1. What's New in Excel 2007?
One of the first things you'll notice about Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007 is that the user interface has changed quite a bit. Earlier versions of Office Excel 2007 housed the program's more than 1,000 commands in a series of menus, toolbars, task panes, and dialog boxes. And, as it turns out, there were some functions that didn't appear by default on any of the menus or toolbars. In Excel 2007, there is only one place to look for the tools you need to use it: the user interface Ribbon at the top of the program window. The Microsoft Excel 2007 product team took the dozens of menus and toolbars and reorganized their contents onto the Ribbon tabs and galleries. If you've used Excel before, you'll need to spend only a little bit of time working with the new user interface to bring yourself back up to your usual proficiency. If you're new to Excel, you'll have a much easier time learning to use the program than you would have had with the previous user interface.
This chapter introduces many of the new features in Excel 2007: the new user interface, the improved formatting capabilities provided by galleries and minitoolbars, the new capabilities offered by data tables, the new color management scheme, and the improved charting engine. There are also new ways to manage the data in your workbooks. For example, you can create more flexible rules to have Excel 2007 format your data based on its value, summarize your data by using new functions, and save your workbooks as documents in other useful file formats. All these improvements combine to make Excel 2007 an accessible, powerful program you can use to manage, analyze, and present your data effectively.
Included in the back of this book is a handy tear-out guide to the 2007 Microsoft Office System. This guide will help you find your way around the new interface quickly and help you start customizing the interface for the way you work. The guide also provides an overview of some of the most-used commands on the Ribbon. Before you know it, you'll be navigating the 2007 Office System with ease.