Office 2010: A Complete Overview of What's New

Backstage View

When you click the Office button, it brings up what Microsoft calls Backstage View. Backstage is essentially one-stop shopping for information about documents and common tasks you can perform, such as saving and printing files. It builds on, but goes well beyond, a similar feature in Office 2007. Choosing Print from the menu on the left, for example, lets you preview your document before printing; you can also choose printer settings such as whether to print one-sided or collated, what margins to use, and so on.

In many instances, features in the Backstage View were present in Office 2007, but hard to get at. In Backstage View, they're brought to one location. The Info tab in Backstage is particularly useful, giving you important information about your current file, such as the author and last time it was modified, and letting you review previous versions.

Paste Preview

Backstage View and the presence of the Ribbon in all applications are the most noticeable of the global changes to Office, but there are also other important ones. One of them at first glance appears to be a minor change, but could prove to be one of the biggest productivity enhancers in Office 2010 -- an improvement to the humble copy-and-paste operation.

This simple task has become more difficult to use and confusing over the years because of the many different types of content you can now copy and paste into Office applications, including mixed text and graphics, tables and other complex content. Should you keep text only, for example, and should you keep the original formatting or the destination formatting, and which should be the default? With versions of Office before 2010, you'd make a decision, see the results, undo it and try another option.

In the new version of Office, such trial and error is a thing of the past, thanks to Paste Preview. When you paste in content, you can now preview how it will look depending on your paste choice, making it much less likely that you'll have to undo a paste operation. Hover your mouse over each option, and you'll see the effect that using that option will have on the operation. When you see the option you want, simply make that choice. Paste Preview lets you set a default paste option as well.

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