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New Office 11 for Mac sports dense ribbons of buttons

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
Screenshots of Microsoft's 2011 version of its productivity suite for Mac have appeared, highlighting a more serious user interface appearance and the Vista Ribbon.

The screenshots, posted by BoyGeniusReport, present the new look of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the entirely new Outlook for Mac (with Exchange support) and separate Address Book, Notes, and Calendar apps.

Formerly, Office for Mac combined all messaging related features into Entourage, which has served as a second-rate equivalent to the Windows-only Outlook ever since Microsoft canceled its Mac Outlook client for Exchange nearly a decade ago.

Microsoft has since unbundled its "everything" Outlook strategy to deliver individual contact, email and calendar apps since Windows Vista, matching Apple's component app model for Mac OS X.

Using a toned down strip of buttons that drops the candy colored theme Office 2008, the upcoming Office 11 for Mac will incorporate a version of the Windows Vista-era "Ribbon" to present organize a huge array of options typically hidden away in standard menus.



The new UI (as demonstrated in Outlook 2011, above) incorporates more of Apple's standard human interface guidelines, in part because it now uses Cocoa, which makes it easier to deliver familiar feeling apps on the Mac than the legacy Carbon framework that Office was originally developed under decades ago.

Office 11 vs iWork 09

Still, Office 11 looks decidedly different than Apple's own iWork apps, which present a standard Mac OS X toolbar along with "Format Bar" of contextually relevant tools that change as different elements are selected.

The iWork apps also leave many minor options hidden within the standard Mac OS X menu bar, which Windows lacks (apps for Windows incorporate menu bars directly within their own window).

For the iPad, Apple adapted the user interface for iWork in such a way so as to present nearly all of the same features without requiring much in the way of relearning how to use it. Microsoft has not delivered a tablet version of Office, reportedly because of political and management issues flaring between the Office group and engineers working on Tablet PC.



The Office Ribbon

Starting with Vista, Microsoft added a "start button" and turned the standard Office menu bars into a Ribbon, which packed a dense number of options into a tight space, organized by feature.

The Ribbon feature has proven controversial, with Microsoft's supporters hailing it as the future of user interfaces, and its critics arguing that the move is simply an arbitrary change intended to derail any familiarity with (and therefore potential for competition from) its free OpenOffice doppelgänger.

Because the Mac version of Office doesn't need to incorporate the system menu bar within its own window, the idea of the Windows Ribbon makes less sense to Mac users, but the MacBU has created a Ribbon for the new Office suite that seems to work, even if it does consume a lot of screen real estate.
post #2 of 117
Microsoft's graphic designers are third-rate. What is up with those nasty icons?
I got nothin'.
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I got nothin'.
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post #3 of 117
In the immortal words of Master Shake, "This is too busy, THIS IS ALL TOO BUSY."
post #4 of 117
iWork looks much better than Office for Mac but I can't say I'm happy with either design. On a 13" MBP wasting so much space at the top is not ideal. Especially not with this 16:10 (and hopefully not 16:9 in the future) over the previous 4:3 displays. I have plenty of space on the sides and I'd like to use it. Now the iPad, that is the way you rethink it!

PS: Bring back my TabsOnTop in Safari.
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post #5 of 117
It is true they should put some brain power into figuring out how to make a decent side panel instead of wasting precious horizontal space. In 16:9 that becomes even more ridiculous.
But on the other hand on 16:10 the ribbon is still okay especially since it is easy to minimize it and it only shows when you actually need it and many things work with keyboard short cuts and the mouse menu. If you need the ribbon it is definitely better than all the old menus IMO. It makes it much easier to find your way in all those endless features MS office offers nowadays. I can work a lot faster with Office 2007 than I could with 2003 although feature wise they are pretty much the same. But accessibility changed a lot and the Office for Mac 2008 is IMHO a mess and sucks compared to the windows version (2007).
I never really understood why they made everything blue in Office 2007. 2010 changes this childish color theme, but besides this there is little GUI change.
This MAC Version is much better IMO than the old one but it waste more horizontal space than windows. If you hide the doc you still have the menu bar and the little gray title bar and than the office icon menu bar. A set up in Win7 with the thin taskbar saves a lot more space and offers the same functionality.
post #6 of 117
Good. They can keep it.
post #7 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Screenshots of Microsoft's 2011 version of its productivity suite for Mac have appeared, highlighting a more serious user interface appearance and the Vista Ribbon.

...
Starting with Vista, Microsoft added a "start button" and turned the standard Office menu bars into a Ribbon, which packed a dense number of options into a tight space, organized by feature.

The Ribbon feature has proven controversial, with Microsoft's supporters hailing it as the future of user interfaces, and its critics arguing that the move is simply an arbitrary change intended to derail any familiarity with (and therefore potential for competition from) its free OpenOffice doppelgänger.

Because the Mac version of Office doesn't need to incorporate the system menu bar within its own window, the idea of the Windows Ribbon makes less sense to Mac users, but the MacBU has created a Ribbon for the new Office suite that seems to work, even if it does consume a lot of screen real estate.

What the heck is a Vista Ribbon? The new menu bar appeared in Office 2007 for Windows not because the OS was Vista.

As far as not being necessaray to duplicate the ribbon on the Mac...

Would the average user want 2 different looks depending on which platform of Office you happen to be working on.

Terrible article that the writer is clearly not informed on the subject matter other than scamming info off of other review sites.
post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Good. They can keep it.

Don't use it then. You have a clear choice.
post #9 of 117
This looks even worse than the 2008 version. Where do they find their application designers? That's even worse than Adobe's crap... Somehow even one-person software shops are able to deliver Cocoa applications with standard interfaces. They should be ashamed.

That ribbon is the sickest invention ever, I know several companies that have aborted the Office 2007 roll-out because of it, and even two that went back to 2003 after trying 2007 for months.
post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

What the heck is a Vista Ribbon? The new menu bar appeared in Office 2007 for Windows not because the OS was Vista.

As far as not being necessaray to duplicate the ribbon on the Mac...

Would the average user want 2 different looks depending on which platform of Office you happen to be working on.

Terrible article that the writer is clearly not informed on the subject matter other than scamming info off of other review sites.

As usual you fail on every level, even attacking the author for your ignorance.

MS Office 2007 offered the Fluent user interface. This is similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework, often referred to as Vista Ribbon because the minimum requirements were Windows Vista SP2.
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post #11 of 117
Before everyone goes crazy. Remember:

- You can minimize the ribbon to gain back your space
- Office for Mac includes the menu's so you don't have to use the ribbon.

So this is the best of both worlds. Use menu's if you want. Use ribbon if you want. And we get Outlook and Office Communicator client. Along with SharePoint 2010 integration. These are all good things because these are becoming the standard tools out there. All of this means more Mac's being sold into more business environments.

DJ
post #12 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

As usual you fail on every level, even attacking the author for your ignorance.

MS Office 2007 offered the Fluent user interface. This is similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework, often referred to as Vista Ribbon because the minimum requirements were Windows Vista SP2.

Do you ever get tired of being proved wrong?

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/pr...668651033.aspx

" Note The 2007 Microsoft Office system programs client is a 32-bit application and can run on a Windows 64-bit platform (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista) but there may be some feature limitations as noted in the system requirements below."
post #13 of 117
Unfortunately, since almost all my customers use MS-Word for their documents, it is almost a necessity to have MS-Word for the Mac. Pages just isn't fully compatible.

I installed Office 2007 on my Mac running Vista in Bootcamp (I need it for my work), and I *hate* it. If Office 11 for Mac mimics Office 2007, I will think twice before I am going to purchase it.
post #14 of 117
I like it. I also find the ribbon to make much more sense than the old menu bars.
post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

Do you ever get tired of being proved wrong?

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/pr...668651033.aspx

" Note The 2007 Microsoft Office system programs client is a 32-bit application and can run on a Windows 64-bit platform (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista) but there may be some feature limitations as noted in the system requirements below."

LEARN TO READ
What I wrote...


MS Office 2007 = Fluent user interface » Is similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework

Windows Ribbon Framework (aka Vista Ribbon) = Minimum requirements is Windows Vista SP2

What you wrote...
What the heck is a Vista Ribbon? The new menu bar appeared in Office 2007 for Windows not because the OS was Vista.*
* I used Comic Sans because your comical
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post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

LEARN TO READ

MS Office 2007 = Fluent user interface » Is similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework

Windows Ribbon Framework (aka Vista Ribbon) = Minimum requirements is Windows Vista SP2

You are digging yourself in deeper with each posting. Quit while you are behind.
I'd give you a screen shot but have upgraded to Win 7 on all my computers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_2007

Office 2007 contains a number of new features, the most notable of which is the entirely new graphical user interface called the Fluent User Interface[2] (initially referred to as the Ribbon User Interface), replacing the menus and toolbars which have been the cornerstone of Office since its inception with a tabbed toolbar, known as the Ribbon. Office 2007 requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 or higher, Windows Vista or Windows 7.[3] Office 2007 is the last version of Microsoft Office available for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

The 'Ribbon User Interface' is a task-oriented Graphical User Interface (GUI). It features a central menu button, widely known as the 'Office Button'. The Ribbon Interface stayed in Microsoft Office 2010.
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

As far as not being necessaray to duplicate the ribbon on the Mac...

Would the average user want 2 different looks depending on which platform of Office you happen to be working on.

They should use the best interface for each OS - I don't know what that would mean for Windows, but for Mac they should use less horizontal real estate - for those of us who know what we're doing, let us get rid of the ribbon totally, and stock our toolbars with the tools we use, and have more space for the document itself. Oh wait, that was so 2004 - and that's why I haven't upgraded since then (and won't now).

Quote:
Terrible article that the writer is clearly not informed on the subject matter other than scamming info off of other review sites.

You might consider that nobody has access to the software - somebody snuck out some screenshots, and that's it.
post #18 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

You are digging yourself in deeper with each posting. Quit while you are behind.
I'd give you a screen shot but have upgraded to Win 7 on all my computers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_2007
Gobbledygook

How about a link from the company that actually made the Windows Ribbon Framework.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...91(VS.85).aspx Look at that, tou even got lucky because Microsoft even stats everything I previous stated all in one page as this is general knowledge for those that have a working knowledge of Windows.
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post #19 of 117
Office 2004 - UI optimized for editing half sheets of paper.
Office 2008 - UI optimized for editing index cards.
Office 2011 - UI optimized for editing business cards.
Coming soon - Microsoft Post Office, perfect for stamps!
post #20 of 117
Another Microsoft self-referential ghetto interface from the company that never met a feature it could resist. As usual, they're too interested in making OS X resemble the Windows version of the product, and dominating rather than cooperating with the larger environment.

Would that the Democrats would pry MS apart with an antitrust crowbar, perhaps allowing some competition in a market that hasn't seen anything other beyond bland evolution and the cosmetic repackaging of the same features for decades.

Ditto Adobe. The only thing more bloated than these products is the complacency of the companies that produce them.
post #21 of 117
I wonder what's supposed to happen when I click the floppy disk icon?

Does the program generate a little whirring/clicking noise, just for nostalgia's sake?

(C'mon, MacBU, it's Two Thousand And Ten already!)
post #22 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

I wonder what's supposed to happen when I click the floppy disk icon?

Does the program generate a little whirring/clicking noise, just for nostalgia's sake?

(C'mon, MacBU, it's Two Thousand And Ten already!)

Seriously! There is a point when such things become silly... and the floppy disc for Save is well past that point.
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post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

How about a link from the company that actually made the Windows Ribbon Framework.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...91(VS.85).aspx Look at that, tou even got lucky because Microsoft even stats everything I previous stated all in one page as this is general knowledge for those that have a working knowledge of Windows.

Is it going to take a fricking picture to prove you're wrong? How about a CNET video review with a follow up review.

YOU ARE WRONG.

CNET's review of Office 2007 and the article states it's running on XP.

http://reviews.cnet.com/office-suite...-32143052.html

You are seriously annoying and hate to be proven wrong.

From the review.

"Setup
Breezing through the options, our fastest installation of Microsoft Office Standard 2007 took no more than 20 minutes on a Windows XP computer."

"From that point on, loading the Office suite onto our hard drive took 15 minutes flat. Office Standard 2007 is smaller than its predecessors, at about 3GB. Unlike the Windows Vista operating system, the new Office does not demand the newest hardware. Office 2007 is supposed to work the same whether running on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Vista. At a minimum, you'll need to have Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 or Windows XP SP2 on a 500MHz processor with 256MB of RAM (512MB or more for Outlook with Business Contact Manager, which comes in the Small Business, Professional, and Ultimate editions). However, of course, this rules out those still using older versions of Windows.
post #24 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

Is it going to take a fricking picture to prove your wrong. How about a CNET video review with a follow up review.

YOU ARE WRONG.

CNET's review of Office 2007 and the article states it's running on XP.
blah blah blah

So what you are saying is Microsoft is wrong when they post that the Windows Ribbon Framework requires Vista with SP2 and when they compare the MS Office 2007's Fluent user interface as being similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework?

Ouch! That's your third strike this thread after saying Microsoft's own detailed website is wrong. I'm sorry, but you've lost all of your whack-a-doodle privileges for the evening. Perhaps you could finish your evening with something less intense or difficult, like See Spot Run or other popular children's books.
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post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So what you are saying is Microsoft is wrong when they post that the Windows Ribbon Framework requires Vista with SP2 and when they compare the MS Office 2007's Fluent user interface as being similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework?

Ouch! That's your third strike this thread after saying Microsoft's own detailed website is wrong. I'm sorry, but you've lost all of your whack-a-doodle privileges for the evening. Perhaps you could finish your evening with something less intense or difficult, like See Spot Run or other popular children's books.

Give it up. You are wrong about Windows Office 2007 requiring Vista to have the ribbon interface.

No need to further post to your responses because it's clearly like talking to a monkey. You can talk to it all day long and never get an intelligent response.
post #26 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by godrifle View Post

Microsoft's graphic designers are third-rate. What is up with those nasty icons?

Truly atrocious for sure. Garish mismatched colours, unintuitive icons, utter garbage, you won't find such bad designs on an android device even.

The ribbon for word is to me pretty much the only feature I can give kudos to microsoft, a real great interface, BUT, on windows pcs only, on the mac it's been a horrible mismatch so far, but right now it looks much better, still since the have to abide with the apple ui interface it's by definition very difficult to make it work, to be fair. If there was just the ribbon there and not the top icons on the grey background it would work, of course you can always hide that on the window. And I would say that you always have to hide it.

But anyway, who cares about word nowadays, or pretty much every office app other than excel. Apple should have stepped up big time and hired a good team to bring numbers up to where it should be, then there would be absolutely no reason for office since keynote is far better than powerpoint and pages is arguably better than word too.

Btw, the mail and address book apps look embarrassing, something a 12 year old without much imagination or flair would have concocted. Truly lowest common denominator, truly microsoft.
post #27 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngusYoung View Post

Give it up. You are wrong about Windows Office 2007 requiring Vista to have the ribbon interface.

No need to further post to your responses because it's clearly like talking to a monkey. You can talk to it all day long and never get an intelligent response.

And there we have the trolls typical flipfloping on the debate when he actually realizes he's backed himself into yet another corner. Sad.

Let's go back to te beginning. You angrily exclaimed that the author's clear use of the phrase "Vista Ribbon" which has been pointed out refers to the Windows Ribbons Framework found in Vista SP2.

But now you claiming that I stated "Windows Office 2007 [requires] Vista to have the ribbon interface". What Mickey Mouse world do you live in that you think that makes sense?
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post #28 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I like it. I also find the ribbon to make much more sense than the old menu bars.

I agree. It took me some time to get used to the old menu system being gone, but once I spent a bit of time getting used to the ribbon, I grew to like it more than the original.

Now it's time to get myself flamed!

I'm glad that Microsoft continue to be developing Office for Mac and I'll be glad to see the ribbon appear to make it more like the PC version, because I prefer it to iWork. Maybe it's just that I spend a lot more time using Office as my productivity suite (since the company I work for is Windows only), and I've never spent an awful lot of time trying to get used to iWork. Whilst I found every other move to Mac from Windows a piece of cake, since everything else Mac does seems more intuitive than Windows, Office just seems more obvious to me than iWork.
post #29 of 117


Will take the iWork look over Office any day. Attractive, clean, simple, obvious.
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Btw, the mail and address book apps look embarrassing, something a 12 year old without much imagination or flair would have concocted. Truly lowest common denominator, truly microsoft.

For what it's worth, Outlook is the app I'm most interested in. I'm
not a fan of Apple's preference of seperating mail, contacts and calander, especially when they are clearly connected behind the scenes. Pretty much anything better than Entourage will make me switch.
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post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So what you are saying is Microsoft is wrong when they post that the Windows Ribbon Framework requires Vista with SP2 and when they compare the MS Office 2007's Fluent user interface as being similar in both appearance and functionality to the Windows Ribbon Framework?

Ouch! That's your third strike this thread after saying Microsoft's own detailed website is wrong. I'm sorry, but you've lost all of your whack-a-doodle privileges for the evening. Perhaps you could finish your evening with something less intense or difficult, like See Spot Run or other popular children's books.

I really don't want to get into this pissing match, though all your posts - I'm not even sure what the point is. Best I can tell, one person indicates that you need Vista to run Office 2007 w/ the annoying ribbon.

I teach at a horribly antiquated community college where all of the workstations are still Windows XP. We run Office 2007 - and I have yet to find a feature that does not work. A lot of my students are professionals who come and want to learn how to use this newer piece of crap from MS, that is supposedly much easier and intuitive to use. Hahahahahaha.


So, MS Office 2007 does run on OS's less than Windows 7 and Vista. Our machines are running XP - the final SP (3?).
post #32 of 117
People will buy or use what they are comfortable using ... MS (as usual) attempts to solve every problem and complicates the interface in doing so. Apple does a decent job, generally at UI design, but still can't offer some simple improvements like saving the state of the Pages window if it's expanded (how many times do I have to expand the size of the window to get at bullets). Yes, yes, I know, use the Inspector ... well, it's still a few more clicks than necessary.
post #33 of 117
4WIW, I use Office 2007 running Fusion 2 and Windows XP on my MBP and I personally prefer the ribbon over menus--but that's my choice and preference. Others may prefer menus--just a matter of personal preference

I watched the iPad video using iWorks--impressive
When the iPad come to the Apple Store and the crowds die down, I'll take a serious look at the iPad and Works. 2ETO

Forgot to mention--I have no intention of switching to Office 2011--2007 works for me.
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post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

For what it's worth, Outlook is the app I'm most interested in. I'm
not a fan of Apple's preference of seperating mail, contacts and calander, especially when they are clearly connected behind the scenes. Pretty much anything better than Entourage will make me switch.

I guess it's a matter or taste, because I like the way they are all separate apps, makes for less clutter on each one separately. But, like I said, it's a matter of taste mostly I guess.
post #35 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post


I teach at a horribly antiquated community college where all of the workstations are still Windows XP. We run Office 2007 - and I have yet to find a feature that does not work. A lot of my students are professionals who come and want to learn how to use this newer piece of crap from MS, that is supposedly much easier and intuitive to use. Hahahahahaha.


So, MS Office 2007 does run on OS's less than Windows 7 and Vista. Our machines are running XP - the final SP (3?).

See my comments above, you beat me to the punch.
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post #36 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

I really don't want to get into this pissing match, though all your posts - I'm not even sure what the point is. Best I can tell, one person indicates that you need Vista to run Office 2007 w/ the annoying ribbon.

I teach at a horribly antiquated community college where all of the workstations are still Windows XP. We run Office 2007 - and I have yet to find a feature that does not work. A lot of my students are professionals who come and want to learn how to use this newer piece of crap from MS, that is supposedly much easier and intuitive to use. Hahahahahaha.


So, MS Office 2007 does run on OS's less than Windows 7 and Vista. Our machines are running XP - the final SP (3?).

Yeah, it does, but the author never wrote that Office 2007 doesn't run on XP. Neither did Microsoft nor I state it, that was just Angus Young's switch-a-roo argument after the fact. It seems clear to me that the author's used the phrase 'Windows Vista-era "Ribbon"' instead of just using a more general term to refer to the ribbon as to specifically prevent confusion with the earlier ribbon feature in the Fluent UI. Windows Ribbon framework requires Windows Vista SP2, as posted in links to Microsoft's own site, above, as well how it relates to the Fluent UI used in Office 2007. This isn't that difficult, People.
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post #37 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, it does, but the author never wrote that Office 2007 doesn't run on XP, Neither did I nor Microsoft.com, that was just Angus Young's switch-a-roo argument after the fact. It seems clear to me that the author's used the phrase 'Windows Vista-era "Ribbon"' instead of just using a more general term to refer to the ribbon as to specifically prevent confusion with the earlier ribbon feature. Windows Ribbon framework that requires Windows Vista SP2, as posted in links right to Microsoft's site, above, as well how it relates to the Fluent UI used in Office 2007. This isn't that difficult, People.

Pathetic is all I have to say.

Revise... You are pathetic.

First sentence of article.
Quote:
Screenshots of Microsoft's 2011 version of its productivity suite for Mac have appeared, highlighting a more serious user interface appearance and the Vista Ribbon.
post #38 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Will take the iWork look over Office any day. Attractive, clean, simple, obvious.

So will I. I have all but given up on MS Office. But I agree with Solipsism - neither are ideal. Too much wasted real estate at the top with that large toolbar.

On another note - there is no mention of how to save documents locally on the iPad as far as I can see. And much as I like the Photo app I was really hoping for some basic editing options. Hopefully these will come. The idea is obviously that the iPad will become a part of a local Apple ecosystem and much as this is probably right in most cases, I believe an awful lot of people will have nothing more than an iPad. For me the iPad will make the perfect first 'laptops' for my kids but they are not going to want to have to log on to the iMac to mess around with their photos.
post #39 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

iWork looks much better than Office for Mac but I can't say I'm happy with either design. On a 13" MBP wasting so much space at the top is not ideal. Especially not with this 16:10 (and hopefully not 16:9 in the future) over the previous 4:3 displays. I have plenty of space on the sides and I'd like to use it. Now the iPad, that is the way you rethink it! ...

The screen shots for Office have been shrunk to fit horizontally (check the traffic lights which are smaller), so even though they look similar, the ribbon takes up significantly more space than the single toolbar in iWork.

Trying to use Office for Mac is a nightmare IMO, but as an iWork user I must say that the "Inspector" is really, really, really, busy, ugly and poorly designed as well. Hopefully the iPad will help the designers to see how less is more again.

They could get rid of half of the crud in the inspector by simply making it context aware for instance. Pretty shameful that it's not already IMO.
post #40 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by axual View Post

People will buy or use what they are comfortable using ... MS (as usual) attempts to solve every problem and complicates the interface in doing so. Apple does a decent job, generally at UI design, but still can't offer some simple improvements like saving the state of the Pages window if it's expanded (how many times do I have to expand the size of the window to get at bullets). Yes, yes, I know, use the Inspector ... well, it's still a few more clicks than necessary.

I don't follow what you are saying at all. I think you're suggesting that the Pages style drawer is just a gee-gaw. If so, and if you're not using it virtually all the time to create, manage and apply text and paragraph styles, then you're missing one of the most useful and best designed features of Pages.
Please don't be insane.
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