Microsoft continually experiment and innovate with their products to improve on the customer experience and bring cool new features to life.
In this week's episode of our series on free Microsoft tools, we look at free Microsoft Office tools to help you better use Microsoft Office, or to quickly turn you into a wiz!
The Social Connector for Microsoft Outlook is a free add-on for Microsoft Outlook that lets you see updates from your contact's social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Windows Live. So before you send an email, you can personalise it for the recipient, congratulating them on their latest success or holding off on sending an email if they're on a holiday.
Did you know that you can download language packs to translate commonly used features of Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Windows 7? For our New Zealand friends, you can download Maori language packs for free! For other languages, DonorTec and TechSoup New Zealand offer Microsoft Office Multi-Language Packs through the Microsoft Software Donation Program.
If you want to become a Microsoft Office power user without boring tutorials, Ribbon Hero is for you. It's a free download for Windows users that works with Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010, that turns becoming a power user into a game. You can open it at any time to see your progress and get lessons tailored to you.
You could also install the free Microsoft Office 2010 Getting Started screensaver, which provides you with handy tips and tricks to help make your work in Microsoft Office easier.
The Microsoft Office Chemistry add on allows you to insert and modify chemical information in Microsoft Office Word. This includes labels, chemical formulas and 2D depictions, and is based on the Chemical Markup Language for compatibility.
The Microsoft Mathematics add on allows you to easily plot graphs in 2D and 3D, calculate numerical results, solve equations or inequalities and simply algebraic expressions in Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office OneNote.
If you're running Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier, then by now you have probably received an email from someone with an attachment in a new Microsoft Office format. Introduced with Microsoft Office 2007, they have file names that end in an 'x', like .docx, .xlsx or .pptx.
If you can't upgrade at the moment, you can download the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. This enables users of Microsoft Office 2003 and earlier to open the new formats, so you will always be able to open documents from friends and colleagues!