City to begin an upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010

In the coming months, the City will begin upgrading its Microsoft Office Suite from the 2003 version to the 2010 version. Because the upgrade represents a significant change, the new Office Suite will be introduced in phases on a department-by-department basis. The upgrade process will begin late this summer and the goal is to have the majority of City departments using the newer version by the end of 2011.

When the new office suite is introduced, computer users will immediately see the differences in Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. 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.)

Business Information Services (BIS), which is directing the upgrade, assures computer users that files created in the 2003 version will not be lost. When the new version is introduced, employees will be able to open their 2003 files and then save them in the 2010 version.

Because the change is significant, BIS recommends setting aside some time to take an advance look at what the newer version of Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint will look like. To help employees get a head start on learning how to navigate the 2010 Office Suite, BIS has set up these self-guided learning resources:

These self-guided resources are designed to help experienced users make the transition from the 2003 version to the 2010 version. For people who have never used a particular program, Human Resources will soon begin offering training on each of the Microsoft Office 2010 programs.

In addition, the Hennepin County Library offers computer classes using the 2007 version, which is similar in appearance to the 2010 version. For more information about library classes, visit http://www.hclib.org/pub/events/Classes.cfm. 

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.

If the Citys transition to a newer Microsoft Office version has you thinking of upgrading your home computer, you may be able to take advantage of the BIS employee discount website for Microsoft products. Under the discount program, employees who have regular computer access at work can purchase the Microsoft Office Professional 2010 for home use at a cost of $9.95.

Aug. 03, 2011

Published Aug 3, 2011