Microsoft Office 2003 is designed specifically to streamline communication and collaboration between internal and external team members using the desktop productivity programs that many people rely on every day. The "Document Workspaces" feature, for instance, enable teams to modify, access, and save documents in a central location. In addition, the "Shared Workspace" task pane displays tasks, related documents, links, and member lists that notify you when your team members are online. When you share documents with Office 2003, you have control over what gets changed. Choose permission settings and allow co-authors to alter only the sections or formatting that you choose. Microsoft Office Professional 2003 also helps protect documents from being unintentionally changed by using formatting and editing restrictions. Simply set permission controls on entire documents or portions of a document to prevent modifications or reformatting. You can also improve the efficiency of your meetings with "Meeting Workspaces," which offer a centralized location for sharing agendas, visual resources, and other documentation. And instant messaging, which can be displayed in most programs in Office 2003 applications, lets you know when your team members are online. One of the most significant upgrades that's included in Office 2003 is broader XML support. Word, Excel, and Access each offer XML schemas you can customize for using data, smart documents, and programmable task panes. With these improvements you can manipulate, analyze, and format data from most critical business systems and can customize documents and task panes so that they integrate with XML data sources and outside programs. The enhancements also reduce development time with XML. With Excel, for instance, you can use the visual mapping tool to connect a user-specified XML schema to fields in your spreadsheet, and customize smart tags to bring relevant business information directly into your work.
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