A while back, we asked you to submit your questions about Microsoft’s new Office 2011 suite. We’ve answered your questions about Excel and Outlook; now here are answers for Word 2011.
All that said, don’t assume that you’ll want to get rid of the Ribbon before you try it. It’s true that some who’ve used Word 2010 for Windows hated its version of the Ribbon. But the Ribbon has evolved; many (including some Macworld editors) have grown to like it. Don’t be too quick to turn back the clock.
Can I simplify the toolbar so that it has exactly the same things on it that I had on it in Word 5.1 (in my opinion, the best Mac version of Word ever)?
You can customize toolbars by going to View -> Toolbars -> Customize Toolbars And Menus. This command is also available by Control-clicking or right-clicking on the standard toolbar.
Can I set up Word so that when I insert an image in a document and double-click on it, it will open in the image editor of my choice?
Unfortunately, no. Office 2011 does include its own set of image editing features—located on the Format Picture Ribbon tab—that allow you to adjust brightness and contrast, correct colors, and remove backgrounds.
Have the Mail Merge capabilities been enhanced at all? Does it still merge with a FileMaker Pro data source?
Microsoft did not introduce any new Mail Merge functionality in Word 2011, but you can still merge with FileMaker.
Is SharePoint necessary for simultaneous editing of the same document?
For simultaneous editing, you need to store documents either on SharePoint or on SkyDrive. SharePoint is for businesses, as it requires a SharePoint server; SkyDrive is a free service for consumers. For SkyDrive, you need to establish a Windows Live account. That done, you can share documents with anyone, whether or not they’re on Windows Live.
Can Office 2011 open and save to older file formats, such as rich text, AppleWorks, Microsoft Works, and so on?
With Word 2011, you can open and save rich-text, plain-text, and Unicode-text files; Web pages; and Word XML files. There’s also a Retrieve Text From Any File option that may help with other file formats.
Can I save a Word 2011 document as a PDF and maintain embedded HTML links?
No, Word 2011 uses OS X’s built-in Save As PDF feature. Though links will be formatted in blue, they won’t be live.
Will files created in Word X be compatible with Word 2011, and vice versa?
Yes, but to make the trip from Word 2011 to Word X, you will need to be sure to save files in the .doc format, not the .docx format. Some features in Office 2004, 2008, and 2011 will not be fully supported in Word X, but document content should be preserved going between these versions.
Your review says that Word 2011 matches the features of its Windows counterpart. Does that parity extend to contextual menus that appear when you’re highlighting text, cutting and pasting text, formatting tables, and so on?
Many of those menus will be the same or similar, but they aren’t exactly the same.
Does Word 2011 support book-fold printing? Word 2010 for Windows does.
No, that output option is not available.
In Word 2010, each comment is assigned a number—very useful. Does Word 2011 do that?
Yes, you will see a comment number in the comment bubbles.
I run Word 2010 and have dozens of macros. How complete is the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support in Word 2011? Will I have to tweak any of my macros for them to run under Word 2011?
Office 2011 uses the same VBA engine as the latest version of Office for Windows. However, there are some differences; for example, ActiveX controls are not supported in Office 2011.