Versions of Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is 27 years old. According to Wikipedia, Microsoft Word was released upon an unsuspecting public on 25 October 1983.

It's now up to version 14. Not that there have been 14 versions. There were early numbering inconsistencies (versions 1, 2 and then 6 in the 1980s and 1990s). More recently, it seems that Microsoft is a superstitious place: it skipped from 12 (Word 2007) to 14 (Word 2010).

Word versions come in pairs.

  • Word 97 represented a big change. Word 2000 consolidated on that change and Word 2000 was reliable, solid and widely used.
  • Word 2002 represented a big change. Word 2003 fixed many of those problems and again became a much-used, reliable version.
  • Word 2007 gave us the biggest change in the user interface since the invention of the toolbar and the mouse. It's a big jump from Word 2003.
  • Word 2010 builds on Word 2007, fixes a lot of bugs, and introduces a few new features.

    Word 2010 makes lots of tiny refinements to the user interface. For my money, it's a generally more pleasant experience than Word 2007.

    If you're using Word 2007 and you can move to Word 2010, my general advice is: do.

Select your version to see articles that apply to your version of Word. Not sure? Find out what version of Word you have.

Word 2010

Word 2010: The milder, slightly better-behaved younger sister of Word 2007. Still can't find anything. Just have to put up with it. But it is better than 2007. Really.

Word 2007

Word 2007: The new kid on the block. Makes me feel disorganized. Can't find anything. Glamour does not outweigh substance. Word 2007 and I were never going to be friends.

Word 2003

Word 2003: Many people think this will turn out to have been the last really good version of Word. There was a massive two-year public beta test (known as Word 2002), and Word 2003 was really solid. It's still the version I turn to when I have a choice.

Word 2002

Word 2002: The Fisher-Price version. Big UI changes compared with Word 2000. And buggy. Very buggy.

Word 2000

Word 2000: Solid, dependable, reliable. Like an old pair of runners. Much loved, but past its use-by date.