By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-10-06 Print this article Print


Excel hasnt added too many new features beyond the same sort of task pane benefits we found in Word and the 2003 suites overarching support for XML. But with Excels data-centric focus, the XML support makes for an especially good fit.

Excel now enables users to select from ranges of data to create lists that can be managed and worked on independently of other data on a worksheet.

The lists we created in our test were marked off with a thick blue border, and each column within the list had Excels Autofilter feature enabled by default. We could expand or reduce the area included in our list by dragging the border over the new range of cells we desired.


Powerpoint 2003 adds a cd packager option, with which we could burn a copy of our test presentation along with a new version of Microsofts PowerPoint viewer onto a CD for distribution. This works fine for sending presentations to other Windows users, but, in what seems to be a refrain with Office, it doesnt cut it for cross- platform distribution.

In contrast, StarOffices Impress application can export presentations as PDF documents or as Macromedia Flash files; wed like to see this same functionality built into PowerPoint.

PowerPoint can now play movies embedded in presentations in full-screen mode, and, for Tablet PC users, PowerPoint now supports ink annotations while in slide mode.

Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at jason_brooks@ziffdavis.com

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As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at jbrooks@eweek.com.

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