September 19, 2013

New IT Design Features Offered by Microsoft Office 2013 Applications

There are a lot of opinions floating around the Web regarding users’ opinions of Microsoft Office 2013, and whether or not the product is worth the effort to upgrade. Rather than spoon-feed you our opinion of Office 2013, this blog is intended to focus on what you could gain from the IT design improvements and some of the new features that separate the latest version of MS Office with those that came before. What’s new with the Ribbon? If you have MS Office 2007 or MS Office 2010, then you have been, at least, introduced to the Ribbon feature. Its unique design was first intended to make tools easier to locate with the improved, organized style. Now, MS Office 2013 products have adjusted the Ribbon for a more user-friendly experience. The re-vamped Ribbon offers generous spacing, making each tool and command more accessible. While the spacious Ribbon layout is easier on the eyes, it also means that fewer tools can be shown at one time. However, users find that creating new custom tabs in the Ribbon counteracts the spacing issue and allows them to keep their frequently-used tools readily available. Is MS Office 2013 available on tablets? Yes. In fact, MS Office 2013 was designed with a new touch mode feature, making it the most adaptable version so far. Activating this mode is simple– select the touch mode option (in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top left of the screen), to work more easily on tablet and mobile devices. How is touch mode different from mouse mode? Mouse mode is the original layout option MS Office users know well. It’s true, MS Office 2013’s mouse mode has a much cleaner look than previous versions of Microsoft Office applications. Touch mode, however, increases the amount of space between commands and tools in the Ribbon even more significantly, making it easier for a user’s fingertips to select the intended command. MS Office 2013 products have taken workability to a new level with which former versions cannot compete. What other convenience-boosting features does MS Office 2013 offer? This is a loaded question that can only be entirely addressed by a user experienced with working in the new version of MS Office. Overall, many users agree there are a few added features that improve the MS Office experience. Unlike previous versions of MS Office programs, saving and editing documents in a PDF format is easy. Under the file tab, click ‘Export’ and double click on the ‘Create PDF/XPS’ option. Also, MS Office 2013 products conveniently open documents to the exact spot the user left off when they were last working in it. This simple pick-up-where-you-left-off feature is a real time-saver in the workplace, especially. Another feature that has become particularly useful in corporate settings is the easy-insert command for web videos, which makes creating presentations (in programs like Word and PowerPoint) fast and simple. Included under the ‘Insert’ tab in the Ribbon, users can now select ‘Online Video’ and perform a search for a web video without opening a new browser window. Are MS Office 2013 applications efficient in an IT hosted environment? The short answer: Yes. The explanation: Hosted MS Office 2013 applications are identical to the local versions. Identical means that there should be no difference in the functionality of the product, between the hosted application and the locally installed version. However, all hosted products are only as good as the IT service provider hosting them for their clients. Vendors providing application hosting services should consistently look for upgrades and updates available to keep the hosted products operating to their full potential. Application services providers will likely implement any updates for MS Office 2013 apps as they become available. As top industry providers of application hosting services, Cetrom is currently internally testing the new Microsoft Office products before live implementation for Cloud users. So far, we’ve found that the application services in a hosted environment are indeed matched in terms of functionality with the locally installed product versions. Simply put, MS Office 2013 products seem to work as well in a hosted Cloud environment as they do when installed on your local hard drive.   Any questions? We're happy to help- contact us today!

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