THE NEW USER INTERFACE…
Word 2007 presents a new user‐interface which is quite different than previous versions of Word. This section will provide you with some basic information about the new look and features available in Word 2007 in order to help you get started.
• The Ribbon
Upon launching Word 2007 for the first time, the most striking change is Microsoft’s replacement of the traditional toolbars and menus with the Ribbon. The Ribbon presents you with a panel of commands which are organized into a set of tabs (known as the Tab Bar). Each task-oriented tab presents groupings of tasks and their associated subtasks.
The Home tab is organized in five groups related to document formatting: Clipboard, Font, Paragraph, Styles, and Editing. For example, the Home tab will allow you to quickly format your document. Many of the formating tools on this tab were located in the Format Menu and on the Formatting Toolbar in previous version of Word.
The Insert tab is organized in seven groups: Pages, Tables, Illustrations, Links, Header & Footer, Text, and Symbols. The Insert tab will allow you to insert items into your document. Many of the commands were located in the View and Insert menus in previous versions.
The Page Layout tab is organized in five groups: Themes, Page Setup, Page Background,
Paragraph and Arrange. The Page Layout command allows you to change the look of your document. Many of these commands were located in the File, Page Setup menu in previous versions.
The Reference tab is organized in six groups: Table of Contents, Footnotes, Citations & Bibliography, Captions, Index, and Table of Authorities. Many of these commands were located in the Insert, References menu in previous version.
The Mailing tab is organized in five groups: Create, Start Mail Merge, Write & Insert Fields, Preview Results, and Finish. The Mailing command will allow you to create mass mailings. In previous version the Mailing options were located in the Tools, Letter and Mailings menu.
The Review tab is organized in six groups: Proofing, Comments, Tracking, Changes, Compare, and Protect. The Review command will allow you to make comments and changes to your document. Many of these commands were located in Tools menu in previous versions.
The View tab is organized in four groups: Document Views, Show/Hide, Zoom, and Window. The View command will allow you to change the display of your document and switch between open documents. Most of these commands were located in the View menu in previous versions.
The Microsoft Office Button is located in the upper‐left corner of the window. This button manages the following Word commands: Open, Save, Print, Recent Documents, and replaces the File button in previous versions. At the bottom of the menu are buttons for changing Word Options and Exiting Word. Many of the options available in the Word Options menu are located in the Tools menu in previous versions.
• Live Preview ‐ Another new feature in Word 2007 is Live Preview, which temporarily applies formatting on the selected text or object when you mouse‐over any of the formatting buttons. This temporary formatting is removed once the mouse pointer is moved away from the button, allowing you to preview how the text would appear without having to apply it.
• Mini Toolbar – The Mini Toolbar pops up whenever text is selected. This new feature provides easy access to the most commonly used formatting commands in Word. The toolbar will also appear when you right‐click on a selection of text. Initially, the toolbar is semi‐transparent to allow you a nearly unobstructed view of the text beneath, and becomes opaque when the mouse pointer moves over it.
Quick Access Toolbar – The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar which contains shortcuts for commonly used tools. You have the ability to add and remove the toolbar buttons based on your personal preferences.
• File Format (OpenXML) – The Microsoft Office suite applications now use a new file format as the default file format. Documents created in Word 2007 will use a file extension of .docx (compared to .doc in previous versions). Based on XML, this format uses the ZIP file container, which is compressed and up to 75% smaller than previous Office file formats. Additionally, Word 2007 is able to open all previous versions of Word documents, and you may wish to see Microsoft’s Download Site for information pertaining to the availability of the Compatibility Pack.
(Source from: http://www.itg.ias.edu/files/word2007.pdf)