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Microsoft KB Archive/157478

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Knowledge Base

WD97: What's New in Word 97

Article ID: 157478

Article Last Modified on 1/19/2007


  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q157478


The following information was taken from Word 97 online Help.


For your convenience, we've assembled this list of key features in Word
97, along with ideas about how you might apply them to your work. (Most of
the features listed are new in Word 97, but a few were introduced in Word

What's new with automating your tasks and getting assistance?

Word 97 provides an extensive set of automatic features that make everyday
tasks easier.


Word can correct the following errors automatically while you type:

 - Accidental usage of the CAPS LOCK key; new in Word 95. For example, Word
   replaces tHESE with These at the beginning of a sentence and then turns
   off CAPS LOCK.

 - Plural and possessive forms of a word; new in Word 95. For example, if
   you have an AutoCorrect entry that inserts Sweet Lil whenever you type
   SL, Word also automatically changes SL's to Sweet Lil's.

 - Common multiple word spelling errors. For example, Word replaces "int
   he" with "in the".

 - Common word pairs that are spelled correctly but are grammatically
   incorrect when used together. For example, Word replaces "your a" with
   "you're a".

AutoFormat As You Type

Word can format text automatically as you type:

 - Word creates numbered and bulleted lists when you start a list with a
   number or an asterisk; new in Word 95.

 - Word creates a single or double border for you when you type three or
   more consecutive hyphens (-) or equal signs (=) in a row and then press
   ENTER; new in Word 95.

 - Word applies built-in heading styles to text, such as Heading 1, when
   you type a line of text with no ending punctuation and then press ENTER
   twice; new in Word 95.

 - Word formats ordinal numbers and fractions, such as changing 1st to 1st
   with the "st" superscripted or 1/4 to 1/4 ; new in Word 95.

 - Word formats network and Internet paths--such as \\Reports\May\Week1.doc
   and - as hyperlinks. When you click an
   Internet hyperlink, Word starts your Web browser and takes you to the
   specified Web page. When you click a network hyperlink, Word starts the
   program necessary to open the destination and opens the file specified.

 - Word automates the lead-in emphasis; that is, detects the formatting
   applied in the first list item and applies it to the next item. For

   1. Word 97 is smart! It does the work for you.
   2. Word 97 is cool! It makes your document look amazing.

 - When you type +----+----+, Word creates a table with a column for each
   pair of + signs.

 - Word detects leading spaces that correspond to the left margin of the
   bulleted or numbered paragraph above and changes your left indentation
   for you.

 - Word formats your text as bold if you enclose the text with an asterisk
   (for example, *test* will bold the word test). Word will format your
   text with italics if you enclose the text with an underscore (for
   example, _test_ will italizice the word test).


Word can automatically offer suggestions for the rest of the word or phrase
you are typing. To accept the suggestion, you press ENTER and Word
automatically replaces your partially typed word with the completed word.
Word 97 will automatically complete:

 - The current date
 - A day of the week
 - A month other than the current one
 - Your name and company name
 - AutoText entries


You can use the Word AutoSummarize feature to automatically summarize the
key points in a document. Word analyzes your document statistically and
linguistically to determine the most important sentences and gives you a
custom summary based on this analysis. With AutoSummarize, you can
highlight the key points in an online document and view it at different
levels of detail. Or you can automatically create a separate summary or
abstract. You have total control of the length of the summary.

It's important that you comply with all applicable copyright laws when
using this feature. You should review the accuracy of any summary because
it is, by its nature, not the entirety of the work

Automatic style creation and style preview

Words 97 includes the following style improvements:

 - It automatically creates a style for you when you apply new formatting
   to your text.

 - It can automatically redefine styles to reflect your recently applied

 - It gives you an instant preview of each style from the Style list on the
   Formatting toolbar.

Letter Wizard

The Letter Wizard in Word 97 can help you write a new letter quickly and
easily, or it can help you change and add to elements in your existing
letter. It includes:

 - Letter Wizard dialog box. Accessible from the Tools menu, this dialog
   box provides letter element choices you can make to easily build your
   letter. If you've already started a letter, this dialog box displays the
   appropriate information from your letter, so you can get an instant
   snapshot of what you have and what you need. In addition, Word remembers
   whom you've sent letters to and stores all related information, such as
   contact names, addresses, and titles, in a list. When you send a letter
   to a previous recipient, all you have to do is select that person's name
   from a list, and Word automatically fills in the rest of the information
   for you.

 - Step-by-step help through the Office Assistant. When you type in a
   common letter opening, such as "Dear Joe," Word recognizes it as a
   letter opening and immediately offers to step you through the letter
   creation process using the Office Assistant. The Office Assistant is
   fully integrated with the Letter Wizard dialog box and provides hints
   and details on all the letter elements.

 - Easy text reuse. Once you use the Letter Wizard, Word automatically adds
   structure and styles to your letter by converting letter elements into
   AutoText List fields. For example, the closing text "Sincerely" is
   converted to a Closing field. When you right-click the word "Sincerely,"
   a menu appears that offers alternative closings, such as "Best regards"
   and "Cordially." You can easily replace "Sincerely" with any of these
   closings just by clicking it.

Office Assistant

The Office Assistant, which replaces the Word 95 Answer Wizard, uses
IntelliSense natural-language technology. The Assistant anticipates the
kind of help you need and suggests Help topics based on the work you're
doing. You can also type a Help request in your own words and get the
answer you need. You can have the Assistant offer to start a wizard when
you begin certain tasks, such as creating a letter. The new Office
Assistant character in Word 97 is a central place for you to get tips on
how to use Word features more efficiently and find visual examples and
step-by-step instructions for specific tasks.

What's new with editing and proofing tools?

Word 97 provides the following key features that make it faster and easier
to proofread and edit documents.

Check spelling as you type

   Checks for spelling errors as you type, and marks possible errors
   directly in your document; new in Word 95.

Check grammar as you type

   Checks for grammar errors as you type, and marks possible errors
   directly in your document. Like the automatic spelling checker, the
   automatic grammar checker offers suggestions for corrections in-place
   when you right-click the marked text.

Smart spelling

    - Recognizes your name, your organization's name, personal names of
      varying ethnicity, commonly used company names from the Fortune 1000
      list, all country names, names of U.S. cities with a population of
      30,000 or more, and current terminology.

    - Recognizes your typing patterns and does not mark certain patterns as
      errors in your document; for example, words in uppercase letters and
      words containing numbers are no longer marked as misspellings.

    - Ignores Internet and file addresses.

Natural-language grammar checker

   Flags mistakes accurately, gives you in-place, effective suggestions,
   and reduces your proofing time. It offers improved syntactic analysis,
   better rewrite suggestions, and more user friendly grammar styles.

Spelling/grammar checking combination

   Eliminates separate dialog boxes and provides an interface that lets you
   proofread online exactly as you do on paper. You can now check your
   spelling and grammar mistakes in one pass, in one place.

Find (and replace) all word forms

   Finds and replaces all grammatically inflected forms of a word; new in
   Word 95. For example, if you want to replace the word "saw" with the
   word "hammer" throughout a document, Word intelligently changes not only
   "saw" to "hammer," but also "sawing" to "hammering" and "sawed" to
   "hammered.". Word can also intelligently replace the right word forms;
   in this example, Word would not replace the verb "seen" with "hammer"
   although it is a word form of "saw" because "seen" is unrelated to
   "hammer." In addition, Word 97 provides alternative word forms, giving
   you choices for possible replacements in case the default choice is not
   ideal. You can select the replacement from a list rather than having to
   type it.

What's new with tables, borders, and shading tools?

Word 97 provides the following new features to make it faster and easier to
work with tables, borders, and shading.

Table tools

      Draw Table tool

            Lets you create and customize tables. You use this intuitive
            drawing tool much the same way you use a pen to draw a table;
            just click and drag to draw the table boundaries and cell
            partitions. You can now make individual cells any height and
            width you want.

       Eraser tool

         Lets you easily remove any cell, row, or column partition to
         achieve the same effect as merging two cells. In earlier versions
         of Word, you could only merge cells if they were in the same row.
         In Word 97, you can merge any adjacent cells; vertically or

      Vertical alignment

         Lets you align cell contents at the top, center, or bottom of the
         cell, using the convenient alignment toolbar buttons. If your text
         is oriented vertically, the buttons automatically adjust to give
         you left, center, and right alignment. Vertical text direction

          Makes your text flow vertically (rotated 90 degrees) in table
          cells, text boxes, and frames. This is a useful feature for
          creating labels and also for publishing oriented documents where
          credits or copyrights are printed sideways.

      In-table row resizer

          Lets you adjust any row's height directly in your table by
          dragging the row border up or down, just as you adjust column
          widths. If you hold down ALT while you drag, the new vertical
          ruler shows you the exact row height.

Border and shading tools

      New border styles

            Gives you more than 150 border styles to customize the look of
            your documents. This includes 3-D styles and several publishing
            oriented styles that allow multiple line borders, which are
            especially popular in professional documents.

      Page borders

            Lets you put a border around each page. In addition to the 150
            new border line styles, Word provides Publisher's fun Border
            Art for page borders, which includes more than 160 art styles.
            Page borders are also highly customizable. For example, you can

             - Unique border style for each page edge.

             - Headers and footers in the border area.

             - A different first page.

      Text borders

         Lets you apply borders to words or characters within a paragraph.
         You can literally "block out" pieces of text by applying any of
         the available border styles. Text borders also make it easier to
         put borders around headings.

      Text shading

         Lets you call out parts of your document for other users. Just as
         you apply shading to paragraphs, now you can apply it to selected
         words or characters within a paragraph. Choose any shading color
         or gradation.

What's New with Drawing Tools?

Word 97 provides a new set of drawing and graphics capabilities that you
can use to easily embellish your text and graphics with 3-D effects, shadow
effects, textured and transparent fills, and AutoShapes.

Office Art

   Gives you many new drawing tools and capabilities that can be easily
   accessed through the new Drawing toolbar. You can easily embellish your
   text and graphics using the 100 adjustable AutoShapes, 4 types of fill
   effects (multicolored gradient, textured, transparent, and picture),
   right-shadow effects, and 3-D effects. Office Art is a rich and
   sophisticated drawing layer that replaces the Word drawing layer and is
   shared by all Microsoft Office applications.

Office Art picture objects

   Gives you all the flexibility required for picture manipulation. For

    - You can easily place pictures anywhere in your document, including
      inline with text, simply by dragging them.

    - You can modify the Z order and use Send Behind Text to create a
      background graphic or watermark effect.

Text boxes

   Replaces frames and offers the full set of Office Art capabilities, such
   as 3-D effects, fills, backgrounds, rotation, sizing, and cropping.

Linked text boxes

   Gives you the ability to link text boxes for desktop publishing use; for
   example, you can flow an article from page 1 to page 4 in a newsletter.
   Once two text boxes are linked, text that overflows from the first text
   box appears at the top of the second one. Any number of text boxes can
   be linked in any direction.

Wrapping around irregular objects

   Lets you wrap text around objects of any shape and size. You can wrap
   text straight to the edge of an irregular object.

What's new with Web tools?

Word 97 provides an extensive set of features that you can use to take
advantage of the World Wide Web and the Internet.

Active Web

You can use the Active Web, which is shared by all Microsoft Office
programs, to author and browse through rich webs of documents on an
intranet or on the Web.


         Link to any Microsoft Office, HTML, or other file on any internal
         or external Web site or any file server. To jump to the new
         destinations, you simply click the hyperlinks. Word can
         automatically recognize and format e-mail addresses, URLs, and UNC
         path names as hyperlinks.

      The Web toolbar

         Quickly open, search, and browse through any document, including
         Web documents or pages. You can jump from one document or site to
         another, jump forward or backward among the documents you've
         opened, and add interesting documents you find on the Web to the
         Favorites folder to quickly return to them later.

      Compressed graphics

          Compress pictures or graphics inserted in documents
          automatically. Word natively stores JPEG images and converts all
          raster formats to PNG, a new compressed format.

Web page authoring

      Web Page Wizard

         Start creating a Web page for you. The wizard provides customized
         Web templates that you can easily modify to meet your needs. You
         can choose from a variety of content templates that address the
         common types of Web pages, such as a sample personal home page.
         You can also choose predefined visual themes for these pages; each
         theme contains fitting background colors, bullets, horizontal
         lines, and other elements.


         Incorporate background sound seamlessly on Web pages if your Web
         browser supports it. You can specify the location of the sound
         file to be played and the number of times to play it.


         Choose a video clip to play, specify playback options (such as "on
         open" or "on mouse-over" or both) and, as in the case of sound,
         specify how often to play the clip. You can specify alternative
         images and text for browsers that don't support video.


         Add a picture to a Web page, just as you do with a Word document.

   Scrolling text

         Add scrolling text to your Web pages. Type in the text you want in
         this style, and you have full control over the animation type,
         direction, speed, background color, and size.


          Make your online Web pages graphically rich. Word provides a
          collection of colorful, graphical images that can be used as
          bullets on your Web pages.

      Horizontal lines

          Add HTML-specific horizontal lines that can be colorful and
          graphical additions to your Web pages. These lines are an
          extension of the built in borders and shading functionality in

      HTML forms

         Produce consistent results with both HTML and non-HTML forms. All
         interface elements are similar, except where they are extended for
         HTML-tag-specific controls.

      HTML tags

          Simplify authoring your Web pages. Word provides WYSIWYG ("what
          you see is what you get") support for authoring Web pages with
          commonly used tags, such as tables, fonts, and background sound.
          There are more than 80 HTML tags supported in Word.

Online contents

Word 97 provides a large collection of Web authoring items on the Word Web
site, which will be updated regularly to reflect the latest technology and
stylistic trends.

   ClipArt Collection Online

         Obtain the latest, coolest graphical elements for your Web pages.
         Design Gallery Live, the online clip art collection in Word, will
         include a sampling of the following page elements that can be
         easily downloaded: backgrounds, bullets, buttons, icons,
         horizontal lines, video files, and sounds.

      Templates Online

         Obtain new templates for creating Web pages with common Web page

      AutoUpdate Web Tools

         Manually or automatically update your system to include the latest
         Word Web authoring tools from the Word Web site.

What's new with reading online documents?

Word 97 provides a rich set of new tools to enhance the way you read and
move through online documents.

      Online layout view

         Achieve the best screen appearance for your online documents. Text
         appears larger and wraps to fit the window.

      Document Map

         Gain instant access to any part of your document. Word splits the
         window into two panes (a Document Map in the left pane and the
         document content in the right pane). The heading-based outline of
         the document in the Document Map lets you quickly scan the
         document structure, gives you one click access to the point of
         interest, and serves as a "You are here" road map by highlighting
         your current location in the document.


         Link to any Microsoft Office, HTML, or other file on any internal
         or external Web site or any file server. To jump to the new
         destinations, you simply click the hyperlinks. Word can
         automatically recognize and format e-mail addresses, URLs, and UNC
         path names as hyperlinks.

      Hyperlinked cross-references

         Create "live" cross-references in documents that others will read
         online by inserting the cross-references as hyperlinks. Instead of
         scrolling through the document to find the referenced text, now
         you can just click the cross-reference and use the Web
         navigational toolbar to jump back and forth between related

      Document background

         Make your document more visually appealing to read online by
         adding background colors and textures. You can see these
         backgrounds only in online layout view, and you can't print them.

      Animated text

         Add animated effects that make the text appear to move or flash.

      Navigation tools

         Browse through a document directly from the scroll bar. The
         browser lets you choose an element to browse by; for example, to
         review all the tables or pictures in a document, you click Browse
         by Table in the browser. You can use the browser to browse through
         a document by page, section, comment, footnote, endnote, field,
         table, graphic, heading, or editing change.

      Microsoft IntelliMouse pointing device

         Directly control scrolling, panning, and zooming. You can also use
         this mouse to control the amount of detail displayed on your
         screen in outline or AutoSummarize view.

What's new with WordMail?

Word97 integrates seamlessly with Exchange and Outlook to become your
standard e-mail editor.

   Automatic creation of hyperlinks

         Format network addresses, e-mail addresses, and Internet
         addresses; for example, automatically as
         hyperlinks as you type them. By clicking a hyperlink, you jump to
         that location; in this example, to the Microsoft home page on the
         World Wide Web.

   Message Authors in Document Map

         Detect automatically whether an incoming message contains a long
         conversation and list the author of each part of the conversation
         in the Document Map. By clicking an author's name, you can
         instantly jump to that part of the message.

   Address book information access for names in messages

      Find address book information on any sender or recipient while you
      read or write a message. Just right-click the name, and then click
      Who Is on the shortcut menu.

   Automatic formatting of plain text WordMail messages

      Format your incoming plain text e-mail messages automatically the
      first time you open them. It makes following message conversations
      easier by stylizing headers, indenting conversations, and adding
      colors so you can differentiate message flow easily.

   WordMail templates

      Compose e-mail quickly. Use any of the ten e-mail templates that
      represent various themes. For example, you can use the urgent-theme
      template to compose an urgent e-mail message.

What's new with collaboration with others?

Word 97 offers new features that reflect the work style of teams and gives
you tools that increase efficiency and productivity.


      Maintain a working history of a document. With this feature you can
      see exactly who did what on a document and when. You can also enter
      descriptive text about the changes made in each version. All the
      versioning information is stored within the document, so you don't
      need to maintain and track multiple copies of the document. In
      addition, you can have Word automatically save a version at the end
      of every session, so you can see who changed what in each version.

   Merging documents

      Consolidate all changes and comments from different reviewers in one
      easy step. Multiple reviewers can modify separate copies of the same
      document, and then you can merge all their changes into the original.
      Or, for example, you can take a document away overnight and
      automatically merge your changes back into the original document when
      you return.

   Comments and ScreenTips

      Easily review someone else's comments online without opening a
      separate pane. You can see at a glance where comments were inserted;
      the affected text appears to be shaded with light yellow. When you
      rest the pointer over this text, a ScreenTip that includes the
      comment and the name of the reviewer appears above the text. You can
      now read each comment in context.

   Reviewing toolbar

      Quickly gain access to all the common reviewing tools you need on one
      toolbar; track and review changes, insert and review comments,
      highlight text, save versions, and send the document in an e-mail

What's new with multilingual support?

Word 95 introduced a feature that implemented automatic font and language
switching when the keyboard changed, allowing multilingual text in your
document and in several dialog boxes. Word 97 makes it even easier to
create and display documents that contain text in a variety of Pan European
languages. You can also view documents in U.S. Word that were created in
Far Eastern versions of Word.

   Keyboard switching

      Automatically switch the fonts in your document to appropriate fonts
      based on the language you are using when you switch your keyboard.
      Keyboard switching also triggers language property switching in Word
      and, therefore, ensures that a certain language text, such as Greek,
      is proofed by the proofing tools of that language only.

   Multilingual text support in dialog boxes

      Enable Word to edit and display multilingual text across localized
      versions of Word. For example, you can search by a Greek author's
      name in the Find File dialog box in Word.

   Open multilingual documents in localized Word

      Correctly display text created in localized versions of Word if you
      have the appropriate fonts on your system. For example, you can open
      and view a Japanese Word document in U.S. Word. Note that this
      applies to all localized versions except bi- directional versions,
      such as Hebrew and Arabic.

   Copying and pasting Unicode text

      Copy Greek, Cyrillic, or any Pan European text from U.S. Word and
      paste it onto a Microsoft Excel worksheet. Also, you can use the
      feature to copy and paste Unicode text into edit controls in dialog
      boxes such as Find and Replace.


      Specify a language on which to base the sorting order of text in your
      document. For example, a Hungarian double letter such as "cz" sorts
      correctly in U.S. Word when you set the sorting language to

   Insert symbols

      Gain access to language-specific symbols and letters easily by
      changing the font subset in the Symbol dialog box (Insert menu). For
      example, switching the subset to Cyrillic gives you all the Russian
      characters available.

Keywords: kbfaq KB157478