Microsoft Office 2013

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Microsoft Office 2013
Microsoft Office 2013 logo and wordmark.svg
Microsoft Office 2013 Default Screen.png
Microsoft Office 2013 apps from top left to bottom right: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
Initial releaseJanuary 29, 2013; 20 months ago (2013-01-29)[1]
Stable release15.0.4659.1001[2] / October 14, 2014; 26 days ago (2014-10-14)[2]
Operating system[3]
PlatformIA-32, x64, ARM
Available in40 languages[4]
TypeOffice suite
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Microsoft Office 2013
Microsoft Office 2013 logo and wordmark.svg
Microsoft Office 2013 Default Screen.png
Microsoft Office 2013 apps from top left to bottom right: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote
Initial releaseJanuary 29, 2013; 20 months ago (2013-01-29)[1]
Stable release15.0.4659.1001[2] / October 14, 2014; 26 days ago (2014-10-14)[2]
Operating system[3]
PlatformIA-32, x64, ARM
Available in40 languages[4]
TypeOffice suite

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[edit]

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:

Quantifiable limits in objects
ObjectUpper limit
Characters in a table or column name100 characters
Number of tables in a model2,147,483,647 bytes (2 GiB minus 1 byte)
Number of columns and calculated columns in a table2,147,483,647 bytes (2 GiB minus 1 byte)
Memory limit, checked when saving a workbook4,294,967,296 bytes (4 GiB)
Concurrent requests per workbook6
Number of connections5
Number of distinct values in a column1,999,999,997
Number of rows in a table1,999,999,997
String length536,870,912 bytes (512 MiB)
Restrictions in objects
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[edit]

The following features are removed from Microsoft Office 2013.

Removed from the entire suite [31]
Features removed from Microsoft Word
Features removed from Microsoft Access
Features removed from Microsoft Outlook
Features removed from Microsoft PowerPoint


Distribution changes[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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:

Office 365[edit]

Main article: Microsoft 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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 RTHome & StudentHome & BusinessStandardProfessionalProfessional PlusPersonal[65]HomeUniversity[66]Small Business PremiumProPlusEnterprise
AvailabilityVariesWindows RTRetail, OEMRetail, OEMVolume licensingRetail, OEMVolume licensingSoftware plus servicesSoftware plus servicesSoftware plus servicesSoftware plus servicesSoftware plus servicesSoftware plus services
Maximum users1111As licensed1As licensed1all users in one household[67]11025[68]Unlimited
Devices per user1111As licensed1As licensed1 computer and 1 mobile5 shared among all users [67]2 computers and 2 mobiles55[68]5
Commercial use allowed?YesSeparate2NoYesYesYesYesNoNo[69]NoYesYesYes
SharePoint DesignerYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Has multiple editions
Has multiple editions
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[edit]

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

CPU1 GHz clock speed, IA-32 or x64 architecture with SSE2 support
RAMIA-32 edition: 1 GB
x64 edition: 2 GB
Hard disk drive3.0 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[edit]


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  2. ^ a b "About Microsoft Office 2013 Click-to-Run Updates". Microsoft. February 25, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
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  4. ^ "Language identifiers and OptionState Id values in Office 2010". Microsoft. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
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External links[edit]