Microsoft pushed out Office 2013, and its sibling Office 365 Home Premium, earlier this year. While there were no major, visible changes, aside from a new Start screen, the company did hide a few extras within the new suite. The problem is that software like Office and Windows have become so complex over the years that certain features are never discovered by the average user.
Attempting to run down a full set of the inclusions in Word 2013 would require a book, as opposed to a blog post — the books exist, if you are really interested. Instead, I picked three things that I think will be among the most useful to a majority of customers and will give you a brief overview of each.
Remove the New Start Screen
I personally find the new Start screen extremely useful — it puts recently opened documents and popular templates right in front of you. But, not everyone seems to feel the same way.
If you fall within that latter category then you can bypass this screen with a simple tweak. Head to File and choose Options then click the General tab. At the bottom of the list you will spot a checked box that says “Show the Start screen when this application starts”. Uncheck this and you are done. The option exists in each app included in the Office 2013 suite, so you can do the same for Excel, etc.
Reading a document in Microsoft Word is not a difficult task, but in the latest version Microsoft attempts to improve on the tried and true interface with a brand new “Reading Mode” that transforms your document into what basically appears as a book, hiding all of the unnecessary features to provide a clearer view.
To access this feature head to the View menu click “Read mode” at the far left of the top menu. This will hide the menu bar and transform the document into what resembles an open book. To get get back, click “View” and then “Edit Document”.
With Office 2013, Microsoft may have forgot the Metro version — something many expected give the new Windows 8 tablet-like interface. But not every feature for modern computing was left out. Given the growing number of tablets and touchscreen monitors and laptops, Microsoft did remember to add in a special interface.
Above the top menu you will find several small icons, the far right of which depicts a finger. This enables touch mode — This spreads the icons apart and enlarges the menu bar, making it easier to tap items with a finger, as opposed to the more precise mouse pointer.