So, Office 2013 is now out, available as either the desktop software or as part of the Office 365 subscription. So, what’s new? Well, the answer to that is… lots! To get you started, here’s three new features.
Do you use SkyDrive? Well, Office 2013 is designed to integrate with the cloud, via SkyDrive and SharePoint, making it easy to work with your files from anywhere. The SkyDrive account details show in the top corner of the screen within each application (and the Start screen of Windows 8). Watch out, because when you save your file the default save location is the SkyDrive account so remember to change it to the local disk if you need to.
Work with PDFs?
This is a nifty feature… in Word you can now open PDF files and edit them within the application. They can then be saved as either a PDF or Word document meaning that you no longer need specialist software. But remember, you can only edit them if there are no security restrictions set within the PDF document…
Spend ages trying to decide on what chart would be the best to use for your data? Well, Excel 2013 now looks at the data selected and offers a recommended chart for you, leaving you free to customise and edit as appropriate. And, even editing is easier too – small icons appear outside the top right corner when the chart is selected, offering access to chart elements you may wish to modify.
What’s new in Outlook 2013?
With emails, everything is very much ‘at a glance’. For example, messages can be previewed in a message list allowing you to quickly decide which ones to read first (or ignore until later… ). Responding is quicker too – you can click to type a reply within the Reading Pane and use the message list to delete or mark messages rather than having to go directly to each one. And, two handy options in the inbox let you toggle between looking at All the messages or just the Unread ones.
A new PeopleCard gathers all of the main details about a contact (for example, their phone number, email, address and social media updates) and shows them in one place. So much easier for keeping in touch.
If you want to find out what’s coming up, or what meetings to look forward to, you’ll find that you don’t have to switch to the Calendar view anymore. You can pin the calendar to any of the Outlook views so it is displayed at all times on the Navigation bar when you hover over the Calendar option. If preferred, it can be docked so it’s displayed all the time.
In earlier versions of Outlook, buttons appeared at the bottom of the Navigation Pane. This is now replaced by the Navigation Bar, and displays the Mail, Calendar, More info People and Task options.
What’s new in Word 2013?
New Read Mode
If all you want to do is read your document, with no other distractions, then the new Read Mode is for you. It’s clean and comfortable, with a view that displays the document in easy-to-read columns on the screen. But, don’t think that it’s only ‘reading’ that’s available to you in this view – you have access to Define, Translate and Search on Web too. And, if peace has been disturbed and you’ve had to stop reading to deal with something else, Word remembers where you left off even if you reopen on a different computer.
Are you a fan of comments within Word? It’s a great way to communicate with others that collaborate with you and they’ve now been made even better! With the reply button, you can have conversations within the comments area, easily keeping track of ‘who said what’ and can be greyed out when finished with (rather than deleted). A very neat idea from Microsoft!
Working with PDFs
Now, those that work with PDFs and need to edit them will like this one… PDFs can now be opened in Word and edited too, just as you would edit a normal Word document. A massive time-saver. (Remember though that this won’t be possible if the PDF has been restricted with security settings)
What’s new in Powerpoint 2013?
There’s always been methods to share a PowerPoint presentation over the Web, but the options have been expanded to embrace the new technology now available. For example, you can initiate a Lync meeting which can display the whole deck of slides along with audio and messaging, just with a few clicks.