New Office Web Apps available for testing
Microsoft has also updated their Office Web Apps with Web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote programmed in HTML5 being made available.
With the release of a Customer Preview of the new Office, web versions of Office applications haven’t been forgotten, with updates now available. These are simplified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote now available online.
These "new" Office Web Apps are available for testing by users who previously used Office 365 Preview or by clicking on this link for SkyDrive account holders. These programs are labelled Office Web Apps Preview.
Logically, the Office Web Apps take on the same appearance of Office 2013 desktop applications with the same menu’s, even though there are fewer options available. We also find the Ribbon, the new file menu which is displayed to the left as an overlay.
Not surprisingly, the user interface elements are generally more spaced out, with the Office Web Apps having been reworked to be more functional on tactile devices. This goes hand in hand with Windows 8’s orientation.
The Office Web Apps have been conceived in HTML5. Microsoft has also promised that they will run in all modern browsers including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. No plug-ins are required, including ActiveX, Flash or Silverlight.
Microsoft also points out that various improvements have been made so that the products are better adapted to tablets and smartphones, including both Android and iOS. These are mostly in regards to improvements made to the reading experience.
Among the new functions being put forward is Word Web App, which offers better display tools, the possibility of changing the size of a page, the orientation, margins, paragraph spacing and indentations. The number of words in a document is displayed at the bottom of the browsers widow (this is an estimation).
Excel Web App brings with it numerous improvements for data analysis, support for new functions like PivotTable (a dynamic cross table), Query Tables (all request tables on a calculation spread sheet), the management of formulas and new graphs.
PowerPoint Web App adds the creation of animations and transitions from the application, the possibility of displaying videos and more generally the presence of tools required to touch up a presentation. For OneNote Web App, it is essentially the addition of a search field in the browsing panel that is listed.
Through the new Office Web Apps, Microsoft has announced performance improvements for fast editing. Besides this, all of the applications now handle collaboration tools.
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