I’ll mainly be reviewing Onenote, but I do want to say that powerpoint seems to have some nice new stuff – particularly you can embed videos (man that has always been annoying, being on a computer without the right codec or something). The big thing (which wasn’t really a part of the technical preview) is the web app versions of office programs. They look to be very similar to running them locally. That could be a really big deal (since google apps haven’t done much since they were released).
Onenote 2010 ELN Summary
- Ribonnized: Hey, I don’t mind the ribbon, plus it’s very handy to hide and show it now.
- Organization: Multi-level subpages!
- SEARCH!! – a much better and faster search, plus search by date and author features!
- Quick styles – easier to make your ELN aesthetically pleasing
- Sharing and authoring slightly better for an ELN
- Web? It says ‘Access from everywhere, share on the web’ but I didn’t really see how to do that yet.
- Embed already word, excel, … – why not? Why should I need to press a link and open excel files Why not be able to embed any application in a window?
- Separate user login – I like the authoring tracking, but wish you didn’t have to log out of windows
- Shared templates? not sure if this was addressed, hard to determine with the technical preview
Now we see it.
Now we don’t. (The arrow in the upper right –next to the ‘help’ question mark- is the quick hide-n-seek button)
So, instead of the round MS button (in Office 2007, which is actually absent in Onenote 2007) the new Onenote has a rectangular tab-like MS button, that opens a whole browsing screen! Nothing terribly ground breaking, but kind of cool looking.
Finally! A second level of subpages for me :). I wish we could do more than just 2 levels though. Plus you can insert new pages now without haven’t to drag your mouse all the way up to the top to the new page tab.
I really like the new search, first of all it’s this in-line live search as you type thing (I guess it’s called ‘word wheel’ or something). But it also divides the search hits into Recent picks, Title, and Body.
If you open the search side pane, you can even search by date (quite handy in the lab).
You can also search by author! Notice the little colored lines on the right side of the page indicating the initials of the author for each part of the page.
The quick styles idea is a good thought. Better to dress up your lab notebook with (because normally I would quickly grow tired of spending much (or any) time making the thing look good. Even though I know if it is organized and looks good then it is easier to quickly read.
I really like what I see in the preview. I really wish there was no Excel, Word, Onenote distinction – but instead was just Office, so I could have excel spreadsheets that calculate stuff right in my electronic lab notebook. But, I guess clicking on a link isn’t so bad. The new organization and search enhancements are great.
The web app, cloud sharing stuff brings a tear to my eye. If it works well, then I will really have to think hard about what I want for improvements in a future Office iterations as pertaining to ELNs. Not to worry though, I can always find things to complain about… Like shared templates (why can’t I share templates, when I can share whole notebooks?).
Overall, I always simply like cool new stuff, but above that there are definitely substantial improvements and the promise of great web app features. Perhaps a simple (well not so simple) plugin could add alot of the legal stuff companies need in an ELN?