Inside Office 2003

Page 7 of 8

What's New in PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher

Illustration: Peter Hoey
Much like the 2003 models of Word and Excel, the new versions of the other Office apps gain merely utilitarian, undramatic enhancements. Here's a rundown of the most noteworthy changes in these programs. (The chart lists which Editions include each app.)

PowerPoint 2003: You can now play .avi, .mpg, and other video files full-screen from within your presentations; you can place video playback controls directly in the slide show; and you can stream both audio and video into your presentations. The new version also makes it much easier to place your PowerPoint files onto a CD.

Access 2003: The new version lets you back up the database you're working on without having to exit the program. Access 2003 can now discover errors in forms and in report designs automatically, and the program even suggests corrections. Database administrators will appreciate the added feature that lets them identify object dependencies more easily.

Publisher 2003: Microsoft has added 10 design templates to the program, bringing the total number of templates to 45. Publisher's enhanced Design Checker Task Pane makes it easier than ever to ferret out and fix potential problems with printing or Web publishing. The New Publication Task Pane's new categories help neophytes prepare a publication for print, for posting to a Web site, or for e-mail transmission. Sending your output to commercial printers is simpler and faster with the program's added support for CMYK Composite Postscript. And you can now choose one of eight personal stationery sets for making address cards, letterheads, envelopes, labels, greeting cards, and invitations.

Dennis O'Reilly

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