Sunday, January 30, 2011

Microsoft Strikes Again

A couple of years ago, I took a class on Microsoft Publisher 2007 and then upgraded my copy of Microsoft Publisher. However, I did not upgrade my copy of Microsoft Office 2003 at that time. So for a couple of years, I was able to switch between using the user interface in Office and the user interface in Publisher 2007.

Microsoft Office 2010 user interface is based on the user interface that I had encountered in Publisher 2007, so I thought that upgrading to Office 2010 would be a breeze. Wrong!!!!

Several months ago, my IT guy (my husband) upgraded my operating system from Microsoft's VISTA to Windows 7. It then seemed to make sense to upgrade my version of Office to Office 2010. The application that I use the most in Office is Word. To me Word is one application that Microsoft seemed to have changed the most between Word 2003 and Word 2010.

The default font is Calibri at 11 points at 1.5 spacing. I like Arial at 10 points at 1 spacing. It wasn't obvious to me how to change the defaults so for several months I manually changed the line spacing, font size and the font. I finally reached the point that I was tired of having to change the properties of every Word document that I created.

The help on Word was useless so I turned to Google in hopes of finding a solution. Google did find several suggestions including some from Microsoft. I tried them all and each one failed. In each case, I was instructed to click on the "save default" botton. The formatting defaults appeared to have been implemented. I could open a new document and the formatting defaults that I had changed appeared to be in effect. Once I closed Word and reopened it, everything was back to the state before I tried to change the defaults.

At this point, I was conjuring up evil plots against Microsoft when I called my IT guy in and assigned him the task to get my problem resolved. Soon, my IT guy arrives in my office with the solution. I follow his instructions and the problem is resolved.

In order to change the default font. font size and line spacing, I had to open the default template file and apply the changes there. When I clicked on the save changes button, everything was AOK. My IT guy starts to giggle at my frustration. Since he is my husband, I threaten his life if he continues to giggle.

I also reminded him that I had been a computer programmer and held many roles in software companies so I wasn't the average user of Microsoft Office. If  I am having all these problems, then I can only imagine all those non-technical people pulling hair out from the frustration of nothing working as expected.

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