Let's talk about netbooks

Super-portable and accessible, the first netbooks were designed for students, but now more and more professionals and home users are purchasing them. Netbooks have revolutionised the home PC market and with essential Office 2007 programs like Word, Powerpoint and Excel installed, netbooks can be a powerful, portable tool for work and home.

The good news, according to our in-house tests, is that Office 2007 runs on a netbook with no problems. Which means you can continue to use the Office software and documents you are familiar with.

First things first: How to install Office 2007 on your netbook

Many netbooks come with a free 60-day trial of Office 2007 pre-installed. You can convert the trial to a fully licensed version of Office by purchasing online. Alternatively, you can buy a boxed copy of your chosen Office suite from a local or online retailer.

Not all netbooks have a CD/DVD drive. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry, there will still be a way to get Office 2007 onto your netbook.

Performance

You do need to take into account the capacity and technical specification of your netbook. The netbook tested here had 512Mb RAM memory and 60GB hard drive. The ‘official’ minimum specification for Office 2007 is here. Office Home and Student 2007 was installed.

Overall the experience with Office 2007 during the test was good, and the applications all functioned well. After a few days of testing the only slowness noticed was when several applications with several windows each were running, so it’s a good idea to remember to save and close documents as you go (a good habit anyway!).

The best thing come in small packages

Netbooks are, by their nature, smaller than standard laptops. This is great for portability but also means you might want to adopt a couple of tricks to make the most of the smaller screen area.

Zoom is your friend

Use the zoom function to view a smaller amount of your document at one time, for easier editing. You can also save zoom settings to suit your preferences.

Minimise the Office menu (Ribbon)

This function gives you a larger working area. To minimise or reset the menu (ribbon) just press Ctrl+F1.

You can also save time by becoming familiar with the Quick Access Toolbar.

Save documents online and save space on your PC

Office Live Workspace is your No. 1 ally here. Don’t clog up your hard drive with documents and photos. Set up an Office Live Workspace instead. You can upload all your files so you can access them anytime over the internet, whether you’re using your netbook, work PC or an internet café on holiday. You can also choose to give access to some areas of your workspace, so friends or colleagues can download, edit and upload documents too.

What are you waiting for?

After you’ve installed Office 2007 on your netbook, visit our training portal to learn everything you need to get started with Office 2007, completely free, If it’s the first time you’ve used Microsoft Office programs, don’t worry, try these novice guides.