Microsoft Office 2010 is a breath away from hitting the shelves--and likely your computer. See what's inside this ubiquitous productivity suite.
Outlook Social Connector
The new Outlook Social Connector is an added information pane that gives you more details on everyday contacts. Once set up, you'll be able to view pictures of contacts (even in large cc lists), previous conversations, attachments shared, meetings attended, and much more. You can also connect to Facebook and Twitter, so everything is available in one place.
Another addition to the File menu is the capability to save to SkyDrive, a cloud-based storage system with 25GB of space for your documents so you can access your projects anywhere. Simply log in with your Windows Live ID and you'll be able to manage documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and more, and also be able to edit them using feature-complete Web apps through SkyDrive.
The tabs lining Office's navigational Ribbon are now contextual, so your tab options will change based on the commands you're using. A new feature enhancement called Quick Steps (shown in Outlook) enables you to quickly take advantage of commonly used features in your work flow. This addition gives you access to more Office applications and features regardless of which Office program you're working with at the time.
The new Conversation view in Outlook makes handling e-mail much more efficient. Rather than sifting through countless e-mails, you will be able to pick through the entire conversation for relevant information. You can even strip out duplicate bits of information by using the new "clean up conversation" option that deletes redundant messages from the conversation.
If you use Microsoft Office for making your own publications, newsletters, or even fliers, new Fine Typography options enable you to add your own personal style to specialized fonts. Added options for ligatures give your documents an extra stylistic flourish.
Another new feature we appreciate, Paste Preview does away with blind cutting and pasting by showing you what items in the clipboard will look like when you paste them into a document. It works across most of the applications of Office 2010. Once you have content stored in the clipboard, just mouse over the paste button to view available paste options.
If you use images in your documents, you'll now be able to perform simple edits from within many of the 2010 applications. Choose from several different image effects without ever opening an image editor. Like most of the new features in Office 2010, these features are found easily in the navigational Ribbon.
One of the biggest changes to Microsoft's Office Suite is the new Backstage feature. Working as an enhanced replacement for the File menu, Backstage view brings related, but separate, tasks onto one page for easy access. You can print, save, set permissions, or share with other people, all with just a few mouse clicks.