Microsoft Office shared tools

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Microsoft Office shared tools are software components that are (or were) included in all Microsoft Office products.


Office Delve offers Cortana-like capabilities for Office 365 users to search and manage their emails, meetings, contacts and social networks. Delve uses machine learning and artificial intelligence.[1][2][3] In April 2015 Microsoft launched a mobile version of Office Delve in the App Store and Google Play for users with Office 365 an subscriptions.[4]

Equation Editor[edit]

Equation Editor is a formula editor developed by Design Science that allows users to construct math and science equations in a WYSIWYG environment, and is included in Microsoft Office and several other commercial applications. It is a simplified version of Design Science's MathType, evidenced with a dialog box enticing the user to upgrade to the full, paid version of the software.[5] It can be used as a standalone program or it can also be used as an embedded object from within applications that support OLE. Its feature set has not changed significantly since its introduction in Word for Windows version 2.0.

Beginning with Office 2007, Equation Editor is no longer the default method of creating equations, and is kept for compatibility with old documents only.[6] Instead, a reengineered equation editor is included, which is built into the document-editing part of the Fluent User Interface on core Office 2007 programs and all Office 2010 and 2013 programs, rather than accessed through a separate dialog and being treated as an OLE object in the document.[7]


Microsoft Graph (originally known as Microsoft Chart) is an OLE application deployed by Microsoft Office programs such as Excel and Access to create charts and graphs. The program is available as an OLE application object in Visual Basic. Microsoft Graph supports many different types of charts, however, its output is dated. Office 2003 was the last version to use Microsoft Graph for hosting charts inside Office applications as OLE objects. Office 2007, specifically, Excel 2007 includes a new integrated charting engine and the charts are native to the applications. The new engine supports advanced formatting, including 3D rendering, transparencies, and shadows. Chart layouts can also be customized to highlight various trends in the data. Microsoft Graph still exists for compatibility reasons, but the entry points are removed.


The first software sold under the name Microsoft Chart was an attempt from Microsoft to compete with the successful Lotus 1-2-3 by adding a companion to Microsoft Multiplan, the company's spreadsheet in the early 1980s.

Microsoft Chart shared its box design and two-line menu with Multiplan, and could import Multiplan data. The simple graphs (pies, bars, lines) were drawn on the screen in graphics mode (which was not available on entry level computer models), and could not be printed on some dot matrix devices.

The main drawback of Microsoft's solution at the time was the need to exit Multiplan and then load Chart to compose and draw a graph, because MS-DOS was not a multitasking operating system.

In the early 1990s, Microsoft Chart was renamed Microsoft Graph.


An example image created with WordArt.

WordArt is a text-styling utility. It allows users to create stylized text with various "special effects" such as textures, outlines, and many other manipulations that are not available through the standard font formatting. For example, one can create shadows, rotate, "bend", and "stretch" the shape of the text. WordArt is available in 30 different preset styles in Microsoft Word, however, it is customizable using the tools available on the WordArt toolbar and Drawing toolbar, or on the WordArt tools tab on Office 2007 and 2010. It is also available in Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Publisher. In Office 2010, users can apply formatting effects such as shadow, bevel, glow, gradient glow, and reflection to their text.

In Office 2007, WordArt was given a complete overhaul in Excel and PowerPoint, with new styles, new effects, and the ability to apply WordArt to regular text boxes. The new styles have been included in Word 2010.

WordArt created in PowerPoint for Mac 2011


Microsoft Binder[edit]

Microsoft Binder was an application originally included with Microsoft Office 95, 97, and 2000 that allowed users to include different types of OLE 2.0 objects (e.g., documents, spreadsheets, and presentations) in one file. Originally a test host for OLE 2.0, it was not widely used, and was discontinued after Office 2000.

The filename extension for Microsoft Binder files was .OBD; the Office Binder template format was .OBT. A Microsoft Office Binder Wizard used the extension .OBZ.

Binder files could be opened in Office versions until 2003, with the Unbind add-in installable through the Add or Remove Programs menu. Office 97 Unbind is available for download from the Microsoft website.[8]

Microsoft Data Analyzer[edit]

Microsoft Data Analyzer 2002 was part of Microsoft Office XP. Microsoft originally purchased the software as part of the intellectual property of Maximal Innovative Intelligence - Maximal's "Max" product was rebranded as Microsoft Data Analyzer. Even though it was a standalone application and was not available in any Office XP bundle, it was a part of the Office XP suite. It was not updated beyond version 3.5.[9]

Microsoft Data Analyzer allows analyzing and visualizing data and data trends, and is integrated with SQL Server Analysis Services. Reports and graphs generated could be saved as HTML, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint files.

Microsoft Office Document Imaging[edit]

Microsoft Office Document Scanning[edit]

Microsoft Office Document Scanning (MODS) is a scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) application introduced first in Office XP. The OCR engine is based upon Nuance's OmniPage. MODS is suited for creating archival copies of documents.

MODS is closely tied with Microsoft Office Document Imaging, the application that manipulates Microsoft Document Imaging Format (MDI) files. The application can also create TIFF files.

Notably, this application can embed OCR data into both MDI and TIFF files. This enables some sort of automated text searchability on the files, which is integrated into the Windows shell Search function.

Microsoft Office Document Scanning, like Office Document Imaging is no longer available in Office 2010.

Office Assistant[edit]

Main article: Office Assistant

Microsoft PhotoDraw[edit]

Main article: Microsoft PhotoDraw

Microsoft Photo Editor[edit]

Office Web Components[edit]

Office Web Components (OWC) are a group of Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) components available in Office 2000, XP, and 2003. These ActiveX Controls can be plugged into web pages, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) forms, and Windows Forms, or programmed in-memory. The OWC can be used by any COM-compliant Component Object Model programming language. Applications such as Excel, Microsoft Access, and Microsoft FrontPage allowed creating interactive web pages using Office Web Components.

The following components are included:

  • Spreadsheet
  • Chartspace
  • Pivot table
  • Data source component

The Office Web Components were discontinued in Office 2007 except as a part of Office Project Server 2007.[10] However, they were available for download from Microsoft's website. Microsoft has not yet offered a complete OWC replacement. However, programmers can use a combination of third-party products, Excel Services, or Visual Studio Tools for Office to provide similar functionality.

The Pivot Table web component may have problems on Windows 7.[11] In many cases the problems are related to the new security settings in IE and can be solved by relaxing the restrictions in the relevant Internet Zone, allowing ActiveX controls and possibly cross-domain access. If the page is hosted locally in the computer, the settings for the zone are not accessible through the IE interface, and can be changed by editing the registry (under key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\0]).

Four books in print cover OWC programming:

  • The O.W.C Black Book 2nd Edition - Alvin Bruney 2007
  • The Microsoft Office Web Components Black Book with .NET - Alvin Bruney 2005
  • Professional ASP Programming Guide for Office Web Components: With Office 2000 and Office XP - Qimao Zhang 2001
  • Programming Microsoft Office 2000 Web Components - Dave Stearns 2000

Clip Organizer[edit]

Microsoft Clip Organizer is Microsoft's clip art organizing software allowing users to find drawings, photographs, sounds, videos, and other media clips to include in presentations, publications, and other Office documents. It comes with a variety of stock media clips and offers more selection on the Microsoft Office Online website.

Picture Manager[edit]


External links[edit]

Equation Editor
Microsoft Data Analyzer
Office Web Components