Microsoft talks about new layout features in Word 2013

For the past few weeks, Microsoft has been offering some more information about Word 2013. The next version of the company's word processor, which is currently available in a free preview version, has a number of new features, including being able to edit PDF files and adding new options for touch-based hardware devices.

In the newest post on the official Word blog, Microsoft goes over some of the new ways that Word 2013 handles the layouts of documents. The new layout engine uses two separate features, Line Services and Page and Table Services. While these two features have been a part of previous versions of Word, Microsoft says, " ... They were never fully integrated into Word – we were able to use just a fraction of their goodness because we were working hard to maintain compatibility with the prior version."

This should allow for Word 2013 to have more accurate layouts of text documents. Microsoft states:

The end results are often subtle: text can be more evenly balanced across multiple columns, table cells can be more accurately auto-fit to their contents and figures’ positioning properties are more applied more faithfully.

Word 2013 should also allow for its users to try out some new design layouts. For example, it can now text around a figure in a header as shown in the image above. It also lets footnotes support a different number of columns compared to the main part of a Word document. Finally, Word 2013 documents can now be "bottomless" for putting in larger images.

What about opening up Word 2013 documents in older versions of Word and vice versa? Microsoft says that older Word documents will always be opened first in Word 2013's compatibility mode. Documents can be converted into the Word 2013 version but Microsoft does advise that the layout of the document might change.

Microsoft also says, " ... documents created in Word 2013 mode may lay out differently when opened in the prior version.  If you work in an enterprise where sharing documents across versions of Word is common, a group policy exists to force all new documents to be created in compatibility mode."

Source: Microsoft Word blog | Image via Microsoft

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