Today Microsoft released their new Office 2013 software, which brings a lot more than just its good looks and cloud syncing, but what exactly is that? What do you get for your upgrade?
Well that’s what we are hopefully going to help you answer in this article, the first biggest thing to be included in the new document processing software is of course cloud functionality, which seems to work really well. After signing in with your Windows Live ID you automatically get all of the documents both on your computer and on your Skydrive placed neatly on the left hand side, next to which is a choice of templates to add to your document.
The cloud functionality allows you to sync all of your documents and settings between other office programs on a range of PCs with ease, as long as you have signed into your account.
The new update also brings Office on demand which lets you access the full version of Office wherever you are, which you can do by streaming a full-featured office application via any internet connected PC running Windows 7 or 8, and once closed, the app will be completely removed, with no information left behind leaving none of your embarrassing documents at your friend’s house, the best part of this is that it’s all subscription free.
You can however but different editions based on your needs, as well as a subscription service if you want to avoid up-front costs.
Of course the apps are the main part of any office software and Word is the biggest of them all. The new 2013 word brings a few quiet features to the processing software such as the new onscreen ‘Read Mode’ which fits text in a column perfectly on any screen, alongside this they have also brought a new full screen mode which allows you to just type out your document without being faced with all them toolbars and options.
Zooming has also been changed allowing you to pinch to zoom on tablets and other touch screen devices, there is also a new Object Zoom which lets you zoom in on charts and images within a document whilst filling the screen. PDF documents have also been changed to allow for viewing on various devices.
Something that I have needed when sifting through press releases and article submissions called ‘Resume Reading’ which lets you automatically bookmark the last position in a document you read and syncs it across your devices, you will need a SkyDrive account of course.
But that’s still not the best feature as Microsoft have now added the feature to allow for embedded video from sources such as Bing Video, YouTube or any old video embed code.
Excel has also got an upgrade in 2013 bringing a shed load of features, the first is auto-complete, which will as ou can guess automatically add the remaining data needed with no formulas or macros needed, alongside this there is also a Quick Trend feature which will add a chart and analyze historical time series data.
There is also a new Excel Add-in scan which will search your spreadsheet for any errors or broken links, Quick Analysis Lens is another new feature which allows you to present data and add recommended charts, alongside this Microsoft have added Chart animations which will provide a better way to see how data is moving in a chart as changes are applied.
PowerPoint is not left behind either with a few new added features to help presenters show their presentations across various devices with different sized screens, one of the new features even allows you to insert pictures from various services including Facebook and Flickr, which works by associating your accounts with your Live ID.
There is also a new Presenter View which allows you to show two separate things on two separate screens, showing your presentation on the projector whilst having your notes on the second screen, this is all done automatically with the Auto-extend feature that automatically detects other screens and projects the presentation on the correct screen.
Finally the best feature added is to insert videos into your presentation and Resume Reading much like that included in the new Word.
Microsoft has also updated other programs like OneNote which will ship with the desktop app, alongside a Metro style version and other versions for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, these all come up to bring a better view across all of the devices alongside cloud sync to allow you to resume all of your note taking across all your devices.
Outlook also includes a lot of changes, one of the biggest is the new Exchange ActiveSync account support, which allows you to add Hotmail and various other services to the program, alongside this Outlook also supports calendar and contact auto syncing, Microsoft have also integrated various social networks in the software, now including Facebook and Linkedin, alongside this they have added various changes to the navigation bar.
I’ve gotta say to finish off that Office is always worth the upgrade just to make sure all of your documents look as good as everyone else’s, but Office 2013 is even better than the previous upgrades with its simply amazing cloud integration allowing users to bring documents with them, instead of just on their laptop.