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Top 10 reasons students will love Word 2013

The new Office is packed with features that students will love and Word is no exception!  Today, we present the Top 10 reasons we think students will be head over heels for Word 2013.  Download the Customer Preview today and tell us which of these is your favorite new feature!

10. Working with web content is simple

You already add pictures to your school reports to make them more interesting.  With Word 2013, this is easier than ever.  Whether you need a stock photo to help make the report more visually appealing or a picture you took of your lab results with your smartphone and uploaded to SkyDrive, you can use the Insert Online Pictures feature to quickly grab pictures from a variety of web locations and services.  For the times when a picture just isn’t enough, you can embed a video in your document.

Once you have pictures, videos, charts or other graphic elements in your document, chances are good the next step you take is moving and resizing them – tweaking the placement until the document layout looks just the way you want.  In Word 2013, the Layout Options button will show up when you select the content and let you quickly choose a text wrapping option.

Once your content has text wrapping applied, just click and drag it to a new location.  Along the way, you’ll see the rest of the document contents updating in real time – no more guessing at what you’ll get when you let go!  When you see the green alignment guides light up, you’ll know you’re aligned with important areas like the center of the page or the top of a paragraph.

9. Use Apps for Word to get more things done, faster

You’ve always used Word to get things done, but Word 2013 can help you get more things done, even faster than before.  Need to quickly summarize your document?  How about look something up online?  Guess what?  Now there are apps that can help you do those things, and more, without leaving Word.  Click on the Apps for Office button on the Insert tab and check out the apps that are offered through the Office Store.

8. Formatting tables gets easier

Writing a lab report and need to include a table of data?  That process gets easier in Word 2013.  Now you can quickly insert a new column or row, just by hovering with mouse in the area where you want it and clicking on the insert widget. Once you have your table created, apply one of the new, updated table Styles to make it look great.  Prefer to copy the formatting of another table’s borders?  No problem – the new Border Sampler tool found on the Table Tools Design tab under Border Styles lets you copy the formatting from one table and quickly draw new borders with the same style.

Screenshot of table border menu

7.  Reviewing papers gets more manageable

Admit it, you hate reading documents that have track changes turned on.  Unfortunately, you really need to see what changed.  With Simplified Mark-up view, you don’t have to choose between seeing all the changes and knowing how the final document will read.  Instead, you see change bars in the left margin that show you where the changes happened.  One click flips between showing and hiding the changes. 

Comments are also easier to process, thanks to the ability to reply to a comment directly.  You can also use comments as a document’s to do list – when you are done dealing with a particular comment, just right click and Mark as Done.  It won’t be deleted, just greyed out so you know you’ve finished that work.

6. Your bibliography style stays up to date

In previous versions of Word, you could only get new or updated bibliography styles when we released an update or service pack. Obviously, your next assignment, which probably requires the latest APA style citations, can’t wait until the next service pack or version of Word. Since the new Office is connected to the cloud, all the citation styles can be stored in the cloud and updated as soon as a new format is available. Every time you start Word, it checks for updated citation styles and downloads those to your computer. Now, you don’t need to worry about your bibliography style being out of date!

5. Get focused on the right section of the document

Reports and papers for school can get long, fast.  Sometimes you want to focus on just one section at a time or send the paper to someone else and have them focus on just a few particular sections.  If you create your document using Styles to format your headings, you can collapse the sections by hovering over the heading and clicking the Expand / Collapse widget that appears just to the left of the heading.

You can also collapse or expand all sections at once by right clicking and using the Expand / Collapse options on the context menu.

When you collapse a heading, the contents are tucked away out of sight while you’re reading or editing the document.  You can set sections to be collapsed by default, so each time the document is opened, the reader will see the document exactly the way you intended.  To mark a section to collapse by default, right click on the heading and click Paragraph…, then check the Collapsed by default option.

For the times when you want to quickly find something in your document, whether it is a bit of text or a specific chart, the Navigation pane can help.  Click or tap on the page number in the lower left corner of the Word window to show the pane.  From there, you’ll be able to type a search term, look through the document’s headings or scan through page thumbnails to find what you need.

4. Make your document stand out from the crowd

You’ve worked hard to get all the right content into your report, but before you turn it in to your professor, you want to make sure it looks great.  Use the features on the new Design tab to find or create a Theme and a Style set that is uniquely yours.

You can also use the updated built-in content like coordinated cover pages, text boxes, headers and footers to add some extra polish or pizazz.   All of these will work with the Theme’s color & font sets and will update automatically if you decide to change your theme later.

3. PDF Reflow turns PDF files into editable Word documents

Have a paper that was saved as a PDF that you need to go back and edit, but don’t have the original document anymore?  With the PDF Reflow feature, Word can convert that PDF to an editable Word document.  Word will pull the content from the fixed format PDF and preserve as much of the layout and formatting as possible. You can make the changes you need and save again in any of Word’s formats, including PDF.

2. Reading is reimagined for a digital world

You definitely have to write papers as a student, but you inevitably need read them as well.  Word 2013 includes a reimagined reading mode that incorporates the goodness of traditional paper while embracing new technologies.  It was designed to be used on a touch-screen device (like that awesome Surface RT that you’ve got your eye on) but it also works great when using a mouse and keyboard.  It has a clutter free UI that helps you focus on the content, but puts the tools you need right at your fingertips: you can quickly add comments, highlight important information, lookup a definition or translate a phrase, all without leaving Word.

When you need to take a break, Word helps you remember where you left off – even if the next time you start reading, you’re on a different device.  When you are signed in to Office, your most recently used documents will be stored online, making it easy to find them the next time you open Word.  When you do open the document again, the Resume Reading feature acts like a bookmark that will take you back to the last page you were reading.

1. Collaborating on a document is a breeze with SkyDrive and Word 2013

Group assignments become so much easier when everyone can work on the same document at the same time.  The new Office is integrated with Microsoft SkyDrive, so you can easily save your work in progress to your free SkyDrive account and share the document with the rest of your group, all from within Word.  If they don’t have Office yet, no problem.  All they’ll need is a browser, where the document will open in the Word Web Application.  You don’t even need to mess with permissions. Anyone with the link can comment and edit.  Better yet, everyone with the link can work on the document at the same time, whether they want to use the browser or Word.  When you are ready to share your changes, and see everyone else’s, just click the Save button and the document will be refreshed.

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