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(The Register)   Help us out here, what the hell is the point of Office 2013?   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 106
    More: Amusing, Microsoft Office, police officers, Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, OLED, OpenOffice, .com, clippy  
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8633 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Jan 2013 at 11:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-30 02:41:33 PM  
Excel gets a bit better with each iteration. The other tools, not so much.
 
2013-01-30 02:43:20 PM  
Call me weird, but I find it much easier to make complex documents in Libre/Open office then in M$ Office. At work I use M$ Office 2010 and I use Libre at home. Libre for me is just easier to use. Unlike Office which hides a large bulk of its formatting tools, Libre uses the tried and true menus and toolbars method (the ribbon was a bad idea and they should feel bad). However, there is a set back: Documents made in one look like shiat in the other. I could have a beautiful document made in Libre and then open it up in Office and now it looks like I gave my 5 year old nephew the keyboard and asked him to format it for me. This goes both ways and I just don't understand it.
 
2013-01-30 02:49:22 PM  
I can't speak to Word, but Excel has become much better over the past few years. Powerpivot is my must have, can't live without office tool. I know its an add on, but its a major step forward.
 
2013-01-30 02:51:19 PM  

madgonad: That is the problem with Office. Every new generation makes hard things a little easier and easy things a little harder.


^This. That's the perfect description of our transition from 2003 to 2007. Sure, the ribbon exposes more advanced functionality (that no one in our office uses except me), but easy stuff requires more keystrokes and hunting around than ever before.

One of my co-workers was asking about an Office 365 subscription for personal use; told him I though it was overkill for 99% of home users. For me, even Libre Office is more than I need for home use (shold probably just switch to Abiword and Gumeric). At work, OTOH, we're locked into Office (Access databases and Excel macros with lots of VBA code).
 
2013-01-30 02:53:17 PM  

Infamy: I will gladly pay $100 per year for the inline threads in comments. Any other upgrades are merely icing on the cake.


hell, I'd pay $5/month for that.

/oh.....never mind.
 
2013-01-30 02:56:28 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: BumpInTheNight: and yet when OS X gets a new revision that's nothing more then a glorified patch the apple users are tripping over themselves to hand out the credit card.

So by all means, be like the Apple users then.

I think the MS apologists are more obnoxious than the Cult of Jobs has ever been, and that's saying something. You get all of their irritating qualities and get to add "lacks aesthetic taste" and "apparently jealous poser" to the list to boot.

/I bet Ballmer wears Jobs' exhumed underwear


There really is an xkcd for everything.
 
2013-01-30 03:00:52 PM  
Clippy was the spawn of Satan, but I kind of miss the kitty.

4.bp.blogspot.com

1.bp.blogspot.com

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-30 03:08:30 PM  

Mad_Radhu: Clippy was the spawn of Satan, but I kind of miss the kitty.

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 116x99]

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 89x75]

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 128x81]


The office assistants were sort of cute (and not really a bad idea, IMHO), but they got in the way on the small monitors we used back then, instantiated too frequently, and the help was usually not relevant (a problem Microsoft still suffers from).
 
2013-01-30 03:12:23 PM  
Ars Technica has done a nice tour.

I stand by my love for threaded comments, but that lightning fill thing in Excel is slick, too. Upgrade-quality? That depends on the user.
 
2013-01-30 03:21:02 PM  

jmcgeathy: You know, if you just listened to Fark threads you would think companies should never ever ever ever release new versions of anything or change their products in anyway. But only after some arbitrary point that subby happens to like.


Not to thread jack, but Final Draft 6 has an excellent save to PDF feature that incorporates the cover page into the file. The versions since - while still excellent products - do not. While I'm sure there are convert to PDF freeware programs out there that would let me stack my pages, pushing one save as PDF button is a nice time save for me.

It's why I have to open FD 6 first and then open the file I want to work on. For business reason I have to have all the latest FD versions on my home computer and I don't want files to be opened with the latest version if I can avoid it.

/so it's not always arbitrary
 
2013-01-30 03:35:31 PM  
MONEY.
 
2013-01-30 03:40:38 PM  
The .docx .xlsx etc formats in 2007 and newer are much smaller in size than office 2003 and before.
 
2013-01-30 03:55:59 PM  

xria: I imagine the thing Microsoft is working on if they can is bringing Skype into Office 365 (and maybe normal Office). Editing Google docs together is good, but if you could click a user currently editing the doc/sheet you are on to call them and discuss elements of the documents seamlessly it would really rock.


That's what Lync is for.
 
2013-01-30 04:00:45 PM  
Openoffice/Google docs

As a guy who will touch about 1,000 multi-tabbed spreadsheets with links in a year and maybe a few hundred word docs.... hell no. I use google docs a lot for my personal shiat. Simple shiat. It's fine. Openoffice... just no. If I had to work with that tripe on a daily basis I'd get less than half as much done and wants to stab myself in the eye with a badger. I'm not in love with msft office, it's a tool. But there's nothing anywhere near it on the market today.
 
2013-01-30 04:01:54 PM  

mr_a: OK, I read all that, and I am very happy for Microsoft and its strategic goals to do whatever it is that it is doing.

But, like 99.9999999% of Office users, I type memos, write letters, and maybe gin up the occasional form. I worry about creating bullets, indenting paragraphs, and formatting a title page. If I am having a really techy day, I might create a mail list or use the document markup to review a spec.

As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.


Some of us use pivot tables, etc, write lengthy papers with citations, etc. Have fun on OpenOffice with that.

However, I'm not worried about which version I use.
 
2013-01-30 04:24:43 PM  

stewbert: mr_a: OK, I read all that, and I am very happy for Microsoft and its strategic goals to do whatever it is that it is doing.

But, like 99.9999999% of Office users, I type memos, write letters, and maybe gin up the occasional form. I worry about creating bullets, indenting paragraphs, and formatting a title page. If I am having a really techy day, I might create a mail list or use the document markup to review a spec.

As near as I can tell, the main goal of Microsoft seems to be to make these things harder and more obscure.

Some of us use pivot tables, etc, write lengthy papers with citations, etc. Have fun on OpenOffice with that.

However, I'm not worried about which version I use.


I do that all the time in Libre Office, a port of OpenOffice.

/Menu bars, how do they work?
 
2013-01-30 04:26:02 PM  

Nuclear Monk: I suppose it's too much to hope that Excel 2013 would automatically create separate instances of Excel AND allow easy cut and paste between those two instances. (like Word)


THIS!!! I really wonder why other office products do this but not excel.

Also, make the ribbons more customizable. For those of us who are already familiar with the abilities of office, let us put things where we want them. I have no idea why 50% of the ribbon space is occupied by "Styles". I never use them, but I can't remove them and replace with something I use more frequently.

For example, I create a lot of documents that use columns with a vertical line separating them. It would be nice to add that to the drop down menu of options given for Columns instead of having to open the dialog box. Now watch some farker tell me I can already do that (but won't say how)

I swear MS decides that not enough users are using a feature they worked hard and long on, so they hide/bury the useful stuff and put the stuff they "think" we want to use in the way. Also, why get rid of the dialog box for printing options and have a completely new page? (My guess is users would go to print, get the dialog box, click on the document, the dialog box would "disappear", they click print again and nothing would happen.)

Also, the person that said sharepoint is a reason people lost jobs, that is funny because it is true. We use sharepoint and every time they roll it out for use on a project, it is never ready to be used on that date.
 
2013-01-30 04:31:25 PM  

Hyjamon: Nuclear Monk: I suppose it's too much to hope that Excel 2013 would automatically create separate instances of Excel AND allow easy cut and paste between those two instances. (like Word)

THIS!!! I really wonder why other office products do this but not excel.

Also, make the ribbons more customizable. For those of us who are already familiar with the abilities of office, let us put things where we want them. I have no idea why 50% of the ribbon space is occupied by "Styles". I never use them, but I can't remove them and replace with something I use more frequently.

For example, I create a lot of documents that use columns with a vertical line separating them. It would be nice to add that to the drop down menu of options given for Columns instead of having to open the dialog box. Now watch some farker tell me I can already do that (but won't say how)

I swear MS decides that not enough users are using a feature they worked hard and long on, so they hide/bury the useful stuff and put the stuff they "think" we want to use in the way. Also, why get rid of the dialog box for printing options and have a completely new page? (My guess is users would go to print, get the dialog box, click on the document, the dialog box would "disappear", they click print again and nothing would happen.)

Also, the person that said sharepoint is a reason people lost jobs, that is funny because it is true. We use sharepoint and every time they roll it out for use on a project, it is never ready to be used on that date.


okay, my rant gave me motivation to try to remove it, and I got lucky and figured it out. So I am trolling myself now. Carry on.
 
2013-01-30 04:38:03 PM  
I've been using Office since pretty much the beginning and I've always had it free from work so I'm used to it. Open Office is pretty bad-ass for opening corrupt word documents though.
 
2013-01-30 04:45:07 PM  
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 
2013-01-30 05:35:22 PM  
My impression of Office 2013 is that the ribbon lacks contrast, which is monumentally stupid given how much space it takes up on the screen.

I don't actually mind the ribbon, but I think that if Office 2015's one great innovation was being able to switch back to a menu interface it would have the highest adoption rate since Office 4.3.
 
2013-01-30 05:55:27 PM  

aelat: MusicMakeMyHeadPound: BumpInTheNight: and yet when OS X gets a new revision that's nothing more then a glorified patch the apple users are tripping over themselves to hand out the credit card.

So by all means, be like the Apple users then.

I think the MS apologists are more obnoxious than the Cult of Jobs has ever been, and that's saying something. You get all of their irritating qualities and get to add "lacks aesthetic taste" and "apparently jealous poser" to the list to boot.

/I bet Ballmer wears Jobs' exhumed underwear

There really is an xkcd for everything.


I've already explained to the girlfriend that I would gay-marry Randall Monroe given the opportunity, it's true.

/I also get irritated by message board atheists and Fundie Christians alike :p
 
2013-01-30 06:17:40 PM  
Jim_Callahan:

//Actually have been enjoying Google Docs recently, though it's not really compatible with the level of spreadsheet work I do professionally.

Honest, no snark, question.  What about excel is superior to Google's Spreadsheet?  I use Google's Stuff extensively, mostly due to it being cloud-based/collaborative.

I haven't come across anything that outright stopped me form completing my tasks.  I script extensively, and being a former Web Designer theJavaScript scripting engine worked nicely, and the debugger for it is simple but very useful.  Having not used Excel in years, I am uncertain about what features it offers over Google Docs besides offline use.

The reason I even bring it up is there areoccasions I would like to "unplug" and work, but I often can't.  For this reason I would heavily consider switching over.

Any advice?
 
2013-01-30 06:30:39 PM  
Beta Tested:

Any advice?

This is Fark. You're kind of new, but should still know by now that the only proper answer to that question here is, "masturbate furiously."
 
2013-01-30 06:39:12 PM  

Beta Tested: Jim_Callahan:

//Actually have been enjoying Google Docs recently, though it's not really compatible with the level of spreadsheet work I do professionally.

Honest, no snark, question.  What about excel is superior to Google's Spreadsheet?  I use Google's Stuff extensively, mostly due to it being cloud-based/collaborative.

I haven't come across anything that outright stopped me form completing my tasks.  I script extensively, and being a former Web Designer theJavaScript scripting engine worked nicely, and the debugger for it is simple but very useful.  Having not used Excel in years, I am uncertain about what features it offers over Google Docs besides offline use.

The reason I even bring it up is there areoccasions I would like to "unplug" and work, but I often can't.  For this reason I would heavily consider switching over.

Any advice?


Depends on what you do. It's not unusual for me or my analysts to work with a 100MB spreadsheet(s) full of pivots, filters, sorts, sumifs, vlookups blah blah blah...most of which is sensitive corporate data that can't be put online. Yes, most companies use relational databases to manipulate this kind of data, and we have them, but they're all f'd up so sometimes we have to export entire cubes for offline massaging in order to squeeze out what we need. Not sure Google docs is up for that, especially the online bit.
 
2013-01-30 06:57:15 PM  
H31N0US:

Depends on what you do. It's not unusual for me or my analysts to work with a 100MB spreadsheet(s) full of pivots, filters, sorts, sumifs, vlookups blah blah blah...most of which is sensitive corporate data that can't be put online. Yes, most companies use relational databases to manipulate this kind of data, and we have them, but they're all f'd up so sometimes we have to export entire cubes for offline massaging in order to squeeze out what we need. Not sure Google docs is up for that, especially the online bit.

Alright, that makes sense, you are rebuilding part of or the whole of a database and then using the built in spreadsheet functions to manipulate it.  I can see how you'd need something very powerful for that.

We use a JSON database for that kind of data, which is trivial to query with the JavaScript engine built into Google's spreadsheet (both Javascript!).  I use the spreadsheet as a sort of convenient front-end interface for I/O, most of the heavy lifting is done by the scripts themselves.

Thank you for the help.  I do wish Google offered some sort of temporary offline mode so I could go to the park on a nice day and work without being distracted by the internet.  Frankly, it is still worth considering Excel for that alone.
 
2013-01-30 07:07:48 PM  
I find that Open Office is great when you want to predicate every document you send to someone with "Ok, so, I did this in Open Office so it may open funny on your system."
 
2013-01-30 07:19:34 PM  

dennysgod: If you are running 2007 or earlier then upgrade to 2013. If you are using 2010 it's probably not worth upgrading imho.


That's decent advice for a lot of folks.  Office 2007 was effectively an early clunky beta version of Office 2010.  Office 2010/13's interface is much more intuitive.


flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.


I make a decent living cleaning up spreadsheets created by single users and multiple users over time.  Having 50 people rape a workbook simultaneously would be great for business!

/Professional Excel Developer
 
2013-01-30 07:39:28 PM  

jcpallitto: The .docx .xlsx etc formats in 2007 and newer are much smaller in size than office 2003 and before.


That's because they're basically .zip files of the "real" documents. You can even open them up with a program like 7-zip.
 
2013-01-30 08:43:26 PM  
office 2013? what about acrobat xi ? bloatware in the extreme. i switched to nitropdf and run office 2010 just to stay sane.
 
2013-01-30 09:12:23 PM  
It's almost like they're a company there to make a profit.

That being said... it's not an insane price. It's... what... $20/machine with the subscription.

I've used OpenOffice and LibreOffice before. When I needed them to work the first time in critical moments... they crapped out. Office hasn't done that.
 
2013-01-30 09:16:21 PM  
Come for the lack of hard copies and expensive single pc licenses, stay for the 'cloud' where privacy is for prudes. Seems like the current model for many businesses is less for more. Also know as the GFY model. GFY Microsoft. How long can you be so bad at doing what you used to do so well. Ballmer may be a congenital idiot. If he is, he is a knock off of a more accomplished an widely accepted idiot. Hopefully this means he will abandon his idiocy zune, I mean soon.
 
2013-01-30 09:20:09 PM  

Mahhughes: Come for the lack of hard copies and expensive single pc licenses, stay for the 'cloud' where privacy is for prudes. Seems like the current model for many businesses is less for more. Also know as the GFY model. GFY Microsoft. How long can you be so bad at doing what you used to do so well. Ballmer may be a congenital idiot. If he is, he is a knock off of a more accomplished an widely accepted idiot. Hopefully this means he will abandon his idiocy zune, I mean soon.


... "the cloud" is optional.
 
2013-01-30 09:23:32 PM  

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: madgonad: That is the problem with Office. Every new generation makes hard things a little easier and easy things a little harder.

^This. That's the perfect description of our transition from 2003 to 2007. Sure, the ribbon exposes more advanced functionality (that no one in our office uses except me), but easy stuff requires more keystrokes and hunting around than ever before.

One of my co-workers was asking about an Office 365 subscription for personal use; told him I though it was overkill for 99% of home users. For me, even Libre Office is more than I need for home use (shold probably just switch to Abiword and Gumeric). At work, OTOH, we're locked into Office (Access databases and Excel macros with lots of VBA code).


I've been a diehard Visio user since 1995.  But since Microsoft bought - they've seemed on this quest to make the product as difficult to use as possible.  And Visio 2013?  A complete piece of shiat.
 
2013-01-30 09:39:02 PM  

pastorkius: We used to run 2003 in my office until recently- lots of fun creating a PostScript and converting that to PDF with Ghostscript. Cheap nonprofits...


Not tha ghostscript isn't powerful and fun, HR Block included a virtual printer that outputs PDF with thier tax software.  Like you can get for $1 at Dollar Tree.  It was much easier to use, and it hasn't choked on me yet.  Its called PDF995.

You can simply download it too.  But, just guessing, there probably some adware or something included with that method.  .
 
2013-01-30 09:40:28 PM  

flaminio: simplicimus: flaminio: What I really want is an Excel (and other Office apps) that has the collaboration features of Google Docs. Having 50 people simultaneously edit a single spreadsheet is pure badass.

So, cell level locking? Or row or column locking? I have no experience with this.

Cell-level. 50 people is probably excessive; but it is not unusual at my company to have five or so editing a single sheet. In Google apps everyone gets a different color cursor -- hovering over the cursor shows who it is -- and you can watch them dance about the screen making changes. If you've never seen it, it's magical. I wish Excel could do something like this.




Wow! I wish I could have gotten my users to enter data directly into a table. I always had to make some sort of fancy front-end so they could enter data. Never had so few users that would be benifitted by color coding user's data.

Old is new?
 
2013-01-30 10:58:56 PM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: pastorkius: We used to run 2003 in my office until recently- lots of fun creating a PostScript and converting that to PDF with Ghostscript. Cheap nonprofits...

Not tha ghostscript isn't powerful and fun, HR Block included a virtual printer that outputs PDF with thier tax software.  Like you can get for $1 at Dollar Tree.  It was much easier to use, and it hasn't choked on me yet.  Its called PDF995.

You can simply download it too.  But, just guessing, there probably some adware or something included with that method.  .


There's a few other free PDF writers out there, like CutePDF, Nitro PDF, and PDF Creator and all the ones I have used have been adware free and they usually install as a virtual printer.
 
2013-01-30 11:01:16 PM  
Office 2013: now with 500 more gigs of templates you'll never use.
 
2013-01-30 11:20:16 PM  

MrEricSir: Office 2013: now with 500 more gigs of templates you'll never use.


Giggity.
 
2013-01-30 11:35:12 PM  
I once tried to use Word how it wants to be used, with text and styling as two separate efforts. Word works great if that's how you operate. It's a compete nightmare if you're a "typewriter" style user.
 
2013-01-31 12:29:00 AM  

LibertyHiller: entropic_existence: I'm hoping the next OS X release of Office will make Excel more usable. It's pretty annoying that if I filter rows, the more rows I hide the slower the damn thing scrolls. They realllly need to fix that.

Yeah, there's a lot of stuff in there that needs to be tightened up. I have some issues with Word that only present themselves when I'm in heavy reviewing mode (i.e., most of my day); documents that have 200+ changes and 20 or so comments start to act hinky. Sometimes I can fix the problem by switching from XML to binary or vice-versa; sometimes I lose work.


No, your workflow needs to be tightened up. Excel is not a database, and Word is not a document management system. Pay for and learn how to use the tools you need, rather than forcing the complexity onto the 99% of users that use the software for what it's indented to do and don't need million-row spreadsheets or documents that track their own changes.
 
2013-01-31 12:51:15 AM  
The grammar checker. MS Research does an insane amount of work on grammar and expression. It won't make you an excellent writer, but it will make people who turn it on substantially more comprehensible.
 
2013-01-31 12:52:58 AM  
While the grammar feature has been available for a long time, it improves substantially with each release.
 
2013-01-31 01:11:05 AM  

narkor: While the grammar feature has been available for a long time, it improves substantially with each release.


Me would not know this as i'm perfect at grammar.
 
2013-01-31 01:34:27 AM  
MS will not be satisfied until they randomize the UI every time the program is opened.
 
2013-01-31 01:37:10 AM  

Charles_Nelson_Reilly: MS will not be satisfied until they randomize the UI every time the program is opened.


The solitaire UI? Open the program and the icons are dealt out.
 
2013-01-31 02:13:13 AM  

Nuclear Monk: I suppose it's too much to hope that Excel 2013 would automatically create separate instances of Excel AND allow easy cut and paste between those two instances. (like Word)


You can do that with any of the newer versions of Excel.  I know I've done it with 2007 and 2010.  Its not turned on by default, and a pain in the butt to find out how to do it, but its one of the first things I turn on when getting a new computer.
 
2013-01-31 02:16:59 AM  
lol, i read "Name just ONE feature introduced into Word in the 21st century that the weak-willed upgrader regularly uses," and i was like "there are tons." but then i read your comments and realized you guys don't use office.

1 thing though is the auto correct undo flag.  that used to not exist and you were stuck with however MS formatted your stuff. i bet people use that all the time.
 
2013-01-31 02:33:02 AM  
You mean there's something out there other than WordPerfect 5.2?
 
2013-01-31 08:52:40 AM  

pastorkius: simplicimus: pastorkius: simplicimus: I been using OpenOffice for a while. The ability to save docs as PDFs makes it worthwhile for me. Otherwise I use Celtx (also free) for screenplays.

You've been able to do that in Office for a while, there's a plugin for 2007 (might be built in too, I've only ever run Publisher from the 2007 suite) and it's native in 2010.

Didn't know. Last version of Office I used was 2003.

We used to run 2003 in my office until recently- lots of fun creating a PostScript and converting that to PDF with Ghostscript. Cheap nonprofits...


Wow.  You should really introduce your nonprofit to http://www.techsoup.org.  Office Pro for $32, Acrobat for $45... hell even CS for $150. Many, many other companies that 'donate' software and you only pay the Administration fee to Techsoup itself, basically.  Fantastic program I used for several nonprofit clients when I did consulting.
 
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