Office 2010: Introduction | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Office 2010: Introduction


With the release of Office 2010, Microsoft made several improvements to the Office suite that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook. This help sheet summarizes some of the new features in Office 2010 but is by no means an all-inclusive list of changes.

Note: One feature that has not changed in Office 2010 is the use of XML-based file formats, such as .docx, .pptx, .xlsx, and .aspx. This means that files you save in Office 2010 can be opened in Office 2007 without requiring the use of a file converter or compatibility pack. 

Office 2010 is for Windows computers that meet the following system requirements:

• Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit) or Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit)
• Processor: 500 MHz or higher
• Memory: 256 MB or higher
• Hard Disk: 1.5 GB

New Features

User Interface

1. In Office 2007, the Ribbon replaced the menus and toolbars in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. In Office 2010, all Office applications use the Ribbon as the default view, including Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, InfoPath, and SharePoint Workspace (the new name for Microsoft Office Groove 2007). The Ribbon groups items together based on their context and how they are used. For example, all editing commands are grouped together on the Home Ribbon tab. You can customize the Ribbon to include new tabs and command groups based on your personal preferences. The image below shows the Ribbon as it appears in Outlook.

Note: Contextual Tabs still appear on the Ribbon when objects are selected. For example, clicking on a picture within a Word document will display a Format tab with tools for editing graphics.

2. The File tab has replaced the Office Button in the upper left corner of most Office 2010 applications. The File tab provides access to commonly used functions, such as saving, printing, and opening recent files.

3. Clicking the File tab opens Microsoft Office Backstage View, which represents a new way of organizing the options for saving, opening, printing, and sharing files. The image below shows the additional print options in Microsoft Word, which can now be accessed directly from the File tab (instead of from a separate Print window). Microsoft Office Backstage View allows you to share, print, and publish documents with fewer clicks.


Changes within Office Applications


1. Insert a screen shot directly into your document. Click the Insert tab and select Screenshot, then choose an available window or use the Screen Clipping option to select a portion of the window.

2. The Find feature has been improved. The results of your search are listed in a panel to the left of the document. You can click one of these results to jump directly to that location within the document. Matching terms are also highlighted in the text of your document itself. Click the Home tab and select Find to use this feature.

3. The paste preview option allows you to see how text will look before you paste it into your document.

4. Word 2010 provides more advanced translation options. You can translate a document, a selection of text, or a single word. Click the Review tab and select Translate to use this feature. Additional assistance is available for English as a second language with English text-to-speech playback.


1. Outlook the Ribbon to organize menu options and features.

2. Outlook 2010 features new tools for editing graphics and pictures. You can use these tools to insert and format screenshots into your email messages. You can also insert shapes and apply effects to them, such as shadow and 3-D rotation. Click the Insert tab to insert shapes, smart art, or screen shots. Then select the image you inserted and use the Format tab to apply effects.

3. The Conversation view helps you to organize email messages. You can view all the replies associated with your messages by clicking the View tab and selecting Show as Conversations.


You can also manage conversations with the new options on the Outlook Ribbon. For example, you can use the Ignore feature to send an entire conversation to the Deleted Items folder.

4. You can use the new Quick Steps feature (found on the Home tab) to quickly perform common tasks on specific email messages. For example, you can move a message to a different folder and mark it as read, or you can reply to and delete an email.

5. The new Schedule View in the Calendar section provides a horizontal display of multiple calendars. New calendar management tools enable you to save frequently used groups of calendars so they can be quickly redisplayed whenever you need them.




1. Excel now provides a feature called Sparklines which allows you to insert simple graphics into a spreadsheet cell that help give context to the data. Unlike charts, Sparklines are meant to be embedded into what they are describing. You can create Sparklines from the Insert tab.



1. Photo effects such as color saturation, brightness, and contrast can be added from the Format tab. An advanced cropping tool, along with artistic filters such as blur, paintbrush, and watercolor, can now be applied to images as well.


2. Video files can be directly embedded and edited in PowerPoint 2010. You can add effects such as video fades, reflections, bevels, 3-D rotation, and more.

3. You can now work on multiple presentations and multiple monitors. Separate windows are opened for you to view and edit presentations independently, side-by-side, or even on separate monitors.


1. Access 2010 has a revamped Macro Designer that makes it easier to create, edit, and automate database logic. You can extend automation outside the Access client to SharePoint Web databases and other applications that update your tables.


2. Frequently used Access objects, fields, or collections of fields can be saved as templates.