What's new in Word for students, teachers, and professors

Microsoft Office Word has long been the word processing program commonly used in offices around the world. But students, teachers, and professors produce documents, too. For anyone writing a paper in high school, college, graduate school, and beyond, Microsoft Office Word 2007 has new and improved features to help you earn high marks.

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What do you want to do?

Cite your sources

Do the math

Rally your team

Publish your work

Cite your sources

Are you writing a research paper? Chances are that keeping track of citations and creating a bibliography are not your favorite parts of the process.

Maybe you are a high school student new to bibliographies or a college student sweating the details of citing sources. Or are you a graduate student grappling with the fine points of MLA, APA, or some other publishing guideline?

If you create research papers, the new bibliography feature in Office Word 2007 does the heavy lifting for you. You can spend your time writing your paper, not fussing over citations and references.

Managing sources

As you conduct your research, you can add each source to a master list of sources that you consulted. You fill in information such as author, title, year of publication, and so on. Office Word 2007 automatically builds citations based on the information that you provide.

When you write your paper and you quote a source, you can easily insert a citation by selecting from the sources in your list, or you can add an entry for a new source. Citations are automatically formatted for the guidelines (such as Chicago or APA) that you specify.

Source Manager dialog box

1. Word 2007 stores a master list of the sources that you consulted during your research.

2. When you quote a source, you insert a citation in your document, and Word 2007 keeps track of which sources you cited.

3. A preview shows you what the citation will look like — in this case, in MLA format.

4. A preview also shows you what the bibliography entry for this source will look like, again in MLA format in this example.

When you reach the end of your paper, you can easily assemble the list of references that you used. Just click a button to create the bibliography. Office Word 2007 formats it for you automatically according to the guidelines that you specify.

No need to start over

What if you write a paper for your literature class, but an educational journal wants to publish it? You used MLA style for formatting the citations and bibliography, but the journal uses APA style. It would be tedious to edit every citation and revise the bibliography to switch them from one style to the other. Fortunately, Office Word 2007 can switch bibliography styles. Choose a different style, and Word automatically reformats all the citations and the bibliography.

What about the next time that you write a paper on a related subject? If your specialty is Mark Twain, you will probably cite many of his same works in more than one paper. Word stores your master list of sources for you. Whenever you start a new paper, you can choose from your list of sources for the citations that you make in that paper.

For more information about creating citations and bibliographies, see Create a bibliography.

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Do the math

Do you write papers for your math, science, or engineering class? The new equation writing feature in Office Word 2007 makes it easy to insert professionally formatted formulas and equations into your document.

Formatted equation

You can also easily create your own equations and formulas based on common math structures, such as fractions, radicals, integrals, large operators, and more. Each structure provides a variety of placeholders for inserting mathematical symbols, which are organized in galleries. For example, you can choose from basic math, Greek letters, operators, arrows, and more.

Writing an equation

After you write a complex equation, you can save it so that you don't have to retype it. When you save equations that you use frequently, they appear in the gallery of equations. From there you can insert equations into your document merely by clicking them.

If it is faster for you to type, you can type math symbols by using Math AutoCorrect. For example, when the cursor is in an equation and you type \beta, Word automatically inserts the ß symbol.

For more information about writing equations in Office Word 2007, see Write, insert, or change an equation, Insert mathematical symbols, Linear format equations and Math AutoCorrect in Word.

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Rally your team

Is your paper a group project? If you write the introduction, Ben revises your work, and Susan writes additional content, but she makes some corrections to the introduction, how do you keep it all straight? Who did what, and who has the current version of this paper, anyway?

Improvements to the track changes feature in Office Word 2007 help you easily integrate revisions from multiple authors.

Keeping track of who did what

When you use the Track Changes command, Word keeps track of the revisions that you make in your document. Deletions are marked with a strikethrough, and additions are underlined. If you move content from one place to another, the change is marked as a move, which is an improvement over previous releases of Word. Previously, a move was marked as a deletion and an addition.

With your changes marked in the document, it is easy for you or someone else to review your revisions. If you review a paper for a colleague, you can make your changes with Track Changes turned on, save the document, and return it to the author. The author can then easily jump to each of your changes and accept or reject them.

Even if you don't use Track Changes, you can easily see the differences among versions of the same document.

Comparing documents

The features for comparing and combining documents were improved in Office Word 2007, so you can see both documents being compared, and there is a summary pane that lists all the revisions in both documents. As you scroll through one document, the other document scrolls simultaneously so that you can see all the revisions in context.

For more information about using the Track Changes feature, see Track changes while you edit and Review tracked changes and comments. For more information about comparing documents, see Merge comments and changes from several documents into 1 document.

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Publish your work

Your paper is done, but everyone in your department posts their papers as PDF files, not Word documents. Office Word 2007 makes it easy to save your document in PDF format.

Save As PDF

The first time that you use a 2007 Microsoft Office system program to save a file in PDF format, you need to install a free add-in. A link to the add-in is available when you click Save As. After you install the add-in, choose PDF when you use the Save As command.

For more information about saving your document as a PDF file, see Save a file in PDF format.

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