Microsoft Office xp product Guide

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Microsoft Office XP

Product Guide


This Product Guide is designed to assist in evaluating Microsoft Office XP and focuses on the new and improved features shared throughout the Microsoft Office Suite (or at least across multiple applications).

As the Office team began planning for and developing Microsoft Office XP, many factors were considered in creating the feature set and solutions for customers. Among the most important input examined was feedback received from three primary user groups: individuals, teams, and organizations. These users gave input on the business challenges they face, the solutions they need to solve those challenges, and how the version of Office they are using helps (or could be improved on) to make them more productive. This document looks at some of this customer feedback and highlights the improved experiences in Office XP that address the issues these users face. The document is divided into three key ways in which users can experience Office XP:

  • Personal Experience- Whether you are an information technology (IT) administrator, a small business owner, a worker in an organization, or someone working from home, you are an individual user of Office. You use the Office applications to be more productive and to help you make better decisions. Office XP provides you with a variety of new experiences that will give you greater control over the way Office works, easier access to information from the Web or your Office applications, and tools that ensure you don’t lose your important information.

  • Collaborative Experience- Working in teams is more prevalent in today’s workplace then ever before. Whether you are working with one other person on a document or working with a group of coworkers on a project, Office XP features easy-to-use tools that help your team share and collaborate with one another more efficiently.

  • Organizational Experience- Organizations of all shapes and sizes must be assured that the overall investment they make in their software is one that offers significant value and return to the organization and its users. With Office XP, this value is realized not only by significant deployment and management gains, but also by the software’s improvements as an enterprise development platform. Office XP offers organizations a variety of tools to help lower costs; improve deployment, administration, and management; and build customized, integrated business solutions that meet their business needs

Key Design Goals and Overview of New Features

Personal Experience

Office XP is designed to offer a variety of personal experiences that will help simplify the way people work. The new capabilities described below help individuals be more productive and efficient as well as access their important information more easily. Office XP also offers a higher level of reliability, data recovery, and security.

Productivity and Efficiency

A key area that individual users of Office focused their feedback on was productivity. Users felt that although the version of Office they currently used helped them be more productive, they knew they were not taking full advantage of all the product’s functionality. Many people felt that the functionality was either too difficult to find or to use. If they could find the functionality, users often lacked the confidence to try it. As a result, Office XP was designed to give users the tools they need to discover and use more of the product. At the same time, Office XP gives users new functionality that helps them be more productive.



How to Access

Smart Tags

Microsoft Office Smart Tags are a set of buttons that are shared across the Office applications. These buttons appear when the user needs them (such as when a user makes an error in an Excel formula, when Word automatically corrects a user’s action, or when a user pastes some data) and gives the user the options they need to change the given action or error.

  • See each individual Smart Tag description for more information on how to access each one.

Task Panes

Office XP applications give users easy access to their important tasks in a single integrated view. From the Task Pane, which appears on the right side of the screen, users can perform searches, open or start a new document, view the contents of the clipboard, format their documents and presentations, or even access translation and template services via the Web.

Note: Different Task Panes are associated with specific applications.

  • Open up Word (or any other Office application).

  • From the View menu, select Task Pane.

Note: The Task Pane automatically appears when a user performs an action that uses the Task Pane.



How to Access

Paste Options Smart Tags

Multiple paste options allow users to decide whether they want to paste their data as they originally copied it, change the style so that it fits the style of the document they are pasting the data into, or apply specific characteristics to the data, based on the content.

  • Example: Copy a table from Excel and paste it into a Word document.

  • A Paste Options Smart Tag appears.

  • Select the option you want for your pasted information.

AutoCorrect Options Smart Tags

This feature provides an easy mechanism for users to control and modify automatic behavior that takes place within the Office applications. Users can undo an auto correction, choose to not have that correction take place in the future, or access the AutoCorrect Options dialog box without needing to search for it under the Tools menu.

  • Type a sentence in Word that triggers an auto correction. Example: Sched. a meeting on 3/4.

  • Hover over the words that were automatically changed.

  • From the Smart Tag option, choose to undo the change, ignore it, or access more options.

File New
(Task Pane)

As part of the Task Pane, creating a new file or opening an existing file is made simpler. Not only can users quickly open a new file from within the task pane, but they can also create a new document from a template that lives on the Web, create a new document from an existing document, or get a list of their most recently used templates or documents.

Office Clipboard (Task Pane)

An improved clipboard enables users to copy up to 24 pieces of information at once across all the Office applications or the Web and store them on the Task Pane. The Task Pane gives users a visual representation of the copied data and a sample of the text, so they can easily distinguish between items as they transfer them to other documents.

  • From within any Office application, copy at least two pieces of information.

  • The Office Clipboard automatically opens as part of the Task Pane.

Note: You can also open the Office Clipboard on the Task Pane by selecting Clipboard from the View Menu.



How to Access


Office XP increases user productivity by supplementing traditional mouse and keyboard execution with voice commands. Users can dictate text, make direct formatting changes, and navigate menus using speech and voice commands.

Note: Speech is currently available for U.S. English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese languages.

  • Make sure Speech is installed on your machine (and that you have walked through the training program).

  • In Word, click Speech on the Tools menu.

  • Using the Speech toolbar, choose either Dictation mode or Command mode.


Office XP enables users to take handwritten notes on their handheld device and upload their notes as text directly into their Office applications. Users can also write directly in Word and keep the document in handwriting or convert it to typed text. Furthermore, East Asian users will be able to handwrite characters in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, and Word will automatically convert it to the correct typed character.

  • If Handwriting is not installed, run office setup and go into Add/Remove Features. Open the Office Shared Features section, and set Alternative User Input to Run from My Computer”

  • When the Language Bar appears, choose Writing Pad.

Office Document Imaging

The new Office Document Imaging functionality, which takes advantage of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, enables users to scan multi-page documents, view those documents, and reuse that text in their Office applications. Furthermore, users can locate their imaged documents at a later time using the full text search capabilities built into Office.

  • Make sure you have installed Office Document and Imaging during installation.

  • From the Windows Start Menu select Programs, Microsoft Office Tools, and then Microsoft Office Document Imaging.

  • For quick scanning, select Microsoft Office Document Scanning from the same menu as above.

Streamlined User Interface

Office XP has a new look and feel that improves the user’s Office experience. This includes removing visually competing elements, visually prioritizing items on a page, increasing letter spacing and word spacing for better readability, and defining foreground and background color to bring the most important elements to the front.



How to Access

Compress Pictures

The Office XP Compress Pictures feature enables users to compress images within their Office files. Users can select the intended use of the file (Web, print, screen display, etc.) and designate whether one or all images in the file should be optimized. The images are then shrunken and compressed in a manner that minimizes the size of the image without minimizing the visual quality of the image.

  • Open Picture Toolbar by selecting View> Toolbars.

  • Select Compress Pictures Button.

Office E-mail Introduction

Microsoft Office E-mail contains an introductory field, which enables users to enter a short introduction at the top of the message when sending mail from an Office application. This eliminates the need to change the body of the document the user is sending.

  • From within any Office application, click the e-mail icon on the Standard Toolbar.

  • Enter text into the introduction field.

Ask A Question

Office XP enables users to type a question without launching the Answer Wizard or the Office Assistant. Even if the assistant is turned off or hidden, the question is answered in an Answer Wizard balloon.

  • From within any of the Office applications, type a question into the “Ask a Question” box in the upper right corner of the application.

Office Assistant

The Office Assistant is hidden by default. It appears when Help is activated and hides itself when Help is completed.

  • Select “Show the Office Assistant” from the Help menu.

Help Window Improvements

An improved user interface enables users to easily access important help topics, Web sites (such as Product Support Services and Office Update), and a “What’s New” catalog where they can learn about new areas of functionality in each application.

  • Type a question using the Office Assistant or the “Ask A Question” box.

  • When you find the response you’re looking for, click it.

  • If you don’t find the response you’re looking for, click “Get More Help On the Web.”

Access to Information

People also gave the feedback that they need to connect more easily with their important information, regardless of where it exists. They particularly emphasized the need to make more effective use of the Web and Office together in order to get access to this information. Office XP continues to extend the value of Office by making it simple for users to access information on the Web, in their organization, or on their computer.



How to Access

Context Sensitive
Smart Tags

In previous versions of Office, Word and Excel were smart enough to recognize URLs and e-mail names and assign links associated with these items. Users could then activate the items by clicking on them. Word and Excel extend this functionality to include information from Microsoft Outlook® or the Web, including names, dates, addresses, phone numbers, places, and stock symbols. Because these Smart Tags are extensible, organizations can create their own (see below for more details).

  • Make sure you have Smart Tags turned on in Word or Excel (under AutoCorrect Options).

  • Type in a name, address, place, or date into Word or a stock symbol into Excel.

  • Hover over entered text and select from the list of options.

(Task Pane)

As part of the Task Pane, the new search capabilities of Office XP make it simple to find text in a document. Users can also find files or folders—regardless of where they are stored—without needing to leave the document they are working on. Furthermore, users can index the files on their machine. The result is faster and more comprehensive searches.

  • From within any Office application, click Search from the File Menu.

  • Or click the Search icon on the Standard toolbar.

Save to MSN

Using MSN™ Communities, users can save their documents to a file cabinet on the Internet, which can be private or public. This allows users to easily share files on the Internet without ever leaving Microsoft Office. MSN Communities uses Passport as its authentication mechanism.

  • From within any of your Office applications, click Save as Web Page.

  • Select My Network Places and select My Web Sites on MSN.

  • Log on with your passport account and save to your MSN Communities.



How to Access

Web Queries

When in Excel, users can easily access, analyze, and refresh data from the Web. When information from the Web is copied into Excel, a Smart Tag appears, giving users the option to create a refreshable query. Users can then manually refresh the data, or they can identify how often Excel should automatically refresh the data. Users can also create these Web Queries by simply dragging and dropping a Web page into Excel.

  • Go up to any Web site and copy the information you want to analyze.

  • Paste the information into Excel.

  • Select “Create Refreshable Web Query” from the Smart Tag drop-down menu.

  • Choose the table you want to import and click Import.

Template Gallery

Provides hundreds of professionally designed templates on the Web that can be accessed and edited directly within Office.

  • From within Word, click New from the File menu (or go up to

  • Select Templates on

  • Choose your template and import it into your application.

Media Gallery

Thousands of clip art images, sounds, photos, and animations are available on the Web and can be accessed from Office XP applications. The Clip Gallery Live is updated monthly so that users can constantly extend their design possibilities.

  • Example: From any of your Office applications, select Picture from Clip Art from the Insert Menu.

My Data Sources

A new folder in the My Documents folder keeps track of the data sources that users have previously accessed. This enables users to quickly find a connection to a database or other data source without having to spend time searching for it.

  • From within the My Documents folder, select My Data Sources.

  • Click Connect to a New Data Source and walk through the Wizard.

  • Once a Data Source has been added, you can easily access the source again just by clicking the data source file that has been created.



How to Access

Print from Browser

Users can print an HTML file from the original Office application in which it was created. If a user chooses to print an Office HTML file, Internet Explorer launches the appropriate application. This provides users with a significantly higher quality printing result.

  • Open up the Office HTML file you want to print and select Print.

  • Notice that it prints from the original application from which it was created.

Web Options Compatibility

Office makes it easy for users to target a particular level of browser when creating documents for the Web. This is done via a new “Browsers” tab in Web Options. This tab brings together all the browser-specific options. Users can choose their target browser from a drop-down menu and set specific browser options in their documents.

  • Select Options from the Tools menu.

  • On the general tab, select Web Options.

  • On the Browsers tab, choose browser configuration.

Insert Hyperlink Dialog Box

Enhancements to the Insert Hyperlink dialog box make it easier for users to link to files in the Web pages they are working on. The dialog box shows a list of files and folders from the current folder in the Web page and allows users to switch to another open Web page. 

  • In any Office application, highlight the text to which you want to add a hyperlink.

  • Select Insert>Hyperlink.

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