Office 2013 is now officially here, and many users are wondering about upgrading to the latest version and what new features it will bring. Branded as ‘The New Office’, 2013 is designed to work closely with Windows 8 becoming more touch friendly, as well as embrace cloud computing; integrating services such as Microsoft’s Sky Drive.

Moving the Microsoft Office suite a step forward, Office 2013 presents an evolutionary update to one of the most widely used software packages.  The enhancements don’t shock the system (like the change from Windows 7 to Windows 8) but rather improve upon previous Microsoft Office versions.  Here’s a look at 5 new features:

Editing PDF Documents

Although a Microsoft Word document is one of the most popular document formats used, PDF files also come pretty close. Past versions of Microsoft Office have allowed you to save a document as a PDF but until Office 2013 you haven’t actually been able to edit a PDF document.

Touch Support

Without a doubt, the biggest change in Office 2013 is support for the new Windows 8 touch screen interface. Although the Office 2013 interface is designed primarily for operation with a mouse and keyboard, it also offers support for touch. Click the Touch Mode button on the Quick Access Toolbar and the Office Ribbon spreads the Office 2013 icons apart for easier touch access. On touch-enabled hardware, gestures such as swiping with your fingers let you scroll and pressing with your fingers selects items.

Integrated SkyDrive

The Office 2013 programs provide seamless integration with SkyDrive; Microsofts own cloud storage service, offering 7GB of free cloud based storage. You can enter your SkyDrive login information and Office 2013 will connect and authenticate when you start an Office 2013 application. Your SkyDrive account details are displayed in the top-left corner of the application, and your default Save location is your SkyDrive.

Multiple-PC support

With Office 2013, the traditional software-based license offers no multi-copy discount as Office 2010 did. However subscription based licensing offers an affordable way to own Office 2013.  The subscription model offers Office to be installed on 5 devices with a single license.  For those who prefer the traditional license model, this still exists and depending on your usage it may work out better value over all.

Improved Read Mode

The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.

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