Community College of Rhode Island

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About Microsoft Office 2007

If you are interested in the changes offered in Microsoft Office 2007, and thinking about making a switch to the new software, Information Technology (IT) strongly suggests that you plan the timing carefully and take the proper steps to successfully make the transition. The new interface has some radical differences from what you currently use in Office 2003. Also, file formats have changed, so be prepared to handle compatibility issues during the period of time when both Office 2003 and Office 2007 are in use on campus.

Do I need to switch from 2003 to 2007?

The Information Technology Department has begun the deployment of Microsoft Office 2007. Most of the classrooms, labs and public computers have already been upgraded to Office 2007. We will be continuing this migration through the Spring and Summer, with a projected completion date of September 2009.

The significant changes in Office 2007 can affect all Office users due to compatibility issues between Office 2007 and earlier versions. In addition, the user interface in Office 2007 is substantially different from that of Office 2003. When you do make the change, you will want to allow yourself extra time to plan and prepare for migrating your files and sign -up for some training. Expect a learning curve with Office 2007, particularly if you want to remain productive with current projects.

Learning the new interface

In Office 2007, familiar toolbars and menus are replaced with a whole new look and feel. Program features are organized by what you want to do and allow you to preview editing and formatting changes before you decide to use them. Learning to use the Microsoft Office Button, Ribbon and Contextual Tabs may take some practice. Fortunately, online resources and instructor-led training are available.

TIP: Use Microsoft online resources and interactive tools to learn about new Office 2007 features and functionalities and to find out how to accomplish familiar 2003 commands in 2007:

For Word:
Word 2003 to Word 2007 command reference guide
Word Ribbon Mapping Workbook

For Excel:
Excel 2003 to Excel 2007 command reference guide
Excel Ribbon Mapping Workbook

For PowerPoint:
PowerPoint 2003 to PowerPoint 2007 command reference guide
PowerPoint Ribbon Mapping Workbook

Minimizing compatibility problems

In addition to user interface changes, Microsoft Office 2007 includes significant changes to file formats and printing. The default formats when saving files in an Office 2007 application (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx) cannot be opened by earlier versions of Office. For example, a Word 2007 file with an extension docx cannot be automatically opened by Word 2003, Word XP or Word 2000.

TIP: If you are using Office 2007, you can save your files in the familiar 2003 format (.doc, .xls, .ppt); this ensures that others who have not upgraded will still be able to read and use your files.

TIP: If you are using Office 2003/XP, you can install the compatibility pack from Microsoft that will allow you to open, edit, and save your work in the new Office 2007 file formats.

Requesting an upgrade

To request an upgrade for a departmental electronic classroom please call the Service Desk (401) 825-1112.

For home use, the distribution of MS Office 2007 covered by the license agreement for full-time CCRI faculty and staff can be obtained at the Service Desk for Warwick users and from the IT offices at Flanagan, Liston and Newport County campuses. The CDs are distributed on first come first served basis and can be borrowed for up to 48 hours. Installation instructions are available and can be picked up at the same time.

Part time CCRI employees (including adjunct faculty) are eligible to use the software on campus but are not covered under the agreement to load the software on personal computers.

*Please note that due to the level of resources needed to run Office 2007, some older PCs may not be upgradeable.

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Last Updated: 7/23/13