7. Formatting Task Panes in PowerPoint
Formatting images, shapes, and other objects in PowerPoint is now more intuitive. Right-click an image and choose Format Picture to open the new Format Picture task pane, which shows the formatting options available for that object. Click another object, and the options in the task pane change to show only the options available for that object. You can leave the pane open as you work, so that its visible without cluttering your workspace.
8. Easier Charting
For users confused by the plethora of charting options in previous versions of Excel, the new Recommended Charts feature is useful. Select the data to chart and click Insert > Recommended Chart to see options such as line, bar, and pie charts that the program recommends for your data. Click each chart to preview what your data will look like in that form. After you select and create a chart, small icons will appear outside its top right corner when you select it, giving you access to work with chart elements, styles, and colors, and with the chart data itself.
9. More Graphics Options
In Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, and even Outlook, new icons on the Insert tab of the ribbon toolbar let you insert pictures from your local PC or from various online sources. The online options include inserting images within the Office Clipart collection online, via a Bing search, or from your own SkyDrive or Flickr account. (To access your Flickr account, you must first need to authorize Office to connect to it.)
10. Account Login
The Backstage View in Office 2013 applications (accessed via the File tab) includes a new tab called Account (or 'Office Account', in Outlook). Here you can log in to your SkyDrive account or switch accounts. You can also see a list of connected services, such as Twitter and Facebook, and add services, such as LinkedIn and SkyDrive. The Office Updates area gives you information about the status of any available updates. Click Update Options to disable or enable updates and to view a history of Office 2013 updates.
Additional reporting by Elsa Wenzel