Ian Winick asked:crosoft Office XP [...] and plan to install it tomorrow. The version on my computer at the moment is Office 2000.
(1) Do I need to de-install the old version before I install the new?[/quote]
No. It's a while since I did this (I'm now usung Office 2003), but I have done it on at least a dozen PCs and it's one of the things that Microsoft got (almost) right.
You even get a choice as to whether or not to keep older versions of the individual component programs. That's only likely to be useful if you use Access, as there are often compatibility problems with older databases. Word XP can be instructed to only use features that are compatible with an older version (typically Office 2000) when saving files, so even if you exchange files with people still using older versions there isn't really a reason to retain Word 2000.
The key is *not* to allow an automatic setup but instead to go through the laborious process of selecting (and deselcting!) options. You'll probably want to do this anyway, for example to make sure you include spell-checking for French but not the pesky "grammar checking" for English. There's a lot of clicking to be done, but it's tiresome rather than intellectually demanding and is definitely worthwhile.
(2) Can I leave my e-mails in Outlook as they are or do I have to back them up? Is there anything else I need to take into account?
I'll have to pass on this one - I banned Outlook from every computer I have anything to do with years ago, not because it's necessarily 'bad' but simply because so many viruses and trojans target it. My guess is that your installation will survive, but I'd *definitely* back up mails and (crucially!) your address book.
(3) Will my settings in MS Word - such as shortcuts, auto-correction etc. - still be intact after I've installed the new version?
In theory, perhaps. In practice, they'll probably not all be the way you'd like them to be. You'll need to click through tools and options menus, not least to get the menus displayed the way you're used to. At the very least, make a backup copy of your normal.dot template and any other templates you've created/amended. And mae a note of any add-ins you've installed, or allowed other programs to install - Excel stats stuff, perhaps, or features added to Word by Acrobat and/or CAT tools. These will almost certainly need to be tweaked or reinstalled - and in some cases you might find you need newer versions.
Finally, plan in some time to download all the security updates that have been released since Office XP came out. You'll need to visit the Office Update site more than once, as some of the later updates can only be installed once earlier updates / service packs are in place.
Have a good Saturday!
[Edited at 2005-05-21 09:37]