Difference Between Microsoft Office 2003 & 2007


Microsoft's Office Suite contains Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, OneNote and additional programs, depending on which suite you purchase. Office 2007 is an updated release of all programs in the suite, and, as such, some of the features appear and function differently.

Office Button

  • In Office 2007, instead of a "File" menu at the top-left side of the screen (as is present in 2003), the "Microsoft Office Button" appears. When you click on the button, basic commands, like print, open, save and program settings, are made available.


  • In Office 2003, about 30 toolbars are available when you activate them. In contrast, Office 2007's Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook programs use a "ribbon" at the top of the screen. The ribbon displays frequently used commands located in tabs. For example, the "Home" tab lets you access items like font, paragraph and styles.

File Formats

  • Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 programs save files in a new format that reduces the size and chance of corruption in saved files and increases file security. The new format ends with an "x" to indicate that it is a 2007 file. Word 2003, for example, saves files with a ".doc" extension. Word 2007 files end in ".docx" extensions.


  • In addition to all of the features available in Office 2003, Office 2007's dictionary is globally available to all suite programs. Office 2007 also contains a French dictionary and uses contextual spelling, which helps you avoid the "their/there/they're" and "your/you're" types of spelling mistakes.


  • Keyboard shortcuts for 2003 require you to press on the "ALT" key plus a letter key on your keyboard. In 2007, shortcuts are renamed "Key Tips." You can access Key Tips by pressing on "ALT" and looking at the ribbon, where a "badge" (letter) appears. Pressing on the "badge" letter opens a command or menu.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Andre Charland Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Elektra Noelani Fisher Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Declan Jewell
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