10 Ways Office 2010 Will Make Your Life Easier

Just because your job is challenging doesn’t mean your documents and reports have to be. Office 2010 has some really cool features that can make your efforts shine and your materials pop!

1.     The Ribbon

Office 2010 uses a new streamlined interface, known as the Ribbon. This new interface – which replaces menus and toolbars – organizes commands in a more intuitive fashion and brings many common commands closer to the surface. As a result, it is easier to find commands – and it takes less clicks, making you far more productive.

2.     Themes and Styles

Office 2010 adds a Theme umbrella over all formatting for a particular document, and allows you to easily apply professional formatting to objects like tables and pictures using Styles. These tools allow you to readily create professional-looking documents.

3.     Keyboard Shortcuts

For those who prefer to keep their hands on the keyboard while working (ideal for increasing efficiency and avoiding Carpal Tunnel), Office 2010 provides keyboard access to every command on every ribbon. In addition, users can easily create Keyboard Shortcuts for common commands by customizing the Quick Access Toolbar.

4.     Screenshots

This new feature, available across all Office platforms under the “Insert” menu, quickly captures all or part of your screen. Users who currently use the Print Screen button then crop the image to only show a specific part of the screen can use this clipping tool to capture the same result with fewer steps.

5.     Word: Cover Pages

Creating a cover page for a Word document is a click away in Office 2010.  The Cover Page will automatically be the first page of the document, use matching colors based on the document theme, and pull relevant information like Title and Author from the document properties.

6.     Word: Search Pane

When searching for a word or phrase in a document, Word 2010 will highlight all the matching words within the document. It will also open a navigation pane on the left of the screen that lists all the sentences where this word appears. You can then click on those sentences – and easily jump to that location in the document.

7.     Excel: Sort and Filter

Sort and Filter are greatly enhanced in Excel 2010. Lists can now be sorted by as many as 64 levels – as well as by color. The Autofilter dropdowns use a checkbox approach, making it easy to hide any records that don’t meet specific criteria and show only the records you care about.

8.     PowerPoint: Animation Painter

Office 2010 adds an Animation Painter tool that copies any animation scheme applied to text or object, and allows users to apply the same animation to another object or text within the document. The feature works just like Format Painter, but with animation.

9.     Outlook:  Conversation View

When individuals or groups respond to an e-mail in Outlook 2010, that thread can be collapsed into a single line, known as a conversation. Related e-mails that were formerly scattered throughout the inbox are now consolidated, and can be deleted, moved and tagged, as a group.

10.   Outlook: Quick Steps

This new feature of Outlook 2010 allows users to consolidate a series of common actions that are performed on a regular basis into a single click. For example, if you regularly create new messages addressed to your department, or process a message by marking it as read and moving it to a folder, you can create a quick step to trigger those activities with a single click or keyboard shortcut.


Alex Mozes is the Director of Training for Learn iT! He manages the Desktop Instruction team and is responsible for all course content and development. His areas of expertise include all levels of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project, OneNote, Act!, Salesforce, MS Office, Time Management and Business Writing. He’s also reads more SF Giants blogs than anyone else here at Learn iT! and keeps the rest of us informed of any relevant updates.