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Chapter 1. An Overview of Office 2003 > What's New in Office 2003 - Pg. 2

2 Chapter 1. An Overview of Office 2003 In this chapter What's New in Office 2003 An Overview of Office 2003 Applications Setup Essentials Activating Your Copy of Office Online Help for Expert Users Advanced Support Options What's New in Office 2003 If you read enough computer magazines and Web sites, you might conclude--mistakenly--that Office 2003 is just another ho-hum upgrade. According to the conventional wisdom, Office 2003 isn't all that different from Office XP, which wasn't all that different from Office 2000, and it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to upgrade. We beg to differ. We've spent nearly a year working with Office 2003, beginning with the earliest test versions and ending with the final code you're running right now. We used Word 2003 to write this book, we kept track of its many pieces using Excel 2003, and over the course of a year we used Outlook 2003 to send and receive more than 60,000 e-mail messages. (Two-thirds of them were spam, but that's another subject completely.) We dug into the innards of Office 2003 to figure out what makes it really work--as opposed to relying on press releases and Help files that aren't always, shall we say, in alignment with reality. The more you use Office 2003, the more you'll uncover new features and changes in the way you perform familiar tasks. How dramatic are those changes? That depends on which version of Office you've been using. If you work for a large corporation or just never found a particularly compelling reason to upgrade, you might have skipped over a version or two in the past few years. · If you're upgrading from Office 97 or earlier, you'll see a completely new interface, with different toolbar buttons and redesigned dialog boxes that are immediately apparent. In addition, you'll notice profound differences in features and functions in every Office program. · If you're upgrading from Office 2000, on the other hand, the differences aren't so obvious--at least not at first boot. Many of the basic Office interface elements--including toolbars, menus, and the individual applications that make up Office--should look familiar. In addition, the default file formats in Office 2003 programs are essentially unchanged from their Office 2000 counter- parts; so you should be able to open, edit, and save all your documents, worksheets, and pre- sentations without any hitches.