16 April 2014

Top productivity tips for Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 provides a number of advances over the older versions, but users who have used Office for years may not realise what these cool new features are. At the launch of Office 365 Personal in Singapore, where pricing was announced (S$89 a year), Elsie Chong, Marketing Manager, PC Category, Consumer and Channels Group, Microsoft Singapore, introduced her favourites:

PDF Reflow: Word 2013 will open PDF documents as if they are Word documents, preserving the formatting as far as possible while making the text editable. The edited document can be saved as a PDF, or as a Word file.

Excel 2013 has a function called 'Flash Fill' that instantly understands what is being abstracted from existing data, and automatically fills up the rest of the row or column with the appropriate data. In this example, Chong typed in 'Andrew' and the software filled in the rest immediately.

Powerpoint 2013 has a mini dashboard feature which is officially called the Presenter View. This is an all-in-one screen that allows presenters to manage everything they need while giving a presentation, including skipping slides without the audience realising it, reading speakers' notes in extra large print, and switching displays.

As with Word and PDFs, the new Office for iPad also preserves the formatting seen in documents created on other devices, Chong said. "It was built from scratch, and optimised for touch," she said. In particular, the transitions between Powerpoint slides work as they should, she added.

The cloud-based Office 365 will always enable the latest versions of Office for subscribers' use, allowing them to enjoy the features as Chong has described.