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Microsoft Office 2013

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Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft Office 2013
Microsoft Office 2013 apps from top left to bottom right: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release January 29, 2013 (2013-01-29)[1]
Stable release 15.0.4667.1002[2] / November 11, 2014 (2014-11-11)[2]
Operating system [3]
Platform IA-32, x64, ARM
Available in 40 languages[4]
Type Office suite
License Trialware[5]
Website .com.microsoftoffice

Microsoft Office 2013 (formerly Office 15[6]) is a version of Microsoft Office, a productivity suite for Microsoft Windows. It is the successor of Microsoft Office 2010 and includes extended file format support, user interface updates and support for touch among its new features.[7] Office 2013 is suitable for IA-32 and x64 systems and requires Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or a later version of either.[8] A version of Office 2013 comes included on Windows RT devices.[9]

Development on this version of Microsoft Office was started in 2010 and ended on October 11, 2012 when Microsoft Office 2013 was released to manufacturing.[10] Microsoft released Office 2013 to general availability on 29 January 2013.[1] This version includes new features such as integration support for online services (including SkyDrive,, Skype, Yammer and Flickr), improved format support for Office Open XML (OOXML), OpenDocument (ODF) and Portable Document Format (PDF) and support for multi-touch interfaces.

Microsoft Office 2013 comes in twelve different editions, including three editions for retail outlets, two editions for volume licensing channel, five subscription-based editions available through Microsoft Office 365 program, the web application edition known as Office Web Apps and the Office RT edition made for tablets and mobile devices. Office Web Apps are available free of charge on the web although enterprises may obtain on-premises installations for a price. Microsoft Office applications may be obtained individually; this includes Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Project and Microsoft SharePoint Designer which are not included in any of the twelve editions.

On February 25, 2014, Microsoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released. [11]


Development started in 2010 while Microsoft was finishing work on Office 14, released as Microsoft Office 2010. On January 30, 2012, Microsoft released a technical preview of Office 15, build 3612.1010, to a selected group of testers bound by non-disclosure agreements.[12]

On July 16, 2012, Microsoft held a press conference to show off Office 2013 and to release the Consumer Preview.[13] The Office 2013 Consumer Preview is a free, fully functional version but will expire 60 days after the final product's release.[14][15] An update was issued for the Office 2013 Customer Preview suite on October 5.[16]

Office 2013 was released to manufacturing on October 11, 2012.[10] It was made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers on October 24.[17] On November 15, 2012, 60-days trial versions of Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus, Project Professional 2013 and Visio Professional 2013 were made available to the public over the Internet.[5][18] Microsoft has released Office 2013 for general availability on 29 January 2013.[1] Microsoft released the service pack 1 update on 25 February 2014.[19]


New features

Office 2013 is more cloud-based than previous versions; a domain login, Office 365 account, or Microsoft account can now be used to sync Office application settings (including recent documents) between devices, and users can also save documents directly to their SkyDrive account.[20]

Microsoft Office 2013 includes updated support for ISO/IEC 29500, the International Standard version of Office Open XML (OOXML) file format: in particular it supports saving in the "Strict" profile of ISO/IEC 29500 (Office Open XML Strict).[21] It also supports OASIS version 1.2 of ISO/IEC 26300:2006, Open Document Format,[21] which Office 2013 can read and write.[22] Additionally, Office 2013 provides full read, write, and edit support for ISO 32000 (PDF).

New features include a new read mode in Microsoft Word, a presentation mode in Microsoft PowerPoint and improved touch and inking in all of the Office programs. Microsoft Word can also insert video and audio from online sources as well as the capability to broadcast documents on the Web.[23] Word and PowerPoint also have bookmark-like features which sync the position of the document between different computers.

The Office Web Apps suite was also updated for Office 2013, introducing additional editing features and interface changes.[24]

Other features of Office 2013 include:

  • Flatter look of the Ribbon interface and subtle animations when typing or selecting (Word and Excel)
  • A new visualization for scheduled tasks in Microsoft Outlook
  • Remodeled start screen[25]
  • New graphical options in Word[26]
  • Objects such as images can be freely moved; they snap to boundaries such as paragraph edges, document margin and or column boundaries
  • Online picture support with content from, and Flickr (by default, only images in public domain)
  • Ability to return to the last viewed or edited location in Word and PowerPoint
  • New slide designs, animations and transitions in PowerPoint 2013
  • Support for and in Outlook
  • Support for integration with Skype, Yammer and SkyDrive[27]
  • IMAP special folders support[28]
  • Excel 2013 supports new limit models, as follows:[29]
Quantifiable limits in objects
Object Upper limit
Characters in a table or column name 100 characters
Number of tables in a model 2,147,483,647 bytes (2 GiB minus 1 byte)
Number of columns and calculated columns in a table 2,147,483,647 bytes (2 GiB minus 1 byte)
Memory limit, checked when saving a workbook 4,294,967,296 bytes (4 GiB)
Concurrent requests per workbook 6
Number of connections 5
Number of distinct values in a column 1,999,999,997
Number of rows in a table 1,999,999,997
String length 536,870,912 bytes (512 MiB)
Restrictions in objects
Category Details
Reserved characters that cannot be used in a Name1 . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = () [] {} < >
1 "Name", in this context, is a form of variable in Microsoft Excel[30]

Removed features

The following features are removed from Microsoft Office 2013.

Removed from the entire suite [31]
Features removed from Microsoft Word
  • Custom XML markup has been removed for legal reasons
  • Older WordArt objects are now converted to new WordArt objects
  • Word 2013 no longer uses ClearType[33]
Features removed from Microsoft Access
  • Access Data Projects (ADP)
  • Support for Jet 3.x IISAM
  • Access OWC control
  • dBASE support suite[31]
Features removed from Microsoft Outlook
  • Download Headers Only mode for IMAP[34]
  • Outlook Exchange Classic offline
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 support[35]
  • Public Folder Free/Busy feature (/Cleanfreebusy startup switch)[31]
  • Ability to import from or export to any formats other than Personal Storage Table (PST) or comma-separated values (CSV)
  • Notes and Journal customization
  • Outlook Activities tab
  • Outlook Mobile Service (OMS)
  • Outlook Search through Windows Shell [31]
Features removed from Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Support for Visio Drawing


Distribution changes

Unlike past versions of Office, retail copies of Office 2013 are not made available on a DVD; retail copies of Office 2013 and Office 365 subscriptions only contain a product key, and direct users to the Office website to obtain the software. Installation uses an application streaming system, allowing users to begin using Office 2013's applications almost instantaneously. The DVD version is still offered in select regions, such as those Microsoft classifies as emerging markets, as well as Australia, at the discretion of retailers.[36][37]

Licensing changes

The original license agreement for retail editions of Microsoft Office 2013 was different from the license agreements of retail editions of previous versions of Microsoft Office in two significant ways.[38] The first of these was that the software could no longer be transferred to another computer. In previous versions of Office, this restriction applied only to OEM editions; retail Office license agreements allowed uninstalling from one computer to install on another computer.[38]

Digitally downloaded copies of Office were also said to be permanently locked to that PC's hardware, preventing it from being transferred to any other computing device. Should the buyer have wished to use Office 2013 on a different computer, or if they later became unable to use the computing device that the original license was downloaded to (e.g. hardware became inoperable due to malfunction) then a completely new, full-priced copy of Office 2013 would have to have been purchased to replace the prior one.[38] Microsoft stated that this change was related to the software piracy that has been rampant for years, worldwide.[39] However, many commentators saw this change as an effort to forcibly move its customers towards the subscription-based business model used by the Office 365 service.[40][41][42] The legality of this move, particularly in Europe, has been questioned.[43]

However, on March 6, 2013, Microsoft announced that equivalent transfer rights to those in the Office 2010 retail license agreements are applicable to retail Office 2013 copies effective immediately. Transfer of license from one computer to another owned by the same user is now allowed every 90 days, except in the case of hardware failure, in which the license may be moved sooner. The first user of the product is now also allowed to transfer it to another user.[44][45] The second difference, which remains in the updated licensing agreement, is that the software can be installed on only one computer. In previous versions of Office, this restriction also applied only to OEM editions; retail Office license agreements allowed installing the product on two or three computers, depending on the edition.[38]


Lineup of Microsoft Office 2013 icons, from left to right: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote, Publisher, Lync and InfoPath.

Traditional editions

As with previous versions, Office 2013 is made available in several distinct editions aimed towards different markets. All traditional editions of Microsoft Office 2013 contain Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote and are licensed for use on one computer.

Five traditional editions of Office 2013 were released:

  • Home & Student: This suite includes the core applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. It is available at retail outlets.[46]
  • Home & Business: This retail suite adds Outlook to the core lineup.[46]
  • Standard: This suite adds Outlook and Publisher to the core lineup and is only available through volume licensing channels.[47]
  • Professional: A retail suite, it includes Outlook, Publisher and Access as well as the core apps.[46]
  • Professional Plus: Available through volume licensing only, this suite includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, InfoPath and Lync.[47]

Office 365

The Office 365 online services (previously aimed towards business and enterprise users) were expanded for Office 2013 to include new plans aimed at home use. The subscriptions allow use of the Office 2013 applications (along with other services) by multiple users using a software as a service model. Different plans are available for Office 365, some of which also include value-added services, such as 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and 60 Skype minutes per month on the new Home Premium plan.[48] These new subscription offerings were positioned as a new option for consumers wanting a cost-effective way to purchase and use Office on multiple computers in their household.[49]

Office RT

A special version of Office 2013, initially known as Office 2013 Home & Student RT, is shipped with all Windows RT devices. It initially consisted of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. In Windows RT 8.1, the suite was renamed Office 2013 RT and Outlook was added. The edition, whilst visually indistinguishable from normal versions of Office 2013, contains special optimizations for ARM-based devices, such as changes to reduce battery usage (including, for example, freezing the animation of the blinking cursor for text editing during periods of inactivity), enabling touch mode by default to improve usability on tablets, and using the graphics portion of a device's SoC for hardware acceleration.[50][51][52]

Windows RT devices on launch were shipped with a "preview" version of Office Home & Student 2013 RT. The release date for the final version varied depending on the user’s language, and was distributed through Windows Update when released.[52] On June 5, 2013, Microsoft announced that Windows RT 8.1 would add Outlook to the suite in response to public demand.[53]

Office RT modifies or excludes other various features for compatibility reasons or resource reduction. To save disk space; templates, clip art, and language packs are downloaded online rather than stored locally. Other excluded features include the removal of support for third-party code such as macros/VBA/ActiveX controls, the removal of support for older media formats and narration in PowerPoint, editing of equations generated with the legacy Equation Editor, data models in Excel (PivotCharts, PivotTables, and QueryTables are unaffected), searching embedded media files in OneNote, along with data loss prevention, Group Policy support, and creating e-mails with information rights management in Outlook.[53][54]

As the version of Office RT included on Windows RT devices is based off the Home & Student version, it cannot be used for "commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities" unless the organization has a volume license for Office 2013 already, or the user has an Office 365 subscription with commercial use rights.[55]

Windows Store apps

Alongside Office RT, free versions of OneNote and the Lync client were made available as Windows Store apps upon the release of Windows 8 and RT.[56] The OneNote app, originally known as OneNote MX, contains a limited feature set in comparison to its desktop version, but is also optimized for use on tablets.[57]

At the Build 2013 keynote, Julie Larson-Green demonstrated an early version of a PowerPoint app for Windows 8/RT.[58]

Office Mobile

Windows Phone 8 ships with an updated version of the Office Mobile suite, consisting of mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. In comparison to their Windows Phone 7 versions, the new versions add an improved Office Hub interface that can sync recently opened and modified documents (including changes to documents stored via Office 365 and SkyDrive),[59] a separated OneNote app with additional features (such as voice notes and integration with the new "Rooms" functionality of the OS), and improved document editing and viewing functionality.[60]

In June 2013, Microsoft released a version of Office Mobile for iPhone; it is similar to the Windows Phone version, but requires an Office 365 subscription to use.[61] A version for Android smartphones was released in July 2013.[62]


Comparison of Office 2013 suites
  As an
Traditional editions[46][47][63] Office 365 subscriptions[46][64]
Office RT Home & Student Home & Business Standard Professional Professional Plus Personal[65] Home University[66] Small Business Premium ProPlus Enterprise
Availability Varies Windows RT Retail, OEM Retail, OEM Volume licensing Retail, OEM Volume licensing Software plus services Software plus services Software plus services Software plus services Software plus services Software plus services
Maximum users 1 1 1 1 As licensed 1 As licensed 1 all users in one household[67] 1 10 25[68] Unlimited
Devices per user 1 1 1 1 As licensed 1 As licensed 1 computer and 1 mobile 5 shared among all users [67] 2 computers and 2 mobiles 5 5[68] 5
Commercial use allowed? Yes Separate2 No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No[69] No Yes Yes Yes
Word Yes Yes1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Excel Yes Yes1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
PowerPoint Yes Yes1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
OneNote Yes3 Yes1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Outlook Yes Yes1 No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Publisher Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
InfoPath No No No No No No Yes No No No No4 Yes Yes
Lync Yes3 No No No No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
SharePoint Designer Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Has multiple editions
Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No
Has multiple editions
Yes No Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer Viewer
1 The Windows RT versions do not include all of the functionality provided by other versions of Office.
2 Commercial use of Office RT is allowed through volume licensing or business subscriptions to Office 365.[55]
3 Windows Store versions are also available.
4 InfoPath was initially part of Office 365 Small Business Premium.[70][71] However, it no longer is.[72]

System requirements

Each Microsoft Office 2013 application has the following requirements, although there may be app-specific requirements.[3]

Item Requirement
CPU 1 GHz clock speed, IA-32 or x64 architecture with SSE2 support
RAM IA-32 edition: 1 GB
x64 edition: 2 GB
Hard disk drive 3.0 GB free disk space
Operating system
Software .NET Framework 3.5, 4.0 or 4.5

In addition to these, graphics hardware acceleration requires a screen resolution of 1024×576 pixels or larger and a DirectX 10-compliant GPU with at least 64 MB of video memory (in case of absence of the required hardware, however, Office 2013 applications can still run without graphics acceleration.)[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Page, Carly (28 January 2013). "Microsoft says Office 2013 will arrive on 29 January".  
  2. ^ a b "About Microsoft Office 2013 Click-to-Run Updates". Microsoft. February 25, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "System requirements for Office 2013".  
  4. ^ "Language identifiers and OptionState Id values in Office 2010". Microsoft. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Office 2013 Professional Plus - TechNet Evaluation Center - Microsoft TechNet, retrieved 19 November 2012
  6. ^ "Exclusive: A sneak peek at Office Web Apps Preview, coming with Office 2013 (and a new logo!)". 
  7. ^ "Office 2013 Public Preview: Multi-Touch and Gesture Support". Paul Thurrott’s WinSupersite. June 16, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Installing the Preview". Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture". Microsoft. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Koenigsbauer, Kirk (11 October 2012). "Office Reaches RTM!". Office News. Microsoft. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "List of all Service Pack 1 (SP1) updates for Microsoft Office 2013 and related desktop products". Microsoft. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Microsoft Office 15 Begins Technical Preview: Tablet Readiness Questioned". PC World. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Gallagher, Sean (16 July 2012). "Office 2013: Microsoft’s bid to win the future". Ars Technica. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "'"Microsoft Office 2013 (aka 15) beta release date 'today. July 16, 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Office 2013 Consumer Preview Expiration Date?". July 17, 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Office 2013 Update Available for build 15.0.4128.1025". October 5, 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Microsoft releases Office 2013 Professional Plus RTM to TechNet and MSDN subscribers". WinBeta. October 24, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 60-day trial now available for download". WinBeta. November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  19. ^ Schneider, Chris (25 February 2014). "Office 2013 Service Pack 1 now available". Office News. Microsoft. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Office 2013 Tip: Personalize the Office Applications". Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "New file format options in the new Office". Office Next. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Microsoft Office 15 to support ODF 1.2". Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "Office 15 Build 15.0.2703.1000 images leak". Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Office 2013 Web Apps: A step forward, but still dependent on the desktop". Ars Technica. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "What’s new in Office 2013". MIcrosoft. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
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  28. ^ Bellew, Allie (18 October 2012). "The New IMAP in Outlook 2013". Outlook Blog.  
  29. ^ "Data Model specification and limits".  
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  31. ^ a b c d e Changes in Office 2013 (Updated October 2, 2012)
  32. ^ na, na. "Changes in Office 2013". Microsoft. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ Outlook Team (18 October 2012). "The New IMAP in Outlook 2013". Outlook Blog. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  35. ^ Thomas, Raul. "Outlook 2013 : Unable to connect to an Exchange 2003 mailbox". Rahul Thomas Blogs, MSDN Blogs. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  36. ^ "Office 2013 available now: Microsoft ditches DVDs in push for cloud subscriptions". The Verge. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  37. ^ James, Daniel (7 March 2013). "Microsoft clarification: Office 2013 is available on DVD, if stores choose to stock it". BIT. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  38. ^ a b c d  
  39. ^ "What Office 2013's draconian licensing policy really means for you". PC World. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  40. ^ Bright, Peter (17 February 2013). "Why Microsoft’s new Office 2013 license may send users to Google Docs". Ars Technica. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  41. ^ "Microsoft confirms Office 2013 licenses can't be transferred to other computers". Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  42. ^ "Microsoft Office 2013 lockdown aims to boost cloud services -". Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  43. ^ "Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER". The Register. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  44. ^ "Office News - Office 2013 now transferable". 6 March 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  45. ^ "Microsoft retreats from Office 2013 restrictive licensing". Computerworld. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  46. ^ a b c d e Paul Thurrott (17 September 2012). "Office 2013: Pricing and Packaging | Office content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows". Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  47. ^ a b c "Compare suites available through volume licensing".  
  48. ^ Thurott, Paul (September 18, 2012). "Office 2013: Pricing and Packaging". Penton. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  49. ^ "Office 2013 vs. Office 365: Should you buy or rent?". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  50. ^ "Microsoft to deliver final version of Office 2013 RT starting in early November". ZDNet. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  51. ^ "Building Office for Windows RT". Microsoft. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  52. ^ a b "Microsoft Details Office 2013 RT Availability and Features". Tablet PC Review. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  53. ^ a b "Outlook finally coming to Windows RT tablets". CNET. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  54. ^ "Windows RT won't get full Office 2013". PC Pro. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  55. ^ a b "Microsoft Office for Windows RT: How to move to a commercial-use license". ZDNet. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  56. ^ "Microsoft's Lync and OneNote apps for Windows 8, Windows RT now in Windows Store".  
  57. ^ "OneNote MX: First Take".  
  58. ^ "Microsoft teases touch-based Office apps for Windows 8.1". The Verge. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  59. ^ "Windows Phone 8: A tour of the business features". ZDNet. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  60. ^ "Introducing the new Office on Windows Phone 8". Office Next. Microsoft. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  61. ^ "Office Mobile for iPhone Review". Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  62. ^ "Microsoft releases Office Mobile for Office 365 Android app". GSMArena. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  63. ^ "Compare Microsoft Office Products & Subscription Plans".  
  64. ^ "What’s included in the Office 365 Preview?". Microsoft. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  65. ^ "Office 365 Personal". Office 365 Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  66. ^ "Office 365 University". Office 365 Portal. Microsoft. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  67. ^ a b "The new Office 365 subscriptions for consumers and small businesses". Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  68. ^ a b Paul Thurrott (16 July 2012). "Office 2013 Public Preview: Office 365 for Home and Businesses | Office content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows". Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  69. ^ "Microsoft Office Home Premium 2013 Preview - Official Site". Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  70. ^ Arar, Yardena Arar (27 February 2013). "Decoded: Microsoft's puzzling Office 365 rollout".  
  71. ^ Thurrott, Paul (8 May 2013). "The Office 365 Upgrade: From Small Business to Small Business Premium". SuperSite for Windows.  
  72. ^ "Office 365 Small Business Premium".  

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