X

Microsoft Office 2013 gets a whole new look (pictures)

With a new look and apps that are optimized for the touch-screen technology of Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft Office offers tons of tweaks that make it easier to use than ever.

Jason Parker
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Jason Parker
WordTemplates.png
1 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Pick your template at launch

Office 2013 was released today with the general availability of both desktop versions and the cloud-connected Office 365 Home Premium. Sporting a new look and ready for the touch-screen technology of Windows 8, the latest version of the productivity suite offers tons of tweaks that make it easier to use than ever.

From new Start Pages for several of the apps in the suite, you can pick from a large number of premade templates so you never have to start from scratch.

WordRibbon.png
2 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

The Ribbon is now optional

The Ribbon is still here and offers a wealth of tools across each tab as it detects the most common uses for the content you have selected. But if you don't like the Ribbon, you now have the option to hide it and only bring it back when you need it.

ExcelRecommendedCharts.png
3 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Excel recommends the best chart

In making the new Office ready for touch screens, Microsoft streamlined many of the most common tasks to require only a couple of clicks. One of the new features of Excel is that you can highlight data and have the software recommend the best chart or graph to represent that data.

ExpenseTrendsGraph.png
4 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Fill in your data for great graphs

Creating a pro-level graph would take forever if you had to make it from scratch, but with Office 2013, you can choose a template and fill in your own data.

PowerPointTemplates.png
5 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Choose your look before you start

Before you enter your first bullet point, you can choose from several colorful layouts to create eye-popping presentations. If you don't like your initial choice, you'll be able to switch templates on the fly and choose from several variants, and your content will automatically move to the right place.

PowerPointTransition.png
6 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

The new look doesn't stop you from working

Even with the new flat buttons, optional Ribbon, and other interface tweaks, you'll still be able to manipulate your presentation slides just as you have before, but often with fewer steps.

PowerPointPresenterView.png
7 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Presenter view means no surprises

The new Presenter view shows you the next slide in the presentation on the right and offers tools (like a virtual laser pointer) and your notes on the left so you always know what's coming up next.

OneNoteHelp.png
8 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Tips for using OneNote

OneNote is still the king of simultaneous collaboration in Microsoft Office 2013, but to get more people to use the software, Microsoft has added an onscreen tutorial covering the best (and also some lesser-known) uses of the software.

PublisherCalender.png
9 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Create a custom calender in Publisher

Publisher has all the tools you need to create great-looking newsletters and other forms, and offers mailing options to help you get your information out to your customers.

PublisherNewsletter.png
10 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Your newsletters, with your specs

Like many of the apps in Microsoft Office 2013, Publisher offers several templates to use as a starting point, then leaves it to you to customize the look to best represent your business.

AccessTemplates.png
11 of 11 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Choose the template that connects with your data

Choose from several templates, then connect Access to your data to get a clearer view of your business.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
Do You Know About These 17 Hidden iOS 17 Features?
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

Do You Know About These 17 Hidden iOS 17 Features?

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos