LEGO Brand Retail
Apr 052010
 

I have been using Outlook Express for years without too much of a problem until today.

I recently moved all my files onto a newer computer at work (we won’t call it new as it has been sitting there not being used since it was purchased in 2007, but it is a lot newer than the dying one I was using). I moved all my email files, address book everything over to the new computer and I was rather impressed that I did it without spending too many hours searching on Topeka (see Google’s April Fool’s Day joke for an explanation) for the help I needed in exporting and importing the files from old PC to new PC. Yay me. Pat on the back and all that.

Okay, that being said, I normally have the email spell check everything before sending it. Well this new system did not have the email set up that way from the previous user. So I manually ran the spell check only to find that it wanted to change every word to something funky. What the heck was going on here? So I looked under the hood, so to speak, only to find that the only language available for the spell checker was French! I don’t speak French and don’t send too many emails in French. I need English, any English would do.

A quick search revealed that the missing languages in Outlook Express is known problem with Outlook Express 6 and Microsoft Office 2007. From what I read this happens with upgrades from old office versions to this new one, yet this PC come with the programs installed on it. Apparently, Microsoft has no intention of fixing this and suggests you use a third party spell checker. Maybe an updated Outlook Express is in order, maybe?

Thanks to a very helpful blog post on Outlook Express being stuck on French, I was able to find the information I needed to either get the 3rd party software (they recommend Spell Checker For Outlook Express from Snapfiles). Upon further reading of the comments I saw that I could install/reinstall just the needed Office 2003 Proofing tools, which I did and so far so good. But who knows what tomorrows PC start up will cause. Wish me luck.

Don’t even get me started on their new file formats for Office 2007!

Jun 202008
 

What the hell is wrong with Microsoft? Why in the world would they change the default file type of one of the world’s most used office programs?

Microsoft Excel 2007 (as well as Word and Power Point) now have an XML based file format. The new Excel file extension is .xlsx, which of course cannot be opened with any of the older versions of the program.

Thank god I remembered we had one computer in our office that was new enough to have the latest version of the software on it. (I forgot because I never use the Microsoft Office 2007 products because I simply don’t like them.) At first I wasn’t sure that it would even be able to save it as the old version as the company that sent me the file could not figure it out and told me that was the only available file format.

I really hate the new tabbed browsing with in the new office programs and where the heck did they go with the good old fashion text menus?!? They hid them is what they did. I finally figured out how to find their help file (tiny little question mark was eluding me). The text menu where you have the option to choose SAVE AS is now hidden behind the little office logo at the top of the screen on the left-hand side. Who would have thought to look there? Not me. Can you make it any harder folks?

For those of us that do not have access to a brand spanking new version of Excel Microsoft has kindly [insert sarcasm here] created a tool (not sure if this is available for Word or Power Point) for us backward people who cannot upgrade every time they release a new, improved [insert said sarcasm again] version.

You can download this lovely little Excel 2007 to 97-2003 conversion tool at Microsoft.com. Even though it is free it does come with a cost. You will have to install all the updates for your version of windows before installing the converter. Which can take you a few hours, if like me, you are a little behind on your XP updates (who know they were up to XP Service Pack 3, not me).

For those of us with little time there is also an online converter, but this might not be an option if you too have a confidential file you need to convert like I did. However, unlike the Microsoft compatibility pack you do not need to have Microsoft Office installed on your PC to convert the file.

I am pretty sure that if I am going to have to continue to use the newer versions I am going to have to pick up a copy of the book Office 2007 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.