Microsoft Office 2013: Word review

Read Mode


The new Word attempts to improve on content authority by introducing a Read mode, which basically reflows text in columns (and arrange in a horizontal strip) automatically to fit the screen. Both text size and column width can be tweaked to your liking. It has other smarts too, such as removing distractions, and only providing you with tools that are relevant, and zooming into images is as simple as double-clicking, double-tapping, or using the right click menu on on the object. And because Word automatically have your last position in the document when you close it, you can pick up right where you left off. his works for documents that you store on SkyDrive too; you can start reading a document on your tablet at home, and continue on your desktop PC at work.

Add Online Videos


In the new Word, you can add web video directly into a document. And it's easy to search for videos right within Word thanks to built-in sources like Microsoft's Bing search engine. You can also add specific providers like YouTube and Dailymotion to search and insert videos. If you already have the embed code of the video, you can copy and paste it into Word directly. Another nicety is that once a video is inserted, you can re-size and position it anywhere you want - it pretty much behaves like an image. You can even edit its thumbnail. Since Word supports Flash, Silverlight, and HTML5, we've yet to find any video that doesn't play properly. Of course, the prerequisite here is an Internet connection.

Enhanced Collaboration


By default, if you've signed in with your Microsoft account, your documents are saved to the cloud. This makes collaboration easy, as all you need it to manage and track one version of the document. Comment tracking also received a boost:  you can see who replied to whom and when right next to the relevant text. Sure, this can get messy at times and hinder reading; in this case, the new simple markup view comes in handy. It lets you see a clean version of the document, with hints to indicate when there's a change (a red vertical line) or a  comment has been addressed, you can mark it as 'done' to grey it out.

Online Presentation


Via the free Office Presentation Service, remote viewers can follow your presentation in their web browser by just clicking oa link you send them. Also, they need not follow your screen as then can navigate the document independently. During such online presentations, minor edits (such as correcting a typo) can still be done. The coolest part of all this is that your audience don't need to have Word or any other product installed on their computer.

Edit PDFs


In Windows 8, the new Reader app lets you view Adobe’s popular document format. The new Word goes one step further by giving you the ability to edit these PDF documents. When you open a PDF document, the new PDF Reflow feature uses sophisticate rules to reconstruct the content into an editable Word document, while maintaining the original formatting as much as possible. In our experience, it worked very well. Unfortunately, some formatting was lost during the conversion, and we got the best results in text documents (headings, list, and even tables were all correctly converted).

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