What's new in Word 2013?
Start screen sets the scene
Word's new Start Screen helps you get to work more quickly. A range of templates appears here to help you get started. These can also be pinned, or you can use the search feature to look online for other templates. A list of suggested searches can help you get started. New users will appreciate the template choices, and existing users will like the Recent file list and quick access to existing files. Although the Start Screen can be disabled, it is very useful. The Open tab has links to recently accessed files and locations.
Once you have opened a new file, clicking on File on the menu will bring you back to the Start section.
Do more with your docs: Pop in an online video, open a PDF and edit the content, align pictures and diagrams with minimal fuss. The new Read Mode is clean and distraction-free—and it works great on tablets. Get absorbed in Word documents right from your screen with a new clean, comfortable reading view.
New Read Mode
Enjoy reading with a view that displays your documents in easy-to-read columns on the screen.
Editing tools are removed to minimize distractions, but you still have access to the tools that are always handy for reading such as Define, Translate, and Search on Web.
Double-tap with your finger or double-click with your mouse to zoom in and make tables, charts and images in your document fill the screen. Focus on and take in the information, then tap or click again outside the object to zoom out and continue reading.
Reopen a document and keep reading right where you left off. Word remembers where you were—even when you reopen an online document from a different computer!
Insert online videos you can watch right in Word, without having to leave the document, so you can stay focused on the content.
Expand and collapse
Collapse or expand parts of a document with just a tap or click. Put summaries in headings and leave it to readers to open the section and read the details if they want.
Work with others with streamlined collaboration tools.
A new revision view, Simple Markup, provides a clean, uncomplicated view of your document, but you still see indicators where tracked changes have been made.
Reply to comments and mark them as done
Comments now have a reply button. You can debate and easily track comments right next to the relevant text. And when a comment is addressed and no longer requires attention, you can mark it as done. It will be greyed out to keep out of your way, but the conversation will still be there if you need to revisit it later.
Add polish and style
With Word 2013 you can create more beautiful and engaging documents, and you can work with more media types—like online videos and pictures. You can even open PDFs.
Start with a template
When you open Word 2013, you’re offered a choice of great new templates to help get you started along with a list your recently viewed documents so you can get back to where you left off.
If you’d rather not use a template, click the Blank document.
Open and edit PDFs
Open PDFs and edit the content in Word. Edit paragraphs, lists, and tables just like familiar Word documents. Take the content and make it look great.
Insert online pictures and video
Add online videos directly to your documents that readers can watch right in Word. Add your pictures from online photo services without having to save them first to your computer.
Live layout and alignment guides
Get a live preview as you resize and move photos and shapes in your document. The new alignment guides make it easy to line up charts, photos, and diagrams with your text.
Word 2013 boasts new and improved features across the board, spanning document creation to reading, editing, and collaboration. What’s even better is that Microsoft has made these advanced features easier for everyone to use.
The new Design tab includes document formatting options to format the entire document.
The new Design tab
Document formats can be further extended by choosing Themes, Colours, and Fonts to use with them. If you come up with something you’d like to use all the time, the new Set as Default option allows you to make the current combination of formatting settings the default for all new documents.Word 2007 and Word 2010 added interesting features for styling a document, but the tools were scattered throughout the user interface, and they were difficult to use. The new Word 2013 Design tab consolidates all these tools onto one tab, so they’re easy to find. Microsoft has also added a visual element to its Document Formatting tool that allows you to preview a document style before applying it to the entire document. You’ll also find a range of new document format designs to choose from.
The new Alignment Guides in Word 2013 show you when an object is lined up with another object or page element.
Alignment with Alignment Guides
If you have text wrapping set to an option such as Square, the Alignment Guides also show when the object is aligned with the top of a paragraph or to a heading. This new feature makes lining up images and other objects a cinch in Word 2013. When you move an object such as an Image, Chart, or SmartArt illustration around in a document, Alignment Guides automatically appear to show you when the object is lined up with other elements on the page. The guides also show you when the object is lined up to key page locations, such as the edge of the page and the left and right margins.
Read mode provides a superior experience for anyone who uses Word primarily to read documents others have created.
Comfortable reading in Read mode
If you use Word more to read documents than to create them, you’ll like Word 2013’s new Read mode. It automatically resizes a document to the full window. Click the on-screen arrows to flip through the pages, or swipe the screen from either edge of the display if you’re using a touch-screen monitor. Switch to page view for vertical scrolling. Right-click on any unfamiliar words to display a definition without existing read mode. You can also click on any image, table, or chart to enlarge it for easier reading.
The new comments tool encapsulates related comments into a single bubble, which makes them much easier to follow.
If you collaborate with others on Word documents, you know how quickly conversations can become difficult to follow, because Word’s comments tool treats every utterance as a new comment.
In Word 2013, you can reply to a comment within that comment by clicking the Comment Reply button. This captures the entire discussion of a given point inside a single comment box, which will appear as a small bubble in the document’s margin.
You can also lock the change-tracking feature, so it can’t be bypassed unless the collaborator provides the correct password.
And with the new Simple Markup option, you can hide complex markups and view the final version of the document. Switch between this and All Markup view from the Review tab or by double clicking the line in the left margin beside a tracked change.
Word can now open PDF files so you can edit and complete them in Word including working with table data in the file.
Open and edit PDFs inside Word
Word 2013 can not only open a PDF document, it also enables you to edit it—without need of a third-party application. You can also edit the data inside tables and move images around the document. When you’re finished, you can save the document as either a PDF or a Word file. This is a must-have feature for anyone who works with PDFs frequently.
Select a picture, chart, or SmartArt object, and the new Layout Options icon lets you configure placement and text wrapping options for it.
Discoverable layout options
You can also select Move with text or Fix position on page to control the location of the object. Click See more to open the old Layout dialog, which offers other options for positioning the object on the page.New layout options in Word 2013 make features such as wrapping text around an illustration much easier to use. When you click an image, a chart, or a SmartArt object in a Word document, a Layout Options icon appears outside its top right corner. Click it to select text wrapping options such as Tight, Square and Through.
As with the other applications in the Office 2013 suite, a formatting task pane opens when you right-click an object and choose, for example, Format Picture or Format Shape. This stays open as you work and shows formatting options relevant to the currently selected object.
If you use tables in your documents, the new Border Painter tool and Border Styles feature simplify and speed up formatting.
New table border tools
Select a Line Style, Line Weight, and Pen Color; or choose a preset from the Border Styles list and paint the borders onto the table. You can also sample an existing border, using the Border Sampler tool in the Border Styles panel, and then use the Border Painter to paint that style elsewhere in the table. Formatting a Word table by adding different width and style borders has always been a pain point. Word 2013’s handy Border Painter tool makes this task supremely easy. To access it, choose Table Tools, Design, Border Painter.
There are new icons for inserting rows and columns in tables and options on the Mini Toolbar for deleting them, too.
More new table features
Word has always had weak table tools, and Word 2013 finally addresses the problem. You can now add a new row to a table by hovering your mouse just outside the left edge of the table at the point at which the row is to be inserted. A small icon will appear; click on it and you’re done. There’s a similar icon for easily adding a new column. New Delete buttons on the Mini Toolbar make it easy to delete columns and rows; if the table itself is selected, the option lets you delete the entire table.
New Expand/Collapse options let you collapse and expand a document to make it easier to work on.
Collapse and expand a document
Long documents can become unruly to manage, especially if you’re working in just a small portion of it. Word 2013 lets you collapse and expand a document, so you see only the portion you need. To do this, you must format the document’s headings using the built-in styles Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on.
Switch to Print Layout view and you can collapse the document by hovering your mouse to the left of a formatted heading. Click the small disclosure triangle to hide the paragraphs between this heading and the next, leaving just the heading text visible.
Right-click a heading formatted with one of the heading styles to access the Expand/Collapse option, which gives you menu control for this feature.
Now you can present a document online to others in real time.
Present a document online
Once everyone is connected to the service—which is run via the Microsoft Word Web App—they’ll be able to follow along as you present the document. The interface supports comments being made during the presentation, and participants can create a printable and downloadable PDF of the document if desired. Office 2013’s new Office Presentation Service allows you to present Word documents online. You must be signed into your Microsoft Account to use this feature. When you’re ready to share your document, choose File, Share, Present Online, and click the Present Online button to upload your document to the cloud. You will get a link that you can email or share with others so they can join the presentation.
Frequently Asked Questions!
Can people with an earlier version of Office open documents I created using Office 2013?
Office 2007, Office 2010, or Office 2013 users can open documents created without any addition action. Customers using earlier versions of Office may need to download and install a compatibility pack.
How do I disable Reading Mode and Protected View?
When you open a Word document you received as an attachment, by default newer versions of Word open it in Reading Mode/Protected View to protect your computer from possible viruses or malware. However, if you are careful and never open attachments you weren't expecting, you can disable these modes.
1. In Word, go to File, then Options.
2. In the Word Options window, click on the General category in the left column.
3. Under Start-up options, un-check:
Word 2010: Open e-mail attachments in Full Screen Reading view.
Word 2013: Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view.
4. Click on Trust Center in the left column.
5. Click the Trust Center Settings button.
6. In the left column, select Protected View.
7. Under the Protected View heading, clear all the checkboxes.
8. Click OK, then OK again to save your settings.
How do you set Word 2013 to Bypass the Start Screen and Open in a Blank Document?
1. In Word, go to File, then Options.
2. In the Word Options window, click on the General category in the left column.
3. Under Start up options, un-check Show the Start screen when this application starts.
4. Click OK to save your settings.
How do you convert an old document?
When you open an old document in newer Office programs, it opens in Compatibility Mode. Until you convert this document, you will not be able to take advantage of the new features in Office.
To do so, open the old file, click on the File menu, choose Info, then click Convert. A new file will replace the old one when you save the document.
Note that some elements (such as charts or embedded pictures) may change size or move around a bit in the converted version of the document.