New Features of Microsoft Office 2013 (Office 15)

Microsoft Office 2013, codenamed Office 15 is the next generation suite for Microsoft’s famous “Office” applications Microsoft seems to be on a mission to revamp its products this year. After the complete overhauling of its Windows operating system and server OS, Microsoft has now released a Metro based Office suite with new and improved features. In this post we will take a look at the new features of Office 15 and provide you with an in-depth analysis of some of the changes made to the major Office apps, including MS PowerPoint, MS Word, MS Excel and MS Outlook.

Office 2013 comes with a revamped look which has been based on the Windows 8 style Metro user interface. Among the various Office apps, Outlook seems to have received the most major changes including UI changes to the task scheduling utility. Furthermore, PowerPoint has improved templates and transition effects, whereas Word has been revolutionized with new multimedia features and Excel now has more advanced calculations with the integration of Arabic numerals.

Microsoft Word 15

Microsoft Word 15 comes with a distraction free interface which enables easier reading and better text reflow that fits into columns automatically, according to the screen. Word now provides auto bookmarking for last position in a document. Among the major new features that Word has come with, include Object Zoom and Expand and Collapse. The Object Zoom option allows users to zoom into items via double click, whereas the Expand and Collapse function enables hiding and revealing paragraphs. Furthermore, the Navigation Pane, scrolling, dictionary and translation features have also been enhanced.

Perhaps the most exclusive feature of Word 15 is the Touch Mode, which lets users move through documents via a touch from their fingers or hands. The Touch Mode also allows enlarging the ribbon by a simple touch from the user. Word 15 is also loaded with a PDF reflow feature for opening PDF documents and reflowing content as if the document was created in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Excel 15

Microsoft Excel comes with a Quick Analysis Lens to allow users to quickly access options to present data and create charts. Among the new features, the Flash Fill option simplifies reformatting and rearrangement of data in spreadsheet. With the Touch Mode, users can browse through graphs, and tables at a single touch (e.g. tablets). Excel 15 also provides improved chart animations and professional designed templates.

MS PowerPoint 15

MS PowerPoint 15 like other applications from the Office suite comes with a new Start menu which provides quick access to favorite files, attractive templates and recent items. The new chart engine access feature allows PowerPoint users to pick charts from Excel 15 worksheets and insert them as slides, without altering the presentation’s formatting. PowerPoint 15 Touch Mode can be used to allow users to move between slides and presentations by using the touch screen. Moreover, PowerPoint 15 provides the auto-bookmarking feature which is also available in Word 15.

Microsoft Outlook 15

Outlook 15 has undergone some special changes as Microsoft seems to be looking to revamp its mail offerings for Windows 8. The new Peeks feature is meant to help users to view their schedule, details about their contacts and review tasks in the same screen. Outlook 15 also includes a Weather Bar feature to allow users to check the weather before scheduling or accepting invites for new meetings. Inline replies have also been added to help users reply to emails in a single click. For multiple email account support, Microsoft has made some nice improvements, which allows users to view, create, and respond to multiple email accounts from a unified interface. Other improvements in Outlook 15 include better animations, a less crowded navigation bar and new context commands.

Overall, Office 15 seems to have revolutionized the Microsoft Office experience and it appears that more changes might be expected in upcoming service packs, which might further enhance the Office 15 functionality.

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