Microsoft Office 2013 features new look, prices

Microsoft's refreshed productivity suite sports a major design overhaul and seamless cloud integration—at a higher price.

By Yardena Arar, PC World |  Enterprise Software, Microsoft Office, office 2013

A more mundane but welcome change involves keeping multiple spreadsheets open. In Office 2013, each workbook gets its own window, which makes viewing two or more at once a lot easier. As with Word, you can share your spreadsheets with non-Office users by sending a link (so the recipients can either just view the document or both see and write to it in a browser), or by posting to a social network.

PowerPoint: Design, collaboration, sharing tools

Many of the innovations in PowerPoint 2013 mirror those in Word, including a reading view, the capability to add screenshots and art from photo-sharing sites from within the application, object zoom, instant visibility for formatting changes, enhanced commenting features, and the Design tab.

PowerPoint 2013 makes adjusting design elements simpler by showing options in a new formatting pane to the right of the slide. You summon the pane in the menu that appears when you right-click a selected object such as an image, shape, or text.

Next page: More about PowerPoint, plus Outlook and more

PowerPoint's enhanced media support includes the ability to play more video formats and the option of having background audio play across your entire presentation.

For presenters with two screens at their disposal (one for the audience and one for themselves), the Presenter View makes it easier than ever to access notes and preview upcoming slides. If the Presenter View somehow winds up on the wrong screen, the Swap Display command quickly deals with the problem.

Coauthors can collaborate on a presentation using the PowerPoint Web app. And for those people who skipped Office 2010, the ability to broadcast a presentation online by sending a link to audience members bears mentioning as a very cool feature.

A cleaner Outlook

Last time around Outlook got a ribbon, but it also grew cluttered. Microsoft has addressed this issue in Outlook 2013, which opens with a simple two-pane design consisting of the list of messages and the selected message in the preview pane. You can quickly respond to the message by clicking the Reply button in the preview pane.

If you want more than two panes open, Outlook 2013 will oblige. You can choose between several layouts in the View tab, including ones with panes for your calendar, your to-do list, or the People (formerly Contacts) pane, where you can also see updates from social networks youve set up using Outlook Social Connector (introduced in Office 2012).

At the bottom of the screen, you can click either Calendar, People, or Tasks to switch views, or hover to get a peekvia a small pop-upat your selection. This Peeks feature allows you to access information without having to change views completely.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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