After Hours

10 things that are hard to find (or gone altogether) in Office 2013

Is Office 2013 hiding the tools and options you rely on? Here are some features that have been reshuffled -- or removed.

Every new version has its pros and cons, and Office 2013 is no different. For the most part, you'll find the desktop version similar to Office 2010. However, there are some new features, and they come at a cost. Office 2013 does have a casualty list. Here are 10 items you may have trouble finding - and a few that no longer exist.

1: Exit

Exit is no longer available in Backstage view (File tab or Office button). This command closed all open files at once. You can add Exit to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) or right-click the application icon on the Windows Taskbar and choose Close All Windows to close all open files.

2: New from existing

In older versions, you could use an existing document to create a new one. You could then modify and update the new document without changing the original. This option was accessed through the New option on the File tab (Office button and File menu).

In Office 2013 applications, you need to use the Recent section (on the File tab) instead. You can choose Open A Copy on the shortcut menu, but this route gives access only to open documents. Or you can use Windows Explorer to locate a document and choose New instead of Open. You won't be working from inside Office, but the result will be the same.

3: Clip Organizer and Picture Manager

Clip Organizer provided a quick user interface to online content. The Insert Media dialog box replaces the Clip Organizer in Office 2013. You'll use this new feature to insert content from online clip art collections and other online sources. Picture Manager is also gone, replaced by Windows Photo Gallery.

4: Excel's Save As Workspace

You can no longer save Excel's current layout as a workspace using Save Workspace. It's completely gone, so you can't add it to the Quick Access Toolbar either. You can still open a workspace file (*.xlw), at least for now.

5: Word's Review option

One of Word's review options, Original: Show Markup is gone from the drop-down in the Tracking group. That view is still available, so if you miss it, add it to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

6: Outlook's ToDo Bar

Outlook 2013 has removed the ToDo bar, replacing it with the new Pinned Peeks feature. The new feature isn't as comprehensive as the ToDo bar:

  • You can see only the selected day's appointments.
  • You can view only one navigation calendar at a time.
  • You can't drag messages to create appointments on a specific date.

7: Outlook Activities

Outlook 2013's Contact form doesn't let you enter a contact's activities, as you could in older versions. You access the field via the Activities option in the show group while entering new contact data. Using this feature, you can view multiple items associated with a contact. Outlook Social Connection, which you can find in the People pane, replaces Activities.

8: Outlook Journal

The Journal window is gone and there's nothing to replace it. If you used it, you're just out of luck.

9: Access PivotCharts and PivotTables

Access 2013 no longer supports PivotCharts and PivotTables -- the feature's gone. Microsoft believes Excel's charting component is superior to anything Access has to offer (it's true) and recommends that you use Excel's PivotChart and PivotTable capabilities. If you want those features in Access 2013, you'll have no choice. Access 2013 still supports legacy charts using MSGraph and charts created by the Chart Wizard.

10: Upsizing Wizard

Access developers will miss this feature. The Upsizing Wizard helps you upgrade an Access database to a new or existing SQL Server database. This feature is gone from Access 2013.

Other elusive or missing features?

Have any of your favorite tools or options disappeared - or been relocated -- in Office 2013? Share your experiences with fellow TechRepublic members.

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About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

86 comments
Balding Eagle
Balding Eagle

I think one of the most important things to remember is that one needs to save the "Recently Opened Document List" or create a backup of the registry entries before performing an upgrade. Most people rely on the vast list of recently opened documents.  Also, once an upgrade is done, all hope isn't necessarily lost. We could conceivably retrieve the recently opened list. Pointers to that might be interesting.

MarathonMax
MarathonMax

For the past 2 years I have been using a Mac. Here at a new job, I have to work with Word 2013 under Win 7. Hey, for the most part, I truly love it. *BUT* where the hell has gone these features (pardon the names as I use it in French and might not get the exact English terminology):


- Add entry to auto-correct

- Add non breaking space before some punction marks (required in French)

- Insert field (such as document save date)

p.naude
p.naude

I miss the 2010 look and non-animated actions. The delay you see in moving a cell in Excel just because it now looks fancy, is stupid. It is also somehow easier to spot a tool if it is enclosed by a buttom frame as opposed to the new look where everything blends in. The new look adds nothing positive and just takes away from productivity (and don't even get me started on how much faster you could reformat a drawing object in 2003 vs 2010 (and 2013) just because the format window did not close after every edit! I like new software and new features, but why function has to make way for form, escapes my comprehension. If new software does not make your life easier, why change it? I am getting bored by the same old shapes you can add to a document/spreadsheet/powerpoint. Why isn't that being added to instead? I am pretty sure those are the same we had since before 2003!

khiatt
khiatt

Microsoft's general philosophy, as I've seen it for many years now, is that "everyone should have a computer, but no one is smart enough to have a computer." I assumed that's what prompted the Ribon interface, "people using computers are not able to read, so menus are useless, let's use hieroglyphics!" Maybe if we all drooled a little more, this would make sense? :)

MrElectrifyer
MrElectrifyer

As much as I hate the new flattish GUI of both Office 2013 and Windows 8, I'm still using them (only on my Surface Pro), just because of their touch friendliness and the fact that my Surface Pro is touch enabled. Would have loved the UI of predecessors with the touch friendliness of the successors, but oh well, can't have the best of both worlds....yet. Other than that, I don't see the point of installing Windows 8 nor Office 2013 on my non-touch enabled computers, exception being windows 8 on my ancient desktop. BTW, regarding 5: Word’s Review option, isn't that still available, under the "Review" tab in the "Tracking" group, as "No Markup"? I've been using the review feature since Office 2010 and I haven't noticed any missing review function in Office 2013, yet.

Dave Pusey
Dave Pusey

Isn't that just... FIle > Open File > Save As

pdeering
pdeering

In Outlook 2013 you can no longer move the cursor to the left hand side of the inbox to select multiple emails at once.

Bumper O'Rourke
Bumper O'Rourke

If you want to know where MS gets its inspiration for Product 'improvement', check out Ballmer doing the monkey dance on YouTube. Win 3 brought computing together. Since then it seems as if MS is at war with itself, every bit and piece or function having its champions without regard for the whole. In politics they call in Balkanization. At MS, it's Ballmerization - an absolute inability to bring the group together, define a clear vision, and focus the troops on it. Looking at changes - especially in Office - over the years, where is the direction? Where is a simple core for beginners with layers of additional functions for the advanced user? Compare Office to most contemporary non-U.S. cars that have shown steady improvement for iteration after iteration. (Yeah, Detroit is finally catching on, but Toyota, et. al., came from nowhere and by paying attention to customer wants and needs, ate Detroit's lunch. MS has enjoyed its essentially monopolistic position and profits for over 25 years and - IMHO - returned darn little for it. Will MS survive? Most likely - but a leaner, more visionary, focused, customer driven company will be needed.

donlprice
donlprice

Microsoft seems to have forgotten that Access is a database application. As such, if one has more data than can be processed ( ~1,050,000 rows) via Pivot Table in an Excel worksheet, you're screwed since Access is no longer an alternative. Database tools have capabilities that cannot be met by spreadsheets. Microsoft has thrown its database product under the bus - again. To those Microsoft "managers" responsible for this fiasco - any laughter you hear is people laughing AT you, not WITH you. Please get a clue and reverse this idiocy.

spiralingcrazies
spiralingcrazies

Installed both on my laptop and am very happy. Very soon I'll probably ditch Windows altogether.

spiralingcrazies
spiralingcrazies

For the most part business customers are still sticking to Win 7 as there really is no improvement with Win 8 unless you're on a tablet. A friend recently bought Win 8 and that was my first experience.I completely hated it and quickly turned it upside down and added all the hacks to make it look and feel as Win 7. The brand new PC also runs extremely slow on some things where it sucks down huge chunks of system memory. Office 2013 - that's another mess that you have to d/load to install and register with M$. Gone are the two licenses per software product as well - where you could put one on a laptop and one on your Office desktop. For the most part didn't see any improvements, only confusion. You can get Office365 but would I want my business docs in the cloud? As far as upgrade from Outlook 2010 to 2013 I've had one friend whose office just did it - he had to spend a whole day manually syncing his old 2010 pst files to the new Office365 acct. and it was a complete mess. Personally M$ lost me after Office 2003. As a power user the new design changes only slowed me down so I didn't bother to learn the new menus. So in that regard, now my wife, a newbie, is better at the new versions of Office for whatever that is worth. The OS I am sure will be fixed in the next release, this was just a cash grab by M$ to get people to upgrade. Windows 9 will probably feature two distinct tablet and PC options and will most likely be available next year for yet another upgrade $$$ :)

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

Just another example of how MS is abandoning the millions of casual/infrequent users in exchange for the few power users. If this is the new MS corporate philosophy, common courtesy and good business ethics would dictate that MS formally announce this new philosophy. Playing games and teasing one's users is never a good business practice. This has been blatantly obvious with the last few versions of Office. Gone is the ability to easily create and process simple documents. Now, one has to wade through numerous layers of menus/panels/windows/etc. Forgot how to do something? Too bad; unless you have a comprehensive aftermarket book. The Help(less) file is useful only for window context sensitive problems--not concepts or procedures. Failing to correct non-intuitive methods hasn't helped matter at all. Best example--formatting attributes are placed at the end of the text to which it applies, instead of at the beginning. How non- or counter-intuitive is that? We've all heard and witnessed the horror stories of people trying to edit a heavily formatted document with all sorts of "bells and whistles." This philosophy seems to have been repeated when MS went from Windows-7 to Windows-8.

Pcobiwan
Pcobiwan

The To-Do bar can be added by going to the 'View' tab and clicking the 'To-Do Bar' option in Layout. You can add tasks, people, and a calendar. While you can't drag and drop to this calendar to create appointments, you CAN drag an email down to the 'Calendar' at the bottom of Outlook.

dfields
dfields

Big deal. Use the X. Besides Outlook has an Exit Backstage.

wouyang
wouyang

on excel spreadsheets, 1) you use to be able to quickly fit every content onto 1 page or 2) click on a checkmark and on the fly adjust the margins. Maybe I haven't found either, but it seems you can't do it anymore in the new office version.

demeulenaere
demeulenaere

Ok, I love the index searching in outlook, I think since 2007. I add the from, and to and body into the search profile, which I love. I now have one major grip in outlook 2013. When I go to one of the search fields "From" and start typing a name, but I pause a second, it starts the search, but if I type to finish the name, it now types at the beginning, and screws up the search...not sure I am explaining it well, but I just can't figure out where to put a delay in for the auto search, or how to turn it off. Otherwise, I am enjoying 2013. Absolutely love the enhancements to Lync, and having multiple conversations in one window, and the ease of use.

shyams
shyams

1)The readability of a word document is so much superior now with the read mode. You dont really need to print a document. It surpasses the readability of a pdf document 2)Also search features inherently available in Windows 7 gets disabled for emails - which was available with Offiec 2010

diek11
diek11

I agree MS Office keeps getting less user friendly. So TechRepublic how about this concept, find out why MS is doing this. Get an interview and put them to task on why they keep making a software package that most people have to use, harder and harder to use!

dssjim
dssjim

Every version change in Microsoft programs since 2000 has gotten worse, Windows, SQL SERVER, Office etc. My personal computers are all going Linux and I'm happier with it, but at work I stil have to deal with this (2 more years).

jkennel
jkennel

If these are the only features that are gone, so what? The average office user doesn't know these features were there in the first place. It's the power user/developer that will miss things, but my end users barely know beyond bold, italics and underline.

dave
dave

Although there is no longer a shortcut to Journals, you can still get there from folder view. Thank heavens. I have more than 3,000 entries from every phone call for the past 7 years.

mjmcmahon67
mjmcmahon67

Why must we consistently hunt and peck to find the features that we've used for so long? This is a consistent issue across the board with Microsoft products. Every new Windows version requires poking around to see where they've moved items that are critical parts of being able to do my job. Keep it up, Microsoft...you'll convince untold millions of the benefits of open source!

jeltez42
jeltez42

I find Office 2013 to be an improvement over 2010 but I am not using the Office 365 version. Sure, it took some time to see what was there, less than an hour for all the titles that come with Ultimate. Too bad the author did not make it clear what version they were whining about. SaaS makes sense if you need to use an expensive software title every now and then. For Office, SaaS model is a joke. There are other packages out there. Lotus Symphony, Open Office, and Corel are there. I find Open Office to be worse than my ancient IBM Selectric typewriter but that's my opinion.

ehadnagy
ehadnagy

One of the key pieces in Visio (2000-2010) was the ability to document a database structure in a few clicks. Heck, the primary reason I owned Visio was to be able to do that. I get Visio 2013 and this thing has lost the only feature that made it worth buying. Goodbye Microsoft hello Oracle. The MySQL workbench has the ability to do this, but unfortunately is doesn’t work with MS products yet. It is open source and it is free – just a matter of time until someone creates a plug-in for it. Given the fact there is so much free, open source software out there I have to believe Microsoft is just plain throwing in the towel. Just look back over the past decade, where have their products gone? I believe an earlier thread said the same thing – each new release loses more and more functionality. About the only thing holding MS together is their SQL Server product. They do improve that with each new release. Yes, of course I know they pulled the ERD functionality out of Visio and now call it the Entity Framework, but come on guys – I want to be efficient and move forward??? not step backwards.

cbeckers
cbeckers

And what does that say about MS as a business? As I watch Microsoft announce its latest releases and force their deployment on serf companies ("xxx recommends Microsoft whatever"), I really wonder if MS employees ever step foot outside the hallowed halls, and what view they have of those of us who actually live and work outside those walls. Or do all their "improvements" simply reflect the limitations of their own staff? If your job is to create new software, then you needn't concern yourself with how that software is actually used productively. Why is it, following a new MS release, that the first job of non-MS workers using MS software is inevitably to find or to create workarounds for all the things MS has deleted or broken? Can anyone remember when the last time was that a new MS release was hailed universally as an improvement? I'm thinking more than a decade ago....

Christophe121
Christophe121

I couldn't find recently opened list in Word etc. is it also gone?

Cynyster
Cynyster

I have been using office since way back in office 95. Each evolution has seen a lot of improvements in usability. ok windows ME was kinda lost on me (it was more like a windows 98 third edition. Unlike many, I thought Vista was a bold leap forward with the added security (putting users in a users folder was a surprisingly logical change... by bye Documents & Settings) Windows 7 built upon that strong base and smoothed out the clunky UAC Likewise the newer versions of Office were constantly improving things. Tabbed interfaces and the "Ribbon" was an awesome idea. Windows 8 on the other-hand is a [u]colossal blunder[/u]. M$ changed directions entirely from a mode of easy accessibility of commands to hidden commands... and from "Windows" to a single screen - single task operation. ([i]I still would like to know how many sales people write out their proposals on a touch based device[/i]) Heck it wasn't until just last week did I see someone actually banging out an e-mail at a coffee shop... Mobile hand held devices are not where the work gets done. Mobile devices are great for monitoring and game playing but that is about all. I will be sticking with windows 7 for the foreseeable future, and I will have to look long and hard at office before I decide to roll that out.

Duncan7670
Duncan7670

This was a feature in Word 2003 which we found useful. Went from Word 2007 and not in Word 2010. So, you can still insert from a scannner - but only by scanning using the scanner utilities, saving to jpeg or whatever and then, and only then, "Insert/file". Clumsy. BUT why oh why? What was wrong with "Insert.from scanner"? Duncan Stewart

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

"We'll protect you from having your business smashed up" was what the gangsters told businesses in order to make them pay "protection" money. "We'll stop supporting you unless you keep paying us for upgrades" is what Microsoft is saying. What's the difference? It's about time the Crime prevention organizations stepped in. OK, Microsoft won't actively wreck your business if you don't upgrade but by stopping support and leaving the old versions of their software more vulnerable to malware and viruses is a milder version of the same thing. I have a suggestion for Microsoft: look at all the user interfaces, options and features of every version of Windows and Office you've ever produced and then release Windows Perfect where all the teatures are available via whatever UI the user prefers then we'll all be able to use the latest versions with the familiarity of our favourite version. This should be done in a way whereby variables such as the user interfaces and non-core features are provided as plug-ins which won't take up space or processor time unless they're selected. It works with browsers; why not with Windows and Office?

observer-shadow
observer-shadow

...is not good. Maybe the changes are there to support a different direction that will or may eventually become apparent. All I know is I can still do everything I need to do with Office 2013. If I couldn't, I would stay with the previous version. The only problem with that strategy is if you get left behind and are eventually forced to use the newer product for some reason, you'll be sorely behind the curve.

eaglemaster1245
eaglemaster1245

It seems that the developer Tab has lost the ability to use a Pick A Date Calendar.

GrantRowson
GrantRowson

And I can "see markup" on my review tab as well -- though I much prefer Word 2013's new method of showing (nor not showing, as the case may be) the markup on collaborative files. Basically, it defaults to a finished document view, but indicates on the side of the page where changes occurred. Clicking on the the market then reveals all of the traditional mark-up for that particular change. So, it's fine to say that some of the features are gone (though that's not true in some of the cases) - but one really needs the context if maybe the "old" was replaced by something BETTER.

jharvie673
jharvie673

Another unfathomable MS move...why would they do this?

dhoward
dhoward

Background color scheme is limited. I hate what 3 choices they have to offer. It sucks! I know many who went back to 2010.

codemonkey1
codemonkey1

I have used Word 2003, 2007,2010,2013 and find I am most productive in 2003. I also save in the DOC format to insure compatibility with others -- a concept MS belittles. Maybe Bill Gates will pull a Steve Jobs -- come back and fix things...

wwgorman
wwgorman

I am back to Office 2003------the last product issue in this series with integrated menus. I tried Office 2007 Professional but could never find anything. I bought the third party menu program which really didn't help much. I tried to install Office 2013 (as Office 365) on my computer, an ASUS K73 with i3 processor, Windows 7 Professional, 64 bit, and failed. I then asked Microsoft to install it. They failed three times so I went back to Office 2003. Office, in my opinion is rip for the picking------picking off that is, as it has dissolved into what Microsoft wants not what the customer wants. When Office sales start to fall and some other Office like product comes along perhaps Microsoft will finally get a CEO who will restore Office to the premier product it once was and completely updated.

HGunter
HGunter

I seem to have a different view from most commentators here. I have found Windows 8 to be a great improvement except for a small number of quibbles. 1 The inability to find a way to change the colour scheme to the "classic" scheme is annoying. The new colour scheme has such subtle differences between active and inactive windows that it's not immediately obvious when one has multiple windows open which is active. 2 Too many familiar tools are getting the 'ribbon" makeover, and are consequently far less efficient to use. 3 The lack of a Start button is not a biggie - I like Classic Shell as a replacement, and there are others. I almost never seen the tablet interface on my desktop, and I think they did a good job with the dual interface. Office is another story. They lost me when they forced the "ribbon" interface on us. It's far too slow and cumbersome to use, and I simply avoid using software with this interface as the only option. I have no objection to it being offered for those who find it usable, but I should have the option of the traditional menu as well (I almost dumped Foxit for this reason, but it turned out that they still offer a decent interface). The irony of the situation is that MS spent huge amounts of money on establishing what made for the most usable interface, and now they're wasting that investment and producing inferior interfaces that don't abide by the lessons they learned at such cost (the latest Visual Studio has a menu, but all in uppercase, which is slower to read than mixed case - very inconsiderate of them). What's worse is that many other software companies are doing exactly the same thing. I lived through interface hell in the early days of PCs; I should not have to endure it again!

Kieron Seymour-Howell
Kieron Seymour-Howell

I have been ridiculed and chided for saying that my favourite version of Office was 2007. It certainly has the nicest UI. I was mildly annoyed as well as somewhat pleased with Office 2010's mix of good and bad (just personal taste mostly). But, what with the virtual drives, and gradually missing features, I think 2010 will be the last version I will use. I am using Corel Office X5 for serious documents. I use MS Office for simple things. It is alright, I have no interest in Windows 8 either due to more GUI annoyances and application instability and incompatibility with system admin and forensics titles. So, Windows 7 will be the last OS I will use unless something changes there also. It is sad, because I have been a staunch fan and loyal customer of Microsoft since Windows 3.0 and DOS 5.0 (Before that I was IBM DOS all the way and Hyperion). Sure there have been ups and downs with Windows, but all the problems pushed me into copious research and knowledge gains. Linux is getting better and better with each passing year. It is not quite there yet for a primary desktop OS for me. Many of the software titles I have become used too, are simply not supported correctly. And, there is the overload of shells, headache of tinkering with conflicting packages and updates. Poking about in files to tweak everything takes too much time when you just want to get something done, like back in the days of DOS. It seems as though Microsoft is deliberately trying to sabotage and alienate their clientele, especially their business customers. How can Windows 8 possible be taken seriously as a business OS! I seriously think they are moving towards OS-as-a-service and they are refining their customer base before the big move to lessen the impact. I still have to support all their products and service their clients, but personally I am thinking about other options and using VM to handle the compatibility issues. Time will tell.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I think it was an easy transition for a change. Most things are as they were -- not a bad transition at all.

da philster
da philster

It gives the appearance of something "New and Improved" ...... whether it is or isn't. MS is in the business of producing and selling (licencing) software and needs to keep pulling rabbits out of different colored hats to keep the act going. At the end of the day, an Office Suite is an Office Suite, and a hammer is a hammer. That might be "Why?"

Slayer_
Slayer_

Last version with the script editor, a handy feature.

davelevy@work
davelevy@work

Check the "info center" under the File button. Recent in 2010 shows your list and recently directories

spiralingcrazies
spiralingcrazies

That was a huge deal breaker for one office that I know as well. They didn't upgrade from 2003.

spiralingcrazies
spiralingcrazies

Constant pay subscription model where you're leasing and you always have the latest software. They also get to peek inside your files.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

When Microsoft stops support for Office 2003 you will do what? Yep I have the same problem as a group of customers who submit Tenders Electronically for Government Work need to submit in .DOC format and are not specialist computer users so they refuse to use anything newer than 2003. Seems that every Hot patch/Fix changes the defaults back to what M$ want you to use and then their tenders are not open-able by the Government Offices and get rejected. For some strange reason not being considered for Multi-million $ road building projects is considered as a Bad Thing and not something that the Contractors want to be involved in so they refuse to use anything that uses any format but .Doc. Going to be a ongoing problem till the Government updates it's current systems. :^0 Col

Rauno
Rauno

I have never seen this for road construction tenders. Most contractors will go with PDF if it is an option and even sometimes when it is actually not in the list of accepted formats. DOC may contain viruses, may render differently depending on Office version and so may be rejected by the client. Contractors don't take that risk as PDF is never rejected. Ideally, tenders should refer to standards (norms) for file formats.

mfcoder-hh
mfcoder-hh

It does make me chuckle when I hear "End of Support". Hands up anyone who has ever, ever, received some support from MS to fix an issue in any of their products. I co-worker once said to me "when xxxxx keeps falling over, I keep clicking on 'Send Error Report' but no-one ever rings me back." 'Support' just means "patches to security holes that probably introduce some more". I wonder how many will risk 'out of support' post 2014 on XP ...

Rauno
Rauno

if a contractor wants to delay a tender or project. It may submit valid files from an old Office (or WordPerfect!) version. The client may not be able to open the files leading to bid rejection and court appeal by the contractor. Looks shabby but it may not even be considered unfair practice as it is simple to refer to unambiguous standards.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Government specifies .DOC for all tenders. So it's what we are stuck with. Col

ssharkins
ssharkins

The software still works, MS just ignores it.

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