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don't buy microsoft officeI’m coming to the end of my trial period with Microsoft Office 2013. Over the weeks it has been a reasonably solid experience with one or two quirks causing me no end of frustration 5 Tricks to Disable Annoyances and Improve Office 2013 5 Tricks to Disable Annoyances and Improve Office 2013 Microsoft Office 2013 has been available for some months now, and as is always the case with a new release there are a few quirks and annoyances that have led to users wondering if they... Read More . But do I want to upgrade? Do I want to pay for a subscription or full purchase Is Office 2013 For You? Is Office 2013 For You? I've been running the Microsoft Office 2013 trial on my new Windows 8 tablet lately, in order to get a good look at the finished product and decide whether to upgrade from Office 2010. While... Read More or would I prefer to stick with Microsoft Office 2010, a suite that I’ve been using successfully for several years now? Indeed, should I even think of abandoning Microsoft in favour of an open source alternative?

While I mulled these questions, I had a bit of a play with Office 2013. It soon became apparent that Microsoft seem to be playing a very interesting – and risky – game. Microsoft Office 2013 might have a new user interface and offer “new” features (see below) but all in all it is just the same package as released previously, plus a few free add-ons.

What this essentially means is that by adding free downloads from Microsoft to Office 2010, you can save hundreds of dollars.

Why You Think You Need Microsoft Office 2013

SkyDrive integration! New views in Excel and PowerPoint! Facebook integration with Outlook!

If any of those three things make you sit up and think “Hmm, I reckon I should be upgrading to Microsoft Office 2013″, then think again – if you’re running Office 2010, you already have these features included. Sure, there are a few new features in Office 2013, but on the whole these are nothing to write home about and certainly don’t justify an expensive upgrade from Office 2010 (except, perhaps, in extreme cases).

What has happened is that basically Microsoft have repackaged the existing Office suite with a new “Modern” user interface and integrated some features that were available via free downloads. Elsewhere, tools and functions that were overlooked in promotional campaigns for Office 2010 have not been highlighted.

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Microsoft Outlook

For the past few months, Microsoft has been heavily promoting, its new online email, calendar, task management and contacts system that is available as a free upgrade to Hotmail users.

Not only is the name evocative of the famous email client, but so is the user interface – so much so, in fact, that for standard users it is more or less indistinguishable from the Microsoft Office 2013 tool of the same name.

don't buy microsoft office

If the basic features of aren’t enough, don’t worry – there are ways to get some of the added bells and whistles free, too, either in your browser or in your previous version of Office Outlook:

Weather alerts can be added in Options, where you can select and save Show weather on the calendar (in Celsius or Fahrenheit). Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be integrated with by clicking your profile image in the top-right corner, selecting Edit Profile > Connect and adding your social accounts.

If you would prefer this feature in Outlook 2010 rather than having to use the browser email client, don’t worry – Microsoft Office Social Connector can be downloaded adding Facebook, LinkedIn and several other social networks to the email client.

Outlook 2013 offers a “new” feature that displays a one-line preview of each message in your inbox. This isn’t all that new, however. Simply a default setting and one that can easily be setup in Outlook 2010 in View > AutoPreview.

Microsoft Word

A new feature for Word 2013 is the ability to drop photos into Word documents and place them wherever you want. This DTP-esque function is complemented with the ability to annotate documents freehand with text and illustrations.

office 2013 bad

Earlier versions of Word don’t offer anything quite like this, although there are alternatives. If you’re running a previous version of Microsoft Office that has Publisher in the suite, then this is one application that already offers the DTP function. Meanwhile, Serif PagePlus Starter Edition is a free DTP application that enables you to import and edit .DOC and .DOCX files, place images wherever you like for the text to flow around and a pencil tool for annotations, much like in Word 2013.

The ability to edit PDF files is another big selling point of Office 2013, and this is one of the few genuine improvements. In Office 2010, only the ability to save a document in PDF was available.

If you want to be able to edit PDFs without upgrading to Word 2013, however, you can do so using CutePDF or PDFescape – the first enables the extraction of pages form a PDF document, along with other editing tools such as rotating, deleting and cropping pages, while the second provides tools for removing and adding page elements such as text, pictures, links and notes.

One of the best features in Word 2013 is the document bookmark, which enables you to quickly jump to the last viewed or edited page in a document. However, this is another tool that is available in Word 2010, and can be activated by manually inserting a bookmark – go to Insert > Bookmark, name the bookmark, then Location > Add. You can then jump to the bookmark via Insert > Bookmark > Go To.

Similarly, Word 2013 opens documents in Read Mode by default. Although frustrating for some, this can be activated in Word 2010 via View > Full Screen Reading.

Finally, multimedia options for Word documents have been improved in 2013, but they’re not all that bad in Word 2010, either. While Word 2013 supports importing images and videos from Bing, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook, Word 2010 users can still embed JPG and PNG images via Insert > Picture – the image URL should be inserted into the File name box.

Meanwhile videos on your hard disk drive can be added to Word 2010 using Insert > Object > Create from file. If you want to add an online video you will need to download it first – this shouldn’t be too difficult as there are many ways in which you can download a YouTube video!

Microsoft Excel

With Excel 2013, the bonuses from a Microsoft sales department point of view all concern features that already existed in Excel 2010, namely filters and slicers.

You can easily add filters to your tables in Office 2010 via Data > Filter. To acquire more advanced options, meanwhile, you will need to first create a PivotTablet (this is done by selecting a cell in your worksheet and selecting Insert > PivotTable.) You can then filter your data using the PivotTablet arrows, and this can in turn be formatted into a chart via PivotTable Tools > Options > Pivot Chart.

office 2013 bad

It is from using the chart that you can enjoy the filter options, which can be viewed by clicking the chart. Elsewhere, slicers can be added via Insert > Slicer > Existing Connections > Show, where you will decide how the slicers should appear. Slicers enable you to filter PivotTable data, and are a particularly popular function among heavy spreadsheet users.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Two key features are being used to promote PowerPoint 2013. Presenter View is a tool for displaying speaker notes and enabling the annotation of slides as you conduct your presentation – but this is possible in PowerPoint 2010 with the Use Presenter View option in the Slide Show tab.

office 2013 bad

A feature of PowerPoint 2013 that isn’t available in 2010 is the ability to Present Online, an online streaming tool for your presentation. However, by signing up to Prezi, you can take advantage of a free service that enables online sharing and live presentation streaming.

Free Alternatives For OneNote

As good as OneNote is, it hasn’t made any considerable leaps and bounds in functionality since the last release. Indeed, you might prefer to avoid using anything other than the 2010 version as in most cases this will probably do what you want.

However if you want a better level of flexibility for searching notes and online sync, then you should probably be considering Evernote Why You Should Be Using Evernote As Your Go-To Place For Remembering Everything Why You Should Be Using Evernote As Your Go-To Place For Remembering Everything Remember Everything. That’s the Evernote motto and that’s what it allows you to do best. If you aren't familiar yet with Evernote, you’re in for a real treat! If you have heard of it, but... Read More , the hugely popular app that is available for pretty much any platform you can think of. As an alternative, you might also want to take a look at Google’s new Keep app Google Officially Launches Google Keep, A Free Evernote Competitor [Updates] Google Officially Launches Google Keep, A Free Evernote Competitor [Updates] Rumors about Google Keep being spotted in the wild have been flying around like crazy in the past week. According to Android Police, the note-taking service made a brief appearance on Sunday and vanished as... Read More , which is based on the same premise.

office 2013 good or bad

On top of all of these options, there is also OneNote MX, the excellent Windows 8 version of the application which is arguably the most touch-optimised aspect of Microsoft Office. This is available free in the Windows 8 Store.

SkyDrive Integration Is Already Here!

One of the biggest selling points for Microsoft Office 2013 is the inclusion of SkyDrive integration – the only thing is, Microsoft seems to have omitted to inform its customers that this too was already available for free.

don't buy microsoft office

All you need to do is head to the SkyDrive download page and install the application, which will connect with your existing SkyDrive account (every Microsoft account has access to cloud storage). One installed, it will add a SkyDrive entry to Windows Explorer and whenever you click the Save as option (in Office or any other application) you will be able to save directly to the cloud, where your data will be available to view from another PC, through the web browser or via the SkyDrive mobile app.

Don’t Pay More Than You Have To

We’re not about to start prescribing financial advice concerning your software purchases or anything else, but you really should have a good think about upgrading to Office 2013 before you sign up to anything. Microsoft’s Office suite has served millions of people well over the years, but the differences between the new package and the old one – certainly in terms of regularly used features – are negligible.

Some of you might remember the observations back in 2009 (when Office 2010 was previewed) that the new release wasn’t all that different from the previous one. In my opinion, there were features worth paying for in Office 2010 even if you had Office 2007; this time around, however, it simply doesn’t make sense.

  1. Thato
    September 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Fair enough.
    Personally, I'm struggling with my excel 2010.
    I wrote some VBA code at the office (running office 2013) for some weekly reports, unfortunately - when I'm working from home running my 2010 - the formulas I used in the VBA are just not available.
    Do you perhaps know if one can update their formula 'inventory' on older versions?
    I doubt it is available legitimately though - it's quite the selling point.

  2. Leslie
    July 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    I upgraded to MS 13 specifically for these features in Excel. Flash fill and Data Model. Saves me hours.

  3. Joel
    April 23, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I'd like to keep my office 2010 but guess what! They removed all language packages for 2010, so now that I need german spell check I am FORCED to buy 2013 and can't anylonger just buy the language pack for 2010. What a great marketing ripoff!

  4. Rob
    January 25, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Hi, I currently use OFFICE Professional 2010. I have SCRIPTS and a third party software that create Excel files.
    ACCESS modules LOAD these excel files into an ACCESS database.
    ACCESS then creates reports based on the data loaded. These reports are sent to users that have Office professional 2010.

    I want to buy a new Office suite for a Windows server 2012 R12
    I am trying to decide whether to purchase Office Professional 2010 OR Office Professional 2016.
    Note: Everyone right now has Office Professional 2010

    1) Is it safe to install OFFICE Professional 2016? or is it better to stay with 2010?
    2) Users that already have Office Pro 2010 would be able to read files created by Office Pro 2016? (whether in Excel or ACCESS)
    3) VBA code in EXCEL and ACCESS would still work without issues?
    4) The number of rows in Office 2016 is still the same as in 2010...(above 1,000,000)? and ACCESS size limitations are still the same?

  5. Andrei
    November 13, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I still hate the ribbon interface they made us use sincer 2007, but fortunately, Addintools Classic Menu was invented. Now this makes my life easier, as I can get back the classic interface for most of the functions in Office 2010.

    But the BIGGEST ISSUE that Office 2013 has is.... POOR FONT RENDERING. Everything looks blurry and gets my eyes tired, especially when using <12pt fonts. The same ISSUE appeared when Windows 8 was released. Also, when they released IE11 for Windows 7, they implented the same stupid rendering method, which drived me crazy and made me switch to Firefox because I thought I needed glasses. The problem is Microsoft ditched the subpixel font rendering of ClearType for the grayscale antialiasing in order to avoid blurry fonts when using tablets in portrait mode... But they never thought most of us still use Windows on regular x86 PCs and our LCD screens don't have hundreds of pixels per inch...

  6. Dimitri Rytsk
    November 6, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Also, Office 2013 and 365 do not link data like contacts appointments and emails anymore, it called Contact Linking. Also Social Connector been discontinued for all versions. And because outlook search is based on a gimmick Windows Search now – forget it, you cannot find anything in latest Office, contacts; meetings may or may not appear. What value in it for business if information is lost?

  7. Yellow Cat
    August 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I am thinking of purchasing Office 2013 until I read your review. My work place used Office 2010 and I hated it. At home I have the Word and Excel 2010 starter that came with the Windows 7. I am still using my Office 2003. That's right 2003 and I am happy with it with all these years.

    • Dimitri Rytsk
      November 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Office 2003 was the best but it is has got security issues and not supported now.

  8. Chris Vu
    July 24, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I've been using Microsoft office since the 80's. On 1 single support call, it took them over 3 hours and 10 transfer to different people and 4 different departments from India, Philippines, and South America. Was not able to speak with anyone in the USA. After spending over 3 hours all I was getting was you need to purchase or upgrade to 2013. they were not able to fix my install with my current 2010 Microsoft Office Professional Plus.

  9. Jason Collins
    June 17, 2015 at 1:00 am

    I think one very important aspect of the new 2013, for some people... is the integration of new options for e-learning. For those of us working in the field of training and education, these difference are likely the main reason for upgrading. This article, while I know it is aimed at every average user, does not do enough to inform readers of other options that really some may find crucial.

  10. gwg49
    June 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Please don't anyone laugh or make fun of me--had enough of that to last a life time, but here goes. The only reason I am considering upgrading from 2010 to 2013 is that every single basic computer class that I can find to register for [community colleges, senior centers, etc.] all teach using Office 2013! I have been using Windows 7 and Word 2010 forever- I cannot say if I am happy with it or not because my entire skill set is limited to "control/alt/delete" or a string of expletives. Yes I can keyboard over 70 wpm, and I can create a word doc, scan, send an e-mail and with luck on occasion attach a document to that e-mail, but any success is purely random! I am 66 and while I have been struggling to keep up, I am at least a decade behind and faking it is not only getting old, it is beyond frustrating. I can't find a tutor I can afford, so there you have it. I need three classes. The first has to be a basic class-what is a computer, how do you turn it on and off, how do you create folders, etc. The second one is how to create and use Word documents, and then if my head hasn't exploded by then, Excel. There are NO classes using 2010. Don't tell me the two are close enough that I could figure it out...that won't work. I also need to learn a fair amount about social media, e.g. twitter. I have some age related challenges, my mouse hand is a bit arthritic, hand/eye coordination not what it used to be and my tolerance for frustration, well..... So, can someone tell me how to buy this package [No longer available at Amazon], the best way to do it, e.g. have it mailed to me and try to install it myself, purchase it on-line and download it and hope for the best, or...... Again, please refrain from any snarky comments. I get it! I should have learned all of this a decade or more ago and I have a huge learning curve ahead of me. So, to answer the question why would anyone want to upgrade--because the school's all require it! Thanks for anything helpful. Kiva G

  11. i1
    May 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I really like Office 2013 though. It's very reliable and looks good enough. But it's price is just too high for my liking. I searched around and found it on danarou com gift shop site.

  12. Junseok bae
    May 25, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Thank you for great article!

    You save my time and money!

  13. dave utterback
    April 18, 2015 at 3:55 am

    I do not usually make comments because of obvious reasons, in reading many comments.
    However, I am appalled that IT of our universities, and even the IT departments of most international businesses would not combine efforts to create and basically put together whats already out there what equates to the obsolete monolopy repackaging the same old code plus the sumifs command, and perhaps utilize UNIX. In additional to a version of word, notepad, excel, it seems the monopoly has gone by the wayside for we need to run what equates to a batch process to select fields and writing them in other spreadsheets for reports. Now we must re-key data over and over. It just seems foolish that our university IT departments, global businesses can't come up with a downloadable operating, like home and office/student with the capability of running a routine that transfers data from input files to other files. I have for instance a monthly expense sheet, which detail lines need be written to EOM3 (end of month for infinate months/years), bank history file, then a total file EOM2 of beginning balance, month spent, end of month balance, hi dollars, and to also a expense projection file that manages data for known expenses. Even if users paid for home/student use a price equivalent to XP, a version that doesn't need to redesign and cancel previous versions we are used to which really they are just holding us hold by the power of monopoly is obsolete, and the various support for systems should be an individual program by each type of system. Why can't some business or university leaders get the ball rolling and combine brains and get something that doesn't need updating for a very very long time. Advertise it, even if the end product is not a profit item, charge for advertising costs cause thats all ms is, is advertising. We do not need a monopoly like ms holding back innovation and creativity. ms is simply obsolete but only innovation with ethical input can transform this old outdated company and keep people using computers. I'm sure we're all tired of repacking the same old package with new bells and whistles. As for me, I am 73 and once I adapt to a system, I can't start all over again, but just want something reliable I can master and have no surprises when I'm in my eighties and beyond God willing. Can't you people do something? I found FOTOR better than the main brand, and there are already alternatives for excel that can load excel into it for a price, and no more surprises. But 99.9% of us don't have the resources, the technical expertise to get the best of the best thats already out there, package it up, advertise it and have a fee thats reasonable and get on with the world of buying and selling. It is too appalling that you expect men and women like the millions that died in world war 2 and then Viet Nam to die for their country and yet now our brains, the companies that need to communicate with its customers are held up like a robber does. Get some good administration and replace the obsolete and move on. A few CEO's can kick the ball and get something going for the benefit of what is supposed to be a FREE world wide web, not some hack that found a way to own it.

  14. BJThomasJr
    March 30, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Informative article and comments, thank you. I'd really appreciate hearing more detail from anyone who's upgraded from Office 2010 to Office 2013 and had document formatting issues of ANY kind. My employer is considering Office 2013 and I am a "pilot user" with lots of Word and Excel 2010 files. Thanks again!

  15. maydayone
    February 11, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I had Office 2010 thru an office employee program but lost some functionality when a new harddrive was installed and ms didn't accept the license key. So I gladly accepted my offices offer of a new license for ms 2013 . I downloaded it, found word and excel docs had reformatted and then to free memory and space I uninstalled Office 2010. That crashed all documents. Their tech told me 2010 had addons which weren't compatible so data won't show when 2010 isn't installed, I was given no warning and can't reinstall the 2010 key so I've lost 4 years of files, So yes Office 2013 is different. Very clever Microsoft

    • Christian Cawley
      February 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Which office document format were you using? I find it very odd that addons for Office 2010 are incompatible with 2013.

      However, it is your IT team who have a responsibility to you to ensure compatibility and continuity of usage, NOT Microsoft. They should have checked for potential problems, and even setup a test PC to make sure your documents would work.

      Microsoft can rightly be blamed for a lot of things, but this is outside their scope.

  16. Azus Smith
    December 31, 2014 at 5:35 am

    I also user of MS Outlook 2010. But, i am not interested to move towards Outlook 2013 email application.

    Thanks for a depth comparison !

  17. Martin
    December 29, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    The "free" upgrade to OneNote 2013 is different from the paid version. I opened up my copy of OneNote 2010, and it prompted me to do a free upgrade to 2013, so I tried it out.

    Unlike the paid version the free version of OneNote 2013 will not work with locally-stored notebooks. It will only work with notebooks stored on OneDrive. If you try to create a notebook to store on your computer, you will see a pop-up that says "This edition of OneNote can create notebooks only on OneDrive." If you try to open a locally-stored notebook in the free version, you will see a pop-up with a similar message stating that it can only open notebooks that are stored on OneDrive.

    The free version also does not allow recording audio or video, which worked fine in my fully activated 2010 version of OneNote. There may also be other limitations that I did not find in the free version yet.

    For now, I think will keep both versions of OneNote. The interface in the 2013 version looks cleaner, and if I need to record some audio or create a locally-stored notebook, I can always open up the 2010 version for that.

  18. Becky
    December 24, 2014 at 2:28 am

    I still have windows vista as my operating system and my ms office 2007 wont work anymore and I need it for work. I have tried open office but I can't import certain things that I need so I would like to get ms office 2010. Where can I find it?

  19. AllenMcw
    December 19, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Office 2013 is nothing but a DOWNGRADE from 2010! The UI looks like it was written by a 3rd grader!! Color contrast and everything else about the look & feel is just plain horrendous! I made the mistake of purchasing and after only a few days and MASSIVE headaches from the lack of contrast and bright colors I requested a refund!

    If they don't do something about this either in an SP update or in the next major release of Office I will be forced to consider alternatives. I have been an Office user since the early 90's and purchased every upgrade MS put out! But now they have just dummed down the interface and made it look like the initial release of "Metro". It is just absolutely horrible and MS could not PAY ME enough to actually use this dismal product!

    There are tons of complaints to be found concerning Office 2013 and as usual MS does not listen and just blindly tries to FORCE their views on their loyal users!

    Well I've got news for them, they are NOT too big to fail!

    Between Windows 8, Office 2013 and the way they are trying to ram this stuff down our throats and take away CHOICES of how we want the software we PURCHASE to look they are making a HUGE mistake!

    Windows 8 tanked the PC market. Balmer was forced to retire over that debacle and still they have only made SMALL concessions to give us back what the vast majority of us LOVED about Windows 7.

    MS best think again before they continue down this path much longer or they will lose a great deal of market share!

  20. Scott
    December 16, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I bought Office 365 and have seen nothing I routinely use that wasn't already part of Office 2010. I would not do it over again. When your subscription expires, I suspect you will lose access to any documents that you didn't remember to check to the maintain compatibility box before saving...

  21. Boris M.
    December 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this detailed article. I have 2010 Office Professional and when I saw that an upgrade to OneNote 2013 really was free, I wanted to find out if it was worth it.
    Thanks to you, a4As I suspected, it is the same old wine in a new bottle. It won't really do anything more substantial for me.

    Thanks again.

  22. paul
    September 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    excellent article, thank you. have office 2010 and don't currently plan to continue my 'ritual' upgrade routine with 2013. trying out google apps too which are getting more and more powerful, and i love never having to think about 'save' again.

  23. William Xie
    August 31, 2013 at 1:41 am

    You can drop image anywhere in Word, just use wrap text.

  24. Mel
    August 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Christian, thanks for the review. It says "Comments", do you take "Questions"? I use MS Office 2003 and I am still happy with it. However, I exchange documents with my clients and I see that they all have newer versions of Office (because conversions are made incoming and saving). So, I'm considering upgrading so they don't think me a bumpkin. I see Office 2010 is still available (at reasonable prices); would that be a better purchase for me? My usage of Office components in descending order: Outlook (e-mail, calendar), Excel, Access, Word.

    • Christian C
      August 23, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      I think the best thing you can do is try SkyDrive's web apps first to see how you get on with 2013/Office 365. If you don't like it, 2010 is definitely the way to go.

      • CW
        August 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

        Hi Christian!
        you are mainly talking about the pros and cons of updating from office 2010 to 2013. Having to purchase a new office version, what would you recommend to go for - Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 or Microsoft Office 2010?? Highly appreciate your opinion and comments

  25. Amanda Jackson
    August 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I need to use Lync for work and can't seem to find it anywhere other than in the 2013 trial. So I have installed that. The 2013 install made me uninstall my 2010 office, so hopefully I still have the key around somewhere to reinstall my old software. Any idea if Lync can be downloaded from anywhere as a standalone option? I don't want 2013, especially as there is no upgrade path and you are forced to pay full price again after only a couple of years.

  26. Shawna Reed
    July 31, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Very informative thank-you, I have made my decision to get 2010 and not worry about 2013!

  27. April
    July 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

    What you didn't mention is just how UGLY 2013 is! White page (on my LCD screen it gives me a headache), flat icons and no shading at all.

    In Outlook, you can't find anything because its all just one big white page with blue text. They haven't segmented the page.This has allowed them to make the online versions smaller because of the lack of graphics, but when you have a 64 bit computer with massive processing power, it's irrelevant.

    They messed up the real software in favour of online users. It is where Microsoft is headed - the rental model where you pay every year. Those of us who use software for 5 years or more are just not valuable.

  28. Peter Brown
    July 15, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Thankyou for taking the time to write this precied yet relatively comprehensive overview of office 2013.

    I do have one question for you regarding the online presentations (and will look at prezi now) - is regarding the creation of a presume. I have dabbled with outlook presentation and Adobe captivate - both with limited success compared with SLIDEROCKET presume presentation...

    BUT - believe it or not - SLIDE ROCKET has been bought out - and despite contacting them twice now trying to buy the SLIDE ROCKET software - no one has responded??? Go figure??? I think they bought them out just to silence them/ corner the competition...

    Do you have any suggestions/ recommendations for a stronger (and simpler) short presume presentation creator?

    Thanks again for taking the time to post on Office - much appreciated.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      That's bad news about Slide Rocket, Peter.

      Unfortunately I don't have much experience of presentation software beyond the big names. Also I had thought that Slide Rocket was the only way to create a presume - perhaps someone else can make a suggestion...

  29. jamie Ewing
    July 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    It's another way for Microsoft to resell an old program. Sure you may have some extra bells but remember it's only bells. Keep Office 2010

  30. jamie Ewing
    July 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I think it's another way for Microsoft to resell an product over again. It's like a trick sell. You already have the same functions in Office 2010. Yo may get a few bells but that's all. Just bells.

  31. Ko
    July 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Why MS in office 2013 change:

    From 2010 office Yes---No---Cancel

    In 2013 office. Save---Don't save---Cancel

    The visual style is for seeing invalids, the working screen is 1cm smaller in horizontal an vertical lines.

    When open word doc. It is impossible to see where ends white page and starts white background.

  32. Earnie
    July 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I have 3 computers in my household.

  33. Earnie
    July 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I like the comparison, but what about the people who don't have any of the Offices at home? I never bought any of the Offices because of the price, I just used it at work. I got a new computer in which had a trail of Office 2013. I'm looking into getting Office but all I see in stores are the 2013 version. Should I just buy the 2013 of try to find 2010?

  34. Muchenjeri
    July 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Blog posts are mostly seriously silly. This article is an example.

  35. Hitesh
    June 27, 2013 at 6:46 am

    thanks Christian cawley, very useful article. I got the laptop with windows 7 Home Basic. I am also looking to buy new apple MacBook pro and I-pad in near future(6 months). At present I am using open office in my laptop. I was thinking to buy office 2013 Home premium with 5 pc subscription @ $ 119 p.a. Should I go for it now or buy stand alone office 2010?

  36. Frank
    June 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I'm so glad my employer offers an MS Office Home Use Program. I can get 2013 Office Pro for $9.95 on my personal computer. I may upgrade simply because the "price is the right" lol

  37. Daniel
    June 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I prefer 2010's interface.

    As a student I have the University version of 365 which gives me four years Skydrive and online editing (maybe I would get that anyway but I don't know).

    I definitely do not like Outlook 2013's handling of IMAP email. While older versions would let me choose whether to download headers only or body as well, 2013/365 only allows me to download complete messages within a predefined (by me) timeframe; if I choose not to download all my emails anything older than eg 3 months it is if does not exist and is inaccessible. I have GMail and older email is archived under various labels. I used to download complete messages in my Inbox and only headers for the rest so all my mail was accessible. Now it is not.

    Any solution to that would be very much appreciated. Or should I just stay with 2010? (I have both as originals - with student discounts :-) )

  38. Bbson
    June 19, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Just purchased a new desktop with windows 8 OS, which one would you recommend to purchase, Office 2010 or 2013? My concern is that 2010 would be less functional suite in few years. Whats your opinion?

    • Christian Cawley
      June 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

      There is little difference between the two versions, really, and although I am using 2013 on W8 I can honestly say that other than a couple of minor (for me) differences 2010 would be a better option.

    • Harrier
      September 13, 2013 at 12:22 am

      If you can get the latest, why not get it. Well I have both and like 2010 better. I don't want to learn a new menu system and do not like the appearance of 2013. MS seems to have some serious issues with its menu. By that I mean 2003, 2007, 2010 and now 2013. 3 major changes! Some of the changes made in 2013 have reversed changed made in 2010. The flat screen display is not appealing either. A strength of LibreOffice that I also use is their menu doesn't change much and users have no problems understanding it. For me Libreoffice has been able to edit pdf files for quite some times. My guess is MS added this feature to make sure they would have the same feature as LibreOffice.

  39. SERGIO
    June 18, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Thank you so much for this great advise. Now it's clear for me to keep working with MS Office 2010 version... I love it!!! I appreciate the time you took to write these lines.

  40. Jim
    June 17, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I dislike Excel 2013 most of all. I can't understand why I can no longer remove individual items from a set of cells/rows that I selected with ctrl + click. Now Excel just colours the damn cells in, that's useful... if I were a five year old :(

    I ended up installing LibreOffice for now, but will probably migrate back to 2007 or 2010.

  41. Rick C.
    June 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    I basically see no difference between the two except for a few add ons Why should I pay for a few hundred dollars for a few add ons??? I will keep with Office 2019

    • James
      June 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      No reason to upgrade from your version for several years yet.

    • Mrinmoy
      September 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Wow... you already have office 2019. Here people are only talking about 2013 only. People will probably get what you are currently using only after at least 6 years from now.

  42. gina smith
    June 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    If you had a choice between 2010 and 2013 and the price difference was $10, which one? What about backwards compatibility? Are there BAD things about 2013 that would make a person want 2010 instead? I was unhappy with having to uncheck "select all" when trying to filter in Excel 2010, but that's not too much of an issue.

    • Christian Cawley
      June 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Good question, Gina. I think there are a few quirks that you would rather avoid, such as the ctrl-drag to auto-popular problem in Excel and the problems with the UI shouting, but the problem is that it doesn't feel like a new suite.

      I think it is perhaps telling that the best feature - Office on Demand - is only available to 365 customers. If I didn't foresee perhaps needing this at some point, then I would stick with Office 2010.

    • Jim
      June 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Gina, if you tend to use ctrl + left click on rows/cells that I you want to copy to another sheet or delete then Excel 2013 is a nightmare. In older versions you could remove items (say from a misclick) in 2013 you cannot do this, you have to start from scratch.

  43. Prashant Kumar
    May 31, 2013 at 5:24 am

    not a bad option i would say...maybe not so different but have some cool features with it...@

  44. William Beefcake
    May 29, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks for the article!

    I have been using MS Office 2007 Professional now for 5 years. When Office 2010 came out I did not upgrade because it was THE EXACT SAME THING with different fonts, colors, and they took my excellent Office Start Button away.

    If Office 2013 is a functionally repackaged version of Office 2010 with a new "look", then it seems I will just continue to use Office 2007 Pro for the forseeable future.

  45. Linda Carol Rodriguez
    May 25, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I try to upgrade only when the HUP programs roll around. For $9.95 who can say no? Thanks for the review though, at least I know not to have great expectations!

  46. Adil
    May 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Good i Like 2013 than 2010 because it has more flexibility and look

    • Christian Cawley
      May 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      I don't think it;s the lack of a scheme, it's the lack of choices that is disappointing. Personally I like the pastel approach as it doesn't distract, but of course my eyes aren't everybody's :)

  47. ChewKok
    April 28, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Correction, MS PowerPoint 2010 has a streaming tool. I have used it before: you can give an hyper-link to someone and the audience will view the same slide.

    Hence, streaming was already available in Office 2010.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Hi ChewKok - presentation streaming is not available in PowerPoint 2010.

      I suspect you might have used SharePoint or a third party tool (of which there are many) which will enable streaming, but there is no native facility (which is after all what we're talking about here) for streaming presentations until PowerPoint 2013.

  48. Abe
    April 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Would you upgrade if the upgrade from 2010 to 2013 is free?

    • Christian Cawley
      April 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

      Tricky - certainly not to upgrade for the sake of upgrading, no. If there was a particular feature that I absolutely needed, then perhaps, but I don't think there are many features that fit that description, new or "refreshed"...

    April 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    thank you for the review it was helpful

  50. John Beatty
    April 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Very helpful. I only hope my clients don;t upgrade beyond a point that I can't read their files anymore with 2010 or any of the free suites.

    Evernote and Dropbox, even at premium levels, are more cost effective than OneNote or SkyDrive for the small business.

  51. Angi G
    April 10, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Thanks for this article! We used up our trial and were wondering if it would be worth it to purchase the subscription. This helped us decide not to. I'm glad we're just going to stick with our 2010 version, because we forked out enough $$ for it in the first place not long ago. I knew that it couldn't be THAT obsolete as to warrant a new purchase! :)

    • Christian Cawley
      April 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Delighted to have saved you some money. I think there is plenty of life left in Office 2010, just as there is in Windows 7...

  52. Onaje Asheber
    April 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you much Cawley. I just added the Sky Drive. Needed this, for I have three computers...

  53. David R
    April 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    When I worked full-time as an attorney I was wed to the WordPerfect products, starting with WP 4.2 and staying with them until WP 11. As new programs came out with new "features" I found the learning curve to be an annoying waste of time. I switched to Word and my last word processing purchase was Word 2007. Even though I'm retired, I resent the time and money it takes to keep programs current. Each new version, from every vendor, gets more complicated and becomes more bloated. I do a lot of writing now at home and I believe I'll stay with Word 2007. Microsoft has already received enough of my money!

  54. null
    April 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I don't like to upgrade every few years.

    • Christopher Bieda
      April 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Your spouse is surely comforted thereby.

  55. Dinidu Perera
    April 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    If you use office at work or school, you may be able to use it at home for $10. This is the Professional Plus 2013 version for Windows or the Home & Business 2011 version for Mac.

  56. Prasanna Madushan
    April 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    i didn't know there are hidden features in office 2010, i was about to upgarade.. you saved my time an money :D thanks a bunch!

  57. John Moody
    April 7, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Thanks for the review. Office 2013 is a huge step forward in a sense, however, if you prefer sticking to Office 2010, you need other utilities to open and edit PDF files. I have ever used the following utilies to fulfill the task,


    PDF Converter

    The former allows me to convert PDF to TXT, PDF to HTML, and PDF to RTF; the latter simply extracts images page by page.

    I haven't found freeware programs to do the same. Does anyone know any free alternatives?

    • Luis Suarez
      April 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Libreoffice is your choice.
      I've found it so complete and easy to use that since version 2.xx I've not needed MSOffice anymore.
      Version 4 really made a big step forward, so to those who were tired of MSOffice I think LO is a great choice.

    • Duncan Webberley
      May 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      If you do not have Office 2013 and you have a business need to open, edit and convert PDFs then you will likely already have obtained suitable software. If like me you are using the market-leading Adobe Acrobat (not exactly free for responsible consumers...) then you are fine of course. Recent versions ('X' and the current 'XI') even have a plug-in that integrates with the Office 2010 Ribbon, adding its own new tab. Something tells me... I suspect that this might not be possible with Office 2013 - but I could be wrong.

      If you already have Office 2010, then you're laughing - use the money you save more wisely and put it towards Acrobat XI Pro if you need PDF production and editing capability. And for those who already own a Windows 8 touchscreen device... they'll be fine - this I do know. Me? I'm staying with 2010 and Adobe Acrobat.

  58. salvador hernandez
    April 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

    been putting 2013 on some of the new PCs for the company i work for and it gave my lots of trouble.

  59. Bruce Thomas
    April 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    I was considering an upgrade to Office 2013, but now I see it is mostly smoke and mirrors. Thanks for the review and ideas.

  60. M. Emily Wells-Suznavick
    April 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    AS an educator I bought the university version for 4 years. All that was needed is an active university email from a friend.

    • Mary Amanda N
      April 9, 2013 at 3:51 am

      I too bought the University Subscription and since it is good for four years I am well satisfied - it has enough extras so that I feel the money was well spent. - Another one I am enjoying is Adobe Creative or something to that effect- If you are a higher ed student or professor you get ALL the Adobe products as a subscription - It is either $29 or $49 a month (I realize one is almost double the other but don't have the time to check out which is correct- Either way I feel it is a good deal because it comes with all the "Adobe TV" tutorials which people like me who have only used Adobe Acrobat have the opportunity to learn and use some of Adobe's products that can run in to thousands of dollars.

    • Richard R Miller
      September 8, 2013 at 12:44 am

      As a University student at CSUF, I received Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 & 2013 for free. I would not have paid for either, & was using open source office.

      One other caviot was I purchased Adobe CS6 Master Collection for $40 . Students do get some perks-but for the public at large, they have shown that 2013 isn't worth the extra $ to upgrade! Another reason for Microsoft to wake up before they lose more market share.

      Richard Miller

  61. Ken Judd
    April 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I have subscribed. It is the best move I have made and worth the AUD 120 that it cost me. Really enjoy using Office 365, Skype minutes and 20gb extra Skydrive storage. Thanks for the info, Office 365 Home Premium works very well for me.

  62. hazem elsaiegh
    April 6, 2013 at 11:41 am


  63. Scott M
    April 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I don't need the new office as I am more than happy with open office and haven't experienced any problems whatsoever in three years of use.

    • Selim Acar
      December 19, 2014 at 3:54 am

      May be you just write letters and that's it. At my last company I had to import CSV data (comma separated values) into Excel every day. I gave Open Office a try. It was not possible att all without finding a plun-in/add-on on the internet, downloading and installing it, restarting the Open Office. :-) And at the end I could not import all data without failures.

      What I described above is one of the basic feature what an office software has to have. I am a Software Developer and not a basic PC user. Open Office may sufficient enough for standard users who write a letter a month. But if you do real office work MS Office is not beatable by Free Software.

  64. Bobby Castro
    April 6, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for the info man.

  65. Nevzat A
    April 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I liked the new Office, especially the templates are great and easy to use. Fortunately I've got it through my Technet subscription :)

  66. Alan Wade
    April 6, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I think that one excellant reason not to upgrade from 2010 to 2013 is the price!

  67. Grr
    April 6, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Thanks Christian for proving info on those hidden MS2010 features.

  68. michel
    April 6, 2013 at 1:08 am

    I agree that 2013 doesn't offer most people enough reason to upgrade form 2010; and that Evernote has better sync across devices. But OneNote's interface is different than Evernote, which is just a dump for info. OneNote is more like a paper notebook, and has organization that Evernote can't match. It's much more free form and adaptable, and really isn't for the same purpose - even though they share so many features. Plus, it's integration with the rest of office is completely absent from Evernote.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      April 7, 2013 at 7:46 am

      I prefer OneNote 2007 UI rather than 2010. More 'Notebook-y' than the modern version.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 7, 2013 at 8:32 am

      OneNote is rather smashing, I continue to find new ways of using it, although as I've been using Windows 8 I'm also using OneNote MX which while not perfect is certainly usable.

  69. Zhong J
    April 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Most companies just send out recent softwares to attract customers who are new or long time users. There are considerations into purchasing a software and I honestly think people shouldn't be taking this seriously because there are other softwares that does the same without paying for them.

    It's only fair to your decision.

    Would I purchase Office 2013? No, I have all these alternatives that provide the same function that's open source and those companies are finding ways to charge more for things they barely done.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

      I think it's fair to say that business needs affect the way Microsoft develop and promote their products.

      However, bearing in mind how Crystal and then Business Objects all but decimated use of Access 10 years ago, it seems bizarre that they should still be redressing the core product and not chasing this and other lucrative markets with more vigour.

    • mao
      August 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      I do approciate the info u have place into this page.
      Microsoft office 2013 is of no used it creates lots of problem.

  70. Luis Gomez
    April 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you for your review, just one note: Google's Keep is a joke compared to One Note. We can give the benefit of the doubt because it its first version, but its zillions far behind.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 7, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Cheers Luis - Keep wasn't really intended as a wholesale replacement, more of a suggestion for anyone with a particular liking for Google products. Like you, I'm sure they will soon add more features.

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