What’s New in Microsoft Office 2013?
The latest update to the venerable productivity suite from Microsoft, Office 2013 offers improved functionality in Word, Outlook, and Excel while also extending the suite of services into the cloud, integrating Office 2013 with their SkyDrive cloud-based storage service. The suite of services has also become compatible with touch screen devices, including desktop monitors, laptops, and tablets. Now, finally, it is possible to take the entire suite of Office productivity functions with you, on Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices, wherever you go.
One of the most exciting features of Office 2013 is the improved functionality of the most-used productivity tools ever offered. In the latest version of Office, both Word and Excel have received an overhaul and upgrade that should make all of us sit up and take notice. In brief, here are a few of the new features offered by Microsoft:
New Word 2013 Features
- Import a PDF right into Word – edit as a Word doc and save as a PDF or Word doc.
- Import and embed online images or videos – directly into your Word doc seamlessly.
- Import and embed screenshots – directly into your open Word doc.
- Enhanced change tracking – when collaborating on Word docs.
- New “Reader” viewing mode – allowing collapsible text to reduce scrolling.
New Excel 2013 Features
- New data analysis tools – for easier data input and reading.
- “Flash Fill” feature – allows Excel to help fill columns with data.
- “Quick Analysis” tool – uses conditional formatting to highlight alternating data areas.
- Excel suggests which graphs and charts will best enhance the presentation of data.
New PowerPoint 2013 Features
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 has a brand-new look: It’s cleaner and primed for use on tablets and phones, so you can swipe and tap your way through presentations.
- Presenter View automatically adapts to your projection set-up, and you can even use it on a single monitor.
- Themes now come with variations, which make it simpler to hone in on the look you want.
- And when you’re working with others, you can add comments to ask questions and get feedback.
- More choices for getting started: Instead of opening with a blank presentation, PowerPoint 2013 gives you several ways to start your next presentation using a template, a theme, a recent presentation, a not-so-recent presentation, or a blank one.
- Widescreen friendly: Much of the world’s TVs and video have gone to widescreen and HD formats, and so has PowerPoint. There’s a 16:9 layout, and new themes designed to take advantage of widescreen possibilities.
- Start an online meeting from PowerPoint: Now you’ve got several ways to share a PowerPoint presentation over the Web.
- Improved video and audio support: PowerPoint now supports more multimedia formats, such as .mp4 and .mov with H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio, and more high-definition content.
- New eyedropper for color matching.
- PowerPoint on touch devices: Now it’s possible to interact with PowerPoint on most any device including a Windows 8 PC.
New Office 2013 User Interface
- Larger user interface – with more space between slightly larger icons.
- Allows easier use of touch screen monitors.
- Not too large for laptop and tablet screens.
- “Design” tab no longer hidden by default.
- “Developer” tab no longer hidden by default.
We’ll Keep You Posted
As the reviews for Office 2013 keep coming in, it definitely appears that Microsoft has made some very smart changes and clever upgrades to the most popular productivity suite ever to hit the market. Office 2013 is beginning to sound like just what the doctor ordered to ensure consistent productivity in today’s more mobile business environment.
For more detailed information and a review of a hands-on impression of the new version of Office from Microsoft, have a look at this article Microsoft Office 2013 Preview: Hands On, from PCWorld.com. PC World also offers a more detailed look at the new user interface being offered in Office 2013 here: Microsoft Office 2013: A Tour of the New Office Suite’s User Interface.
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