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This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2002-04-01 at 12:00 p.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/6770
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Microsoft AutoGadget Formats the Finder

by Tonya Engst

Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, clearly looking for a new direction after last year's release of Office v.X, today announced AutoGadget, a Mac OS X-only utility that brings a bevy of Microsoft's automatic editing and formatting tools to the Finder. In their press release, Microsoft said, "Experts in our usability labs have found that Office users actually have a measurable increase in certain stress hormones when Office's automatic tools aren't available." AutoGadget comes on the heels of a recent directive from Bill Gates that Microsoft should explore ways to make the computing environment less stressful. Intriguing features of AutoGadget include:

Microsoft isn't known as a player in the Macintosh utility field, and it's uncertain how the overall Mac community will receive AutoGadget, especially given the level to which Office's automatic tools have engendered love/hate reactions. Still, each AutoGadget feature can be turned on or off independently of the others, so if you generally like Office's helping hand, give AutoGadget a try.

AutoGadget 1.0 will ship with the next service release of Office v.X (which is required for AutoGadget to work), and - in an effort to acquaint all Office v.X users with Microsoft's new emphasis on relaxation - is also available now as a free download from Microsoft's Mactopia Web site.

<http://www.microsoft.com/mac/>