Office 2013: What’s New? What’s Different?

Podium computer in the Communications Center
Podium computer in the Communications Center

Office 2013 is the newest version of Microsoft’s suite of productivity software including Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. Since the podium computers in each classroom will be upgraded to Office 2013 this summer, this blog post explores some of the changes and features from Office 2010 to Office 2013.

Don’t worry, most of the features and functions that you regularly use in class will still be readily available in Office 2013. The update has just slightly modified the look and feel of each program and added a few new features that you may find useful.

The tabs below review the changes that have been applied universally throughout all of Office 2013 as well as the highlights specific to each program. We’ve also included links to videos and quick start guides from Microsoft that provide a broader review of the updates.

In addition to the resources in this post, Blackboard is offering a free MOOC (an open online course) on Windows 8 and Office 2013. You can learn more and sign up here: Transitioning to Windows 8 and the New Office. The course runs through August 13, 2013. La Salle’s classroom computers will not be updated to the Windows 8 operating system, so only the Office content of this course will apply.

Of course, you can always contact the Helpdesk if you have any questions!

The following changes have been applied universally throughout all of the Office 2013 programs.

New launch screen
Previously, a blank document would launch whenever you opened Excel, PowerPoint, or Word. Now, you can choose to open a recent file or a formatted template instead.

New look for the File menu
If you are SkyDrive user, the new File menu will look very familiar. Use the arrow at the top of the screen to return to the file you were working on.

Screenshot of the new look of the File menu in Word 2013.
Screenshot of the new look of the File menu in Word 2013.

Improved Save As and Open options
The folders you use most are more prominently listed when you Save As or Open a document from the File menu. This can help you stay organized. Once Office 2013 is installed on your office machine, you’ll find that the updated Share options under the File menu make it easier than ever to upload and share your files using SkyDrive.

Feature highlights:

  • New tools can quickly analyze your data and add formatting to help with identifying which data points meet certain criteria (see the screenshot below).
  • Chart recommendations are provided based on the information on your spreadsheet and the chart formatting tools are now easier to use.
  • The new flash fill tool recognizes patterns in the data you enter, making it quicker to enter or change data.

Video Preview: What’s New in Excel

Quick Start Guide: Download from Microsoft.com

Highlight data to add formatting options that provide visual cues for interpreting  your data
Highlight data to add formatting options that provide visual cues for interpreting your data.

Feature highlights:

  • Quick views allow you to preview your calendar without leaving email.
  • Weather information is included in your calendar (see the screenshot below).

Video PreviewWhat’s New in Outlook

Quick Start Guide: Download from Microsoft.com

You will never again forget your umbrella! Outlook 2013 embeds local weather information in your calendar.
You will never again forget your umbrella! Outlook 2013 embeds local weather information in your calendar.

Feature highlights:

  • Wide screen templates and layout options. (These are great if you teach in Holroyd, St. Benilde, or the Communication Center because the podium computers have wide screen monitors.)
  • Improved slide show view that allows you to zoom in on your slides and see your notes and upcoming slides while you are presenting (see the screenshot below).
  • Updated Insert tab makes it easy to quickly insert pictures from your computer, Office.com Clip Art, or the web. You can also use the Screenshot tool to capture snippets of content from the web or other applications and add them to your PowerPoint slides.

Video Preview: What’s New in PowerPoint

Quick Start Guide: Download from Microsoft.com

PowerPoint presenter view allows you to see your notes and what slides are coming next.
PowerPoint presenter view allows you to see your notes and what slides are coming next while in slide show mode.

Feature highlights:

  • Allows PDF files to be edited in Word.
  • Better layout options for formatting images and the ability to add images from the Internet (see the screenshot below).
  • Improved viewing options for tracking changes and reviewing documents.

Video Preview: What’s New in Word

Quick Start Guide: Download from Microsoft.com

Looking to add more visuals to your documents? In Word 2013 you can easily add images from the Office.com Clip Art collection or conduct an online search for images through Bing.
Looking to add more visuals to your documents? In Word 2013 you can easily add images from the Office.com Clip Art collection or conduct an online search for images through Bing.

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