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(The Register)   Help us out here, what the hell is the point of Office 2013?   (theregister.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Amusing, Microsoft Office, police officers, Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, OLED, OpenOffice, .com, clippy  
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8635 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Jan 2013 at 11:44 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-30 10:01:54 AM  
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.
 
2013-01-30 10:04:25 AM  

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.


This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago

/also too cheap to pay $100 for a freaking word processor
 
2013-01-30 10:15:36 AM  
$$
 
2013-01-30 10:21:12 AM  
Ca$hgrab?
 
2013-01-30 10:31:52 AM  

somedude210: 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.

This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago

/also too cheap to pay $100 for a freaking word processor


I've been using Office 2003 on my home desktop since it came out. That disc has been through three computers, and whenever I get around to getting some new hardware, it's going on that too.

Openoffice is fine for my laptop, but it doesn't have some of the more advanced Find features that Office has that make ebook formatting possible. If not for the 1% of the time when I need those, Openoffice and Office are interchangeable.
 
2013-01-30 10:54:45 AM  
I get office for $10 for at home use because of my companies enterprise license. If you want office for the cheap then see if your company has that type of license. A lot of them are moving in that direction since so many people work from home or are trending in that direction.

With that said I rarely use anything in office. I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information. Instead I use a whiteboard and talk about the customer and their environment. As Steve Jobs once said, "People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."

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


Also this. Took me forever to figure out how to sort in excel again and for the life of me and I can no longer find the farking outline toolbar.
 
2013-01-30 10:56:15 AM  
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.
 
2013-01-30 11:01:32 AM  
Office 2013 > Office 2010 in a good number of ways. If you can get by with the free stuff, great, but I can't.

Then again, I seem to be one of the very few I work with that actually tries to make their docs & presentations not look like regurgitated dog shiat.
 
2013-01-30 11:28:20 AM  
An excuse to get you to buy your office suite all over again?

/DNRTFA
 
2013-01-30 11:49:56 AM  

ThatGuyGreg: Office 2013 > Office 2010 in a good number of ways. If you can get by with the free stuff, great, but I can't.

Then again, I seem to be one of the very few I work with that actually tries to make their docs & presentations not look like regurgitated dog shiat.


So you can't be bothered to tell us what is in 2013 that makes it better?
 
2013-01-30 11:53:11 AM  

DanZero: Ca$hgrab?


That's exactly it. One more way for them to suck money out of your wallet.

/LibreOffice FTW
 
2013-01-30 11:57:14 AM  
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.
 
2013-01-30 12:02:30 PM  
Ribbon Bugaloo?
 
2013-01-30 12:04:46 PM  
OpenOffice is fine for certain uses, but a problem I ran into in grad school was that files made in Microsoft Office ended up with odd adjustments when opened in OpenOffice (and vice versa).  Formatting, fonts, settings, things like that.  Made life complicated if I was downloading lectures and suddenly the notes in the slides went haywire.
 
2013-01-30 12:07:14 PM  

MindStalker: ThatGuyGreg: Office 2013 > Office 2010 in a good number of ways. If you can get by with the free stuff, great, but I can't.

Then again, I seem to be one of the very few I work with that actually tries to make their docs & presentations not look like regurgitated dog shiat.

So you can't be bothered to tell us what is in 2013 that makes it better?


Built in PDF editing, proper support for strict OOXML and better support for ODF, tighter integration with Skydrive (if you use it)


That being said, most people can get away with the web versions of office (which are free) Google docs (also free) or LibreOffice (Still free)
 
2013-01-30 12:08:36 PM  
This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago


I had a Linux machine that ran a windows virtual machine, so I had both OpenOffice and MSOffice. While OpenOffice can open MSOffice files, the formatting goes to hell and sometimes that is important. If you put together a good powerpoint2010 show, most of the animations will not work in the OpenOffice equivalent, and anything that was once lined up is now a mess. Often times things are no longer entirely on the page.

That said, I don't see any reason to update to Office 2013.

I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information.

There are good ways to use PowerPoint and bad ways. If your slides are just words or numbers - that is a bad way. The slides should be used to support or illustrate what you are talking about, not put the script of your talk on the wall for your audience to read. A good powerpoint show can be amazing, a bad one is painful.
 
2013-01-30 12:08:41 PM  

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.
 
2013-01-30 12:10:02 PM  
If you are running 2007 or earlier then upgrade to 2013. If you are using 2010 it's probably not worth upgrading imho.
 
2013-01-30 12:22:03 PM  
The washed out look is really killing me. Looking at Outlook or Work is straining my eyes all to hell. Hopefully there'll be more themes, because the ones it came with are crap.
 
2013-01-30 12:22:13 PM  

xynix: I get office for $10 for at home use because of my companies enterprise license. If you want office for the cheap then see if your company has that type of license. A lot of them are moving in that direction since so many people work from home or are trending in that direction.

With that said I rarely use anything in office. I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information. Instead I use a whiteboard and talk about the customer and their environment. As Steve Jobs once said, "People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."

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

Also this. Took me forever to figure out how to sort in excel again and for the life of me and I can no longer find the farking outline toolbar.


This. My company also offers it for $10 so for that price it's worth it. It is limited to 3 installations but I still have 2 left on the 2010 office I bought a coupleof years ago.
 
2013-01-30 12:22:19 PM  

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.
 
2013-01-30 12:26:34 PM  
I will gladly pay $100 per year for the inline threads in comments. Any other upgrades are merely icing on the cake.
 
2013-01-30 12:35:48 PM  
My guess is that very few people have every upgraded thier versions of office other than when they buy a new computer and toss thier old one. in that case they aren't really upgrading, they're just using what came with the new system. Of the few people that actually installed a newer version of MS Office on an old computer I'd wager that more than 50 % of them were people who could get the Student (super cheap) versions.

When I got a new computer at work and went from Office 2003 to 2007 I really hated the changes MS made. I'd go back if my IT Dept would let me.

I put Open Office on the home laptop because that's all my kids and wife need. I'll nevery buy another copy of MS Office again.
 
2013-01-30 12:37:22 PM  

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...
 
2013-01-30 12:41:04 PM  
Most folks forget the training aspect. Microsoft has thousands of partners that offer official MS training courses, and the new versions fuel this business.

We pay on average about $500/day for official MS training, and we're an underfunded university. Large corporations typically spend a *lot* of money on training.
 
2013-01-30 12:46:39 PM  
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.
 
2013-01-30 12:47:24 PM  

xynix: With that said I rarely use anything in office. I don't give powerpoint presentations anymore because I hated that as a customer and it's a boring way to deliver information. Instead I use a whiteboard and talk about the customer and their environment. As Steve Jobs once said, "People who know what they're talking about don't need PowerPoint."


Only applies in certain fields. Sorry but if you are going to give a scientific or technical talk of any kind have fun trying to "chalk and talk" when you need to present actual data coherently.
 
2013-01-30 12:48:16 PM  
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.
 
2013-01-30 12:58:16 PM  
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)
 
2013-01-30 01:01:42 PM  
I hate that Outlook won't let me embed animated gif images in my e-mails.
 
2013-01-30 01:06:08 PM  

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
 
2013-01-30 01:07:13 PM  
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.
 
2013-01-30 01:09:24 PM  

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.
 
2013-01-30 01:20:14 PM  
i actually needed the additional rows and columns in excel that came with the 2007 upgrade.

/still using it
 
2013-01-30 01:21:41 PM  

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.
 
2013-01-30 01:27:30 PM  

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.


They do. It's called Sharepoint. It's very expensive and has cost many people their jobs trying to implement it.

Office, Exchange, and Sharepoint can all be purchased as a service from Office 365, but the pricing can range from $4 per user per month up to $20+ per user per month (not counting any enterprise discounts that may apply, and add-ons such as Lync).
 
2013-01-30 01:29:48 PM  
I'd rather use Framemaker. Working with Word is like trying to write documents with Notepad by comparison.
 
2013-01-30 01:30:47 PM  

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.
 
2013-01-30 01:32:43 PM  

moos: i actually needed the additional rows and columns in excel that came with the 2007 upgrade.

/still using it


This is the only positive benefit I have found in moving from 2003 to 2007. Everything else about 2007 has been a huge pain in relearning things that didn't need relearning. That is the problem with Office. Every new generation makes hard things a little easier and easy things a little harder. For most people - they do easy things 99% of the time so it is a huge net loss for each upgrade. Increasing the rows/columns in Excel was the first real improvement.
 
2013-01-30 01:36:02 PM  

MightyPez: 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.

They do. It's called Sharepoint. It's very expensive and has cost many people their jobs trying to implement it.


I've heard of Sharepoint, but never used it. Thoughts of it usually invoke night terrors and cold sweat.
 
2013-01-30 01:38:47 PM  

Jubeebee: somedude210: 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.

This is why I switched to OpenOffice years ago

/also too cheap to pay $100 for a freaking word processor

I've been using Office 2003 on my home desktop since it came out. That disc has been through three computers, and whenever I get around to getting some new hardware, it's going on that too.

Openoffice is fine for my laptop, but it doesn't have some of the more advanced Find features that Office has that make ebook formatting possible. If not for the 1% of the time when I need those, Openoffice and Office are interchangeable.


All of this; OpenOffice is great for simple documents and formats. More complex documents and formats = Office 2003.
 
2013-01-30 01:42:45 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.


I agree. I haven't seen any other software app do it as well.
 
2013-01-30 01:43:04 PM  
I would still use office 2003 if I could. At the very least, I wish I could have the same interface when I use 2010. I held off getting the new Office until my computer died and I had to upgrade. To be fair, I do like the 2010 version's ability to create a PDF file. That's pretty neat and incredibly useful.
 
2013-01-30 01:44:57 PM  
Enterprise support.

Compatibility with other MS and non-MS products.

Better consistency with the way the interface in the most recent version of the flagship OS works.

I'm sorry, but that's more than enough to justify a new version number. Like a lot of long-running product lines, versions are really just arbitrary cutoffs for when incremental product updates reach the point where it's easier to sell the patched product at the current modern status than to sell the package from 5 years ago and make people update for seven damned hours.

It's also fairly legit to tie your support to the assumption that people are using at least a moderately recent version of your software, so that you don't have to employ a farkton of legacy engineers just to manage your call centers.

Basically, complaining about this is stupid. If you don't care about whether your software's supported, and you don't care about the integration of compatibility upgrades, then just don't upgrade. Just because you don't need the new version of the product doesn't entitle you to biatch about it, just don't buy it, numbnuts.

//For reference, I use Office 2003 on my work PC and 2007 at home. So this isn't me defending a purchase/upgrade. This op/ed is just inherently stupid, it's like biatching that Tribes:Ascend is unnecessary because you've still got buddies that can boot up Tribes 2 on your virtual LAN.
//Actually have been enjoying Google Docs recently, though it's not really compatible with the level of spreadsheet work I do professionally.
 
2013-01-30 02:01:16 PM  
Powerview in Excel. That is all.
 
2013-01-30 02:29:37 PM  

img685.imageshack.us

 
2013-01-30 02:31:04 PM  
Ribbon menus and Windows 8. Can't wait to get started.
 
2013-01-30 02:34:03 PM  
<I>Microsoft's hope is that subscription pricing will create a predictable, fixed sales stream it can count on every year.</i>

From CNN, and it's dead on. It has nothing to do with the user, it has to do with the shareholders wanting reliable revenue instead of huge bursts every few years.
 
2013-01-30 02:37:54 PM  
you mean the version that now wants you to pay for, literally, a glorified Notepad? (Even has the "N" icon so it matches the other applications!)
 
2013-01-30 02:39:11 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.


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.
 
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.
 
2013-01-31 12:40:07 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)


According to What's new in Excel 2013, it does!
 
2013-01-31 12:59:18 PM  

jonrey: 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)

According to What's new in Excel 2013, it does!


Holy dogshiat, FINALLY!
 
2013-01-31 01:02:29 PM  
Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm still quite happy with the Office 2000 I stole in 2000.

For stuff beyond that, I use real apps.
 
2013-01-31 11:40:49 PM  

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.


A. So in your mind, it's somehow bad for a company to put out an upgrade that people actually want?
B. It's not usually a major upgrade, but it's a definite step forward. Which is more than we can say for Windows 8.
C. It's $20 to upgrade. Windows 8 is $40 today and jumps up to $199 tomorrow.
 
2013-02-01 01:19:57 AM  

BKITU: jonrey: 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)

According to What's new in Excel 2013, it does!

Holy dogshiat, FINALLY!


Sweet...I will look forward to using it in 5 years when my IT department finally gets around to upgrading it.
 
2013-02-01 02:35:46 PM  

bingethinker: 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.

A. So in your mind, it's somehow bad for a company to put out an upgrade that people actually want?
B. It's not usually a major upgrade, but it's a definite step forward. Which is more than we can say for Windows 8.
C. It's $20 to upgrade. Windows 8 is $40 today and jumps up to $199 tomorrow.


A.It`s bad to make people pay for a patch that is minor even if it is wanted.
B. Minor is minor even if actually contains improvements instead of just bloat to slow old hardware to force users to upgrade their machine (read, buy a new one).
C A patch is not an OS. Apples to oranges (pun intended)

My 1p
 
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