When Microsoft launched Office 2007, it added a new feature called Live Preview. It allows you to hover over different formatting options in your documents to see how they will look. If you’re moving from an older version of Office, you might find this feature disorientating and annoying. Luckily it’s easy to disable.
Disable Live Preview Office 2010 & 2013
Click File > Options and under the General button uncheck “Enable Live Preview” — here you can also disable the Mini Toolbar if you don’t like it either.
In Office 2007: Click the Office button and go to Options. Then select Popular in the left column and uncheck Enable Live Preview.
Personally, I find the Live Preview feature to be quite helpful, especially in Word. But if you need time to get use to it or simply don’t like it, it’s easy enough to disable.