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Microsoft Office 2010

By Scott Tibbs, July 18, 2011

I've been using Microsoft Office 2010 for a few months, and here are some thoughts.

First, Microsoft fixed the bug in 2007 that made it nearly impossible to distinguish between highlighted cells and non-highlighted cells in Excel, so that is a huge improvement.

Another bug, however, has not been fixed. You still have to change the preferences in two different places to get Word and Outlook to not change straight quotes into "smart" quotes. This is simply bad design, and unlike last time (when Office went through a major facelift with the ribbons) there is simply no excuse not to fix it.

Microsoft has fully changed Outlook to use the ribbons, whereas the last version of Outlook was a hybrid between the ribbons and the old file menus from previous versions. The biggest annoyance is that Outlook is now much slower than before in both sending and receiving messages. This needs to change.

But those are far from the biggest annoyances. When you copy-paste text into Excel, the program will not unwrap the pasted text. It simply ignores clicking the "wrap text" button at the top to undo it, and it ignores unchecking the "wrap text" option in the "format cells" menu. This is really annoying, but it can be fixed by setting the row height.

But there is no reason this should be the case. The program should never ignore the "wrap text" button in the ribbon. How about just not forcing the text to wrap in the first place? There is a "wrap text" button I can easily click if I choose to wrap text. Excel should not force me to change it, and it certainly should not ignore me when I try to fix it.

This is not Microsoft's first trip around the block. How many versions of Office have they released now? You would think they would know what they are doing by now. You should never have features in the previous version of Office suddenly refuse to work once you upgrade to the new software. But that is not surprising from this company, because every single release of Internet Explorer has been worse than the one before since IE7 was released.

Microsoft needs to do better with the next release.