Microsoft Office 2013 Customer Preview Proves Difficult With Touch-Screens
Word 2012 Adds Alignment
Word 2013 gains the ability to align objects like pictures (akin to later versions of Microsoft Visio or PowerPoint), giving documents a more professional appearance without taking a lot of time. This allows elements to appear in the document with a more professional appearance. Notice the green reference line that I'm using to center the red block in my document.
Word 2013 Fidelity
Here is a document that was created in Google Docs and saved in Word 97-2003 format. The fonts and images retained the proper characteristics when opened in Word 2013.
Word 2013 Reading Mode
Although billed as "new," the updated reading mode is a familiar "full-screen reading" view from Office 2010 and previous versions of Word. Word 2013 (left) didn't handle our test document as well as Office 2010 (right). Both looked fine when the document was viewed in editing mode.
Word 2013 Meets PDF
Word 2013 can open and edit PDF files. It took Word 2013 1:44 to open a 993KB PDF equipment manual.
Word 2013 Gets Colloquial
The spelling and grammar tool tip has gained a fresh hint, "Typos? Not on our watch. Let us check your spelling and grammar."
Word 2013 Handles Complexity
Here you see that a complex Word 2007 document with text boxes, text direction changes, images and an embedded Excel 2007 spreadsheet rendered correctly in Word 2013.
Outlook 2013 gained four oversized hot spots on the bottom left corner of the screen. The Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks tabs made it easy to move between Outlook features without creating a lot of clutter.
Outlook Look and Feel
Although treated with the Metro interface, much of the UI looks familiar in Outlook 2013, at least familiar enough that veteran users won't writhe with frustration.
Outlook 2013 can connect and get contact information from Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks. Here you see my contact information after I connected Outlook 2013 to my LinkedIn account.
In Outlook 2013 or any part of the Office suite where people can be seen, a Peek card can appear. IT managers will need to carefully examine the new Microsoft Active Directory Group Policy controls to ensure that personal information coming into the enterprise doesn't violate HR policies.
The scheduling assistant has been improved to make it easier for medium-sized groups of people to meet by also including resources and suggesting good meeting times.
The Quick Analysis tool is part of a family of productivity enhancements that carry over from previous versions of Excel into Excel 2013. In this case, selecting a number of rows brings up some charting and formula options to make your information easier to understand.
I selected a table and then Insert --> Recommended Charts to get the "Insert Chart" window that suggested the best graphical display of the data.
OneNote to Bind Them All
Subsequent reviews will look at the lesser features of Office 2013, including OneNote. Here you see some of the flexibility in the note-taking component of the Office suite.