Few months ago, we reviewed Technical Preview of Office 2010, where we elaborated major changes of Office 2010. Since the release of Technical Preview, Microsoft has been getting lots of feedback for UI design changes. They have made lots of changes for the first Beta release of Office 2010.

Here are the few changes in Backstage View.

1. File Button:

The Office button has been labeled as “File”. It’ll bring back the usability File menu and their commands like “Save As”, “Print” etc. It is must, because all the years of using the File menu and it’s too hard to break the habit.

Technical Preview Beta(Coming later this Fall)
Technical Preview File button Beta File button

2. No More Back Button:

In technical preview, the back button covered the whole document. This time the Back button has been eliminated and Backstage View is treated as like other Ribbon Tab.

An important change has been to keep the Ribbon tabs visible and usable while we are in the Backstage view. This makes the Backstage work much more like any other Ribbon tab – a metaphor people are already familiar with. In addition to clicking on the document thumbnail or pressing ESC, we can simply click on any one of the other Ribbon tabs to get back to document and use those commands, just as we would switch between other Ribbon tabs.

Technical Preview
Technical Preview Back button
Beta Back button

3. Re-furnished Visuals:

Microsoft has implemented nearly final set of visuals for the Backstage view. They have worked to develop a set of visuals that help make the Backstage easier to browse and make the transition between document and the Backstage feel smoother.

Word Beta Visuals

PowerPoint Beta Visuals

4. Organization of Navigation Commands:

In the upcoming beta, the efficiency of “Quick Commands” has been enhanced, located in left side pane. Commands like “Save”, “Save As”, “Open“ and “Close” are no longer located beneath the “Info” tab, beside it “Options” and “Exit” are also no longer associated with the last tab, which has been renamed to “Help”, which reflects better usability of quick commands than earlier.

Technical Preview Beta
Technical Preview Navigation Pane Beta Navigation Pane

5. Most Recently Used Documents:

In Beta, Quick Access Toolbar has got another useful toolbar called “Open Recent File”, which will switch to Backstage View directly to the Recent tab.

Open Recent File - QAT

Beside it, we can also choose to add a number of recently used documents directly to the navigation pane. At the bottom of the Recent tab is a new feature that will allow to choose the number of recent documents to show in the pane.

Recent Tab with pinned docs

If you turn on this feature by clicking on the checkbox…The number of documents you choose will be shown along with the other “Quick Commands” at the top of the Backstage navigation pane.

Beta Navigation pane with recent docs

Turning this feature on also means that we’ll be able to use the keyboard sequence Alt+F+1 (or 2 or 3, etc) to open the most (or 2nd most, etc) recent document from the pinned documents in Recent tab and navigation pane.

These are the few major changes of Backstage View. Please note that these screenshots are still subject to change – they are from an interim build on the way to Beta later this fall.

Courtesy: Office 2010 Engineering Blog

2 responses to “Microsoft Office 2010 Beta Changes – Evolving the Backstage View”

  1. boe Avatar

    Nothing beneficial for most businesses – no reason to upgrade/purchase –

    Like Vista – all bling – no function.

    If they wanted to improve Office they SHOULD have –
    1. Made outlook open multiple e-mail accounts as full exchange -not an additional mailbox with some functionality or pop/imap with very limited functionality but two seperate exchange profiles simultaneously from multiple exchange servers.

    2. Full OLE support for pictures in access – umm wasn’t that functional with Office XP – why take that out? Why should someone have to code to add pictures to a personal database? Might was well use oracle or a real database if you are going to have to use code. Adding Office XP photo editor is the work around but why not just add photo editor back into office if that is the solution?

    3. Offer the old menu bar for people (most of my clients) who don’t want to learn the new menu bar. You can finally modify the ribbon to some extent in 2010 however my clients just want their old ribbon bar. Frankly I have no issue with the new menu bar but I’m one person and most of my clients don’t like it so prefer to stick with office 2003. MS could make money selling the new version if they just offered the old menu as a choice with the new ribbon.

    1. Terri Avatar

      “All bling…no function”…I couldn’t have said it better myself. Why our IT guy loves it is beyond me. I think their original test group was half blind and illiterate. I don’t understand the need for the added pictures and icons? And why is everything huge?

      I’m not a typical user opposed to change. I’m a super user at our company and the 2010 Beta has caused many, many other problems with other programs I run. If you deal with a wide range of media files you’ll want to do more research before allowing someone to force this download on you.

      After 2 months on 2010 Beta, it is being uninstalled tonight…and not a minute too soon.

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