I feel like a first-grader again

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.

14 responses to “I feel like a first-grader again

  1. 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.

    Set yourself free:


    Free open source office suite. However, since you already have 2010; good luck!


  2. Actually, I was introduced to Office 2010 from the 2003 version at work. I like it and purchased the home version for my house. Feel free to ping me if you like.


  3. You must be conquoring 2010, there’ve been a bunch of posts. I don’t know how you have the patience.


  4. Hang in there, Moe!


  5. One victory! – The brilliant Todd who, when called upon, takes over my computer from his secret lair poked around and found the obscure setting that was causing my cursor problem. It was insructive – and frustrating – going to Dell forums and finding out just how widespread that particular problem is. Dell seems not to have an answer. Various solutions have been invented by other users and I was despairing of knowing which way to go.. But Todd, good ole Todd, he fixed ‘er up good. Took him about five minutes.


  6. But I shall forge ahead.

    Just installed Office 2010. I shall be learning too it seems.

    How is it going for you after these 3.5 months?


    • How? You should have listened to me! I hired a tutor (very helpful) for two hours and even bought a dummies book (useless). I’m managing fine now, but I still find it very annoying to deal with the damn ‘ribbon’ menus. I find a tool or function but unless I use it regularly, I forget where it’s hidden and have to search all over again. Be sure to use the Quick Access Tool bar and add stuff to it (like spell check and quick print etc) – so you only have to click once.

      A big annoyance with this version of Office – and with Explorer 8 (do you have that too?)- is how so many things that used to be a single click now require two and sometimes three clicks.

      But Publisher is WONDERFUL. I’d never used it before and now I don’t know how I got by without it. Unlike Word, it’s very intuitive and I self taught very quiickly.

      Let me know how you do!


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