Software

10 things to love and hate about Microsoft Office 2013

Office 2013 has just reached RTM, but Deb Shinder has been working with it for quite a while. Here's her rundown of the pros and cons.

I spend a large portion of my workday in the Office -- Microsoft Office, that is. I'm a self-employed full-time writer. That means I'm working daily on articles, book chapters, and other documents I compose in Word, keeping track of my business expenses and income in Excel, and corresponding with editors, publishers, readers, and others via Outlook. Each time a new version of Office is released, I'm an early adopter. I immerse myself in the beta, provide my input (for whatever it's worth), and am well-acquainted with its quirks by the time it's released in final form.

Thus, I've been using Office 2013 for quite some time, and as always, I've developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. There are some nice refinements and embellishments, but of course they had to go and break a few things, too. Here are seven of the things I love about the new Office, two other "improvements" I could have done without, and one change with which I definitely have a love/hate relationship.

Note that this article applies to the desktop versions of the Office 2013 programs, not the tablet or Windows Phone 8 versions. It's also worth noting that Microsoft will reportedly launch Android and iOS versions of Office 2013 apps early next year, and those will undoubtedly give us new things to love and hate.

First, the good news

Here are seven things that I love about the Office 2013 applications.

1: Outlook is feeling a little drafty

But that's actually a good thing. In previous versions of Outlook, when you started a reply to a message, it sat in its own little window. If you happened to get interrupted (something that happens to me way too often), by the time you finished handling the interruption your reply might be buried under other open windows. More than once I've forgotten that I had a reply started and thought I had finished and sent an answer until I discovered it hours later when I started clearing my desktop. Oops!

That hasn't happened since I started using Outlook 2013. Now by default, when you click Reply, your reply opens in the preview pane, which makes it easier to keep track of. If you need to -- for example, if you want to be able to scroll through the original message while you type your reply to it -- you can click Pop Out to pop it out into its own windows. But either way, if you leave the reply windows (for instance, to read a new message that comes in or search for a message in another folder), Outlook prominently stamps "Draft" in red on the author line of that message in your message list (Figure A). That makes it obvious that you have an unfinished/unsent reply that you need to take care of.

Figure A

Outlook 2013

2: Taking a peek

Another nice Outlook enhancement is the "peek" feature. In the screenshot above, you can see the Mail, Calendar, People, Tasks and... bar near the bottom. If you hover over any of the others when you're in Mail, a sneak peek pops up. Depending on which link you hover on, this can be a mini calendar and summary of your appointments for the day, a "search people" box and list of your favorite contacts, or a preview of your tasks list. You see these without having to leave the Mail interface.

3: Easy Reader

Word 2013 has a new Read mode that displays documents in an easier-to-read format when you don't need to make changes. In this view (Figure B), the document is divided into columns and the Ribbon and toolbars disappear, except for a minimalist File | Tools | View toolbar incorporated into the title bar. You can't make any changes to the doc in this view; to do that, you have to click View and select Edit Document, which then changes the view back to the more familiar page view with the full Ribbon and any other toolbars you might have enabled. And you'll notice little arrows beside the headers in the document. You can click them to collapse or expand the section.

Figure B

Read mode

Another cool new feature is Word's ability to remember where you left off reading so that even when you open an online document from a different computer, it takes you back to the last page you were on when you were reading it before.

Finally, you can watch videos that are embedded in Word, right there within the document, without having to go to a different application. How cool is that?

4: Easier content creation

Before documents can be read, they have to be written -- or in the case of today's richer, more active content, they have to be created. Embedding videos from the Web into an Office 2013 document is drop-dead-simple. On the Insert tab, you just click Online Video in the Media group. This brings up a search box so you can type in keywords to find an appropriate video. Then, you'll see the videos that were found by Bing (Figure C). When you click on one, it will be displayed in the document as a small window you can shrink or enlarge by dragging the corners.

Figure C

Search box

The video can be viewed as mentioned above, within the document. However, the reader will need to be connected to the Internet to view them.

5: Editing made easier

After documents are written, they often need to be edited. Word 2013 makes the editing process easier with new features such as the ability to edit PDF files. Previously, you needed to install third-party software, such as Adobe Acrobat.

Another improvement that will smooth the editorial process is the ability to reply within comments and have those replies displayed in threaded conversation style. This works with PowerPoint as well as Word.

The way those comments are displayed has also been improved. You can now hide all the clutter until you're ready to see the comments; they'll show up as a simple red line in the margin until you click it to expand it.

Finally, you can lock Tracked Changes in the On mode and password protect it so that others can't turn it off and make changes that aren't tracked (unless they have the password).

6: Ease the spreadsheet pain

Like many writers, I like words much more than numbers. But as a small business owner, I have to stay on top of the numbers, and I use Excel for that. Putting data into spreadsheets can be a tedious and laborious task. I've always appreciated the downward fill feature in Excel that lets you automatically fill the cells in each row with the same number by dragging down.

Now there is a new Flash Fill feature that actually recognizes the patterns in your data functions and automatically fills in the rest of the spreadsheet -- and you don't have to work with complex formulas to do it. For instance, you can get it to automatically format names the same way (such as last, first, middle) just by giving it some examples, convert date formats, or restore the leading zero to zip codes. You'll find the Flash Fill button on the Data tab. For more on this feature, see examples in the Office Blog.

7: OneNote gets better

In my opinion, OneNote is one of Microsoft's best-kept secrets. I've been using it for years to organize my research notes and keep track of both business and personal projects (such as recent extensive home remodeling). One of the nicest things about OneNote is that you can embed files and elements into your notes. But that capability has been somewhat limited in the past, especially when it came to spreadsheets and tables.

OneNote 2013 lets you embed Excel spreadsheets (either newly created or existing files) and see a preview within your note. When you update the spreadsheet, the preview automatically updates, as well. The table tools have gotten better, too. It's easier to work with rows, columns, and headers and to perform calculations.

Searching within OneNote is also enhanced. Now you can search for words that are in graphics files. That's really handy for finding a particular screenshot, which is something I work with a lot as a writer. These changes aren't drastic, but they add up to better usability in an already great application.

... And the not-so-good news

8: Little things count

I'm a big fan of the To Do bar in Outlook. It's my go-to place for a quick look at the calendar when I need to know what day of the week the 16th falls on or to get an at-a-glance overview of my appointments for and events for a particular day. I'm thankful they didn't take it away in the name of "simplification," but I don't understand why they wanted to make it less functional by removing the option to display multiple calendar months. I always displayed three months, so I could immediately see the preceding and next month without having to click to move back or ahead. Now I get only one month. Sure, it's a little thing -- but it's a little thing that leads to user annoyance and longing for "the way things used to be."

9: Kill the live layout

The most annoying "improvement" I've encountered in Word 2013 is the new way text flows around the pictures you insert in a document -- or doesn't. It's called Live Layout, and it's supposed to make it easier to insert elements within text, but it has the opposite effect for me. When I navigate to a point in the doc where I want to put the picture and I paste it there, it jumps to the end of a section or another page totally unrelated to where I want it. Then when I try to drag it to the correct spot, it stubbornly refuses to go there.

I have been so frustrated by this feature at times that I've saved my document and opened it in Office 2010 to insert the pictures.

10: Sitting on the fence about the new UI

Looks aren't everything, and that's good, because Office 2013's interface isn't exactly elegant. The "Windows 8 style" (formerly known as Metro) works well in some contexts, such with all the live tiles on a phone or tablet screen. It doesn't work so well in a desktop application such as Word or Outlook. There's very little color and the whole thing is flattened; frankly, to me it looks a bit like a Windows 3.x program. I know some folks prefer this minimalist approach, and I know it's designed to minimize resource usage and speed up performance (a valid approach). And I do value function over form -- but I'm probably never going to think it's attractive.

On the other hand, I sort of like the animated transitions, such as the way the screen slides back when you're in the File menu and hit the ß button at the top. And of course, the new UI is a lot more touch-friendly, which comes in handy on our HP TouchSmart "kitchen computer." So for me, the UI changes are a bit of a wash. I'm sure I'll get used to the flat, white, minimalist look over time.

Your take

Have you been test-driving the Office 2013 apps? What's been your impression so far?

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

112 comments
TSIFKD
TSIFKD

They just upgraded us to 2013 at work. I love the ribbon toolbars and the shortcuts help me cut down on wasted time. Today every time I wanted to open a file (of which I changed the location of files within the programs as I had with 2007 so when I clicked on the open icon it took me directly to where my files are), it takes me out of where I am to the File option-which by the way totally sucks. I don't have time to go back in time to the dinosaur days to find my files so I can yet once again pin them for fast access. 


I also can not understand why anyone who has to sit at monitors all day (2 of them) can look at "white, light gray, or dark gray" around white background document. It is so hard on the eyes or are we suppose to turn out the overhead lights. I am totally disappointed that changes are constantly made for those who don't know their way around Microsoft products only to hide the tools in different places for those of us who know it's capabilities and use them to our advantage.  "Oh, you'll get use to it," our tech folks say.  All so I can get instant messages & see the faces of the people who send me emails?

How about letting us choose what color we want & why the faint icons in the ribbon toolbar?  Not sure who you are asking for input from but how about trying all the Admin Assistants, etc for input rather then techies who have so much free time on their hand. Just saying!!

Anne Cawood
Anne Cawood

This is a real dog's breakfast of an interface. It might be minimalist, but the lack of colour and inflexible configuration (why can't I get rid of the irritating second line of text under each inbox list item?) just makes it visually confusing, headache-inducing and hugely, hugely ANNOYING!


Are there ANY interface designers left at Microsoft? Microsoft needs to employ fewer Graphic designers and more people that actually have do any real-world work like the rest of us.

Aᴅᴍɪɴɪsᴛʀᴀᴛᴏʀ
Aᴅᴍɪɴɪsᴛʀᴀᴛᴏʀ

I hate Office 2013. The user interface is horrid. I can't even find the HELP menu in this disaster of a program in order to find help in finding other things in its interface (I'm serious).

Doridar
Doridar

I hate it. It must have been built up by people who were not using it: so many steps more to do the same things as before and a lot of time lost searching for simple tools that just vanished. I wish I could use another word processor but I'm doomed to stick with it because they use it at work.

How can the people of Microsoft have become so stupid?

Do they REALLY want to kill their business?

It is such a bad product for ordinary use that every time I open it, I think about how Nokia, Sony and Motorola have killed their business by missing the point - and opportunity.

Boo-ooh Microsoft people!

thurstonroyce
thurstonroyce

I just bought Outlook 2013 and I cannot find any way to insert a standard closing signature at the end of each business letter..  Help!!!!!!!

Laineyhf
Laineyhf

What happened to all the scrollbar commands? Like - scroll by comment, for instance? I used that all the time! So annoying, they seem to have either dumbed things down or hidden some of their most useful tools. The little box with the double pointed arrows no longer appears above my tables, so I have to go through other steps, instead of that nice shortcut, to select a table to move it. These seem like little things to some people, but when you use Word 8+ hours a day, they are big annoyances.

rk4tak
rk4tak

My biggest complaint is small but like Ms. Shinder said it gets me every time into a bad mood.  It shouldn't be so annoying.  With Office 2013 it seems I have to click everything twice to get it become active.  The best example is in Outlook.  I can be working in OneNote and want to see something on my Calendar in Outlook.  Outlook is open but on the Mail page.  I click on Calendar and all that does is make Outlook active.  I have to click again to get to the Calendar.  It's small, I know, but when you've been doing something like that for years and you have to make a change (that really makes no sense)  it's very annoying.


And, I'm sorry, but I like the ribbons in Office.  I have enough to do in life that I don't need to spend hours learning every cool thing about a product.  I learn it when I need it.  Having the ribbon is convenient and has actually led me to learn more about the product.  It's not a handicap; it's a helpful tool.  Not everyone has the time or desire to become a Power User.

Portantarmas
Portantarmas

I have bought and installed Office 2013 twice, the first on a Surface Pro (Home and Student) and the second on a full Windows 8.1 desktop pc. (Professional). I need to use the Powerview addin in Excel. In fact I bought the desktop PC and Office 2013 professional mainly for that addin. When you buy Office 2013 from a dealer, he/she may not realise that there are further versions than the 4 mentioned on the back of the packaging. They also may not realise that there are different capabilities of Excel depending on the version of Office 2013 you have bought.

So now I have two versions, neither of which do the job I bought them for. I feel like I have been misled by Microsoft regarding  this product. Today's Sunday so I will call Microsoft tomorrow.

Oh, and one more rant. Why would any company which wants to stay competitive actually reduce functionality in what is supposed to be an upgrade? I'm talking about the absence of Picture Manager.

User Name already in
User Name already in

I also despise the minimalist taskbar icons.  I keep my taskbar out of the way by using vertical left side settings with small icons, but when I scroll over it I want easily identifiable icons not some tiny letter that you can barely distinguish the color of at a quick glance .

User Name already in
User Name already in

The thing I most hate about Word 2013 is it will not stay in the monitor I place when the computer goes to sleep.  It might seem like a petty thing, but the last four versions of office I have used all behaved themselves and stayed where they were put in right in the monitor I want them in.  What is the point of having five monitors if the three office programs you keep up in constant use (Word, excel, all outlook) revert to the default monitor and get in the way of my browser?

Erwin.Craps
Erwin.Craps

and went back to MSO 2010. I have the impression I need to click twice as much than before to get things done I'm doing for 2(?) decades now... Altough the moving/flying stuff is very cool, it anoys me when trying to get things done... But this movement thing is probably something I would get used to. The sober layout is irritating me to. I have all the time the impression that I'm working on a defect monitor or a paper white monochrome monitor and I need to change my number of screen colors from 16 to 32,000,000

remanuel
remanuel

I was just editing an email to a client with a couple of spread sheets attached when I started to write of my experience to date with Office 13 (mainly excel) when I decided to do a search to see if others are having the same issues. It sort of reminded me of my impressions I had with my first experiences with Windows 8; starting with serious irritation but gradually moving to the "oh well here we go again" state as I found work arounds. In 2010 I really became a big fan of the colored categories. I use color categories as quick indicators of what I want to come back to as I quickly peruse the 50 or 60 email I get daily. Green for read when you get a chance, yellow for a more emphatic definitely read this email, and red for you better get to this as soon as possible. My problem is the small colored icons have gone away and I can only get the text for each color which takes up way too much horizontal real estate not to mention the visual impact of colors always gave me instant status of how much reading I have left to do. I sorely miss the little icons. Second irritation, which I haven't stopped to figure out exactly what has changed, is a constant "this always worked for me" feeling. I have used excel al the way back to my Apple Mac Plus and felt there was always a positive move forward with the user interface... version to version. I feel like there has been a step backward in 2013. This step backward may also be related to a definite performance hit, I spend a lot of time waiting for Excel to catch up to me. I am sure I will appreciate some of the new enhancements but please don't slow me down. What do I have to do.... buy a bunch more RAM to make it smooth and productive again?

vohalloran
vohalloran

I find it irritating that the scrollbars appear and disappear AND that there doesn't seem to be any way to make that stop. There is a setting to turn them off completely for the non-PC users but no setting to turn them on permanently. I keep thinking they are missing and then I move the mouse over my document, etc. and the scrollbar reappears. Does anyone else find this annoying?

ksaldutti
ksaldutti

SERIOUSLY? There is nothing to like at all since ribbons where introduced in 07. I run 2003 and will stay with it forever unless there is a classic option that Microsoft uses to be noted for with their users. I have no use as an office power user for this dumb down version of office. If Gates were, still in charges of development we would have a classic interface choice. Ribbons forced on users is just another sorry office for dummies who have no idea how to use a keyboard or able to under stand a custom toolbar interface because it makes it too fast and makes you think how to be resourceful. Between Windows 8 and this sorry office app since 07, I have little use for Microsoft as I may be moving to Apple just to get away from this comical useless version of Windows 8 that is a complete failure.

IMDB
IMDB

I like the new look. It's simplistic and less cartoonish. I have to agree with you about the calendars. If I just wanted to see this month, I'd go to the calendar option. I like to see all three months in plain sight. Maybe the next version...

Erwin.Craps
Erwin.Craps

I get a headache and star looking squint after 1 hour working with the new UI of Oulook 2013. On a high resolution screen is really hurts workign with it. What I don't understand is why we cant change the colors anymore,the light and darker grey are not imporving a lot... it's just one big blur spot on my screen.

jpglasgow1
jpglasgow1

Minimalist is everywhere so get used to it, hate it if you wish but stop moaning about it. As a Technical It Author and Trainer it actually makes life somewhat easier as one can focus on the learning without so much 'clutter' to have to navigate through so I am all for it. I use excel/word extensively so every new release throws up new challenges in finding out how to do xyz which used to be second nature but that's "progress" for you. Less is definitely more from my side of the fence.

techwitty
techwitty

outlook 2013 ... good to go ahead !!

maamold
maamold

I've only had it installed for a single day and the first thing I wanted to try was the embedding of excel files into Onenote. When I first ran it in 2007 I've been hoping for this feature. So far it it seems a bit glitchy; by that I mean that changes that I make to the file are not updated in the onenote document. Refreshing, syncing and refreshing again, closing and all the previous again - then suddenly the change I made appears - or most likely don't appear. I've also noticed that I'm having trouble inserting spreadsheets that have complex formulas - possibly a bug. The minimalist style is not my favorite but I'll give it time. I noticed that the reply and forward windows don't pop out. I'm not sure if this will help or hinder,

Rockaby
Rockaby

If Office 2010 is no longer supported (patches, security, etc) then you have to upgrade. If there is a feature that does not work with other Office programs, then you have to upgrade. If there is a feature that works on Exchange version x that does not work unless you are on Outlook version 20xx, then you have to upgrade. Only if the user needs that feature and a business case for it you will upgrade. We went from 2003 office to 2010 and I don't see a rush to upgrade to 2013. I'm thinking Office 2016 might be the next version and 2010 will be 6 years old. That is the time to upgrade from 2010.

shenry4
shenry4

Somehow I thought Office 2013 was going to have better innovation, tabbed documents, customize web captures, and others. I have been waiting for Excel to utilize engineering notation instead of 3rd party macros. Then again Microsoft has a propensity of "fixing" problems when the thing isn't broken. Windows XP users are finally moving to Windows 7 and finding it works better, next, MS comes out with Windows 8. Office 2007 was good but 2010 has some better features, almost what 2013 has to offer. Is Office 2010 broken?

coloncm
coloncm

I'm with the editor, and the Rump-kicking video cards in minimalism world commentator, in that there should be user options to revert back to previous looks and feels. I constantly recall a situation where a contractor who suggested to change the look-and-feel of an application that the military had used for nearly a decade, and it's prototype was introduced at a presentation as if it was the next great thing. Within minutes, the confiding general and its training and evaluation command staff quickly stopped the presentation and gave a failing verbal review that it'd cost them millions to re-train the military to the new world-wide used application simply because it looked and behaved differently even though it performed the same functions. That happened in 2006 and the new application is still not quite off the ground. I'm still not over the ribbon-over-tool bars from MS 2007. Let's support backwards compatibility, please!

ckwde
ckwde

I installed office 13 on Windows8 initially,thought it was great!, then I realized one e-mail profile wasn't working, it was a (live.com) profile, in fact it made my account unusable. I had to e-mail Microsoft to fix. I have 5 e-mail profiles in outlook 2010 including one corporate and works flawless 2- live.com 2-imap yahoo.com and one Corporate Exchange http. because of business use I was forced to remove office 2013. This was 4 weeks ago, I tried is office 2813 again this week and received the same error message trying to (sync too many accounts), I think this has to do with the new process for the live.com accounts using ActiveSync I also would like to use OneNote. I noticed when I installed OneNote 2013 the syncing to Skydive was automatic. This will make it easy to use on my Samsung Note 2 I hope Microsoft solves this issue I can't wait to use office 13 on my Samsung Series 7 running windows 8 for almost a year now, far more touch friendly!

SundayBiker
SundayBiker

White flat look doesn't work for me too well, I'm used to see the folders in the corner of my eye and know where and what they are. Now I have to actually look and read the Sent Items folder, they all look the same at a glance. That's pretty much my only complain, I can live with the other changes, testing it on Win 8 preview on a laptop.

Regulus
Regulus

I really don't see where this is an improvement over WP 5.1 or 6 for DOS. After all of these many, many years, MS still does not have a useable 'Reveal Codes' screen. And, yes, the Alt/Ctrl/Shift + Function key is still better than that foolish 'Ribbon'.

pootegg
pootegg

Hi I found your article most interesting..agree wholeheartedly ref onenote but recently I needed to do some work on an old computer using office xp and really it was so quick and simply put what I wanted where I wanted it and as such speed was fantastic. I am tempted to retain my 2007 office but do like the 2013 clean interface you show...tear out the ribbons!!! My move to windows 8 will not happen soon.. I ditched the preview as I hated what was formerly known as metro...so suspect 2013 office will wait a while for me......(i also recently used office 4.3 as it had a language component that worked with an old dos labelling system someone needed and that was great too..but I know not really security strong enough for everyday use but it got the company out of a mess when their hitec stuff went wrong and the export could proceed) pat

scott.beal
scott.beal

At work, it's PC's and the company went with windows 7 and the Office suite. I have the same complaints about the 'Ribbon' - BUT in Office for Mac 2011 the older of icons are still there. In Mac Word 2011, the ribbon exists as compacted line of what appears to be menu headers. You can click on a down arrow to make the ribbon appear. In Excel, after a cursory search, I could not find any implementation of the ribbon. And, I'm not going to waste any more time looking. This is not the first time that I have noticed major diffences in implementation by Microsoft between the PC version and the Mac version of the 'same' program. And, the Apple is usully easier and more logical to use.

Gremeleon
Gremeleon

I agree with Debra about the minimalist "flat" white look of the interface. I like a bit of zoosh, and miss not being able to change the theme to a better color scheme. Also finding that Outlook doesn't send messages immediately when I click "Send" or "Send All". They sit in the Outbox for some time. Later when I come back they have finally moved to the "Sent" box. Never had that problem with Windows Live Mail (Win 7). Maybe its just Windows 8?? Maybe a 2013 bug??

BillyDodd
BillyDodd

Getting tired now of the insignificant changes to the Office and OS IU just so Microsoft can pass it off as a 'new' product. Other than the layout, the differences in function over the last 9 (since office 2003) years could have been added in a service pack or two. Window colors, effects, animated transitions, yawn. Lazy and lacking innovation.

daniele
daniele

I've been using Microsoft Office 2013 Preview: Word, Excel and Access. I noticed Access no longer supports Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts. I really don't understand why Microsoft decided that. For me this is a bad drawback, because I use these features very often. I couldn't find any way to get around that problem. Is there anyone who can give some suggestion? Thanks a lot Daniele

ksaldutti
ksaldutti

To this day and for the foreseeable future I will use Office 2003 until there is an Office Suite classic option. I am an office power user have used the office products before when they sold as individual products. We are now forced to use the ribbons interface and it is a terrible format that is slow and clunky. There is no getting so-called use to it. It is for dummies who need ribbons to work in office. There are well over hundreds of thousands of Office users who still will not buy and use 07 and beyond. I bought 07 when it was released and after six months I uninstalled the suite and gave away the product and back to happily using 2003. If Bill Gates were still involved with the products, his passion and business sense would have given us a classic mode option.

radar_z
radar_z

I am annoyed at how many mouse clicks it takes to include the original email with the reply to the email. Then it takes a bunch of clicks to turn off including the incoming message with the outgoing message. There is no command to put this feature on the Special tab. And it is not very elegant to set up to include the incoming message with all replies and then have to remember that you need to erase the incoming message from the reply in some cases. Am I the only one who would like to have this feature?

jamia406
jamia406

aoa dear sir i download windows 8 from net and now its in scr format and not extrect it i need that software that convert it in iso for burning cd please guide and also need office 2013 for ful and free version..

angelzarb
angelzarb

The feature I found annoying was that I couldn't print just a selection of the document, it was all or nothing.

Crash2100
Crash2100

I could not agree more with your comment about Office 2013 looking like something out of Windows 3.x. That was literally my first thought when I first saw the interface for Office 2013, I literally thought it was something out of the early 90's. I understand the sudden desire for it working with tablets, but there are better ways to do this, if anything better looking ways.

MongoMe
MongoMe

More bad than goods, and some of it subjective, I dislike the default reading view for Word. In Office 2010, there was an automatic message, something along the lines of "preview only - click to edit." ( A simple click and either you're viewing or your editing. Now, you open and then have to select from the menu to open it to edit. Excel - I LIKE the Powerview options and some other data enhances but WAY TOO unstable. Just working with a couple of spreadsheets in normal operations and it crashed several times. The problem with running apps in Excel running in-memory (Powerview) tends to make it way too unstable. I am running Office 2010 and Office 2013. They do NOT play well together. My default - go to choice is Outlook 2010, but if I need to mail out a document from Excel or Word 2013, no go. They only see Outlook 2013, so I have to go into Outlook and attach the files. And running two copies of Excel - Explorer defaults automatically to Outlook 2013. Files that are pinned to my taskbar can't be opened by Excel 2010, but open fine in Excel 2013 - even after I pointed the link to Office/Excel 2010. I realize I am only using the initial preview release and I look forward to the official release, but the programs need to "play nice" and get a whole lot more stable before I commit to 2013.

tedatwork
tedatwork

I use OneNote all the time and I am really happy to hear about the spreadsheet and table changes. That's my biggest complaint about it. "Now you can search for words that are in graphics files." OneNote 2010 currently has this.

Slayer_
Slayer_

And it still drives me nuts. I hate when my tablet does this as well, you have no idea what is scrollable unless you try first.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

as there are alternatives out there that continue to work on the different Windows platforms as well as other OS platforms.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

it's the open source fork of Open Office with a lot less Java and is more flexible than MSO or Open Office.

jonc2011
jonc2011

I also tried for a month to use Office 2007 (c 6 hours per day) and went back to 2003. I still dislike the ribbon in 2010, but find that the Quick Access Toolbar works well, with the ribbon minimised. The ribbon is now easy to customise. Word 2010 imported all my macros from 2003. Word 2010 has many excellent features - particularly for me the navigation panel, search, co-authoring and (improved) clipboard. It is now a powerful program for report writing, and IMO better than the opposition that Deadly likes. Only two negatives I have found are the inability to edit macro buttons and the TOTALLY HOPELESS Help system.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

you'll have to buy it just like the rest of us.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Please tell me you're kidding. Are you sure it isn't still there, but that MS has moved the choice somewhere unexpected? Did you try F1 / Help?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

is that i can't move, hide, recolor, or remove the 'New Page' tab. I frequently click it when I really want my first note. At least move it to the end of the column; that's where the new page is going to appear anyway. Otherwise I love this tool.