Microsoft Office 2001

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What is Microsoft Office 2001?

Microsoft Office 2001 is a suite of productivity software for Mac OS 8 and 9 (and the Classic environment in Mac OS X). It consists of Word, PowerPoint, Excel & Entourage.

Microsoft has finally seen the light. An ever-increasing feature bloat, making each new version larger and more cumbersome, has afflicted Office’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications for years — until now. The new Office 2001 suite is more Mac-like, more user-friendly, and better integrated, though it still includes its share of superfluous and hidden features. For new users, it’s the most comprehensive package of its kind. If you’re considering an upgrade from Office 98, you’ll find that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint offer just cause, and the slick new Entourage 2001 provides the most compelling reason to leap Into the twenty-first century with this productivity tool.

Entourage 2001

Entourage 2001 is essentially Outlook Express on steroids. This brand-new member of the Office suite looks and acts almost exactly like the popular email client, but it’s fortified with a full personal information manager (PIM).

Switching to Entourage from our current email client and PIM was a snap. The Setup Assistant smoothly imported our thousand-plus Palm Desktop contacts, notes, to-do’s, and calendar events. It also imported our massive email database from Outlook Express without a hiccup. If you’re not an Outlook Express or Palm Desktop user. Entourage can import from other PIMs such as Now Up-to-Date and major email clients such as Eudora and Claris Emailer.

Entourage's email client adds some minor refinements to Outlook Express’s already mature set of features, notably an improved Address Autocomplete feature. Address Autocomplete offers to fill in complete email addresses based on the first letters you type into an address field, and automatically highlights your most-often-used address whether or not you’ve entered it in your address book. Dragging and dropping addresses into CC and BCC boxes is easier, but you still can’t manipulate addresses in a group window, nor is it easy to drag email addresses from the address book into the body of a message. Also, you can’t manually reorder the folders Entourage uses to store email. On the plus side, Entourage shares many of Microsoft Word’s text-editing features, including Word 2001’s Spelling, Auto-Correction, and Smart Selection. The new Custom Views feature in the Folder List lets you save and apply sophisticated email, calendar event, and contact searches.

Entourage’s Address Book is more complete than Outlook Express’s, adding more fields and a cleaner display. The links to driving directions and online maps are also a nice touch. The full-featured calendar module has everything you’d expect from a good datebook, and it can create a slick Web page of your schedule (for those who are less concerned with privacy). You can seamlessly synchronize the to-do’s (which have alarms) and the Palm-inspired notepad with the corresponding apps on any Palm OS handheld. (Wouldn’t it be nice if Entourage could synchronize email, too?) Entourage’s contacts, calendar, and alarms integrate nicely not only with its email client-drag an email right onto a calendar date to create an appointment for it — but also with other Office apps, forming the suite’s central hub.

Entourage is not only a welcome new component of Office 2001, it’s one of the most useful new applications to arrive on the Mac platform in recent memory. Entourage alone offers sufficient reason for upgrading from Office 98.

Microsoft Word 2001

Less buggy and more user-friendly, Word 2001 sports interesting new features while retaining Word 98’s good qualities.

Word 2001 is comfortingly familiar. It launches quickly, and once you get past the blue splash panel and optional Project Gallery dialog screen, you’ll find the menu Items and command keys nearly identical to those In the previous version. Word 2001 is even more Mac-like, adopting Apple’s recent Navigation Services addition (visible in the new Open and Save dialog boxes) and the Macintosh Appearance Manager (so that utilities like Kaleidoscope now work). We suspect the adherence to Macintosh technologies may be responsible for some little improvements. Double-clicking to select a word is less finicky; you can move the Find And Replace dialog box behind the active window; and finally, Microsoft has kindly moved Preferences back to its proper location in the Edit menu.

The most visible, and perhaps the most useful, change is the new floating Formatting palette. This holds more Information than the former Formatting toolbar while taking up less space than the Format menu’s dialog boxes. We also like the app’s new ability to wrap text around a table placed anywhere on the page. Plus, Word’s clever new Collect And Paste feature lets you gather multiple pieces of text and graphics from various Office application files to paste individually or all at once from a single clipboard.

Microsoft has addressed some of Word 98’s more annoying drawbacks. Word 200a documents are now transparently interchangeable with Word 97, 98, and 2000 for Windows, and they can also open AppleWorks 5 (version 5 only) word processing files. The simplified Mail Merge, renamed Data Merge, draws contact data from Entourage in the same way Word 98 used Outlook Express, and It’s easily configured from a well-designed palette.

Word 2001 also offers more-compact toolbars, and attaches the status bar to the bottom of each page window, not to the bottom of the screen. A real boon for writers tired of repeatedly heading for the Tools menu, this status bar displays a continually updated word count. One of the most subtle but satisfying improvements is that Word no longer litters the hard drive with dozens of files titled Word Work File 0.3174. Word’s temporary files are now hidden in an invisible folder. Moreover, during our testing. Word 2001 never once hit us with the nasty “disk full” bug that plagued Word 98.

Word 2001 continues improvements that Word 98 only began. While we crave even more refinements. Word 2001 retains its status as the world’s most powerful word processor, while achieving Its goal of becoming more functional, easier to use, and nicer to look at.

Microsoft Excel 2001

Microsoft Excel remains the powerful and complete spreadsheet application we’ve come to know and, uh, tolerate.

Microsoft adds to Excel several innovations not usually associated with spreadsheets; perhaps the most surprising is the List Manager. Microsoft says It added this feature to aid the huge numbers of users who use Excel simply to create static lists. Excel’s List Manager notices when you’re creating a simple list and offers to format your data from predesigned templates, add or delete columns, total your figures, create reports, and so on. Similarly, a new Calculator, accessed by clicking the Calculator icon in the Formula bar, can help novices learn to create formulas and functions. It’s helpful, but it won’t calculate anything you don't already know how to do. And Excel will now import your choice of data from a FileMaker Pro database via the Get External Data command in the Data menu. Just choose the Import From FileMaker Pro option and work through the FileMaker Import wizard.

Like Word files, Excel files are transparently interchangeable with Windows and earlier Mac versions. And Excel, like Entourage, has picked up a couple features from Microsoft Word, adopting its Tables and Borders tools along with its keyboard shortcuts. To make text bold, you now use the standard Command- B keystroke. You'll love this change if you're a casual Excel user and hate it if you're used to Excel 98. The same goes for Excel 2001's removal of Command-1 (to insert cells) and Command-K (to delete). The new List AutoFill feature can extend formatting and formulas into cells. And if you put your spreadsheets on the Web, Excel now converts them into HTML in a snap, either on demand or on a set schedule.

The changes to Excel aren’t earth-shaking, but both veteran and new users will find something they like.

PowerPoint 2001

Of all the Office applications, PowerPoint appeals to the narrowest audience. Still, Microsoft has beefed up this presentation software package to address some of its users' most common criticisms. First, it's a lot easier to create and navigate through a presentation. PowerPoint 2001's Tri-Pane view simultaneously displays in a single, split window a presentation slide, the outline that organizes the slides, and your notes. Addressing a long-standing complaint, PowerPoint now lets users employ multiple templates to structure one presentation by applying templates independently to any slide.

PowerPoint now offers improved graphics capabilities — supporting animated GIFs, multiple QuickTime movies within a single slide, and QuickTime transitions between slides. You can also substitute graphics for PowerPoint's bullets. You can save a PowerPoint presentation as HTML for posting on a Web site or as a QuickTime movie so viewers who don't have PowerPoint can see what you’ve created. You can use animations to enter and leave a slide, and the application’s new AutoFit text feature adjusts font size and line spacing to fit text into a box. Importing a feature from Word, PowerPoint will now apply Bullets And Numbering to lists.

While the application certainly doesn’t have the huge number of followers boasted by, say, Excel and Word, die-hard PowerPoint users will appreciate the introduction of improvements for which they've long clamored.

Holmes, Joseph O. (December 2000). Office 2001 Macintosh Edition. MacAddict. (pgs. 58-60).

Download Microsoft Office 2001 for Mac

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System Requirements

From Mac OS 8.1 up to Mac OS 10.4

Compatibility notes

Mac OS 8.1-9.2.2, Mac OS X Classic Mode

**Updates must be installed in order. First 9.0.5, then 9.0.6.

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