Microsoft Word: Top 10 New Features in Word 2013

As the oldest of the Office applications, Microsoft Word was already packed with extensive word processing capabilities. It’s a pleasant surprise then that Word 2013 boasts useful new and improved features across the board, from document creation to reading, editing, and collaboration.

1. A New Look for Word

The first change you’ll see when you launch Word 2013 is a startup screen rather than a blank document, as in older versions of Word. In the left pane, you’ll see a list of your most recent Word documents as well as the option to open additional files. In the right pane, you can pick from various templates, such as blank, flyer, blog post, and many more as well as search Microsoft’s library of online templates. If you are a long-time Word user, this new landing page may take some getting used to, Microsoft Word Free Download Full Version but it can be disabled if the old look is preferred.

The New Design Tab

Word 2013 still supports the Ribbon interface but now features for styling a document are combined within the new Design Tab so they’re easy to find. Document formatting can be quickly defined by choosing Themes, Colors, and Fonts to use with them. From here, you preview your choices and can even save your formatting as a default for all new documents.

2. Easy Graphic Alignment and Layout Options

The new Alignment Guides in Word 2013 make lining up images and other objects a snap. They are a visual way to show when the object, such as an image, chart, or SmartArt illustration, is aligned with the top of a paragraph or to a heading or other elements on the page.

Convenient Layout Options

Select a picture, chart, or SmartArt object, and the handy new Layout Options icon appears outside the object’s top right corner. Click it to configure placement and text wrapping options, all without moving to the Ribbon.

When you right-click an object and choose, for example, Format Picture or Format Shape, a new formatting task pane opens. This pane replaces the dialog box from earlier versions and stays open as you work and shows easy to follow formatting options for the currently selected object.

3. Improved Reading in Read Mode

If you use Word more to read documents than to create them, you’ll like Word 2013’s new Read Mode which is clean and distraction-free. Switch to the Read Mode and the Ribbon collapses as do most of the tabs. This new view automatically resizes a document to the full window and displays your documents in easy-to-read columns. Click the on-screen arrows to flip through the pages or, if you’re using a touch-screen monitor or tablet, swipe the screen from either edge of the display. Right-click on any unfamiliar words to display a definition without leaving Read Mode. You can also click on any image, table, or chart to enlarge it for easier reading.

Resume Your Work

Now, when you reopen a document, Word 2013 remembers where you were and lets you keep reading or editing right where you left off, even when you reopen an online document from a different computer or device. This feature is supported in multiple views including Read Mode as well as Print Layout, the default view in Word.

4. Smarter Collaboration

Reviewing documents with Tracked Changes and comments is easier now with Word 2013’s new Simple Markup view. From Simple Markup, complex markups are hidden and the final document is displayed. However, you still see indicators in the left margin where tracked changes have been made. When you double-click one of these lines, Word switches to the All Markup view so you see the full edits. Click the indicator line again, and Word goes back to Simple Markup.

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