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April 23, 2013

Office 2013-Outlook

Well, not all of the Office 2013 applications have a lot new going for them and Outlook is one of them.  It really has not changed that much.  It is cleaner, which is the Windows 8 "look."  As I stated in the past it is, in my opinion, boring.  As with the other Office apps we have reviewed it is just pale white and even the "themes" do not do much for it.

Where Word and Excel (in particular) have new features going for them, Outlook has few.

Pop up calendar, Outlook 2013The one thing I really like is that when you are in email you can see the other Outlook items, like Calendar, Tasks, etc. at the bottom-left side of the window.  When you hover over the large word "Calendar" while reading email, it shows a calendar of the current month with the current day’s appointments listed.  You can change dates while in this view too, so that could be helpful for quickly finding available appointment dates and times.  Clicking the other large words will go to those areas of Outlook.  I used the word, "large" because they are.  Why did they change that instead of using the small icons they used to use in Outlook?  I have no idea.   But I think they should have left it alone. 

Speaking of hovering and moving around Outlook, it now appears to operate more smoothly.  Instead of just popping items open they sort of flow into view.  Yes, I know that is a little artsy sounding for me, but it looks polished.  Gee, it sounds like I may start going to the Opera and the Ballet…not.   

There is another neat feature in the Calendar; however, it depends on your screen size and resolution as to how much you will see.  When you look at the week view in the calendar you will see today’s current weather forecast above the date.  If enough room is available you will also see the next couple of days’ forecast.  Now the default weather on my system was New York, NY but it was easy to click the link and change it.  Pretty slick, but how much is it needed?  Well, that is up to you.

Outlook 2013 Weather

Another neat feature is that an "X" appears next to an email when you hover over it.  You can click it to delete the email.  Not a big deal since in the olden days you could right click and delete it, but it is convenient.

The bad news is there is one thing in the new Outlook that I really do not appreciate.  In the previous versions of Outlook when you hit the Reply, Reply to All or Forward buttons it opened a new window with that email in it.  Now it opens it in the current location of the email view.  As in the past it is either below the email or beside the email list.  When you hit reply it does not open in a new window, but right where it was in the preview area.  This is very disorienting if you used previous versions.  If you need to go read some info off of another email in your list when you click on it, the one you were replying to closes down.   Now when you go back to your replying email you can click on it and see either the "draft" copy you were working on or the original.  From there you may continue editing.   It just seems like a step backwards and rather clunky to me. 

Outlook 2013 iconI found from emails related to the last few columns many of you are now using Office 2013.  If you are using Outlook 2013 what do you think?  I would like to hear what you like and dislike about Office 2013.

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