Microsoft Word 2010 Upgrade Features

New Microsoft Word 2010

As a professional freelance writer, it probably comes as no shock that I use Microsoft Word a lot. Sure, there are alternatives, and I've tried them all, but when it comes down to it, everyone else uses Microsoft Word and there is just no reason to risk incompatibilities or formatting differences. At least, that used to be why I used Microsoft Word. Thanks to Office 2010, I have a whole different reason.

As a small business owner, time is money. As a freelance writer, words are money. I can't afford to get hung up on looking for features or trying to find them somewhere in the menus. I crank out 500 word documents during restroom breaks; 5 extra clicks matters to me.

So, when I ended up looking at the new Word Ribbon Interface in Word 2007, I was intrigued. Many functions that had previously been lost suddenly reappeared on my usability radar. When I got some freelance writing gigs that required me to do some in-depth analysis of the new Ribbon user interface in Office 2010 and specifically all the new features in Word 2010, I realized just how powerful the new setup can be.

MS Word 2010 Ribbon

The new ribbon interface in Office 2010.
The new ribbon interface in Office 2010.

Word 2010 Formatting Templates Saving Sharing

To the uninitiated, it likely seems that just any file containing the requested text is good enough for a paying freelance writing client. That just isn't the case, however.

Most clients have no interest in reformatting your text, even if they are going to move it into a different template or publishing application. No one wants to try and figure out what should be a title, what should be a heading, and what should be bold or italics. Fortunately, those features have been front and center on any full featured word processing program for a long time.

What makes Word 2010 such a valuable upgrade is that it puts all of those things that go beyond the basics right where they can be easily used and accessed, starting with a wider selection of Word Document templates that have visible thumbnails inside of the File -> New menu in Word instead of having to download first, or fire up a browser to go to office.microsoft.com.

Add in the fact that Word 2010 provides new ways of saving (and auto-saving), as well as new "sharing" functionality that allows me to turn a Word document into a WordPress blog post automatically, and without the bloated, junk, HTML code that older versions of Word cranked out, and you have yourself one productivity increasing computer program for freelance writing professionals.

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