Finding fun Easter eggs in old Microsoft software

It used to be that saying you found an Easter egg meant that you found a colored oval-shaped object produced by a chicken in your backyard. Now when many people think about Easter eggs, they think about finding some cool hidden features inside a software program or game.

In the past, Microsoft has put in quite a few interesting Easter eggs in their software products. Today, we put the spotlight on just a few of them that you can find, provided you own some copies of some older software.

If you put in a few commands in Microsoft Excel 97, you can discover a primative moon flight simulator has been hidden inside the program. This Easter eggs also displays the program's credits in a part of the simulation. You can check out the hidden sim game in the video above. In order to get to the Easter egg simply use the following commands.

1. Create a new Worksheet and then press the F5 button
2. Type X97:L97 and then hit enter
3. Press the tab key and then hold the Ctrl and Shift keys
4. Click on the Chart Wizard toolbar button
5. Boom; you are in space! 

In order to navigate you use the mouse to fly around. Pressing the mouse's right button moves you forward while the left button moves you backward.

Microsoft Word 97 has a hidden pinball game as its Easter egg, which you can see in the video above. In order to gain access, you go through this procedure:

1. Open a new document and then type in Blue
2. Select that word and then go to Format, and then Font
3. Choose the Bold style and then select Blue in the color choices section
4. Type in ", then a space, then another " after the word Blue
5. Go to Help, and then About
6. Go to the Word icon in the About section and click on it.
7. You should then be playing Word 97 Pinball.

You play the game by pressing the Z key for the left flipper and the M key for the right flipper.

Finally, if you are really old school, find a copy of Microsoft Excel 95. You might find it has a primitive first person game inside. This Easter egg can be found via this method:

1. Open Excel 95 with a blank work sheet
2. Move down to the sheet's 95th row and then select the entire row
3. Tab over to column B
4. Go to the Help tab and then to the About screen.
6. Click on the tech support button while also holding down the Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys
7. Presto! A window should then appear with the name "Hall of tortured souls"

Going to the end of the hall in the game will let you see the credits list for Excel 95. There's even a cheat in the Easter egg. Typing in "excelkfa" will let you walk through the walls and see the pictures of the developers.

You can find a ton of other Easter eggs found inside Microsoft software products and operating systems, along with lots of other software, game and DVD Easter eggs, at the Easter Egg Archive web site.

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