Microsoft Office 2013: First impressions
| by Karan Shah
Presentations have always been all about brilliant slides and this new version comes with some brilliant presets to get you started. Layouts have been improved along with new features like merge shapes. The new Auto-Extend instantly applies the right settings for you, so you can focus on speaking instead of thinking about your display. A grid shows your slides at a glance – so you always know where you are and your audience only sees the slide you’re presenting. Collaboration with others is possible as you can simply share your presentation online and work together. Hitting Alt + F5 takes you to the Presenter View that lets you make notes, view slides while working on the main slide, letting you view multiple screens on one window itself.
Even if your audience doesn’t have PowerPoint, you can project to their browser with Present Online. There is a PowerPoint Web App as well for your online work sessions.
In case you didn’t know this, OneNote lets you take notes and sync them to SkyDrive or share with anybody with a PC, phone or tablet. It’s like your personal diary that you can access from anywhere. OneNote 2013 looks a lot smoother than the previous version. You can add sections for activities like trips, recipes, shopping, to-do lists, etc. You can even add pages inside each section to differentiate between the tasks involved. It works pretty well and you can take clips from the web and paste them into your notebook.
There's a OneNote app for mobile as well, so you can access notes on the go. The files are synchronised on SkyDrive so you can view and edit your notebooks that are on office.live.com. Also, if you are editing a note on your computer, you can view the changes being made on your phone and vice versa.
Outlook 2013 lets you connect Outlook with Exchange ActiveSync. You can organise and control your e-mail flow and meeting schedules with new Outlook tools that help you pull it all together. A feature called Peeks lets you grab a quick glance at your schedule, an appointment, or details about someone you’re e-mailing — without having to re-arrange windows or lose your train of thought. The navigation bar gives you a quick option to open your e-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks. With Social Connectors, you can get the latest updates automatically from people in the social networks you rely on most—LinkedIn, Facebook, and others.
The People Card lets you integrate multiple contacts into a single view while presenting social context and removing needless duplication. You can also make your calendar available for others to view so that scheduling meetings and responding to meeting invitations is easier and more convenient for everyone. In terms of usability though, it’s just that the experience has been more streamlined. The large icons for important stuff and the smooth animations all account for a smoother Outlook experience.
This happened the first time
Well, that wraps up our first impressions of Office 2013. It may not be a complete overhaul in terms of looks but that’s a good thing. People already know how to use these applications and the overall experience is just better. The features covered here definitely do not make for an exhaustive list, but we like what we see.
Tags: Office 2013 hands on , Microsoft , Office 2013 first impressions , Office 15 hands on , Office 15 features , Office 2013 features , Office 15 first impressions , Office 15 review , Office 2013 review
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