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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

office 2013 Do You Like Office 2013? Thoughts on Preview

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Aesthetically I like it, but I agree about the contrast. It's hard to tell the difference between a greyed out button and an active one. I'll need to think up something to write, and a few other things to do to be able to really form an opinion on it, and even then it'll only be on Word and Outlook, as I don't use anything else regularly.

I've been giving both Word and Outlook a proper shakedown because, like you, they are the two programs of Office I use the most. No minuses, and there are a few pluses.

1. Outlook 2013 is faster than 2010 - no matter which way you slice it.

2. Word 2013 now edits PDFs natively - in short, it treats PDFs (and likely ODF files as well) on par with Word documents. Is this why Flash is now included with Windows 8 - compensation for pilfering Adobe revenue? (This is actually understandable- which is a business - any business - more likely to have already - Acrobat or Word? And if I were in Adobe's shoes, I'd certainly want quid pro quo for all that revenue I'm no longer going to get.)

Those two reasons *alone* are plenty to keep Office 2013 around.

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Not only that, but Word seems a hell of a lot better at editing PDF documents than Acrobat Pro is. It was painful to do it in Acrobat, but it's quite easy (beyond the tedium of going through that many pages to fix formatting errors) in Word.

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So, yeah, does anyone expect them to still have the different color schemes they have in 2007 and 2010? Maybe they're just giving us the default "white" which will also be the new default theme in Windows 8 for now?

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So, yeah, does anyone expect them to still have the different color schemes they have in 2007 and 2010? Maybe they're just giving us the default "white" which will also be the new default theme in Windows 8 for now?

That's what I'm thinking - the default theme is *none* (therefore all that unrelieved white). There are two new themes that weren't in Office 2010 - Clouds and Circuits. (I deliberately chose Circuits.) Clouds *does* match a background choice for the Start Screen (and echoes the older *Bliss* and *Royale* themes for XP/MCE, respectively). Also, unlike Office 2010, you select your Theme choice during the install (not post-install).

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That's what I'm thinking - the default theme is *none* (therefore all that unrelieved white). There are two new themes that weren't in Office 2010 - Clouds and Circuits. (I deliberately chose Circuits.) Clouds *does* match a background choice for the Start Screen (and echoes the older *Bliss* and *Royale* themes for XP/MCE, respectively). Also, unlike Office 2010, you select your Theme choice during the install (not post-install).

Right, I wonder if they're going to have it somehow match the start screen theme color so that white might be dark gray if that's what you picked for the start screen as well? If the background images are going to match I see no reason why the colors can't, and it wouldn't really be a problem with the UI to change. Though some colors will probably look worse of course.

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So far I'm liking it overall - scrolling performance in Word seems to be much better - I have a 47 page Word doc filled with tables and images and styling that Word 2010 just didn't want to scroll smoothly (or fastly), and this version of Word does it delightfully smoothly and fast.

I also quite like the animation touches, this is what I've been imagining and hoping the majority of desktop apps would feel like to use interface wise for a few years, yet no one seems to wants to waste development time and money on small user experience touches, no matter how much better they make the experience feel.

Touch mode also seems to work great on my touch screen for the vast majority of things.

I will say though that although I don't think Word looks too white - Outlook does. That, and the email / contact header area ontop of each email is far too big for something I can't seem to hide And putting the "pin ribbon" button in the ribbon itself both wastes space, and makes it slightly more annoying to repin it, considering the button is now no longer always visible.

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Word doesn't do a good job of converting PDF to word and editing. It kind of makes everything a text box.

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I don't agree, sharepoint has a cloud server option but the local version isn't going to go away. I also don't see how Office 2013 isn't for the desktop, the UI is still the same just a different color scheme at this point (we could and probably will see some more themes for it like we have in 2007 and 2010). I don't get how it's changed so much that you think it's not for the desktop? You can say what you will about Windows 8 but I just don't get it with Office at this point.

Apparently it's not even that touch-friendly.

I agree that there is nothing I've seen that makes 2013 more touch friendly than 2010. So as I said elsewhere, its no surprise to me that their flagship is still very mouse optimized.

So far I'm liking it for the most part. The whiteness is a bit much at times and I'm not happy about the mandatory SkyDrive Pro context menu either.

Am I missing it but I don't see a way to save to my private SharePoint vs theirs? I assume this will be in the final version (and hopefully tightly integrated with the SP2013 My Documents).

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I agree that there is nothing I've seen that makes 2013 more touch friendly than 2010. So as I said elsewhere, its no surprise to me that their flagship is still very mouse optimized.

Using Office 2013, I can say that the larger, more spaced hit targets and expanded menu's are brilliant on a touch screen.

Mouse vs. Touch:

XN29R.png

05vr1.png

Though Office 2010 already had pinch to zoom and nice pan scrolling.

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Word doesn't do a good job of converting PDF to word and editing. It kind of makes everything a text box.

What are you comparing it to?

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Is anyone else seeing e-mails in text instead of HTML in Outlook 2013?

I connected my Hotmail account and almost all of my messages are showing up in regular text format (i.e., non rich-text/HTML mode)

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Using Office 2013, I can say that the larger, more spaced hit targets and expanded menu's are brilliant on a touch screen.

Haven't tried it first hand on touch yet. So from your screenshots it looks like the UI changes based on detected input method? (If so, zomgz, what a concept. ;) )

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:edit: I just saw the blog. That is pretty fantastic. I was wrong that the UI hadn't changed much. It is a testament to how well they implemented the new Touch Mode UI in practice. The radial menu looks especially tasty (also a good example of a UI snippet that can be used via mouse, but would not be optimal).

Two notable quotes from the blog not mentioned in the summary which I am absolutely on board with:

We believed people would continue to use Office at their desks, and type on physical keyboards at a desktop or laptop, but would also start to use tablets and hybrid laptop/tablet devices in a variety of other situations: leaning back in a chair, leaning forward on a train, bus, or plane, sitting on a couch, lying in bed, standing and holding with two hands, or walking down the hall.

The first is that we've begun to build new versions of some of our apps (OneNote and Lync) specifically tailored for the new experience in Windows 8. For these, we deliberately started from scratch to design new versions that were touch-first. The second is that we've touch-enabled the familiar desktop versions of all of the Office apps. These continue to be designed first and foremost for mouse & keyboard, and to preserve the features & layout you're used to, but now support touch throughout the experience. This dual approach allows you to immediately get the full power of Office on a touch machine with no relearning required, along with new experiences that embrace touch from the ground up and deeply integrate with the new experiences in Windows 8.

-Gray Knowlton

Now just do the same thing for Metro and I'll start making Kool-Aid.

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They have, sort of, with both the tile interface, and making the desktop mode flatter.

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They went over the top with all this white. It's embarassing and it hurts the eyes after a few hours. I hate it so far.

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Why is saving to SkyDrive by default a bad idea? Think about this scenario:

  • Joe User works on a document on his laptop. Saves it to SkyDrive
  • The user then sits on a plane or train without internet connection and wants to continue editing the document.
  • Much to Joe User's chagrin the file is MIA.

See the problem?

dude you can save your doc locally...im not sure what the prbem is here...

how bout the scenario (which is much more likely), im at work working on a bunch of office docs like a spreadsheet, powerpoint and word doc that i have to present in the next couple of days.

I get up from my work pc walk out the door and when i get home to continue working

the cursor is in the exact same location as it was when i left the doc

see the awsome??

stop coming up with bizzare scenarios so you can sh*t on something thats been out for like 3 minutes....

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What did they do to ERD support on Visio? I can open my old files but can't edit any existing entities and the new entities that I add are just colored boxes with text fields in them, there's no interface for quickly entering multiple columns and there doesn't appear to be any support for database drivers anymore. Relationships are just lines, there's no linking them to foreign keys. At this point I might as well just use Paint.NET because all it is letting me do is draw.

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I'm really liking what I'm seeing in Office 2013. I was very pleased to see all of my folders, email, and school schedule all come down the pipe without issue. I'm really loving what they're doing with OneNote MX. Once I can get my hands on the Surface, I can really see the whole suite making my college life much easier.

And I really like the UI. It doesn't blind me. The colored options in Outlook 2010 didn't seem to help the claustrophobic feeling I got when I used it. The changes they made here are a breath of fresh air and I hope they retain it.

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Why is saving to SkyDrive by default a bad idea? Think about this scenario:

  • Joe User works on a document on his laptop. Saves it to SkyDrive
  • The user then sits on a plane or train without internet connection and wants to continue editing the document.
  • Much to Joe User's chagrin the file is MIA.

See the problem?

If you have the Skydrive client installed, when Skydrive syncs it will save the file locally to the computer, meaning you can still access it when offline.

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After using it all day (just Outlook and Word) I can say that overall I like the direction they're going, but I do hope they tweak it some before RTM.

The Metro styling is generally nice (and I'm actually starting to get used to the white), but I'm still hoping that they add more contrast before GA. I'm all for the minimalist look, but they need to add a few varied background colors to give the eyes a little hint at where the different UI elements start and end. No drastic changes, it just needs a few touches here and there.

At the same time I'm really not noticing much difference in functionality. Outlook seems a bit snappier, but pretty much does the same job the same way. Same for Word. With a few tweaks I think Office 2013 will be a decent upgrade, but nothing Earth-shattering.

However, I don't see the big win for Office 2013 being Office itself. Microsoft's ecosystem has long been like a giant jig-saw puzzle where you can tell what picture is supposed to be, but the pieces just don't quite fit together. It looks like that's starting to change - finally the piece are coming together - and although Office 2013 is not a huge upgrade in itself, it's a very important piece to that puzzle.

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I love it :D

I like the new little animations in excel, the cursor animation in word.

Most of all though, I love the new Outlook.

It feels ten times faster than Outlook 2010 with my gmail account.

I thought the Capitals in the ribbon would annoy me but I've gotten used to them already :)

Overall with a bit of tweaking, this could be the best version of Office yet :D

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Kind of interesting to see what 16 years of UI evolution brought us.

post-5569-0-28220500-1342682585.png

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Considering it hasn't been available for even 24 hours yet, I don't think anyone has had enough time to give it a fair chance. First impressions aren't usually a good indicator; impressions after one has used it regularly for a certain amount of time are best to go on.

First impressions are just that, If you don't like first impressions don't read them when people say "first impression"

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Kind of interesting to see what 16 years of UI evolution brought us.

From ugly blocks and complicated menus to sleek, clean and efficient.

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From ugly blocks and complicated menus to sleek, clean and efficient.

Easy fix if you fiddle with your monitor's brightness controls :laugh:

post-5569-0-44864100-1342686879.png

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