Word 2007 customizations vs Word 2010: Questions and Rant

Subject: Word 2007 customizations vs Word 2010: Questions and Rant
From: Deborah Hemstreet <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:26:29 +0300

Hi All,

This post is going to be full of questions, and not a few rants. Everyone on this list has been so helpful in the past, and I am hopeful that someone will have a nice quick and dirty solution for me.

Let me start with MY solution, and then I'll give you background.

*Solution: *Tomorrow I am taking my laptop to work with me. I will finish developing a Word template in Word 2003. I will then transfer it to Word 2007 where I will fine-tune it and verify that everything needed is located on the Add-Ins tab, and then deploy the template for use by people in my work group.

Background: I quite naively began my new job on Windows 7 with Office 2007. "No Big" I thought to myself. I've seen the rants and raves in previous postings, I'll manage with a bit of internet research.
Research 1: Windows 7 (and VISTA) corrupted the SendKeys VBA code. No problem, someone kindly shared their custom code to help me get the desired functionality.
Research 2: Word 7 Ribbon is not easily customizable without MAJOR programming, and the need to deeply analyze all code examples on the web to come up with the custom code to make a ribbon you want, in your template (still fuzzy on if it will really carry through to the template). No problem, I'll put all my customizations on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).
Research 3: The QAT is machine specific, not template specific. In Word 2010 I can export those settings, but again, it will take ALL my customizations, not customizations that I want only when working in a particular template.
Research 4: The Ribbon Customizer add-on again is machine specific, and will let me export only ALL changes, not specific ones, and the Help doesn't exist to advise if I can export to a template only.
Research 5: Microsoft unashamedly advises that you can work with CODE in their new VB programs, and other tools to customize the Ribbon.
Research 6: No one seems to be publically up in arms that Microsoft has completely removed control of the RIbbon and QAT from templates and users in any simple, easy to implement way.

RANT: Am I the only person on this planet who is upset that I have to work in Word 2003 to make a template that does what I want in Word 2007? Am I the only person who thinks that Microsoft has become insanely greedy in changing the way customizations are made, so that we have become dependent on advanced programmers and software add-ins? I am a technical communicator, not a technical programmer. I bit the bullet and learned VBA. Not an expert, but enough to get the job done. But now, what I have to do to make a template in Word 2007 or 2010 do what it did in 2003 is absolutely ridiculous. WHY? What is the purpose?

Please someone, tell me I'm totally wrong and that there really is an easy simple way to make user-friendly easy to deploy templates. Or, publically share your solutions to help others and defeat the beast that only wants to make money out of these changes and couldn't care less about ease of use.

Thanks for listening! I simply had to rant on this... but deep down inside, am also hoping I'm completely wrong and that there really is a better solution for me than taking my computer to work tomorrow.

Deborah
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