Slowly and steadily, I'm getting the hang of using the object formatting options in Office 2007. It really tends to spoil you because you are tempted to use the predefined formats. However, with practice, you understand how to use the new stops feature. It would have been nice had we been able to mix pictures and solid fills/textures in a single object using stops. Nonetheless, the current system is quite good too. Also, the gradient lines feature gives a lot of freedom to create 3D effects.