Word 2013 - First Impressions

A plethora of tutorials to get you up to speed with Microsoft Word 2013

First Impressions Of Word 2013

This piece gives my first impressions of Word 2013, having just downloaded and installed it. It’s a lightning tour, but there will be more in depth articles on the new stuff further down the line.

When I first opened Word 2013, I was confronted with a welcome screen displaying my recently opened documents (from Word 2010) on the left, and also a little suggestion to sign in on the right.

Word 2013 Welcome Screen

For now I’m going to ignore the signing in process and see how far that takes me. I suspect not signing in will simply prevent me from storing documents in the cloud, i.e. on SkyDrive.

Let’s create a blank document!

The first template on the welcome screen is for blank document, so let’s click that. The ribbon looks flatter and less 3D than in Word 2010. It’s still there though – sorry if you still hanker after the old file/menu system of pre 2007 days.

I’m looking for new additions to the ribbon, and new functionality.

  • in the top right of the interface there is a sign in link (I’m still not tempted).sign-in
  • the tabs in the ribbon are all labelled in capitals for some reason, though I suspect there may be a way to alter the way they look in Word Options.
  • there’s a new Design tab that houses design related commands that affect Styles, Colors and Fonts etc. They used to appear on the Insert tab in Word 2010. Also, the Fonts and Colors commands that now appear on the Design tab used to live on the Page Layout tab. So, there has been a little regrouping of existing commands onto different tabs. On the Design tab there is a convenient button that enables you to set the current collection of styles as the default. Set As Default
  • visuals when jump to another part of your document. If you hit ctrl + home to jump to the start of your document or ctrl+ end to jump to the end, whereas in Word 2010 you just arrived instantly, Word 2013 eases you in by showing the document whizzing past on its journey to the desired location. This is supposed to enhance our experience of the software? Oh, please.
  • Read Mode. Although read mode is new, it seems to be a relabelled Full Screen Reading mode.
  • Backstage View (click the File tab) is slightly different. I notice that it displays roughly the same functionality but with the added “sharing” options that you’d expect from signing in. Again, there is a regrouping of existing functionality, e.g. the Create PDF and Change File Type commands now on the Export Tab in Backstage View used to be on the Save & Send tab.

In a nutshell, my first impressions are that not much functionality has changed. It’s all about the look and feel of the program. Of course, this piece didn’t involve any in depth investigation into the software; that will come soon.