The new user interface (UI), officially known as Fluent User Interface, has been implemented in the core Microsoft Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and in the item inspector used to create or edit individual items in Outlook. These applications have been selected for the UI overhaul because they center around document authoring. The rest of the applications in the suite will also be changed to the new UI in subsequent versions. The default font used in this edition is Calibri. Original prototypes of the new user interface were revealed at MIX 2008 in Las Vegas.
New style sheets (quick styles) and ability to switch easily among them.
The Default Font is now Calibri, not Times New Roman as featured in previous Office versions.
Word count listed by default in the status bar. The word count dynamically updates as you type.
New contextual spell checker, signified by a wavy blue underline analogous to the wavy red underline for misspellings and wavy green underline for grammar errors, sometimes catches incorrect usage of correctly spelled words, such as in "I think we will loose at the match".
Translation tooltip option available for English (U.S.), French (France), and Spanish (International Sort). When selected, hovering the mouse cursor over a word will display its translation in the particular language. Non-English versions have different sets of languages. Other languages can be added by using a separate multilingual pack.
Automated generation of citations and bibliographies according to defined style rules, including APA, Chicago, and MLA.
Changing style updates all references automatically. Connect to web services to access online reference databases.
Rearchitected native mathematical equation support with TeX-like linear input/edit language or GUI. Also, supports the Unicode Plain Text Encoding of Mathematics.
A Preset gallery of cover pages with fields for Author, Title, Date, Abstract, etc. Cover pages follow the theme of the document (found under the Page Layout tab).
Document comparison engine updated to support moves, differences in tables, and also easy to follow the tri-pane view of the original document, new document, and differences.
Full-screen reading layout that shows two pages at a time with maximal screen usage, plus a few critical tools for reviewing.
Building Blocks, which lets one save frequently used content, so that they are easily accessible for further use. Building blocks can have data mapped controls in them to allow for form building or structured document authoring.
Blog entries can be authored in Word itself and uploaded directly to a blog. Supported blogging sites include Windows Live Spaces, WordPress, SharePoint, Blogger, Telligent Community etc.
Drops function for Insert/Picture/From Scanner or Camera. Can be added manually.
Drops the "Bullets and Numbering" dialog boxes and rich, easily controlled range of options for formatting Outline Numbered lists.
Supports up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns (XFD) in a single worksheet, with 32,767 characters in a single cell (17,179,869,184 cells in a worksheet, 562,932,773,552,128 characters in a worksheet).
Conditional Formatting introduces support for three new features — Color Scales, Icon Sets, and Data Bars Color Scales, which automatically color the background of a group of cells with different colors according to the values.
Icon sets, which precede the text in a cell with an icon that represents some aspect of the value of the cell with respect to other values in a group of cells, can also be applied. Icons can be conditionally applied to show up only when certain criteria are met, such as a cross showing up on an invalid value, where the condition for invalidity can be specified by the user.
Data Bars show as a gradient bar in the background of a cell the contribution of the cell value in the group.
Column titles can optionally show options to control the layout of the column.
Multithreaded calculation of formulae, to speed up large calculations, especially on multi-core/multi-processor systems.
User Defined Functions (UDF), which are custom functions written to supplement Excel's set of built-in functions, supports the increased number of cells and columns. UDFs now can also be multithreaded. Server-side UDFs are based on the .NET Managed code.
Importing data from external sources, such as a database, has been upgraded. Data can also be imported from formatted tables and reports, which do not have a regular grid structure.
Formula AutoComplete, which automatically suggests function names, arguments and named ranges, and automatically completing them if desired, based on the characters entered. Formulae can refer to a table as well.
CUBE functions which allow importing data, including set aggregated data, from data analysis services, such as SQL Server Analysis Services.
Page Layout view, to author spreadsheets in a way that mirrors the formatting that will be applied when printed.
PivotTables, which are used to create analysis reports out of sets of data, can now support hierarchical data by displaying a row in the table with a "+" icon, which, when clicked, shows more rows regarding it, which can also be hierarchical.
PivotTables can also be sorted and filtered independently, and conditional formatting used to highlight trends in the data.
Filters now includes a Quick filter option allowing the selection of multiple items from a drop-down list of items in the column. The option to filter based on color has been added to the choices available.
Excel features a new charting engine, which supports advanced formatting, including 3D rendering, transparencies, and shadows. Chart layouts can also be customized to highlight various trends in the data.
Notebooks can be shared across multiple computers. Anyone can edit even while not connected and changes are merged automatically across machines when a connection is made. Changes are labeled with author and change time/date.
Word-wheeled search is also present in OneNote, which also indexes notes.
Synchronization of Tasks with Outlook 2007. Also, Outlook can send emails to OneNote, or open pages in OneNote that are linked to tasks, contacts, appointments/meetings.
Support for tables. Using tabs to create tabular structure automatically converts it to a table.
OCR is performed on images (screen clips, photos, scans) so that any text in them is searchable.
Audio and video recordings are also tagged and indexed so that they can be searched.
Notes can have hyperlinks among themselves, or from outside OneNote to a specific point on a page.
Embedding documents in notes.
Extensibility support for add-ins.
Drawing tools for creating diagrams in OneNote.
Typing any arithmetic expression, followed by "=" results in the result of the calculation being displayed.
Send to Microsoft OneNote, through which any application can print to a virtual printer for OneNote and the "printed" document is imported to the notebook, and any text is indexed for searching.
OneNote Mobile is included for Smartphones and some PocketPC devices. Syncs notes two-way with OneNote. Takes text, voice, and photo notes.
As a major change in Outlook 2007, Exchange 5.5 support has been dropped. Like Evolution, Outlook Express and Entourage, Outlook now works only with Exchange 2000 and above.
Outlook now indexes (using the Windows Search APIs) e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar entries, RSS feeds and other items, to speed up searches. As such, it features word-wheeled search, which displays results as characters are being typed in.
Search folders, which are saved searches, have been updated to include RSS feeds as well. Search folders can be created with specific search criteria, specifying the subject, type and other attributes of the information being searched. When a search folder is opened, all matching items for the search are automatically retrieved and grouped up.
Outlook now supports text messages and SMS, when used in conjunction with Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging.
Outlook includes a reader for RSS feeds, which used the Windows Common Feed Store. RSS subscription URLs can be shared via e-mails. RSS feed updates can also be pushed to a mobile device.
Outlook can now support multiple calendars being worked with, simultaneously. It also includes a side-by-side view for calendars, where each calendar is displayed in a different tab and allows easy comparison of them. Outlook also supports web calendars. Calendars can be shared with other users.
Calendar view shows which tasks are due.
Flagged e-mails and notes can also be converted to Task items.
Outlook includes a To-Do Bar, which integrates the calendar, appointments and tasks items, in a concise view.
Online or offline editing of all Microsoft Office 2007 documents via a SharePoint site. All edits are automatically synchronized.
Contacts can be shared among users, via e-mail, Exchange Server or a SharePoint site.
Attachment preview allows users to view Office e-mail attachments in the reading pane rather than having to open another program.
HTML in e-mails is now rendered using the Microsoft Word rendering engine which disallows several HTML tags like object, script, iframe etc. along with several CSS properties.
Microsoft Office Outlook can also include an optional Business Contact Manager (included on a separate installation disc in Office 2007 Small Business and above) which allows management of business contacts and their sales and marketing activities. Phone calls, e-mails, appointments, notes and other business metrics can be managed for each contact. It can also keep a track of billable time for each contact on the Outlook Calendar. Based on these data, a consolidated report view can be generated by Microsoft Office Outlook with Business Contact Manager. The data can be further analyzed using Microsoft Office Excel. This data can also be shared using SharePoint Services.
Access now includes support for a broader range of data types, including documents and images.
Whenever any table is updated, all reports referencing the table are also updated.
Dropdown lists for a table can be modified in place.
Lookup Fields, which get their values by "looking up" some value in a table, have been updated to support multi-valued lookups.
Many new preset schemata are included.
Access can synchronize with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Office SharePoint Server 2007. This feature enables a user to use Access reports while using a server-based, backed-up, IT managed the version of the data.
The Ribbon, a panel that houses a fixed arrangement of command buttons and icons, organizes commands as a set of tabs, each grouping relevant commands. The Ribbon is present in Microsoft Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Access 2007 and some Outlook 2007 windows. The Ribbon is not user customizable in Office 2007. Each application has a different set of tabs which expose the functionality that application offers. For example, while Excel has a tab for the graphing capabilities, Word does not; instead, it has tabs to control the formatting of a text document. Within each tab, various related options may be grouped together. The Ribbon is designed to make the features of the application more discoverable and accessible with fewer mouse clicks as compared to the menu-based UI used prior to Office 2007. However, many users feel that the existing menus should have been left alone. In an online survey, intermediate and advanced users self-report that the Ribbon interface has decreased their productivity in using Excel by 20%.Moving the mouse scroll wheel while on any of the tabs on the Ribbon cycles—through the tabs. The Ribbon can be minimized by double clicking the active section's title, such as the Home text in the picture below. Without third-party add-ins, it is not possible to remove the Ribbon, modify it, or replace it with menus with the normal Office 2007 functions. There are third party add-ins which can be purchased that can bring menus and toolbars to Office 2007 as well as add-ins which allow users to customize the Ribbon commands.
Add-ins that restore the ability to use a standard Windows menus and toolbars interface include Classic Menu for Office, ToolbarToggle, and Ubitmenu. Others like RibbonCustomizer enable the customization of the Ribbon interface. Office 2010 does allow user customization of the Ribbon out of the box.
Even though the Ribbon can be hidden, the new interface crowds the Office work area, especially for notebook users. Others have called its large icons distracting. Essentially, the GUI-type interface of the Ribbon contrasts sharply with the older menus that were organized according to the typical functions undertaken in paper-based offices: for instance, the "File" menu dealt with opening, renaming, saving, and printing a file, and the "Edit" menu dealt with making changes to the content of the file. As a result, users who were more familiar with the logic of the old menus would feel some frustration with the new, more visually oriented Ribbon. Upgrading to Office 2007 presents dangers to certain data, such as templates, macros, and email messages. The Ribbon cannot be moved from the top to the side of the page, as floating toolbars could be. Some users with experience using previous versions of Microsoft Office have complained about having to find features in the Ribbon. Others state that having learned to use the new interface, it has improved the speed with which "professional-looking" documents can be created. Microsoft has released a series of small programs, help sheets, videos and add-ins to help users learn the new interface more quickly.
Office 2007 requires Windows XP SP2 or higher to run. An extended kernel was made for Windows 2000 which allows it to run on that version too, however with some bugs. It is the last version of Microsoft Office to officially support the 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, the 32-bit versions of Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Vista versions below SP1; as the following version, Microsoft Office 2010 will only support Windows XP 32-bit SP3 or later, Windows Server 2003 32-bit SP2 or later and Windows Vista SP1 or later. Officially, Office 2007 is not supported on Windows 11.