Tag Archives: new feature

Alignment Options With Live Layout

Word 2013 Alignment Guides

When you are moving elements around your document, it’s handy to align them to other existing objects. If you already have an image in your document and you then insert a shape, for example, you might want to line the shape up with the image. The Alignment Guides in Word 2013 make lining elements up really easy.

Let’s illustrate by creating a new blank document, and add an image to it. Click Insert > Pictures (in the Illustrations group) and insert any old picture. Now create a basic rectangle by clicking Insert > Shapes > Rectangle, and drag out a rectangle quite a distance below the image.

Once you’ve created the rectangle click on it and drag it upwards to roughly the same level as the image. When you get close, the new alignment guides are displayed to help with your lining up.

Alignment Guides

That’s the green horizontal line, above. Word knows that we want to align horizontally because we are dragging the box upwards. Similarly, vertical alignment guides are displayed if we drag an object left or right.

Vertical Alignment Guide

What Word does is snap the object to the alignment guide when it gets close, but you can ignore the guide and carry on dragging.

You can align to:

  • tops, bottoms, left and right of other objects
  • the start or end of text
  • the middle of the page (horizontally and vertically)
  • the left and right margins of the page
  • the corners of the page

The Alignment Guides are especially useful if you have set the text wrapping options on your object so that the text flows around it. The guides work well with Live Layout.

Alignment Options With Live Layout

Live Layout

Live Layout In Word 2013

Word 2013 offers a new feature called Live Layout, which helps us to position objects like pictures and charts in our document. After we have inserted a picture, for example we can drag the picture around our document to reposition it, and Word will give us a real time preview of what the finished result will look like.

We can demonstrate Live Layout with an example. Create a new blank document and quickly add some random text by typing =rand(5,5) and pressing Enter. Place the cursor where you want to insert a picture, go to the Insert tab and click Picture in the Illustrations group. Navigate to where your image is on your hard drive, select it and click insert. Nothing unusual so far.

However, you’ll see the new feature when you start manipulating the image. In our example, we picked a rather large image that needed resizing. As we resized it and made it smaller, we could see straight away the text adjusting to fit around the smaller image – while we were resizing. This is Live Layout in action. In Word 2010 we would have to eyeball it as we were resizing, and only see the finished result when we released the mouse. In Word 2013 we get instant feedback from the changes we make.

Live Layout

Live Layout Doesn’t Work In Word 2013

Oh yes it does! You have to first specify the layout options for the object,you are manipulating. If, for example, you insert an image, you will see the layout options button appear next to the image.

Lyout Options Button

You must click on this button to tell Word how to wrap text around the image before Live Layout will work. Once you have done this, you will see the text reflowing smoothly around your image as you drag it around your document.

Lasagne Recipe

Expand And Collapse In Word 2013

Word 2013 introduces a new feature that allows you to expand and collapse certain parts of your document. It reminds me very much of the kind of web page interactivity that lets you click on a brief summary of something to display a more detailed description. And that’s precisely what this is.

If you can’t visualise this concept, let’s illustrate it with a simple example. Create a new blank document in Word 2013 and create a heading 1 followed by some text. To quickly create some random text, you can type in =rand(5, 5) and press Enter to create five paragraphs each of five lines. Now create a heading 2 followed by more text. When you hover over any heading, you will see an arrow pointing in a particular direction, and the direction tells us whether clicking on it will expand or collapse what is below the heading.

This arrow, when clicked, collapses the content below the heading:

Collapse In Word 2013

This is what the heading looks like after the collapse arrow has been clicked:

Expand In Word 2013

You can see that everything below the heading has been collapsed and only the heading is now displayed. This is a convenient way of hiding content you don’t want to see so you only see the outline of the document. If you want to read the content, just click on the arrow again.

The expand/collapse arrows don’t necessarily affect everything below their header. They only affect the content below the header and up to the next header of equal or greater value. For example, this lasagne recipe consists of “Lasagne Recipe” which is a heading 1, and two heading 2s for “Ingredients” and “Method”.

Lasagne Recipe

Collapsing “Lasagne Recipe” will hide everything but the heading “Lasagne Recipe”. Collapsing “Ingredients” will collapse only the list of ingredients but will leave the “Methods” section on display. Similarly, collapsing “Methods” will leave “Ingredients” on display. This is the way you would expect, and indeed want, it to work.

There is a quick way to expand or collapse all headings in your document; right click on a heading > Expand/Collapse, and select Expand all Headings or Collapse all Headings.

Expand All Headings

When you open a document, all headings are expanded by default. You can change this though, so that they are all collapsed: go to the Home tab, and click the dialogue box launcher in the paragraph group:

Paragraph Dialogue Box Launcher

In the Paragraph window that opens, ensure that Collapsed by default is checked.

Collapsed By Default

Note that this feature is only usable when you’re reading a document on your computer; it doesn’t work on a printout!

Tools Menu Dropdown

Read Mode In Word 2013

If you spend more time reading documents in Word than making changes to them or creating new ones, the tools available in the ribbon are less useful to you. They take up valuable reading space that could contain more content from the document you are reading. If you change to Read Mode, the ribbon vanishes and other tools designed to enhance your reading experience appear.

Turn On Read Mode

To turn on Read Mode, click View > Read Mode (in the Views group). There is also a keyboard shortcut for this: alt + wf (the w and f need to be pressed whilst alt is held down). If you want a Read Mode that is startling, hit alt + wtf. Joking, just joking.

In Read Mode, the ribbon disappears and is replaced by a stripped down set of commands:
Read Mode Commands
Clicking on each of the new members of the reduced ribbon give the following options:
Tools Menu Dropdown
View Menu Dropdown
You can see that all these options are related to altering your reading experience. All commands for editing your document have been removed. To return to the default Print Layout View, hit the escape key.

You can increase the space given to your document even further by clicking the Auto-hide Reading Toolbar button in the top right, and what little that did remain of the ribbon vanishes

Auto Hide Reading Toolbar

To bring it back again, click the Always Show Reading Toolbar button:

Always Show Reading Toolbar

If your document has several pages you’ll notice some handy next and previous buttons to navigate them that look like this:

Next Page Icon

Maybe not so “handy” if you are using a desktop computer or laptop, but if you are using a smaller device like a smartphone or ipad and you have a touch screen, you can touch those buttons to navigate the document.

Information at the bottom of the workspace lets you keep track of what screen in the document you are on:

Screen Number

Screen? What happened to page numbers? Well, the document content gets resized with a bigger font so you can read it more easily, and consequently fewer words get displayed on your screen. That means that the two “pages” displayed on your monitor are actually less than two pages. To address this disparity, Word refers to them as “screens”.

Just above the screen number you can see what looks like a scroll slider – and that’s just what it is. Click and drag it to more quickly scroll through your document. Other navigational methods are still available too, like the page up and page down buttons, the middle scroll bar on your mouse and ctrl + home and ctrl + end.

If you are thinking that Read Mode in Word 2013 looks very much like Full Screen Reading View in Word 2010, you are right. So this begs the question why are Microsoft touting this as a new feature when it was already present in Word 2010?

Watch Video In Word

Insert Youtube Videos Into Word

And now for our feature presentation! Behold: the ability to insert Youtube videos into Word.

Word 2013 has a new command on the Insert tab: Online Video.

Insert Online Video Into Word

But it’s not so much the ability to insert videos into a Word document that captures the imagination, as the ability to watch them without leaving Word. I don’t know why this would be a better prospect than actually visiting the video site, but you have that ability, nonetheless. Perhaps the company you work for have some kind of firewall that prevents visits to Youtube etc.

Anyway, to insert an online video into Word click Insert > Online Video, and the Insert Video window is displayed.

Using Bing To Search For Videos

Insert Video Into Word

Notice that Bing Video Search is the first option, naturally, as Microsoft own Bing and it wouldn’t make sense not to push their search engine whenever the opportunity arises. You can use Bing to search for videos, as you would use any search engine to find a topic of interest. The results show only video, as in the following search:

Bing Video Search In Word

If you find a video you like, click on it to select it and then click Insert. You’ll see the video appear in your document.

Video In Word

There are some formatting options available for video in Word 2013, and we’ll explore those in future tutorials.

Inserting Video Embed Codes Into Word

You can also insert embed codes for videos you find into Word. This is useful if you are on Youtube, for example, and stumble on a video you’d like to put in your Word document. Beneath the video you should see a share tab and if you click that you will then see the Embed tag – that’s the one you need, so click it. Don’t do what the bozos did here and just insert the Youtube link into Word; it’s the embed code you need.

Copy the embed code from Youtube with a swift ctrl + v. Back in Word click Insert > Online Video, place the cursor in the box labelled From a Video Embed Code and paste the code in (ctrl + v). Press Enter and see your video appear in your document.

Playing Video In Word

However you insert your video into Word, the viewer can watch the video simply by clicking on it. When they do, the video enlarges somewhat and the rest of the Word document is greyed out so you can’t edit it. To get back to the document, just click anywhere in the document but away from the video and the video will stop. The document becomes editable again. You could also press the escape key.

Watch Video In Word

You can also add video from sites other than Youtube, like Vimeo and Metacafe, as long as they use embed codes.

To remove a video from your document, select it and press delete on your keyboard (or the backspace key).

Edit A PDF In Word

Possibly the most gratefully received new feature of Word 2013 is its ability to edit PDFs. Before Word 2013 you had to take your chances with (often unreliable) PDF to Word converters, edit the converted Word document and then resave as PDF. For Word 2007 we had to download an additional plugin to enable Save As PDF, but Word 2010 introduced this feature within the program itself.

Either that or edit the PDF directly with expensive Adobe products.

We now enter a new era of PDF editability! We can now edit PDFs in Word. This, on its own, might be enough to justify the purchase of Office 2013 for many people.

And it’s dead easy. Here’s our dummies guide to editing a PDF in Word:

  1. If you’ve just opened Word 2013, you should see the welcome screen. Click Open Other Documents on the left. Alternatively, if you’re already working in a document, click the File tab > Open.
  2. Let’s restrict this example to opening PDFs that exist on our computer, and not elsewhere like in the cloud. So, click Computer.Open A PDF In Word 2013
  3. A navigational tree that looks like Windows Explorer will appear on the right: choose either a recent folder or browse and the familiar Open dialogue will appear to help you navigate to the PDF. Make sure that the file type is set to All Files or PDF Files, so you can see the PDF: View All Files
  4. Double click on the PDF to open it
  5. Oh oh – what’s this, a warning? Word tells us that the PDF will be converted to an editable Word document, and that some formatting may be lost. This might be more troublesome for you if there are a lot of images in the PDF. If you never want to see that message again, click the checkbox and then click OK.Convert PDF To Word
  6. Now, that warning suggested that the conversion might take some time, but when we opened a 361 page PDF, it took less than a minute.
  7. Oh dear, the formatting did not look good in our test document. Look:PDF TOCThat’s supposed to be a table of contents, but look at how each entry wraps onto the next line.
  8. Make your amendments.
  9. Click the File tab > Save As (or ctrl + s), and it’s up to you what format you save to. You will probably want to Save As PDF to keep the document as a PDF, but you can also save as a Word document too (.docx). Oh dear. The broken formatting we saw after we converted the PDF to Word was saved in the new PDF document. What a disappointing test!

So, the conclusion is that you can edit a PDF document in Word 2013, but expect some formatting issues. If you want it from the horse’s mouth, there it is.