Some of you will already know that Microsoft is currently testing the next version of Office… called Office 2010. Whilst it is not available in the shops yet, yours truly has been helping out the folk at Microsoft to find bugs, quirks, or other annoying things in the product so you don’t have to.
The best part about me helping to test the product is that I am going to start sharing with you some of my favourite parts of Office 2010 – and start publishing some Office 2010 help, tips, tricks and tutorials so you can hit the ground running once the product is released sometime in the near future. Excited? I thought you might be! So here we go – my first post on Office 2010!
Blogging from Word 2010
Whilst this post has so far introduced you to the new Office 2010 content that will be published on The New Paperclip shortly, it is also my first test of the blogging feature in the Word 2010 Technical Preview. To be honest I never really used the feature in Word 2007 – I have been a fan of Windows Live Writer and have used that very successfully for a number of years – I thought I would bite the bullet and see if Word 2010 cuts the mustard.
In particular interest to me is how Word 2010 will manage posting categories, tags, images, text formatting, post scheduling and more. So let’s take a look at my first blogging experience with Word 2010.
To write a blog post in Word 2010
The first thing you need to do open up the new blog post template! Click on the Office button in the top left hand corner of the Word 2010 screen. In the menu that appears, click “New”, and then select “New Blog Post” from the available templates gallery. Then all you need to do is click “Create” and you are almost on your way!
Linking to your blog provider
TheNewPaperclip.com and all my other blog based publishing enterprises run on the WordPress engine – which Word 2010 links into incredibly well. The first time I opened the new Blog Post template in Word 2010, a dialog box appeared asking me to register my blog provider. (Note, you can access this dialog box any other time by going to the “Blog Post” tab in the ribbon, clicking “Manage Accounts” and then clicking “New”). I selected WordPress, typed in my website details, username and password, and within seconds Word 2010 was successfully talking to my blog. The first thing I noticed here that was different to Windows Live Writer is that Word 2010 did not download my blog theme so I can see exactly how the content will look when published as I write it. Not necessarily a bad thing as far as I am concerned, but you may disagree.
Creating the content
No matter what tool you use to create your blog posts, the content is the most important part. And realistically the tool you use has nothing to do with the quality of the content. That being said, the blogging tool you use has a lot to do with your productivity and how you present the information you want to include. This is where Word 2010 comes into its own.
The standard stuff you would expect is all there – with the same familiar shortcuts you would use in Word normally. You want bold? Select that text and CTRL+B it!
This is what I really like about using Word 2010 for blogging. The new “Screenshot” feature will be incredibly useful for when I am creating content for TheNewPaperclip. Here is a great example – at the moment I have a copy of PowerPoint 2010 running in the background. In the past my workflow would be to switch to PowerPoint, take a screenshot using the Print Screen button on the keyboard, open up MSPaint, paste the screenshot, resize or crop to my liking, save the image, switch back to Windows Live Writer, insert that image I just saved, and then do some finite resizing and positioning.
In Word 2010, all I need to do is click on the “Insert” tab in the ribbon, click the “Screenshot” button, and then select the screenshot of PowerPoint 2010 that Word has already generated for me in the gallery. This automatically drops the screenshot into the blog post, and now all I need to do is crop and resize using the standard word “Picture Tools Format” tab. And the best part is I can use all those funky picture formatting styles to add the perfect border to the screenshot! Like this one…
<Note – after publishing this post I realised that my picture upload settings were wrong – so you can’t see how awesome this PowerPoint 2010 Screenshot actually looks – with reflection and everything! Oh well – managing Word 2010 blog account picture upload settings sounds like a great post for later on!>
To add Alt Text to the image I just inserted into the blog post – just right click on the image, select “Format Picture…”, click on “Alt Text” and type text that is appropriate.
Categories and Tags
Inserting categories was a breeze. I just clicked “Insert Category” from the blog post tab on the ribbon. I could select from the categories that already exist on the blog (like “Level 200 – Regular User”), and I could also create a new category – in this case “Word 2010″. Tags are a different story though – on the face of it I can’t see any way to include them – I am guessing there is a plugin required.
Which one came first – the chicken or the egg? Well the first time I publish a post using Word 2010 will be this one, so I can’t tell you exactly what the experience was like until I have actually posted it! That being said there are two publishing options I can see in the ribbon – the first is to publish a draft to your blog engine, and the second is to publish a final post. Speaking of which, I might publish this post now, and then try out the “Open Existing” feature to see if I can edit the post later on with a few more thoughts about at the process.
Hopefully see you on the flip side!
’till next time!
<Content added after the original post was published – using the “Open Existing” post feature in Word 2010>
Ok – that was pretty painless. Only issue I encountered was that I had my picture upload settings all wrong, so none of the images came through – but that is pretty easily fixed. The one big disappointment was that there was no scheduling feature like I am used to in Windows Live Writer – but again I am sure there are some ways to get around that – like posting drafts to WordPress, and then adding a step to the workflow where you log into WordPress and schedule them from the administration console. Oh and one really annoying thing I just picked up – when you republish using the “Open Existing” feature, your fonts change from what the blog uses in its stylesheet, to a default serif font like Times New Roman. Not very good – that is another frown I can send to the Office team – and hopefully that will be fixed up by the time you get the product of the shelves sometime in the next 12 months.