Quick Tip: Add useful apps directly to Word 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 has some new features you need to know about, including the ability to add apps.

Microsoft Office 2013 has some new features that you may want to take advantage of once you learn about them. One of those new features is the ability to add useful apps directly into Word, Excel, etc. When I say "apps," in general I mean research resources for confirming facts or defining terms. You know, the things writers are supposed to use that go beyond a Google search.

Dictionary example

Adding an app to Office 2013 is relatively straightforward. Navigate to the Insert tab of the Office Ribbon and look for the tile called "Apps for Office" as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Apps for Office
Click on that tile and click the See All item in the dropdown list. You should see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure B. From here, you will have to visit the Office Store in order to find an app to install.

Figure B

On to the store
Once at the store you will see a number of available apps (Figure C), many of them are free. For this example, I will choose the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app. Click the app, and then click the Install button. You'll be asked to confirm the installation.

Figure C

At the Office Store
The next time you go to the Apps for Office tab, click the See All item again to reach a screen similar to Figure D. Click your app and then click the Insert button.

Figure D

Insert your app
As you see in Figure E, I now have a Merriam-Webster Dictionary search box available from the Word 2013 document I am working on.

Figure E

Anyone need a definition?

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Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.


I tried this download and on all of my computers, I've got the "unsupported browser". I checked the sheet and it says, "Version 18" of Chrome. I have version 25!!!! What gives??? Anyone have any other issues?? thanks Jeff


It requires the Internet connection all the times which I don't have. All apps require Internet connection to work is rubbish.


The facility is available only from the US store. So no national dictionarys or localized apps. I'm not sure I want to spend the time sorting the advertising apps from the useful ones.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I have seen a lot of complaining about Office 2013 in the TechRepublic forums, but the more I use it the more I like it. Have you given Office 2013 a thorough shakedown?

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