Microsoft Word 2013
It’s nearly three years since Word 2010 was released, so naturally Microsoft are getting ready to release the new version: Word 2013. Indeed, you can download the Word 2013 customer preview here.
At first glance, Word 2013 seems, functionally, very much like Word 2010. The user interface is noticeably flatter. Gone is the 3D effect seen on commands in the ribbon, and even the ribbon itself. Here is the “new” ribbon:
The tab titles are in uppercase for some reason, which I think makes the ribbon look a little unfinished. See that familiar avatar in the top right hand corner? That’s your Windows Live account profile picture. You have to log into Word 2013 using your Windows Live account. Is this Microsoft’s attempt to target software piracy? Or just a convenient way for Word 2013 to synchronise your documents, whichever computer you’re using? Signing in using your Windows Live account certainly does the latter, so you can be sure that you are working on the most recent version of a document.
Apparently, the new version of Word focuses on the cloud, mobile devices and touchscreen technology.
New Additions To The Ribbon
Let’s examine what new commands have been added to the ribbon in the 2013 offering.
Full Screen Mode
To maximise the amount of usable space available on your mobile device, you can use the Full Screen Mode button in the top right of the ribbon. Clicking this button hides the ribbon completely and gives Word the appearance of a simple page.
Clicking on the Online Pictures button on the Insert tab brings up a window that allows you to search Office Clip Art, Bing Image Search, Flickr, and also the picture collections of your colleagues – if they’ve saved them to their Windows Live account (in SkyDrive).
Apps For Office
- Go to the Insert tab and click on the lower half of the Apps for Office button > See All. Make sure you’re working in the featured tab of the Insert App window.
- Click on an app you like the look of and follow the instructions for adding it to Word. You will usually be taken to a web page that has a big green “Add” button on it. Click it! The job is not yet complete, however.
- Go back in to Insert App window we saw in step 1, but this time work in the Office Store tab. Click Refresh and you should now see your shiny new app appear. Click on it and then use the Insert button at the bottom to actually add it to Word.
The apps you add will appear as a panel on the right hand side of the workspace, when summoned. The Merriam Webster dictionary app we added, for example, waits for you to select a word and then automatically displays its definition over on the right.
Much like the Online Pictures command, the Online Video command allows you to search online for media to insert into your document – this time videos. Clicking the Online Videos button brings up the Insert Video window, where you can search using Bing Video Search, you can insert a video embed code you copied from a video sharing site like Vimeo, or you can search Youtube for a video.
There are some new sharing options, available from backstage view (click the File tab), that we’ll be looking at in later articles. Most options make use of the cloud, i.e. SkyDrive.
General Look And Feel
Microsoft has jazzed up the Word user interface. Instead of backstage view just opening, it now slides opens. Woop de doo. That really helps you work better, doesn’t it?! When you tab across from table cell to table cell, the cursor eases across, whereas in Word 2010, the cursor just appeared instantly where it should be.