What it boils down to, for me, is why invest the effort and money to switch over to a set of applications which offer no new features that I use, and do the same old thing slower.

A slight hijack: the IT dept told us we were switching to Office 2007 because Microsoft will no longer offer paid tech support for Office 2003 after January 2009. Is this correct?

I’m a computer programmer and am pretty quick at picking up new software. I hate Office 2007.

From 2000, go for the 2003 office version. You’ll be used to it, and you’ll get some nice improvements.

2007 is a huge, huge pain in the ass to learn. Everything is moved. The few new features don’t make up for the huge antagonizms and anger you get when you try to do something that you are used to doing. Its just… not worth it.

and the docx stuff is failing. It causes too many problems, so people just set their defaults to save in .doc format.

Microsoft blew it big-time with 2007.

Moreover, Microsoft blew it throughout 2007, and all of 2008, so far.

Quoted and seconded, all of this.

I didn’t have class and was out of a job for quite a while. During that time, I upgraded to 2007 and I hated it. I couldn’t find a single thing but I didn’t really have any reason to look either so it just sat there. I did get a job after a month or so. Work had Office 2000 and I had the 2007 at home. Some of the work i had required retyping forms (lots and lots of forms). I did about the first half of the work at home and got used to Word 2007. When I came back to work and had to use the older version, I quickly realized how much 2007 makes things easier. It definitely increased my efficiency.

Id recommend upgrading to 2007 but try to have the older version available somewhere in case you need to use it.

I don’t care for the new 2007, although I’ve using it for quite a while. Many of the things I knew, I now have to look up to figure out how to do. This defeats the purpose of a standard look and feel.

So far I’ve seen no benefits.

I like 2007 fine. I think it will be a lot easier for those who are learning the software for the first time. I wouldn’t go to 2003, that’s a half-assed measure, IMHO.

If you like to use keyboard driven menu commands (like Alt-E F for Find), most of those still work, they just aren’t as obvious.

2007 does a good job of getting more features out there where the average user will have a chance of seeing them and actually using them, instead of using the program for 10 years and still alphabetizing lists manually. If you are a power user already, this does mean some things won’t be where you expect them. I’ve had to hit F1 a few times to ask help where something was that I knew existed.

Also, the default fonts are not ones people are used to yet. You might want to change them. They say the default (Calibri, sans-serif) is optimized for on-screen reading. You will probably want to change to Cambria or Times New Roman for most printing. Also, embed fonts if you are sending your document to someone who doesn’t have 2007.