What’s new in Office 2010 for productivity fans

With Microsoft Office 2010 launching Wednesday for businesses and June at retail, we thought we'd take a moment to tell you about the exciting new features that will help you get your job done!

I’ve been lucky enough to have been using Office 2010 for several months. Here are the time saving features that I think you'll love as much as I do:


Microsoft Outlook 2010

Improved Conversation View: See the complete course of a conversation, no matter where the actual messages are stored.

Ignore Conversation: Personal fave! You can delete a conversation that's not relevant to you and it completely goes away - even if new messages come in, you won't see them unless you check your Deleted Items folder.

Quick Steps: Create buttons to combine groups of actions you take regularly into a single click.

Quick Steps

Quick Parts: Tired of sending the same message over and over? Make it into a QuickPart and it saves you oodles of time.

Meeting Reply: Need to schedule a meeting with everyone on a mail thread? No need to hunt for New Appointment and cut and paste everyone's names - just use Reply with Meeting.

Reply with Meeting button

Instant Search: Narrow your e-mail search results by sender, subject line words, even the presence of attachments to find what you're looking for faster.

Multiple Exchange Accounts: You no longer need to keep Exchange accounts in separate profiles. Now, one profile fits all.

In-depth look at new Outlook features

Microsoft Word 2010

Shared Documents: Colleagues can edit the same document at the same time. All online parties can see where the others are editing and even block access to a section that they're actively editing. Offline edits are sync'd the next time you connect to the network. No more manually merged changes; Word does this work for you.

Building Blocks: Re-use preformatted content such as cover pages, headers, and footers with a click.

Navigation Pane: Quickly skip around long documents and re-order large sections by dragging and dropping their headings.

Artistic Effects: Enhance images, even remove backgrounds, right inside of Word without having to pull up a separate photo editing program. I really like this one!

Improved Typography: If you're a fiend for typography, you can fine-tune ligatures and other stylistic settings to perfection.

Text without and with ligatures

In-depth look at new Word features

Microsoft Excel 2010

Overall, Excel 2010 is faster and more responsive. Here are some specific improvements:

Slicers: These are power filters with buttons that make segmentation of data easier and more intuitive.

Sparklines: These little in-cell charts help you visualize data trends faster. This is super cool and long talked about by Tufte.

Sparklines show the trend

Paste with Live Preview: See how your data and other content will look before you paste it into Excel, and make adjustments on the fly to get the results you want faster.

PowerPivot add-in: This is one of the best new features: Analyze data from SQL Server and other large data sources within Excel and get fast response times even when working with millions of rows.

In-depth look at new Excel features

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

Improved Video Features: Now your videos are embedded in your presentation and can be trimmed, overlayed, bookmarked, and enhanced with special effects such as reflections and 3D rotation. You can even insert videos from social media Web sites using their embed codes. When you're done, you can turn your presentation into a video.

Broadcast Video: Share your PowerPoint with remote audiences by broadcasting the video using the external PowerPoint Broadcast Service or via internal service, if your organization supports it. 

Co-authoring: Like the Shared Documents feature in Word, colleagues can edit a single presentation simultaneously.

Sections: Large slide decks are more manageable when grouped into Sections, which can be managed and even printed separately from the rest of the deck.

Merge and Compare: Have two different versions of a slide deck? Use this feature to see what's different (if anything) and quickly merge them, if you like, into a combined presentation. You can also run different slide decks simultaneously in separate managed windows, if you prefer.

Artistic Effects: Enhance images, even remove backgrounds, right inside of PowerPoint without having to pull up a separate photo editing program. New SmartArt graphic layouts (including some photo-based ones) and improved editing capabilities help you tell stories with pictures.

Create SmartArt

In-depth look at new PowerPoint features

Microsoft OneNote 2010

Windows Live Support: Now you can store and sync your notebooks via browser so they are available wherever you are on any computer!

Highlighted New/Changed Content: Any content from team members that is new or changed will be highlighted so you can quickly review it. You can even see the author's initials and compare changed content with previous versions.

Improved Cross-Linking: Linking to pages is much easier using the new Wiki link syntax or adding links using page search within the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

Quick Filing: Choose where to import content from other sources, and OneNote remembers the most recent places to make future imports quicker.

Linked Note Taking: When using a docked OneNote notepad, you can link your notes to Web pages you're viewing or specific sections of Office documents. Thumbnail images will show you a preview of the linked content.

In-depth look at new OneNote features


We’ll begin posting more frequently about Office 2010, in addition to our 2007 tips.


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