What Did That Error Message Mean?
Word 2007 Resources
A list of books that will help you get up to speed with Microsoft Word 2007.
A comprehensive suite of free video tutorials created by Microsoft.
Menus And Toolbars Out, The Ribbon In
The old menu and toolbar system characteristic of previous versions of Word has had a complete overhaul. Enter The Ribbon. Designed with speed and ease of use in mind, it aims to provide the same (and more) functionality with fewer clicks of the mouse. This is done by bringing the more popular commands to the front so you don't have to search for them.
The Ribbon Video Tutorial
The ribbon is divided into eight tabs by default, and each tab is geared towards a certain activity area. Within each tab is a selection of groups that show related items together. Command buttons in each group carry out a command or display a menu of commands. Using this hierarchy, similar commands are grouped together making the ribbon very task oriented. Because the more popular commands are available directly on each tab, you don't have to go hunting for them on submenus.
The Home tab contains all the things you use most often, such as commands in the font group for changing text size, colour and so on
If you can't find a certain command that you used in previous versions of word, don't panic; some groups have a small diagonal arrow in the bottom left corner - a dialog box launcher. Clicking it reveals more options related to that group.
The tabs are sensitive to the context in which you are working. To illustrate this, suppose you had inserted an image into your document. On selecting the image, the Picture Tools tab appears where previously it was hidden. Clicking away from the picture hides this tab again. The Picture Tools tab is an example of an 'on demand' tab; tables and charts also have on-demand tabs that appear when those elements are selected.
If you see reference made to a Developer Tab in the ribbon, but you don't see it in your version of Word, don't worry. You can enable display of this tab by clicking the Office Button > Word Options > Popular, and then checking the Show Developer Tab in the Ribbon checkbox. Click OK and you should now see the Developer Tab.
You'll notice that some of the command icons in the ribbon are quite large. To conserve space when your window gets resized, however, these icons get rescaled themselves. If the icons in your ribbon do not look like the images shown in these tutorials, this may be the reason.