Word In 2002, eWEEK Labs conducted a head-to-head evaluation between OpenOffice.org and Office 2003 with IT professionals and end users at FN Manufacturing, a company considering the move away from Office. One of the Office features that proved most popular with the FN Manufacturing and other testers was the suite's task pane-a sidebar through which Office applications could expose various features, such as thesaurus lookup.Word 2010 sports a handful of nice sidebar enhancements, starting with the application's Navigation Pane, which replaces Word 2007's Document Map feature. I used the Navigation Pane to traverse Word documents by jumping from heading to heading. I liked the way I could reorganize topics within a document by dragging the headings around within the pane. Also situated in this side pane is a useful search feature. I typed the words I sought in my document, and the search pane would fill in with results and a bit of context from around the found term-more or less like search engine results do. By default, the search pane tool looks for text, but I could also seek out graphics, tables, equations, footnotes and comments by selecting one of these options from a drop-down menu in the search box. For example, if I were converting a large Word document from a previous Word format, I could select "graphics" from the drop-down menu and cycle through each graphic in the document, looking for needed placement tweaks. This is especially useful, since slight graphics misplacement is one of the most common format-conversion casualties. Word 2010 also sports contextual spell-checking. I typed the sentence, "I can't wait to meat you," and Word duly corrected me with a blue squiggly line instead of the red one with which it would mark a misspelling.
These days, the sidebar concept is as useful as ever, particularly given the wide displays that have grown more popular for desktop and notebook monitors.