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Microsoft Office 2003 vs 2007 vs 2010 vs 2013

In CCS computer classes students are taught to use the Microsoft Office 2007 applications Word, Excel and Power Point. Although Office 2007 is now being taught, Office 2003 was taught prior to the 2013-14 school year. Compared to Office 2003, the Office 2007 user interface has a new look - the tool locations have been reorganized into what Microsoft calls the "ribbon." For some people transitioning from Office 2003 to 2007 is challenging due to the different user interface. The good news is that newer versions of Microsoft Office (2010 and 2013) retain the ribbon user interface introduced in 2007 so once you learn to use Office 2007 it will be easy to learn the newer versions in the future. The following tutorials may be helpful for those new to the Office 2007 user interface.

Office Tutorials by Microsoft

The microsoft.com website contains assistance in using Office 2007 and Office 2010 for users familiar with Office 2003. One page describes the locations of Word 2003 commands in Word 2007 including a downloadable Excel workbook, Word Ribbon mapping workbook, that gives the location of  all of the Word 2003 menu and toolbar items on the Word 2007 ribbon interface.

Reverting to the Office 2003 classic user interface

If home users do not like the ribbon user interface found in Office 2007 and Office 2010, you may be able to add the 2003 menus and toolbars into the newer Office products using downloadable software, Classic Menus, from addintools.com. CCS has no experience with this product and therefore has no basis for recommending it. If any parents use this software at home please let us know your experience with it.

Open Office

OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice.org have created a suite of office applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases. It is open-source software and can be downloaded and used in your Windows,  Mac or Linnux computer at no cost. In the current version, the Write word processor has features similar to Microsoft Word 2007 but retains the original menu and toolbar interface. We have LibreOffice on the CCS lab computers.

File formats

Microsoft Office 2007 has different default file formats than Office 2003. However, Office 2007 applications can open the older formats. If students create files at home using Office 2003 they can be opened on CCS computers. However if students create a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file at school that is to be edited using Office 2003 at home, that file should be saved as the older Office 97-2003 file format - or the home computer may not open the file. Newer versions of Office (2010 and 2013) use the same file formats as Office 2007.

Hints for effectively using Microsoft Office applications

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Word Keyboard shortcuts
    • Ctrl-Enter : Page break (create new page) 
    • Ctrl-C : Copy
    • Ctrl-X : Cut
    • Ctrl-V : Paste
    • Ctrl-S : Save document
    • F9 : Update all fields in document (or only the selected fields). Word formulas do not automatically recalculate when data changes.
    • Alt-F9 : Toggle show/hide formulas in fields
  • Excel Keyboard Shortcuts
    • Ctrl-C : Copy
    • Ctrl-X : Cut
    • Ctrl-V : Paste
    • Ctrl-S : Save document
    • Ctrl-` (grave mark - this is the key left of number 1) : Toggle show/hide formulas in cells.