Introduction to Microsoft Word 2007

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 5/20/2007, in Category Word 2007
Views: 148835
Abstract: Microsoft Word is the world’s leading word processing application. It can be used to work with a wide range of documents like letters, memos, newsletters, forms and now with blogs too with Word 2007. In this article we will explore the new interface of Microsoft Word 2007.

Microsoft Word is the world’s leading word processing application. It can be used to work with a wide range of documents from simple letters, memos to complex documents like newsletters, forms and now with blogs too with Word 2007.


User Interface




Before getting into the details of the interface of Word 2007, it is necessary to mention that launching Word in Microsoft Windows Vista would seem a little different only because the interface of Windows Vista is different. For more information on Windows Vista you can go through the articles in Windows Vista section.

But the procedure is just the same; click on the Start button (looks different in Windows Vista) on the taskbar, then click on All Programs and find Microsoft Office. When you click on Microsoft Office the folder expands and you will find Microsoft Office Word 2007. Once you launch Word on your machine, you will find that it doesn’t bear a resemblance to any of the previous versions. Though there are some similarities. Let’s begin from the top of the window.

1.     Title bar:

Title bar looks similar to the older versions. It displays the name of the current document in the centre. If the document is new and is not saved, the name of the document is Document1. The number suffixed by the word document depends upon the number of new documents created in a particular session. The format of the name displayed in the title bar is ‘Document Name – Microsoft Word’.

The new feature in the title bar is the Quick Access Toolbar to the left corner of the title bar. This Quick Access Toolbar is totally customizable. Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar will be explored in a future article.




MS Word 2007 Titlebar







2.     Office Button:

Right next to this toolbar is the main button of them all – the Office button. This Office button is similar to what we were used to as the File Menu. When you click on this Office button, you can see various file commands as shown in the figure.

MS Word 2007 Office button




The options like New, Open, Save and others are quite familiar.

Next to the menu list we have Recent Documents list. The documents that you have been working with overtime would be displayed under this section. Next to each document name in the list is a small pin icon, which allows you to pin your document permanently to this list in case you don’t want the document to disappear from the list when new recent documents get added to this list. Just click on this pin and it turns green to indicate that the document is now pinned to the Recent Documents List.

Options like Save As, Print and others have a small arrow next to them which indicates that there are sub-options for these. When you hover over your mouse on these options, their sub-options will be displayed in the area where previously recent documents were displayed.

MS Word 2007 Office button menus expanded




On the lower right hand corner there are two buttons:-

Word Options: In earlier versions of Microsoft Office, you set your preferences for view, display, save, proofing and editing settings in the Options dialog box under Tools menu. In the new interface of Microsoft Office, speaking of Word over here this is available as Word Options under Microsoft Office button.

Exit Word: Exit Word will allow you to close your documents and totally exit from Word.




3.     Ribbon

When you launched Microsoft Word 2007 for the first time, you must have noticed a totally different composition in the place of Menus and Toolbars, because the menus and toolbars have been replaced by a context sensitive ribbon. This is the major change in Word 2007.

MS Word 2007 Ribbon




The ribbon spreads across the screen from left to right and contains all the commands and the difference here is; it is context sensitive. This means that it is going to change as you work with your documents in Word. For example, if you are working with a table, the ribbon displays the various table commands and tools.

MS Word 2007 Ribbon with table tools




If you are working with pictures, the ribbon displays various options available for pictures.

MS Word 2007 Ribbon with Picture tools




The Ribbon is broken into various tabs like Home, Insert, Page Layout, Review, and View and so on. These tabs are organized according to the category of commands.  If the Page Layout tab is selected, we can find some groups in it, like Themes, Page Setup, Page Background, Paragraph and Arrange. All these groups are related to Page Layout. So these are easy to locate. Like we had mentioned earlier, the ribbon changes as you work on your document. So the Home tab is selected we would find a different set of groups like Clipboard group, Font group, Paragraph group, and so on.

Each of this group in the tab has some buttons that represent some commands that you may want to use in that group. In Page Layout, the Page Setup group has buttons like Margins, Columns and so on. As you hover over them we get a small description of what these commands would do.

What if you are not able to find a command that you are looking for? That is because there are only a few commands that are always visible in the group at a glance. You can notice that some of these groups have a diagonal arrow icon at the bottom right hand corner. MS Word 2007 Page Setup Menu





This little arrow launches a dialog box, so we can call it a dialog box launcher.

MS Word 2007 Page Setup ribbon




The dialog box will have another set of options which you can set. This will be similar to the dialog boxes we used in the previous versions of Word. The dialog has its own help button and a close button in the top right hand corner apart from the usual OK and Cancel buttons. 

The older version menu bar is replaced by the new ribbon which contains tabs similar to the menu. We all are always used to seeing the last menu as Help. But if you have observed carefully, there is no such help menu in the new interface, not even a tab or any option on any of the tabs. Help can be launched by clicking on the question mark icon MS Word 2007 Help icon provided on the rightmost corner of the Ribbon. As you hover your mouse over this icon, screen tip says Microsoft Office Word Help (F1), indicating the keyboard shortcut for help. So you can launch help alternatively by F1.

MS Word 2007 Help Window

As you can make out, the Home page for Help is a little different too. It displays the categories on which you can search for a specific topic. For example if you click on Tables category, you would traverse to another page that displays the topics in this category like, Insert a blank line before a table, Delete a table or clear its contents and so on. Then you can select the specific topic of help.

4.     Shortcuts

You all must be aware of the shortcut F1 to launch Help, but each and every item on the ribbon has its own shortcut. If you press the ALT key on the keyboard brings up all the numbers and letters on the ribbon. For example F for the Office button, 1 for Save, H for Home and so on. 



 MS Word 2007 Shortcuts displayed on ribbon

Then you can press the shortcut like H to expand the Home tab and then you can see that each of the commands on t he ribbon have their own shortcuts.

MS Word 2007 Some more shortcuts


Now in the similar way you can select the commands by pressing the shortcut key associated with it. If you don’t want to work with the shortcuts you can turn it off just like you turned it on, that is by pressing the ALT key again.

5.     Mini Toolbar

Mini Toolbar is another new feature in Word 2007 and a very useful tool too. There are times when you are working on a complex document where a lot of formatting needs to be done as and when you are typing your document. Every time going to the ribbon to the formatting tools may be tedious, so you may feel you may finish typing the whole document and then sit and do the formatting, it is a nightmare. What if this is possible right away as and when you type your document? Yes with the new Word it is possible. To use this feature, just select the text from the document and as you hover over your mouse over the text you would be able to see a faint toolbox in the top right hand corner.

MS Word 2007 Faded Mini Toolbar





As you move over to it, it is clearly visible as it is no longer faint as it becomes active.

MS Word 2007 Mini Toolbar

Now you can use the formatting tools from here like, bold the text or change the font type right at your finger tips, you don’t have to go searching for these font commands on the ribbon, they are right there in this mini toolbar.

6.     Scrollbars and Status Bar

You must be familiar with the scrollbars and the Status bar from the previous version of Word. The scrollbar is just the same. In the top of the scroll bar you have a small button to choose the option to view the Ruler.

The status bar displays the page numbers, number of words in the document, buttons to change the views and the Zoom tool.








In this article we have explored the all new interface of Microsoft Word 2007. We learnt about the ribbon, the quick access toolbar, the Office button. With this basic introduction, you should be feeling somewhat comfortable with the interface. In the next article we would go through the Navigation Tools.






















This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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