Microsoft Office has been around for decades. It is the leading office productivity suite in the world among both PC and Mac users. That’s because no other office suite offers more power and functionality than MS Office. Whether you are a writer who wants to create the Great American Novel, a student or teacher, or the owner or an employee of a company that needs to create compelling business documents, Microsoft Office is right for you. If you need to create detailed and stunning presentations or manage complex data, MS Office is for you. Best of all, there are many versions of Office, each with the same core features. Furthermore, there are editions of Office that are designed for specific needs, letting you choose just the right Office product for you.

Another great thing about Office products is the shelf life. There are many people who still use, and prefer, older versions of Office. In fact, there are users still using versions of Office going back to the 2007 and 2003 releases, and if you look hard enough, you’re likely to find some using even older versions. Of course, most of us like to stay a little more modern but save money at the same time. Office 2010 is still a popular choice among many users. Why? Because while it isn’t the latest, or even close to the latest, version of Microsoft Office, Office 2010 packs a big punch. It has many of the features still incorporated in today’s Office, with some features no longer in use that are missed.

Is Office 2010 Right for Me?

Universal ribbon

The ribbon interface is part of every Office 2010 application. The ribbon, first introduced in Office 2007 in some of its applications, was a cool new feature that many critics hated, while many Office users embraced it. The ribbon works well and you get it in every app.

Customizable ribbon

A lot of users never teak their toolbars in previous Office versions, while others are adamant customizing. With a customizable ribbon, you can regroup tools and tabs. Administrators can create and distribute customized ribbons to users for a tailored approach to working. This is a great way to make Office 2010 work the way you want it to work.

Backstage view

Lets you view behind-the-scenes document stuff so you can clean up your documents as you go. Clicking the new File button (which replaces the Office 2007 orb), you have access to all your normal Save, Save As, Open, and Close operations. Easily see and customize the document properties, manage versions, check for compatibility issues, and scrub the document of hidden metadata for sharing purposes. This is the feature for users who want complete control over their work. Get under the hood of your documents and create perfectly clean documents for distribution and publication.

Paste preview

Included in all suites is a live preview paste feature that lets you hover your mouse over an option and see what your clipboard item will look like. From the Home ribbon, click the Paste drop-down menu and hover over your options.

Office Web Apps

Office 2010 now includes a set of Web-based applications -- online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote -- that work through Windows Live and SharePoint. Outlook Web App (a new name but not a new feature) continues to be offered through Exchange 2010.

Protected view

When you open documents, workbooks, presentations, and Outlook attachments that have been downloaded from the Internet or fail validation in some way, they open as read-only in the new protected view. This means the application runs in a "sandbox" mode to protect you from malicious code unless you enable editing for the document - similar to how Excel has handled macro code for several versions.

More themes

Themes can now be used across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to ensure a consistent look across all documents. There are more built-in themes in Office 2010. In the Office 2007 there were 20. In Office 2010, you get 40. Now you have more creative choices than ever for creating great looking documents.

MS Word logo

Some Word 2010 Features

Insert a screenshot

No need to take a screenshot with a third-party tool and paste it in your Word 2010 document. Use the Insert ribbon and click Screenshot to grab an image you want to insert easily into your document.

Crop images to a shape

Now you can select an image, go to the Format contextual ribbon, and under the Crop option, choose Crop to Shape.

New photo-editing options

Word 2010 has many new photo-editing tools that include Remove Background and Artistic Effects.

Navigation pane

Locate anything in your document by going to the View ribbon, and under Show, click Navigation Pane (or press Ctrl+F). Search for text, graphics, tables, equations, and/or comments. Once you find what you’re looking for, you can drag and drop to rearrange any element in your document fast.

MS Excel logo

Some Excel 2010 Features

Sparklines

Now you can chart your data visually in a single cell. Extremely configurable and available in Line, Column, or Win/Loss styles, these mini-charts are a great way to display trends in data without having to review everything.

Slicers

With the power of PivotTables, you can streamline the information you see based on a slice of that data, either from the PivotTable itself or from the original data source. Great for really focusing on the information that’s important.

64-bit support

All of the Office 2010 apps support 64 bit, but for Excel users, this is really important because you can create workbooks larger than 2GB.

MS PowerPoint logo

Some PowerPoint 2010 Features

Video editing

PowerPoint 2010 allows you to edit embedded video. No need to use and external video-editing software. They aren’t the most advanced editing tools, but trim video, adjust, and tweak color.

Broadcast slideshows

Do live presentations over the Internet to remote users with Broadcast Slide Show feature.

Distribute slideshows as video

Convert your presentation into a video that you can upload to sites like YouTube. Distribute it to others.

Animation painter

Take animation settings of one object and paint them onto another object or selection of multiple objects.

Sections

Break your slide deck into sections. Create the sections and move them around for better organization.

Transition improvements

New transitions and animations features have their own ribbon specialized ribbons. Lots of new transitions for more creative choices.

Outlook 2010 now has Conversation View that allows you to better organize your emails and conversations. It also MailTips, Social Connector, and a cleanup feature for helping you get rid of all the clutter in your mailbox.

If you are looking for a powerful office suite with all the great features most users will need, Office 2010, Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010, and other versions are available and just as useful as ever. Maybe you have an older operating system, maybe you don’t want to upgrade to the latest version for some reason. Get Office 2010 and take advantage of the power of Microsoft Office.