Over the last few days I’ve been exploring my new laptop and digging into the astonishingly complex world of Office 2010, a challenge for someone whose last version was 2003. And even more challenging because I used Word only when absolutely necessary. For 21 years, since the green screen DOS days, I’ve been tethered to WordPerfect, an intuitive and logical program that is not a bit capricious. But, sigh, when my previous laptop went belly up, that also sounded the death knell for my WordPerfect days. (I could probably run down a copy to install but that would enable avoidance.)
So now I must do it. I must become proficient in Word and Publisher. I’ve even – for the first time in decades – ordered a book, an 861-page (!) dummies book.
Outlook works fine although it lacks many convenient features that ’03 had, and buttons – like SEND, NEW, CLOSE have been moved to less convenient spots – for no reasons I can discern. It’s full of (annoying) features useful only to someone who makes lists titled ‘action items’. Simple things like ‘flagging’ an email are no longer simple and require answers to questions irrelevant to a home user. (I’ve not dared yet to examine the newer version of Excel.)
Most puzzling to me is why MS felt it necessary to re-name ordinary things. A ‘task bar’ is now called a ‘ribbon’. And oddly, they’ve added keystrokes to common functions – to open an existing file now takes three clicks before the file directory appears. There is no longer a FOLDER icon in the ‘ribbon’ or elsewhere on the busy, busy, busy, top of the screen. I’ve yet to find a way to view two directories side by side without opening a new window, making it more difficult to move files from one folder to another.
But I shall forge ahead. The learning is not optional. (And just to sex things up, I also await resolution on two hardware issues – an erratic cursor that jumps around and HOME and END keys that don’t perform their proper functions.)
And I thought a new day was dawning and it was going to be easy.