Office 2010 upgrade coming to more workstations

The rollout for the City’s switch from Microsoft Office 2003 to the 2010 version continues Dec. 22 when the new software will be loaded onto computers in Central Stores, Public Works Solid Waste & Recycling, and Public Works Surface Water & Sewer.

On Jan. 4, the software upgrade will be extended to some City Council offices.

Because the upgrade represents a significant change, the new office suite is being introduced in phases. At this time, 14 work groups have made the transition. The eight remaining workgroups will make the software transition before spring. (Note: In some cases, a work group is an entire department — usually a smaller department — and, in other cases, a work group is a division within a very large department.)

Training options

Self-guided training

To prepare for the upgrade, employees are strongly encouraged to access reference documents and do the following self-guided, online training for a smooth transition:

·         Make the Switch to… lessons offer self-paced learning for each Office 2010 program (e.g. Outlook, Word, etc.).

·         Office 2010 Migration Guides are printable guides that answer commonly asked questions about transitioning to Office 2010 programs.

·         Quick Reference Guides are printable, two-page guides that show how to access the most common functions in each Office 2010 program.

Open labs

Open lab sessions will allow employees to view and test their existing documents, as well as use Access databases. Business Information Systems (BIS), which is directing the upgrade, urges staff who typically use complicated documents with pivot tables or macros to take the time to test their documents prior to the switch.

Labs are held in the Computer Training Room — 13B, Public Service Center, 250 S. 4th St. Labs are scheduled on Jan. 3 and 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open labs are self-paced learning opportunities that are not facilitated. However, if you need assistance, contact information is provided in the room. 


For individuals that are still not comfortable after completing the suggested activities above and referencing the many resources provided, there will be several two-hour, instructor-led transition classes covering the basics of transitioning from Office 2003 to Office 2010. Dates of upcoming classes are not available at this time; however, they will be posted in HRIS in the coming weeks. To find listings for these classes, log into HRIS and then search for “Office” in HRIS-Learning Management.    

The Hennepin County Library system offers free classes at many of its branches. The library’s classes use the 2007 version of Office, which is similar in appearance to the 2010 version. For more information about library classes, visit

What’s different about Office 2010

When the new version is introduced, employees will be able to open, edit and save their 2003 Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access files. Employees will also be able to create new files and save them as the 2003 or 2010 version, depending on who they’ll be sharing the files with.

Computer users will immediately see differences in Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access files in Office 2010. You are encouraged to check out the Tips, Tricks and Need to Know document http://citytalk/wcm1/groups/public/@bis/documents/webcontent/wcms1p-024350.docx

One of the more obvious changes is that Microsoft Office 2010 eliminates the toolbars and dropdown menus used in the 2003 version. In place of the toolbar, the 2010 version uses a long, wide strip called a ribbon that shows more command options than the 2003 version. The ribbon has eight tabs that display command groups organized around a similar task (such as formatting a document, inserting items or setting up a document).  

While some changes simply introduce a different approach to doing the same task, the 2010 version does do some things that the 2003 version did not. For example, the new version allows computer users to more easily save a document as a PDF. (In the 2003 version, users had to have Adobe Professional to create a PDF. In the 2010 version, a Word document can simply be saved as a PDF without any intermediate steps.)

Why the upgrade

The City is upgrading the Office Suite as part of its policy to remain current with computer services and be compatible with businesses that may be using newer versions.

Dec. 21, 2011


Published Dec 21, 2011