Over the past few years many of us have grown accustomed to tabs — the feature exists in every web browser, and adds convenience to your internet experience. With the introduction of Office 2013 at the beginning of this year, Microsoft rolled out several changes, including a brand new Start screen which provides easy access to templates and recent documents. In fact,the new screen can even be customized somewhat.
However, what software maker failed to add was tabs — a feature that had been clamored for by users everywhere. Despite the inexplicable exclusion, all is not lost. As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”.
In fact, there are multiple apps to fulfill your Office tab craving but, after testing several, one stood out from the crowd. It goes by the uninspiring, but aptly, named Office Tabs.
So what exactly does it bring to the table? A simple but much needed functionality that comes in three versions that range in functionality and, of course, cost. The free version works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but sadly is not compatible with Office 2013 — perhaps and intentional effort to drive revenue. The standard version does work with the latest Microsoft suite, but will set your wallet back $25.00. Meanwhile, the Enterprise version adds every bell and whistle, but adds a bit more cost, bringing the total to $35.00.
The download is a mere 20 MB and setup is simple. Being a paid app (though you get a 30 day free trial with full features) the service has no need to bring along third-party software or toolbars, so no worries in that regard.
Once the app is up and running you will be faced with a number of options to customize the service. The Options page pops up upon a successful install and has only two tabs, but with a number of features included within each.
You will also note that each of the three Office apps can be customized separately. Excel, Word and PowerPoint appear as tabs down the left side of the Options screen.
Once you have your settings to your liking, there is a “Backup” button which allows for an export to your location of choice. Alternately, you can also import if you are setting the app up on a new system.
Style and Color allows for the tweaking of the looks of your tabs. There is a tab style drop-down menu that lists options in the unimaginary one through six format. By default, it is set to “Tab Style-6?. It does however display an image below of what each version looks like when you select it. It really only makes minor changes to the shapes of the tabs, so do not expect a lot of creativity here.
There are also options to change tab size, font and even color, though the latter offers only a few pre-set options and no ability to customize to your own choice of shade.
If you are still running Office 2010, or even 2007, then this is a no-brainer, thanks to the free version. Those of us on 2013 and 365 Home Premium need to break out the wallet, but the cost is not a killer. For those who run with mutiple instances of Office apps open, it is a good value and operation is smooth and east. Likewise setup and customization is also simple. This one gets a thumbs up.