Windows 7 Tricks For Office 2007

I recently upgraded my desktop PC from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7. I had resisted this upgrade out of protest. When I bought the desktop in 2008, I bought a high end HP-the first time since the early 80’s that I hadn’t built my own PC, but the HP really had everything I needed after I added a Light Scribe DVD Drive. When I ordered the PC from HP’s business division, it wasn’t offered with Vista Pro, only Vista Home which has reduced networking capabilities, so it came with XP Pro and I immediately upgraded to Vista Ultimate. This is where the protest came in. Vista was annoying. Every time you wanted to install something you had to navigate through what seemed like dozens of screens asking, “Do You Really Want To Do This”. So, I ended up finally working through all the registry hacks, tweaks, and add-ons to make Vista Ultimate act like, XP….hmmm. Then Windows 7 came out and everyone said it was a vast improvement over Vista. So, I went to Microsoft’s Upgrade Path site and low and behold, Vista users were offered reasonable-cost upgrades….except for those of us that spent all those extra dollars on Ultimate, we had to pay full price. Well, I finally broke down last month and upgraded to Windows 7, and it is a vastly improved OS. Feature Packed and performance improvements are really impressive. But there were problems….

The first glaring problem was there is no such thing as the Quick Launch Bar-that area on the task bar, next to the Start Button, where things like Outlook, Media Player and Microsoft Office used to appear where you could “quick launch” applications you used often without having to wade through the Start, programs menu. The second item was the Start Menu itself. This used to contain Search, Documents, My Computer and Programs but now, in Win 7 it seemed to be random and contain just the things you had recently used. Then I discovered that you could “Pin” items to the Start Menu, as well as to the Task Bar, so no problem, right? Wrong. Turns out you could only “Pin” some things to these areas. For instance, Internet Explorer and certain other apps written specifically for Win 7.

One item that really teed me off was you couldn’t Pin the old Microsoft Office “Open Office Document” and “New Office Document” shortcuts to the Start menu or the Task Bar and of course, there is no “Quick Launch”mbut that work around comes later….. Now I spent a lot of money on MS Office 2007 Pro, since I use all or most of the extra apps you get with the Pro Version of Office-things like Access, InfoPath and Power Point and most importantly, Outlook!, that aren’t available in The Home Versions of Office which only include Word and Excell. Now, if you want to upgrade to Office 2010, which really is nice but again expensive, then you can Pin these to either the Task bar or the Start Menu. But I personally don’t like the idea of spending $500 plus every two years for the “latest” versions and the inexpensive versions just don’t do all I need to do.

Well, I went exploring. I was all over the Office User Forums and I wasn’t the only person that was indignant ,pissed off and threatening to use Open Office-that free, Open Source office app that tries very hard to be compatible with MS Office but usually falls short if you try and do more than basic word processing or spread sheets. The answer from Microsoft was not satisfying. They basically had no work around or fix for this. if you wanted to continue to use your older Office program then you had to go back to wading through the All Programs menu to launch the Application.

Now, I have been tearing apart, like a backyard mechanic with a ‘57 Chevy, Microsoft Operating Systems since Dos 1.1 to make them do what I want them to do and why should Windows 7 not suffer this same fate? It took about 2 hours but I beat the bastards. And here is how you can too.

First off, the Open Office Document and the New Office Document (which used to bring up all the templates like these allowing you the choice of New Word Document or New Excell Workbook, etc…as well as all the Templates Like Invoices, Resume Samples, etc…on the other Tabs:    New Document Are launched from a file named osa.exe which can be found here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12. Whether it comes up as Open Office Document or New Office Document relies on two switches, specifically –f for Open Office Document and –n for New Office Document. You can not just find this executable and pin it to the Start Menu or Task Bar. You have to create new shortcuts. And in new locations. The way I did this was to navigate to my profile by going to Start, Computer and opening up the C: drive which gives you this:Profile




Then I created the Folder Office, highlited in red by Right Clicking and selecting New Folder. Then open the new folder you just created and named Office and right Click again and select New Shortcut. This brings up the New Shortcut Wizard Create Shortcut





Enter the path to osa.exe which for the 32 bit version is: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\OSA.EXE” –f and enter the variable –f or –n outside of the “ marks. If you have the 64 bit versions they are found at : C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12. Then click next, and on the next screen name the shortcut either Open Office Document for –f or New Office Document for –n then click Finish. Now you can right click on the two newly created shortcuts and choose to Pin them to either the Task Bar or the Start Menu. I Pinned mine to the Start Menu mainly because that is where they used to be, and I resist change just as much as the next guy.And, you didn’t have to spend $500 plus dollars to add this functionality. You can also choose to change the Icons to the familiar ones by choosing them from the osa.exe file. Here’s what it should look like when you are done: Start Menu


Don’t worry about screwing anything up in trying this. the worst that could happen is nothing will happen if you get the path wrong or or forget the –f or-n variables. I chose to create the new Folder and it’s short cuts inside my profile because if anyone else were ever to use my computer, the shortcuts wouldn’t show up with them Logged On. You could create it anywhere on the C: drive and enter the appropriate path and it’ll work. I try not to create new Folders or Shortcuts inside the Windows Directory or the Programs Directory because if you ever have to do a maintenance reinstall of a Program or of Windows you would over write the short cuts. Also, if you want the shortcuts to appear for everybody that uses your PC, instead of creating them in C:\users\Your_Name, Create them in C:\Users\default.

And that’s the Dirty Lowdown on that.


About DirtyLowdown
I was born in Pomona, California at a very young age. I had a pretty normal childhood…or I was a pretty normal child hood if mom is telling the story. I was a paperboy who always porched , usually on the subscribers porch. I washed cars and bussed tables which left me with a life time affliction of chapped lips. I was a soda fountain jock-jerk and a manic mechanic but my first real job was as a labor organizer in a maternity ward. Then, because of the misjudgment of a judge I spent nearly 10 years in the service of our country mostly on KP duty. Our country sure turns out a lot of dirty dishes. I am a past master at pots and pans. They eventually recognized my real talent and let me wander around some very unfriendly places carrying a big radio that didn’t work. Along the way I took up the bass guitar, jotting down stories, electronic engineering and earned a degree in advanced criminal activities. I spent most of my adult life, if you can call it that, working in the I.T. industry, which I was particularly suited for since we worked in rooms with no windows. On and off I taught in colleges, universities and reform schools as a student teacher… I like smog, traffic, kinky people, car trouble, noisy neighbors, and crowded seedy bars where I have been known to quote Raymond Chandler as pickup lines. I have always been a voracious reader, everything from the classics, to popular fiction, history to science but I have a special place in my heart for crime fiction, especially hard-boiled detective fiction and noir. I write a book and music review blog for all genres at The Dirty Lowdown and another dedicated to Crime Fiction and all things Noir called Crimeways. It’s named after the magazine that appeared in the Kenneth Fearing classic, The Big Clock. There I write scholarly reviews of the classic hard boiled, noir and crime fiction books from the 20's through today. Mostly I drool over the salacious pictures on the covers. I also write for Technorati/BlogCritics where I am part of a sinister cabal of superior writers.

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