Computer Performance, Windows 2003 Vista Best Practice

Ezine 198 - Upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010

Ezine 198 - Upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010

If either of these two statements is true, then I recommend that you upgrade to Office 2010 as soon as possible, a) You value your time, b) Your company will pay for the Office 2010 upgrade licence.  However, if you tolerate being unable to customize the Office 2007 ribbon, or money is tight, then I accept that this version of Microsoft Office is not for you just yet.

The purpose of this ezine is to reassure you that an upgrade from Office 2007 to Office 2010 is idiot proof.  That is to say Guy completed this full upgrade of Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and OneNote without reading the instructions.  I wondered if an upgrade, as opposed to a clean install of Office, would give me grief - it didn't - the upgrade was smooth and this strategy spared me the complications of running two versions of Office.

In this article I am not concerned about value for money, and the only new feature of Office 2010 that attracted me was the customizable ribbon.  My purpose is solely to say 'don't let concerns about technical details stop you upgrading from Office 2007'.  And don't worry about not being able to access documents or emails, they will all be there waiting for you after the upgrade.

Upgrading to Outlook 2010 is the biggest worry, will I lose all my contacts?  Will all my folders merge into the inbox?  Will I have to recreate all my 'Rules'?  No, no and no, it just worked for me, setup even found my Xobni and Cloudmark add-ons.

Miniscule Glitches with My Office 2010 Upgrade

a) With the Office 2010 setup I forgot to choose 'Run all from my computer', I fixed this easily by going to the Control Panel, Programs, Microsoft Office, right-click and Change.

b) Outlook 2010 supposed that I would like more panels such as the 'To Do Bar' and 'People Pane' (Pain!).  I don't like these panels so I cured this irritation by selecting: View Menu, 'Off' setting.  Incidentally, while I don't read install instructions I am not too proud to call for help; for example, it was not obvious how to fine-tune the new customizable ribbon in Outlook 2010, but help showed me how to create my own tabs.  Actually the new customizable ribbon is a case of beware what you ask for, I spent an hour fiddling with all the 'Groups' on all the tabs before I got the icons to my liking.

c) Xobni got stuck awkwardly in one of my Outlook 2010 panes, but once I got the latest version of this add-on it worked just as it did in Outlook 2007.  One side-effect of upgrading to Office 2010 was to make me check for the latest versions of other programs, this extra work in chasing Xobni and Cloudmark downloads made me stop moaning so much about Microsoft's Automatic Update.

d) My Cloudmark spam filter did not work properly even though I upgraded to the latest version from the Cloudmark site.  In fact Cloudmark caused latency every time I opened an email or changed folder.  It took a while before I stopped 'shooting the Outlook 2010 messenger', and discovered that Cloudmark was the root cause of this slowness and not the Outlook parent or the well behaved Xobni add-on.

Other factors:  The consensus is to use the 32-bit version of Office 2010 even on a 64-bit processor.  This is mainly because the 64-bit version office means you get problems with add-ons.  In addition, it may not be possible to upgrade 32-bit Office 2007 to 64-bit Office 2010, for that you would need a clean install.  Just research and make up your own mind.  I am afraid that I have not tried an upgrade from Office 2003 to 2010.

The Office 2010 Setup asks for the product key at the very beginning, thus you don't experience the frustration where the program spends 30 minutes installing only to fail on licensing.  See also Windows 8.

Why I Regard An Install As a Litmus Test of a Program's Worth

Lots of companies see my site and they make me an offer, they give me a free fully working utility providing I do a write-up.  However, Microsoft is NOT one of them!  It's with some embarrassment that I have to tell you with 40% of these utilities I could not get them to install.  Mind you, I never bother with their instructions, I merely follow the onscreen prompts.  My mantra is that if my gung-ho approach to install works for all Microsoft products then it should work for everyone else's.  Actually, this is a better 'Litmus Test' than you may think.  I have learned that even if I read the instructions, and get individual instruction from the company's own tech support, if a program is stubborn on install then it gives nothing but trouble once it's running.

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The Strange Case of Upgrading From Microsoft Expression 3 to 4

This is a tale of woe.  It illustrates that I am not mesmerised by everything Microsoft, sometimes their products such as Expression 4 don't please me.  Firstly, I could not perform their free upgrade from Expression 3 to Expression 4, the reason was simple, I couldn't find the product key.  The Microsoft Expression forum (which I do recommend) revealed that you don't need a product key for this free upgrade.  Thus the install was too easy!

Beware of freebies!  Sometimes Expression 4 crashes when I try to save a file; the first time it caught me out I lost 30 minutes of work creating a web page.  On another occasion its undo would only cancel everything back to the last save, there was no granularity even when I tried Ctrl z.  What really irritated me was there was no English Thesaurus for this grandson of FrontPage, even though its father, Expression 3, had good one.

I am thinking of those who want everything for free when I say this, 'Guy would prefer to pay if it meant I had a product that worked reliably'.  For instance, you still cannot customize the Expression 4 ribbon, whereas you can in Office 2010.

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Will and Guy's Humour - Latest Pictures of Men Working

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