So this is my first time using this beta version of Word. It certainly looks … blue . The white page has a drop-shadow all around it to emphasise it against the blue background of Word. Not quite sure why that background then has a curved lighter blue edge across the top-left corner, but it isn’t a huge problem or distraction.
Selecting text also uses blue, which is easier on the eyes than the old black & white that previous versions use. I’m now going to try changing the colour of this text to see how easy it is to do from the new ribbon bar … nice! The colour picker has different shades of the set colours and the colour of the text is updated dynamically as you move the pointer over the picker so that you can see what it is going to look like. The style picker does a similar trick. At the moment, I’ve only got a small amount of text – I hope it doesn’t slow Word down too much performing that update trick on the fly when you’ve got larger documents.
Undo and redo take a little moment to find but the undo menu is neat – it tells you what text was typed for a given undo action.
One problem I seem to be hitting is that as I type, suddenly, the pointer will move to a line or two above where I was previously and then continue inserting what I’m typing. I’m not sure if this is a Word problem or a VM issue.
The ribbon bar idea really works – the use of larger buttons to highlight the really important tools is valuable; the mailing bar also demonstrates the greying out of buttons that can’t yet be used until you’ve started the mail merge, yet the create section also makes it clear that you can make envelopes and labels. Hovering the pointer over the various options gives you a tool tip which is great for new users.
Now to see how the “save as a blog” feature works out … not bad! I’m typing this final bit directly through the Spaces interface, but everything preceeding this text was done in Word. The only bit missing is the ability to set the category but that isn’t a huge problem because the way that the blog posting is done results, by default, in the posting being a draft so you get an opportunity when you make it live to set the category.
More thoughts as I get deeper into the software …