Getting to the meat of the matter doing research into the different Office
products before a purchase is perhaps the best thing to do. There is a fit out
there for everyone. Before my exhaustive look at Microsoft Office 2003
professional, let me give a run down of the office products and what they have
to offer. Now just bare in mind prices may be different depending on your source
of purchase. Either way, Microsoft products tend to have a hefty price tag on
But by the same token, I have found them worth it by way of what you are able to
accomplish with the products. A clear case of getting what you paid for? That
remains to be seen and I am sure there are varying thoughts to that point since
there are several alternatives out there and some of those are
even free. Some of the other programs out there are Open Office (free at Open
Office.Org), Corel, Star Office, just to name a few. Granted I am a long time
Microsoft Office user and have grown to enjoy working with the program I know.
So for me the Microsoft Office products are always a clear choice.
2003 has the following system requirements:
Computer and Processor: Personal computer with an Intel
Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) or higher processor, Pentium III recommended
Memory: 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or above recommended
260 Ė 400 MB of hard drive space depending on version and
Operating System: Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 3)
or Windows XP.
Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
Outlook 2003 with Business Contact manager
Many individual applications can be purchased separately to
suit your needs, (Word 2003, or Excel for example); price wise the suite is a
much better deal.
Chances are if you have
purchased a computer from a computer company like Gateway or Dell you would have
also had a choice of getting a Microsoft Office product as well in a bundle.
This may have only consisted of the basics such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel,
Outlook etc. Office 2003 series consists of more and they include Access, Excel,
FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio and
Email pretty much goes hand
in hand with owning a computer, so letís take a look at Microsoft Outlook 2003
firstÖ. For a business Email is becoming an even more important factor in
communications. The real problem comes when they face a virtual mountain of SPAM
or unwanted emails cramming into the Inbox. Outlook 2003 comes built with a spam
control which has easily adjustable controls. If youíre upgrading to Outlook
2003 you will be happy to know that any messages from your old version will
import just fine with out any loss of data.
Some of the things that are
an improvement are longer messages or emails are easier to read. Outlookís
reading pane or box is shifted over to the right side of the screen now and
displays much more information. Anything for less scrolling and I am happy.
Organization of email is now
easier as well. Email messages can be grouped by size, date, subject, or
importance. There are also enhanced rules and alerts to aid in organizing
emails. Depending on how the user sets it up they can now automatically trigger
alerts or reminders such as when tasks are due or meetings are about to begin.
Other aspects are the calendar and task reminders, using the navigation pane or
window or GO on the menu bar gives the user access to contacts, calendar,
folders, tasks, shortcuts and the Journal. The use of searching for folders in
the company server requires a connection to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003,
Exchange 2003 or exchange 5.5. The basic lay out of whatís displayed can be
relayed out depending on user preference.
Outlook 2003 has pretty much
gotten an all new look really, user interface seems to be the big thing to get
over hauled in this program. It looks good it looks tight and seems to run a lot
smoother than its older versions.
Word is something
that most people are familiar with. To me often WORD is the core of the
Microsoft Office world when I think of the products. Now there is integration
with WinWord and Win Server 2003 and with Windows Sharepoint Services. Using
the Information Rights Management you can set the date and even the time when a
document is able to be viewed. You can also read Information Rights Management
protected documents; with permission you can even modify the document. User
interface is cleaner in the respect that documents can be viewed side by side
much like reading a book, tool bars are very close to what they look like in
Word XP, but are more flexible because they can be adjusted easily by the user
to suit there tastes.
Word 2003 is now
integrated with messenger, so you can now chat using Instant Messages within
Word. For those of us who program in XML format, you can save documents in XML
format in order to separate the content from its format. XML or Extensible
Markup Language has been a round for a long while. XML is a text language that
can be understood by many different applications on different platforms. With
Office professional edition 2003 companies can use customized XML formats to
enable easier and much more advanced information creation, capture, exchange and
reuse it. Other aspects of WORD that I found most useful are the integrated
search panes/windows and the new updated dictionary and Thesaurus all useful
tools for any one working on articles, books or just about any function where
expression and relaying of an idea with the written word comes into play.
program that is common for the most part. Standard home users may not make much
use out of this program, but in the business world for making presentations it
is a great tool. The power point viewer has been improved in Office 2003 and
packaging slides for use on a CD for distribution can now be done. The program
allows you to package everything for the presentation including all of the
supporting files, links and automatically runs the presentation from the CD. The
viewer is also included on the CD so no further installation of the viewer is
needed. Even if the computer that gets the CD you just created does not have
PowerPoint installed. Further, if making a CD is not possible you can package
the presentation to a folder for posting on a network or archiving.
also supports other media formats such as WMX, WVX, ASX, WMA and WAX. If the
Media codec is not on the system in question PowerPoint 2003 makes an attempt to
find and then download it by way of Windows Media Player.
The package is
rounded off with lots of new animation effects and all kinds of charts. Further
integration of sound and animation in a presentation is now much easier.
A further boon to
those that may hit a wrong key while youíre building your presentation, you will
be happy to learn that the recovery part of the program to recover documents has
been greatly improved. In the grand scheme of this software suite, PowerPoint
2003 is just a small upgrade from before, the new features may not be enough to
excite over if you have PowerPoint XP.
perhaps one of the other tools other than WORD that almost everyone can make use
of... In most of itís versions it is an extremely useful tool. For a business
its use is perhaps one of the essential tools in the suite. In this one package
you have the ability to do a lot of your business publishing and marketing
materials all in Publisher 2003.
always been easy to use and Publisher 2003 is no exception. You almost donít
have to have any talent in design at all to create some very eye catching
The package has an
almost over whelming selection of tools to use, but a helpful Wizard feature (As
in the past) helps you create just about anything. Such as Web Sites, there is
even an E-Mail newsletter wizard. Print publications such as newsletters,
brochures, postcards, Labels for CD or DVDís can also be created.
To help in the
publication process there is an expanded library of templates which even
includes stationary sets.
electronic publication with the punch of merging text and pictures from other
data sources such as Excel or Access is a snap. Heck, just playing with the
program when the creative bug hits you is a blast.
Excel 2003 gives
you the ability to turn your data into information, and in turn enable it to be
analyzed. This function alone is beneficial to any company that needs to produce
information in any department and relay information so that all employees in a
work group are on the same page when it comes to knowing whatís going on.
Excel works with
XML also and makes it much easier to connect every one to the business process,
while still maintaining control of your work. Using Access you can control who
has ACCESS to your work thus protecting it from being used by someone you would
not want using it. It further brings so many tools at the userís finger
tips to enhance productivity. Using a new Pane/Window, called the Research Task
Pane brings electronic dictionaries, thesauruses and other online sites right
into Excel 2003 to aid in incorporating information in spread sheet. This of
course requires a connection to the Internet Such software I find no use for it
in home but at an office environment it is a massively useful tool.
provides a powerful set of tools that are sophisticated enough for professional
developers, yet easy to learn for new users. Create or use powerful database
solutions that make organizing, accessing, and sharing information easier than
ever. It is perhaps one of the other tools that a business will find a lot of
use out of. Access enables a user to incorporate from several different data
sources; it supports several formats including XML, OLE, Open Database
Connectivity (ODBC) and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services.
Not something the
average user would make much use of, but if you are in a small business or into
programming of any kind you may find this useful.
As noted at the
start of this article, each software included in the Office 2003 Professional
Suite have so much to offer and to try to go over every aspect here would be
prohibitive in terms of size of the article.
In the end, Office
2003 Professional is a powerful software suite that mirrors this in its hefty
price. Most of the software in the suite can be purchased separately and you can
even try before you buy by going to Microsoftís official web site and download a
trial version of any of the software that was written about here in this
article. Further you can also find third party solutions to further enhance this
is what itís all about and whether youíre a student, teacher, or someone in the
corporate world either in part on in whole the Microsoft Office 2003
Professional edition is a tool that will help you get the job done.
Than play games!